On Day five of our Washington D.C vacation we had a wonderful visit with family in the area. It was great to catch up and spend time.
In the evening we decided to go to the World War II Memorial. Madison also worked on her National Mall Ranger Badge while we were there.
Then we headed back to the hotel to relax. (View of the lobby from our floor.)
This was hands down our best day of our trip.
On Day 4 of our Washington D.C. vacation we visited Ford’s Theater. It has changed a lot since I went when I was 12!
They now have a museum that you go through first. It was amazing! We opted for the audio companion as well. Madison also worked on her Ford’s Theater Ranger Badge during our visit.
Ford’s Theater still holds productions. The history of the Theater is intriguing.
After we toured the museum and the theater we went across the street to the Peterson house. They have added an amazing museum to this as well!
Madison was also sworn in for completing her Ford’s Theater Ranger packet and received her badge and patch.
We decided to explore the International Spy Museum next! Madison decided she would be Jane Meyer…
It was fun. I wouldn’t recommend doing it without purchasing tickets at a discount with the Explorer Pass. All in all, it was a fun filled day!
Madison had to get a picture of her on Madison Drive. 😉
We started out day 2 with a docent tour of the National Archives Museum. We saw the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. The best part pf this tour is that we were in a small group and we were in the museum before it opened to the public, so we didn’t have to deal with crowds to see these magnificent documents. The rest of the tour was amazing and we learned a lot. We also were able to view the Magna Carta. Next time, we will go into the Boeing Learning Center. This museum is one that you should reserve online tickets for even if you do not take the tour.
Next, we set out to tour the monuments. The metro does not cover this area, so we chose to buy tickets for a hop on- hop off bus. I highly recommend doing this. There are several to choose from. We chose one from Groupon, but it did have downsides. The buses didn’t come as frequently and there were not as many stops. We did get a free night tour, so that made up for the other inconveniences. The Big Bus was popular and it can be bought at a discounted price with a purchase of the Washington D.C. Explorer Pass. We did end up purchasing an Explorer Pass for other things, but we found a better deal on it on Groupon.
Our first memorial stop was the Jefferson Memorial.
Before we went to the memorials we picked up a National Junior Ranger National Mall and Memorial folder with sheets to complete for each memorial for Madison to turn in and earn a National Junior Ranger pin. She was also able to stamp the back of the folder with a stamp that had the date and the memorial name. The stamps were located in the bookstores by the registers of each memorial. The Jefferson Memorial had a really neat Park Ranger store.
This trip was very busy, but very rewarding. We had booked the airfare for this trip months in advance at a very good price. Finding a hotel was challenging, but in the end we feel we picked the perfect one within our price range. We ended up choosing the Grand Hyatt. It was in a safe area, was within walking distance to everything we wanted to see and we were able to access the metro from below the lobby.
September was a great month to visit because it wasn’t crowded and the weather was perfect. When we checked into our hotel we were offered to upgrade to the Club Level. We chose to do this because they offered breakfast, snacks, appetizers and deserts. It also included a coffee machine that made lattes and cappuccinos and included bottled water, sparkling water, milk, and sodas. We quickly added up the costs of bottled water ($4 in the gift shop), Starbucks for breakfast in the morning, etc. and the price for the upgrade was a better deal. We ended up eating a big lunch out everyday, but that was the only time we needed to eat a meal.
After we checked in we headed to the National Museum of American History. When we arrived, we took a Highlights tour. We learned the history behind many things including the Star Spangled Banner, George Washington’s uniform, Abraham Lincoln’s hat, the First Lady’s gowns, Julia Child’s Kitchen, Thomas Jefferson’s lap desk, Thomas Edison’s light bulb, the chairs and table used by Lee and Grant during the surrender ceremony at Appomattox Court House, and much more. The amount to see is overwhelming. Of course after all of the history Madison learned and even with her love of American History, her favorite sight was a doll house. Yep, a doll house. It is a super cool doll house and she is now inspired to build her own from scratch. She went back later in the trip just to have Jeff take a picture of each room. Here is more information on the Dolls’ House.
Madison posing as President with Regan’s administration.
After the American History museum we were tired. We had woken up at 3:30am to catch our 6am flight. We had watched the sunrise while in the air and we were exhausted by this point so we called it a night.
On our third day in Washington D.C. we toured the White House. To be able to tour the White House, you must contact your Member of Congress 3 months prior to your visit to request a tour. For the details to request a tour click HERE.
