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Mary Chris
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Posted: March 16 2005 at 8:43am | IP Logged Quote Mary Chris

Hey California Girls! We are going to be in San Diego soon and I would like to do a short unit study on the Missions. We will definitely go to the San Diego Mission and probably Capistrano. Any ideas? Great books? What should I not miss???

Thank you!

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guitarnan
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Posted: March 16 2005 at 9:09am | IP Logged Quote guitarnan

Mary Chris,

Song of the Swallows is a must-read! It's about Mission San Juan Capistrano.

Another place you might want to visit is Point Loma (there's a monument to Cabrillo there, with a stunning view of San Diego Harbor). Sometimes they have special programs there, especially on weekends.

Old Town San Diego has some historic Spanish buildings you can visit. Near there, in the Bazaar del Mundo, is my all-time favorite Mexican restaurant, Casa de Pico. You generally have to wait in a line for a table and there is a lady standing near the line, making tortillas by hand...kids love to watch her. (I'm getting a bit envious, can you tell!)

When I was growing up in southern California, nearly every Catholic school student had to make their own California mission...some schools allowed cardboard and sugar cubes, but my poor brother had to make one from clay-and-straw adobe-style bricks. We spent hours making little bricks so he could build his mission. This might be a fun activity to do after your trip...a good hands-on project. Alternatively, you can probably buy a build-a-mission book (one of those tagboard ones) at any of the missions you visit. This would be a good chance to talk about Spanish-style architecture...thick walls and small windows...and how the missionaries brought statues to California from Spain to adorn the mission churches...more geography!

Many missions have been damaged by earthquakes (adobe is pretty weak), so that topic might become a rabbit trail for future exploration. Of course, there's the Spanish language rabbit trail as well. On my last trip home I was amazed at how bilingual the signage is becoming, both on billboards and in stores.

I'll think some more...doubtless there are things I'm forgetting. You'll enjoy this study; we did a similar mission study a couple of years ago, focusing on Los Angeles and Mission San Gabriel, where my mom went to high school. We went to the new cathedral in L. A. and it was fascinating...really strange on the outside but lovely inside, and very much like a church in Ravenna, Italy, we'd just visited!

Try to catch a sunset at the beach...it's just glorious to watch the sun sink behind the waves. That's one thing I'll never get used to on the East coast...sunsets should be over the water, not behind it, in my mind!

Happy trails, from a transplanted California native!

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Meredith
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Posted: March 16 2005 at 9:20am | IP Logged Quote Meredith

Mary Chris, thanks so much for posting this and what a great repsonse Nancy! Our family is hoping to *do* the missions this Fall with another home schooling family as she is also a California transplant (Kathy are you catching this thread, friend??) We are reading Song of the Swallows and kind of FIARing it for the feast of St. Joseph which is this Saturday, wow, I'd better get on it . Anyway, just wanted to chime in and let you know there's lots of interest here.

Nancy, do you have a particular book on Junipero Serra that you especially enjoyed?? My kiddos area 8 and under. TIA.

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Wendi DeGrandpr
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Posted: March 16 2005 at 9:57pm | IP Logged Quote Wendi DeGrandpr

We just returned from a vacation in San Diego a couple of weeks ago. We absolutely loved the mission. We were only able to visit one (Mission San Diego) but we were also able to visit Point Loma and Old Town. We read about Blessed Junipero Serra - I borrowed the book and don't have it in front of me but it was a great read. Probably a little heavy on details (dates and names etc) for really young children, but very informative. I would love to travel California and visit all of the missions. Fortunately I found a book with pictures and information about all of them so at least I can visit them that way.
Old Town was fun and the food is great. We are all fans of Mexican food in our house and it was just great.
We did not enjoy Southern California weather as we had hoped - it was very rainy during our visit so we did not get to spend time just walking on the beach enjoying the sunsets but we still had a wonderful time.
I hope you enjoy your trip.
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Posted: March 16 2005 at 11:02pm | IP Logged Quote materdei7

Hello Ladies,
Yes, Please do see San Juan Cap.( We are planning to hook up with Meredith in Oct) They have just finished the original wall to the church.Earthquake damage and old age) Don't know if you are planning to be down there when the swallows return? (March 19th of EVERY year!) But, even if not, there is so much to see. Most interesting to realize the close proximity of each of the missions up the California coast. Balboa Park in San Deigo and Old Town are also must do's! Enjoy!
Warmly,
Kathleen


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Erica Sanchez
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Posted: March 17 2005 at 5:38pm | IP Logged Quote Erica Sanchez

Hi Mary Chris!

