Jumped into the car about 9.
On the way, math happened, as did some grammar and some religion.
What do they do for religion? Well, both go to Parish School of Religion, and in addition to that, most of our religion is ad hoc and most of it takes off from daily prayer – from the Mass readings and the saint(s) of the day. That often turns into a 30-minute rabbit hole with Bible, maps and more saints books. In addition to that, the older boy is working through one of the St. Joseph’s Baltimore Catechisms – memorizing 1 or 2 of the Q &A per chapter – and the younger one, at the moment, is reading a vintage 3rd grade Catholic textbook which retells Bible stories. When we’re home, he usually ends up grabbing one of the many art/religion-related books we have to flesh out what he’s read.
First stop: Sci-Quest. The usual random button-punching and lever-raising was performed, paused now and then by me to Teach a Lesson about the Laws of Motion or optics or some such. The most substantial moments involved cells, which both have been studying at home and at our own science center’s homeschool classes. They had huge interactive models of animal cells, plant cells, and a bacteria, so that worked. What was most helpful were my mistakes in explaining, which were immediately noted and corrected by the older one. I’m thinking more and more that having him “teach” is one of the best ways to help him learn. We reviewed simple machines, conservation of energy and worked with prisms and light. It was a good review session.
Plus, magnetic sand!
This was followed by Lego Robotics team for the older boy. During that gathering, the younger son and I wandered up through Madison, Alabama and found the Rainbow Mountain Trail. Deep in a subdivision, the trailhead next to a water tower, it’s there thanks to the hard work of the North Alabama Land Trust. It’s a lovely little oasis – pretty nice bluffs and caves, hiking paths that are gratifyingly rough, and we spent a pleasant hour there, me being schooled from beginning to end, as per usual, by Nature Boy. Mom, did you know…..Mom, guess what….Mom, I read that…..
After the older son was finished, we headed southeast, past more cotton fields. This was at their request – to Harmony Park Nature Safari.
We’d been there early this past spring, and they’d been dying to return ever since.
It’s one of those drive-through zoos. You have a big bucket of feed, and as you make your 2 mi/hr way around the circuit, you are approached by hangers-on looking for a hand-out.
Get a job!
It’s pretty freaky, having emus and llamas race up to your car with their intense, yet unnervingly blank stares.
The boys love it.
They also love the non-driving part, which involves a reptile house and some random animals around the grounds – a kangaroo, ostriches, bulls and alligators.