Tank Museum/D-Day Memorial

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Sunday May 4, 2014 Under Claire, Cobey, Homeschool, Kid's Corner, Military Museums, Travel

Group Photo at D-Day Memorial

Claire And EmilyIt was a full day but very doable from the triangle, triad or Charlotte areas. We first stopped at the Tank Museum in Danville. We had best the exit many times but it is only open limited times. It was a self-guided tour. Each tank or other military equipment had background information. We spent about two hours but part of the group did not go with us to the second part and stayed longer.  Some of our group absolutely loved this museum. I personally would have enjoyed it more with a tour.

????????We grabbed lunch and then headed for the D-Day Memorial. This was the part of the trip I was most looking forward to and it did not disappoint. We first had an hour tour that gave information about life as a solider during WWII and some about the home front. It also touched on the story of the Bedford Boys.  We next had an hour tour of the Memorial. The tour was an excellent. We would have missed so much without it.  The tour was so informative about the memorial, the planning of D-day, what happen that day and more. The guide was great at telling stories of men who fought that day.  It is probably my new favorite Memorial. Be sure to get a tour when you are there and put this on your summer to do list.

D-Day Memorial

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Agape Environmental Education Center

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Monday Oct 14, 2013 Under Claire, Cobey, Homeschool, Kid's Corner, Revolutionary War Sites

Agape CenterWe went to Agape twice this fall, once with NC Homeschool Adventures and once with our church homeschool group. We love that place. We have been going ever year for years and years and we still have not run out of programs. When we went with the church group, the kids talked about the food chain, caught animals around the pond and evaluated three different ecosystems. With NCHSA, the kids learned all about trees, habitats and did tree identification. This is a great place for a hike or for a field trip.

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Virginia Safari Park

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Sunday Aug 11, 2013 Under Claire, Cobey, Homeschool, Kid's Corner, Travel, Zoo

IMG_0482On the way home, we stopped at Virginia Safari Park. It is a lot like Lazy 5 Ranch in North Carolina. I have done the wagon at Lazy 5 Ranch but not driven my car thru.  The animals coming right up to the car made me a little nervous and there were times that I thought they would not never move out of the way. We had to roll up the windows at times to get them out of the car. Included in admission is  a really nice guide of all the animals and information about them. Also included in the price is a part where you walk around and see some animal. In this area, they have a place where you can feed giraffes and birds.  It was fun and everyone should drive thru a zoo at least once their life.

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Quick Trip to Creation Museum

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Monday Jul 1, 2013 Under Claire, Cobey, Homeschool, Kid's Corner, Travel

Creation Museum

Cobey and CamelQuick and trip to Creation Museum should not go together when you live in North Carolina and the museum is in Kentucky near Cincinnati, Ohio. But Bruce did not want to be gone long and thought we could do it in two days. I was doubtful but it worked out really nice and we even spent time at the Cincinnati Zoo. We left a little after 4AM and got there around 1pm with only one stop. We went ahead and purchased tickets for the two planetarium shows for the day. The shows were The “Created Cosmos” and “World of Creation”. We also saw “The Men In White” about a woman struggling with evolutionary ideas. We really enjoyed that show.  The shows were good not great but I was glad to see a show with a New Earth perspective and we all learned something new. We walked through the beautiful gardens on the way to the small petting zoo. They have camels, goats, llamas, wallabies and donkeys. They also have some usual animals like a Zorse and Zonkey. They did not have the opportunity to ride the camel that day but most day kids are allowed ride for an extra fee. There is also a zip line and canopy now for an extra fee that we did not do. We then went through the Walk Through History. The exhibits are very well done and there is so much to learn. There is a variety of things you read and watch to keep everyone interested. It went along perfectly with the unit we had just finished in history. They have a wonderful book store and we spent a short time there. We finished all of that in about four and half hours. You could spend less or more time depending on how much you read but by that time we were tired and starving. If we had known that we really did not have that much left, we may have pushed thru and finished that day. We thought there were two other exhibits, the new Dragon and Insects.

Claire In Cheetah ShowThe next morning the museum did not open till 10 so we decide to spend some time at the Cincinnati Zoo. We have been to a lot of zoos and it is one of my favorites. They have at least one program every 15 minutes on the different animals. I love that focus on education. They also have different shows  throughout the day. We went to the cheetah show where you learn about the animals and get to see how fast they run. Claire was picked to be part of the show which was lots of fun.  They also have a place where you can feed the birds which is always fun.  The zoo is well maintained and attractively designed.  The only negative is some of the animals are in small areas which is nice for people to be able to see them but  not so nice for the animals. We spent a couple of hours and then went back to the Creation Museum. All tickets there are for two days and we wanted to finish up. We went to the new exhibit – Dr. Crawley’s Insectorium. The exhibit is small but very well done and interactive.  Claire really was engaged in the exhibit. We then went through Dinosaur Den and then asked about the new Dragon Legends exhibit. We learned that we had already seen it. They have a few cases about the dragons in the portico we had already seen them when we already came in the first day; we were a little disappointed with this. We were also disappointed on the way home to find one of the sources used many times in the Dragon book was wikipedia. The rest of the trip was wonderful and well worth it. I encourage everyone to make this trip even if it has to be a quick trip.

