Sunday, May 18, 2014

Snake River! (homeschooling with the history and nature around us)

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More pictures from Purple Grandma's visit. I think you can see why these ones needed a post of their own, I couldn't stop snapping away that day!

If you have been following this blog for awhile then you know our love for Oregon Trail history (we even followed the trail when we moved out to Oregon from Virginia), so when we discovered that the Snake river was just around the corner from us we had to go exploring. The closest section of the river is located on a birding trail (even more exciting!) so we did a little bird watching on the way. I was wishing that I brought my binoculars and bird book, but we have many plans to go back and do our main lessons there over the summer, so we'll make up for lost time then.

I have to admit we were all awestruck when we finally came upon the river. It was a little bit of a hike to get there but the beauty occupied my little ones' thoughts so they didn't seem to notice the distance. We watched the water flowing past and wondered what it felt like to those brave pioneers when they came across it so many years ago. As I looked across to the other side of the river I just couldn't fathom crossing that much water with a wagon holding what few belonging I had and my precious family. I mentioned it to my girls and it sparked a lovely conversation about how they did it. Granted we were not in the exact area the settlers crossed (but we do hope to visit there someday soon, too!) but still you could get an idea of the fear that must have overcome them.

I truly enjoy bringing history to life for my children, and even myself. I oftentimes think that if I had  lessons with opportunities like this growing up I would have been a lot more into school. I can still remember one of the few field trips we made when I was in school - a trip to an Erie canal museum and village. The Erie canal was all around me growing up in New York but that trip really brought it to life for me. I hope to have trips like that all the time with my children and really inspire a love of learning through them. I dream of owning an RV and just traveling the country, teaching all the way, and with Kevin's job there is always opportunities to travel abroad. Imagine learning about Ireland's history while living in Ireland?!

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