Kentucky Down Under Reviews: Petting Zoo

Things to do in Kentucky: Kentucky Down Under Petting Zoo


Are you planning a trip to southern Indiana or northern Kentucky? You can visit the best petting zoo ever, just a few miles outside of Louisville, Kentucky! Have you read the reviews? Kentucky Down Under is an Australian themed zoo where you're allowed to pet the animals. Not only that, you can walk right into their areas and feed them too!


 This post contains affiliate links.


Kentucky Down Under Reviews: Petting Zoo
Kentucky Down Under Reviews: Petting Zoo.

On our trip to Kentucky and Tennessee, we mapped out a route that allowed us to see as many animals of all kinds as possible. We saw Black Bears in the Smoky Mountains in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. We saw Parrots, Cockatoos, and exotic birds in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. And, we saw the outback in all its glory at Kentucky Down Under just outside of Louisville, Kentucky.

Kentucky Down Under is a different kind of zoo. It's a cross between a farm and a petting zoo. Just like other zoos, there are daily animal shows. However, you don't have to wait for a show to get up close and personal with native Australian animals.



Things to do in Kentucky: Kentucky Down Under Petting Zoo
Things to do in Kentucky: Kentucky Down Under Petting Zoo.








The kids had a wonderful time feeding Emus. You can even pet Emus, Kangaroos, and giant Tortoises as they lounge around in their "natural" habitat soaking up the sun.


Feed Emus things to do with kids in Kentucky
Feed Emus in Kentucky.

Play with Emus Kentucky Zoo

What do Emu eggs look like?
Emu eggs, just lying in the middle of the pasture.

Kentucky Down Under has its own cave. No need to spend extra money to see a cave that your children might not enjoy. The first time seeing a cave can be frightening for the kids, no matter their ages. The cave here was discovered in the early 1800's. It is a small cave (in and out quickly) with all the bells and whistles. Meet at the gift shop for the tour.


visit cave with kids kentucky things to do

Mammoth Onyx Cave, Kentucky Down Under.
Mammoth Onyx Cave, Kentucky Down Under.

kentucky down under cave
Caves in Kentucky.

Kookaburra sits on an old gum tree. Yep, he does. You can hear the Kookaburras talking to each other as you walk through the park. We even saw a Peacock on a roof of one of the bird houses.


See a real Kookaburra Kentucky things to do with kids


Animals of all kinds, sheep herding shows, snake shows, you name it! Kentucky Down Under is not a drive by. You can't see anything from the interstate or even the parking lot. Take the plunge, it is well worth it. Keep in mind, you will walk up some steep trails. Don't like to hike? Rent a golf cart for the day. They have plenty of golf cart rentals available for guests. Click here to see pricing info for Kentucky Down Under.



Beautiful Kentucky Down Under Views
Beautiful Kentucky Down Under Views.



Just a few miles away is the little town of Horse Cave, Kentucky. We visited this little cave and museum years ago. Horse Cave seems run down these days, but don't let that deter you. Eat at Turtlelini's Pizza and Pasta (they have a buffet.) Zipline and explore the unusual cave, and stay in the little family owned Horse Cave Motel. It's not a perfect hotel, but it is clean, the rooms are big, and the family that owns it is very nice. You'll be safe and close to three nearby caves. Happy Spelunking!!


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Art Activities for Preschoolers

Easy Preschool Art Activities


Preschool art activities don't have to be all finger painting and paper plate crafts. We've collected some art activities for preschoolers that include sensory fun. Read on for easy preschool art activities that are destined to become mini masterpieces.

This post contains affiliate links.

Art activities for preschoolers.
Art activities for preschoolers.

Bubble Painting is a fun, sensory way to introduce your preschooler to art. They can experiment with color mixing, layering, and layout. Scoot on over to Kelly Noel's Living the Dream blog for more details.

art activities for preschoolers bubble painting
Bubble Painting Preschool Art Activity from Living the Dream.


Another fun way for preschoolers to experience sensory art activities is to let them play with food coloring and shaving cream. Skip over to our post on how to paint with shaving cream


Coffee Filter Mobiles. All preschool teachers adore coffee filter crafts. Remember the days of the milk carton crafts? Wonder what we'll all switch to when coffee filters become a thing of the past? These coffee filter and cardboard paper towel tube painted mobiles are self-explanatory. We found them posted here but are sure they originated somewhere else. Please leave a comment if you know the original source.



