Wednesday, September 8, 2010

First Day of (Home)School

One of the very best things about homeschooling is the flexibility of it.

We had our first day of homeschool 2010 while we were on vacation.
And we didn't even take any books with us.

While all the other kids were sitting in classrooms, our kids were out schooling in the air.
They had some intensive lessons about the oceans and coastal regions.
They learned where the drift wood comes from...

And about the mighty power of ocean waves.
This little spot illustrated quite clearly where all the small smooth black stones that we found on the beach came from.

The boys learned all about the tides and saw live demonstrations.

They also learned about tide pools and got to see some of the creatures that appear during the low tide.

There are endlessly fascinating things to see and learn about on an ocean coast.

I should have studied up more before we left so that I could have more accurately answered the endless questions these boys had about all that they were experiencing! We are going to attack the ocean chapter in the science book this year and no doubt it will be more meaningful and will bring up more questions and answers after they have seen and felt these things themselves.

We were even blessed to see large sea creatures up close and personal.

Hanging out on a beach with seals is not something that will soon be forgotten and it's sure better then reading about them in a book.

Nor will finding jellyfish while out walking by the waves.
One year at the coast we found a baby seal beached on the sand. It was there for days and by law no one was allowed to touch it or help it.

We have always started our school year the day after Labor Day. This year it was the day we checked out of our rented beach house. After a breakfast of Denver sandwiches (with bacon!), we packed up the van, locked the door and bidding good-bye to another great vacation we set off on our first day of school....

...with a field trip to the Oregon Coast Aquarium.

After seeing the dead jellyfish on the beach, it was fascinating to see live ones swimming in the tanks.

Just the evening before we were eating hot crab and artichoke dip. On their field trip the kids got to see live crabs up close.

Seeing these amazing sea creatures live was so much better then a book or video.

Touching live anemones and starfish was also a great experience.

We learned there are many, many kinds of starfish.

We found this fat starfish in a tank and speculated that it had just ate something.

Sure enough! A fish.
Now that is something you don't get to see everyday!

It was a great day and well worth the extra long driving to cross the mountains homeward.

Peter? How did you get in that fish tank?


  1. The flexibility of homeschool? Love it. School happens everywhere all the time and it's interesting. Imagine that.

    One of my favorite memories of childhood is the weekly beach vacation to a house that was the only one on one side for miles around (there's now a Holiday Inn on that side now). We would explore that beach, tide pools and every critter that dared to reveal itself there on the sand. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

    Your kids are blessed to have a mom who loves to teach them.

  2. Not a weekly beach vacation. I wish. It was a yearly beach vacation that lasted a week.

  3. And I thought about you and wondered if you did beach vacations too where you live. I wonder how the beaches are compared to Oregon's. Warmer for sure! Oregon's beaches are also rocky with high cliffs.


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