Mission San Diego de Alcala (it's full name - actually 'Basilica' is thrown in there somewhere!) is actually our parish! Everything suggested so far is great, espcially visiting Cabrillo National Monument - even for us locals, it is breathtaking. You might also stop by the Presidio, in Old Town, if you have time as that is technically where the first Mission was built. It was moved later for water and agricultural reasons.

What about taking the Amtrack up to Mission San Juan? It stops right near the Mission and sometimes they have a kids-ride-free deal going on. The drive is great, too!

We're in the middle of a Mission study right now with Emily, our 4th grader. Would you want to get some library books when you get here or could a family member get some for you? Go to the San Diego County Library website at www.sdcl.org and search under the catalog section for a specific Mission - there are a lot of books as you might imagine.

- I noticed some libraries have Huell Howser's California Gold series on the Missions - we really liked these.
- Mission San Diego de Alcala by Kathleen Edgar is good and covers a lot of information that is easy to get through. This is a series and I think she has one for each Mission.
- We read Tales of the California Missions by Franciscus Willett. There are short stories, often funny, about the padres at various Missions. It was published in 1964 and was just fun without going into how the Indians were treated poorly, etc.
- Also, I read parts of Letters of Fr. Luis Jayme.....(he lived at the Mission San Diego, is considered California's first martyr, and is buried under the altar). This book is for adults as the letters talk about the poor treatment of the Indians by the Spanish soldiers. I have been confused about this for a long time - the poor treatment of the Indians, "forcing' them to come and work the Missions, etc., etc. I need to learn more.

Would you want to attend Mass at Mission San Diego? They have Mass on the hour beginning at 7:00 a.m. until 12 noon. The 9:00 a.m. Mass is in the new building in the back - I don't recommend it - the Mission is so much more beautiful!

One more thing, if any of your outings include a trip to the mountains (Julian?), you might want to visit Mission Santa Isabel, which was built as part of Mission San Diego to serve the Indians in the mountain areas. We have friends who go there for Confession on Saturday afternoons if they are nearby.

Hope this helps!   



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Mary Chris
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Posted: March 17 2005 at 8:27pm | IP Logged Quote Mary Chris

Thank you for all the great ideas . I am really getting excited about our trip.

We moved to Hawaii when I was in the 4th grade so I missed the mission study in school. I was learning the hula instead . My dad teaches at a Catholic school in Escondido so he is going to ask the 4th grade teacher for some resources for me.

Erica,were you at the Mission when Fr. Mike was there.

I have found a lot of information on the web. The Missions are so beautiful in the pictures I cannot wait to see them again. We will try to go to San Luis Ray and we will definitely stop at San Juan Capistrano on our way to LA. I am thinking about going to Mass at the Mission San Diego de Alcala. I suppose it will just depend on what my parents have job wise at their parish that day.

We have never taken the children to Old Town so I think we will this trip and Nancy's restuarant recommendation is on the list of places to eat.

The main reason for our trip is for my grandfather's Funeral Mass, he will be intirned at the cemetary in Pt. Loma.
My husband was stationed at the Sub base when we married and we spent 6 great weeks at the BOQ on the point. Last time we went the Lighthouse was closed for renovation, I am hoping it is open now.

Meredith, I will be sure to post my notes when we are done!


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Posted: March 18 2005 at 12:45am | IP Logged Quote catholicmom

Hello,

When my daughter was in 4th grade we used this link to print out a free mission model on cardstock that she then assembled. It turned out very nice and 2 years later, it is still on display in our home!

http://www.missionbasilicasandiegodealcala.com/4thgrade.htm

Hope this helps!
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Erica Sanchez
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Posted: March 18 2005 at 1:19pm | IP Logged Quote Erica Sanchez

Mary Chris,

I don't think I know Fr. Mike. We've been at the Mission since 1990. I am getting excited for your trip, too!!! I hope you have a great time!

And thanks for the link, Cathy. I think we'll try that for Emily's model.



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Posted: March 19 2005 at 10:51am | IP Logged Quote TracyQ

Say hi to our pastor who is on sabbatical in California doing a study on the missions. He's going to be done for 4 months! We miss him!

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Posted: March 20 2005 at 2:39pm | IP Logged Quote Kelly

There used to be a great little taco place across the street from Mission San Juan Capitstrano. Don't know if it's still there, but it had the best fish tacos I've ever eaten. Yummy.

Also, this has nothing to do with the missions, but Legoland is just a hop and a skip away. I am NOT a theme park person, but I have to confess to a special fondness for Legoland. It's a must for any legoheads in your family. Get there early. Weekdays (or rainy days!) are the best. We went there four years ago and my kids are still talking about it!

