Sunday, July 31, 2016

52 Lists: Sports I Like to Watch or Play

I'm going to preface this with the fact that I'm not athletic and I'm not really a sports enthusiast.  As a kid, I liked swimming, skating and riding my bike, but didn't like gym class that much.  I remember not minding volleyball, and I also remember playing frisbee football at church camp one summer and that was tolerable.  I've just never been an overall sports fan, but there are a few things that come to mind.

  • Baseball - I was born and raised in the south, and my daddy was a Braves fan.  I don't remember any other sports on in our house, and baseball is the only major professional sport I could still enjoy watching
  • As a young adult I enjoyed both a kayaking and whitewater rafting trip, and that's something I would probably still enjoy if we ever got around to it
  • Hiking - haha just kidding!  I don't even think that's a "sport" so much as just an active thing to do.  It doesn't matter though, I'm still just more of a nature walker with the occasional casual hike thrown in
  • Summer Olympics - I usually watch on and off, and enjoy gymnastics, diving and some swimming events 
  • Winter Olympics - Same deal.  I'll watch most here and there, but tend to like figure skating, bobsled, snowboarding, and freestyle skiing


Well that was a short, easy list.  What are your favorite sports?


52 lists with Chasing Slow








©2011-2016 Mom’s Heart.  All rights reserved.  All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.  http://www.moms-heart.com

Friday, July 29, 2016

MaxScholar {TOS Review}

Every year, the Schoolhouse Review Crew is given the opportunity to review interesting online learning tools, and I'm always amazed at the number of programs that exist but were never on my radar before joining the crew.  One such recent discovery was MaxScholar.


MaxScholar Reading Intervention Programs Review

Reviewers were recently given a one year subscription to MaxScholar Reading Intervention Programs, which was specifically created to help children with dyslexia, learning disabilities, ADHD, processing problems or who otherwise struggle with learning to read.  The programs are adaptable to the child's age and needs, and are based on well-known methods like Orton-Gillingham and Lindamood-Bell Process.  Obviously not all children struggle to read (mine haven't so far), but I still think the systematic, multi-sensory methods utilized can be beneficial to all students.

There are two primary levels of MaxScholar.  The K-2 Program is designed with younger children in mind (approximately Pre-K to 7 years old) and develops early reading and comprehension skills with MaxPhonics and MaxReading.

MaxPhonics is for children who are learning to read or need extra attention in this area.  Using the Orton-Gillingham approach, it teaches phonemic awareness, phonics, reading of words and fluency, and writing.  It has "worlds" so children can focus on different areas such as letters, blends or digraphs, and teaches with videos, drill and practice and games that help reinforce the concepts.  There is a pretest, though I found some of the questions or the answer choices very ambiguous and I do not suggest allowing children to take the test alone.

MaxReading is a multi-sensory reading comprehension program.  It contains high-interest passage to help students learn the concepts of highlighting, summarizing and outlining text.  There are thirteen levels, and each one has several multi-chapter books.  There is a read-aloud feature as well.



The other level offered is MaxGuru, which includes not only the MaxPhonics and MaxReading as discussed above, but several other learning options.

MaxWords - Vocabulary expansion through spelling, prefixes, suffixes, and Latin and Greek Roots

Max Music - Utilizes music and games to engage children in reading and work on memory, recognition and auditory skills.  Most of the artists are pretty mainstream, so this will be a plus to children who enjoy this music, though not so much for families who don't allow this type of music.  Definitely use your discretion.

MaxVocab - MaxScholar's dictionary and vocabulary games to compliment MaxReading



MaxPlaces - Learn about places around the world and work on reading comprehension at the same time.  Perfect for your geography/culture lover!



MaxBio - Biographies of people from around the world are written in a chronological fashion by major time periods in that person's life.  You can definitely see the pop culture influence here.  Entertainers, Hip Hop Artists and Star Athletes are three of the seven categories, with Old School Musicians relegated to a separate category.  Famous Men and Amazing Women were still filled with entertainers (Angelina Jolie) and don't forget Mark Zukerberg under Business.