Coffee Filter Mobile Preschool Art Activity.


Art, like sensory play, develops critical thinking skills and hand eye coordination. Click here to learn about how art can aid in brain development.

Handprint and footprint art is a staple in the world of preschool. Introduce your preschoolers to Pointillism with these beautiful fall handprint trees from Arty Crafty Kids.


Handprint Art Activities for Preschoolers
Handprint Tree Preschool Activity from Arty Crafty Kids.

The Jammy Jigsaw offers up an art activity for preschoolers that serves double duty as a science project. This salt dough bone necklace is the perfect companion art project for a lesson on dinosaurs.

Salt Dough Bone Necklace Art Activity for Preschoolers from The Jammy Jigsaw
Salt Dough Bone Necklace Art Activity for Preschoolers from The Jammy Jigsaw.

Looking for more art activities for preschoolers? Visit our Pinterest Board, Preschool Scavenger Hunt.


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For activities and games to play with preschoolers check out our Circle Time Handbook on Amazon.



What is Sepsis?

Is it Sepsis? Don't Wait to Find Out.



This is a post prepared under a contract funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and written on behalf of the Mom It Forward Influencer Network for use in CDC’s Get Ahead of Sepsis educational effort. Opinions on this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of CDC.


What is Sepsis?
Sepsis is the body’s extreme response to an infection. It is life-threatening, and without timely treatment, sepsis can rapidly cause tissue damage, organ failure, and death. Sepsis happens when an infection you already have—in your skin, lungs, urinary tract or somewhere else—triggers a chain reaction throughout your body. This could include small skin infections from a bug bite, a burn, or any injury to the skin.


what is sepsis?


For yourself, and as a caregiver, it is important to know the signs and symptoms of sepsis. If you or someone you love has a chronic medical condition, such as an autoimmune disease, you need to pay special attention to infections that aren't improving.


Anyone can get an infection, and almost any infection can lead to sepsis. Certain people are at higher risk:


  • Adults 65 or older
  • People with chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes, lung disease, cancer, and kidney disease
  • People with weakened immune system
  • Children younger than one

    We've often shared about our personal struggles with a “bad” diabetic. Bad refers to the fact that he won't go see a doctor. The typical excuse is that he doesn't have time, he doesn't have insurance, or he just doesn't like hospitals. It's frustrating and upsetting to the family. Not just our immediate family with young children, but to his older children, his parents, my parents, and anyone who cares about him.


    I knew that diabetics had an increased risk of skin infections in the legs and feet, but I wasn't aware of the signs and symptoms of sepsis.


    So, I'm warning and begging all of you who have loved ones, (that's every one of you) please be aware of the signs and symptoms of sepsis. Sepsis is life-threatening and without timely treatment sepsis can rapidly cause tissue damage, organ failure, and death. Time matters.


    Know the signs and symptoms of sepsis


    Sepsis signs and symptoms can include one or a combination of the following:


    • Confusion or disorientation
    • Shortness of breath
    • High heart rate
    • Fever, or shivering, or feeling very cold
    • Extreme pain or discomfort
    • Clammy or sweaty skin


    Knowing the signs and symptoms of sepsis can save lives. Get Ahead of Sepsis encourages patients, their caregivers, and healthcare professionals to know the risks, spot the signs and symptoms, and act fast when they suspect sepsis.







    Sepsis is a medical emergency. If you or your loved one suspects sepsis or has an infection that's not getting better or is getting worse, ask your doctor or nurse, "Could this infection be leading to sepsis?"


    To learn more about sepsis and how to prevent infections, visit www.cdc.gov/sepsis.


    For more information about antibiotic prescribing and use, visit www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use.






    Free Online Homeschool Curriculum Recommendations

    Curriculum Recommendations for Online Homeschooling


    Whether you're new to homeschooling or you've been doing it for years, you're probably on the hunt for new, exciting, and engaging curriculum ideas. We get bored with the daily grind and change it up from year to year or even season to season. Here's a list of mostly free online homeschool curriculum recommendations that we've used and enjoyed. We've tried MANY other options, but these are our favorites.

    This post contains affiliate links.

    Free Online Homeschool Curriculum Recommendations
    Free Online Homeschool Curriculum Recommendations.


