THIS is what Homeschooling is All About!

Awaiting take off from Atlanta

I can't wait to share with you all of the particulars from our San Francisco vacation.   We've definitely got the traveling bug now... which inspires my husband and I to be more creative with our money so that we can do more things like this with the children.  (Sometimes I wonder why my husband is SO frugal and why I teach piano lessons each week... it is so we can have opportunities like this.) 

You could hardly classify us as world travelers, but my children have been to many states and seen many wonderful man made and natural landmarks of our great nation. You can bet that I will be counting each and every day we were gone as a school day when I send in my attendance report to the state... we learned more this way than we ever could reading a textbook, that's for sure!

  Cool license plate art at a gallery in Sausalito

Just a few of the benefits of traveling I have been observing in my children:

*An awareness of how big the world is... and just how much there is to learn and see

*Broadening their worldview by encountering different cultures and economic situations... but always seeing the larger world through their Christian faith.

*Developing compassion and empathy for others

*Fostering a sense of adventure and spirit of discovery.  I don't want them to be afraid to go new places and try new things.

* Being aware of the possibilities that life holds for them outside of their immediate geographic area... maybe God will choose to use them in awesome ways far from home

*Growing stronger and closer as a family - we experienced so many wonderful things together and have these common bonds now

 I would HIGHLY recommend a trip to San Francisco and the surrounding areas with your children.  There is so much to do and transportation is safe and easy.   We took advantage of national parks, museums, and many other learning opportunities that I'll tell you about next week.   I'm going to dedicate the week to all things travel!

For now, here are the photo highlights from the past week:

The kids on Lombard Street - The World's Crookedest Street!  We saw the only remaining tree on the street from the 1906 Earthquake and where Mark Twain used to live.

Of course you have to visit the Sea Lions... they put on such a show!  What makes them different from seals?   Sea Lions have external ear flaps and seals don't.  Who knew?

Miss B and her dad... on a boat when we went under the Golden Gate Bridge.  The awesomeness of everything inspired lots of hugs and kisses.

Visiting The Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Company in Chinatown.  GMan said he didn't like Chinatown because no one gave him "personal space"!  This was one of those good cultural experiences for him.

Locking my three favorite people away in Alcatraz!

The kids earned their Junior Park Ranger badges in Alcatraz.   What a cool program!

One of their favorite things this past week was the touch pools at the Marine Aquarium of the Bay.  

The Palace of Fine Arts took my breath away... here we saw lots of birds (swans included) and just marveled at the architecture.

Walking the Golden Gate Bridge... something every American should get the chance to do!  Standing at the midpoint of the bridge watching dolphins playing in the water below is something I will always remember.

Miss B - time is going too fast for me as I look at this photo.  We need to make the most of every minute with our children because in the blink of an eye they will be grown.

Learning about Ichthyology (the study of fish) at the California Academy of Sciences.  We loved how they geared the entire Academy towards children becoming scientists!

So much good food... but my favorite was probably the clam chowder in  a sourdough bread bowl at Boudin's.

Becoming Junior Park Rangers again - this time at Muir Woods visiting the Redwoods.

The Redwoods were truly amazing - as my husband said, "We saw God in the Redwood Forest".

Dipping their toes in the Pacific Ocean at Stinson Beach.  Driving up California Scenic Highway 1 was memorable (to say the least!)

We saw many birds we don't normally see in Georgia... Seagulls and Cormorants being the two that stood out to us the most.

Waiting to catch the red eye back to Atlanta... do NOT take this middle of the night flight.  This was the only part of our trip that we felt did not go well!

Coming up in the next week on the blog will be posts about traveling with your children, Junior Ranger programs, and much more.   

Where is the best place you've ever taken your children?