Saturday, November 5, 2011

Not-so-home schooling

It's fall in Florida! We've left the smotheringly hot, tourist-filled days of summer behind. Finally it's cool enough to be out all day, the theme parks aren't bursting at the seams with crowds, and there are festivals every weekend.

And with this change, we've also significantly slowed our at-home homeschooling. Sure, every once in a while we're home long enough for Nugget to ask to do school. But most days we're out and about and learning through experience.

Our homeschool co-op is meeting every week again, and Nugget is actually enjoying it this year. Most of it is just a weekly park day, a chance for homeschoolers to play and interact, but there are also neat little additions like some activities based around a theme.

It's the time of year for Epcot's Food and Wine Festival, with booths from all around the world. Nugget has been exploring those with us, trying something at each one and collecting stamps in the provided "passport" to track the countries whose cuisine she's tried.

SeaWorld is lovely right now, with no waits for anything and plenty of seats at the shows. One of Nugget's aspirations for when she's grown up is to do "aquatic animal rescue" or veterinary work, so SeaWorld is a real treat for her. I think we need to start digging a bit deeper in animal knowledge, though, because she's mastered a lot about the animals there.

Oh, and the festivals! This weekend we went to a local Renaissance Faire where Nugget was immersed in a time period she's quite interested in right now. She learned how to shoot a bow and arrow, watched a joust, learned about medieval occupations, helped solve a murder mystery, and generally had a great time. Next weekend is the Owl Fest at a local avian rescue center; we've gone to this every year since we moved here, and we look forward to it all year.

We're buried in books about Native Americans and various periods of early American life. The story of Sacagawea is retold frequently, Thanksgiving books about the Pilgrims get pulled out every day, and we're still working through Little House books. (I'm so sad that the yearly Pow-Wow was the same weekend as the Renaissance Faire!)

We've just been busy busy busy. It's a bit overwhelming sometimes, and there are times I wish we had a quieter, more rhythmic life like I see in some of the blogs I follow. But I can't bring myself to give up any of these great experiences! Plus, as my husband reminds me, soon enough this time of year will be over and we'll be forced into that quieter life. For now, we're just embracing it and letting ourselves be carried along.


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