Sunday, October 16, 2011

"In 1492....

.... Columbus sailed the ocean blue."

We are spending October and November learning about early American history. We learned a bit about the Mayan, Incan, and Aztec cultures. This past week we learned about the first Europeans to come to the "New World." (Yes, this was perfectly timed to go with the celebration of Columbus Day.)

We live (essentially) in Columbus, Ohio.... so on Thursday we set off to see some sites that honor our city's namesake.

We saw the giant statue of Christopher Columbus outside of City Hall.

We toured the Santa Maria, a replica of Columbus' ship that is permanently docked downtown. (I'm embarrassed to admit that the ship has been here 20 years and I've never toured it until now!) It was a really good experience. Our tour director was great! Her explanations and stories were very engaging. I was impressed with how well the boys listened and how much they learned. We were put in with a school group of older students, but that didn't stop Ray from asking and answering a few questions. I could tell that being on this ship really helped the boys better understand the experience of Columbus and his crew. Of course, when we got home and told Jon all about it, the "highlight" of their learning seemed to be about how the sailors "used the bathroom." Some things just stick with you more than others!


 I just have to add this last picture --- When we arrived downtown, as I was feeding the parking meter , the boys were drawn to this memorial for our city's deceased fire fighters. They sat on this bench so seriously and I could tell they were saying a prayer together. When I walked over Ray said, "We're not sure, but we think someone died here from that fire." They were so sweet and sincere and it was a wonderful "teachable moment."

 These kinds of outings ... being able to really bring the "book work" alive... really make homeschooling fun! 

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