200 Years of Castro Valley History {Field Trip 2016}

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Captions by: Melody
Introduction and Photos by: Joyce
More info here –> adobegallery.org

One of our favorite things about the library are the cool display cases with new collections in them every month. One of them has a bunch of art work in it this month, and we saw someone was going to have their work displayed at the Adobe Art Gallery, we were reminded that there was a CV History exhibit on display. So we took our books and headed to Adobe Art Gallery. It was a rainy, rainy day, but we figure we would take advantage of that since there will (hopefully) be fewer people there and we will be able to see more of the stuff.

Getting There
Adobe Art Gallery is kind of hidden, but from Castro Valley Boulevard, starting from Safeway, you go straight down Castro Valley Boulevard all the way to San Miguel Avenue, turn right, and then you come to a stop right before you see the yellow signs about the pedestrian crossing for the schools. Then you’ll see the sign that says Adobe Art Gallery. We got mixed up on the buildings and on parking, but you just follow the sign and go into the parking lot, then you’ll see a wall that has paintings on it. From there you turn left and then you’ll see a building that says, “Redwood Studio.” You park in front of it in the parking lot and walk to the right and turn left and open a door. You’ve arrived!

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Exhibit
When we entered, I knew we had come to the right place. There were panels everywhere that had photos on them. A lady at a desk told us to go around so we walked around the gallery, starting from a panel that says Panel #1. Castro Valley used to be a chicken farm! The glass display below shows an egg case.
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Castro Valley Library has changed in the past. In 2009, they started construction on the new library. They also have a lot of old newspaper clippings on the panels, which I thought was cool.
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Above is my sister pointing to the hospital where she was born. They demolished the hospital after, and then built a new one. We got a tour of the new one a couple years back. Below is a picture of an egg scale.
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Trader Joe’s opened on Redwood Road next to our church. They got in the panel! I don’t know when this newspaper is from, but now we can go and get food for lunch after church!
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Speaking of churches, here is a photo of 3Crosses a long time ago. Still looks the same as it does today! And next to it is the people who the schools in Castro Valley are named after, including Strobridge Elementary and Stanton Elementary School.20161215_141307

As we were walking to see some films, which you’ll hear about shortly, we saw a huge photo…of Castro Valley, aerial view! We tried to find our house, and succeeded! So below is a picture of us pointing to our house! Find us if you can! 😉
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Film
After we took a picture with Castro Valley, we headed into the room where a film was being played. I don’t mean a video or episode, a film! They collected old film footage dated way back from the 1920’s or the 1950’s and then made a video out of it! Did you know that Castro Valley Boulevard used to be a 2-lane road? That was way back in the olden days! And that Adobe Art Center was once the first schoolhouse? And you’ll never guess what was there before Starbucks moved in!20161215_142053

 

On our way out, we signed the guest registry and took some crossword puzzles for home. I’m still doing mine! We think that we were supposed to do it during the tour, but that’s okay. I’ll finish it eventually!

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What are some of the interesting local-to-you spots you have visited as a tourist in your own town? If you are in the SF Bay, where are some of your favorite places to visit or where would you like to go visit?

Check out more photos in our 200 Years of CV Exhibit PHOTO ALBUM.

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USS Hornet Museum {Field Trip 2016}

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Captions by: Melody
Introduction and Photos by: Joyce
Free passes courtesy of Alameda County Libraries’ Discover & Go Program
More info here –> USS Hornet Museum

While I’m not a fan of the high cost of living, I love being here in the San Francisco Bay Area! It is our never-ending playground! Most, if not all, of you know that we love the library. (We’ll need to do some kind of blog post about this sometime!) This school year, we decided to make use of the Alameda County Libraries’ Discover & Go Program. There are so many participants in the program, it can be hard to choose which one to get passes for. (They are all a little different…some will take mobile passes, some you have to print out, some are for 1 adult and 2 kids, some are for a total of 5 people, etc.) I had been to the USS Hornet Museum as a kid, but this was the girls’ first time there. I thought they would be bored (which was quasi-true toward the end of the loooong tour…still interesting, but it involved a lot of walking and they wanted to explore on their own). We got there later in the afternoon because we went to the Japanese Garden and lunch with my mom earlier, so we will definitely have to go back again some day. Also great to see my high school friend Carrie! She will be in the museum store if you ever stop by. It’s a bit lengthy, but Melody did a fantastic job sharing how our day was like at the USS Hornet Museum, so read on, friends!

