One of the very best things about homeschooling is that when you're only trying to teach 3 students, you have time to let them do really cool stuff to apply what they're learning into life-long knowledge.
(Psst. This is not one of those 'why everyone should homeschool' posts. Or an 'I think I'm cooler, because I homeschool' or a 'if you homeschooled, your kid could wear jeans that are too short and nobody would notice, too' post. It's just a 'this is what we did one day' post. I'm glad we got that covered.)
Because we were studying Ancient Egypt, and I heard a rumor we have mummies just an hour away from the Middle of Nowhere, I planned a field trip with the other moms here in the Middle of Nowhere who are also total freaks of nature who homeschool their kids. Yes, there are quite a few of us. Watch out.
And to be totally honest. I learned SO MUCH!!! I swear nobody ever told me this stuff!!
Did you know that many many of the tombs are empty? Like, I know there are movies about Tomb Raiders and stuff. And I know once all the Hebrew people left Egypt and the Egyptians didn't have as much slave labor, times got kind of tough for the Egyptians and they stole the loot out of the pyramids. But nobody ever told me that in the late 1800's a tomb was found with 30 mummies in it. Most of them royal. And that Ramses (you know, the one Moses was talking to) had red hair! Seriously. We saw it. In Imax, so it was like 15 feet tall! And it was red and curly. I really really really thought all the Egyptians had dark hair. Guess what?! They didn't. They wore wigs.
Perhaps, you all knew this stuff. But for me, homeschooling is giving me a whole new education!
We paid extra for the "Guided Tour", which meant this guy stood there and pointed around the room at the different parts of the Ancient Egypt display and told the kids what they were.
And believe it or not, they had two mummies. The one in the foreground is still wrapped and is a male, and over there on the far left, is a female mummy unwrapped. I didn't take any up close pictures of her, because I just couldn't bring myself to do it.
The whole concept of voyeur-izing (my own word) these mummies is definitely love/hate with me. It's so cool to learn about it, and see it, and try to grasp what life was like for them. But I hate that I wonder if they would like being on display for a bunch of homeschool yahoos to come look at them? But then I think, wait a minute, it's just a shell of a body. That person's spirit is not there, why would I care if yahoos were looking at the shell of my body when I'm already in eternity? And then I think about the super intelligence it took to be able to preserve bodies/skin/hair like this. It really is a wonder of the ancient world. Such that we still are not able to reproduce it like they did. And that some of them did it specifically to be remembered for all of time(the movie told us that). So if they wanted to be remembered are we actually honoring them, by taking care of their remains? But is that just justification? Love/hate.
So then the questions during Q&A went something like this:
Kid: What do those hieroglyphs say?
Tour Guide: I'm not sure
Kid: How come you don't know what they say?
Tour Guide: Well, I know a couple sounds
Kid: But could you just read part of it to us?
Tour Guide: Umm, I'm pretty sure this wavy line means water, and it's pronounced, 'cuh'
Kid: I don't think that's how you say it
Kid: How did the mummy die?
Tour Guide: The mummy didn't die, the person died
Kid: How did the person die?
Tour Guide: We don't know for sure
Then while we were there we, of course, visited the rest of the museum. The mummy stuff is actually just one room. In the basement. (Where else could it be?)
So we pretended to float down the Mighty Mississippi.
And I'll give you three guesses as to how long we had to stand in front of this exhibit.
Do you realize how little some of that print is? I was going hoarse just reading it all!
Then there was this really fun puppet stage.
All the puppets were woodland animals and the kids had so much fun throwing them out the little windows to see which ones drop the fastest. I mean, they loved putting on puppet shows for their mommy.
And at the end, we even built our own pyramid just to bring the whole thing back around to repetitious education.