It’s not the destination

Here is a story about big ideas.

Have to tell you, I’m a fan of big ideas. I’m that gal. It’s one of the reasons I like young people, and actors, most of whom have big ideas.

Homeschooling, was, for me, a perfect place for big ideas… and they tended to get bigger as my number of students increased. However, there are a few tricks to surviving the cross connection of big ideas and homeschool, and a great place to start there is in your approach to field trips.

If you’re a homeschooler,particularly of an infant or some toddlers,  you probably know what I’m talking about. YOU are going to go on field trips. Your whole family will cross the Americas in a campervan, updating your podcast at least weekly, and compiling the material for your book. The children, all fluent in Latin already, will easily pick up other languages as you travel.

But if you’re lucky, you’re married to a man ( or woman) kinda sorta like mine, who has a rooted stick-in-the-mud attitude about steady incomes and health insurance,

My husband Steve, prior to 1st aid & haircut. Broke his head open wrestling shelves in the basement.

and you turn your attention (temporarily) to shorter field trips. It’s easy. You start a field trip co-op (unless someone beat you to it) and every Friday you meet up with the group to visit museums, historical sites, and cultural activities. On the other days you’re geocaching.

If you have given birth exclusively to extraverts, have no regular work responsibilities, and just a few children, I look forward to hearing about this. 😉 I will live vicariously through your awesomeness. However, at a certain point I had to ratchet back on the extra field-trippage, mostly because we could never find enough matching shoes to get out the door. We committed to a FEW things and occasionally made an appearance at area activities, but we live in a neighborhood where the kids have friends and activities of their own, so we did more school-type stuff during school-type hours.

We take vacations. Did I mention Disney? 😉

And last Friday we took a field-trip to the opening public day of the Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon 2011, because we have a big focus on sustainability in our curriculum and household. http://www.solardecathlon.gov/

Here we are. What do you notice? Take your time.

some days are more solar than others

I drove through torrents of rain to get there, 2 1/2 hours, most of the kids slept the whole way. My husband and I had the longest uninterrupted conversation we’ve had in 6 months, easy.  We saw a few of the houses that were open (weekdays are short, and they all close at intervals.) We got soaked through, they had to rope off areas of the walkways because they FOUNTAINED foul-smelling water when you walked on them. It took me 6 hours to drive home, in unholy conditions of traffic stopped and blinding rain.

We loved it. The building from Calgary was particularly super awesome.

on we go, Canadian turtle straight ahead

We have to go back and see all of them. Forecast is rain.

Ugly approach, I thought, but valuable idea

That’s the thing about field-trips, and much of parenting. It’s not the destination that matters.