Before We Got There
At first, when we were trying to find a place to park, we didn’t know where to go, because the USS Hornet is kind of in a place that reminds you of a shipyard. Actually, it is! Some of the ships can instantly take off anytime the US declares war, but others, like the USS Hornet, are retired, and cannot go anywhere else. And then, after we finally got to where the ships were (that was scary!), we had to find parking. We couldn’t tell where the USS Hornet was, because it was so hidden. After we found the correct place to park (after 10+ minutes!), we saw a sign that said: “Welcome to the USS Hornet Museum.” And that’s how we found it!
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Also, when you turn to the left of the sign, you walk to this walkway and it leads you to these stairs. Actually, a lot of stairs. I (Melody) am scared of heights, so I was terrified at the thought of ACTUALLY entering the USS Hornet – the real one, not a duplicate. We had to cross of the water to enter! <gulp> The thought of me falling! But luckily, we made it, and I’ll tell you the rest, just scroll down and I’ll tell you facts…
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Guided Tour
Yes! You made it! Okay, so we went on the guided tour, but not the audio tour. I don’t know what the audio tour is like, because I only went on the guided one, but I looked at the handbook on the ship, and you get to see more on this guided tour. We had a guide named Dennis, who used to be a high school principal. This was the last tour of the day, so we made it just in time. There was another guy named John, and he was actually a veteran of the war, and it was cool that he was there and we met him.
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Here is a view of the runway from a place up above (I forgot where exactly) and when I heard the news, I couldn’t believe my ears. Being a captain, or on the crew, is a very hard job! You only have one chance to land your plane on the runway, and five seconds before those yellow-black thingies release a net that stops the plane. But this can actually still not stop the plane from crashing! This is why you have to be very skilled and trained in order to fly these types of planes.
20160915_144750And this is a view from a lookout on the ship. Here’s another fact for you: During the war, the places where the ship’s lookout and the ship’s captain were were on opposite sides of the boat. In order to tell the captain there was an enemy ship advancing on them, or there was a bomb coming, a crew member, only about 16-18 years old, sometimes WITHOUT training, had to race up or down those very hard steps to climb, and then back down again to keep his post. Whew! Being a crew member is very hard work!
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This was one of our last stops on our tour. This is one of the most important rooms in the entire ship, where the controls of the ship are. After the lookout tells the captain, the captain runs to the control room and tells the person standing there to stop the ship – well, not without help, of course. You can also steer from this room, which is why this is such an important room that the captain spends so much time in. He even has an extra bedroom right next to it, so he can be up and ready to go in case of danger!
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Looking Around
After the tour ended, Dennis told us we could just look around if we wanted. So we did! See these planes? They are mostly army planes, and they didn’t tell us, but I think the reason why it is a shark is to scare enemies away, and if it didn’t, to remind them that we Americans are fierce. And it was so windy there, so make sure to bring a coat if you ever go there!
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We actually stood on the runway, where we began our tour, of course, after we climbed some steps! I think my legs needed some serious exercise before then, so people, here is your workout for the week! And there is the view of the Bay again – just beautiful, I just love seeing the Bay.
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20160915_154446This, I believe, is a Army helicopter. But the USS Hornet didn’t only carry army supplies. It picked up Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, the first men to walk on the moon! if you don’t know this, when astronauts return from their trips, a ship usually picks them up. And Richard Nixon also stepped foot on the USS Hornet! Amazing!
20160915_154509After we returned from all of that wind, as you can see from the previous photos, we climbed all of those stairs again and then saw this plane. It’s an original Navy plane!
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We didn’t have any coins with us, so we just traded in dollars for cents, and then after that we got pressed pennies from the museum store. There were many different options, and we got them all! I don’t know about you, but still, after all this time, I still enjoy watching those pennies transform.
20160915_155830Then, as we got ready to leave, I saw something that caught my eye. A ship registry! It was for everyone to sign their names. I just love registries! So I wrote our names down in the book, and then we walked out the door.
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All in all, I think our trip to the USS Hornet was great. I learned a lot. Before, my cousin went to the museum, and I thought, “Oh, it’s just some old museum that you learn a few facts and then you leave.” But I really learned a lot, and I highly encourage you to go for a day. It’s still the same ship that it was so long ago (it’s held up by ropes) and there is a whole ton of history behind it. I shouldn’t reveal any more to you, because then you won’t learn anything when you go! The USS Hornet is really and truly amazing. Go and learn more about it!

