Saturday, 5 October 2013

not back to school days out

As a home educating family we usually plan quite a few trips out in September as all the parks, zoos and museum suddenly become much emptier with the return of the school year. Also this time coincides with the heritage free open days when many museums and other heritage sites open their doors free of charge for everyone to explore, naturally we take full advantage of this.

This year we started with a trip to a zoo containing wildlife from south America, this was a wonderful experience for the children to back up some of the things they had been studying throughout the year. South America had sparked their interest earlier in the year and we have been on a wonderful learning journey from it's history, geology, botany, ancient civilizations and wildlife to mention a few things. The advantage of the emptiness of the zoo is that the children got to watch the animals being fed at close range and ask the keepers a million and one questions about everything.

We managed to fit in quite a lot on the free heritage days, we visited three museums, two very old churches, one of which had an ongoing archaeological dig and a photography exhibition.

The three museums covered so many eras between them it gave the children lots to think about. The castle had armour to be tried on and siege engines like the ones we made earlier in the year. They also spent a lot of time looking at the art gallery and studying the different styles of two of the artists exhibited there.

This is one of my favourite exhibitions at the museum about the history of our city. It is a replica of an old chemist, I could stand here for ages looking at all the old jars and books.

There are also lots of drawers to open here containing herbs and other ingredients to look at or smell. This museum has many things to touch, smell and try on, the children really love to be able to interact with things and it is very beneficial to the learning process. All these visits have sparked much more interest in a number of things we can continue to explore further during the winter.

We still have more days out planned to enjoy the rest of the autumn days and quite a few crafts inspired by some of our activities. This is always a very busy time of year for us will all the harvesting and preserving too.

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