ICA Fieldtrip: Institute of Texan Cultures

26 July 2012
What to do with our first experience of a Lone Star State summer? Why learn about it!!

In May, I went to a local book fair and convention. While at the fair,  I purchased the ACE Texas State History, 4th Edition (Books 1079-1084). We were going to finish the books over the summer course, but in June, we joined a local co-op that starts in September, 2012. We soon found out that one of the boys (my middle schooler) is going to have a Texas History class within the co-op, so we've been lax in completing all the books we have, because then he'd be going over similar information (which review it's bad either), but getting a basic foundation is okay. However, it hasn't detoured our learning about Texas History.

Well, yesterday we had our first field trip.  A group of ladies I met during that book fair are going through the same material...so of course, - our field trip is Texas related.  We visited the Institute of Texan Cultures.

We learned so much. I really enjoyed the museum, but I am a history lover and of museums as well.

Exhibit 1: Texas Trails and Tales  (Back 40) 

The boys and I were able to visit the "Back 40."  What is that?  The space behind the museum was designed to introduce the structures of the latter part of the 19th century which were found in different regions of Texas.  We could view how the building traditions of the new settlers were as they adapted to the environments of Texas.

There was a  1. Log House, 2. Barn, 3. Windmill, 4. Schoolhouse, 5. Frontier Fort, and 6. Adobe House.

I'd have to say - the school house was my favorite - seeing the McGuffey reader's and slates - even though how it's similar to the homeschool environment -- it was fun to see and participate.  I thought I was in the book series "Little House on the Prairie."  HA HA HA

Kids really had to walk 5 miles uphill and in the snow watching out for bobcats and snakes.

Exhibit 2:  Timeless Texas Toys 

Timeless Texas Toys" explores the cultural values, ingenuity, art, and design expressed in handmade folk toys. In a child’s hands, folk toys, typically made of wood, clay, cloth or even corn husks, come to life in lands of make-believe, or serve to recreate in miniature the world around them. Toys not only reflect life and culture, they also teach it. Children everywhere learn about societal roles and cultural expectations through their toys as they grow into adulthood. - Texas Cultures   

This, exhibit of course was the favorite of my kiddos - they could touch, feel, and PLAY!   I enjoyed the sign that said, "Toys --- the kind that do NOT need batteries!"  Oh how children would be with just toys that batteries need not apply.  Hmm...

Those were the days.  Some people are actually shocked at how little toys are in our home...it's just the way I was raised (more financial than principle).  With us it's more about principle than financial reasons.  To me, the toys these days are WAY OVERPRICED and are not made like they used to be. 

Cast Iron Wheeled Horse
I was kind of surprised really about this toy -- cast iron?? OUCH!!  For a toddler, I'd foresee a tooth knocked out at least once or twice.  Lord knows, it's not that easy to destroy this toy! 

It was interesting to see the kids play with only small wooden tops for 30 minutes or more...  

We got to view a dome show about Texas - all the people, cities, products, geography, music, and cultures that are within the state of Texas.  I was impressed with the show and enjoyed it.

Then we moved on to other displays and exhibits.  


Baby Boy as a Cowboy - You handsome fellow you! 

Well, first field trip:  SUCCESS!   

In the future I'd like to visit:

1. The Alamo (again)
2. Other Missions in San Antonio 
3. The Texas Transportation Museum  (military discount)

That's the line-up for field trips for our homeschool!
What are your favorite places to visit in your hometown??

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Sadie said...

What a neat place! I love those small history museums about a local culture!

I am starting a new link up called Field Trip Friday to showcase- and encourage- all those great homeschool field trip opportunities. I would love it if you would link this post!http://allboyhomeschool.blogspot.com/2012/08/field-trip-friday-childrens-museum-of.html

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts!! Come back soon! Sincerely, Jessica

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