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Little B and I are slowly adjusting to our changes in homeschool due to our move in the fall to Virginia. We are loving the “real” winter, though I fear the short winters in Texas grew on me and the cold is finally getting to me. We have begun using new curriculum choices as I have researched different approaches, since we have always been pretty eclectic. We miss our old co-ops and group of friends. Because there were only a set number of activities or learning opportunities available it was easy to plan for the following year. There is a dizzying amount of classes, organizations, learning opportunities, field trips, outdoor adventures, etc here and it can be overwhelming. I find myself more often than not saying, “Nope, we can’t fit that in, though I wish we could,” more often than not. I suppose that is the beauty of homeschooling, though, especially in an area like we currently find ourselves. Being able to pick and choose just the right activities for B’s interests and passions, as well as exposing him to new activities and adventures to broaden his knowledge base and interests is incredibly exciting. And boy oh boy! The amount of history stuff available in this area has this history buff all kinds of excited!

So on Monday (and mind you, I really don’t like scheduling things for Mondays since it’s the start of the week and I like to start it without anything on the schedule) we headed out for a nature class at the Rockwood Nature Center in Chesterfield County.

Here is their link: http://www.rockwoodnaturecenter.com/

ImageThey have classes geared just for the homeschooled crowd, and one class in particular sounded like loads of fun. I signed B up a few weeks ago and off we went, excited at the promise of a new favorite outdoorsy spot.

ImageFirst, the bad news (and the aforementioned change in plans): they had canceled the class (but had failed to call me). Apparently they had not had enough interest to hold the class or had not met their minimum number of students. I was BUMMED! (Secretly, I was hoping to get an hour and a half of homework in while The Boy took his super duper class). B was instantly energized, “Let’s go for a hike, Mom! It’s okay, we’ll have our own nature study.” And off he bounded to peruse the trail map by the center.

ImageNow, I have to say the Rockwood Nature Center is crazy fun. There are so many trails. some paved (great for strollers, me thinks) and others the type I love (all nitty gritty in their natural splendor). We tried our hand at a few and marveled at how different the area must look in the spring. We found some cool spots, collected some neat rocks, and almost got lost (though all the trails are clearly marked).

Besides all the hiking (and the nature center, which was sadly closed – though I believe they are on “winter” hours and will be open more regularly in the spring), there is a dog park, several sports fields, a huge playground, tennis courts, basketball courts, etc etc. This place is, in my book, a day trip during the spring or summer. And best of all, they also have camping, if I read their website correctly. They also hold different classes or events throughout the year, so it’s sure to be a favorite of ours in the coming weeks and months.

ImageWe had a blast and instead of studying (who needs to do that anyway, when one has an energetic and very happy and excited nine year old in tow) I was able to watch My Boy excited at new discoveries, we discussed Spore creatures, and made up habitats, and lamented that we’d left the puppies behind.

Sometimes, the best plans are the ones interrupted.

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