I will really make a post with pictures once I sort through the thousands on the digital camera, but for now imagine.... Buffalo, Elk, geysers, beaches covered in obsidian sand, waterfalls, dormant volcanoes, ancient redwoods, waves crashing against rocky shores, jumping waves on sandy beaches in the sunset, picking berries at a lighthouse, a bustling market called Pike's Place, a cheese factory, yummy bakery after yummy bakery followed by rows of fruit stands and people throwing fish, a ferry to an island, a rescue at sea, killer whales, days in an RV, a long flight home in time for enrichment school yesterday. That was our last two weeks.
I had felt that our trip was very educational but lacking in math until CC came home from her enrichment school last night declaring that no one in her class can "Even Multiply." "Really?", says I. She said that during their science block, the teacher was talking about whales - one type of whale is about 25 feet long. Since the teacher is 5 foot tall, how many of her would it take to be the length of that whale? CC though it was easy so waited until others had a chance to answer.... Nobody knew so she said 5. I just smiled. I'm glad she can divide. Math is a huge struggle with us - and has been for years. Its nice that she gets to feel smart about it sometimes.
LB spent one afternoon reading the names of all of the geysers in Yellowstone. When exactly did she learn how to read?
I struggle constantly with balancing my belief that people learn best through authentic experiences and my desire to provide a "rigorous education." My girls are studying Latin. They do math. My third grader tossed out the abridged version of Alice in Wonderland last night in favor of the original. She is reading it as her free choice reading. I don't usually get through the lessons I had planned, but that's okay. I think that what we end up doing is usually far better.
A little at a time. We'll just keep moving forward.