Tag: homeschool

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Sleep in the Deep at the Tennessee Aquarium

When my two oldest were itty bitties, we went ot the Georgia Aquarium. I remember one of the employees talking about how they have groups that come and spend the night under the ocean tank. I thought at the time how amazing that experience would be. As with most things, I tucked it away in things we probably won’t do, but really want to do. I didn’t ask, but I imagined it would be way out of our price range.

**If you are just here for the FREE Printable Aquarium Field Trip Pack, feel free to scroll to the end.**

I am living in a way that is vastly different from how I grew up. Growing up, I did not want for much. If I wanted something, either my parents bought it or I did with my allowance or money I earned babysitting. I did not have to wait long to get what I wanted. The only thing I disctinctly remember not getting was a pair of Doc Martins… but I am pretty sure that is because they were associated with “undesirables” and my parents did not want me presenting that image.

In the thick of my college career, I was met with the fact that others did not live like me. I mean, I knew that in my head, but to see and experience different socio economic levels and lifestyles was eye opening. It was the beginning of letting go.

Over the last fifteen years, God has done a work on my heart. A letting go. A trusting Him for all our needs and even our wants. It is hard. Money is hard. Money decisions are hard. I have seen God provide in miraculous ways, yet I still doubt his care in my every day.

ANYWAY… you came to this post to hear about the Tennessee Aquarium, right??? Well… I’ll get on with it. Hang in there. It all connects. We had an opportunity come up with a co op my son attends to go to the Sleep in the Deep at the Tennessee Aquarium. My friend that was coordinating it had told me about it years ago and I always thought when she did it again, we would go. My husband and I talked it over and we decided it was just too expensive. Time was counting down and she needed an answer. We decided to pass.

I told my kids that we weren’t going and they were more disappointed than I had anitcipated. I told them that if it was important to them. If it was something they wanted, to pray. I said that the Lord has a will. He sees things we cannot see and if He felt this was the best thing for us, He would provide. I left it at that.

My friend called. She said that she could get me a ticket at low to no cost. I told her thank you, but no. It was still too much. She called again. How about two tickets? No. I couldn’t justify picking one kid over the other. I told her that if somehow three tickets came available in the range we could handle, I couldn’t deny God’s hand in it. She texted me at the last minute, “How spontaneous can you be?” Some kids had gotten sick and their spots had opened up. The two big kids and I rushed and grabbed our stuff. We hit the road, met with the group and headed out on a four hour road trip, arriving just in time.

It was an amazing trip. The Tenessee Aquarium is divided into two buildings- ocean and river. We started with a behind the scenes tour of the ocean building. We got to ride on the staff elevator and see the top of the big tank that holds sharks and rays and turtles and such. We had broken into groups of about fifteen. We toured around the building. It was fantastic. No one but our group and the employees were there. The kids got to ask all kinds of questions. We saw where food is prepared for the animals, got to touch sharks and sting rays, saw lemurs and butterflies. It was great.

After the ocean building, we took a break for dinner. A word to the wise. If you choose to to the experience and you have food allergies, pack your own food. Dinner was pizza from Papa John’s and cookies for dessert. I knew to bring my own dinner, but didn’t consider that there wouldn’t be any options for breakfast. Thankfully there is a Starbucks within walking distance. And, thankfully, another mom had packed some gluten free muffins.

After dinner, we toured the river building. It was just as fascinating. We got up close to the giant tanks and saw the river giants. When the river building tour was over, we headed back to the auditorium for a snack and creature encounter where the students learned about legless lizards and pine snakes.

After that, the girls headed to the ocean building to sleep under the big saltwater tank and the boys headed to the river building to sleep next to the river giants. I use the term sleep very loosely. There was not much sleep to be had. One end of the tunnel area where we slept had a tidepool with waves crashing all night. The other end had a video with a banjo playing on a loop all night. I can get past the sleep though. It was beautiful. All around were viewing tanks. The anticipation of a shark swimming by was so fun. Another word to the wise. Almost forty year old bodies need extra padding when sleeping on the floor. Take an air mattress or something a little more cushy than just your sleeping bag.

We woke up bright and early to have breakfast and go see the otters being fed. Then we headed to a classroom where the students learned all about plankton. They had a competition to build plankton and test how slowly it took to sink to the bottom of the tank.

We then viewed the Imax Ocean movie before hitting the road to come home. It was a super fast and super packed trip. I am so thankful that God listens to our hearts. He goes above and beyong providing for our needs and showers us with blessings. He gives good gifts. I pray my big kids will tuck this away in their hearts to remember in times of doubt and want.

I put together a printable pack for those who may be taking a field trip to an aquarium any time soon. This is not specific to the Tennessee Aquarium. It can be used anywhere.

Simply click the words below the image to download. The pack includes activities for elementary and middle school students. It includes the scavenger hunt pictured as well as coloring, math, drawing and writing activities.

