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Follow the Drinking Gourd

img_7492Our Five in a Row book for the last 2 weeks was Follow the Drinking Gourd, which tells the story of escaped slaves who followed the “drinking gourd” constellation along the Underground Railroad to freedom.

We learned about slavery and its history within our country to include the Underground Railroad, theTransatlantic slave trade, the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln and the Emanicapation Proclamation. We also discussed the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. We read lots of books, listened to several audiobooks, and watched a few informative videos on our topics. We also played the The Underground Railroad: Journey to Freedom interactive from the National Geographic site. http://www.nationalgeographic.org/media/underground-railroad-journey-freedom/ We learned about songs as teaching or remembering tools because the slaves were taught a song to guide them along the escape route. We learned more about constellations including how to identify several constellations and read the origin stories of their names. We drew our own constellations on black paper and finally had a clear enough night that we could search out some constellations from our own back garden.

There was a lot of one on one discussion covering slavery and the civil rights movement. It’s a difficult topic to explain to someone who has no concept of why someone might be treated differently based on something as one dimensional as skin color. At one point Weston told me it “was weird” that such a big deal was made about skin color.

We also continued our reading and math curriculums. Weston has graduated into the second book of stories in his All About Reading level. And we dived deeper into learning to tell time. He still needs some practice for fluency, but it was very apparent that he understands the mechanics when he told me that the time was 50 min until 12 o’clock.

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

York – Day 3 and Heading Home

This morning after checking out of our B&B, we headed out to the York Air Museum. Lots of planes, lots of WW2 history. Weston really enjoyed sitting in the cockpit of some planes.

And then we piled in the car and headed home after a good weekend in York.

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

York – Day 2

We spent our second day in York learning about York’s Chocolate Story, climbing Clifford’s Tower, and seeing tons of trains at the National Railway Museum.

I never knew York had such a history with chocolate and we had a very exclusive 3 person tour first thing Sunday morning.

“The journey began thousands of years ago in the rainforests of Central America, where ancient tribes discovered the power of the mighty cocoa bean. It continued through to the 18th century, when it was embraced by York’s great Quaker families, who opened their own cocoa houses and chocolate shops.

Over the next 300 years, the Tuke, Rowntree, Terry and Craven families made the city of York world-famous for its chocolate and sweets. There are still confectionery manufacturers in York today, from Nestlé UK through to artisan chocolatiers taking their skills into the 21st century. In its heyday, 14,000 people worked for confectionery companies in the city; today it’s just over 2,000.”

Next we climbed Clifford’s Tower and took in a good view of York. The King of England very occasionally made York the seat of the English government when waging war with Scotland. And I couldn’t help singing about the “Noble Duke of York, who had 10,000 men” who “marched them up to the top of the hill. And marched them down again.”

And we finished our day at the National Railway Museum. We saw LOTS of trains including some very fancy royal carriages, took a short ride on the famous Flying Scotsman – the steam engine that regularly made the London to Edinburgh route, watched a science show about train speeds, rode on a mini railroad, and watched a train turntable demonstration.

We had dinner at a local pub where you seat yourself, walk up and order at the bar and tell them your table number so they know where to bring the food. We turned in early as our feet were tired from 2 days of walking.

 
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Posted by on February 19, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

York – Day 1

We spent this past weekend in York. We drove up Friday afternoon after Andrew got off work and checked into our B&B.

Saturday morning after breakfast we passed through Micklegate and walked the city walls on the way to the York Castle Museum.

After lunch we walked over to the Yorkshire Museum. Weston enjoyed their kids trail around the museum.

Since we still had some afternoon left and Weston was really great through both museums, we walked back to our B&B, snapped some photos of York Minster as we passed by, collected our car and drove to a kids indoor/outdoor playground. Weston had a great time running out his remaining energy.

We had dinner at Pizza Express, a family favorite before turning in for the night.

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

First Brandon Country Park Visit of 2017

Weston and I spent some time at Brandon Country Park today. We found another great climbing tree. I love all the textures we find on our nature walks.

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Wicken Fen with Friends

We spend this afternoon at Wicken Fen stomping through dirt hills and mud puddles with friends.

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Kid City – Haverhill

Weston and I tried out another British home education meet up on Friday. It was a bit of a drive, but the group of parents and children were lovely and Weston had such a great time playing he didn’t want to leave.

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2017 in Uncategorized