Exchange City and EarthWorks Homeschool Day


On Tuesday we went to the Homeschool Day at Exchange City and EarthWorks. Exchange City is a miniature city complete with 14 shops/businesses that the kids run on their own – city government, public works, the bank, a cafe, a technology firm and so on.  EarthWorks has a number of habitats with animals, plants, and all kinds of samples that can be viewed outright or underneath a microscope.  Both programs run all day, and give kids a chance to explore and learn with other local homeschoolers.  This program has been around for 35 years, so parents who are from the metro area may remember their own visit to Exchange City or EarthWorks from when they were a kid.

Exchange City

The kids from JoCo Homeschool were assigned two businesses – the corner cafe and the city administration.  After taking a job assessment quiz, each one chose a job in the businesses, and throughout the day they worked at their chosen job.  They also learned about personal banking through receiving their payroll, depositing their money in the bank, and taking shopping breaks at the local businesses.

The Corner Cafe team learned about:

* meeting customer demand

* applying for and paying off a business loan

* how businesses become profitable by selling what customers want, and sometimes can be unprofitable even when you work hard

* all the paperwork necessary to keep a business going


The City Administration team learned about:

* mayoral duties – making speeches, judging contests, meeting local politicians

* law enforcement duties – identifying law breakers, bringing them in to court

* judicial duties – announcing laws, assessing fines

* financial duties – tax collection, paying loans and bills and all the necessary paperwork to keep a city running

While we were there, the mayor of Kansas City stopped by, gave a speech to all the kids in attendance, answered some of their questions, and even met our city’s mayor!


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Kids who signed up for EarthWorks learned about two habitats – ponds and forests. They discussed the animals who live in each habitat, how those animals look for food, water and shelter, how the animals raise their young, what kinds of natural disasters (tornadoes, floods, etc.) can impact a habitat, and how manmade disasters can also cause problems for animals. The kids practiced observing the habitat, collecting information on what they saw, and discussed what they observed. They also came home with a packet of vegetable seeds to plant and observe growing at home.

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Both sets of kids said they had a great time and would like to go back next year. Families who are interested in attending next year’s homeschool day can be added to a notification list by clicking here!



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