Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Opportunities- chocolate and movies and lots of fun

            A friend of mine said to me the other day, “Your children have had the most amazing opportunities to experience new things.”  It was an interesting comment because I had been in a little bit of a funk thinking I just don’t do that much.  I look at what other home schoolers are up to and worry that my children are missing out sometimes.  In the past, I have even thought about all that “regular” school children get to do and wondered if I could ever provide all the opportunities they have (not just field trips and riding the bus but also things like afterschool sports, clubs for debate, speech, foreign languages, etc. and school drama productions and even being exposed to different cultures and beliefs, though I did not dwell too long on that one).  

Now that my funk has lifted and I am looking at life with a better perspective, I can see my friend is right though.  My children have been very blessed to experience so many things in their young lives.  It is not really home schooling that has provided these opportunities but home schooling definitely makes me more aware of, first of all, all the things out there, and second of all, the importance of taking advantage of as many opportunities as we can to try new things and learn new things and be exposed to new things.  If not for home schooling, I might not go the extra mile to expose my children to the educational opportunities that surround us, but they are there and are rarely (if ever) open only to home school families.  

Just this past weekend, my second born had the chance to play a role in a small amateur movie.  He has in the last few months expressed an interest in movie-making so this was an awesome opportunity for him to see a little of the process and even be a part of it.  He had so much fun acting his scene over and over, which luckily included a lot of destructive behavior but no lines to memorize.  A perfect fit for his (very limited) acting abilities!   

Then as a family, we attended “The Festival of Chocolate” at MOSI, the science museum near our home.  I was SO excited about this opportunity because my first born has been working on a chocolate unit study all year and this was the perfect chance to see her new found discoveries in practice in so many new ways!  We got to sample some mouth-watering treats and hear about the process and business of chocolate making.  We also got to participate in a cookie stacking contest, vote for the best dress designed from candy wrappers, and sit through a talk that included seeing, touching, and smelling real cacao pods and beans.  The coolest part was that we even got to bring a half a pod, full of beans, home with us.  We are currently attempting to dry them out so we can roast them and maybe make our own chocolate from scratch.   If we are successful, there will definitely be a post all about that coming soon.

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