Monday, November 23, 2015

Rocky Mountain National Park

This year we have gone quite a few places as we have tried to explore a variety of locations around the US.  It made sense to start with exploring what is nearby - the Sand Dunes, Cripple Creek, and the Rocky Mountains. We spent the weekend exploring the east side of the park hiking to Cub Lake and a few other locations.  We loved the Ranger lead program at the visitors center where the boys worked on their Junior Ranger assignments as we searched for signs of animals, weather (there was a lightning stuck tree), and looking for different plants.  The boys made best friends with a family from New Jersey that was also participating in the Ranger led activity.  CJ LOVES making new friends at all the different places that we go.  And nearly every time they are deemed "best friends" for the short time that they get to play together.  I find that the dreaded "socialization" question that everyone asks about homeschoolers is bazaar.  Just spend a weekend with us at any KOA and watch how quickly my kids make friends with individuals of all varieties from all places in the world.  They aren't stuck in a single classroom with 30 kids to choose from where they are asked to sit quite and not socialize except for 15 minutes at recess at each day - the whole world is theirs for the taking. They are so creative in their play and exploration.  Time and time again they get to practice asking others if they would like to play together. Ok, stepping off the soapbox now...
 I was very pleased with the Ranger that did the Junior Ranger swearing in with my boys at the Rocky Mountains.  He spent time talking with them about how to take care of the environment and be safe in the mountains.
We completed a number of hikes while we were in the mountains.  The boys in our family love the experience.  I like the idea of hiking, but don't enjoy actually doing it.  On an eight mile hike over this weekend we heard non-stop from CJ about Minecraft.  He developed a world as he was describing it to us.  In his new Minecraft world he was going to be the emperor and we would be workers.  We could go to school and get a better job and we would have to pay taxes to him. Though I give kudos to his creativity I got tired of hearing all the details.  We also heard non-stop from EMan about Super Mario Galaxy.  In fact, the boys ended up needing a timer to give them each an amount of time to talk.  When their time was up the other child would pick up right where they left off on their chosen topic.

As a side note: EMan, who wants to be a zoologist, cried when we went home because he was so sad that he couldn't bring "Fishy" home.  "Fishy" was a small gold fish in Cub Lake that EMan watched for about 15 minutes with complete fascination.

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