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Around the World in 150 Days

6 Mar

Yes, after a year, I am finally getting back to writing on this page. A lot has happened in the year behind me. We relocated to Europe, my father became terminally ill, we rushed back to the states, my father died, and now I am here. Again. I would almost say I’m back where I started except that everything is so different now; even though the location is the same, the attitude and feelings are not.

So, I look forward to sharing lots of thoughts and ideas again, but with a different heart and a different way to look at the world.

Coming next will be my evaluation of a book, Stop Stealing Dreams by Seth Godin, which was recommended to me by a friend who knows of my obsessive passion for education. (and he still wants to be my friend! LOL)

So, into the future, I’m looking forward to it.

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Zoo Field Trip – learning about more than just animals

25 Mar


Planning and map reading skills in use.

We recently took a trip to the zoo. Squirrel had a zoo map that he had saved from our last trip to the zoo (almost a year ago). As we are preparing to leave he makes a big deal about packing his backpack with the map. This was very important to him. But we didn’t realize how important until we got to the zoo and he pulls out the map and proceeds to inform us of what he wants to see and how to get there.

So, yes… We got to see lots of animals and observe their behavior in a controlled environment and all of the normal zoo stuff. The map reading was an extra bonus. I love unschooling. It’s amazing what they come up with all on their own.

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The Great Forest Park Balloon Race

16 Sep

This weekend we went to the annual Great Forest Park Balloon Race. This race has been going on since 1973. I remember watching the balloons take off from my hospital window when I was a kid recovering from surgery. I was hooked. It’s so beautiful watching the balloons fill up and launch into the sky.

The rules are the Energizer Bunny launches first. Then the other balloons (the hounds) take off in pursuit. The race ends when the bunny lands and the winner is determined by which team gets their bag of birdseed dropped closest to the bunny.

We managed to get up close to one of the balloons this year. The fire and the noise scared the little ones though. But the oldest got to hear the pilots talking about how the shape of the balloon affects the flight. Very interesting stuff.

Popeye Festival

9 Sep

This weekend we went to Chester, Illinois to go to the Popeye Festival. Chester is the home of E.C. Segar, the creator of the Popeye comics. Even though it was rainy and the parade was canceled, we had a lot of fun. We stopped by the Popeye museum, Spinach Can Collectibles. It was interesting to see all the old wooden toys and newspaper clippings of the people that inspired the characters as well as the list of home countries of people from around the world that have come to see the home of Popeye. The little ones were intrigued by the real live Olive Oyls and Popeyes walking around the town. We also drove by the new statue of Olive Oyl (unveiled this year) and visited the Popeye Memorial by the As the Crow Flies Bridge that crosses the Mississippi River. It was fun, and gave us the chance to talk to the kids about community.