Sunday, January 29, 2012

15 Miles on the Erie Canal!

Our TruthQuest History studies brought us to the amazing Erie Canal this week. At 363 miles long, it was the longest in the world, built in the least amount of time, for the least money. It also seems to have had quite a few folk songs written about it, some more colorful than others. But that's what the "fast forward" button is for, right?

We read some great books:

The Erie Canal by Peter Spier - filled with those wonderful, see-something-new-every-time-you-look-at-them illustrations;
The Amazing, Impossible Erie Canal by Cheryl Harness;
The Erie Canal by Samuel Hopkins Adams - a wonderful gem in the old Landmark series.

Then we decided to go to the Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse, NY and take a little ride on an authentic packet boat!

Well, OK, the boat was stationary, but we used our imaginations.

Captain Z

We're not exactly sure where people slept if they were taller than a five-year-old.
Probably the floor.

The museum is housed in the only surviving "weigh lock" building in the world. Boats were put into the lock, the water was pumped out and the boat was lowered onto a wooden cradle suspended by spring arms. Once it was weighed, water was pumped back in and the boat was on it's way. All of this was done in 15 minutes!

This interactive display allowed you to drag the boats in, weigh them and collect the tolls.

It was a great way to wrap up our study of the Erie Canal!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

We're still here!

Please forgive the very long blog break! Here's a quick look at what we've been up to:

Skiing! Thank you, Grandma and Grandpa!!

Post-Christmas Lego building. We're thinking of trying out the weekly LEGO Quest Kids building challenge too. Looks like lots of fun!

Wow - playing with our new iPad. Thank you, Grandma!

Winding up another fun season of fantasy football.

Upwards Basketball! We LOVE this organization. Both boys are playing this year and having a wonderful time. We almost don't mind leaving the house at 7:30 every Saturday morning.

On the academic front:
  • Continuing with anatomy studies - I'll try to post soon on this.
  • We're loving TruthQuest History - we're studying pioneers at the moment.
  • Chalk pastels using the tutorials here - messy, but fun!
  • Institute for Excellence in Writing - Z-Man still balks, but I see a marked improvement in his writing so we'll continue.
Thanks for stopping by!