August 27, 2013

International Peace Gardens

The day started off just the way you wish every homeschooling day could start.  The kids ran out to feed the chickens before their friend, Ellie, arrived to ride with us to the International Peace Gardens where we would meet up with some other homeschooling friends from Culture Club.  The neighborhood kids were waiting for the bus in front of our field and Hannah Jane stopped to chat with them for a second over the fence.  I have no idea what they were chatting about, but I heard her yell back, as she took off towards the barn, "Gotta run get the chickens done before my friend gets here and we go have our awesome day!  Bye!"  That's the enthusiasm I wish we could conjure every single day.  Let me get my work done in preparation for this awesome day.

We had the most fun drive ever, because our van guest happens to also be a huge Les Mis fan, and so we basically had a full scale musical going on in the van for an hour and a half each way.  All five of us belted it out and giggled the entire drive.  Man, I wish I could video and drive at the same time, because those kids were having a blast!

The International Peace Gardens were lovely.  Here are some of my favorite moments from the day.

Hannah Jane was getting her peace on with Gandhi when one of the smallest in the group came over and asked, "Who's Gandhi, anyway?"  I launched into a short explanation of his peaceful demonstrations, and as I finished, another tiny girl added, "And then he died and became a statue right here!" and made a big, sweeping, Price is Right gesture towards the statue.  LOVE those little ones!  Ha!

 This may be my favorite homeschooling picture of all time.  This is what it's all about right here.  A multi-aged group of kids having a cultural experience at their own pace and leisure.  Chilling on the China bridge, talking and doing their own thing in the middle of the morning.  This was mood of the day.  Ahhh...  These moments never happened for me on school field trips where 100 kids were running wild.  But a small groups of 15 with the right vibe can make space for learning and enjoyment without all the chaos of a giant class trip.

We found a couple of things to research when we got home.  Like, is Vietnam one word or two and is Brazil sometimes spelled with an s instead of a z?  

A little hand jive in front of the Buddha?  Yes, please.  You know I love me some Buddha statues!  My house is now full of them, thanks to a friend who recently moved and handed down her lovely Buddha statue collection to me.  But Buddha often brings to mind stillness rather than frolicking, so I love this picture of girls being girls under the peaceful, watchful eye of the Buddha.  I love it!

After the Peace Gardens, we ate lunch a a really cool vegan/vegetarian restaurant in the city and then decided to pop into the Synagogue and see if they would let us take a peek.  I'll share about that tomorrow!  It was amazing enough to get a post of its own.


  1. Thank you, thank you for taking Ellie with you. She has such a blast! We love our friends!

    1. Of course! She's a little sunbeam and everyone is always happier when she's with us!


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