Thursday, March 29, 2012

States Study Update

Our Monday co-op has continued to be lots of fun for us! Adam's class is all the way up to the letter V in their "Patriotic Alphabet Parade." I don't have pictures from that because I teach this fun group of third and fourth graders ---

Along with the first and second grade class (which Ray attends), we are working our way across the country.... studying two States each week. Here are some of our recent projects ----

We made salt dough maps of Colorado!

We learned about Yellowstone Park and set off our own "geysers." We used the soda and Mento's geyser tubes.

We learned about the Great Salt Lake.... and observed an experiment with eggs and water and salt. Surprise! The egg floated in salt water.

We learned about different mining techniques and "mined" for chocolate chips in some yummy cookies! (Idaho is the "Gem State.")

We made Idaho potato people.

Everybody wanted me to post their potato people on the blog.... so here's a little gallery! :)

We've learned a lot and had a lot of fun.... Just seven States left!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Tax Season Getaway -- Indianapolis

This week my mom and I took the boys to Indianapolis for a little "tax season getaway." We went for three days / two nights of "educational" fun while Jon stayed here and worked around the clock. I'm so grateful for how hard he's working. When I take the boys on these kinds of getaways he knows he can work around the clock and not worry about being needed here.

The Children's Museum in Indianapolis is FANTASTIC. I highly recommend it for a little mini-vacation for families. We spent two five-hour days there and we all loved it. Here are a bunch of pictures ----

Riding the historic carousel
My mom - delighted to find something older than her! ;)
Brothers and best buddies... in a really cool mirror maze
Ray studying a ball contraption... always trying to figure out how things work!
Adam riding a donkey. So sorry about your ears Mr. Donkey. This was in a really neat Modern Egypt exhibit.
Giant water clock. Adam was especially fascinated by this.
I love this shot of the boys and Mamaw having so much fun. It was such a special time to share with her. The boys' clothes are soaked in this picture from the water play area, which they loved.
Me and my boys. xoxoxo I just love our adventures!
Ray "popping into a dinosaur exhibit. The sour face is because he did not like the "thunderstorm" that was happening in there.
Ray was much happier in the mirror maze.
This giant Transformer robot greets visitors in the lobby.

A "dino" protecting its eggs!
Digging for dinos!

Ray loved the great train exhibit... of course!

Who was having the most fun in this little "choo choo" ???

This magnificent Chihuly glass sculpture spanned the entire four floor museum! Can you see the guys cleaning it... suspended from ropes?
Adam had a great time designing his own "Chihuly-ish" artworks.
One of my favorite parts was relaxing on this slowly-spinning carousel and admiring the beautiful glass.

Working to piece together ancient Chinese warrior sculptures.

Making friends

Scuba exploration
The Ancient Egypt exhibit was beautiful! It was so great to be able to re-inforce all that we had learned about this civilization. The boys recognized and remembered so much. Here Ray is looking at a replica of a mummy.
Building a sarcophagus!
Oh yes.... it's made out of Lego Duplo blocks. There was a giant Lego room where the kids could build, race Lego vehicles, and see some amazing Lego creations.

There were so many more wonderful exhibits and activities! One of the main reasons I wanted to visit this museum was to attend the planetarium shows (culminating our Astronomy study). We did enjoy two shows there. It was such a fun place to learn and explore!

We had a great time swimming in the hotel pool. Adam can now race across the pool!

On Thursday, before heading home, we visited the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. We toured the museum there and we even got to take a bus ride around the track. It was really cool --- and BIG!

Great picture, right? You should have seen me trying to get out of this thing! Wow! Could have been on Funniest Home Videos! I think I'll stick with my mini-van.
There were so many really cool old and new racecars on display.

 We had a great adventure... saw so many cool things and did lots of hands-on learning! This is one of the great perks of homeschooling -- the flexibility to take time for these kinds of things (when the attractions aren't too crowded). Next week we're back to the books!