Happy Texas Independence Day!
I’ve made an effort this year to plan for speical events this year. By ‘special’, I mean things that are outside of our normal curriculum. Today, March 2nd, is Texas Independence Day, and certainly qualifies as a ‘special event’ day. To celebrate, our homeschool group planned a trip out to the San Jacinto Monument Museum in La Porte, TX. We’d oriuginally planned on a picnic lunch and tour of the museum, but I think we failed to take into acount the camping trip that we just got back from on Sunday and the need for recovery from said vacation, so everyone bailed (the lazy bums).
Adventurers that we are, I decided to take the boys and go anyway, and since it was just the three of us, we decided to go ahead and visit the Battleship TEXAS as well. I got the boys patches for their adventure vests for both the monument and the ship, and we also picked up a Passport to Texas History for the three if us. If you collect all the stamps from the historic sites in the Texas Revolution, then you’ll get a free gift from the Texas Independence Trail Region. Not just for homeschoolers, this is a really interesting way to bring history to life. I don’t know if we’ll get all of the stamps by December, but we’ll give it a good shot.
Inside, we toured the ground floor and then went into the theater to watch a film that went over the timeline and details of the Revolution. We’d gone over much of the information already while making our Texas Independence Day Lapbook. I found a short video from 2009 that hits the highlights on YouTube, but it was nice to have the facts reinforced, and portraits of some of the key players. The film also used many of the paintings that are hanging in the museum, so having an explanation and context was helpful.
After the film, we went up to the observation deck.
Normally, there’s a reflection pool in this shot, but I guess there’ having some drainage issues, so the pool is underwater at the moment. You can see the Battleship TEXAS in the distance (the big black ship, top, right); that was our next stop.
I’m claustrophobic and always shudder at the thoughts of being on a submarine – ships like that seemed only a step up, but I was surprised at how much room there was in the belly of the ship. They have almost the whole ship opened up so that you can go up and in and down and around to pretty much everywhere. We toured the bottom two decks – those are some STEEP staircases! – and I even braved the heights so that PeaGreen could get a good look off the towers (LBB sensibly kept his booted feet on the main deck).
It’s been a really long time since I’ve taken just my boys out for a field trip. I’m amazed at how many questions they asked. I think the group setting is distracting – they get so wrapped up in seeing what everyone else is looking at that they can’t focus on what they are looking at. Not that we don’t absolutely adore our group-y friends and have a great time on group trips, but this – being able to focus only on my own two kids – was nice. We may have to go off exploring on our own more often!
I wanted to close with this picture (because it – and the story behind it – is awesome):
and found the ‘Flags of the Revolution‘. My kids are in bed already, but we’re going to go over this tomorrow. I just love the internet, don’t you? ~h