Saturday, October 26, 2013

Field Trip to Cedarock and to see Legos!

What a beautiful day we had for this field trip.  This was our first official outing (after Pullen Park) to a site with our FIAR group.  We are blessed and excited to have some new families with us this year too!

We visited Cedarock Historical Farm.

From the site website:  The Cedarock Historical Farm provides an example of life on a farm in North Carolina during the 19th Century.  Populated with the farm animals, antique and replica farm equipment, and a farmhouse, the Historical Farm provides a fun, education stop while visiting Cedarock Park.

We first heard about the Garrett Family who lived on this farm.
And viewed the first house.
It was tight quarters for a growing family.

Next we viewed the "newer" home.  Isn't it lovely?

We had a guided tour inside the home sharing details about the family and their life inside this home.
Note the stove for warmth.
The kitchen with the pan for making cornbread on the stovetop.
Another view of the kitchen.
Can you see the quilting frame that has been raised to the ceiling?  What a clever use of their limited space!

We toured the grounds outside which included a dinner bell over the well.
Post office
The Post office served the small area around the home which included several families.  It was a gathering place to talk, games and more.
The outhouse.  So thankful we don't have to use one of these!
Of course some wanted to explore the inside.
There was a building showcasing some of the farm tools and machinery that has been used.
A small collection of animals.
Including horses in a large barn.
And we wrapped up the tour with a hayride around the property!
We split into two groups for the ride.   Always fun for all ages.

We had a picnic lunch at the nearby (on site) park.

A last look at the house as we were leaving.
We made a stop on the way home ... to see a Lego exhibit!!!  It is fantastic if you have a lego fan and even if you don't!

Waiting to go inside.
The artwork is amazing.

We wandered through the house to look at the various pieces.
Each of us had our own favorites.

This is a self portrait of the artist.
All of it was intriguing.
Eliana wanted her photo taken.
So have you found a favorite yet?  And this is just a sampling and not at all the full collection.  Eliana's favorite was a cat.
There were a few more pieces in the children's museum next door.
The castle coming out of a  story.
These guys hugging were apparently placed around New York City at some time.  That would have been fun to see!

A delightful day with so much fun to see and do!  I'm thankful to have so many interesting things to explore close to our home - and friends to do this with!


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

New co-op: Shakespeare!

Our Beyond co-op (and before that a Volume 4 co-op) of Five in a Row had such a fun time together that we looked for another way to continue meeting.  We decided to continue to focus on using literature to learn as this has been such a successful method for our group.  For this semester, we are going to study one of Shakespeare's plays - The Comedy of Errors.

At the beginning of each of our sessions, the students are learning about the play and discussing the next act or two in the play.  They are also learning about various historical or cultural events that were taking place.  I'm excited about the high interest they all have in our topics!  I never had thought that Shakespeare could be so much fun and I'm enjoying it too!

 In our first session, we looked at some of the Old English sayings and phrases and pronunciations.
 The students were split into groups to look at lines from the play to figure out what was being said.  I thought that some of the phrases weren't all that hard if you were from the south and had heard some heavy accents.  ;-)
 We learned more about the setting of the play and the other locations mentioned in the story.  We watched a video about Ephesus and learned about the history of that city.  (We watched Drive Through  History.  Some of this should be previewed for younger students.)  We also talked about some of the 7 Wonders of the World.
 A lesson on iambic pentameter.  A lively and physical demonstration at that.  All of Shakespeare's plays have 5 acts and all are written in iambic pentameter.  Note from a sweet friend that taught this:  Shakespeare writes in iambic pentameter... the iamb refers to the unstressed-stressed pairs and the pentameter refers to the five meters (or in this case five pairs).
 I'm glad that my children are learning about poetry as that has never been a strong suit of mine.
 We enjoyed a hearty bowl of minestrone soup while listening and learning about DaVinci and his artwork.
We heard specifically about his drawings and how he liked to take things apart to study them so that his drawings were more accurate.
 After listening, it was time to draw.  Isn't this a fun selection of things to choose from?  Each child received a notebook, drawing pencil (to start with) and the selected an object of their choice to draw.

 Some chose electronics.
 Others chose food items.
 All were intent.
 A little cheese, fruit and crackers was nice to have while drawing too.
 Some preferred to be outdoors drawing - in groups...
 Or alone.
 They first drew the object from the outside and then cut or opened it to see and draw the inside.
 This old vhs tape was fun to draw...
 and then even more fun to play with.
 It literally hung in the air when they ran around with it.  Shimmering and shining.  It really was fun if you happen to have an old one laying around and a curious child.
 Oh, and we learned that DaVinci sometimes wrote backwards in his notebooks.  Here is more information on that.
 The students had fun trying it out.
 A mirror was helpful for decoding and reading more easily.
 Love seeing the creations of everyone.  So much talent and creativity.
It was a delightful beginning to our year and our new study!  We are eagerly looking forward to our next gathering.