And who says you need a classroom to learn? This week my kids and I have done so many fun and educational things together I am in wonderment about why I didn’t take this approach before. My son requested that homeschooling commence immediately…no break for summer. This is just fine with me as it allowed me the opportunity to show him first hand how he can in fact learn without sitting at a desk doing drills or being lectured at. I included pictures from my flickr stream if you are interested.
First up we went to visit honest to goodness castles right in Ohio. They are called The Piatt Castles, built by two wealthy brothers. They were named after the Mac-A-Cheek valley where they reside, Mac-A-Cheek and Mac-O-Chee. The names of the castles, the valley, and the stream that runs through it are all derived from the word, Macachack, the name of a Shawnee village that was located there in the late 1700s.
It was a great experience getting to tour both castles, one of which has most of the original furnishings. One of them even has a secret underground passage found only 2 years ago. It led from the house to the conservatory. Both castles had their own chapels too, which was incredible to see.
My kids and I learned about Ohio history and about how people used to live in the 1800s. The indoor toilet at the larger castle was fascinating. I also loved the fact that for each section or room in the castles there was an activity table set up for children to play and draw. Some of the activities included building castles, creating a mosaic, and playing with old fashioned toys.
Next up we went to a classic car show downtown and to The Popcorn Museum. My oldest son is a huge car buff so the car show was a big treat for him. He also got to pose next to the Speedracer car so he was a pretty happy camper. His great-uncle had a car on display too.
The Popcorn Museum was fun too. Highlights included seeing a huge collection of popcorn wagons, getting to see a train exhibit, and my son’s fave…getting to see a stuffed horse named Prince Imperial that belonged to Napoleon the third and lived in the 1800s. The horse was absolutely gorgeous and had a mane that was so long it dragged the ground by several feet if left down. He had the world’s longest mane.
The people at The Popcorn Museum really rock…they know their Marion history and that are happy to tail you around and answer any and all questions you have about just about anything. When you leave everyone gets a bag of of fresh popped popcorn.
Next up we visited The Harding House, which is the home of former US President Warren G. Harding. I have toured it several times…very interesting. My daughter also got to visit a little one room schoolhouse nearby too. All of these adventures have been getting marked with a sticker on a board game we got from our local visitor’s bureau….just something they cooked up to make summer learning fun.
Yesterday we went to COSI, a hands on Science Center. My 9 year old nephew said it was the best science museum he had ever been too and since this kid has been to science museums in probably 5 continents that is saying something. It was REALLY fun and educational. The highlight for me was the CSI exhibit. Basically we walked into a crime scene…a skeleton in the desert, we had to look for clues and then go to the lab where we evaluated 8 pieces of evidence. We compared bullet casings, matched DNA, matched hair samples to the species, and looked under a microscope to identify pollen. Then we went into the coroner’s office to view our deceased on a slab and determine cause of death and then finally we visited Grissom’s office to report our findings. SO FUN!!!!
This is my oldest sketching the crime scene:
Other points of interest included a bottle rocket, a mini submarine, a news station where kids get to be a part of the action, a 45 minute movie about climbing the Alps, the recycling exhibit, and robotic trucks the kids had a blast with.
They also had MANY videos you could watch of surgeries and medical procedures. I personally LOVE that…I wanted to be conscious for my colon resection even – they said NO. :( We watched a birth, a postmortem sperm retrieval, and gasp…a circumcision. It was beyond gross and made my nephew almost yack. I think all parents should have to watch that video before they decide to get their boys cut (something I am against). I can guarantee after watching NO ONE would have it done. It is a horrific, ghastly process.
Well, this made for one eventful and fun week…and we aren’t done yet. This homeschool stuff rocks the planet. ;)
Tuesday, June 10th, 2008