Lego Comes to San Antonio

Most people in my generation as well as the younger generations, have grown up with Lego blocks. I used to love building houses, buildings, towers, and vehicles as a child. The Lego kits available now are much more complicated than just the basic bricks I grew up with. But the kids really love building with them!

San Antonio just got their first Lego Store, located at the North Star Mall, and we recently went and checked it out for the first time.

This was a fun shopping trip! The entire back walk is covered with bins to choose indivual bricks. You can fill two different sized cups with whatever bricks you need. While the store had basic building sets (including Duplo for younger kids), it was the special kits that were awesome to check out. Trains, Hobbit kits, Superman kits, Ninjago, and lots more!

There was a Lego table with a bin filled with bricks for everyone to use. This kept the kids busy for quite a while. They also had something really cool – the Digital Box. This is a video screen that recognizes certain kits (usually special kits with 250+ pieces) and the screen shows you holding the box. Then an animation of the structure being built is shown above the box, complete with Lego minis walking around. It was pretty cool!They also had a “Build a Mini” stand, with several bins of pieces for you to cutom build your own Lego mini figures.

We left with a cool Lego car from their City collection (Ender LOVES cars) and a basic brick set to get the kids started building. This is definitely recommended for the kids this summer!

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Learning About Mammals

Our co-op had our second zoo field trip this week. Last month we went at the end of our Bird unit.

This trip we focused on mammals, and we kept track of all the animals that we saw. As we observed the different animals and their names were recorded, we discussed if their names came from their looks, or where they were from.

Kyri and Ender had a fun time seeing all the animals. Kyri says her favorite was the elephant, though I know she was enthralled by all the different wild cats.

The ostriches put on quite a show! They were in a gated area and you could only see their necks and heads from behind the fence. They kept dropping below the fence line and then slowly raising their heads up to peep at the folks watching them. It was very funny!

Kyri really enjoyed our field trip. She loved seeing all the animals. Even though we do not usually go to zoos, I have been trying to use our visit(s) as an educational opportunity. Kyri thought the cheetahs were incredible and was amazed to find out how fast they run in the wild (70 MPH!). I asked her later if she thought they were able to run that fast in the zoo. I explained to her that while it is nice to be able to see the animals and have a chance to study them up close like this, a zoo enclosure is no substitute for their natural habitat.

I was honestly a little nervous to see the elephant exhibit. Captive elephants make me very sad, and I hate seeing how trainers hit them with metal hooks. The last time I saw that was at the renaissance fair in Maryland (had I known they were going to have an elephant there to give rides I would not have gone). Anyway, Lucky, the elephant at the San Antonio Zoo did show off some “tricks” for people, lifting her legs in response to her trainer. In the picture below, you can see the sticks he used to tap her legs – they were long bamboo poles with plastic covers on them. He would lightly tap her leg and she would lift it in response. 

rhino

zebra

cheetahs

colbus

elepahnt

elephantwatching

fox

hippo

ostrich

Homeschool Classes in the Community

One of the fun things about homeschooling is taking advantage of the classes available in the local community. There are so many opportunities we have to pick and choose, or else we will be so busy we will always be out of the house!

We have a wonderful homeschool community here in San Antonio, so there is a constant stream of information for homeschool parents, letting us know when opportunities are available that might interest our children.

Taking classes in the community has many benefits – hands-on learning experiences you really can’t replicate at home, expertise in a field that you may not know a lot about, time to interact with other homeschoolers, and an opportunity for your children to have different teachers, possibly in a “classroom” setting.

Here are three recent homeschool classes we participated in this Spring:

Cibolo Nature Center

Homeschool Class at the San Antonio Botanical Garden

Homeschool Day at the Witte Museum

Do you take advantage of homeschool classes offered in your community?

***While I still write about homeschool topics here at the vegan bee, I have started to shift some of the more specific content to Kyriandra’s Big Day, which is the online portion of our homeschool portfolio. I try to link to the content I post over there, if not in dedicated posts, then through Twitter and Facebook. I hope you will check it out regularly to see what we have been up to.***