Monday, September 10, 2012

Vacation School Days

Wow. Last week just flew by! We did a quick trip to the beach that we all desperately needed and had the best time ever! Day 1 involved beach time, followed by introducing the kids to snorkling, back to shower and rest up, dinner, and finally a night of catching crabs along the beach. My son actually caught this teeny, tiny crab when we first arrived and we snuck down for a quick walk on the beach before lunch.

The rip current was fierce, though, so we didn't really let the kids swim in the ocean. (It was better the next day.) My daughter was so afraid that her little brother would be swept out to sea. So we put floaters on them just to be safe, and let them play in the surf with one of us present at all times. But honestly? They were just as pleased to look for shells and build sand castles.

Afterwards, we drove down the coast to look for a good place to snorkle. Fortunately, we found a little inlet that was surrounded on three sides and was shallow with little wave action. The kids truly loved snorkling. They found a bunch of hermit crabs and other bits that satisfied their hunger for adventure.

The best part of this trip? Everyone in NC is back in school by this week, so the beach was relatively empty. Well, maybe not empty, but there weren't any other school-aged children to be seen. The last few times we've been to the beach, the traffic has been horrible and it was hard to find a place on the beach to sit without practically being on top of someone else. Seriously, it was just perfect. These are the moments that I love homeschooling the most. Being able to take advantage of a flexible schedule and enjoy opportunities in a more relaxed manner.

Okay, I was wrong. The BEST part of the trip was the next day when (after spending the morning at the beach and lunch time hiking on one of the islands) we went to the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island where we spent the afternoon learning about ocean life. This was perfect because we've been studying ocean life in science for the last four weeks or so. The first thing I did was purchase two Junior Marine Biologist booklets for them to fill out as we went through the aquarium. Once they got all their answers, we turned them in at the front desk to check their answers and then each of them received their own Junior Marine Biologist badge. Talk. About. Excited. My kids were crazed.

And what I really liked about this booklet is that it was divided up into three sections by age. So my son's pages were appropriate for a six year old, and my daughter had different questions and activities that were best suited to an older child. Guess what? This counts as a School Day! *Score!* Field trips are the best.

Anyhoo, it's back to the salt mines this week for me. Juggling work and kids and home and husband. But it was sure nice to have a break. We ALL need one from time to time. I hope you've gotten a chance to have yours.

Un abrazo!



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