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Tips: Wear comfy shoes if you take the guided tour! Bring a jacket to wear, it is windy out there.

What are some of the interesting local-to-you spots you have visited as a tourist in your own town? Does your library have a Discover and Go-type program? If you are in the SF Bay, where are some of your favorite places to visit or where would you like to go visit?

Check out more photos in our USS Hornet Museum PHOTO ALBUM.

Homeschool Supplies We Love and Use Daily

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

homeschoolstuffI was inspired by Jolante at Homeschool Creations to create a homeschool supplies favorites list. Photos courtesy of the 7-year-old. 🙂

Expo 2 Low-Odor Dry Erase Marker Set, Chisel Tip, 16-Piece, Assorted Colors – All the pretty colors! 🙂 We have a set of the thin ones too…for all our dry erase needs.
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Prismacolor Magic Rub Vinyl Drafting Erasers, 12-Pack – They are by far cutesy, but they work great!! The girls do have a few penguin or heart shaped erasers, but nothing compares to the Magic Rub ones.
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Lakeshore Count Up & Count Down Digital Timer – Love this! Sometimes I just wanted to get things done, but I know the girls need a break, so the timer helps us to know when to take one!! We also use it for math drills, or how much screen time they have (I should do this for my own screen time!). I also use it for cooking even though we have a timer on our ovens. It is magnetic, too. I’m going to read more on the Pomodoro technique.
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Post-It – We use them for checklists and as bookmarks to keep our spot in workbooks. Also, great for reminders (as long as I remember where I put the notes). :p
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Fiskars 5 Inch Classic Blunt Tip Kids Scissors – I like the blunt tip on these scissors. I think if you are getting your first crate with a Kiwi Crate subscription, you get a pair of these in the crate too. Only $10 using THIS LINK.
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Ticonderoga pencils and sharpener
– There’s bound to be a bad pencil in the bunch, but these have always been longer lasting than any pencils with designs on them.
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Lakeshore Best-Buy Washable Fine-Tip Markers broad tip and fine tip
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Crayola Twistable Colored Pencils, 12 count
– Our favorites are actually a set of My Melody twistable pencils, but I figure these are easier to find. :p
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Lakeshore Glue Sticks

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What are some of your homeschool essentials for everyday?

2014-2015 School Year: Curriculum

Obviously, it is not back-to-school time anymore, but I thought I would humor you all by posting our curriculum choices for the year, and also to remind myself of what all we are doing. 😜 We started back on August 18th, and we are into Week 10 of the school year. We are “officially” homeschooling both girls this year, with Melody being in 2nd grade and Emily in Kindergarten. I am so proud of them for working hard these past two months. And I’ll just repost what I posted last year. –> It looks like a lot, but we don’t do all the subjects every day, except Language Arts and Math. The bolded items are what we mainly work on, and the others are done if there is extra time. We try to get school done by lunchtime (except for MOPS days when school is in the afternoons,and Memory Masters Workshop days when school is during lunchtime/early afternoon), and Melody can mostly do a lot of it on her own. Emily is slowly getting the rhythm.

I’m not quite “on it” with getting the curriculum and materials in order, but it’s getting there slowly but surely. I need some motivation to fix it up a bit so I can get a blog post out about our “schoolroom”. 😝

How has the school year been going for you so far?

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Melody – 2nd grade/3rd grade

Emily – Kindergarten

Both girls

(We go through lots and lots of other books that connect with what we are learning too, but that might be another blog post as well…if I had the time… 😜)

***(italicized items are done in their classes taught by a tutor that meet on Fridays)

  • 161 events & people in a chronological timeline
  • 24 history sentences: (including the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights)
  • 44 U.S. presidents
  • 120 locations & geographic features in North America (emphasis – the United States)
  • 24 science facts (including the first 12 elements of the periodic table and the parts of 8 body systems)
  • Latin rules & vocabulary (including the text of John 1:1-7 in Latin & English)
  • English Grammar facts (including the principal parts of 11 irregular verbs)
  • Multiplication tables up to 15×15, common squares and cubes, as well as basic geometry formulas and unit conversions
  • Exposure to drawing techniques
  • Music theory and tin whistle
  • 6 great artists and related projects: American Masters
  • Introduction to orchestra and 3 classical composers
  • Weekly science experiments or hands-on projects
  • The practicing and refinement of oral presentation skills