Tag Archives: field trip

Manatees at Blue Spring in Florida!


Every year my family takes at least one trip to view the manatees in residence during the cold

months in Orange City, Florida at Blue Spring State Park. When weather gets cold (okay, not as

cold as up north, but cold for Florida) manatees like to be in the warm spring water.


Sometimes the manatee count goes upwards of 200. That’s right, hundreds of manatees, and

their adorable babies, all in one spring area.


Can you tell we LOVE manatees?!


I highly encourage you to visit Blue Spring State Park for other events as well. We have attended

ranger walks to see fireflies and other animals. At certain times during the year you can snorkel

or canoe. Check with the rangers to find out which activities are available during your visit.


You may see alligators, turtles, tons of fish, otters, turkeys, owls, and more!


Stay for a day or camp overnight, just be sure to check in advance for events, campsite

availability, etc. The park does reach capacity quickly on weekends, holidays and special event


Make sure you check out the playground, cafe, and the historic Thursby House.

Check out the Blue Spring website and webcam link for more info.

Orlando Science Center

My family enjoyed a recent homeschool open house at the Orlando Science Center. OSC invited homeschoolers to reserve a spot for a 4 hour free preview of what we can expect if we attend homeschool classes this year.

We were greeted by helpful and knowledgeable staff members, enjoyed a short presentation about the upcoming classes, and enjoyed time with our friends while exploring the exhibits and classrooms.

From DNA to archeology to weather and engineering, OSC has got you covered.

We explored exhibits telling how clouds are made, what makes a tornado form, how to build a structure that withstands earthquakes, and more.

We learned how the force of air can affect items like balls and scarves. The tubed structure above was a maze for the scarves which were carried through by suction which worked like a vacuum. The air from the rods below held balls in the air.

Do YOU know how to build an arch from the ground up with out everything falling to pieces? Each piece has an important role!

Orlando recently came together to support each other and our community after a horrendous hate crime.

We are thankful that OSC is an ally!

More on the heart memorial here. 

Homeschool Classes 

Homeschool classes at OSC currently run on the first Monday of each month, except January. Parents can choose to purchase admission to the class with their children for under $30 per parent/child ticket. You can also add another student for a nominal fee.

In addition, if you choose to stay beyond the 10-2 class time to explore OSC, the fee is $4 per person for an extended time ticket.

Topics for classes this year include (but are not limited to) magnets, forces of nature, STEM, 3D printing, bridges, and chemlab. Check the information page for details for your child’s age/grade group each month. Sign up in advance as classes sell out quickly!

Also, consider attending a homeschool overnight event. This information

is below the class info.

As a certified teacher, homeschool parent, and tutor, I highly encourage homeschool families to participate in the homeschool courses OSC has to offer. The pricing is great, your child will have an enriching day, and everyone goes home happy!

Ways to Teach While Grocery Shopping

Many families use every day experiences to teach. Grocery shopping is a fantastic way to teach math, reading skills, how to make wise choices, nutrition, and how to budget. Below is a list of ways to teach while grocery shopping.

1. Make a list for each child. Use pictures and/or words depending on the child’s reading level. I usually put different items on each list so there are no arguments.

2. Bring paper and a pencil to practice math. Practice adding to find the total, subtraction to find out how much change is due, multiply by the amount of each item you are purchasing, divide to find unit price, or use percentages to find out how much tax you will pay.

3. Allow the children to push a cart, lift items into the cart, and unload the cart as interest, age and ability allow. Not only does this increase awareness of surroundings, it also helps children exercise which helps many children focus on their body part and how they work together.

4. Ask your children to read signs in the store. Take time to explain why some words can be sounded out phonetically, while others do not follow basic rules of English. If signs are in another language or bilingual, learn a new word together or write down new word to research at home.

5. Show your children how to use a shopping list and how to budget. Have the children check off items as they are selected.  Also, ask the children to make choices between similar items that are different prices and sizes. Discuss per unit pricing and how long each item or box will last if your family purchases the product.

6. Discuss how food gets to the table. Talk about farms, farmer markets, grocery stores, and delivery services. Discuss why some foods go bad more quickly than others which is often due to a long travel time from farm to store.

7. Allow your children to help choose the meal plan for the week and then help write the shopping list, as is age or ability appropriate.

8. Discuss needs versus wants and talk about how to plan ahead to save money so you can afford some of their wants from time to time.