Also, please note that some things are prohibited on the tour, such as purses, backpacks, etc. Here is a LINK for more information.
We really enjoyed touring the White House and highly recommended it!
Then we made a stop by the Museum of Natural History.
Madison enjoyed the Hope Diamond and the Butterfly Garden the most. 🙂
It was a very eventful Day 3 in Washington D.C.!
The past month has been a whirlwind. We have mainly focused on Madison’s online Intro to Composition class and completing US History II.
I feel that writing is a basic need for every other subject. It is a life skill. I wasn’t able to hold Madison accountable or motivate her like an outside resource could. I also knew that she needed feedback on her writing from someone other than me. And she also needed to learn how to meet deadlines and follow a schedule.
This Intro to Comp class has been wonderful. Overwhelming at first to work ahead for our vacation we took to Washington DC, but it was well worth it . She absolutely loves this class. She gets to work with other kids and is gaining so much knowledge in writing at the same time. I highly recommend any writing course that meets that criteria. It’s worth the push and I honestly believe it is better for kids in the end. The longer writing is put off the harder it is. It has to be a continual effort to succeed. It has taken up a majority of Madison’s time and it is times like this that I am so grateful we Homeschool. Madison is at different grades for each subject she is in, so we have the flexibility to put some things off while focusing and digging deeper into others.
She did complete US History II and US Government. By completing those before our trip to Washington DC, I felt she was able to get the most she could out of it because she had the background she needed to understand the references that were made. She was able to apply her knowledge to what she saw and experienced.
It was only our first trip. We plan on making another trip in the future, but this trip was phenomenal and I can’t wait to share it in upcoming posts.
Aside from her classes, Madison is enjoying piano lessons, chess, religion, and co-op which consists of Homeschool PE, lunch, cooking and Math mania.
For Math, we have gone backwards. Madison needed some more foundation skills in fractions to be able to successfully move forward to ratios and the conversion of fractions and decimals. I decided to try ST Math as one last attempt before getting a tutor. The Psychologist said she was a visual learner and this program is totally visual. There are no words. So far it seems to be working. We’ll see after she completes 5th grade and moves up. She says it is helping, so I am going to go off of that for now.
Madison is also working on programs called Dyslexia Gold and Luminocity. She is working on eye tracking and fluency with Dyslexia Gold and cognitive skills with Luminocity. We just started both so I hope to see improvement in these areas in the future.
I’m also going to write a future post regarding homeschooling and socialization. I do believe there is a strong stigma regarding the two that needs to be addressed.
Here we go on our fourth year of homeschooling! I have finally learned that I always have a plan or an idea for a plan for what we are going to do for the year curriculum wise and then it ALWAYS changes. So here is my initial plan for this year. Ha! Ha! Also, this post contains affiliate links, so please see my disclosure policy for more information.
I just don’t even want to talk about Math right now. I think we are going to try AELKS. I will update with a post when I figure it out.
Madison finished Life and Earth Science through Accellus and just began Physical Science. While she onePhysical Science lesson a day, will begin our Moving Beyond the Page 11-13 units. We are going to start with Technological Design and then Earth Cycles and Systems, Force and Motion, The Hydrosphere again and The Atmosphere. This way she gets some hands on experiments. There are a TON of hands on activities in each of these units. She learns best visually, but she isn’t going to have fun just watching videos all of the time.
Madison completed US History I and is finishing up US History II and US Government High School courses through Accellus in preparation for our upcoming trip to Washington D.C. Then she will finish up Middle School Geography. She was half way through this course and we stopped to focus on US History. Geography is not her favorite subject so this course was perfect for her. While it’s a long course, the videos are relatively short so even if it takes us forever to get through it, at least she will have it under her belt. She has already listened to all four volumes of Story of the World, so we are going to do Personal Finance next. Then we will look into CLEP and AP tests for US and World History.
Electives and Activities:
We joined a homeschool co-op and so once a week Madison will be taking a Homeschool PE class, a cooking class, and a Math Mania class. She is excited and is really looking forward to this co-op.
She will continue her third year of piano lessons.
Madison will also continue her foreign language learning with Rosetta Stone Learn Spanish: Rosetta Stone Spanish (Latin America) – Level 1-5 Set, Learn French: Rosetta Stone French – Level 1-5 Set, and Learn Italian: Rosetta Stone Italian – Level 1-5 Set.
Most of her free time has been dedicated to playing Chess. See my post on A Girl and Her Love of Chess for more details.