    Brainpop Jr. is my favorite program for younger elementary and preschool. The videos are fun to watch, and the kids always looked forward to using Brainpop Jr. for Homeschooling

    Brainpop has a an online homeschool for middle school and high school, but we often found topics we wanted only on Brainpop Jr. The upper grade version is nice for supplementing classroom curriculum. If you use the paid version, you have access to more functions and all lessons.

    MobyMax is a great online homeschool app to find out where your kids are in their homeschool learning experience. They can take placement tests in all subjects and then the program finds learning gaps and helps kids focus and build on the areas where they may be struggling. The content isn't as fun and engaging as Brainpop. It is a more definitive tool for classroom use, helping teachers to keep all students on track. MobyMax can be used as a supplement or as full homeschool curriculum up to eighth grade.

    Khan Academy is (or should be) a household name for homeschoolers. In the beginning, Khan Academy targeted older students and even offered SAT prep. Now, they also offer more curriculum for elementary school. It keeps track of their lessons and lets you know when students are struggling or when they are ready to move to the next level.

    The kids prefer Khan Academy math to any other online homeschool math program, but homeschool mom always liked to supplement with free Brainpop math videos to make sure the kids understood the talking points. Khan Academy can get monotonous for day to day homeschooling. Sal does a great job, but it can get a little boring after awhile. We also supplement our Khan Academy math with Life of Fred textbooks. These books are easy to read and tell a fun story while sneaking in practical math lessons.

    Now, there are new instructors and new curriculum on KA. My daughter enjoys studying high school and college level psychology and art history through Khan Academy.

    My son does well with virtual homeschool. So, for online high school homeschooling, we are sticking with Connections Academy. In Indiana, it is a free online public school. Connections Academy offers group gatherings and field trips. He gets through the assignments quickly (though, I'm told many homeschoolers struggle to get their lessons done on time) so we supplement with weekly enrichment including museum homeschool programs and educational YouTube videos like John and Hank Green's Crash Course in American History.

    Sometimes, when he's struggling on a particular topic, (for high school all text books are online) we find a compatible Life of Fred homeschooling book to fll in any gaps. It's nice to have a good, old book that you can hold in your hand and flip through the pages. He enjoys reading them outside while enjoying his hammock.

    Sure, Connections Academy has teachers and attendance to keep, but when it's all done, he'll have official transcripts for college. 

    I prefer Connections High School to their Elementary program. The elementary program seemed a little too intense. Especially, when you want the freedom of homeschooling. They're still working out the bugs and it gets better every year, in the past, we had to have weekly check ups with the elementary teachers. For high school, signing in and doing your work suffices. As it should...

    In 2017, this homeschool mom broke her leg. That made planning homeschool curriculum and doing enrichment activities difficult. So, my daughter was pretty much on her own. She did great with MobyMax (so I could keep up with her learning) and supplementing with YouTube videos of her choosing. But, homeschool mom felt like maybe she was failing her daughter by not being as involved. So, this fall, we are trying something new! Acellus. I stumbled upon Acellus last year when I was laid up in bed. Many other homeschoolers told me it was expensive, but I was sure I found a free or nearly free version. 

    But whenever, I looked it up, I found the paid online homeschool version, which seems to be set up like Connections academy, but with a private school fee. That's not for us! I gave up for a while, and recently tried again. It seems they also have a homeschool app which is found on a separate website, PowerHomeschool. The homeschool app differs from the online homeschool version, because the videos are canned - meaning they are pre-recorded 

    That's just what we wanted! We like working at our own pace. These videos are similar to videos my daughter finds on YouTube, but these organized by grade level. We'll choose math, science, language arts, foreign language, and music this year. At the time of this posting, the app is $9.99 per month, basically the same as the paid homeschool version of Brainpop. We're looking forward to starting her in the homeschool middle school program this fall. 

    The PowerHomemschool website describe the homeschool curriculum like this: "Students proceed through the course in a step-by-step fashion watching a video lesson and then completing assessment problems. Students receive reviews and unit, mid-term, and final exams as they proceed through the course. Learning gaps are assessed and filled as students move through the course concept by concept."

    Seems like a fair option to give it a test drive before you jump into their online school curriculum. 

