Homeschool Outdoor School–August, 2019

I have been planning an outdoor school experience for Patsy for a few weeks. When Jake heard she was going camping and doing school, he insisted on some school, too:). He was always going camping—he loves it so much. So, along with the notebook I was making for Patsy to do, I had to make one for Jake, too. For his, I had Rob run off some word searches from the internet, and let him do those. I planned lots of fun, outdoor activities, as well, along with “messy” crafts that were perfect for doing outside.

Here’s where the big surprise came in…..I wrote the date down wrong. Really, I did! So, we woke up on Saturday and I leisurely asked Rob to look up which campsite we had, just for fun, and YIKES! we were due down there at the coast that day!!! I called my sister to see if Jake could go with us earlier than we had planned, so they packed him up, came over and helped us get ready and hustled us off on our adventure.

The very first day, there was a ranger program about agates. Rob took the kids down to it and they were hooked! The ranger gave them each 2 agates and they spent hours hunting for more down on the beach in 3 different places. On the 3rd beach we tried, they finally found some. They were excited.

Patsy did bookwork each morning, like language arts, Bible, math, and science. Jake did a few word finds. I read aloud to both of them, mostly things Patsy needed to hear for school–good for them both. I also read a beloved Boxcar Children book to Jake in the evenings. In the afternoons, we did fun activities.

Patsy had chosen 2 simple cooking projects to do on the trip. One was trail mix …

and the other one was Camping Haystacks–mostly a can of chili on top of Fritos with some salad toppings. She loved it! I mean, who wouldn’t want chips for the main part of dinner, right?

Patsy and I went clamming and caught nothing. Jake and Rob did not walk out with us, but instead, Jake dug for gold. He did not find any gold, either, but he made it clear that if he had found any, it was, and I quote, “ALL MINE!”

The weather was amazing. It was in the upper 80’s (or warmer) most of the time. There was wind or a breeze frequently. I heard we escaped some awfully hot weather back in the valley. In this picture, we had gone for a drive and stopped to feed some seagulls.

Patsy and I took a few walks. I have been working on training our dog— if she pulls, the “Haltie” on her nose (black leash) tightens on her nose, which she doesn’t like. If she isn’t pulling, I let her run on the blue leash and let the other one hang loosely. I only tighten the black one if she pulls. I have no idea if anyone else does it that way, but it’s working well. She managed to walk calmly through the entire campground full of dogs and children without going ballistic by the end of the time. I’m starting to take her places with more and more people and animals, and she’s not comfortable, in fact shivering and shaking on the crowded beach one day, but I want her to get used to it.

We read books about fall and decorated fall cookies. I had hoped to bake them before we went, but with our hasty departure I couldn’t, so I had to make them in the camper. It worked, but the oven isn’t the best. Of course, this activity was geared for Jake, but no one argues with cookies around here.

Patsy did another craft..a coconut oil-brown sugar scrub. They both folded some origami animals as well, and decorated sunglasses with duct tape. They had a lot of squirt gun fights.

The tree was a favorite perch all week.

Our other nephew came down the last night after he finished work. Jake immediately roped him into game playing. We had a great visit, although short, and we all headed back to the valley the next morning.

I had Rob develop some pictures of our activities and we put them into a notebook for each kid so they would have good memories to keep about their fun outdoor school.

I am very satisfied with the fact that we are now most of the way through the first 4 weeks of school with Patsy. I hope to finish week 4 today. I love getting started in August. It will give me more leeway during the year when I get super busy. I also love the fact that we could take school on the road, get a lot done, but still have so much time to enjoy the outdoors. It took a lot of planning and a lot of supplies for so many crafts and hands-on activities, but I love to do that.

On Wednesday, the weather started to change. I enjoyed the cooler weather, and came home Thursday to a city that was considerably cooler than it has been, which was a relief. I gave a happy, sun-tanned boy back to his daddy and he’s going to spend the next couple of days snuggling with his mama. I’m going to put the house back together, can up some applesauce and start working outside in the garden and yard a bit over the next few days. Things are quite messy after 2 trips away, but then again, the work will always be here. Little boys and teen-age girls won’t.

14 thoughts on “Homeschool Outdoor School–August, 2019”

  1. Oh Becky, that trip sounds amazing! I’m so glad y’all got to go away and have school all at the same time!!!

    1. I am, too. I’m super pumped because I wasn’t sure I would be able to get a month of school done in August, but I did, and mentally, that puts me in a good place for the upcoming year. We have some other fun things planned for later in the year. It’s the first year I’ve homeschooled for years and years that we did not have the kids in any weekly activities like dance classes, a homeschool Spanish class, etc. that will cause us to have to be here all the time. Of course, we still need to work, and want to go to church, but it will enable us to go on some adventures at times. For instance, I was noticing that our zoo membership has a reciprocal pass to the Oregon Coast Aquarium in the month of November. So, we hope to take a day and do that with Patsy. It’s a very expensive place, so we have not been for years and years, but free is a very good price. I’m looking for other free or low-cost things to take her to. That’s one of her reasons for wanting to be homeschooled–they just don’t do anything like that at the schools around here anymore, for budget reasons. She’s only had 2 field trips in her entire school career, if I remember right, at least during the time she’s been with us. I’m looking into school matinees at the Northwest Children’s Theatre in Portland, and some other enriching things I’ve done with other kids in the past. We’ll see what I find! Her auntie sent her and Rob to the Newsboys concert on Thursday night….she was thrilled!

      1. How exciting!!! Sounds like a lot of adventure is in Patsy’s future!!! That’s always the best way to learn! Good luck and God bless for a wonderful school year!

    1. Today I was a slug. I sat and visited with my sister for a while, leisurely picked some tomatoes, took 3 hours to wash up the few dishes and put jars of canned things away from before we left, slowly put away a pile of stuff that covered the table, and took a mega nap. So, there you have it. I’m super productive when I am. And, then, I’m not anymore. Tomorrow, I will have more energy and get at some of the things I want to accomplish around here, and will have a better time of it because I rested today.

  2. I was thinking before I read it that the outdoor school and crafts had to have taken a lot of planning, but I imagine it was an awesome trip for them.

    1. Thankfully, I started organizing and gathering supplies a few weeks ago, because having all that in the camper already helped so much when I realized we were going early! Patsy really thrives on crafty-type projects, more than most of the other kids did, and I want to encourage that. She said later that the crafts were her favorite part of the week.

    1. I agree! Since she has never been homeschooled before, I want her to have some of the fun she saw others getting to have over the years. That was another one of her reasons to be homeschooled–she felt she missed so much by going to school.

  3. That sounds like a fun week! What great memories! You have made learning fun for her, and it looks like Jake had fun too.
    Hope you have a great weekend.

    1. Thank you. It was fun. I like it that we can give her that experience. I hope she comes out of this time with a lot of good memories, along with the learning she does.

  4. What? No gold? Tell Jake I know exactly how he feels. I have never found any gold even though I have dug in the yard for years!
    Jeannie@GetMeToTheCountry

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