Posts

Showing posts from February, 2015

Is it worth it?

Image
“I miss Elizabeth, Mom.”  
She’d only been gone for one day and one night, yet her little brother was feeling the immense void.  We all were.  But I think he was missing her the most, and I couldn’t have been more thrilled.  I don’t like to see my kids sad, no parent does, but this sadness, this loneliness, this unrest told me a lot about my kids.  Just a few days ago, I wondered where I’d gone wrong as a parent as I found myself continuously wearing my police officer hat.  It was one of the many mornings when they couldn’t even walk past each other without poking or antagonizing the other.  As the annoyances escalated, the reactions escalated, and I was ready to throw them both overboard.  (Mom and Dad, I know, this is all payback for those never ending car trips during which my siblings and I drove you both absolutely bananas and caused Dad to pull the car over more than once.  I can’t apologize enough, really.  We were monsters.)
When I was a kid, we didn’t live on a boat, but we …

Dive-Bombers, Giants, and Reeking Cisterns - NZ Learning Continues...

Image
From the graceful Bermuda Longtails to the clumsy Blue-footed Boobies of the Galapagos, we have been fascinated by the varied and unique bird life we’ve encountered.  I never thought I’d be a birdwatcher, but the moment I hear a clear, lilting call or see a shadow swooping across the sails, I scurry up on deck to get a better view and holler to one of the kids to grab the bird book and binoculars.  We’ve learned to look for certain characteristics that help to classify birds - tail shape, wing design, prominent coloring or marking, beak shape, and even the way that they fly through the air.  We’re not great at identifying a bird from it’s call yet, although some are hard to miss - like the Tui’s long melodic song here in New Zealand or the loud squawk of the greedy seagulls fighting over a crust of bread outside our galley window.

Dive-Bombers  The birds we’ve seen in New Zealand don’t disappoint - colorful Rosellas, a Quail trailed by its puffy chicks, curious Kea, the red-beaked P…

Let's Go Learn!

Image
New Zealand's Northland Field Trips - Part One Between book reports, irregular plurals, and long division, we somehow managed to get off the boat for a few field trips.  In fact, New Zealand offers so many learning opportunities that we’ve found it hard to buckle down and maintain our core curriculum.  Who wants to do school inside at the salon table when we could be walking through a cave or exploring hobbit holes?  So, true to our name, we set out on a few learning expeditions.  After all, students just want to have fun, too!  (check out my previous blog post)
Kawiti Glowworm Caves Near Kawakawa, we were lured to the Kawiti Caves , where glowworms can be seen twinkling like stars in the Milky Way on the ceiling above us.  As we were led along the wooden walkways between stalactites and stalagmites, the guide told us about the life cycle of the worms and how they dangle sticky lines to catch insects that fly into the cave, attracted by the lights they emit.  Turns out, the hungr…