    We'll also supplement with Life of Fred fractions and beginning algebra. One thing I've missed the last few years, is doing hands-on science experiments. After previewing the Acellus app's science curriculum, I was excited to try it. With a Google search for online homeschool curriculum, the app is hard to find. They have moved it to a new website with a different name. Find it here: PowerHomeschool

    Bottom line, don't break the bank to homeschool. We have SO many books, every year, I'd go out and buy new books. We never got through most of them. Find a free online homeschool curriculum, that works for you and stick with it. Then, supplement with fun enrichment activities and family outings.

    We also involve the kids in day to day household concerns. We talk about finances, debt, and even recently including them in every step of the home buying process. That included going to a lender, saving for a down payment, creative ways to find extra money like garage sales, selling off items no longer needed, the highs and lows of Craigslist and eBay, getting a water and septic test at the state level, watching our credit scores, budgeting for groceries, finding ways to cut costs to save for the new house, and even going to a county courthouse to pick up documents needed to close. So many lessons here. At the courthouse, we all had to go through the security, empty our pockets, etc. The next steps, include renovating the new house. 

    Family struggles and life lessons are often kept from kids. In my opinion, this tends to give the kids an unrealistic view of what it is like to be a grown up. They can't wait to get out of the house and start their own life, but reality gets in the way of their happiness. Keeping kids life lessons and keeping them in the know, helps them better prepare for the future. Isn't that what homeschooling is all about?

    So, what do you think of this list of free online homeschool curriculum recommendations? Do you have something you really love? Tell us about it in the comments or find Kids Creative Chaos on Instagram and chat with us there!


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    Free Online Homeschool Curriculum Recommendations


    Need to Get Out of Debt? Make it a Math Lesson!

    Homeschool Math: Steps to Get out of Debt 


    If you're a busy family trying to make ends meet, you've probably struggled with debt at one time or another. A plan to get out of debt makes a excellent homeschool math lesson for your kids. Don't hide the struggle from them, but don't frighten them with all of the gory details either. If you need to get out of debt, you need a plan. The steps to get out of debt look different for everyone. Everyone has different debt, different income, and a different set of life issues. Talk about a family budget with your kids and then follow the steps below to get out of debt. Everyone working together toward the same goal is the first step on your debt free journey.


    Need to Get Out of Debt? Make it a Math Lesson!


    Debt to Income Ratio Calculator

    You may want to take the steps to get out of debt if you are in the market for a new home. In this case, you'll want to start with a debt to income ratio calculator. Seeing it all laid out before you eyes puts it all in perspective. Where can you save, how can you improve your credit score, and how much money you will need to save. These questions can be overwhelming because the often contradict each other. To buy a new house, you'll want to pay down your debt, but you'll also want to save for a down payment for your home. Which should you do first? How long will it all take? This makes for a relevant and useful homeschool MATH LESSON. Wells Fargo offers instructions on how to figure your debt to income ratio and a free debt to income ratio calculator to check your work. Here's another debt free calculator from CNN.

    Credit Score

    Start with a credit app like Credit Karma. These aren't completely accurate, but they give you good idea of where you stand in the world of credit scores. You'll also see any negative marks against you. The big credit reporting agencies, Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax, allow you to check your scores and dispute anything that you find in error. Sometimes, you might find duplicates or items assigned to you that really belong to someone else. In this case, you'll want to speak to a legal firm that can quickly help you sort it all out. You can do it yourself, but it's much easier to pay for a service to do it for you. Lexington Law is inexpensive and gets the job done quickly and efficiently. You'll want to give yourself at least 3 months of the service (depending on how much work needs done.) They tend to work on one credit reporting agency at a time. It's fun and rewarding to watch your credit score improve. You'll also see weekly dips that will let you know where you need to cut back or do better.

    Debt Consolidation

    Another option is debt consolidation. This is a great option for people who are overwhelmed by debt collectors calling, sending letters, and generally harassing you for payments. This can make anyone crazy. If you use a service to consolidate your debt, they'll set up a monthly payment and take care of notifying debtors and paying your debts each month. Many people feel overwhelmed at the amount of bills they have to pay and can't keep on top of it all without getting late fees. Rather than paying the debt collectors, some people put their head in the sand and do nothing. This, of course, ruins your credit and your chance for a car or a home in you future. So, if you have difficulty keeping organized letting the professionals deal with your debtors may be the best option for you. You also might want to check into these debt relief services.

