September 6, 2005

Back to School

Today was back to school day for most of the kids in the Twin Cities neighborhood. Praise God it was not for us. We spent the day at the MN history museum. It could not have been any better than it was. There was no one there. We had all the exhibits to ourselves and no lines, no waits and no one else to interfere with us.

The kids and I had a great time. They ran around and climbed inside a grain elevator, experienced a simulated rocket take-off (not intense), hid underground for a simulated tornado (intense and seemingly life like) and many other fun things. They tried to be as strong as a horse, with all four of us pushing we were finally able to do it. We looked at and touched many things and learned and played and just experienced history and inventions. The kids did not want to leave and I finally dragged them out at 3:30 to try to beat rush hour traffic. They asked when we could go back.

While we were there Rhiannon drew a picture for one of the museum workers and the kids managed to endear themselves to all the people they saw, probably since we were the only kids there. We built a log cabin together, climbed through tunnels and made wind blow. There were many neat things and it was all so much more fun because there were no lines and no competition for any exhibits.

I highly recommend visiting museums, history sites, zoos and all those other places that have been too crowded lately. You may very likely find them deserted as we did. It is too soon for field trips but most everyone is in school. A great time to get in some of those field trips before you are competing with large group field trips! We will be visiting some of the other sites we haven't been to in awhile as well over the next two weeks.

As some of these sites are quite a drive for us - we are working our way (again) through the Little House on the Prairie book on tape series. We are halfway through Little House in Big Woods just today! Rhiannon also keeps her copy of a Child's Garden of Verses and Aesop's Fables in the car so she can read to us. The deal is she reads one poem (with feeling and emphasis) and one fable and discusses the moral before the book on tape goes on. We are working through our Ambleside without her even being aware of it, even though we are not technically starting until next week.

When we came home tonight I taught Rhiannon to play chess (no I didn't let her win) while Ciaran and Sirah played on the Starfall website. They really enjoyed the ABC section, which is well done. Ciaran especially enjoyed singing the songs for the short vowel sounds.

I was smart enough to get a soup in the crockpot and a loaf of bread (frozen) rising before we left and we came home to dinner almost completed! I made butternut squash for a treat (with sugar and butter) and we enjoyed a homemade meal with little effort. We were even able to get outside and see the neighbors for a bit tonight.

I must admit I am so thankful and I cherish the fact that Rhiannon did not get on a school bus today at 8am and return after 3:30 pm. Those hours were spent together as a family learning and having fun and just enjoying each other and learning about our history - praise God for the freedom, ability and blessing of homeschooling.


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