I found something exciting while driving down the 10 freeway. A billboard for Farm Camp in Cherry Valley! This week-long camp runs from the end of June and into July. There are day camp weeks and overnight weeks available.
The cost is $375 for the day camp and $550 for the overnight one. Wait! Before you balk at the price, remember what you are getting. A whole week of things to do that your child will never forget and such a great experience too, living and working on an organic farm! That’s $110 a day and it includes meals (that you won’t have to buy or make). We can easily spend that at an amusement park, water park, or the mall. And it’s nothing compared to sending your kids to a private school. This is why we work so hard throughout the year saving money by not having to buy school uniforms, expensive curriculum, and participate in school fundraisers. Things like this are worth the money!
If you’re having a hard time coming up with the money for this year, plan ahead for next year! If you set aside $50 a month until next year, it’ll be sitting there waiting for you next summer! Involve the kids that want to attend and show them how a budget works. The intrinsic rewards in that alone are worth the effort. And don’t think of it as an “extra-curricular” activity. For private homeschoolers, it’s all part of a well-rounded education. What better way to explore social studies, science (physical and biology), health education, life skills like cooking and caring for others, and more, than through a weeks’ worth of farm work?
This looks like loads of fun! Did you know they do school tours as well? Even if you can’t make it to Calico Days, consider making a day of Calico Ghost Town. It’s all my favorite parts of Knott’s Berry Farm (from when I was a kid) without the high ticket price and crowds!
How can an event like this be “education”? That’s easy! First of all, events like these are full of local history. They tend to hark back to the early days of the city and what the city was known for. I’d start by looking into when and why Banning was founded. Here’s a good place to start, The City of Banning’s History page.
The stagecoach was a big deal until the railroad replaced it, find out why! And look at the San Gorgonio Pass and its role in the area. Gilman Ranch is a great place to visit while you’re down there. Check their site for when their open and the cost.
Knowing something about local history ties you to the place in a special way. Learning local history as a child through events like Statecoach Days and small museums shows kids that history isn’t just about dead presidents and wars in far off places. It’s personal and we’re a part of it. Just like those pioneers that came to this area long ago, or the Native Americans that lived here before that, we can add to the history of the area, not by building an empire or fighting a battle but just by living our lives and leaving traces of those lives behind through our homes, our families, our journals, and even our toys!
Events like this make living here such a joy! Grubstake Days had become a thing of the past the last few years but a small group of residents decided that just wasn’t right and have revived the weekend festivities celebrating our area’s heritage and bringing back a sense of community. Come watch the parade, participate in horseshoes, cheer on the rodeo, and play at the carnival! There’s so much more too!
Is this homeschool related? Of course, it is! Things like this are what make family memories and that is what home education is really about, building family and community on the small scale and giving our country the strong base to build on and change the world. Where better to learn a bit about our local history than a Heritage Day celebration? Where better to meet the community and know our neighbors than a town parade and pancake breakfast? The best part about this particular festival is that it really is a “local” and “grassroots” thing. The community wanted it. A citizen took charge. And through the glories of human ingenuity and social media, Grubstakes Days has been reborn!
Take the family out this weekend, buy some cotton candy, and show your support. The more people that attend, the bigger it will be next year!
Here’s an amazing living history opportunity coming up on May 21 & 22 at the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris, CA! The Civil War period of American history was a fascinating time. The people who put on these reenactments love their history and love talking about it. This one is coming up in a bit more than a week, so you have time to read a short book or watch a movie about the time. That will give you a heads up on what you’ll be experiencing in Perris!
My sons loved “Rifles for Watie” by Harold Keith when they were about 10 years old. It says the book is for teens and young adults, but we read aloud together and they truly loved the story. It is a war book, so more sensitive youngsters might find the story troublesome. “The Red Badge of Courage” by Stephen Crane is another awesome story. Perris is about an hour and a half way from our part of the desert. You could find an audible file of the story and listen to it on the way there and on the way home!
It also looks like there are a lot of Civil War video, card, and board games available on Amazon. My sons had the XBOX one and enjoyed playing it. They said loading the guns and cannons was the part that really got them. It really slowed down the battle and gave them way too many places to get killed. I can’t imagine fighting like they did!
If the war aspect isn’t your thing, there will be a civilian camp at the reenactment with women and children. Why would they be there you ask? They have the answers and it’s not just because the reenactors thought it would be fun.
Also, don’t miss a ride on the big steam train around the grounds. The engineers love talking about their engines!
It’s a bit of a drive to Vista from our lovely desert but close enough for a day trip to our family, especially to see some Scottish Games! Pipes and drums, dancing, sheep herding dogs, story time, and much, much more. Festivals like these are a great way to introduce world history and culture to kids (and adults) of all ages.
Did you know there is a “Not Back to School Camp” right here in Joshua Tree? This year it is scheduled to take place early in November. Check their website for information and to see if it might be something your teen might be interested in.
Want to learn more about the Native Americans that call the desert their home? Here’s something interesting to check out in Banning! The Malki Museum on the Morongo Reservation. They have their annual Kewet Celebration coming up in May. And they even offer classes in the Cahuilla language. Like their Facebook Page to keep up to date with their events.
The Homeschool Fair in Ontario is an annual event put on by volunteers. It’s held at Ontario Christian High School on Memorial Day. Our family has gone for several years in a row and it’s always a lot of fun.
A Chance to Make Some Pottery!
There are games to play, sights to see, and competitions to enter just like the big state fairs but smaller! Any homeschoolers can enter the fair. Check their website for details. The last day to register your project is APRIL 22!
The Renaissance Faire is a great place to learn about the Shakespearean times! And here in Southern California they have a special “school groups” day to attend. Check out their website for details about what’s different on school day and how to order tickets.