    Budget

    It's better to come up with a long term plan that you can manage than to declare bankruptcy or ignore your obligations. A budget is a great way to stay on top of things. Teaching your kids how you budget the bills is a fun way to teach them about finances. Young adults are often surprised at the cost of utilities and groceries and don't plan for these things when they go to rent or buy a new home. Keep a worksheet of your weekly and monthly expenses on the fridge and let your kids see how that new video games fits into the bigger picture. Get a free printable household budget worksheet pdf.

    You can open a child's bank account and connect it to your own. Our bank, sent the kids their own ATM cards for their accounts. I can easily move money from my account to theirs or vice versa if they've earned enough to buy the latest video game. If you aren't comfortable with that, there's nothing like a good old fashioned piggy bank or giant glass bottle to see your pennies adding up while saving for that big item.

    So, make it a family affair. There's no better homeschool math lesson than the life lessons based on real life events. The more kids know about the real world, the better they will be able to navigate it as young adults.


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    3 Fun Rainbow Cake Recipes for Girl Scouts

    How to make a Rainbow Cake for Girl Scouts




    Have a Girl Scout? Are you planning a celebration for your Scout Troop? These Rainbow Girl Scout Cakes are made with a box cake mix and American buttercream icing. They are fun to make as a group. They're even more fun to eat! Scroll down to see the easy recipes and learn how to make a Rainbow Cake for a Girl Scout Troop!

    This post contains affiliate links.

    3 Fun Rainbow Cake Recipes for Girl Scouts



    Girl Scout Logo Cake

    This 11x15 Girl Scout cake with American buttercream icing is made with ready made green Wilton fondant and a box of white cake mix. The flowers are made with a number 18 star tip with a white dot of icing in the middle of each. Trace the pattern on a piece of paper and trace it out with edible markers, then cut out with kitchen shears. Easy peasy!


    The icing is a homemade whipped buttercream. The Girl Scout cake is an 11x15 Betty Crocker cake mix, but add 3 eggs, 1 stick melted butter, and 1 cup milk instead of following the box directions.


    How to Make a Rainbow Cake with Colored Batter

    If you want to make your cake batter rainbow colored too, check out this recipe for Rainbow Cake. The Girl Scout Troop will love mixing this one.


    • First, mix up cake batter, you can make a white cake from scratch or use your favorite white cake from a box.
    • Divide the batter evenly between 6 bowls.
    • Add food coloring, stir to combine.
    • Pour batter evenly into two 8 inch pans in reverse order. (Darkest colors first.)
    • Bake as directed.
    • Level the cakes.
    • Put icing in between the layers, stack, spread icing on the outside.


    PicMonkey Collage.jpg


    A birthday is the perfect excuse to make a rainbow cake, but who needs an excuse? After reading several different tutorials on how to make a rainbow cake and cupcakes, we got started.  First, mix up a box of white cake mix following the package directions, or you can use your favorite homemade cake recipe. Then, involve the Girl Scout Troop. Let them count out the bowls, (you need 1 bowl for each color of the rainbow)  mix in the food coloring. 





    Why stop at Rainbow batter and icing, when you can make your cake the shape of a Unicorn? It is easy to make a Rainbow Unicorn Cake too!

    How to Make a Rainbow Unicorn Cake Recipe

    Use the same cake mix and directions to tweak it as in the Girl Scout Cake above.
    This time, use  8" round cake pans.
    Fill the pans just over 3/4 way full. (You'll need two cake mixes.)
    Wrap the pans with a wet towel strip. (This helps them to rise.)
    Ice with the same whipped buttercream as above.
    Unicorn horn is an ice cream cone sprayed with Wilton brand gold edible glitter spray.
    Ears are pink card stock with a toothpick to hold them in place.
    Flowers are made with different size star tips as mentioned above in the logo cake.
    For color, use Wilton gel food coloring. Black is Wilton brand gel icing.


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    Cool Girl Scout Troop Leader Tee Shirt


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    How to make a Unicorn Rainbow Cake Batter for Girl Scouts




    See Parrots on Vacation or Field Trip: Visit Parrot Mountain Tennessee

    Fun Things to do in Pigeon Forge with Kids


    Are you looking for something different and fun to do with kids on vacation? Parrot Mountain in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee won't disappoint. It's an intimate little parrot zoo on top of a mountain across from Dollywood! So, if you want to see parrots on your vacation or school field trip, visit Parrot Mountain Tennessee! We've got a few tips for your trip.