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Bennett Place

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Monday Nov 7, 2011 Under Civil War Sites, Claire, Cobey, Homeschool, Kid's Corner, NC History, Travel, Uncategorized

Last week, we took a field trip to Bennett Place in Durham. This is the site of the largest surrender of troops during the Civil War. I really did not know much about the site and had never been. We started out looking at the small visitor center and then watching the movie. The movie was gave a great background of what was going on during the time period and the significance of the site. We then took a tour of the site where they have rebuilt the home, kitchen and smokehouse that once stood there. The tour was mostly about how the family would have lived during that time. The last part of our visit was when a Civil War solider taught the children how to march. I have never seen that group stand so straight and be so quite. The parents decided they all need military school. The solider showed the kids how to load and shot a musket to end his part. The field trip was free and very well put together. It is an interesting part of NC history and recommend you check it out.


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Why I am a bad mom?

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Thursday Sep 29, 2011 Under Cobey, Homeschool, Kid's Corner, Travel

Yesterday at the last minute, we got into the Wallops Island optional field trip. We actually got to drive onto the NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility which is a restricted area. Our staff gave us information about the facilities and the rockets launched there as we drive in. This was the best part of the trip. We then got to walk on one of the beaches and collect shells. There were some great finds. Here is were the bad mother comes in. Cobey found the huge horseshoe crab above and carried it long way. He really, really wanted to take it home. It was dead but still VERY stinky and I said no. I did not want to ride home six hours with a stinky horseshoe crab therefore I am the bad mom.

BTW- on the previous post, I mentioned the food was not that good.  Well, guess what Cobey said his favorite part was about camp- the food. Go figure! He made a friend who loved Texas Pete too and came back telling everyone about the Texas Pete. I guess I could have saved some money and bought him a jar of Texas Pete. Seriously, I think it was a great learning experience and highly recommend it to everyone!

Oh, I survived another trip over the Chesapeake Bridge. We even stopped and walked out on the pier. I think I may have conquered my fear of bridges.

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Marine Science Consortium Trip

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Tuesday Sep 27, 2011 Under Cobey, Homeschool, Kid's Corner, National Parks, Travel

Cobey and I arrived to campus Sunday evening after braving the Chesapeake Bridge. If you recall from earlier post, I do not care for bridges and tunnels at all. I was not happy to discover AFTER I signed up for this field trip that the Chesapeake Bridge was part of my route. It took a weekend crop in Richmond with a great friend and a last minute visit to more friends in Virginia Beach to get up the courage. It actually was not as bad as I thought. There was not much traffic on the bridge which I think helped and it was at dusk. I really could not see the full effect. We will see how I manage tomorrow going back in the daylight.

They had left a key for us in a mailbox and finding our room was easy. We had time to get unpacked and then it was time for the bed. The next morning came early for me. Breakfast was at 7:30. In the morning, Cobey went on a nature hike and did a nature journal while I stayed back with the some moms and talked about homeschool issues. In the afternoon, we went to a field trip to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.  The talk by the ranger and movie was a little long. They did play one game where they got up and moved but for the most part  it was sit and listen.  We then rode through the refuge where we did not get to see much. This part of the camp was disappointing and I was beginning to worry.

After dinner, we had a Oceanographic Equipment Lecture. Lecture made me a little nervous because that usually equates to boring. This lecture was very informative and interesting and done quite well. We went over each station on the boat and what we would be doing the next day.

We woke to a thick fog which caused our day to be shifted around. We first went to Tom’s Cove Visitor Center. The center had a small touch tank and a bone identification exhibit.  After a short visit there, we headed to the intertidal where we walked out in knee deep water to the estuary. Once we hiked out the kids used nets, boxes, and seine nets to catch organisms  to take back to the lab.

After lunch, we got to go out on the research boat where we got to explore the estuary more. The kids loved being scientist on the boat and doing the different experiments. Tonight, the kids had to use Dichotomous keys, field guides and microscopes to help identify what they found. They also learned about zooplankton and phytoplankton. It was a great day and I think Cobey learned a lot.

The food was not great. It is what I think of when I think of bad cafeteria food but edible. The accommodations were very clean and the mattress was better than a typical camp mattress. I slept great!  Daniel was our naturalist and he was awesome. He was passionate about marine life and it showed. He kept a room of boys entertained and interested. Overall, we had a great experience and we would return again. Now I just have to make it back over the bridge.



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House in the Horseshoe

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Tuesday May 17, 2011 Under Claire, Cobey, Homeschool, Kid's Corner, Revolutionary War Sites

We started our day at House in the Horsehoe with our field trip group- NC Homeschool Adventurers. It was nice to have a trip in our neck of the woods for a change. The clouds were threatening rain but we ended up staying dry.

We had a very knowledgeable tour guide dressed in period clothing down to the sunglasses that I thought looked quite modern. He did a great job of keeping the kids interested and answering questions. I found it particularly  interesting that the skirmish was not over politics but over vengeance. Philip Alston, the first owner of the home,  was very controversial and his biography reminds me of stories of our troops today and whether their actions are justified. I tend to give the benefit of the doubt to our guys till proven otherwise. I think of Pantano and all he has been through. I would like to think Alston was the Pantano of the Revolutionary War and a great hero after all. The second owner was Benjamin Williams, officer in the Revolutionary War and a four term governor,  who used the property as a successful cotton plantation.

The guide did a great job of telling the story of the house and how life would have been during that period. He showed toys , a bed key, bird cage,  and the indoor bathroom- chamber pot. He told us that Alston had the children stand in the fireplace during the skirmish to be protected.  The kids loved the bullet holes you can still see in the house. After the tour of the house, the kids were taken to another area where they made clay marbles to take home. The visit ended with the guide talking about  clothing and gear of the time and with a musket firing.

They have an reenactment each August which I am sure would be a great experience. This year it is August 6 at 4pm and August 7 at 2pm.

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