Saturday, September 13, 2014

A Homeschool Friday

 On Friday we went to the beach. This is one of the advantages of homeschooling flexibility and part of why Julia loves being homeschooled. I've noted that homeschooling isn't for everyone. Then again, I can think of hardly any child who wouldn't love going to the beach on a school day.
The skies were phenomenal.
 And it was a school day, not a vacation day. She did science before we left the house, did two sections of Algebra in the car on the way, read her history assignment on the way home, and I read ten pages of Beowulf aloud in the car too. And she added a chapter from Ivanhoe that evening. A good school day!
But enough of school. This is about the beach!
 I always tell myself I will not pick up any more shells, and I never listen.
 A little watercolor, a little sand.
 It was a bit windy for painting, but I would try.
 This trip was Adam's idea. Last time he really (really) enjoyed sitting in the surf. After three hours of sitting there, being gently pounded by the ocean, his bad leg feels like its run a marathon -- a good workout.
They sat together. Every once in a while Julia would come tromping up to me and show me the treasures they'd dug from the sand beneath, once a solid piece of oil. Adam is a man who cannot ever stop learning, even if he wanted to. All of life is a private education for him, and if he's with a kid, he can't help sharing it. This is one of the reasons homeschooling works well for us.
 Probably hundreds of conversations over the years between us have begun with the words, "I just watched this documentary, and ..." from him.
I photographed broken shells on this day.
 I love their texture.
 I love how they look with the water's glisten still on them. They don't look this way after you bring them home.
 So delicate! I pick it up as if it were crystal, but it's survived pummeling from the ocean. What harm can I do it?

 I saw this and thought, "piano!"
 This shell is the universe. A gray swirl of galaxies. A vast blob of nebula. A sprinkling of stars.
 I finally decided these look like ice cream cones.
 This shell is such an orange! And if it were whole, I'm sure it would be identical to millions of others in the ocean. But its jagged brokenness, while marring its perfection, also makes it unique. Isn't that true of humans as well?
 A tiny black shell is imbedded in its end.
 Walking on sand is challenging for Adam, and he takes his cane.
Of the few humans on the beach, some were die-hard beach fans, some were skipping high school classes in thoroughly impractical bikinis, and some were fishermen.
 Julia and I were anti-fishermen. Once she felt something light glance across her shoulders -- a fishing line! (grrr -- they should be careful!) In her aggravation, she yanked hard on the line to give the fellow unsubstantiated hope. Ha! He stood up, looked alert, reeled in his line, was bemused and confused at the empty hook.
On my stroll far down the beach, I found a 5-gallon bucket with a tight lid snapped on and lots of holes drilled in the side. Upon close inspection I realized there were fish inside. Fish, dying, flapping, trapped on the beach. Where did it come from? Who would leave them to die? Why? I'm not a weird tree-hugger, but for goodness' sakes -- why catch them only to leave them to die? So I pried open the lid and tried to release the fish into the surf. They struggled. One fish I had to scoop up in a handful of sand and fling into the waves. In the end they all swam away. It was quite satisfying.
Only a certain amount of learning can be done with one's nose in a book. Books are quite valuable. But at some point we must put down the book and step out into the world to test the things we've read. I think homeschooling is rather good for this, although it can be done by any student. I love giving Julia the chance to dig in the sands of the world and find treasure.


  1. Great beach day!

    Have a good week ~ FlowerLady

  2. Those clouds are SPECTACULAR! We'll never equal God's artistry. Yes, I need to remember that last part. I love to keep my nose in a book. I don't like the part about going out into the world so much. (What a little hermit!) Glad you had a great day at the beach AND got some school done. Yay for you! :)

  3. Glorious! I am hiding at the keyboard on a darkening Sunday night, putting off the inevitable list looking that I must do to be ready for tomorrow. Oh for a beach day! Not that ours are anywhere as beautiful as yours!

  4. She's blessed with such fine teachers! I love the beach!

  5. Oh, I am jealous that the beach is close enough for a day visit. I agree with your thoughts and glad you guys have such great fun. I like Julia's spirit a lot!!

  6. That was a great day to share - the cloud and shell pictures are yummy! I'm so glad it was only the fishing line that landed on Julia's skin and not a hook in her flesh!!

  7. A perfect beach day, as are they all! There are so many teaching/learning moments. How delightful! (And fish rescue, too. Bravo!)

    New little hen here on the farm. Come on over to see her photo!

  8. I could spend hours on the beach if I had the chance. I know we aren't suppose to "envy" other people but I really wish I could have been there with you. What an amazing way to spend the day. That clouds shot was awesome and collecting shells is so much fun. You are truly blest to be able to do this.

  9. Gorgeous clouds! And I love that picture of your husband and Julia sitting in the water.
    A perfect homeschooling day!


Hello! I hope you leave a word ~ I will get back to it as soon as I can!