Yesterday The kids went to Garvies Point Museum in Glen Cove for a great field trip. The older kids had 2 classes (on skeletal remains and Native American pottery II) at the same time as the younger kids classes (Native American pottery I, Native American tools and artifacts). The moms were invited to sit in on the classes, so I went with W. In the pottery class, they discussed how many of the beaches on the North Shore contain cliffs filled with natural clay. I knew this because we had our own "clay mountain" near our summer beach house. As kids we would dig for the clay, cover ourselves in it (it turned shimmery white when it dried on you), lay in it, throw it at each other, make things out of it, etc. I always considered it a secret place no one else in the world knew about. W liked the class - he made a pinch-pot and a spiral pot out of his clay.
The kids played for 45 minutes before the next classes started. J loved hers. She was excited about the topics and I think it's so cool that it will probably be a starting point for further exploraion. W opted out of his second class. He sat for a little while, but the instructor was terribly boring and W wanted to just roam around the museum. So out we went with another mom and her 4 y/o. W loves this litte 4 y/o and pointed things out to him and explained things. I'll bet W learned more going around the museum on his own than he would have in that artifacts class. That's the thing about him. He's much more of a hands-on, do-your-own-thing, ask-a-million-questions kind of kid. Classes where you have to be quiet, pay attention, and do exactly as you are told do not appeal to him at all and produce no learning for him. Although I love the homeschool group and all the carefully planned events and classes, I'm finding lately that our spontaneous, unstructured trips either by ourselves or with a few friends are usually much more enjoyable for them. We'll certainly be doing a lot more of those this year.