Saturday, November 8, 2008

Field Trip Fun

We are having such a great school year. We got to go on five field trips this month! I know that may seem excessive to some, but they get so much out of them. I believe it is important to expose children to as many different experiences as possible. Books are one way to do that, but what better way than to actually see and touch and hear and smell?

Here's what we did:
We went to a botanical garden and were treated to a wonderful program about trees, the forest ecosystem, and so much more. Here the kids were acting out the roles of the different layers of the tree. Our friend in the middle chanted, "I support! I support!" while Drama Queen and Pete's group wiggled up from the ground while saying, "Slurp!" Another group swayed back and forth, saying, "We protect. We protect." It was so fun and memorable.

Pete checking out a bug he caught.

We went to an arts center that hosts a yearly fall festival in which they have hands-on activities teaching children about everything historical under the sun: blacksmithing, toys of yesteryear, printing (which Drama Queen and Pete are trying in the above pic), woodworking, weaving, spinning, quilting, feltmaking, cooking, beekeeping, churning butter, music, dance, making cornhusk dolls, caning chairs, art, trains, you name it! It is a fabulous experience. There was also a civil war era home next door that we were able to tour. The tour guide was top notch, and because we arrived as the school groups had to leave, we had him and the house all to ourselves!

We saw Slim Goodbody in Atlanta. Okay, this obviously wasn't the original Slim Goodbody, although when we saw this show two years ago we did see Slim himself. (And believe it or not, after all these years he really is still slim!) This show is AWESOME. He covers every one of the major systems of the body with an interactive, multi-media show. Even Screech is still singing the songs a month later! I can't recommend this show more highly.

I know this picture is freaking out many of you. Screech. Has. No. Fear. Of. Anything. Right after this pic was snapped she got fussed at for grabbing the snake! I'm not saying I want my child to be neurotic, but a little healthy fear is a good thing. If a dog barks in anger at her she gets in its face, wags her finger and yells, "Stop barking!" We are SO in trouble.
By the way, this was taken at the Georgia National Fair. (I don't get what makes it "National", but anyhow . . ) It is awesome. They have dozens of live exhibits and shows related to all things agriculture. We learned about beef cows, milk cows, sheep, dogs, rabbits, bees, pigs, chickens, and so much more. They had a free petting zoo and many hands-on exhibits. It was well worth the trip, and next year we plan to stay much longer.

Yes, this is a sweet pic, but I didn't take a pic moments later when
she dropped the poor thing on the concrete!

There was one more trip we took that I don't have pictures for: we went to see nationally acclaimed storyteller Odds Bodkin. He is incredible - quite possibly the best I've ever seen perform live. I am amazed at all the different things he can do with his voice. Be sure and check out his website. There is nearly an hour's worth of stories you can download for free!

This month has been so much fun. It's so funny how people who have no significant experience with homeschoolers assume that they're deprived. Deprived? Deprived????? In what other school can children have five field trips in one month's time? And as I've said before, being herded along like cattle on a field trip with a group of 75 kids is a completely different experience than having your own personal tour guide (Mom) and being able to take your time. With gas prices these days, many schools are cutting back so much that many kids are lucky to go on one or two field trips a year. To us, school is not just what we learn in books (although we read a lot!); it's about what we experience. There is so much out there to learn about and enjoy!


Jimmie said...

You say you have precious children, and you're not kidding! So adorable! You've got great pics here!

Thanks for your comments on my Squidoo lenses! Come on over and build some for yourself. Curriculum reviews and homeschool projects are good topics.

Woolymama said...

Wow! What fun field trips. I am so envious that you got to see Odds Bodkin, I just discovered one of his CDs at the library and my daughter is totally loving it. He is amazing.

And I completely agree - homeschoolers (with active parents) are certainly not deprived.