Our coffee cups are hot and our child is excited. We’ve got a plate of yummy, French themed food to snack on: a baguette and some cheese, some sparkling grape juice, a few macaroons. We sit down on the cosy sofa and log into to Zoom for our latest Adventure Clubs online adventure together. I screen mirror it to the TV so that we can see it large and as life sized as possible.
What we are about to experience will include language learning, history, current events, art, culture, food, science, geography and architecture. And I get to learn right alongside my daughter while I enjoy relaxing with my coffee. (Mom win!)
This is the future of education. Real life experience meets technology. It’s global learning at it’s finest. No grades. no expectations. Just the sheer joy of a great adventure.”Lillian, An Adventure Clubs Mom
For the next hour, we are whisked away to Paris for a child-focused live adventure walk with Adventure Clubs. We’ll be seeing all around the historic center of Paris, together with ten other families – all who have kids ages 4 – 10 years old. We are led by Mary Urban, a delightful young lady and English-speaking American who is an educator living in Paris. Mary specializes in creating exciting learning experiences for kids.
JARDIN DE TUILERIES & FASHION WEEK
We follow along as Mary guides us, starting in the Jardin de Tuileries. There we learn about various local flora, discover a few historic statues, and discuss what happened there during Paris Fashion Week earlier this month. The kids all love learning about the fashion models, famous designers and the press.
“Paris is always a good idea.”Audrey Hepburn
MUSEE DE L’ORANGERIE & WATER LILLIES
We head over to Musée de l’Orangerie and discover where Claude Monet’s famous paintings, the Water Lillies, call home. Mary shares fun French words like l’autumne and arbre and as we walk toward the River Seine. The kids ask questions about the trees, the museum, the weather, and what people wear in Paris in autumn.
PLACE DE LA CONCORDE & TOUR DE FRANCE
Mary guides us to the Place de la Concorde, the large public square. There, she introduces us to the Luxor Obelisk, a 3,300 year old Egyptian obelisk! We also have a look at all the bicycles whizzing around and talk about the famous bike race, the Tour de France, which just ended a few weeks ago. One child excitedly asks, “Does everyone get to ride bikes when they are in Paris?”
RIVER SEINE & LOVE LOCKS
There, at the bridge, we have a look at the many boats, and look carefully at the love locks hanging from the bridge. Mary discusses the tradition and how this tradition is romantic, but it also harms the city and the environment, too. Some of the children on the adventure are shocked to learn that the city government has to cut off the locks so the bridge won’t fall down from it’s weight! We learn about how life in Paris revolves around this famous river and how Parisians love to picnic along its lovely banks.
NOTRE DAME & MUSÉE D’ORSAY
Kids get a look at the Gothic Cathedral, the Notre Dame, and hear about the fire a few years ago. As the sun starts to set and the city lights come on, we enjoy seeing the Musée D’Orsay, with all its lights coming on. As we walk along the street, Mary introduces us to the majestic Sphinx, the statue with the head of a woman and the body of lion and the kids all practice saying that fun word: “SPHINX, SPHINX, SPHINX!!”
As we walk toward the Musée Louvre, Mary describes some of the pieces inside the museum such as the crown jewels of the King and Queen, the Venus di Milo from Greece, Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa from Italy, and Michelangelo’s statues.
We pass through the Jardin du Carrousel, we learn that this name means “parade of horses,” and Leader Mary gets a little lost trying to through the hedges surrounding the Louvre. She makes a game of it, which the children think is absolutely delightful! Finally, we arrive at Napoleon’s Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel , where we learn about the engravings and designs, as well as the reasons why it was created for Napoleon.
We walk all around the big Louvre pyramid and look inside. It is now glowing as the city grows dark from nightfall. We finish our hour together at the pyramid looking out at the moonlit city and cheers to each other, “Santé!” This means “to health!”. And we pretend to clink our sparkling Perrier together on the screen. Mary explains about her French picnic of baguettes, camemberts, e’claire, pain au chocolate, and more before we say our au revoirs.
Santé! To health!”Adventure Clubs kids to Adventure Leader Mary
THE CASE FOR ONLINE LEARNING
Coronavirus has shrunk our world in many ways and our lives have a million new limitations on them. Yet, this time also affords us the opportunity to consider the power of online learning.
Adventure Leaders like Mary are designing kid-focused adventures for Adventure Clubs which are not classroom bound. Rather, they are place based and real time. Kids got to go out there in the world where the leader is – live on Zoom. Thanks to technology, we can offer our children the ability to see, real time, what’s happening in other parts of there world.Where there is wi-fi and a leader, there is an adventure to be experienced!
Forget the tedious worksheets, the projects and the grades. Let go of the pressure of school. Get caught up in the joy of learning in some far-flung corner of the world with your kids.Janelle Schroy, Adventure Clubs Founder
A vertical farm in Dallas, a backstage at an opera house in New York, a beach full of penguins in South Africa. The world is ours to explore – together. Download the free Adventure Clubs app here and join us on a great adventure with your kids.