Tuesday, May 29

Why Wyoming (Kellie Coffey)

Travelling from South Dakota to Colorado, we passed through southeastern Wyoming.  There isn't a lot to do in the area (at least, not much that's visible to passers-by), but we found this neat Stagecoach Museum in the town of Lusk.  We were greeted by a two-headed calf...........very unique!!
The museum houses relics from the 19th-and 20th-centuries, when Lusk was a notorious cow town and busy homesteader area.  There are dinosaur fossils, found in the area, as well as wildlife exhibits.
Outside the museum, we found a small town setting and some more petrified wood!
The general store was a wealth of old-fashioned inspiration!  I love looking around at all of the old things and getting ideas for how to tweak them and use them today.
It's road-school, so we stopped into the old one-room schoolhouse for a quick lesson from our teacher for the day.
Being a hot day, we had to try out the old-fashioned Coca-Cola machine....with a five cent bottle of pop!
The second floor of the museum features an authentic stagecoach that was used on the Cheyenne to Black Hills Stage and Express Line, carrying passengers and gold.  It was even robbed by road agents and shot at by Indians!!

Wyoming State Study

Tuesday, May 22

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish! (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

During our trip to Cabo San Lucas, the oldest, who has had an interest in marine biology for some time now, had the opportunity to take a full-day Dolphin Training course at the local marine center.  It was a bit pricey, but one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that we felt would be worth the expense.  (It turned out to be...while he enjoyed it, he decided that this was not the career path for him after all.  I call that money well spent!)
While one of the kids spent the day in the (very cold!) water learning how to train dolphins, the others went exploring in caves and out for a day of sea fishing.  Then, we parents wrapped up the evening with a sunset cruise...   Ah, Cabo!  We miss you!

Facts About Dolphins:

  • Dolphins are mammals, they breath air, feed their young milk, are warm blooded, and have hair on their bodies.
  • Dolphins make clicking and squealing noises to communicate.  You can approximate a dolphin’s whistles with a balloon by letting the air out slowly with the neck stretched.
  • Dolphins like humans and can be trained to do everything from tricks in an aquarium to carrying the mail for underwater research labs.  Some dolphins have been trained to swim with handicapped children.
  • Dolphins can stay under water for fifteen minutes at a time.
  • If a dolphin gets sick or injured, other members of its family help it swim and get breaths of air until it can swim on its own.
  • Dolphins work together to protect the group from predators like sharks.
  • Dolphins use echolocation to find food.
  • Dolphins eat fish and squid.
  • Dolphins are really interesting mammals, especially when it comes to their interactions with humans.  They are incredibly friendly and trainable, so we can observe them and their behaviors.  They are used by the military to find mines, by many resorts that allow you to go swim and interact with them, and by Sea World and other similar attractions for shows.  They do amazing tricks.
Resources :

Tuesday, May 15

I Had the Craziest Dream (Helen Forrest)

Hands-on Learning is the name of the game here at Gypsy Road. But even if you school traditionally, summer time is perfect for field trips, creating costumes, making a movie, or using Legos....it's always about getting the experience to cement learning. 

The kids just finished up a really fun study on World War 2!  We made it age-appropriate, and even ended the semester with a co-op movie.  It's super-cute...check it out below!  (Meet the kids and see how they created everything in the special features at the end.)
World War II - Summer Study

Monday, May 14

Tulip Time (Andrews Sisters)

Holland Museum

We kicked off our trip to Michigan with a trip to Holland, home of all things Dutch!  Our trip even coincided with Tulip Time, the biggest festival of the year!
At the Holland Museum, we learned about the area Anishanabek Native Americans and the stormy seas of Lake Michigan. 
We saw things that the Dutch settlers brought with them (including a pewter spork!), and found this impressive bronze clock that demonstrated the Dutch governmental tiers.

Nelis Dutch Village 

From there, we headed to Nelis Dutch Village, a hands-on step back into time.  Children and adults alike can learn about the daily lives of 19th century Dutch immigrants. 
After visiting the Wooden Shoe, the farmer's wife taught us about animal husbandry and cheese-making.
We learned that Black Pietr brings gifts, rather than Sinterclauss.

 The dancers perform several times each day.
At the weigh-house, you can learn about measurement techniques, and even weigh yourself!

We learned how to make wooden shoes, both by hand and machine.


See that one red flower in there?  That's me!

The zip line is kid-friendly and a definite must-do!!!  It is located right beside the FREE carousel.

Windmill Island  :  Although weather kept us from visiting this spot, we recommend it to those visiting the area.