People are often amazed when I tell them that we homeschool.
Usually the replies are something along the lines of “I could never be with my kids all day long” or “How do you do it all?”.
The truth is that I’m a bit of a slacker homeschooling mom. In fact, we are just getting going on our school year this week. (Though we did go late last year.)
I’ve found that excessive structure doesn’t do well for our family, so we do a bit more “unschooling” than many homeschooling families. Our location independent lifestyle has taught me that children learn best when they don’t realize they are learning and my biggest goal this year is to use our lifestyle to encourage learning.
Yesterday morning we were on the beach by 7am. It was a little overcast and rather than jump right in the water the boys decided to play on the sand with Skye. A bit later and older woman came over and told us that if we let the kids go in the water we’d better be careful because there were Stingrays out there.
My husband is never one to shy away from fear and immediately saw the opportunity. He started talking about stingrays with the boys and then asked them if they wanted him to take them out there to see them. Of course, being boys, they said yes. (But only after understanding that stingrays aren’t interested in humans in the way that sharks are.)
What unfolded next was truly magical. The water was crystal clear and they were not only able to see five stingrays, they saw a huge jelly fish too.
They were more excited than I’ve seen them in a long while. More excited than when we took them to Disney. Alex announced that he wanted to be a Marine photographer. (He’s always been interested in photography.) Christian wants his handwriting this year to be writing a book about sea life. Alex suggested that his photos could illustrate the book but Christian declined the offer as he wants to illustrate his book. They were both really bummed that they didn’t have a camera with them, so hubby went back later in the afternoon and found another one and snapped a photo for them.
This is what I’ve dreamed of. Them coming up with their own projects that they could be enthusiastic about.
Afterwards, as we were walking back to the car, the boys were filled with questions. Most of them were questions for Google that would be answered when we got back home, but luckily Dad is pretty knowledgable about marine life.
I couldn’t help but smile and realize that they would never forget the day they learned about stingrays and jellyfish after spending the morning watching them in a crystal clear ocean with their Dad.
It is moments like these that make it all worthwhile.