Saturday, May 26, 2012

Highline Park & The Museum of Tolerance

Our homeschool group trip on Wednesday was to Highline Park right in NYC's meatpacking district.  It's an old elevated railway that was turned into a beautiful park.  Cargo trains used to bring produce and meat into the big refrigerator buildings.  The National Biscuit Company (Nabisco) is right there as well.  The class was all about the Highline's railway history. It was our first time to Highline Park.  Lucky for us it was also Fleet Week and we got to see dozens of these incredible boats and ships going by.  When the class was over, a few of us went to the Chelsea Market for some lunch.  The Market is real artsy and cool, and it's a total foodie's paradise.

W's class on the Highline

Schooner on the Hudson

On Thursday, we met up with our homeschool group again for a class and tour of the Museum of Tolerance.    We saw films, exhibits, and had great discussions on things like war propaganda, genocide (Holocaust, Rwanda, Sudan, Darfur, Bosnia, etc), communism, Nazis, immigrants, civil rights, gay rights, women's rights, bullying, and terrorism.  The films were shown on clusters of screens built right into the walls of the exhibit.  Our instructor was wonderful.  The kids (and adults!) were fully engaged and asked and answered tons of questions. I can't believe how powerful it was to have everything that's going on in the world shown to you all within 90 minutes.  It makes you want to stand up and scream and do something about it.  Lots to talk about when we got home.

Museum of Tolerance

W has started blogging about his field trips.  I figure since we go on so many it would be a good idea to have him write about them.  I've been noticing more and more issues related to his dyslexia.  This has prompted me to increase the amount of time spent on reading, writing, spelling, and grammar.  So, the blog entries are about a paragraph's worth (maybe 5-6 sentences) on where he went, what he remembers, and what he thought about it.   He has also gotten back into doing copywork.  He rewrites 3 sentences related to History, Social Studies, Geography, or Science.  (I create these pages for him taken from books and websites) and we save them in a binder.  Readalouds with narrations have also made a comeback.  Right now we're reading Johnny Tremaine.  2 pages of his spelling workbook and 20 minutes of silent reading are also done daily.  Math is done daily and is focusing on everything prealgebra.  Over the next few years we will keep revisiting multiplication, division, fractions, decimals, percents, exponents, rounding, estimating. probability, averages, area, perimeter, circumference, volume, angles, negative numbers, inequalities, order of operations, factoring, square & cubed roots, ratios & proportions, and measurements.  We started using a big 4'x3' blackboard to work out math problems on.  It keeps him more interested and focused and it's a lot more fun.  We're spending a good 1/2 hour a day on math now, but the time just flies by.  I'm happy we have gotten into a nice groove again and I'm really looking forward to September and 6th grade!

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