Saturday, November 30, 2013

Dr Pepper Museum Field Trip

This is  one of those little places that if you ever happen to be in Waco, Texas is a fun place to stop. We travel through a few times a year on our way to Dallas to visit family. We just had Big E and Little E along this time. There was a lot to do, see, and learn for such a small space! The girls favorite place by far was the old A&W root beer stand dramatic play area. They pretended to cook me  up some burgers and fries and then I served it to them in the diner. Too bad they didn't have roller skate rentals! ;)

They have a great educational program that we will have to get our co-op group in on one day. They have a whole 3 hour tour which includes the history and the kids get to create their own soda flavors! They also have these really neat scavenger hunts available online on their website to print out and try and find the objects in the museum. Big E thought that was fun, she loves playing super sleuth! 

I was not aware that the Dr Pepper Company also made things other than Dr Pepper like my favorite - Big Red!! If you don't live in Texas chances are you may have never had a Big Red before. That's too bad. I might send you one if you ask nicely. Then again I may drink it first. They go great with brisket….what? Never had that either? You really need a Field Trip to Texas! ;) 

We got to learn about the old machines and the bottling process. 

And we got to see lots of great history of Dr Pepper through the ages! 

This was an animatronic man telling the story of Dr Pepper. He was kinda creepily realistic looking. Especially his hands. Little E kept asking "why is that man trapped in there?". 

They had great little play areas all around for younger learners who may not find soda history all that interesting. 

And at the end they give you a token for a free sample from their old fashioned soda fountain. We had Dr Pepper and Big Red floats to commemorate the trip! 

For more info you can visit their website here. There are a lot of other great museums in the Waco area as well so you can make a weekend out of it! 

Find ideas for other great field trips on the Chestnut Grove weekly field trip hop!
Chestnut Grove Academy Field Trip Friday Blog Hop

Friday, November 29, 2013

Edelweiss Academy 2013

I think people often wonder what a homeschool may look or run like. Well, the truth is everyone does it differently - that is what makes homeschooling great! We are able to tailor our school to what works for us. As for our family, we have 3 little girls ages 6, 3, and 20 months so currently our schoolroom resembles more of a play room. At their young ages I strongly feel they should be learning mostly through play.  Here is a peek inside:

This is our dramatic play and manipulatives area. We have plenty of outfits for dress up, a kitchen complete with pots, pans, and cloth food, and a doll house with a variety of dolls for role playing. On the shelves there are puzzles, shape sorters, blocks, and this is also where we put out our sensory boxes. The little kitchen table also doubles as Baby E and Little E's school table when we do any kind of more structured learning.

This is our morning and afternoon "circle" time center. They don't actually sit in a circle so much as a line but you get the idea. We sing in the morning about the days of the week and discuss any fun activities happening this week. We also have the girls count out how many days we have been in school (this pic was taken earlier this year). Big E puts the numbers in their place value order and Little E gets to count out the sticks and put them in. Then we will usually read a story aloud that goes along with our theme is for the week. In the afternoons we read again before nap time for the littles (which is when I can get more one on one for Big E).

This is the art's and crafts and teacher's cabinets. Here you can find play doh, clay, markers, glue, glitter, scissors….you can imagine why I keep it all locked up! Not because I don't want them to get to play with it, I just don't want them playing with it unsupervised! The taller teacher's closet contains all our curriculum for the year in regards to work books and teacher manuals. I have actually just recently started a storage shelf in the the garage for certain seasonal subjects or subjects Big E has completed that will be reused in a few years with the littles. There is just not enough room for everything in this 12 x 12 room! :)

This is Big E's and my desks. I have my computer (pictured) that they can all use for any online learning or gaming (the kids can earn media time for completing chores and school work but that is a different post!). Big E also has a tablet that some of her curriculum and books are stored on that she can use while sisters or mommy may be using the big computer. To the right of the desks you can see our work boxes. This is something we just started implementing this year and I am not 100% sure how I feel about it yet. I honestly started it mostly for my 3 yr old because I wanted her to get in the habit of starting and finishing a project and putting it away before you get the next one out. (It was simple things like coloring sheets or matching games) as she has the tendency to turn a room into a tornado field in less than 5 mins. It is a challenge we continue to work on. ;) My 6 yr old however seems to love them because she can clearly see what her next subject is and how much more she has to go.

So that is our room right now! We only spend a few hours in here a day and try to get outside and see and do more than sitting but it is so nice to have a space that is ours. Our room is small (though we do finally have a separate room! It used to be the living room!) but as you can see you can do a lot with small spaces. I would love to see and hear some of your school room ideas! We are always looking to learn and grow as a school!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Everybody Blogs

It's Thanksgiving week 2013. Our family is sitting at home, we just finished putting up our tree and adding a few presents underneath. This week is filled with dear family and great food. Many kids are so excited to be out of school for the week and parents are happy to spend a little more time with them but glad they will be back at school in a few days. But not us. We didn't choose that route. We choose to homeschool. During this Thanksgiving time of year we all tend to count our blessings a little more. I am evermore thankful for the ability and right to homeschool my children. It's not always easy and there are definitely days I question my choice but in the end I love spending so much time with my girls. I love watching them grow and experiencing new things daily. I love being able to make learning fun for us all and knowing that because of that they will want to come back tomorrow to learn more. Things get crazy but we all love it. I am blessed to have a husband who supports me and is able to work enough to provide us the lifestyle we desire. I have parents who I'll admit at first were a little weary but now support our family's educational path. We didn't do it for religion, we didn't do it for politics, we just do it because we love our family and we know we can provide them with a better education at home.

This is my first post on this new blogging journey. I hope to meet some great people and share wonderful ideas through this new outlet. Happy holiday season to you all and thanks for stopping by! 

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