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Monday, November 08, 2010

A Fun and Educational Weekend

We spent the weekend with Vicki for her daughter's birthday party. We took the girls around town on a scavenger hunt then made a bonfire for them. Since Madison and Kinley are around each other so much, Madison knows and enjoys Kinley's friends. On Saturday, Vicki's husband invited the boys to ride along on the module truck that he was driving. Carter was so excited to not only get to ride in the big truck, but also to watch it pick up the cotton modules. We had been studying cotton as a crop and all about the invention of the cotton gin. It was like a little field trip for him.
The next day, I took Vicki and her two youngest kids geocaching for the first time. Our first stop was at a cotton museum there in her town. I love how many of the caches are placed in places that can be educational. Once we found the cache in the old outhouse, we spent some time touring the grounds of the cotton museum. We couldn't go into any of the buildings, but we could see into the windows. There were old slaves quarters and town buildings that had been moved from other places. We saw an old cotton gin as they were in the beginning. Once again, this fell right into what we had been learning about in school. In one area, we found all sorts of old tools and farming equipment. All of the equipment was equipped to be pulled behind horses. Carter was amazed by an old push mower. We were so glad that we did this geocache. We had to drive to a nearby town for our next cache. In this town, there is an old depot that has been converted to a Johnny's Pizza. An old train car sits beside it and is part of the seating area. I love reading about this old depot. When my grandmother was alive, she wrote a poem about it that ended up on all of the place mats at the restaurant. The cache was supposed to be located under the old train car near the steps. Unfortunately, it wasn't there. We think that someone took it. These are always disappointments, but once again, it was fun teaching them about the location. The last cache that we found was at the movie theater. This theater was first opened in 1928! It was rebuilt in the 1950's and operated continuously until 1987. I remember going to this theater many times as a kid and a teenager. It has recently been reopened. It is so great for the people in this town and surrounding areas to once again have a nearby movie theater.
We found the cache easily and was then invited inside by the manager of the theater. I was so excited for the opportunity to show my kids this theater that is so much a part of my childhood. The manager showed us the main seating area first. The kids were amazed with how big the screen was. Next, we went upstairs to the balcony seating. I had recently taught them about segregation and how the African-Americans were made to sit in the balcony at the movie theaters. The manager also showed us the back door they had to use to enter the theater. He told us that if they wanted something from the concession stand that they had to stand at the stairs and wait for someone to bring it to them. It was very interesting.
Next, we were shown the projection room. We learned how the films are shipped to them on separate reels and then taped together on a platter. They then have to be separated again to be shipped back. I was amazed at how big the reels were and how much work they had to do to handle them. We were told that right now only the 3-D movies are digital. After touring the room, the manager gave each of us a preview reel to take home!
Finally, he gave us free popcorn and drinks. I love it when every day life turns into a learning experience. Everything that we got to do during this weekend went back to something that we were currently studying in school. Vicki loved the geocaching and is ready to do it again!


Blogger Rhonda said...

What an amazing weekend full of fun and learning. I love the fact that it all combined with the things that you were learning in your homeschool classes. How cool is that!

4:14 PM  

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