We are in our 16th year of homeschooling and it never ceases to amaze me what happens when believing that the world is our classroom actually presents the world to us. Today was one such day. The girls and I had a “Reflect on the World” Day at EPCOT.
With sketchbooks, journals, pencil and ink, we traveled to China, watched a movie in Circle-Vision 360 degrees, and studied art samples from five dynasties. We saw miniature versions of the famed Terracotta Warriors and reminisced about a trip to Atlanta when we saw the actual ones that were on exhibit at The High Museum.
Then we sat in the courtyard gardens, quiet and removed from the throngs of people, sketched and wrote our reflections of experiences as if we were writing in our travel journals as tourists and historians.
A quick jaunt to Future World and The Seas took us through underwater tunnels that gave way to fascinating scenes including schools of fish, a few sharks, and some rather large sting rays. We saw cast member divers cleaning the rocks and lots of legs above belonging to guest divers in a behind the scenes excursion. We met two rescued manatees while they were eating their vegetarian lunch. They were happy too.
Off to France – because France is always a must for us – and Carleigh got spritzed with Gourmand Coquin perfume, an EPCOT Guerlaine exclusive at $260 a bottle…whew…but it did smell like chocolate! We enjoyed the posters at Montmarte and the architecture of Paris. Carleigh and I plopped ourselves down in front of Les Vins de France for some inspiration in our journals while Renee chose to sketch a couple relaxing on a park bench. She showed them her finished sketch…tres bien!
We decided to leave reflecting on Morrocco, our third country we chose for the day, until another sketchbook excursion since we didn’t feel like we had enough time to fully engage. We took a quick walk through, watched the Henna artist, and browsed the marketplace.
Our trip “overseas” today ended with a walked though Japan. Japan was lively! In Mitsukoshi Department Store, we watched guests choose oysters and a very animated Japanese Cast Member find the pearls hidden inside. Let’s just say she had a drum and wasn’t afraid to use her very excited drum sticks in celebration of the found treasures! No visit is complete without enjoying the sounds of Matsuriza, the traditional Taiko drummers, and we listened while enjoying a stroll through the Japanese gardens, festively decorated with lanterns.
Ready to wrap up our day, we had some fun on Test Track…at least at the end of Test Track. The inclement weather crept in and the ride was shut down, but that didn’t stop Renee from “trying out” every vehicle at the Chevrolet showcase lot. Her favorite…the 2015 Camaro Convertible. Carleigh was looking pretty confident in the Cruze (or was that the Malibu?)
It was a fantastic “girls day out” learning and experiencing the world. I am so proud of all four of our children for how much they engage the world…learning, socializing, exploring. Its hard to believe that just three days ago, I was all up in a tizzy about a “supposedly” educated adult asking Renee if she got out in public and had any kind of social life despite the fact she homeschools. Augh! In the past 72 hours, Renee has gone to Zombiefest with friends (I sure wasn’t going), has gone to a birthday party with friends, hung out at the library with a new skateboard pal, volunteered at the art museum after school art classes, gone to Disney for the second time in the last 6 days having gotten to roam around Magic Kingdom with her brother and their two other homeschool friends last Wednesday. Yes, and she has still put an enormous amount of time into her traditional studying as well. Its really such a shame that homeschooling is so confining to a teenager…don’t you think?
Oh, and while Carleigh said she enjoyed everything about today, what Renee put at the top of her favorite’s list for our excursion…meeting “Steve” the snail and studying him for a while as he roamed around his home at Disney…the most magical place on earth!