Overnighter Field Trip in Moab AND Thoughts on Parenting/Homeschooling

Alright, alright. It was just a family vacation.

But learning happens everywhere and all the time. So I’m counting this as “school.” It definitely broadens and enhances one’s education and understanding of life.

(And dirt tolerance… ability to work without adequate sleep… lowers food standards – hot dogs, guys…

but I keep coming back to the dirt. So much dirt.

Everywhere.)

So, when is the best time to go on a family vacation? When everyone else is in school, of course! Try getting a First Come First Serve campsite anywhere near Moab this weekend? It’s just not gonna happen. At least not as easily as we found and picked ours.

Way to go Thursday morning during the off season!

We affectionally renamed our campsite “Angry Frog” in honor of the interesting rock formations looming over us.

We hit Arches National Park three times (once each day), Canyonlands and Dead Horse State Park on the second day (Canyonlands was my favorite! Definitely going back when I don’t have to carry babies on my back anymore), and day three brought us into town to watch my sisters and nephew finish a half marathon (plus a quick trip back into Arches with some cousins and Grandma and Grandpa. We had to do something while everyone else was running the race. Half marathons take awhile, you know.)

What did we learn from this “field trip?”

Hmmm…

We learned family togetherness? That sounds pretty good.

We saw and experienced and worked hard.

We got 3 days to live in a very different environment, ecosystem, whatever, than normal.

We did nothing academic. We just did real life. We just did family time.

If homeschool were only about academics, reading books, getting good grades, and passing tests, than I might as well send my kids to school.

Sometimes I say that homeschooling is just parenting without as much outsourcing. I am always a little hesitant to say that, because I don’t mean to offend people who send their children away to school everyday. (Obviously that is the right choice for some people, but just not all of us.) But for me I feel like having my kids home with me all the time gives me actual time to connect, teach, nurture, and raise my children to reach their individual and personal potential. Maybe it’s because I haven’t experienced the alternative, but I have a hard time imagining that I would have the deep, personal, and teaching moments with my kids if they were all in school everyday, plus still have all the extra curricular activities, sports, and friends, etc. that they have now. I just would NEVER see them. And definitely I would feel like they were being raised by someone else (by friends, media, etc.), even if I was still the one to tuck them in at night, make their food, clean up their messes, and do their laundry.

Parenting is SO much more than cleaning up messes, making food, and doing laundry – even so much more than tucking those sweet babies into bed at night.

(Here is where I get nervous: Just because I feel like I wouldn’t be doing my best if I sent my kids away to school, that doesn’t mean I am judging anyone else and saying they aren’t doing their best if they don’t make the same choice I make. Some people do their best when their children are away at school all day. No judging here. Just explaining myself.)

So since homeschool to me is parenting w/o (or with very little) outsourcing, then yes, this camping trip was a field trip. We practiced everything we teach at home – love, kindness, patience, respect, play, work, (not so much cleanliness), etc out in the field…

…or in this case, the desert!

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It was awesome!! I’m going back next year!

 

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