Is it possible to be a dedicated homeschooling mom while still making time for myself as an individual (a girlie girl who likes cute shoes)? I like to think so. Follow along, and I'll let you know for sure.

Trust me . . . it's not ALL about the shoes.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Homeschooling in Orlando - ZOOm Air

ZOOm Air Adventures is an aerial adventure course at the Central Florida Zoo that will allow you to explore the tree tops from an animal’s perspective. You won't find a lot of information about it online, but I definitely recommend a trip there to check it out for yourself. Just be sure to put your child in closed-toed shoes (no sandals or Crocs allowed), because they are likely to want to start climbing right away!

We found ZOOm Air a little bit by accident - when we dropped our Styrofoam off for recycling earlier this summer, workers were literally in the treetops building the course. Noah was fascinated and insisted on doing it "right now", so I found an zoo employee to get the scoop. She told me that the course (not yet open at that time) was one of only a few of its kind in the United States and would include two adventures for adults and one for kids.

Today, we finally made it back to try it out for ourselves. After buying Noah's ticket ($12), we got him outfitted with a harness and were given instructions for navigating the course - mainly, he was to keep at least one safety hook attached to the cable at all times (in case he fell while he was repositioning the other one), and I was to follow him from the ground making sure he did that.

After that, he was off on the Upland course, which was a smaller practice course that was perfect for getting him used to the equipment and the process of moving his hooks one at a time. From there, it was on to the jungle course, which took the adventure to (literally) greater heights. While enjoying the view from above (and pointing out animals and waterfalls along the way), he navigated along a series of 19 platforms connected by suspension bridges, tightropes and other wobbly pathways suspended among the treetops - and capped off with a zipline-type swing to the final platform.

The kids' course is designed for children 36" - 60". Noah measured right at 46", and I really can't imagine anyone much smaller or younger completing the course. To think that Ava is already tall enough to do it is a little scary; I just can't imagine her being able to move the hooks on her own or having the focus to keep her footing. Maybe that's just the overprotective mom in me!

Parents must follow along from the ground, so closed-toed shoes are a good idea for us too. Many areas of the course are underwater due to rain, so I was very glad to have switched to running shoes from the white platform sandals I originally selected for the day.

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