Saturday, November 8, 2014

what we've been doing outside of the classroom

A couple of weeks ago I was asked about my philosophy of home education.  I’m not exactly sure what I said, but I am pretty sure that it sounded as dumb to those listening as it did to my own ears.  I have since come up with a better answer.  Here goes …

I want to squeeze as much fun … as many good memories … as possible into the years I have my children at home with me.  Now, many of those memories need to center on your basic, sitting-at-the-desk-doing-math, kind of days.  Many days yes, but certainly not all.  So, with that in mind, here is a look into what we’ve been doing outside the classroom lately.
all three smiling ... quite an accomplishment for my non-photogenic family

my beautiful girl

the boys playing in the corn bin ... 
I guess you never get too old for this kind of fun

a rare picture of me ... sitting in the very stinky hay

ain't he cute?
 A few weeks ago we made our somewhat annual (read – we want to do it every year but don’t always get to) trip to the pumpkin patch.  We’ve been doing this since our very first year homeschooling … as a matter of fact, I think the pumpkin patch was one of our very first field trips to ever attend and I know it was the first one I ever planned.  This is not something that I ever did as a child (did they even have pumpkin patches way back then??), but I have loved how much my children LOVE this super fun fall activity.  I am sure that they have learned a few things over the years, but honestly, we aren’t taking this field trip to claim school hours learning … it is just FUN!
JW chose a flat one for the
pumpkin stack that is now
next to our front door.

D and his so-ugly-it-is-almost-cute pumpkin

Of course, some field trips are both educational and fun.  This was certainly true of our recent trip to the Grand Gulf Military Park in Port Gibson, MS.  The children were given the history of the Civil War battle fought there and then sent off to explore the wonderful park.  Oddly, one of my favorite parts was exploring the old cemetery.  Roaming through weathered tombstones is always such a poignant reminder of our connection to the past. 

Our history teacher - the park director

The kids wandering through a section of the cemetery

The group - taken by LB from about halfway up the
observation tower ... no one in my family
wanted to go any higher.

JW and his best friend

One of my favorite views of the day.

We ended our day with a visit to Windsor Ruins located somewhere near the Natchez Trace, not too far from Port Gibson.   Windsor is the remains of what was once a beautiful antebellum home.  This massive home has a sad history ~ the man who built it died within weeks of its completion.  Later, it was used by both Confederate and Union troops during the Civil War before it burned down after a guest dropped a lighted cigar or cigarette.  
Just a little perspective on the massive columns

I took several of these just because the day was so beautiful

As we walked among the columns (which we probably weren’t supposed to be doing), one couldn't help but think of the lives that were lived inside those now imaginary walls.

A beautiful old tree that was probably
there when the house was built.
A very serious D climbing the jungle gym tree
While the adults and teens enjoyed the actual ruins, the younger kids found a tree that looked just like a jungle gym to them.  What a perfect way to end a wonderful day.

A bonus for the day ... my friend Marie (and her children
Izzy and Max) rode with us, just to make sure I didn't get lost ;)

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