Sunday, November 15, 2009

Beside The Seaside

A beach side, 'do nothing' holiday. Or a week full of fun learning experiences?

It all depends on ones' perception I believe.

We homeschoolers really are a very different breed.

Like you didn't already know that though!

The longer my kids have been at home the more I realise this to be true. Take our recent week long beach holiday in my parents caravan (thanks mum and dad) for instance.

To many this simply would have been a 'relaxing week doing nothing much except going to the beach.'

For us it was,

Full of the that word - socialistaion - and spending lovely quality time with friends.

Lots of exercise swimming, running on the beach and learning to use a Boogie Board.

Sandcastle building really does require alot of thought and planning, so there was definitely alot of that going on.

We all enjoyed spending plenty of quality family time together

It was C's first week long beach holiday, his senses were on fire. Next time you go to the beach just try and see it through a toddlers eyes and it really is such a wonderful experience. Isn't that one of the greatest things about having little ones, being able to relive all of those firsts again, seeing them and being apart of those experiences right along with them

And it just wouldn't be the beach without seagulls. I think (like most toddlers) these things were definitely C's favourite. Every which way he turned there they were. Which way was he to run, just run, here there and every where. The damn things kept running away on him though, talk about frustration.

The bigger kids among us did a spot of reading on seagulls and included a mini book about them in the Ocean Lapbook we worked on during the week.

From the beach at night we could see the red and green lights from down at the Bar. B was very intrigued by them, so one afternoon we took a drive and a stroll to see them for ourselves.

After our stroll we spotted these Sea Eagles perched atop the Coast Guard Tower. Even with our frequent visits to this beach side town I was never aware of the Eagles. Apparently they had built their nest in the tower of the Coast Guard.

So what's the Coast Guard to do? Build those Eagles a new tower right next door on the power pole. Then they just moved their nest right across. Sounds simple enough, right? Well they're still there and were pretty sure we counted 4 at least one of which was fairly young.

We could have spent hours watching them. We were lucky enough to witness a catch. Too far away to see exactly what type of fish but it was so very intriguing to watch none the less.

C spent some time chasing a turkey in the park, whilst B and K played on the playground.

Windy afternoons on the beach brought out this man on his umm, contraption. "It's a skateboard with a parasail." It was truly one of the funniest things to watch, scooting along the beach, it was pretty damned fast too. But gee it must of given him a good work out. He needed to stop regularly to catch his breath and rest his arms. And yet he came back again, each afternoon there was enough wind to get his, contraption, going.

Having a baby that sleeps 2 - 3 hours in the afternoons meant that I needed to take along plenty of quiet things to do. Lego is always a great way to idle away an afternoon. We had plenty of books, games and art bits and pieces. K painted and/or created at least one piece every single day. Her water colour control is definitely developing nicely.

She is very good at (and has always been) creating with minimal supplies. She jumped on her bike one afternoon, collected flowers and made this collage.

This little jellyfish was firstly stabbed with a stick (gee I sure hope it really was dead) and carried all the way up the beach to the van. It was poked, prodded, dropped in water, inspected, cut open and rolled in sand.

That reminds me we had plenty of discussions about tidal movements and all of the treasures (or junk) that gets washed up on the beach. We found a dead puffer fish, loads of shells, gorgeous shiny, smooth stones, blue bottles (lots of those) and of all the horrible things a dead rat. There were a few theories about how it got there and how it died......but overall just seeing it there was pretty darn gross.

The Coast Guard Tower.

I also took our Oil Pastels and once again K set to it, creating. She's been busy of late with people, always drawing , aren't they just the cutest.

B painted this Butterfly to give to a friend for her birthday.

The kids missed an Art Lesson whilst we away. After chatting to a friend we tried to recreate it as best we could. I didn't have much of an idea and hadn't seen any of the finished pieces. All I knew was that it was a landscape, where the children got to explore backgrounds and foregrounds. B started in water colour and added the finishing touches in oil pastel.

So we might not have completed any worksheets or written in any workbooks, or even considered the ABC's or 123's but wow when you look back over it all like this what a week full of fun learning.


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