Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Spring Break

We homeschool through a virtual academy in our state and this week is our spring break. Being the disorganized person that I am, I wasn't ready for it. It's not a good week for us. I would have preferred to have spring break next week. I could have told the academy I wanted to do spring break next week but I chose to just go with it.

It boils down to this. We aren't doing much that is structured. We still have swimming, gymnastics, and taekwondo. In an effort to finish up our rocks unit, we are still reading some of the library books we checked out and will, hopefully, do another experiment or two. We want to grow another salt crystal garden (one with reds this time) and we want to see if we can grow our alum crystals larger. I'd like to try to make rock candy (sugar crystals) and show the kids how stalagctites and stalagmites are formed. I'd like to add in a couple of field trips down the road as well, just not this week.

The Washington State History Museum has a collection of rocks that I'd like to have a closer look at. I'll wait until the third Thursday of the month when the museum is free in the evening for that.

I also think a trip to Mt. Saint Helens would fit in nicely. I'd specifically want to go to the Johnston Ridge Observatory which is only 5 1/2 miles from the crater. The kids have never been there. It's about 2 1/2 hours away from us and is currently closed.

I've also always wanted to visit the Ape Caves at Mt. Saint Helens. These are some of the best lava tubes in the country and you can actually explore them. Just think of being inside a long cave that you know was created by lava flow. What a cool addition to a study on rocks (lava is liquid rock, afterall). They are about 3 hours from us and my daughter is freaked out by the idea of going into a dark cave even with a lantern.

One of the hardest things about homeschooling, for me, is all the things we can do but just can't for some reason. I'm the type who doesn't bat an eye at driving three hours for a day trip but doing that with three children is a bit more complicated. I'd love to have the resources to just fly over to the east coast when studying the part of American history. Or how about a quick trip to Europe, Africa, or China. Let's not forget the fact that we actually need to get a good overview of all of science and history before they graduate at 18 so we can't spend months on each little history and science topic like rocks. I also tend to forget that my kids are only 6 and 8 and don't have the attention span, interest, or desire to go into as much depth as I might find ideal.

So, I've learned that you just have to be happy with what you can do. With that in mind, we'll be moving onto our solar system and space next week.

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Unknown said...

Hi, JoAnn. I just wanted to let you know that the Washington State History Museum is free EVERY Thursday night, from 5-8 PM. You don't have to wait for Third Thursday!

Unknown said...

I received the book today! Thank you again for the opportunity to win it! :)

Have a Happy Thursday!! :)

Shadowclaw/Goldenpelt/Ashpaw said...

I love spring break.