    This post contains affiliate links.

    See Parrots on Vacation or Field Trip: Visit Parrot Mountain Tennessee


    Parrot Mountain is tucked away in the woods on top of a mountain in Pigeon Forge. As you drive down the road, you may think you're on the wrong path, but take a turn and suddenly you're driving up a steep incline that is an adventure in itself! There is also overflow parking down below.




    It's a quaint little place. Not interested in walking? No worries, you can have a guided tour by golf cart. However, I recommend that you walk. You can spend more time chatting with each bird. You can run through this zoo in less than an hour, but you'll miss out on lots of wonderful things.




    Some may think the ticket price is a little pricey, but you've never experienced anything like this. It is worth it. Parrots surround the parking lot and greet you as you walk up the path. Be sure to say Hello!




    The Cockatoos are adorable! They dance, they chant, they sing, and if you walk away they get sad. If you get too close, they'll try to hop on your shoulder for a visit. You'll want to stay and chat with them forever, but when you continue on the path, you'll see a variety of tropical birds and so much more.


    It's a parrot petting zoo in Tennessee!

    When you purchase tickets they ask if you'd like to feed the birds. Yes, yes, you do! It's a once in a lifetime experience. Do not miss it! There's a Lorikeet cage and a Parrot area for feeding. The Lorikeets are a little unsettling. As soon as you go in with food, they swarm you. Feeding Lorikeets can be done at many zoos and amusement parks, so you can skip this added fee if you want. Do not skip feeding the parrots in the parrot petting zoo!




    I mean, come on; how awesome is this? In the parrot feeding area, the birds were a little sluggish. Not everyone wants to eat, their bellies are full! You can talk to the birds, sing to the birds, cuddle with the birds, and even let the birds perch on your shoulders. We didn't want to leave this area!


    Conure Kisses.

    Baby Conure kisses are precious! Tucked away behind some trees, you'll find a nursery. Many of the baby birds are for sale, others will end up out in the gardens. All of them are adorable. I just can't even...


    Parrot Mountain and Gardens Tips

    • We ate before we went. Don't do that. Pack a lunch, they have a picnic area right in the middle of the park.
    • If you forget to pack a lunch, they have a grill inside the gift shop. It smells delicious!
    • Wear comfortable shoes that won't slip on the steep paths. Paths are covered in asphalt.
    • You can become a bird sponsor!
    • Relax, don't rush it. Spend a few hours here.



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    Fun Things to do in Pigeon Forge with Kids: Parrots




    Rhythm Center Indianapolis: Things to do in Indiana

    Field Trip Idea Downtown Indianapolis: Rhythm Discovery Center


    The Rhythm Discovery Center in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana is an awesome thing to do with family or for a school field trip. If you are visiting Indiana on vacation or for the Indianapolis 500 Race, don't miss this gem. The rhythm museum is across from Circle Center Mall and next to Weber Grill. Relax and spend a few hours here.


    This post contains affiliate links.
    Rhythm Center Indianapolis: Things to do in Indiana
    Rhythm Center Indianapolis Drum Circle: Things to do in Indiana.


    We are members, so we've visited several times. You can practice your drum skills without buying drums! It's a great place to take out of town guests. Membership options include a plus two. This is a hands on museum! You can touch it! Above, is the drum circle, don't be shy, sit down and try your hand at tom toms or bongos. If you see others sitting there, it's okay- you're encouraged to join the circle.


    Rhythm Music Quote



    Be as loud as you want! They offer free earplugs at the ticket desk. There aren't usually tour guides. As you walk through the Rhythm Discovery Center, you'll see the history of drums and rhythm instruments. Be sure to play the gongs in the front entry, the electric drum synthesizers throughout the main space, and don't miss the sound proof drum rooms where you can play the snares and cymbals.



    Field Trip Ideas Indianapolis: Rhythm Discovery Center



    Rhythm Discovery Center Hours and Admission: The center is opened most days from 10-5, Sundays 12-5, and closed on Tuesdays. Check the website for special events and closings.


    Tip:  Buy a membership. If you have a big family, it's cheaper than the individual ticket rate.


