Today we joined some of our homeschool group on a tour of the Federal Reserve Bank and Money Museum in Cleveland, OH.
The kids learned about types of money that have been used throughout history. They learned what “fiat” money is and what the role of the Fed is in regulating our money system. There were a lot of neat hands on exhibits in the museum, though they were disappointed to learn they had to visit one of the mints to see actual money being made.
Today we attended a tour of Whitehouse Fruit Farm. We have done this tour twice before, but we always enjoy seeing the farm in fall.
We started out in a tent with the rest of our homeschool group. The tour guide talked to us about the kinds of fruits and vegetables they grow at this farm. This time of year, they have fresh apples, peppers and pumpkins.
Next, we got to take a walk through the orchard.
We saw the peach trees, which have been painted white at the base of their trunks. We learned that this is like a “sunscreen”, to keep the bark from being burned in the winter when the leaves are not there to protect it.
In the cold storage area, we learned that apples will keep many months if kept at about 36 degrees F and with some humidity. There is a puddle of water in the center of the storage room to provide the necessary humidity. We also learned we could simulate that at home by putting a damp sponge in our home refrigerator drawer along with our apples!
Finally, we had a treat: a cinnamon donut and some cider. The kids enjoyed a chance to run around at the play area on a beautiful fall day.
I did not care for the digital program, personally. It was extraordinarily childish (think Blues Clues style animation, simplistic dialogue, contrived prompts for responses from the audience, and very little content) but the second part of the program was great. That was when the silly digital projector went down and the real star projector came out, and Miss Sharon showed us what the night sky looks like right now.
She pointed out what constellations we could see and how to find them, what planets we could see and when & where they would rise, and answered the kids’ questions about other heavenly bodies that weren’t visibile now but would be at other times of the year.
While we were on our vacation visiting family on the west coast, we took a day to visit Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument in Washington.
It was a very cloudy and foggy day, so we did not have spectacular views of the mountain, but the clouds did part long enough for us to get a glimpse into the crater. The girls (and adults) were appropriately impressed. The kids did the Junior Ranger activity offered here at MSH. First, we watched a movie about the 1980 eruption, which complimented a video we watched back at home before we left for this trip. It talked about the events of that day in May but also the smaller, crater-building eruptions that took place over the next few years after the big one. We saw the lava dome grow and the crater glacier change size and shape. It was very interesting. Next, we attended a ranger presentation. The ranger discussed the changing shape of the summit and crater, showing us before and after pictures and also pointing out the rebuilding sequence that has since occurred.
After the ranger signed their booklets and they finished the activities inside, we noticed that the sun had peeked out and that we might be able to see into the crater from the observatory. We went outside and hiked up to the outdoor observation point, and did manage to see it for a brief minute or two before the clouds moved back in.
Finally, the girls went back in and were sworn in as Junior Rangers. They got their pins and trading cards, plus a certificate signed by Ranger Grace. I bought them each a patch, too. We had remembered to bring our National Park Kids Companion Books along, so they also got stamps in those.
Today we went to Living Treasures Wild Animal Park with the girls’ two cousins. The park is very small, so the kids split up into pairs and went off on their own to explore. We saw the new ringtailed lemur born this summer, and also the usual suspects: fallow deer, flamingoes, bison, llamas and alpaca, and the miniatures in the petting zoo.
At one point, we caught up with S9 and D9, who were listening to a short talk on the park’s alligators:
Checking out the gator deck:
We also saw the peacock that wanders through the park. He was irritated with one of the deer and was putting on a show.
After a trip through the park, we stopped for lunch. Then, everyone was ready to help do some grocery shopping. I had written out my list items on individual slips of paper.
The kids again divided into two teams of two. Each kid picked a slip out of my basket, then the teams went off to find the two items they had chosen. They found every item except one (Glad freezer bags).
O7 and J6 had to order a pound of lunch meat at the deli! They ended up handing the lady at the counter their slip. But they got their item, so it was all good.
S9 and D9 had to get 10# of potatoes. They didn’t know that potatoes usually come in 5# bags. S9 had the brilliant idea to weigh the bags.
Eventually, they figured out that they needed to get two bags.
Both teams asked for help at least once from a store associate. I thought that was great. No one ever knows all the answers. Sometimes, the smartest person in the room is the one who asks the right question. Knowing who to ask, and what to ask, is a valuable skill.
To celebrate, we went to Menchies for some hard-earned froyo.