My coffee cup is hot and my kids are calm. 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 excitedly sit down on the cozy sofa and log into Zoom for our latest Adventure Clubs online adventure together. I screen mirror it onto the TV so that we can all see it as large 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 kids while I enjoy relaxing with my coffee!
This is the future of education. Real life experience meets technology. global learning. No grades. no expectations. the sheer joy of a great adventure.
For the next hour, we have been whisked away to Paris for a child-focused live adventure walk with Adventure Clubs. We’ll be seeing the historic center of Paris together with ten other families—all who have kids ages 4-10 years old. We are led by Mary, an American educator living in Paris who specializes in childhood experiences.
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 just a few days ago. They all love learning about the fashion models and 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 the place 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.
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.
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. We learn about how life in Paris revolves around this famous river and how Parisians love to picnic along its lovely banks.
NOTRE DAME & MUSEE 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. We meet the majestic Sphinx, the statue with the head of a woman and the body of a lion, and practice saying that fun word: SPHINX, SPHINX, SPHINX!!
As we walk to the Musée Louvre, Mary shares about 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, which means “parade of horses,” and get lost in the hedges surrounding the Louvre (so fun!) before we arrive at Napoleon’s Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel and discuss the engravings and designs, as well as the reasons why it was created for the King.
We finish our hour together by looking out at the moonlit city and cheers to each other, “Santé!” This means “to health!” We pretend to clink our sparkling Perrier together online. Mary explains about her French picnic of baguettes, camemberts, eclair, pain au chocolate, and more before we say our au revoirs.
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 Clubs is one of many great organizations that create exciting experiences for kids to learn together in a live format. All over the world, Adventure Leaders like Mary are designing kid-focused adventures for Adventure Clubs which are not classroom-bound. Rather, they are place-based. Kids got to go out there in the real world where the leader is—live on Zoom. Thanks to technology, we can offer our children the ability to see, in real-time, what’s happening in other parts of their world.
Where there is wi-fi, there is a learning opportunity!
Leaders from Adventure Clubs focus on four key points of inspiration for adventures. Leaders seek to:
- Invigorating a love for the arts
- Encourage an interest in STEM
- Inspire the Stewardship of our World
- Stimulate a Celebration of Cultures
Every adventure is $10 per family. One ticket includes the whole family on that ticket and we encourage the family to learn and grow together! I invite you to come adventure with my family all over the world.
Forget the books and the worksheets, the grades, and the projects. Get caught up in the joy of learning in some far-flung corner of the world with your kids. 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 me on a great adventure with your kids.