Thursday, December 23, 2010

The ULTIMATE field trip!

We love to travel. One of the reasons we decided to homeschool is so we could travel whenever we wanted, without having to worry about school absences or make-up assignments.  Since traveling (especially if you’re going international) is expensive, my hubby has mastered the art of finding tickets to desired destinations during the “off season.”  This cuts costs, and doesn’t prevent us from having wonderful, amazing experiences.
We have always traveled—and when we started having kids, we were determined not to let that stop us from seeing the world.  Of course, it’s an entirely different experience to bring children along than it is to go alone or as a couple.  We’ve had to learn to adjust our expectations and tailor our “kids, too-trips” to their needs. And we’ve had to get awfully creative on occasion to find the ways and means to make various trips.  But it’s all been worth it.  It’s given our kids a hunger to learn about the world and see it for themselves. They love to explore new places, meet new people, learn about other cultures and languages.  They are unafraid.
The photo above was taken last year, when my hubby took the two oldest kids to his motherland—Guatemala.  They had an amazing time and STILL talk about their experiences.  I admit, I was a little jealous—I stayed home with the two youngest kids, because for as much as we like to go places as a family, we didn’t feel we had the mental and physical fortitude for going international with a clingy preschooler and a reckless, tantrum-y toddler (gotta love those two year olds!) Sometimes, sacrifices must be made.  But, I’m glad the older kids got to go—they met relatives they’ve only heard about or talked with on the phone.  They saw things that just don’t exist up here in the north, and they got some incredible hands-on history and biology lessons!  You just can’t replicate these kinds of things in a classroom.
Now, not every trip we take is to some exotic locale—heck, the kids get excited about going to the local zoo—but we’ve tried to make travelling an integral part of our school experience.  Whether it’s to the Capitol Building downtown or Central America, we want the kids involved.
Soon, very soon—my hubby will be taking three of the four kids to Guatemala again.  Our clingy preschooler is now a not-as-clingy kindergartener, and we think she’s ready to see a bit more of the world.  Once again, I am a little jealous, because once again, I am staying home—with our reckless, tantrum-y preschooler.  He’s still a bit much to handle locally!  Also, I’m expecting kid numero cinco, and getting into that ugly third trimester stuff. But—I am SO excited for my hubby and the big kids (and for me—frankly, it will be a nice little respite from school for a week or so!)  I’m looking forward to the day when we can take the entire family…it’ll happen again, someday!
In a future post, I’ll give you the dirt on how to travel “Pineda-style” for a more streamlined trip to wherever—an essential lesson, for sure!

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