Friday, August 26, 2011

Starting With a Bang! New School Year Begins

Not one but TWO field trips made for an exciting first full week of school for us. This year, my nephew, Walker, will be joining us a couple of days each week. You've seen him here on the blog before many times for special events and outings. Now he'll be part of our regular days sometimes.

Monday was a day for outdoor adventure. Along with new friends and also some favorite cousins, as part of the Genesis 1:ten club, an off-shoot of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church Homeschool Support Group, we canoed down a six-mile stretch of the Chestatee River. Most of the river was smooth and serene, but there were some mild rapids. Being late in an unusually hot and dry summer, the water was a little low, which meant greater danger of getting hung up on the rocks. Since our canoe was first in line, we pretty much found all of the rocks to get hung up on!

Taken by my cousin, Jamie, or her husband, Ken, as they paddled by.

At the halfway point, everyone beached the boats and got out to explore the river, play and snack a bit.

Kathryn and Cullen looking for gold, unfortunately finding only mica.

Catching a cool ride on the current.


Wildlife spotting was fun, especially counting turtles before they plopped into the water at our approach. We even floated by a beaver home, which was a first for me. The boys learned a great deal about the physics of paddling a canoe - the law of equal and opposite reaction, resistance, velocity affecting the size of the impact when we hit something in the water, etc., etc. Of course, to them it was just figuring out how to make the boat go where we wanted it to go and that dragging one's paddle in the water while Mom's in the back trying to make us go will cause her to growl and grumble.

Then Thursday we made a visit to the Tellus Museum with more homeschoolers from the JFBC group. The Tellus is a favorite of ours and close enough that we've been several times. New this visit was a planetarium show featuring wild rollercoaster rides (virtual, of course) on various planets and moons in our solar sytem. Each was designed with special regard for the surface and atmospheric conditions, which made for some really cool rides. At least it felt like we were riding!

The pendulum is beautiful and mesmerizing - demonstrating the rotation of the Earth.

At the solar house on site, a volunteer explains the water heating system.

"Don't eat me!"

Hands-on exploration of light and reflective properties.

Petrified wood. Stone or tree?

We did manage to get started on the more mundane reading, writing and arithmetic, but I'll save it for another post. It all sounds pretty boring next to this!


Daisy said...

Wow, those are fabulous field trips. I'd love to go canoeing! You had a great week.

MissMOE said...

Looks like a fabulous start to the school year! The canoeing especially seems fun.

Amy said...

I want to float on the current!! Sounds like a fun week!

Tina said...

that looks like good, fun, and boy pleasing! Nice job.

Mary said...

Ahhh! The water looks so refreshing! It is 109 degrees in my neck of the woods today!!!