First was the sail boat Adventuress. I wasn't on this trip. I had to work that day, but the kids and Don got to go on a special tour of this beautiful sail boat. It was a trip set up specifically for educators to get the word out about the Advenuress 'on deck' programs and classes. A few of our homeschool friends were there and they all had a wonderful time!
The tour was perfect for our Ocean Research unit study we are working on right now and the kids both added a page to their research boos for the trip. Their favorite thing was seeing the wild seals following the boats. The boat also had a on deck touch tank which I thought was particularly cool. See up close what is beneath you in the ocean.
Then came Ted Brown Music Company. My best friend (who is also a wonderful homeschooler) taught this 3 week, 6 class unit on Orchestra to our homeschooling group and this is the second to last part of that unit: A field trip to see the instruments that she has been talking about.
Her class was amazing, and this tour was equally so. The unit was split up into parts of the orchestra. Conductor, music writers, strings, brass, woodwinds, and percussion. The kids learned SO much! Each class had a guest speaker who was also a musician. So they had gotten up close and personal with some of the instruments... but this tour topped it off. They got to touch every instrument that they had talked about, try to play it, and even bring home a their own instrument (a kazoo). It was AWESOME!
Next up was Terry's Berries organic farm. This was my personal favorite. I just love good food and teaching my kids about it comes very naturally to me. We were there for the apple squeeze and pumpkin patch. This day was about 60* and POURING down rain. So we were all armed with rain boots and umbrellas. We were also there with Sarah who had set up a second part to the tour that included a wonderful corn maze that the kids just loved! By the end we were really really wet... but we were all so happy.
The last one we have been on was the Woodland Park Zoo. I didn't bring my camera (friends did), so I have no pictures to post today. But it was an AMAZING tour. If you are ever out this way (to Seattle) it is a must see. The night exhibit was particularly cool. In there was fruit bats, vampire bats, armadillos, Tawny Frog Mouth (a really cool nocturnal bird that looks like an owl, but isn't), even the huge fruit bats that look just like Stellaluna. We spent all day there, and didn't get home until dinner time.
I can only begin to guess what these field trips have taught my kids. The facts that I remember to quiz them about alone are too many to list. These types of experiences really make up an education and I love that I get to be there to share that with them. One on one education in a field trip setting also makes all the difference in how much they retain. Being able to answer questions, read aloud with them, and find answers to questions they ask right away peeks their interest and adds moments to the trip that they can remember. I am tired, but it has been an amazing week.