Part 1: Our Vacation is a School Trip – Science Classes

November 14, 2008

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I’ve been a bit absent from the blog the last couple of weeks while our whole family went on a vacation an educational school field trip.  People always say how hard it must be to home school.  I keep insisting that it really isn’t.  We just have to open our eyes to all the educational moments around us.  Here’s how our vacation was actually a school trip.  I thought you might enjoy a sample of our studies:

The Great Salt Lake – a science smorgasbord!

tracks 300x224 Part 1: Our Vacation is a School Trip   Science Classesbison prints 300x224 Part 1: Our Vacation is a School Trip   Science Classes

Tracks in the sand – Can you guess what animals made them? Answers at the end of the post.  (The first one is much smaller than the second ones)

 

We learned about the brine shrimp in The Great Salt Lake and how the cool sand is made of oolites which are ”particle(s) with a shell of concentric layers of calcium carbonate deposited around a central core–usually a tiny piece of brine shrimp “poop” or a mineral fragment.”

salt tear 224x300 Part 1: Our Vacation is a School Trip   Science Classes

States of Matter – liquid turning to solid salt crystals - A splash of water from The Great Salt Lake happened to land in a perfect teardrop and dry into this cool salt crystal shape.

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Biology and Animal Husbandry Class - We watched the Great Bison (“Buffalo”) Roundup on Antelope Island where they roam free the rest of the year.  We watched the tagging, immunizations, and pregnancy tests that are part of the yearly health maintenance routine for these amazing animals.

construction 300x224 Part 1: Our Vacation is a School Trip   Science Classesbuilding 300x224 Part 1: Our Vacation is a School Trip   Science Classes

Cranes, Pulleys, Shapes, Patterns, Blueprints, and more at the Salt Lake Children’s Museum.

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And a final lesson in nature:  The wondrous autumn molting cattail!  Moms everywhere dread them and boys love them.  Here are two of my boys shreading them into a huge pile of fluffy ‘cotton’ to make a bike trail booby trap.  They loved watching me ride right through their trap, cotton flying everywhere.  Just remember to get the vacuum hose out before letting any ‘cotton’ covered clothes in the house.

(Answers:  The first track is an everyday dog print.  The second are bison tracks, something you’ll have a hard time finding nowadays)

See.  Science is everywhere and a lot more fun to experience than to learn about sitting in the house reading a book.  This lighthearted series about our great vacation school trip will include followup posts of how we learn art, gym, language arts, and the infamous socialization while having a fun vacation.  Enjoy!

How do you turn your everyday life into homeschool moments?  Please share with us in the comment section.  I appreciate all your input!

Also in this series:

  • Part 2:  Art Classes
  • Part 3:  Gym Classes
  • Part 4:  Language Arts
  • Part 5:  Socialization

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Posted under Field Trips, Homeschool Life, Science Curriculum

6 Comments »

3 Comments so far

  1. Misty November 15, 2008 10:14 pm

    Thanks for the fun comments, gals! Life is an education, isn’t it?

    And Gail, isn’t it funny how our kids end up taking their own directions in life? Though homeschooling can have it’s difficult days, I would never give up sharing each day with my kids and seeing the world through their eyes. What a blessing!

  2. Gail November 15, 2008 11:51 am

    Oh, I so agree, we don’t have “vacations” we just have learning experiences. I can really understand how “unschoolers” say that just apprenticing to Mom & Dad prepares a child for life. On the otherhand, my 15 year old is taking a full heavy academic college schedule with A average. I still try to keep involved, but her path is different than mine was and she is excited by science and math beyond my college experience. (Who’d a thunk my little social butterfly would be so verbal about balancing mole equations!)
    When we visit my Mom, she learns about family history, her cultural history, art, music, fabrics and more, not to mention care and compassion for octogenarians. When she visits her other grandmother she learns her other cultural history, dance, music, farming, animal husbandry, findins of field and stream.
    Her Dad & I enjoy historical buildings so she thinks Williamsburg is a great place and that anyone who wants can listen to Thomas Jefferson’s ideas, Martha (I’m called Dolly) Washington missing her husband. As a future engineer she marvels about 18th century building air conditioning. As an animal lover she enjoys the company of horses and stares intently at the demonstration on the oxen team. Demonstrating her strength and determination by carrying a yoke of water buckets. And so very much more.
    But we find just as many marvels at and around home.
    God golly, I’d better stop! (Good thing you didn’t mention “socialization” I’d still be going on next Wednesday hahahah.)

  3. Kim November 15, 2008 11:33 am

    I loved the way you took an awesome week with their favorite aunt and turned it into education! You rock mommy!

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