But to get the year off to a great start, we visited the Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA yesterday. I had gotten half-price tickets for adults on Groupon.com back in July that had to be used this month, by the way, so that's a site I now keep my eye on. Or at least I will as long as we are living in or visiting PA periodically. But I digress. The Gardens are little less than an hour away and traffic was agreeable, so we made it there at about 9:30a.m., watched the little introductory movie, and off we went. I had downloaded and printed a project on pollination for two of the kids, and one on field journaling for the oldest. Someone made fun of me for this, just because I got the idea from eavesdropping on someone when we were at the National Zoo in DC last Spring. But I'm glad I did, because the project gave us a sense of purpose and slowed down our progress enough to get the kids to digest what they were seeing a little instead of rushing through. For pollination, they had to find three "perfect flowers" in each of four areas in the garden. (That's a flower with both pollen-bearing anthers and a female stigma, FYI). Like this one:
That's why we had nerds walking around the gardens with clipboards- and nerd is a compliment in our family, so don't get all upset on behalf of my children, please. :-)
I could probably share dozens more, but I'll just say that it was a beautiful day, a great trip, and a wonderful start to our school year. I'm glad I got this one in before we leave town again, and I would certainly recommend it to anyone, schooling or not.