tonnes of independent reading -- Isaac has really hit his stride on this trip;
some math practice using Jumpmath and IXL (" 'cause it's good for ya! that's why!");
journal and blog post writing, as well as some practice with cursive and printing;
some other online learning (big shout out to Crash Course educational videos!); and
Our recent visits to Morocco and the United Kingdom have also included a heap of "world-class," experiential learning in history, geography, social studies, ecology, and cross-cultural communication. Here are some highlights:
- the Old Medina in Fez, a 30-square-kilometre, largely covered, medieval market-place -- the largest car-free space in the world -- although there are plenty of donkeys;
- Volubulis, the best-preserved, ancient Roman city in North Africa;
- the Islamic pilgrimmage site at Moulay Idriss, where Muslims who can't afford to make the Haj to Mecca can apparently visit five times instead;
- the Bab Mansour gate and the nearby Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail in Meknes
- Tromping around the town of Chefchaouen, with its very walkable and very blue medina, from which we did a couple of great day hikes;
- La Maison de la Photographie in Marrakesh -- a great collection of large-format black and white photos from historic Morocco;
- Jamaa el-Fnaa, the main square of Marrakesh, where we saw snake charmers, drummers and vendors
- the Saadian Tombs, Marrakesh;
- hiking in the Atlas Mountains (near Imlil) to mountain passes covered in snow.
- zip-lining and high ropes near Marrakech;
- Jardin Majorelle, a botanical garden / art museum in Marrakesh;
- a trek on dromedaries into the Sahara Desert, where we slept overnight at a Berber camp;
- a walk by the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca -- unfortunately, we missed the visiting hours, but the outside sure was impressive; one of the largest mosques in the world, Isaac tells me.
- The Science Museum, where we saw demonstrations about Newtonian physics and rocket science and the science of bubbles, along with exhibits on the history of medicine, the space race, food cravings, and genetics;
- Sutton House, one of the few Tudor houses still standing;
- Museum of London, for a great overview of the 2,000 history of this city;
- London Transport Museum, which tells the story of the Underground and the iconic red buses;
- The British Museum, free to the public because they stole everything in it from the colonies;
- Several of the Royal Parks, including Hyde, Regent and Primrose Hill; Green Park; Kensington Garden; Greenwich, and St.James,
- The National Gallery: Paintings! Paintings! Paintings!
- The National Portrait Gallery: Portraits! Portraits! Portraits!
- a personal tour of Christchurch College at Oxford University, and a visit to the Eagle and Child Pub where C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien used to meet with the Inklings;
- a Rugby 101 tutorial from Oliver and Aiden;
- Church services at St. Paul's Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and St. Martin's in the Field.
- A performance of excerpts of Handel's Messiah on Good Friday at Saint Swithums;
- a walk through Prior Park, in Bath
- The Roman Baths at, uh, Bath, where the wealthy Romans, Georgians and tourists go to take the waters;
- two walking tours of the Georgian architecture in Bath;
- Edinburgh Castle, where we learned how to kill a man wIth a pike and saw the Scottish Crown Jewels and the Stone of Destiny;
- The Edinburgh Museum, to learn a bit about the story of Auld Reekie;
- Our Dynamic Earth, a fantastic, kid-centric overview of Big History, geology, evolutionary biology and ecological issues.
- a sunset boat ride on the Thames Clipper, part of the Transport for London public transit network;
- The Tower of London: the fortified heart of London, home to besieged royalty, site of 5,000 plus executions and now home to the English crown jewels; #freetheravens
- An all-candidates meeting for the May 7, 2015 United Kingdom general elections, held in a pub in Lewisham-Deptford -- by far the best place to talk about politics;
- The National Maritime Museum, along with a walk-by the Greenwich Observatory, where the world's longitude measurement starts
- Walking along many of those iconic streets, squares and sites that we have always heard about: Westminster Parliament, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square, Trafalgar Square, Downing Street, Whitehall, Soho, Lewisham :-) the Tower Bridge, Kensington Palace, Buckingham Palace, Chelsea....
- negotiating the Tube -- Zoe could probably find her way anywhere in London now. OC Transpo is going to be a cinch!
- indoor rock climbing at The Castle Climbing Centre with our friend, Colin;
- the Natural History Museum, scene of the Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, and of course, all of nature, as well the Darwin Cocoon Centre with pickled bugs, mammals and amphibians;
We're looking forward to learning more in the next legs of our trip. Stay tuned.