As I have shared on Instagram, we are a part-time homeschooling family. My five children go to a homeschooling school on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and we are learning and studying at home on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. This is a wonderful combination for us and we are so thankful to live in the Central Florida community where we have lots of options in home education! Homeschooling is well known in Orlando and surrounding areas, and lots of support groups, co-ops, and deals abound for homeschooling families.
There are so many reasons that I love homeschooling, and having more time to travel and experience new things is one of the best! I have written about lots of the amazing and educational places we have visited, like the Edison House in Fort Myers, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Bar Harbor, Maine, and of course, Walt Disney World!
There are so many educational experiences at Walt Disney World. From amazing tours and educational opportunities, to learning around the world, there is so much learning available at Walt Disney World. Even the Marceline to Magic Kingdom Tour that we went on for my son’s 13th birthday, was very educational in history and technology! There are also lots of amazing programs available through the Disney Youth Educations Programs. Coming in 2019, there will be a new Science Behind the Seeds program at Epcot! This three hour program will expand on the concept behind the very popular Behind the Seeds Tour at Living with the Land. Be sure to check out the Disney Youth Programs website for more details on this amazing new educational opportunity.
With a large family, we are always balancing the cost of an event or experience with the benefit to our whole family. But I am a firm believer in creating memories, taking the trip, making the drive, whether or not it will go perfectly, in favor of making that memory as a family. So in this spirit, Noah and I embarked on a weekend trip, just the two of us!
I recently posted about a homeschooling STEM weekend that we attended on Sanibel Island in Southwest Florida. I was invited by a friend to attend, so I was a little late to the registration. There were several lectures, but the highlight of the STEM experience was the shark dissection. My 13 year old son was definitely not sure about doing this, as a big animal lover. He had dissected a worm before at school, but a shark was a much larger endeavor! He somewhat reluctantly made a few cuts and learned about both the external and internal anatomy of a spiny dogfish, or as it’s more commonly know, the mud shark. The students worked in groups of 4, with mostly people they had just met, which was a wonderful exercise in teamwork and also social skills. As a former pre-med major, I was very happy to observe and help. Both Noah and I learned a lot, and it was a great growing experience for him.
The shark dissection was a wonderful learning experience, but overall, having fun and exploring the island was even better. We rode bikes for miles, walked on the beach, learned how to play pickle ball, watched the Penn State game, and ate way too much! We had so much fun, and in a large family, the opportunity to spend time with just one child is always treasured.
So, as I shared in my Maine travel post about road tripping for 26 hours with five kids and a dog, take my advice; just get out there! Take the trip, visit the museum, go to that local place down the street that you’ve been meaning to go to for years, and book the flight. As one of my favorite parenting quotes go, “The days are long, but the years are short.” How many summers do you have left with your oldest? We have just 4 summers left with our oldest before he’s off to college. I will create as many memories as possible and treasure them all in my heart.
Come visit me on Instagram and Facebook to follow along with our travels and learn more about our homeschool life!