Soon we will be on our way to the ultimate homeschool field trip. Sure, most people would call it a vacation, but we like to view everything as an opportunity for study. We will be visiting my sister and her family who live in Rochester, NY. While there we are going to be taking a ride on the Erie Canal, visiting Niagara Falls, going to the Buffalo Bills training camp (well, that's just for the boys) and going to the Strong Museum. I have to thank my sister for coordinating everything. She just emailed me a schedule of events and I said "looks great" - how's that for service?
Here's some of what we have been reading to prep for our trip:
This book is the well known song about the Erie Canal - it has all of the lyrics and piano music as well. The kids love to sing it while I play the piano.
This book is actually a part of Miss B's Sonlight Core 3 curriculum. It is such a beautiful book (I've got a post ready to go about just this book, in fact!) and is about a canoe that makes the journey from Lake Nipigon (Canada) out to the Atlantic Ocean.... via the Great Lakes and Niagara Falls. It really cemented the geography for the kids.
Miss B. actually noticed this book listed on the back of one of her other Boxcar Children mysteries and brought it to my attention. We are almost finished reading it - it is of course another good Boxcar mystery and references the Maid of the Mist (which we will be going on) and lots of local Niagara Falls geography. I have the visitor's guide for Niagara Falls and the kids like looking through it while I'm reading.
We will be approaching the early 1800s this year in Miss B's history curriculum, so she will learn about why the Erie Canal was so important in the westward expansion of our nation. We've also learned that Niagara Falls is the second largest waterfall in the world (second to Victoria Falls) and that a huge amount of the world's fresh water passes over the falls. It is awesome to think about.
A great find on the internet is the site "American History for Kids". It has a section of American History coloring pages, and since GMan loves to color I'll print out the Erie Canal sheet for him this week. I'd like to take the kids' journals as well, so they can write a little bit about what they thought along the way.
We're all looking forward to a break from this oppressive heat and having the chance to see family and have lots of fun -- because once this "field trip" is over, we need to get back to WORK. Have I mentioned how much I love homeschooling?