Saturday, September 23, 2017

Term Three: Week Ten ~ Starting Holidays Early

We ended up with a bonus week of school holidays thanks to our hard work from last week. So we enjoyed a chilled out week with some outdoor play, an excursion, and our usual co-op meeting.  It was nice to have a relaxed week and we needed the down time as we cope with the emotions of saying good-bye to our best friends.

Monday afternoon the boys spent some time riding their scooters up and down the driveway for some exercise, while also helping me achieve one of the photos I needed for my weekly challenge I take part in on Facebook. 

Tuesday we went on an excursion with our homeschool group.  We had a tour at the NSW Mounted Police Unit.  It was interesting, informative, and exciting.  We learned that the NSW Mounted Police Unit is the longest running unit in the world.  I always assumed the Canadians had been running longer, so that was fun.  We got to meet all the horses and feed them carrots and apples, and also see one of the horses being exercised in the ring.  The boys ALWAYS love seeing the Mounted Police when we attend events in the city, so it was fun to learn more about them. 

The Mounted Police tour finished at 11am, and since we were already in the city, we decided to spend the day exploring.  First we went to Hyde Park to check out the photography exhibit that was on display there.  We were excited to see that there were submissions by children (see photo of boys eating their lunch above) so we will check out the competition for next year in case we ALL want to submit photos.  After lunch, and browsing the photographs, we decided we needed a visit in the Australian Museum.  But first, we stopped to listen to the 12pm bells at the cathedral and play in the fountain. 

Once inside the museum, the boys were upset to learn that part of the dinosaur room was blocked off, UNTIL we learned that the Australian Museum is getting a T-Rex skeleton!!!  We already have plans to return next term to check it out. 

All three boys are obsessed with the Thylacine (Tasmanian Tiger) so I just had to take a photo of the one on display at the museum.  They are convinced that it is still alive and has just been hiding in Tasmania all this time. 

In the "Australian Backyard" section of the museum we found this new display about cicadas. 

We very carefully read this information about magpies.  Last year was the first year ever (in the 17 years I've lived here) that we have been attacked by a magpie during breeding season.  So we are being much more cautious this year, and trying to educate ourselves a bit more. 

Next we were off to the "Search and Discover" area of the museum, and that is pretty much where we stayed for the remainder of our time there (a total of 4.5 hours).  The boys were thrilled to find that the "create your own dinosaur" computer had been moved in here. The museum staff also assured them that the dinosaur bone digging box would come soon as well. 

All three boys spent a LONG time searching these boxes for stick insect eggs, and they found TONS of eggs that were then placed in the stick insect cage to hatch. 

The museum staff are always willing to allow the boys to hold the stick insects as well. 

I love watching Munchkin's face as he holds an insect on his hand. 

 Listening carefully to the staff member while also hoping the stick insect doesn't decide to crawl all the way up his arm!!

Monster also took a turn holding one. 

A pretty good shot of one of the insects having some lunch. 

For the first time ever the boys checked out the mineral room.  We also had a quick look at a nature photography exhibit that was on display.  However, this did NOT suit Munchkin as it didn't hold his interest very long, so perhaps the older boys and I will take another trip to the museum by ourselves to have a closer and longer took at the beautiful photography. 

We finally dragged ourselves out of the museum at about 4:30pm and headed back over to Hyde Park.  This is not my best photo of the fountain... mainly because the lighting was bad, but also because a homeless man was IN the fountain looking for coins and I was trying to snap my photograph without getting him in it! 

As we walked through the city on our way to dinner, we stopped off in Angel Place so the boys could see the suspended bird cages.  They weren't too keen about the idea of looking at it, until we actually got there. The older boys ended up wandering back and forth reading the names of all the birds (there are bricks on the ground with the names listed) that used to live in the area that is now the city, when Europeans first came to Australia. 

We ended up at Circular Quay for dinner at Hungry Jacks. The restaurant only has a small dining area so we got our food as take away and walked around to the benches that overlook the Harbour.   

After dinner (and before jumping on the train to come home) we took the lift (elevator) up to our favourite look-out for some night photography fun!! 

Thursday was our last co-op day for the term and the children all had fun. They did some review in science and Latin, and then enjoyed some sensory play with play dough while listening to the last bit of Beowulf. 

Munchkin built his first ever imaginative building with the Lincoln Logs... 

 And Monkey did some BEAUTIFUL drawings of a cardinal and a blue jay!!

 Monster's independent reading for the week...

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