Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Homeschool Files: Field Tripping--Owls and Battlefields

The boys were able to attend a field trip with the "local" homeschool group. By local, I mean we only drove an hour and 20 minutes instead of an hour and 45 minutes. I was a little nervous meeting new moms, a new group, new people...But they were so welcoming and kind.

We headed to Lake Dardanelle where a park ranger taught us about owls, and we dissected owl pellets. My friends know that I have a fascination with owls, so this was such a welcome lesson. The boys loved using their brushes and tweezers to extract the bones. They took turns being the excavator, the cleaner and the identifier. Professor X loved being the identifier. Our owl enjoyed a dinner of a bird (we had part of its head with beak attached) and a mouse. Yum!

The visitor center at Lake Dardanelle is wonderful, filled with aquariums containing local fish, lots of sensory stations, even a station where you can terrorize, I mean touch turtles, a bee hive, and more. My kids spent a good deal of time in there.

Oh, here's another picture of the therapeutic owl pellet dissection. Seriously, they got into this lulling zone. I need to order some just for meltdowns.
And you know that my kids put their bones in a plastic baggie and brought them home. Oh yes, they did--we still have them.

I should mention that these aquariums showcase why I don't swim in rivers or lakes.

Those! Those! They are why I don't swim in our waters.
We went and played at a playground near the lake. Well the boys played while I got to know the ladies who are so very, very nice. Some have familiar Southern accents that make me homesick. By homesick, I mean my childhood home, where it's flat and we all talk the same and don't think twice about it.

My T asked if he could play near the lake. I granted his request knowing full well he was going to get a little wet. It's T plus water. It's guaranteed. However, the lake seemed to somehow swallow him and his brothers. My children were the only children drenched. I wasn't surprised but I wasn't pleased either. We had a long drive home including a stop to pick up food. They smelled wonderful. {dripping with sarcasm} Anyway, on to happier thoughts...

Last week, we attended a field trip at Prairie Grove Battlefield with our former local homeschool group filled with some of our favorite people.

Lady Bug was loose for part of the field trip being sweetie baby cutie cutie.

Okay, so we have a confession. We have been on this field trip before. Like 2 years ago, I think. At that trip, the man, same man pictured below, called for a volunteer and my T-Bird was the only one who raised his hand.

Wellllll, he had been practicing all week before this trip on his hand raising skills in case they called for a volunteer again. He even went so far as to have me call for a volunteer and he would raise his hand.

Sooooo, that explains why he is the volunteer here. I let him have his fun. We'll not be part of this group next year. His last hoorah.
My soldier boy.

He looks a little too much like Dopey. My little dwarf.
It's been tough having the kids around other kids--or lack or rather. We're not used to that, but we're making it. We enjoyed our time with both groups and are very thankful for them.
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