Friday, October 12, 2012

Helping Curators as a Perk of Homeschooling

Ian learning & practicing how to handle snakes

Trying to change the direction of the wind
         This morning my boys once again watched several episodes of Wild Kratts and learned about monarch butterflies and honey badgers but I was itching to get out of the house and have some fun.  So I asked them what they'd like to do today.  I was ready with a long list of suggestions since there are so many places I want to go this fall; some having to do with Halloween and some just because we haven't been there in a while but they all readily agreed on the Ecotarium without any input from me.  I was perfectly happy with this suggestion since it was one of the places on my list.  
      We packed lunches & they got ready for the day.  I had them help clean the kitchen too and had to threaten not to leave at all to get them to stop moaning, complaining and fighting over who would do which job.  I just wanted the table washed and the floor cleaned but you would've thought I asked them to clean the entire house with the way they where sighing and carrying on.  I think the complaining (that is perfectly normal for all kids-- I know!) is one of my biggest challenges as a homeschooling mom.  Homeschooling is more time consuming and while it's unrealistic of me I'm sure, I'd still like them to be thankful I'm willing to do so much more for them and us as a family, and help out around the house more without the complaints.  Hopefully, in time this may come to be but I probably shouldn't hold my breath on that. 
       Ian did a lesson in McRuffy while Alec read a book to Evan.  I have a bunch of fun fall/ Halloween art projects planned and need at least one supply for each of them so I wrote up a list of supplies we needed to try and buy today.  My hope is, that with making my list, I will only have to stop once and stock up on all that we need for the next week or so.  I then had Ian read in the car while Alec worked on his math lesson.  I keep reminding them reading and math are important so we have to do them everyday.  We re- instituted our 15 minutes of reading before bed that my boys have always done for the past few years and I've never heard so much grumbling (really only from Ian who just hates to read on his own; especially if he has to read out loud).  Guess that was one habit we shouldn't have given up on over the summer. 

          We arrived at the Ecotarium and stayed for 6 hours!  We saw and did everything there.  We saw wild turkeys and went on a train ride around the grounds.  We watched the otters, bees, red fronted Macaws, snakes, ferrets, turtles, eagles, and hawks.  We explored the grossology of the human body and learned why we make noise when we pass gas, why we burp, the importance of our urine, what makes our bodies smell, and many other gross facts about our bodies.  We explored many board games and learned where some of the originated.  We got to feel what 80 mile per hour winds felt like and how mountains and valleys affect fog.  The boys took part in a simulated drive up Mount Washington and looked at the diorama of animals that can be found there.  The museum was preparing for a new exhibit and asked the boys to help them with an experiment.  The boys were asked to build a city using colored foam sheets and blocks and then the curators placed a heat lamp on the city and used a thermal imaging machine to show the boys how cities heat up.  They were then asked if they could make the city cooler.  They immediately realized parking lots, black roof tops and roads attracted the heat the most so they made all the parking lots and roofs out of white and then compared the two using the heat lamp and thermal machine once again.  It was really neat.  They must have spent almost 20 minutes trying to decide how best to set up the city, how best to cool it off and utilized many problem solving and cooperative skills.  In the end they did a great job. 

Boys creating the first city
Looking at the heat of the city

Playing a new game

The corn snake we learned about

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