Thursday, June 2, 2011

They now actively learn!!

This has been our first year of home school.  It use to be that we went to museum activities and the kiddos would bounce from exhibit to exhibit thinking...wow that is cool.  Sure they were a bit younger, but I recall doing the same thing as a child and my own children doing it too.

In one year time, each child has become and active learner.  We, the teachers, turn on our teaching mode I guess and they stop and each exhibit and want to read about it, want to interact with it. 

We went to the St. Louis Zoo yesterday. Our zoo is still free to attend but they do have some exhibits or activities that have a fee. This Spring I joined the zoo as a grandparent member. It permits many activity tickets and makes the $12 parking free six times during the year. By the time I use all the benefits it more than pays for itself in a year.

The St. Louis Zoo is known world wide for its exhibits and conservation activities. The last lesson we did in science class was about insects. They have a great insectarium and butterfly house. The girls seems to enjoy it so much more after learning a little about insects. We also attended a sea lion show and now G is thrilled with them. I expect her to want to learn more about them.

The zoo is upgrading the outdoor exhibit for the sea lions and we are excited to see its final opening. They are also expanding the elephant area but the trees must first mature in the area or the elephants will pull them out of the ground. The St. Louis Zoo is built on the site of the 1904 Worlds Fair and several buildings are still original to that. There is also a display about the beginning of this zoo and the fair. The girls seemed to enjoy that as well.

I hope soon the do something different with their bear area as it is very, very old and not much like their real habitat at all. This zoo has really been busy making things more habitat like for the animals.

If you ever get the opportunity to check out the St. Louis sights be sure to add this one your list. It opens at 8 a.m. and if you get there in the first hour of opening you can go to the stingray cove to pet the stingrays for free, after that there is a fee. Unless you plan to do the zoo from 8-5 you will need to do it in two days. We tend to get there about 10am and leave before the traffic is heavy at 3:30pm and we cannot do the entire zoo in that time.

Should you ever plan a trip to St. Louis let me know, I have lived just across the river all my life. I recall the building of the Arch.  BTW did you know that there is a museum under the Arch all about the Westward Expansion.  So many things local to us. Now I am a bit further out so it takes me about 40 minutes to get there. Next to the Arch is a historic Cathedral with tours as well and the entire St. Louis riverfront is an architecture dream.

BACK to my topic.  Home school has changed us. We are becoming more natural teachers and they have become active learners.
Today begins the summer reading program at the library. Funny how summer vacation is not all about play but they still feel like it is.

Ta Ta for now.