Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Family Adventures

One of the joys of home-schooling cooperatives is that you have complete control, two days a week, of your family's schedule. Occasionally, on a DH Friday off-day, we manage to take off on an adventure, just to see what we can find to do. Last Friday was one of those days. We left with no real destination in mind, and realizing that the impending monsoon was upon us, but decided it was worth it anyway. Our first destination was the airport, where DH spotted a B17 bomber (the flying fortress from WWII) sitting at one of the smaller carrier's hangars. We found out it cost $10 per family to view and tour, so we headed off to find an ATM and grab lunch. Unfortunately, the rains began and we unable to tour the plane up close. We ended up at the aquarium in Gatlinburg instead, and had a great time touring the exhibits. It seems that no matter how often we go, we find new and wonderful things to see! We watched 2 dive shows - one in the tropical reef tank and one in the shark and ray tank. D got to pet ray for the first time. J wasn't really sure about it.

After the aquarium, we headed up into the park and toured the Elkmont campground, where we'll be heading in a few weeks. We stopped at a stream and did some sketching - or at least I did - the boys ran off to throw rocks in the river pretty quickly. I spotted this plant and sketched on a page that had some hand made paper pre-glued on it. I don't know what the plant is - could be a weed, but I liked the shape of the leaves.

One of my dreams is that adventures like this will instill a love of learning in my boys far greater than any seatwork will ever do. There is, of course, value in sitting at a desk and learning in a classroom, but I know that I have personally learned far more while exploring my world and becoming curious about what I've seen, than I've ever learned in a book.
Black Pitt pen, watercolor and handmade paper in large Moleskine sketchbook