If you take any pictures using the items in the printable pack and post to social media, I’d love to see. Feel free to tag me on Instagram: @thedelightdirectedhomeschooler.

All clipart used to create this printable pack was designed by me and can be found on Teachers Pay Teachers under the name Ninja Mom Designs.

What are some fun fieldtrip experiences your family has taken? Comment below.

week in review

Week in Review- 2/4-2/8/2019

I am still recovering from surgery and this week has had beautiful weather in Western North Carolina. The combination of those two things have made it difficult to concentrate on all things school… and that’s ok! This is when being a “delight-directed homeschooler” really comes into play.

Top Left: The weather this week has been unbeliveably gorgeous. We have spent countless hours outside. Yesterday, I just didn’t have the heart or energy to call them in for school. Our base of operations for most things school is in our downstairs playroom. There is only one window and it is really cold… it is my favorite room in the house, but on a beautiful and sunny day, it can be rather dark and dungeon like. I called an audible and scrapped language arts for the day. I met the kids outside with their math, some blank drawing paper, and some oil pastels. I asked them to complete their math and then find something in nature to observe and draw. Their eyes lit up and off they went… even the teenager.

Top Middle: I have a small side business making custom shirts. This guy has been asking me for a hoodie for the last month. He wanted something to alert those around him to his introverted nature. He was so excited when I actually finished it and told me that the hoodie even came with “introvert strings.”

Top Right: Somehow we became the care takers for several bows and arrows. This little gal has taken it upon herself to learn to shoot. She may have a future in the sport. The other day, she casually said that she was going to practice her bow and arrowing. I nodded my head as I ate my lunch. I didn’t click until about ten minutes later that I sent my seven year old out into the world- armed.

Middle Left: We took a family trip to my doctor to see how my foot is progressing after surgery. The kids have a Valentines Party today so we had to make a quick trip into Target to pick up candy… and slushies… and sit on the big red balls out front.

Middle Middle: Prepping for our Homeschool Valentine Skate Party! This is one of my kids’ favorite events of the year… even the teenager gets excited!

Middle Right and Bottom Left: This is a homeschool win right here. The girls have been doing a Science class through Schoolhouse Teachers. We were talking about animal habitats and environments. Each of the girls (ages 12, 9, and 7) took it upon themselves to research an animal habitat. They each came up with different ways to present their findings. The twelve year old put together a Google Slide Show about the Amazon Rain Forest. The nine year old created a book about the Great Barrier Reef. The seven year old put together a diorrama about Asian animals… specifically tigers. This is the beauty of delight directed homeschooling- you set them up and let them take it to the next step.

Bottom Middle: We are learning about osmosis using eggs, vinegar, and karo syrup. You might be a homeschooler if you find random science experiments in your kitchen.

Bottom Right: We went to the library! Library day requires a big bag and a wagon! I absolutely love our library. The librarians are my friends. They know my kids. The children’s library is a separate room and is inviting and engaging. We love library day!

What did your homeschool week look like? If you post a collage on Instagram, be sure to tag me and let me know! @thedelightdirectedhomeschooler

week in review

Week In Review- Jan 7-11

We eased our way back into school this week. I really struggled. I’m not going to lie. I started the week filled with hope and energy. I knew we had a birthday in the middle of the week that would throw the rhythm in a different direction… I was ready for that. I was not ready to have a child up for 2 hours, sick in the middle of the night. I was not ready for an arthritic knees that would render me useless for long periods of time. I was not ready for real life. I wanted a couple of fairy tale weeks.

Even still, our first week back to school has come and gone. We did math, we read, we delighted in some activities.

  1. Top Left: We have a twelve year old in our house! She loves all things panda. You can read more about her birthday HERE.
  2. Middle Left: My precious Selah has been working so very hard this year. If you hang around this blog long enough, you will hear about Selah and why she is a miracle and every day with her is precious. Here is she working on math like a champ.
  3. Bottom Left: Back at it with The Good and the Beautiful Language Arts, Level K. This has been an amazing confidence boosting year. This little first grader has made massive leaps in her reading.
  4. Top Right: That time I dressed as Luigi and played live action Mario Kart at youth group. I am blessed to get to hang out with some pretty awesome students each week. My knees may creak and I may not say the hippest things… but I sure do think they are the bee’s knees!
  5. Bottom Middle: The sun has finally been shining here in Western North Carolina and our backyard has dried up a little. The chickens have been feeling frisky and finally started laying eggs again after a brief haitus.
  6. Botton Right: Legos. Always. She worked hard and knocked out her school on Monday morning so she could get back to the real work of the day… building her world.

What did you week look like? If you take a collage or picture to represent and post it on Instagram. I’d love to see it! Feel free to tag me (@thedelightdirectedhomeschooler)!!