Sunday, September 30, 2007

Homeschool Day at Hidden Villa

Hidden Villa had a homeschool day on Friday. They were closed to everyone except those who had registered, and offered a variety of special events and classes. The day was gray and overcast, and it even rained a little at one point, but we had a great time for all that.

We started out with the biscuit-making workshop. It sounds so simple, but at Hidden Villa they always include a lot of enrichment with the basic activity, so there was a lot of discussion of farming, harvesting, baking, etc. They also made butter by shaking cream in a jar. This is an activity everyone enjoys. It's so amazing to watch the cream change right in front of your eyes. Not for the first time, though,I found myself wondering why they didn't show the kids a churn, just for them to see how people used to do it before all this new-fangled machinery came in. After making the biscuits, they finished up with some lively eco-themed versions of tag (predator and prey, summer and winter). It was time to check out the rest of the farm.

Unfortunately we didn't get too far, because another activity they had going that day was origami. The room was very crowded, so I sat outside on the porch and knitted away at some socks. Next thing you know, I hear Ziad's voice saying things like, Then you fold it like this, and open it up over here..." Yes, Ziad was teaching the origami instructors new folds. I don't know whether to find this cute or obnoxious, but the instructors were very nice about it, and complimented him profusely.

We had to drag him out of there to go check out the hens and the new chicks. The new chicks turned out to be much larger (and less cute, in my opinion) than one might have expected. Ziad and Maya each got a chance to hold one, though, and Ziad was entranced with the way it snuggled down and just relaxed for him. He didn't want to give it back, but the docent was moving on to showing where the eggs were laid. This was followed by a handful of corn for everyone to feed the chickens foraging outside, and again, we had to drag Ziad out of there in order to go get lunch.

Lunch had been made in a variety of workshops that morning. There were the biscuits, and also cheese and soup and salad. I really, really wanted to try them, and in fact, saved some to take home. Everything was very good, and most of it had been grown and prepared on the farm. They had an old-fashioned dance band playing (square and line dance, I mean) and it was just so pleasant to sit out on the grass. The only problem was that Ziad ran into some kids he knew, and it was impossible to get him to sit down and eat. This created difficulties for everyone later, when he got tired and hungry and cranky, but at least he had fun with his friends.

The afternoon was devoted to one last activity per child. Unfortunately, they did not choose the same activity. Maya wanted to milk goats up in the white barn, while Ziad wanted to explore wool and felting in the educational center. Unfortunately these two locations were separated by about a five-minute walk, so I didn't really get to observe either of them, as I shuttled back and forth keeping tabs on the two of them. For those who are interested, Ziad and Maya's posts describe them below.

We could have stayed longer, and maybe on another day we would have, but I find driving tiring and so wanted to get home before the rush hour started. All in all, it was a great day, gray skies notwithstanding. Hidden Villa is a wonderful place.



Blogger zelda said...

Your energy for taking your kids places is amazing. I feel like taking them anywhere is a Herculean effort. I'm hoping its as much a matter of their young ages as much as anything.

I really enjoyed reading Maya and Ziad's contributions.

10:45 PM  

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