Final Thoughts
Overall, this is a very interesting program!  I did have some trouble hearing/distinguishing some of their audio in the phonics section, but I think if parents (or teachers/tutors) are present it shouldn't be an issue.  Because MaxGuru offers so many ways to practice reading and comprehensions skills, I think most children can find a section that appeals to their interests and benefit from the exercises.  Even though the program originally targeted children who need extra attention with reading, as I said originally, I think others can benefit too.  It can be used as a supplement to most any reading curriculum, for both homeschoolers and traditionally schooled students.  It is also a good option for a summer reading program to help prevent that "summer loss" that happens for so many children.  Children who learn well with auditory-visual stimulation and those who enjoy learning on the computer are likely to thrive with MaxScholar.







MaxScholar Reading Intervention Programs Review

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©2011-2016 Mom’s Heart.  All rights reserved.  All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.  http://www.moms-heart.com

Thursday, July 28, 2016

App Review: Orphs of the Woodlands at Tangletree {TOS Review}

My kids love the iPad and playing games on it, so I was intrigued when we were offered the chance to review the app Orphs of the Woodlands at Tangletree, which is an interactive reading program from Star Toaster.


Orphs of the Woodlands at Tanglegate Review

Orphs of the Woodlands at Tangletree is actually a prequel to Star Toaster's original online game, but it is in the form of an iTunes app.  It is essentially a book with accompanying educational activities and game-like features.  The book we're reading is called The Journal of Flying Squirrel Abba, in which we learn about how Abba takes care of the orphs in his tree fort following a major flood.

Children read short illustrated chapters that are filled with pop-ups to help define words or cover various concepts like compound words or similes.  Subject areas covered include Math, Science, Grammar, Vocabulary, Thinking Skills, Character, Life Skills and The Arts.  This is an example of how you can click on the highlighted word to get a pop-up definition:



Students also do "training" which usually expands on a word or concept mentioned in the story.  Then they can

 consists of a short graphic (usually a definition/example written on the screen with a voice over explanation) that expands on something mentioned in the story, and then they can do related "jobs" which involves answering multiple choice questions.  Children can earn stars to buy supplies for the orphs when they answer correctly.  If the child has focused on the story or training, they should have no issue answering the questions.  Elliott found them super easy, and I think that's because oftentimes the answer was too obvious.  Either the wrong answers were too goofy to be possible, or the correct answer was basically answered for them.  When learning about similes, the word like was already bold before the correct answer was even chosen.


Elliott is coming out of third grade and is an average reader skill wise, but he doesn't particularly enjoy reading.  I've found the reading level is good for him--very few difficult words and no difficult vocabulary.  While he doesn't love reading, he has found parts of the story humorous, even funny enough to share with his little brother!



The book  is automatically bookmarked, so you can pick up exactly where you left off.  You can add multiple children, check their progress and look over the student's "work" to see exactly what concepts are covered across the different content areas and how they're progressing.  The app can be downloaded across multiple devices but it doesn't sync progress between devices. I set up the app on my phone so I could explore it ahead of time and know exactly what Elliott would be doing on the iPad, but it's easy enough to check from the child's account too.


Overall, I really like the concept of this app.  It's an easy way to get most children reading and reviewing a variety of concepts in all subject areas, especially if they are avid readers.  I have to admit, Elliott (9) didn't love the app as much as I expected.  Although listed for ages 9-11, I think the content is better suited for 6-9 year old children who are strong readers.  He was not engaged by the "game" aspect, he didn't find the questions challenging, and he wasn't particularly interested in the story line--I think he'd rather be reading biographies about filmmakers right now.  So while it's not something he will do on his own, I don't fault the app.  The story is cute and the questions are interesting, even if it is a little easy for the target age range.  I can see this being a good way to get in some educational use of technology, especially as a way to work on reading comprehension and stop that summer learning loss.  I do think it's a quality app with excellent graphics, and for the small fee of $1.99 for the app, it's a great deal.  I can understand why other children love it and I have no hesitation recommending it to friends and family looking for quality educational apps.

More Information
Star Toaster Website
Facebook
Twitter
Original Orphs of the Woodlands Review {The crew reviewed the original online game too!}


Orphs of the Woodlands at Tanglegate Review

Crew Disclaimer


©2011-2016 Mom’s Heart.  All rights reserved.  All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.  http://www.moms-heart.com

Monday, July 25, 2016

52 Lists: Favorite Games/Apps



List your favorite games or apps.  This should be easy, because I've written a lot about homeschooling with games.  Then I remembered, this isn't about the best games to enhance homeschooling or sneak in learning, or the kids favorite games.  It's part of the 52 List Challenge, and the operative word is "your" which really means MY favorite games.  Oh.  I don't particularly love games, but here are a few I don't mind playing . . .

