On the Town

(pssst! - the videos are at the very bottom of the post. Having a little trouble editing the blog right now).

Both boys are learning about the way a community works right now, and we're trying to weave that into the other subjects they're studying. For Brennan, it's a simple task of learning about what police, firemen, teachers, librarians, store owners, and such do to help the community and one another. Rich is going a little deeper because we're discussing how a community can afford things like firetrucks, police equipment, all those books in the library, and so on - this has been a great way to teach him about percentages as it relates to taxes, the difference between "socialism" and social programs (like highway upkeep, electric co-ops, etc.), and the way money flows in a community - the role of consumers, workers, goods and services.

So today we struck out to meet some people in the community. Since the boys are already familiar with the library and post office, we went to the Vistor's Center in Fayetteville and got some info about our city. Here's where we went: (skip to the bottom for the videos)

Eureka Pizza. Pizzaman Shag was gracious enough to let the boys go back and assist him in making a pizza. They got to see the whole process, beginning to end, and then we had pizza for lunch. Shag explained that while Eureka provides a "good," - they are dependent on other service businesses to provide them with clean aprons and doorway rugs, but they also purchase goods from other businesses (ingredients, kitchen equipment, pizza boxes, etc.). Additionally, the delivery drivers provide a service, by delivering a good. I think it really helped Rich to grasp the difference between the two, and they both understand why pizza isn't free, no matter how nice that would be.

At the Fire Station on Crossover, Fireman Ryan gave us a small tour of the station living areas, then walked around the truck showing them the various equipment - tons of hoses, axes, tanks, suits, etc. They got to sit in the truck and run the lights. Rich asked, "How do you pay for all this stuff?" Great segue into a discussion about taxes! The firemen were extremely nice and excited to show them everything.

Officer Brandon at the Fayetteville Police Department took us through the desk area and let Brennan sit in the car (Rich wasn't with us yet), turn on the lights, run the siren, etc. He showed him how the back seat was enclosed for carrying bad guys, as well as the computer and camera in the front seat.

So, a good day all in all. Not much book work, but I bet they remember it longer than any book work they've done this week. It's also a great launching pad for Rich's unit on money flow in the community next week.


The Insect Festival was a big hit last week. The kids got to see hundreds of butterflies, dragonflies, a variety of spiders, millipedes, bees, and scorpions, make crafts, watch cockroach races, honeybees, and even handle a few of the hissing cockroaches. Dad forgot the camera, but I borrowed these from our friend Aly - that's her youngest daughter Sasha in the pictures with Brennan. She's the first real "buddy" he's ever had and they have lots of fun together. She also doesn't mind holding bugs, which is pretty cool for a girl (haha!).