Saturday, July 4, 2009

CSSS*: Week 2—Government & History Week

* Camp Stimey Saturday Summary!!

I was a little worried about Government and History Week before it started. I wasn't entirely sure what to do for the week or how much my kids would be into it. But I couldn't pass up such a week when it would end with fireworks on July 4th, so I dove right on in.

Day 1: Learning About the Three Branches of Government Day!

We had a lot going on Monday, so camp consisted of some afternoon table work when we learned about the three branches of government. We did this with a carefully thought out (ha!) lesson while my kids were eating dinner.

See why I needed a clipboard?

We'd also gone to the library that morning and found books on the government and early American history, so I read one of those to my kids as well.

The part my kids liked the most was when I found some Schoolhouse Rock on YouTube. Well, Quinn was slightly terrified by it, but Jack and Sam loved it.

We watched How a Bill Becomes a Law and Three-Ring Government. Several times.

I ended the day feeling pretty good about Government Camp.

Day 2: American Revolution Day!

On Tuesday, I had to take my car into the dealership to finally get the seatbelt installed. (Funny story. They fixed secondary problems, but the original problem that I took the car in for a MONTH ago? They didn't fix it, or seem to even notice it. I'm still not quite sure how that happened. Next time I'm going to crawl in the car and point to the problem before I leave. Aaaaargh.)

Anyway, I took Camp Stimey to the dealership in a totebag. We read a book about the Revolutionary War and worked on some worksheets that I'd printed out. Sam and Jack colored and put together little books about American symbols while Quinn ripped up little pieces of paper.

Later that day we watched more Schoolhouse Rock—this time No More Kings.

Day 3: U.S. Capitol Tour Day!

Capitol Tour day has been pretty well documented already.

Although I didn't show you this, which is Jack being the Bill from Schoolhouse Rock.

He's sittin' there on Capitol Hill...

Day 4: Embarrass Daddy at Work Day!

On Thursday we went downtown to have lunch with Alex and go to the Museum of American History. Because the Metro red line is still moving slow, we drove a long way into DC, then took the Metro for the last couple of stops.

(Here's a tip: there is always ample free, untimed parking near the Shaw-Howard University Metro stop. Alex told me that. And he seems to be right. Alex knows a lot of stuff.)

There were fountains at our Metro stop. It is a miracle that I was able to drag my campers away.

See my little commuter there, with his newspaper?

It was really fun to have lunch with Alex. Look how handsome he is in his work clothes!

And look at the diligence. Work never ends.

The little dudes enjoyed lunch, but they enjoyed the fountain Alex was smart enough to position us near even more. Although I was a little worried that someone was going to fall in and then our day would have to suddenly end.

Guess who I thought would fall in?
Hint: His name starts with "Q" and ends with "inn."

Then Alex took us on a tour of the government building in which he works. We saw lots of cool things and met lots of cool people and wreaked lots of cool havoc. Honestly, that tour was one of the best parts of the week. I don't know how much of it he really wants on the internet though, so I'll just publish this photo of him looking totally thrilled that we've come to visit him.

Notice that he's making us take the freight elevator.

As if that weren't enough of an outing, I then forced my kids to walk over to the National Museum of American History, which was packed, it being two days before the fourth of July.

But first, Sam borrowed money from me to support the arts.

My kids were really excited to be greeted at the museum by C-3PO.

There are some very cool things at this museum, foremost among them, the Invention at Play exhibit and the Spark!Lab. The Spark!Lab was a children's area where kids could experiment with different activity centers and do crafts and stuff. We hung out there happily for at least an hour.

After we left our safe, happy little Spark!Lab, the rest of the museum was kind of harsh. There were just so many people and my kids were kind of done by that time. We went to a couple of exhibits, including one featuring the Star Spangled Banner flag. All of us thought that one was pretty cool.

Jack LOVES Barack Obama. Good kid.

I have to say, it was cool to take my kids to the places we went on Wednesday and Thursday after teaching them a little bit about the government and history of America. I think it really made a difference in their enjoyment of the sites we went to in DC. It is amazing to see them absorb knowledge.

Day 5: George Washington Joeymom Day!

I just wrote about going to Virginia to visit George Washington's birthplace and Joeymom.

If you want an alternate take on Camp Stimey, you can read what she has to say about it.

Day 6: Independence Day!

This hasn't happened yet, so I can't write about it. Barring disaster though, there will be fireworks and glittery red, white, and blue hats from the dollar section at Target.


  1. Aw, happy 4th to you and your little firecrackers!

  2. Happy 4th!! Hey, do you know about the "This is America, Charlie Brown" set of dvds? Check it out at the library... though, I'm sure gov't and history week is over now, but still. It's so cool.

  3. You rock. You always look like you're having such fun that I kinda wish I could attend Camp Stimey too. ;)

  4. I just noticed an absence of yellow t-shirts . . .

    And go Sam! Support the arts :)

  5. So awesome. I want to go to Camp Stimey, too! Happy holiday!

  6. Wow - I betcha I could still learn stuff at camp Stimey.

  7. Oh - and I love the pic of Quinn's legs and feet and the fountain!


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