Everyone talks about a ‘Bucket List’ — that next-to-impossible list of things to complete/see/do/accomplish before you die #YOLO, right?! Morbidity aside, the idea of creating a list has inspired hundreds of thousands of people to start their own. There are websites, books, and even movies dedicated to the topic. While trips to the Maldives, Monet’s inspirational garden at Giverny, and the remarkable Galapagos Islands are all dreams of mine, the truth is that they probably won’t happen — at least not until my kids graduate from college, which is a long way off.
I do, however, have a ‘Homeschool Bucket List’ of educational experiences I’d like my kids to have.
1. Crater of Diamonds State Park: This Arkansas state park has intrigued me for years. While I have no delusions of digging up a 3- carat rock for my ring finger, the idea that my kids *could* find something sounds like such fun.
2. Sleep in a Covered Wagon: As a child, I devoured ‘Little House’ books. The idea of traveling in a covered wagon was fascinating to me. Imagine my surprise to learn that you could actually spend the night in a covered wagon at the Ingalls Homestead! Actually, if you google “sleep in a covered wagon”, there are several places in the United States that will re-create the experience of our early settlers for you. If you are not campers, I also love this idea.
3. Night at the Museum: If you loved the ‘Night at the Museum’ movie trilogy, you’ll understand why this makes our homeschool bucket list. Truth be told, I’ve wanted to sleep in a museum since reading “From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler” way back in 19 -mumble-mumble-2. You can spend the night as a family at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC and the Smithsonian in D.C. Cool, right?! While those two museums are featured in the first two movies, you can look on your local museum, aquarium, or zoo’s website for a similar experience. I find that almost all do something like this now.
4. Monterey Bay Aquarium: My youngest is nicknamed “SCUBA girl”. Since she was two years old, she has been adamant that her life’s work is meant to include studying ocean creatures, SCUBA diving, and living — yes, living — underwater! She is actually counting down the years until she can get certified! To be able to take her to the Monterey Bay Aquarium would be amazing, but the fact that the movie “Finding Dory” was loosely based there would blow her little mind! We are planning a run down to Shedd’s Aquarium in Chicago next summer, but a trip to California is definitely on the bucket list.
5. Paleontological Dig: While all my kids love the idea of paleontology, my 6th grader is particularly smitten. Going to an actual dig site is a ‘must do’ for our family. When we went to Mount Rushmore a few years ago, we wanted to stop at the North Dakota Geological Survey, but they require everyone to be at least 10. We will be heading out there when we reach that milestone. This is a list of other active dig sites in the United States and Canada that welcome children.
6. Bike Trip Along Maine’s Coast: I’ve never been to Maine. I have no idea what it’s coast is like. Yet, for some reason, I have it in my head that taking a leisurely, week-long bike ride along it’s coast would be a fabulous family trip. If we can fit in the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia, Canada, all the better.
7. Sleep in a Tipi: We’ve actually done this! Upper Sioux Agency State Park in Minnesota has several tipi camp sites set up along the Minnesota River. We went in the fall and, while the trails, historical sites, and fall colors were amazing, my family will always remember that the temperatures at night dropped to 34 degrees. Yikes! #Memories
I’m sure we will edit this list over time. What’s on your homeschool bucket list?
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