Learning, rock pooling & something ‘PINK’!

This morning we were greeted to sunshine, blue sky and no wind – late autumnal weather of the finest kind. After an hour of on-line work (Sophie has been checking out K12 online school and doing some free trail lessons), we closed off the electronics and headed out the front door for some fresh air education (with me also on the look out for my ‘Photo of the Day for May‘ – something PINK!).

The local playground was ‘mobbed’ (as Sophie described it) with pre-schoolers jostling for position on the play equipment, with little disregard for one another (as is often the way at that age), so we decided to head to the rock pools and beach – nature’s own playground – where the only other beings jostling for prime position were the seagulls and sea-creatures.

Rock pools at Princess Bay

We jogged half way there – Alice too – and descended on the rock pools with great enthusiasm.

Rock pools at Princess Bay

Sophie couldn’t wait to climb and scramble on the rocks (declaring Princess Bay her favourite beach of all time – part of the Taputeranga Marine Reserve).

Sophie & Alice at Princess Bay, Wellington

Alice wanted to try and follow Sophie wherever she roamed (and did quite a good job of it too – with me nervously positioned close by to catch her should she fall!).

Alice at 27 months rock scrambling at Princess Bay

The terrain was rough, but she refused shoes (displaying a strong independent streak, like her oldest sister – Charlotte) and picked her way carefully between the rocks in bare feet, occasionally turning around to check I was close by!

You still there Mum? Alice, 27 months, Princess Bay

After we’d climbed over a few rocks we discovered beautiful rock pools, teaming with cats-eyes, chitons and life.

Sophie on a rock at Princess Bay - with Island Bay in the distance

The rock pools were where I came across my ‘PINK’ for the day!

Something pink

Sophie also spotted a crab! Cool!

Crab in the rock pools at Princess Bay

There’s nothing like nature and ‘being out there’ to fire up a little learning enthusiasm. When we got home, around lunch time (with Alice fast asleep in the buggy), Sophie got right into her final unit in her ‘Living World’ section of the Yr 3 Science workbook, by Start Right, which was aptly – ‘The rocky shore’! She also wrote an account of her morning in her diary (which is not something she’s done in a while – so I made a note to include a lot more sunshine, fresh air time to encourage such enthusiastic writing!).

Runs on fresh air :) Sophie, age 6

We’re having a great week of home-education (only Tuesday, but I’m remaining positive!) – helped by me sitting down and doing a little planning time on Sunday to prepare. I also read an inspiring gem of a read – ‘No Sweat Home Schooling‘ – from a seasoned parent (which helped me get my lesson planning mojo in check over the weekend!).

Also, the K12 online school trial was great this morning – Sophie enjoyed interactive lessons on the three main rock types – via a tour of the Grand Canyon, explored the various depths of the ocean and the creatures that live in each zone, touched on a little history of ‘The Roman Empire’ and worked on some subtraction, language and problem solving exercises too.

Meanwhile, Alice built a train track (with my intermittent help) and enjoyed some imaginary play with her puppets.

And we got our exercise in! I had to completely change after pushing sleeping Alice in the buggy up our steep road (it’s been a while since I pushed that much weight!).

One final ‘PINK’ photo from our visit to the wonderful rocky shore of Wellington’s south coast…

Something pink!

And dear Charlotte, my nearly 9 year old (who I don’t see so much of during the day, Monday to Friday) is being incredibly studious. She finished all her homework at Dan’s office after school on Monday (managed to fit in a chess game with one of his colleagues too) and came home from her dance class this evening buzzing about a new dance. She’s now taken herself off to her room to read (latest Andy Griffith’s book – ‘Just Doomed‘!!). She’s doing a fortnight’s ‘sponsored read’ to raise money for new books for her school library – it’s a wonderful idea just for the ‘peace’ it’s ‘buying’ us, hee, hee! Even Sophie wants to join in and we were pleasantly shocked, delighted, extremely full of praise and encouraging for ‘more of the same’ please… when both Sophie and Charlotte sat in silence, cuddled up next to one another, reading for half an hour!