I think I am in denial.
It's back to school time.
Don't get me wrong.
I love school.
I am really excited about the upcoming year and all the great books the kids and I will be reading.
I'm looking forward to working in our nature journals, learning geography, history, French, and lots of hikes.
I am even excited about math.
But I will be sorry to see summer go.
I will miss slow mornings and long days with no agenda.
I am going to have to be a bit more structured with our time.
And with school days looming in the very near future, I've been thinking about our home school group.
I am blessed to be a part of an amazing group of home schooling families.
We are all schooling in a similar fashion--not identical-but similar.
We meet once a week for hikes in nature and nature study.
We all explore and get excited over things like the discovery of a Great Blue Heron nest or a dead fish in the middle of the trail.
"How did it get there? What kind of fish is it?"
The kids document their discoveries in their nature journals.
We're learning natural science, botany, biology, geology and so much more.
Then they play and we visit.
It is the highlight of every week.
In addition to our weekly nature hikes, we also visit cultural destinations.
We visited the San Juan Mission and the Natural History Museum.
We're building quite an impressive field trip list.
And then, on top of all that great stuff, we also have another monthly activity planned by each family.
They ranged from a science class to a Valentines Day party.
These activities are just one more way for us to enrich our kids' education.
And, they are a lot of fun.
In the upcoming week, I am going to share some of these activities in the hope that you might be inspired to add some of them to your own home school group.
Or, for you non-home schooling types, to your kid's lives in some other way.
There is always room for making our kids' lives rich in meaningful, valuable ways.
I hope you enjoy our ideas.
And please, if you have any of your own, do share with me.
First up, the bake sale.
One of the moms in our group, Jen, came up with the idea of raising money for a nature spot we often visit.
She thought a bake sale would be the way to go.
We all donned our aprons, baked treats and sold them from our spot on the sidewalk.
It was a grand success.
Jen chose the Bolsa Chica Wetlands as the recipient of our donation.
She put up a display board with some info, and pictures so our patrons would know where their money was going.
Of course, there were books too.
Every one showed up around 10 am on the corner near Jen's house where we set up shop.
There wasn't a lot of foot traffic, but there were a lot of cars lured in by our signs and waving.
There were lots of home made treats to choose from.
As well as some candy
and fresh lemonade.
Jen made signs for the kids to hold and bring in the customers.
This was William's favorite part of the day.
He wasn't content to just hold the sign either.
He liked yelling at cars too.
Before long, we were busy.
The kids ran the show.
They took orders, they poured drinks,
they served, took money and made change.
You know, we've gotta give those home schooled kids opportunities to be socialized.
Oh wait, did that sound sarcastic?
They even provided curbside service.
And they hustled to fill those orders.
And when business was slow
they made their own traffic.
(helpful tip, have kids bring bikes and scooters to play with during the slow times)
Jen also provided bubbles and chalk for the kids to play with.
By the end of the morning, the kids had raised over $100 for Bolsa Chica Wetlands.
And nothing much was left.
Except for some gumballs.
It was a great success.
Lots of fun for the kids, lots of different kinds of learning experiences, and a chance to give back to a place we love to visit.
We already have another bake sale on the books for this fall.
If you can, come by for some top notch goodies when we do.