Wednesday, December 8, 2010

This Home Schooling Life: Field Trips, Train Rides and Olvera Street

I always tell my kids how lucky they are to be home schooled.
They get to go on a field trip every week.
At a time when school budgets are stretched beyond thin, there isn't much money left for such luxuries as field trips.  
Our budget is stretched thin too, but since I am only taking three kids on a field trip, and I don't have to arrange for buses or manage all the other details that entail taking a class of 30 on a field trip, it is a lot more doable.
Like I said, my kids are lucky.

Field trips are a really important part of our schooling.  
Experience is often called the best teacher, and I know that is true.
There is a distinct difference between reading about a sea urchin in a book and the thrill of discovering one under a rock and then holding it in your own hand.
When you are hiking amongst oak trees and searching for acorns, it matters to you that the acorns are different according to the variety of tree.  It matters because it is real.  It isn't just a page in a science book.
I like to think that the world is our classroom.
That is why we take field trips.

Most of our field trips are at nature centers, wilderness parks, tide pools and other outdoor environments where we can do our nature study and explore creation.
But about once a month, our group journeys to a cultural destination, a museum or something of that sort.
This week we visited one of the oldest streets in Los Angeles--Olvera Street. 
To add to the fun, we took the train and subway there.  It was cause for great excitement for our suburbafied kids.

I took a ton of pictures.

At the train station, studying the map.

We sang carols on the train.  
Most people ignored us, some thought we were weird, and some sang along.
It was fun.

The big thrill came when the train traveled under ground.
My kids first time on the subway.
They were thrilled.
It made me long to take them on an adventure to Europe.
Maybe someday.

We switched subways to head to Union Station.
No mishaps even with our passel of kids.

It was my first time in Union Station,
The architecture was beautiful.

I was pretty strict about sticking together.
The kids were fabulous.

Olvera Street is right across from Union Station, making it a very easy walk.
We went to the square first and enjoyed the beautiful nativity they have up.

Yes, we're a young country and a young state, but there is a bit of history to be found.

I love these people.

We perused the stalls, enjoying the bright colors and strange sights.

We tried out accordions.

And cowgirl hats.

We ate lunch.
Mmmm.  Fresh tortillas.
Now we have to try making some ourselves.

After lunch, there was more wandering.
Mariachi music, churros, and sights.

And when the pregnant mamas where pretty tired out, and the kids were too, 
we headed back to the station.

And we came home.

I think my kids are not the only lucky ones to be home schooled.
I know I am so very lucky to be spending my days with them, adventuring, making memories and learning together.
It is a lot of work, this home schooling life.
But it is worth it.

Love from,


katie said...

Love it all.

mygirl said...

what a great adventure. i hope i can be a brave mama and do this with my kiddo's soon.

Kristine said...

Great memories! I remember our first trip on the subway to Chinatown with 20 kids and a handful of moms. Union Station is amazing. I took my kids to Olvera Street today! Couldn't believe I left the battery out of my camera. It was so colorful and fun. Love your pics. It was like reliving our afternoon.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post!

Kylie said...

Beautiful post!