Monday, October 14, 2013

NC Transportation Museum

We spent last Friday learning about trains. An up close and personal kind of learning experience: seeing, touching, riding, and yes, even smelling. Old trains have a peculiar smell, as observed by my quick-to-point-it-out and none-too-quiet-to-say-it seven year old.
The North Carolina Transportation Museum hosted a home schoolers day and rotated families through various learning centers for a couple of hours in the morning, before gathering for a short steam engine train ride in the early afternoon. 

This museum was a quick hour from home and had so much more to see and read about than we had time to do. Well, honestly speaking, than Grady and I had time to do because of lost interest from our young kids. But that's all par for the course.
Aside from learning about trains, we learned about the role of covered wagons in the pioneer days of North Carolina. Because we're reading through the Little House on the Prairie series, my boys actually had decent insights and answers for this discussion center. 

We also saw several antique cars and trucks, but our learning experience was cut short after Grady and Micah climbed on a fence that came crashing down under their weight. Yes, this too is par for the course with my boys.
And because North Carolina is known for its aviation history, we spent another session learning about the Wright brothers and early airplanes. "Hey mom, isn't this the third time we've learned this stuff?" Micah asked. I jammed my finger to my lips in an effort to communicate "SSHHHH!" without actually making a sound, because honestly, what parent wants a know-it-all child when in fact they do not know it all?

After a ride on a train turntable and time to explore a few steam and diesel engines, it was time to break for lunch. My boys enjoyed the time to run and play with other kids around a hay bale maze and I enjoyed the time to finally sit down. I tell you what: the third trimester began and without skipping a beat my body went into easily-out-of-breath and constantly-tired mode. 
We finished our day with a short train ride. "How come we're not going very fast?" "How come I can't sit by the window and see out." "How come my window doesn't open?" "Is there a bathroom on here?" "Do you have a snack?" "I don't see the steam coming out of the engine. How come?" And, yes, a battery of non-stop questions, often unrelated, is also par for the course.

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