Board/Card Games
Yahtzee
Battleship
Uno
Solitaire
Mad Gab
Tapple
Wonky
Blokus
Shut the Box
Ring It!
Pengaloo (with the 3 year old)
Memory - it's something they can all play

Apps:  WordBrain, Ruzzle and other wordy apps on my phone



52 lists with Chasing Slow








©2011-2016 Mom’s Heart.  All rights reserved.  All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.  http://www.moms-heart.com

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Tiggly Words toys and app {Timberdoodle Review}


Learning to read is such an important task, but I personally believe it should only be an informal experience in the preschool years.  I'm sure I've made it perfectly clear that I don't do formal lessons during preschool, because I feel that these early years should be used for instilling good habits, nurturing a love of learning, and approaching "early academic skills" through fun, natural activities.  For preschoolers in today's technological society, the iPad (or any tablet) is an activity that naturally attracts and interests them, which is why I'm really excited to share this review of Tiggly Words as a fun alternative for developing phonological awareness.

Tiggly Words Review


Tiggly Words

Tiggly Words consists of five vowel manipulatives with silicone touch points, a carrying bag and access to four free learning apps designed for the Tiggly Word toys.  The toys and apps are compatible with most iPads and Kindle devices.  Access to the apps is included in the package.  I just shared our review of Tiggly Math, and it was a great experience for my preschooler.  Tiggly Words was no different!  

Tiggly words is designed for children 4-8 years old.  I've been using them with Eleanor (3) who knows her letters and their primary sounds but isn't ready for actual reading instruction.  Emory (6) is an emerging reader and uses it occasionally.  Timberdoodle describes Tiggly Words as being able to help children recognize phonemes, construct sounds and learn words, and I find this accurate.

Tiggly Doctor - Act like a doctor and learn short and long vowel sounds
Tiggly Submarine - Explore words and spelling patterns undersea
Tiggly Tales - compose stories by completing words
Sesame Street Alphabet Kitchen - Bake letter and word cookies with Elmo and Cookie Monster

The focus, obviously, is on vowels, their sounds and their relationship with words.  This helps children focus on the most challenging aspect of reading, and I suspect also because it is the simplest way to create this types of toy for tablets.

Right from the start, Eleanor was enamored with Sesame Street and baking cookies.  Bake with Elmo, and you can create letter cookies to decorate.  If you work with Cookie Monster, you are given consonants and you spell the word with a vowel.  Then you add food coloring, mix it up and it turns into a picture representation, or a cookie word.  Cookie Monster starts out with CVC words, but they do get more complex.

Tiggly Words Review


Eleanor really enjoys the Tiggly toys, and requests them fairly frequently.  Her favorite Tiggly Word apps are Sesame Street, probably because it's the "easiest" for her, and Tiggly Doctor, because she gets to take care of patients.  I like that she pays careful attention to which way she places the letters, though the apps don't seem to require the correct orientation in order to recognize the letter.  I think it should, but I also noticed that it occasionally reads a letter incorrectly, apparently dependent upon how the touch points are pressed to the screen.  Eleanor already knows her letters/sounds so she recognizes when it reads wrong, but it might be confusing to young children, and I think it's important that parents are involved in the process to help explain anything like this.  Even with this rare snafu, it doesn't negate the awesomeness of these apps.

Tiggly Words Review


The apps are too easy for Emory, but he thinks Tiggly Tales is funny.  You are given the consonants for CVC words and fill them in with the vowels.  He can make silly pictures like mermaid pigs (a pig with a fin), or use a fan to blow things around, and other goofy things that make little boys giggle.  Even though it's not really challenging for him, I do think the apps are good reinforcement for young readers.  Especially when you interchange vowels to make words like cub or cob or cab, but see nonsense words like cib get bounced out.  These apps help children see the influence of vowels and the relationship between words in a fun way, without the formality of lessons or workbooks.

