Classical Education Meets the Real World, Volume II: Jurassic Week

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I feel like the title of this blog post is misleading because we didn’t actual integrate any schoolwork into our week. We took a brain break. But this is still a week in our lives so I’m keeping it under that blog series. 🙂

It’s summer.  I was really looking forward to this summer. But so far? I’m hating it. Everyone is scattered. Every week someone is at some camp somewhere. We are never all home. I hate it. I absolutely, positively hate it. This is the worst summer ever. This growing up stuff? It stinks.

I’ve tried to fill my time with my own growth–learning to blog, learning a new job that is way outside my comfort zone, etc. But the reality is I just want my kids at home and life to be normal. It’s only June and I am longing for the school year. And I usually love summer, so this is a weird thing for me, to wish it away.

Anyway, I’m making the best of the days we are all together. We’ve gone to summer reading program events, been at the pool on the days it’s warm enough (not very often, honestly), and made the most of the time we do have when we aren’t rushing off to the next thing.

So last week, despite the oldest not being home Monday and Tuesday, we had a theme week. I’ve never done anything like this before but it was so much fun and was probably my favorite week of the whole summer–and it’s only June so I know that’s jumping the gun a bit. Our theme was Jurassic Week!

We have been so excited for the newest Jurassic World movie (and no, I’m not getting paid to write any of this, I am just a passionate fan of the series!). We decided to do a weeklong countdown to the movie. Each day we watched one of the four movies, starting with Jurassic Park on Monday and ending with Jurassic World on Thursday.  After watching them all in order in a short time span like that, my opinion still stands. Jurassic Park is the best movie ever made and Jurassic Park 3 has absolutely no plot as far as I can tell. I also love Jurassic World.

I could have made this an educational week. We could’ve read books about dinosaurs and all kinds of things like that. But I decided that it’s summer, we’re all together (most of the week) and we’d just have FUN.

On Monday, we watched Jurassic Park. We were supposed to make “Dino Dirt” (dirt pudding with dinosaur gummies instead of gummy worms) but we were out of milk. We’ll make it eventually, haha. We had “raptor claws” (Bugles) as a snack to go with the movie. Raptors are the big bad guys in the first movie, after all!

Raptor Claws! Yum!
Welcome to Jurassic Park.

On Tuesday we watched Jurassic Park 2. I found an “excavation kit” at the dollar store that they could dig through to find things. I figured that was kind of like looking for dinosaur bones. They got a  kick out of that. Well worth a dollar for sure.

Compys! Evil little things!
Digging for dinos. Not really. It was a gem of some sort in there. But not a bad dollar store find.

On Wednesday we suffered through Jurassic Park 3 and made dino footprint cookies. So fun!

Dumbest movie. They are on the island for no good reason. He steals an egg for no good reason. Why? Why would you tick off the raptors? Why? So dumb.
Dino print cookies were a blast! And yummy! Just make your favorite sugar cookie recipe and press dino toy feet into the dough. We found it helped to coat the top of the cookie with powdered sugar to help the toys not stick!

On Thursday, we watched Jurassic World and discussed our theories on what the plot would be for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. We had so many theories!

Welcome to Jurassic World.

On Friday, it was finally THE DAY. We decided to watch Fallen Kingdom at the drive in because sitting outside in the dark watching a dinosaur movie just adds to the epic ness of it all (also if the kids get scared, they can get in the car and watch netflix on a phone to distract them). On the way to the drive in, we stopped at Dairy Queen for Jurassic Chomp Blizzards. This is a blizzard with buckeyes in it. Oh my word, amazing!!!!

Jurassic Chomp Blizzard. YUM!
Getting (too?) comfortable at the drive in.
Little guy got a little nervous at one point and we got in the car and held hands. But overall, he loved it.

We loved the movie. I’m not hearing the best reports of it. Was it predictable? Yes. The dinos never eat the good guys. Convenient. But it was funny, and it was sweet, and there were some emotional moments. And the dinosaurs were really well done. I’ve read that they really held back on using CGI unless it was absolutely necessary, in order to make it all feel as real as possible. In Jurassic World, my son spent a lot of time pointing out which dinos were animatronic and which were CGI. We really didn’t do that in Fallen Kingdom–we were too sucked in by how real it all felt. There was no time to process “is that really there in front of the actor or was that added later?” because we were in the story. The return of Ian Malcolm was also a nice touch. I loved the way they worked him in.

Of course, after a night of dino chasing dramatics, all the kids had to sleep in my room!

One other thing I did during Jurassic Week was read the original book. It’s intense. I originally thought I was going to let the ten year old read it after me but I changed my mind. There are quite a few scenes that are not in the movie and it also goes into great detail from the perspective of people being eaten by a dinosaur and how it felt to them as they were dying. Way too heavy for a kid. But I enjoyed it, overall. It gave a lot of background to the movies that made it all make more sense. The movies did a decent job of sticking to the plot. The major changes were that in the book Wu and Malcolm both die and in the movie, the don’t because they are still around in the fifth movie!

Overall, it was fun to turn off the school work and just have a fun themed week. It’s not something we are likely do all the time, but we all enjoyed it. I don’t think I love many things as much as I love Jurassic Park, so it will be awhile before something pops up that inspires another week like this!

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3 Replies to “Classical Education Meets the Real World, Volume II: Jurassic Week”

  1. Haha! My kids love that excavator toy from Target’s dollar spot! I bet your kids will have the best memories of their Jurassic Park marathon!

  2. Wow! This is such a wonderful post, especially for our kids. Can’t wait to watch the movie also with the whole family. Thank you for the review.

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