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Monday, November 29, 2010

Nebraska

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine has a fan page on facebook and they recently started having Schoolhouse by State articles in their notes. Every Monday they have a post on a different state, and since I live in Nebraska I volunteered to write for the NE week. Here is my article that was added to their fan page on Monday, November 22, 2010.


 Hello and welcome to Nebraska. When you first enter our state the sign reads:

NEBRASKA….the good life

Home of Arbor Day

As a home schooling family we love living the good life in NE. The home school laws in our state are very easy to comply with. We notify the state of our intention to homeschool by completing the forms mandated by the state. We are required to teach language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, and health for 1,032 hours for elementary and 1,080 hours for high school. We are considered “exempt schools” and parents must file for the exemption under either Rule 12 or Rule 13.

~Rule 12 states that the requirements and accreditation required by law interfere with the decision of the parents or guardians directing the child’s education.

~Rule 13 states that the requirements and accreditation required by law violate the parents or guardians sincerely held religious beliefs & they do not have to comply with immunization laws.

The compulsory attendance ages are 6-18. Parents have the right to exempt a child from starting school until the age of 7 and may also graduate a child when they have finished their home school program or after the age of 16.

There are so many things to do and visit here. Nebraska is home of Arbor Day, Kool-Aid, Buffalo Bills Wild West show, first lighted airfield in America, and a piece of the Oregon Trail.

Families have voted The Henry Doorly Zoo as one of the bests zoos to visit. It is located in Omaha and according to Wikipedia it features the largest cat complex in North America, the world’s largest nocturnal exhibit and indoor swamp, one of the largest indoor rainforests, and the “Desert Dome” is the largest indoor desert in the world.

Nebraska City is home of the Arbor Day. Most holidays are celebrated to remember the past, not Arbor Day. It is a day to celebrate the future by planting a tree. Julius Sterling Morton knew the value of trees and along with all the support & publicity he had there were over a million trees planted in Nebraska on that first Arbor Day. Every state celebrates Arbor Day with varying dates for each region.

Nebraska has the privilege of being home to the Strategic Air and Space Museum where you can see and learn about the history of military aircraft. (http://www.sasmuseum.com/)

You can take a look at man’s progress in the last century by visiting Pioneer Village in Minden (http://www.pioneervillage.org/). Learn about transportation and communication from the past 150 years at a museum that arches across Interstate 80 at Kearney, The Great Platte River Road Archway. (http://www.archway.org/default.aspx) At Stuhr Museum in Grand Island (http://www.stuhrmuseum.org/) they teach us history of the Prairie Pioneer by giving classes for school age children and by visiting the businesses of the past.

Kool-Aid was first developed in Hastings and you can learn all about it at the Hastings museum and by visiting Kool-Aid days held in August of every year. (http://www.hastingsmuseum.org/koolaid/index.htm)

Intrigued about the Pony Express, you can visit an actual building that was used as a stage stop in Gothenburg. (http://www.nebraskabeautiful.com/south-central-nebraska-tourism/pony-express-station-gothenburg-nebraska.html)

In North Platte you can learn about The World War II Canteen at the Lincoln County Historical Museum. (http://npcanteen.net/lchm.html) Visit the first lighted airfield in the United States, Lee Bird Field, it was the site of the first night airmail flight in the early 1920s. A visit to the house where Buffalo Bill Cody lived at the Scout’s Rest Ranch is a must. (http://www.richgros.com/Cody/scouts_rest_ranch.html) And if you are here in June you can enjoy the Buffalo Bill Rodeo. (http://www.nebraskalanddays.com/)

The Straight Arrow Bison Ranch (http://www.straightarrowbison.com/index.html) near Broken Bow offers a wealth of information about the buffalo, why they were hunted and what each part of the buffalo’s body was used for.

It is really cool to see deeply eroded ruts made by the wagon train at Windlass Hill in Ash Hollow Historical Park. (http://www.lasr.net/travel/city.php?Oshkosh&Nebraska&City_ID=NE0704008&VA=Y&Attraction_ID=NE0704008a002) Chimney Rock looks the same to us today driving west as it did to the pioneers in their wagons. (http://www.nebraskahistory.org/sites/rock/)

Have you heard of Stonehenge? Well NE has it’s very own replica Carhenge. Located in Alliance along Highway 87 and was created from vintage American made automobiles. http://www.carhenge.com/

There are a few things that Nebraska can boast about and one is that North Platte is the home of the largest railroad classification yard in the world, Union Pacific Railroad’s Bailey Yard. The yard is over 8 miles long and 2 miles wide, the yard handles 10,000 railcars a day. (http://www.uprr.com/aboutup/facilities/bailey/index.shtml)

We also have the Kingsley Dam, located in Ogallala, it is the second largest hydraulic fill dam in the world. This creates Lake McConaughy which is 22 miles long and 145 feet deep. It is said that if this dam would break it would completely destroy North Platte, which is 50 miles away, in 45 minutes.

These things and many more including camping, fishing, boating, hiking, and hunting are what makes Nebraska The Good Life.

2 comments:

The Unsell Family said...

I enjoyed reading your article, Lisa!

Blossom said...

Neat! I lived there for 18 months and did visit a few of the places you've mentioned... didn't know about the rest :) My hubby actually worked at the Bailey Yard.
It's too bad I didn't know you when I lived there!

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