Riding the Railroad

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Two weeks ago we enjoyed our first outing of the school year with Tyler’s new cyber school: PA Cyber.

This summer we made the decision to transfer him to a different cyber school. The cyber school he had been attending for the past few years was no longer meeting his needs academically. We explored different cyber school options and decided for the time being that PA Cyber was the best fit for him despite the fact our other children all attend 21st Century Cyber Charter School.

It was a good call. Tyler is absolutely thriving! He adores school and all previous battles we endured regarding daily lessons and school assignments are long gone. He is a different student.

We explored PA Cyber at the recommendation of a friend whose son (a good friend of Tyler’s) had found a lot of success at the school…

and it was this friend that we brought along with us to our first PA Cyber field trip.

We love school outings. It is one of my favorite aspects of this model of schooling, so we try to take advantage of as many school outings as we can. This, however, was our first experience with a PA Cyber outing and I wasn’t sure how it would differ from our experiences with other cyber schools…

But we were eager to find out!

Our first PA Cyber field trip: A train ride through the fall foliage of northern Pennsylvania.

The field trip was two hours away in Titusville, PA.

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The drive to Titusville was beautiful. The leaves were nearing peak color and looked like something from a painting. Although the sky was dark and cloud covered, the leaves still shined bright in vivid hues of yellow and orange.

We arrived at the Oil Creek Station around 10:50 am.

It was perfect timing for our 11:00 departure.

We had just enough time to check in with the field trip coordinator and get our name tags  before the conductor called, “All aboard!”

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We were seated two to a seat. Tyler and Micah shared a seat, Molly and Rusty shared a seat, and Grace and I were seat partners.

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The train was full of passengers and school students.

We were asked to stay seated until the train was fully loaded and had left the station and then we were given permission to move about the train.

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Once we were told that we were free to move about the train our first stop was the open car at the back of the train.

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It was a perfect day to ride outside in the open air and enjoy the scenery…

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When everyone started to get chilled we headed back to our seats to enjoy our packed lunches.

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After lunch we decided to explore the front of the train.

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After an hour on the train we made a stop at the Rynd Farm station where we were able to get out and walk around for twenty minutes before we started back.

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Because the train runs on a one way track, the engine was disconnected, turned around and reattached to other end of the train to drive us back to the Titusville station. It was neat to watch the process.

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The entire trip was 2 1/2 hours long.

We had an additional four hours of travel getting there and back but we found the entire experience well worth the time invested. All the kids enjoyed the train experience, especially the open car in the back, and loved revisiting this memorable place that they had enjoyed on a few previous school outings.

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At 1:30 pm we stepped off the train and prepared for the long ride home.

Our first outing with Tyler’s new school was a smashing success!

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Nothing speaks of autumn quite like a train ride through fall foliage!

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