Tiggly Words Review


Final Thoughts

Timberdoodle has chosen wisely by including Tiggly Words in their Pre-K Curriculum.  It is an excellent tool for mixing play (the iPad) with informal academics (pre-reading skills) in a fun and engaging way.  Tiggly apps are unique with their combined use of the touch-screen and manipulatives, and while I wouldn't consider them a primary tool for teaching, they are great for allowing children to explore concepts in a creative way.  If you are selective about the screen time you allow your preschoolers, I think the Tiggly apps are a good choice.  They go beyond early learning skills, and allow children to to work on fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, critical thinking, and so much more.  I mentioned this in my Tiggly Math review, and I'll say it here too--I'm so pleased with these tablet toys and their corresponding apps, that I'm adding these to our regular Preschool Curriculum choices {I don't require "school" at this age--I give her choices from a variety of developmentally appropriate activities} and we want Tiggly Shapes too! 

Tiggly Words Review



Links to Explore

Now that you're more interested in learning more about Tiggly and Timberdoodle, here are a few links to check out!








©2011-2016 Mom’s Heart.  All rights reserved.  All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.  http://www.moms-heart.com

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Beric the Briton {TOS Review}

In case you didn't already know, I am a huge fan of Heirloom Audio Productions and their exceptional historical series The Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty.  This time we were given the privilege of reviewing Beric the Briton.


Beric The Briton Heirloom Audio Productions  Review


Beric the Briton


Heirloom Audio Productions has a way of adapting Henty's writing and making it more than just an audio book.  They turn them into a first class listening experience.  Beric the Briton contains an all-star cast, as usual, and the music and sound effects make it exciting, daring and truly adventurous to listen to with the kids.  It is the story of the Roman invasion of ancient Britannia.  Beric, our protagonist, along with his best friend Bodouc, just as in every Henty novel, live out adventures almost too wild to believe.  Beric becomes a chief, they are captured by Romans, trained to be gladiators, and even serve Emperor Nero.  It is when they are confronted with their pagan past that we see the true theme of forgiveness come to light.  Heirloom Audio Productions strives to make history accessible to families, but they also bring out the noble themes in Henty's writing.


What's Included?


Along with the physical two-disc CD set, with over two hours of audio, I also received multiple digital components that are available with different purchase options.  These include the following:

  • MP3 set of the audio
  • original book in e-book version with new illustrations
  • MP3 soundtrack
  • printable posters
  • study guide
  • behind the scenes footage

The study guide is the heart of the extras.  Just like previous study guides, it is of excellent quality.  It's beautifully illustrated, though not very print friendly.  It's perfect for pulling up on a tablet.  I like to use the study guide to familiarize myself with the vocabulary, themes and overall story.  It's helpful for introducing unfamiliar words or interesting topics beforehand and being prepared for topics that might arouse questions from the kids.  I can also use these questions in a more natural way during conversations by going over it beforehand, rather than doing the Q&A approach.  If my kids were older, I'd use it more thoroughly as intended and have them complete the work on paper.  This is the first guide that I've noticed recipes, which is an awesome touch!  Additionally, the study guide includes three distinct Bible Study guides, so you can truly get a well-rounded study from Beric the Briton and the digital study guide.


Final Thoughts

As always, Heirloom Audio Productions has done a superb job.  If you close your eyes, you can easily immerse yourself right into the action thanks to the quality acting and superb sound effects and music.

I do think there can be intense scenes and conversations (for instance, Beric the Briton mentions sparing no man, woman or child) and if you have sensitive children, I suggest listening to the full story before allowing your children to listen to it and being prepared for potentially difficult conversations.  Overall I think middle-upper elementary is the ideal starting point, with teens definitely getting more out of the stories.  Young children can certainly listen in and enjoy it, but the stories are often fast-paced and the names and places can sometimes get confusing.  My boys are still on the young side (6 and 9) and I just use these for more exposure to history, in an attempt to make it more than just "a battle" but to show there were real people who lived and died by their morals, convictions and faith.  The boys enjoy the fast-paced action and inherently adventurous nature of the stories, but as they get older and we continue to use these alongside our history studies as unique resources, they will appreciate the development of the characters and the historical aspect along with me much more than they can now.

The one thing I still don't understand is why Heirloom Audio Productions has a separate website for each title they've produced.  The individual websites feel very infomercial and visually cluttered to me, and I would much prefer one standard website with everything available together.  If I was a regular consumer, I might be on the Beric the Briton website and not realize they even have other titles for purchase.  I truly think it should be consolidated under one banner, even if the individual web addresses redirect to one primary website.  (I feel the same way about their multiple social media accounts.)


