Things are going well in Harrisburg, PA. We've settled into a routine with school and work, and the boys are making friends with other kids in the homeschool co-op. Rich ice skates (in prep for hockey) on Tuesdays, and Brennan starts soccer on Saturday. As we suspected, there's more to do and see than we have time or money for. We're trying to plan a "big" trip every 3 weeks, with smaller, one day trips in between. Our big trip goals for this time:
Lancaster (Dutch Country)
We're heading for the National Aquarium at Baltimore's Inner Harbor next week, but this week we did a few other things of note (pictures/video below).
There are so many cool little coffee houses around here, we've decided to pick a different one each week and do our schoolwork there one morning, followed by some type of field trip in the afternoon. This week was St. Thomas Roasters, a little place in Linglestown, about ten minutes from the apartment. On Wednesday we had breakfast and spent about 3 hours doing school work while Christie filled up on coffee, me on Chai, and the boys on chocolate milk. Rich practiced his cursive and math while Brennan did Phonics and math, then we did a short introduction to Christopher Colombus. Rich also started learning about story elements using Wimpy Kid and Frannie K. Stein - recognizing character arcs, plot devices, themes, and settings (not his favorite thing, but important as a tool for future literature).
Afterwards, we headed down the road to Indian Echo Caverns in Hummlestown, a small cave system with a 45 minute tour - just perfect for a short field trip. We learned about the Susquehannock Indians who used the caves for refuge until disappearing in the 1670's. More interesting is the story of the "Pennsylvania Hermit" Amos Wilson, who lived there in the early 1800's. . Lots of strange stories surround this character, and it's hard to separate fact from fiction anymore. The boys were also fascinated by the mysterious "black box" found in the cave. It contained a coin collection dating as far back as the Roman Empire (picture below).
This is our regular day with one of the local homeschool co-ops (INCH). The group is much bigger than we're used to with activities to choose from almost every day of the week. Fridays are usually a field trip in the morning and swimming and freeplay at the Y in Lebanon (about 30 minutes from here) in the afternoon. This week's trip was to Marty's Music store in Annville where the instructors did demonstrations and let the kids try out some instruments. They boys like the Sax and the keyboard the most.
And since it's been a little rainy this week, we played hide and seek inside the apartment a lot, watched old Cosby show reruns, and played Wizard 101.