Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Cat in the Hat

We celebrated Dr. Seuss' birthday with a trip to see The Cat In The Hat.  The Spartanburg Youth Theater did a terrific job in their performance.

The children were mesmerized the entire time.  The set was simply done, but the music and acting kept the audience engaged.

The children told me they liked the show and had a great time.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Latta Plantation - Celtic Festival

We took the children and their friends to the Celtic Festival at Latta Plantation.  We wanted to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in a different manner this year and decided to make the drive.  As always, the Latta Plantation is well worth the hour and a half drive!

The children were excited to see the Celtic dancers and hear the music.  We listened to a Scottish story teller and learned interesting details about the Scots.  The story teller was mesmerizing and she made you feel like you were listening to the person that had experienced the history first hand.  She recounted the struggles of the Highlanders and how England punished them.  She told of their plight in Ireland and how they came to the New World.  We learned how and why they settled in the area that we call home.

We perused the various encampments depicting the Revolutionary war, Civil war, WWI and WWII Scots-Irish soldiers.  The boys always look forward to seeing the various weapons and witnessing the demonstrations.

We watched the Celtic dancers and learned about the various dances.

The children enjoyed the Highlander games.  There was an area set aside for the children to try their hand at the various games.  Little Man didn't want to leave the rubberband rifle range!  B-Man enjoyed playing the Scottish hammer throw.  Egee tried the caber throw.  Sunshine was happy to do it all!

We had a wonderful time and are looking forward to next year's celebration!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Wright On Time: Arizona - Cave structure experiment

I had stumbled onto a series of books written about a homeschooling family and their adventures.  The Wright on Time book series explores a different state in each book.  We began reading the Arizona book and the Wright's cave adventure. 

I love that the book has a built in glossary for the children.  I would read aloud and ask if they knew what a highlighted term meant.  We looked it up and then Googled the term to learn more.  This piqued their interest in many different things within the story.  We learned about different minerals and gems.  We also learned about cave formations.

I wanted to show the children how slow stalagmites and stalactites took to form.  I found an experiment for us to do.

We gathered two glass jars, Epsom salt, spoons, string, screws, paper plate, and hot water.

We filled the glass jars half full of hot water and added Epsom salt to make a super saturated solution.  It took 8 tablespoons of salt per jar.

Next, we measured the string and tied the screws to each end.  The screws were used as weights to keep the string submerged. 

We placed the string in one jar to wet it thoroughly.  Then we stretched the string out.  One end was kept in the jar and the other end was placed in the other jar.

We put a paper plate under the stretched out string.  The salt solution would travel up the string and then form a drip.  The salt would start to crystalize and make a stalactite and the the remaining drip started the development of a stalagmite.

The children checked on the experiment every time they walked into the kitchen.  After several hours, a small stalactite began to form.  After a few days, we had a nice little stalactite and small stalagmite.  This gave the children a new appreciation of the large structures in caves.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Croft State Park

The children and I have taken advantage of nice days this spring.  We ventured out to Croft State Park along with fellow homeschoolers.  The park is massive and our favorite spot is the short hike to Fairforest Creek. 

Our first outing occurred in the fall.  We fell in love with the place and the children asked constantly when we would go back.  Now, that Samson is older and we want to introduce him to water, Croft was the perfect spot.

As we walk along the trail, we discuss the changes that have taken place between each visit.  The understory growth of the forest, the forest floor, what is blooming or dormant, animal sightings, the flow of the creek, etc. are noted.  Learning about nature is a very important lesson for us.  I want the children to appreciate it and understand it.

The payoff for them at this moment is playtime in the creek.  However, I know they are absorbing our nature talks.  Each time we visit, they bring up something we mentioned in a previous trek.  Oh, how I love the nature of unschooling!

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!  He died for us and rose again! What a wonderful gift mankind received from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Little Man has spent the day watching The Crucifixion and The Bible Series.  He has an intense fascination to learn about Jesus and his final days.  We have had several conversations about Jesus today.

The gift that was given through Christ is the greatest gift anyone can receive.  I am so grateful that we have Him in our lives!