More History

If you're interested in learning more about the other fabulous titles produced by Heirloom Audio Productions, feel free to check out my other reviews.
Under Drake's Flag
In Freedom's Cause
With Lee in Virginia
The Dragon and the Raven





Beric The Briton Heirloom Audio Productions  Review






Beric The Briton Heirloom Audio Productions  Review

Crew Disclaimer


©2011-2016 Mom’s Heart.  All rights reserved.  All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.  http://www.moms-heart.com

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

52 Lists: The Things and Places that Make Me Feel Safe

I'm late on my list this week, so after last week's more challenging topic, I'm relieved for a topic that's a little less personal.  I know the point of this exercise is often to stretch us and challenge us, but sometimes I need a break from the stirring of raw emotions.  So . . . this week's list is for The Things and Places that Make Me Feel Safe.  Much less overwhelming!


  • HOME
  • By my husband's side
  • The dog sleeping at my feet {I adore the little ones, but the Labrador is our protector!}
  • In prayer
  • With family
  • At church
  • In bed with a good book
  • On quiet walks surrounded by nature




52 lists with Chasing Slow





©2011-2016 Mom’s Heart.  All rights reserved.  All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.  http://www.moms-heart.com

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Tiggly Math iPad toys & app {Timberdoodle Review}

Tiggly Math


If you have a little one who likes to use tablets, but want to make wise use of their screen time, you might really enjoy Tiggly Math for preschool and early elementary math games.  Tiggly Math is a set of award winning math toys designed for use with iPads and certain Android devices.  It consists of five uniquely designed magnetic counting rods that are conceptually similar to Cuisenaire Rods, which gives me the ability to use educational apps for my preschooler in a way that makes learning interactive and tangible, the way it should be at this age.

Tiggly Math


There are three apps for Tiggly Math, and instructions are included for downloading and accessing the full content of the apps.  The set is recommended for ages 3-7 and I used it with Eleanor (3) for some fun time together.

Tiggly Cardtoons  ~ Focus on Counting
Tiggly Adventures ~ Number Line Practice
Tiggly Chef ~ Early Addition Skills

Tiggly Math

Each app has a different focus and different game play, so children can transition into different apps or grow into the skills of each app without feeling like they're doing the same thing over and over.  Eleanor hasn't really explored Tiggly Chef much yet, but she can do can do Cardtoons completely independently and only needs some guidance for Tiggly Adventures.  I really appreciate how the apps focus on a variety of skills--academic skills like number recognition, counting and addition are important, but critical thinking, problem solving and creativity are also major components of the apps as well.

Tiggly Math



Our Thoughts
Technology isn't going anywhere, and I think it is appropriate in moderation to teach our children to use it wisely.  I think Tiggly Math is a quality product that helps me reach that goal.  These number rods are large and chunky and the perfect size for little hands.  They also seem durable.  I love that my preschooler now has a very hands-on way to use the iPad.  The little storage bag that comes with it is a great touch.  It is educational, but more importantly, I really like that Tiggly Math encourage interaction, not just passive edutainment.

Tiggly Math


Eleanor has thoroughly enjoyed the Tiggly Math toys and math apps.  Emory's on the older end of the recommended age range (turning 7 soon), and having completed first grade math already, these apps are too simple for him, but overall they are certainly still appropriate for the target age range since all children develop at different rates.  I am definitely adding Tiggly Math to Eleanor's preschool choices.

Also ~ I'm reviewing Tiggly Words soon, so stay tuned!  I will say, if you didn't quite get how we feel about the Tiggly products after this review, I'll just share that I'm adding Tiggly Words to her Preschool choices too, and I'm adding Tiggly Shapes (2-5 years) to my list for tor the girls for Christmas.  The girls will be 2 and 4 shortly after Christmas and I think the shapes would be another fun addition to our preschool toys.  Tiggly is such a neat activity for the curious preschooler!

Links to Explore
Tiggly Math
Tiggly Words {I'll be reviewing this one very soon!}
Timberdoodle Pre-K Kit






©2011-2016 Mom’s Heart.  All rights reserved.  All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.  http://www.moms-heart.com

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Field Trip: The Wilds

The Wilds

When my mom and sister came to visit, we did some exploring--I finally made it into some of the local shops and the antique mall, and we took the kids on a few different "adventures" through the week.  I didn't take my camera to the water park, for obvious reasons, but the kids had a blast there.  On the last full day of their visit we took a little road trip to visit The Wilds!  It is a conservation center on reclaimed mining land.  It's affiliated with the Columbus Zoo and accredited by the AZA but didn't quite feel like a zoo.  It's nearly 10,000 acres, and you can see the fences and driving paths through the pastures, but it's a different experience.