    Recommended:

    Baby Play, Sensory Music

    Best Musical Instruments for Children

    Indiana Field Trip Ideas



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    Rhythm Center Indianapolis: Things to do in Indiana






    Homeschooling Advice from Becky Hunt

    Homeschooling Advice 


    This guest post on homeschooling advice is by Becky Hunt from Experienced Mommy. Becky has homeschooled four kids (including one with special needs) for the past 20 years. Listen up!
    This post contains affiliate links.
    https://jumpermedia.co/story-highlights-how-to-get-more-ig-story-views-12-tips-ideas-to-make-better-stories-now-that-they-last-longer/

    In case no one ever told you, homeschooling comes with making a lot of decisions.

    Some moms are super-fast decision makers. They do a little research. They pick a book or a curriculum, or a study group, they buy stuff and BANG they are done.

    No regret, no second guessing, no wringing the hands, no worry that they are going to ruin their kid forever.

    Except I don’t actually know any of those moms.

    I’m not saying every homeschooling mom friend of mine is a basket case, but let’s just say the vast majority of moms, especially those just getting started, do way too much stressing out.

    My Story
    I have a special needs daughter, Anna, who is 17 but operates at more of a one-and-a-half-year-old level. She is a category all her own and will always keep the nest full.

    But I also have two boys and a girl, all three of which I homeschooled from kindergarten through 12th grade. My oldest son and daughter graduated from Purdue and my younger son is still studying there.

    I assembled my own curriculum, didn’t do too much in the way of co-ops or groups, changed things up for each child, and generally made my own way.

    The kids all got good scholarships, test scores, etc. and are doing just fine.

    But it doesn’t matter how I did it.

    The choices you end up making are a lot less important than the process you use to make them. And the key thing about the process is learning to RELAX!

    The kids are going to be fine. You aren’t going to sabotage their futures and lives and jobs by choosing A instead of B or X instead of Y.

    And that brings me to the first thing you need to relax about:

    Relax About Curriculum
    Yeah, you have to cover the three R’s, Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic, and yes, you need to work in whatever your state requires especially in high school.

    But other than that, don’t sweat it!

    Pick something that looks good, that fits with your direction and world view, and relax.

    There is no magic prescription for the perfect education. How many expert educators would agree on a curriculum? Um, none.

    Education is a long, long term process where we are exposing our kids to principles, ideas, facts and the world.

    It is no simplification to say that all we are really trying to do is teach our kids to think. We are teaching them a process for learning.

    That’s why the material itself isn’t that crucial. We are basically saying “here are some books and videos and projects: we are going to interact with this pile of stuff.”

    We are going to:


    • Figure out what the books want us to do
    • Understand what the benefit of the content is
    • Learn how to get the important parts out of it
    • Learn how to skip over the stuff we don’t care about

    And each time we go through a course or topic, our minds get better at learning, and that’s the whole point.

    Which is also why the coverage isn’t the most important thing.

    Relax About Coverage
    Lots of text books have 50 chapters and I know so many moms who are stressed every week because their kid didn’t make through the 1.4 chapters necessary to get done by the end of the year.

    But if education is about the process of learning, it just doesn’t matter whether you cover all 50 chapters.

    What difference does it make if you plow through 10 extra chapters but the kid only remembers 5% of it and everybody is at each other’s throats the whole time?

    If you are obsessed over getting a certain score on a standardized test, and the test has stuff on it your kid has never seen before, you have to have a plan for that. But you still relax and chill and be strategic at the same time.

    Relax About Milestones
    My kids didn’t start writing papers until they were in 5th or 6th grade. Turns out that was perfectly fine. It gave them a chance to have hundreds of really great books read out loud and discussed with them.

    Kids don’t have know the alphabet, read, write or do algebra by a certain age. Relax. It will be fine. They will get it when they need to get it.

    Not only will they eventually get it, they’ll learn better when they are ready for it.

    Relax About the End Results
    I wanted it all. I wanted my kids to excel academically, be well rounded individuals and get great jobs. But most importantly I wanted them to become men and women of character who love God and are kind, honest and unselfish.

    Credentials flow from character.

    And kids learn character from how you behave not from what you say.

    So how do you relax about a big list of goals and dreams you have for your kids?

    Well that’s a tough one, but you just have to realize that the end results will come from a steady, consistent relationship that you have with your children over a period of years.

    You will sit with them, love them, fight and make up with them, learn with them, learn how to learn with them and persevere when you are tired and want to ship them off to school.

    And it will all work out. The kids will be fine.

    Just relax. - Becky Hunt - Learn more about Becky.

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