Thursday, March 23, 2017

Homeschool Day at the Capitol

It started with a proclamation, from Governor LePage, that May 1st-7th is officially recognized as Home Education Week in Maine. I was pretty pleased to hear of our new governor publicly noticing the benefits to Home Education. We then heard of the special day for homeschool kids at the Capitol building, we were very excited, having never been there before.

The kids and I prepared a few weeks in advance for this trip. We studied how a bill becomes a law, learned more about the constitution and the bill of rights, found out who our elected leaders are and got their contact information so we could write to one of them someday. We learned more about our current president by reading a book about him, we also read a book about our first president.  The day before we went we played a game called The Road to Maine Law, and looked on the internet to find out about Governor Lepage and made cards for he and his wife.

Even my littlest was very much into the card making.

Seamus used a map to make this maze of Maine  for Governor Lepage. 
 Praise spent a long time painting the blueberries 

Grace made a Robot faced card :)

working diligently on those cards

We used a little course we had gotten from Homeschoolers of Maine for most of the studying. Upon completion of the 'Junior Legislative Kit' the excitement was that they would be able to stand and say the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of speeches that day.

The big day finally arrived and after wrestling with my gps we finally arrived at the capitol (not too late thankfully). First up on the agenda was to attend what they called a rally but what I call a nice line up of speeches and an orderly gathering of homeschool families, hardly what I have ever imagined as a rally (having never attended one). All the children who completed the packs went up to lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance and receive the Junior Legislator buttons from Commissioner Bowen (I took videos, of course).  After, what seemed like a long time, to the kids, listening to many people speak in the Hall of Flags, we went to lunch and the next part of our adventure began...

The Maine State Museum generously held classes for the  kids. Mine choose carding wool and hand spinning. 

Here they are learning how to make a rolag.

carding the wool

after class playing with the yarn they made

We then had a great time exploring the museum for about an hour.

Next on the agenda was the Capitol tour. This was my most memorable part of the trip.

Micheal Heath was giving the tours that day. All of the tours that I saw were quite full so I was expecting ours would be the same, but it happened to be just us and another homeschool family with a daughter.  Mr. Heath spent the entire one hour speaking directly to these 4 kids. He made Seamus the Legislative branch, Praise was the Judiciary, and the other little girl was the Executive. They talked about what would happen if Seamus made a bill for there to be no homeschool on Wednesdays. They went from room to room in the state house learning about the whole process of a bill becoming law.

When we went to the House of Representatives. We met the Representative from Saco he and invited us in. He explained to the children, for about 15 minutes, what they do. He even allowed them to sit in the Speakers chair and bang the gavel, they loved it.  

Grace enjoyed spinning around under the dome while she looked up
she said "it looks like its spinning too"
Then we went on to meet Mrs. LePage. What struck me the most during this time, was even with the large group of children in the room they were all sitting, quietly, listening to her tell them stories, you could've heard a pin drop. She told them her favorite part about being the First Lady is that she doesn't have to cook, also about her dog, Baxter and about living in the Blair House. She served them cookies and kids from the group shared with her some of the things they learned during their visit.

Praise told me her favorite part was being able to give the First Lady of Maine her card.

We all had such a great day!
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