Canadas Homeschool Alberta 4.3 Spring : Page 5

ON THE COVER Texas U.S.A. INSPIRATION FROM GALVESTON TO SAN ANTONIO I believe there is no better time to learn than when you are on holiday. Not the book learning, but the type of things that inspire and remember for the rest of your life. Last year we went with my husband to Houston when he had to go for work and we incorporated a family holiday. We started in Galveston. The kids loved collecting shells and exploring the beach on our early morning walks. One of the treasures we found was a washed up coconut which we “planted” on the higher part of the beach. We enjoyed watching the sand pipers having breakfast, and cormorants finding good posts to sit on and sunbathe themselves. All day long we could watch the magnificent pelicans flying overhead, sometimes fighting the wind with all their might. Last time we went down we visited Moody Gardens which I would highly recommend, but as our time was limited, we decided to make full use of the beach. enjoy and take it all in. Hermann is a beautiful public park with a wonderful playground. Of course no child can walk by a playground without checking it out, and what better place to meet the locals. Once again the kids got to see birds that they don’t normally get into contact with like intrusive muscovies, who would steal your sandwich out of your hand if they had half a chance, and some other ducks and geese who where not much better mannered than the muscovies. We unexpectedly also came across a statue of Mahatma Ghandi. Following our time in Houston we set off for San Antonio. Sea World was fun but the waterways and downtown San Antonio were splendid. We loved walking around the canals, through La Vallita and the public parks where we bumped into an Olmec statue. I would have known very little about this statue had Catherine not used an article about the Olmec civilization in National.Geographic for a writing class. In Houston we visited The Health Museum using our TELUS.World.of.Science.Calgary pass. One of the great benefits of having our pass is that there are many other science centres across the world that you can visit for free or a nominal fee. During the morning and early afternoon the kids tried out all the fascinating interactive displays. One of the highlights for my eldest was getting to watch a medical student dissect a sheep brain. The Children’s Museum close by is another wonderful centre. This time we did not visit it, instead we enjoyed gorgeous Hermann Park. Visiting the museums and other tourist attractions are great, but I find the body and mind needs some time to just HomeschoolersGuide.ca Of course you can NOT visit San Antonio without visiting The Alamo. We were lucky enough to have a very dramatic tour guide. I am sure my children will always remember the story of The Alamo. Our last stop in San Antonio was Witte Museum. The children enjoyed playing with the waterworks in the Science Tree House (cover photo). An interesting display gave us a good geological overview of the area before we left for the caverns just north of town. The Natural Bridge Caverns were impressive. We drove away with two very tired girls whom I am sure will have memories to last a lifetime. I don’t think there is any better way to understand the world around you than to experience it. Reading about it is great, but experiencing it gives you so much more perspective. Jennifer Ackerman Calgary, Alberta SPRING/SUMMER 2008 ISSUE 5

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