Play Ball

My son is a member of our local little league. As part of the end of the year festivities, the league is invited to Turner Field in Atlanta to parade around the field before the big league game begins. We have waited until this moment to take our son to a baseball game (our eight year old daughter has been several times), and we are so glad we did wait. The anticipation, excitement, and finally the thrill of seeing that huge field was WORTH IT! Here all of the teams are, standing in the Hank Aaron ramp, waiting to enter the field:

As they looked out of the tunnel, this is what they saw:

And finally, on the way around to exit the field, I got a smile and wave from my husband and son. Wow - what an awesome thing for a father and son to share.

While some people would just look at this as a fun family outing, I, on the other hand, looked at it as a homeschool adventure. I am learning to see everything in this light - and it's pretty cool. As we were driving downtown to the field, and also to dad's office to pick him up, we had lots of discussions about freeways and signs. My son has recently completed a lapbook about roadsigns, so this was a great review! My daughter has been working on making change. If we gave the parking attendant $20 and the fee for parking was $12, how much change do we get? (and yes, it is a rip off!)

At the stadium we saw lots of statues for baseball greats - Warren Spahn and Hank Aaron to name a few. My husband had talked to both of the kids the night before and shown them his baseball cards - another mini-lesson in history and sports.

Right now my son is obsessed with numbers. He has recently really gotten the concepts of addition and subtraction. The scoreboard was a perfect way to talk about some of these things with him - how many runs ahead were the Braves? How many innings did we have left? How many more balls until the player could walk to first base? If you are buying bags of cotton candy at $3 each, how much does that cost? And if you give the man $10, how much change should you get? In addition to the numbers, there was so much READING to be done at the game - reading all of the players' names on the jumbotron, all of the advertising, etc...

After the first inning a rain delayed had to be called -- but it was very interesting to watch how the workers on the field covered it so quickly and how the constantly tended to the field to keep it in the best condition. My daughter noted there were 24 people working on the crew, and my son noted the rain delay was 45 minutes, with an extra 15 minutes to prepare the field again -- all amounting to a one hour delay. Wow! That's a lot for a five and eight year old to process. I am willing to bet they didn't look at this outing as "school", but it sure provided them with a day's worth of education.

At 10:30 p.m. we decided it was time to go home, even though it was only the bottom of the 6th. Both my husband and I noted how impressed we were with how closely the kids followed the game and what FUN we had with them. We have two very great children.