Friday, September 30, 2011

Frontier Culture Museum-part 2 (yes, I'm working backward)

So we've started homeschooling Cole this year. It's been something that I've been thinking about for quite some time, but nothing really materialized until the end of 2nd grade. I wasn't quite sure how Geof. would handle the whole "home-school" idea, so I didn't bring it up much during the summer, and then the whole choice became concrete out of no where..I mean, a few days before public school started. And Geof. seemed okay with it because he knew I was open to the idea of putting him back in after a semester if it didn't work out.

And since 2nd grade was NOT the best year for Cole, we decided to give it a try!

And I'd be lying if I said that it's been the most joyful, wonderful, easy peasy, "isn't this so fun?!" thing I've ever done. Because it's not. It's been difficult....but also great. Good days and bad, and mostly just trying to figure it out and hoping you're doing it right and your kid is learning (although I DO know he's learning a lot..I just want it to be more fun than it's been. I mean, can't learning be fun?!).

Today was one of those, "I love being a home school mom" moments. I figure that if we can feel good about what we've accomplished school-wise during the week, then Friday is a good day to take off and play. So we picked up another homeschooling child in our ward, Emily, and took off to the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton, VA. Staunton is the cutest little town (in my opinion).

And the museum was so great! I've learned when I lower my expectations, I most often am very happy with the result. I've done this more and more, actually (is that bad?), and been so pleased.

Since this is PART 2, I won't fill you in on our first half of the day. But to end our day, we visited an English Farm from the 1600s (the actual home was brought over from England!), a 1700s Irish Farm, and an Irish Forge (you know, where craftsmen make things out of iron).

This museum was ALL HANDS ON, which is a dream for Cole. Not once did I have to get on him for touching something he shouldn't, climbing somewhere he's not supposed to, or playing with something that's breakable.

It was wonderful. Just what moms need. Cole was so intrigued by it all. Here's a list of the things we did:

*wool carding
*spinning on a walking wheel
*open hearth cooking
*washing dishes (we didn't get to this.., but saw other kids doing it!)
*grounded oats to make oat flour
*made oat cakes
*watched someone weave linen
*helped make Sauerkraut
*grated some real cheese made right there on the farm.

It was so fun. And the workers were very kind and patient. I wished we could have stayed for tomorrow's Oktoberfest party! Oh, how fun would that have been!

And Emily was the perfect companion to Cole. She has a bunch of brothers so she understood Cole's need to be physical (even though I made sure he didn't try and wrestle her or push her..why does he always HAVE TO DO THAT?) She also didn't seem to
mind the fact that a lot of what we did was catered to Cole. And best of all, she kept the energy level down a few notches which in turn kept me sane. :))

A few explanations from the pics: A huge, most certainly poisonous spider, a Crown of Thorns (a reminder of Christ, burned once a year and ashes scattered on crops as a sign of "good luck"...interesting), a cute Austrian man wearing a frilly frock, Cole and Emily's cute "race"..just a few fun moments to think about.

And I almost forgot to mention how BEAUTIFUL this museum was. Obviously, it was spread out and we walked a lot and it really felt like you were in that time period. Long grass and wild flowers everywhere, a nice breeze.., very picturesque. So pretty.

And then coming home and finding June asleep on a mini-ottoman. This girl falls asleep in the funniest positions!


J9 said...

Really cute pics of you and Cole! Did Emily take those? I didn't realize that she was homeschooling looks like so much fun! If Savannah can't test into CBG next year, I may be joining you!

Marisa said...

How fun! Great pictures. You are beautiful Darla.

Gma Beth said...

Wonderful day for you and Cole! Standing beside you, I think...Cole's going to pass you up in no time. Also, you could write a photo book of "funny places to sleep" by Junie bug. By the way, does June mind when we add "bug" to her name? I only knew one June growing up.

Gma Beth said...

This is a test to see if I remember my password.

Emily said...

Oh my goodness I love this! I love that Cole is so lean and lanky-my word wasn't he just our chubby baby next door neighbor? I love that you are homeschooling just him and get all that great time together. I love that you're so darn cute. i really think 30-something is the most beautiful age for women, don't you? I love that you have such perfect weather still. We saw our first snow today :0( Love it all! We must come and visit you again and do all that VA has to offer, wouldn't that be fantastic?

Kathleen said...

great photos darla - love you,
a. kathy