Friday, April 29

Harbor Lights (Sammy Kaye)

(scroll to bottom for unit study)  

Today, we're following Team Reyneri to Pearl Harbor for a reverent field trip...

Mom writes :
This year, I had the privilege to Visit Pearl Harbor with the kids. As a homeschooling family, anything we can do to bring history to life is high on our priority list. We often are blessed to travel with dad on business, and this year led us to Hawaii.

I hope the video below gives you a glimpse of how to create a special a visit to the National Park on Oahu at Pearl Harbor. There, you can visit the memorials of the battleships : USS Oklahoma, USS Missouri (where you can actually tour the battleship), and the USS Arizona.  After December 7, 1941, the world was never the same…and after a visit to the memorial, neither are we...

Here are my top five tips for making your visit to Pearl Harbor with kids something to remember and bring history to life.
  1. Book your tickets months in advance on the National Park site, and try to go as early as possible in the morning to avoid high winds that may cancel boat tours to the actual USS Arizona Memorial, aka Valor in the Pacific. (We got a glimpse from above in a Makani Kai Helicopter tour the next day, and could actually still see the Arizona underwater leaking oil, also referred to as black tears.)
  2. Pick up a Junior Ranger Scavenger hunt guide from the gift shop when you first arrive so the kids can follow along, and make sure to turn it in to the ranger station to get a badge at the end!
  3. Make sure you see the approximately 20-minute movie, narrated by Stockard Channing. I was recognizing her voice the whole film, but couldn’t place it- and finally asked the attendant at the end to help me recognize it. You’re welcome, Grease fans.
  4. Leave the gear at home. Bags and backpacks may not be carried inside. The largest item you can bring is a wallet. I was thankful for my “wallet on a string,” and left the strap in the car.
  5. Be prepared to be emotional, especially if you knew friends or family onboard. I spent a long time explaining to my youngest son how young his Great Uncle Bill Bruesewitz was and how he served our country and gave his life for us. Then I talked about how Jesus did the same. Amazing teaching lessons, complete with mama having a “moment.” Tissues needed.
  6. BONUS tip…Go on a Wednesday and hit the Aloha Swap Meet at Aloha Stadium ahead of time.

Thursday, April 28

Neon Tiger (The Killers)

The zoo is a popular stop in our family!  We maintain a yearly membership and go often.  But this year, we've started doing 'focused trips,' meaning that the kids pick one animal to focus their trip on.  We interact with the animals' zookeepers, and get up close with the animals, whenever possible.  Today, we're studying BIG CATS!
So far, we've studied :

Crafts & Fun
Online Resources

Love watching the boys all getting along at the same time!!

Thursday, April 21

Crazy Old World (Moonpools & Caterpillars)

Old Salem has wonderful actors who dress up in 18th century costume and demonstrate daily living and worship in the original community.  When visiting, you get to experience life over two hundred years ago through hands-on activities.  We are all about hands-on learning!

In the kitchen, and out in the garden, we learned about :

In the barn, and out on the field, we learned about :
  • gunsmithing
  • tool repair & sharpening
  • gathering fire wood
  • building fire & baking bread in the bake oven
  • making soap over an open fire
We happened to be visiting during Homeschool Days: 250 Years of History.  The kids got to learn how the Moravians built the town in the back country of North Carolina, starting in 1766.  Some of the activities included :
  • How oats/wheat are threshed
  • Harvesting herbs for home use
  • Write with a quill pen
  • Try 18th century chocolate
  • Learn how dyes were made out of natural ingredients
The boys got to try their hand at making shoes and an ax in the Single Brothers House.
They learned how to tell time and how to use single, double, and triple pulleys.
They learned how to measure ingredients with a scale, for baking.
They also learned how to make candles, how to make ink, and how to make lye soap!
Occasionally, we get great ideas from the places that we visit.  It's wonderful to see and touch things that we've studied...and this underground root cellar / cold storage room was no exception.  We were inspired, and hope to do more research on this!

Tuesday, April 19

It's My Life (Bon Jovi)

Call it Courage, by Sperry Armstrong, is actually a true Polynesian legend, beautifully enhanced and retold by the author.  This is a great story for boys, especially those who might love the outdoors and the sea.  While children today don’t deal with survival like the main character did, it’s a conversation-promoting tale.  What could we do if our life depended on it? How do we deal with very legitimate fears? 

These were some of the questions we faced, as we headed to Kitty Hawk Kites for an exciting hang-gliding adventure!
We took a class inside from the instructor, and then also took a hands-on class on top of the sand dune at Jockey's Ridge.  Another family was with us (Hello, Shaw family!!!), and we all worked together.  We learned how to hook on, steer, and land safely.  The instructors were very knowledgeable and patient with the kids.
It was a drizzly day, and quite windy.  We weren't sure that we would be able to complete our lessons, but this beautiful double rainbow popped out to greet us, and the weather calmed down quickly.  After all, near the ocean, 'if you don't like the weather, just wait a minute!'
The big one was hooked from the get-go.  His fear was minor, and he was ready to go cliff diving after completing his first run...  Whoa, buddy!  (Perhaps it's a teenage boy thing?)
After taking a turn, Mom pulled camera duty at the bottom of the sand dunes.  Sometimes, it was a long wait as they got suited up....   What's today's suggestion?  Learn Hang Gliding, of course!
When the little one touched back down, I could tell from his face that he was forever changed.  While it's always been his dream to be a pilot, this was free-flying....and he had overcome an awesome fear! 
We overcame some fears today, and had an adventure that will booster our confidence for quite some time!  We hope that you, too, will one day take a flying leap off of a giant mountain!!!!

Character Trait : Courage Unit