Clark Creek

Looking forward to the cooler weather that Autum brings in and hiking again at Clark Creek MS. This is a rugged state park located off Mississippi Highway 24 approximately 20 miles west of Woodville. It is more than 700 hill laden acres. This is a wonderful place to hike, with high bluffs, water falls and a nice rocky riverbed. It’s not for the timid. Be prepared to take water and a snack for a hike that is sure to be a workout for you and the kids. It is a beautiful nature walk to get the kids moving and enjoying some outdoor photography. If you’re quiet and alert, you might catch a glimpse of a Pikachu (backpack) with my daughter. 

Connecting with your kids through YouTube

I know what you’re thinking. There are a lot of stupid things on YouTube; and you would be right, but one thing that I did notice, is that there are a lot of things from my childhood that are captured and these I can share with my children. I was explaining to my son the other day how video games have progressed from when I was young and how cool the game “Dragon’s Lair” was and depending on your joystick move, the game would have a different outcome. Lo and behold, there it was on YouTube. We made a connection. All my childhood excitement came back and I could see things through his eyes. I showed him other things like Buckskin Bill and Captain Kangaroo. Then we looked for H.R. Pufnstuf and Sigmund the Sea Monster. We still get a kick out of singing the songs from Schoolhouse Rock.

Ah, good times. 

10

My son made 10

My son Hunter made 10 today. (it was in fact in October, but as you can tell I am quite slow to get things done.)
10 is probably the best age in a boy’s life. It is a nice pause between being a baby and having the responsibilities that will come in later years. An age where you can enjoy simple things such as Hot Wheel cars, pickup games with your buds or even lazy days of fishing without too much supervision, and perhaps the best of all, being tall enough to ride almost anything in an amusement park. 10 is truly great. Not burdened yet with trying to impress the fairer sex, but instead taking pride in the challenge of seeing just how filthy you can get.
It is a time for bike riding, kite flying, rock skipping, burger eating and writing your name in the snow.
[This article was moved to this new blog site. It still gives me fond memories.]

Please Feed the Animals

Day trip to the Global Wildlife Center in Folsom.
It Was a beautiful day. Ran to Folsom, just past Hammond LA to the Global Wildlife Center and grabbed a “Pinz” vehicle tour of the park. The tractor wagons are OK, but the Pinz is the way to go. These are WWII like German all terain vehicles. Like an African safari. We caught a tour at the end of the day so the animals had had their fill (except the zebras) they followed us all over the park and the giraffes were as sweet as could be. Don’t be surprised when they stick their heads in your buckets. Kids loved feeding the animals. On any visit to Louisiana with kids, put this one on your list. 

Swimming with the Dolphins

I often like to write about the great places I have visited, especially those within the driving area. One of the places we have found is the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport Mississippi.

For my Son’s 10th birthday, we booked a “Take a Dip with the Dolphins” adventure. It runs roughly $95 but is well worth it. We went in October and it was 3 kids with a trainer. There was first about a 15 minute orientation where they told you what to expect and at least a full 45 minutes with the dolphin including feeding and handling. You should call ahead for a reservation and consult the website for times and availability. It is available April – October and seems to book up pretty fast. Parents sit in the stands and can watch their kids or enjoy the dolphin show as this happens simultaneously. You are allowed to take all the pictures or video you want but I suggest buying the jump drive of pictures they offer for a fee. you won’t be disappointed. The facility is small but very enjoyable and my kids still talk about all the fun they had there. Another big hit was hitting the Krispy Kream Donut shop before the adventure and watching them make the donuts. After the adventure, make sure you enjoy the beach and a burger at Shaggy’s.

Louisiana Online School

It never fails, someone always asks, “How’s homeschooling going?” They really don’t understand that homeschooling and online schooling aren’t the same.

Basically homeschooling involves setting up your own curriculum. This, you can submit to the BESE board for their approval. To comply with state attendance laws, parents who want to educate their children in a home study program must apply and be approved annually by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Parents who enroll their child in a home study program are solely responsible for deciding the curriculum and providing instruction and Louisiana does not provide funding for home study programs.

Students in a home study program are not required to take state assessments. Diplomas awarded through an approved home study program are recognized by all post-secondary educational institutions.

BESE certified online schools already provide a curriculum, both public and private, and meet all state requirements. Online public students are expected to take all required tests provided by BESE.

All necessary materials are mailed to the student (public school) and the student participates in online courses from certified teachers under the watchful eye of their learning coach (typically the parent.) Online students are required to average 6 hours a day or 30 hours a week of school and are in constant contact with their online teachers.

The two most popular public schools are Louisiana Connections Academy and Louisiana Virtual Charter Academy also known as K-12. One of the main private online school participants is The Keystone School.

The public online schools work basically like the voucher program, taking a large portion of their funding from the local school district where the child would have gone. As far as I can tell, these schools are reaching full enrollment.