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MaryM
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Posted: March 21 2005 at 5:09pm | IP Logged Quote MaryM

Thanks to those of you who recommended Song of the Swallows . We got it last week in time for St. Joesph's Day. It is a lovely book and my two youngest really enjoyed it as did I. My 5 year old is named Joseph so he thought it was an especially nice book for his feast day. After reading the book I went searching through my old photos to find pictures of when I had visited there over 30 years ago when I was a little girl. It was very cool - I was able to show the kids pictures of me feeding the white pigeons - just like in the book! They recognized other things from the photos that were in the book like the statue of Fr. Serra and the fountains. They even got to see me in my bright ORANGE polyester pant suit (- anyone else who grew up in the seventies remember those lovely pant suits?) Anyway, now everyone wants to take a visit to the missions!

Also, I was wondering about Politi's other books after reading this one. There is one called The Mission Bell about Fr. Serra. Has anyone read that one? It sounds like it would be perfect for those studying the mission history with little ones. I did request it from our central library and hope to have a copy this week.


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Mary Chris
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Posted: March 29 2005 at 9:56am | IP Logged Quote Mary Chris

Just wanted to let you know we had a great trip to Mission San Luis Rey on Saturday. It was a beautiful San Diego day gotta love those!
We had breakfast at a great little restaurant Mary's, ds Carter highly recommends it!
Then we went on to the mission. They have a scavenger hunt for the 4th graders to do while they go through the mission. My little ones did it and had a lot of fun with that. They also loved ringing the bell. I loved all the statues of St Francis. The gardens are beautiful.
We ended the day at Casa de Pico in Old Town. I did not plan that part very well, the museums were closed and it was dard and the Saturday of spring break.
I hope to get to the other missions but that may be another trip.
Oh we also had a beautiful day at Cabrillo. I kept walking around saying CAN YOU BELIVIE HOW BEAUTIFUL IT IS? CAN YOU SMELL THAT WONDERFUL PACIFIC AIR? I think my husband got the message .
Thank you all for your great ideas.


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Posted: March 29 2005 at 12:18pm | IP Logged Quote ladybugs

Hey Mary Chris,

I wanted to offer you a postcard I have from Mission Carmel, if you'd like it....and I can get you one from Mission Santa Clara as well...if you're interested, just let me know!

God Bless,
Maria

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Posted: April 15 2005 at 2:35am | IP Logged Quote MaryM

The latest issue of Heart & Mind Magazine has a pull-out unit study on "The California Missions." The study looks excellent and has tons of great resources listed.

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Posted: April 15 2005 at 7:44am | IP Logged Quote chicken lady

THis topic is making me homesick, I too made the obligatory replica in 4 th grade, and I think maybe I will look into this for my girls, forget Ohio history

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Posted: Feb 21 2006 at 4:07pm | IP Logged Quote MaryM

Just ran across this resource on California missions on the Michael's Craft Store page. Figured it was a good time to bump this thread since St. Joseph's Feast Day is not that far away.

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Posted: Feb 21 2006 at 9:12pm | IP Logged Quote momwise

MaryM wrote:
Thanks to those of you who recommended Song of the Swallows . We got it last week in time for St. Joesph's Day.


Time again to pull this book off the shelves! Anyone know if the Solemnity is officially Sat. or Mon. this year (since the 19th is Sun.)?

MaryM wrote:
They even got to see me in my bright ORANGE polyester pant suit (- anyone else who grew up in the seventies remember those lovely pant suits?).


Noooo.....I can't believe it...and yes....one pair of my pants had such huge bell bottoms I fell over them and broke my finger (please don't tell my kids I wore those).

MaryM wrote:
There is one called The Mission Bell about Fr. Serra. Has anyone read that one?


How was the Mission Bell?

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Posted: March 23 2010 at 9:49am | IP Logged Quote MaryM

momwise wrote:


MaryM wrote:
There is one called The Mission Bell about Fr. Serra. Has anyone read that one?


How was the Mission Bell?


Gwen, thought I'd answer your question to me 4 years later... ...it's a classic Politi book. We enjoyed it. It's a heavier text picture book. Covers a lot of information. I understand it gets negative reviews from the PC folks.

The reason why I'm really bumping the thread is that we just returned from a trip to San Diego last week so I was thinking about missions again. I love browsing gift shops for for new book ideas. This is a newer missions project book. It looked good if any one is wanting to make models. Very detail oriented. The kind of stuff my dd loves.

California Missions Projects and Layouts

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Posted: March 23 2010 at 9:57am | IP Logged Quote CrunchyMom

I didn't realize how old this was at first, but I thought I'd add a source for anyone using the archives to plan a study of California missions in the future!

One of my favorite cds (our library had it, so its pretty widely available) from a favorite group, Chanticleer, is Mission Road. I didn't watch the DVD, but the sacred songs are recorded in various missions, and there is a DVD to take you behind the scenes.

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