Heard Museum and Nature Center

If you haven’t “heard” about it, you should make the trip!  Okay that was corny, but I haven’t slept much lately.  One of our family’s goals for this year was to get out into nature more often whether that be hiking, biking, swimming, etc.  We discovered the Ft. Worth Nature Center and Preserve late last year and it has become one of our favorite go to places.  There are multiple hiking trails from short to long, bison to see when it is warm, lots of water views and more and we find ourselves taking day trips there quite often.  We were looking for something a little more adventurous when I caught wind of the Heard Museum and Nature Center in McKinney.  They offer a lot of family weekend classes from nature hikes to canoeing and well quite honestly our family could probably and is probably on some YouTube channel with the funniest home video for people who cannot canoe.  Long story short, the last time we went, we got stuck, I was laughing, IMG_2853hubby was red faced, the kiddo was scared of the water, the fishermen stopped fishing to laugh, and then…it rained on us.  Sigh, it was uh, funny but not so much fun so when I saw they were offering a basic canoe class I signed us up.  The nature center is much like the Ft. Worth one with just more classes.  Our trip was perfect.  After going over the basics (even the right size life vest debate) the canoeing part took place in a rather large smooth water pond.  There aren’t many obstacles and the group sizes are small.  There were 3 instructors who took 6 canoes each so it was very easy to hear and maneuver.  We spent about an hour exploring the pond, learning about the eco-system and its inhabitants, the history of the land, what the volunteers do, etc. and then were given up to 2 hours to hang out on the water.  We lasted about an hour after the guided tour because I didn’t think about bringing a lunch into the canoe but it was honestly a perfect amount of time. Highly recommended!

 

Happy April…Already!!

March flew by that’s for sure and now we are entering the “What’s the Plan for Next Year” mode.  In our house we take homeschooling year by year, evaluate what’s working, and figure out how to revamp what is not.  Oh, and it’s the time of year all the groups I am in become swamped with hundreds of “for sale” adds overwhelming me with the massive variety of curriculum and texts out there.  Which for a few brief seconds make me panic and wonder “am I doing enough?”  Do you ever have that problem?  My first stopping point is Timberdoodle.com because I really love how they show you their suggested texts for each grade level.  This is the site where I discovered my all time favorite math curriculum, Teaching Textbooks (non-secular, very interactive, grades it for you) and my favorite history books America the Beautiful (secular, great reading, great activities for each chapter) amongst so many others.  I also pick up my science kits and other things like puzzles here. I don’t usually do the bundles but they are probably some of the best ones I’ve seen out there. So I can say we are ahead of the curve as I have already picked out what I wanted for my soon to be 7th grader and headed over to Amazon to fill in the other areas I think are needed. We are taking on few extra classes next year outside of the home in addition to choir and PE so next year should be interesting to say the least!   Now, I find myself staring out the pile trying to find encouragement to tackle what’s inside them which is exactly why we take the summer off to reboot and refresh.  Bless those who teach non-stop!

Do you have any favorite, go-to sites when you are looking in to your crystal ball for the year to come?  Share them here if so… 🙂