Monday. . . We were at the zoo bright and early. We attended a class about teeth and a class about how animals all work together to make up the ecosystem. We were quite impressed by the size of the elephant molar. In the ecosystem class ds1 (a snake) was majorly bummed out when all of the frogs died. He didn't need the instructor to explain the ramifications of a world without frogs. After the classes we had an amazing day enjoying the zoo. The temperature was in the mid 80s and the zoo was virtually deserted. We fed a giraffe, and dd giggled with delight while exclaiming, "He licked my hand!" When we arrived at the meercat exhibit, we pulled up some chairs and just sat and watched the cute little critters. When we arrived home, ds2 immediately set to work excavating the bones from the new dinosaur dig set he purchased at the gift shop. We read some library books and watched Animal Planet later that evening.
Tuesday. . . When I emerged from my cave (my room), ds2 was already fully engaged with Animal Planet. He and dd watched this for a couple of hours until ds1 came downstairs and changed the channel to Noggin. After lunch, the boys rode their bikes to the library. I followed behind with dd. She rode her tricycle all the way to the library - quite impressive. After reading our fill and filling two backpacks with books we headed home. Later that evening we headed back to the zoo to see the light display.
Wednesday. . . We had more digging of bones, more reading of books, some video game playing, and some room cleaning. Amazingly, I managed to unpack three more boxes. Ds1 attended his first art class at a local art studio, and he met some new kids that live close to our house. He described the painting technique he learned at "torture", but this was said with a gigantic grin. I played Lego Star Wars with ds2 while dd showed her daddy how to use her geometric solids and knobbed cylinders. Ds1 used this opportunity to play Heroes II - newly acquired from his grandfather's video game vault. Yes, our children have inherited a legacy of gaming - it's in their genes. We finished the evening with some videos we borrowed from the library.
Thursday. . . I finally made it to the social security office to order the new card I need in order to get a new driver's license. Here's one to think about: You need a drivers license to get a SS card, and you need a SS card to get a drivers license. How does that work? The high level of security made an impression on my children who were very somber the entire time we were in the office. Or maybe it was just that they knew our next errand would be a lot more fun. We headed to the mall to Build a Bear Workshop. The kids brought their animals so they could get accessories for them. They also picked up some codes for Build a Bearville so they can take their furry friends on line with them. Ds1 finished purchasing the gifts he wanted to get for his sister while we were at the mall. I turned him loose with $20 and he managed to find the perfect gifts and come back with change. We finished our evening with Surf's Up which had come that morning in the mail. I was pleased to discover the underlying message in the movie mirrored our educational philosophy. It is more important to enjoy what you are doing than it is to be the best. Often if you enjoy what you do, you just might end up being the best. However, by that point the intrinsic value of what you are doing far out ways the extrinsic value of the rewards you once thought you needed. This goes hand in hand with the fact that learning and achieving are very different concepts, and with children these two are almost always mutually exclusive.
Friday. . . Off to the state museum to learn about sound and light. We followed this with an afternoon at EdVenture where the kids enjoyed playing in Snowville. Although, I am somewhat concerned by the distorted view of snow the younger kids may developing. On the upside, ds1 now understands how they make it snow in the movies. Dd acquired yet another small percussion instrument from the gift shop. Ds2 reminded me about my promise to purchase the ice age excavation kit, and ds1 selected a three dimensional model/puzzle of the human heart. When we arrived home ds2 immediately prepared his ice age kit for the freezer. Ds1 has his heart assembled before we made it home. Ds2 was fascinated by the model. After learning that all mammals have a similar four chamber heart, he wanted to know how many chambers a fish heart has. A quick Google search later we learned the fish has the simplest heart of all vertebrates with only two chambers. Dd was thrilled to finally learn how to play a computer game - now she is hooked on Blue's Clues Arts and Crafts.
Saturday. . . Ds2 started his day by beginning the excavation of his ice age animals. Dd spent most of the day learning how to operate the computer. I thought ds1 handled himself wonderfully when ds2 was being rude to him. They were playing Lego Star Wars II, and ds2 made rude comments to ds1 because he wasn't performing the desire action. Ds1 simply dropped out of the game and walked away. If only we could all handle rude people this way.