We rode a Safari Transport (a bus) through their pastures and we had a very knowledgeable and funny driver.  Well, our half of the bus seemed to enjoy her jokes.  The other half didn't laugh as much, so maybe we have a quirky sense of humor?  I don't know.

It started off a little slow.  We couldn't see the different deer or the bison in the distance, and I was worried the kids would get antsy.

The Wilds


But the views were nice, and she spent time telling us how the different animals came to be threatened or endangered.

The Wilds

Finally we got deeper into the tour.  Our first up-close encounter was with the camels . . . they spent a lot of time making faces at the windows and scratching on the back of the bus.  She informed us it was a good thing we weren't in one of the open-air buses, because they stink and they do spit.

The Wilds


The Wilds

We learned about the Persian Onagers, which are from the deserts of Iran (I think that's what she said) but have adapted very well to the winters here.
The Wilds


At the first stop, we could get out and feed some type of birds and walk down to the lake and feed the fish.  (You can do fishing tours here as well.  I don't like to fish, but neat nonetheless.)  There were a few animals to look at, but the fencing made it difficult to get good pictures.


The walk back uphill was longer than I expected while wearing Eloise.  Shew!


We learned that the Przewakski's Wild Horse is the only truly wild horse, never domesticated or trained.  Apparently they have a genetic issue that affects their short term memory.

The Wilds


The second stop was to the midsize carnivore center.  Unfortunately it was too difficult to get decent pictures of any of the animals--we could see several Cheetahs and the Dhole, but I don't remember seeing the African Painted Dogs.  The boys did get to see a couple cheetahs run out of the woods, so they enjoyed that.

We did learn a lot about their breeding program as we rode up to this stop.  I didn't know cheetahs were highly inbred.  And don't make the animals sick.
The Wilds


Back on the bus we got a closer look at the Sichuan Takin, from China.  She said they are difficult to find and study in their natural habitat, so Chinese scientists will come to The Wilds to study them.  We actually drove past some early in the tour, but they were further back in a different pasture and harder to see--these two had been moved to a different pasture because they were bullied by their herd and so were put in a safer place.

The Wilds

The Wilds


Eleanor loved the Zebras.  The male was named Elvis, because you know . . . .

He tried hard to follow the bus through the gate.  She actually had to stop and radio animal control, because apparently he likes to pretend he's walking away then run through when the gate opens.
The Wilds

The Wilds

It was hard to get a good picture of the ostriches through the windows {I'm no photographer, obviously} but Eloise was infatuated with them because they came right up to our window too.  Emory liked watching this one follow our bus.

The Wilds


Both of the girls also loved the giraffes.  We learned all about their vertebrae and their tongues and two foot heart and other weird facts.  Maybe we'll take another trip here when we row The Giraffe That Walked to Paris again.




So this guy.  Apparently he is called The Swamp Monster.

The swampy-look-rolling-in-urine thing . . . all part of the mating ritual.  Glad I'm not a deer.



He was Emory's favorite.  You know, because he was gross and called The Swamp Monster.  It doesn't take much to impress a 6 year old boy.  There was also that bit about rhinos all doing their business together and then digging through their feces to make sure everything's okay that amused him too.  {The adults thought her joke about it being Facebook for rhinos was great too!}



We didn't make it into the Hellbender Conservation Center, and I know there were rhinos and antelopes and other animals we couldn't see very well due to their distance.  It was still a fun trip, and they do really well training their guides.  She was knowledgeable without sounding overly rehearsed or bored.  The kids really enjoyed it.  Elliott wants to go back and do the zipline tour next year when he's old enough, and Emory wants to know if he can grow up and be "someone who just watches animals."  He wants to be a zoologist now.  He's always loved nature and bugs and animals, so I'm not surprised that would be his current occupation of choice.  They have a couple of homeschool classes there later this year, so maybe we'll make a day of it again.  I know he would love it.







©2011-2016 Mom’s Heart.  All rights reserved.  All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.  http://www.moms-heart.com