I discovered early that Jovani is a hands-on learner which makes this trip ideal for his mind. He has never really enjoyed being read to. This used to worry me. How does one homeschool a child that hates nonfiction books? How would he ever learn anything if he would never sit down and listen to me read a book? When Joaquin was little we would sit and read for hours together and learn all kinds of fascinating things. This is the kind of learning I was accustomed to, if I’m curious about something the first thing I do is look for a book about it. Now here we are, on our first worldschooling adventure thousands of miles away from all my beloved books and we are discovering and learning in new ways. We must observe, ask questions, and test hypotheses.
Just here in Ecuador we have been able to learn about cultures, language, the equator, the seasons, tides, volcanos, earthquakes, different ecosystems, and so much more simply because we have been exposed to all of these things. Joaquin still enjoys learning from books, but being exposed to more is expanding his mind as well. We are breaking him out of his American teenage shell a little bit at a time and he is hopefully learning something along the way. If not, he has plenty of Kindle books to choose from.
I’m on this tangent about learning because of the tide pools. The tide pools are our favorite thing to see here, they inspire so much curiosity and so many questions. We can’t go explore them without being amazed. Each pool is different; it’s own tiny ecosystem that constantly changes from hour to hour. We have seen sea urchins, fan coral, crabs, sea slugs, octopus, sea cucumbers, different kinds of sea stars, various kinds of fish, and loads of other things I can’t even begin to identify. The boys have had so much fun exploring these pools and they have provided many more learning opportunities than any book ever could.
Today we met one of our swimmers down at the beach and he came with us to explore the tide pools. The boys had a blast discovering different animals and finding the words in Spanish to tell their new friend. He was able to show them animals they hadn’t previously seen before. They ran, jumped, climbed, splashed, and played all morning long.
Sometimes I worry that my children are missing the opportunity to go to school and participate in the activities that school children do. I worry that they may be behind other children their age in reading or math, but then I get to see them learn and experience these new things. I hear them use words I didn’t know they knew. I hear them ask fabulous questions that never occurred to me to ask. They are experiencing so much more than I ever thought we could give them. Going to new places and seeing new things always inspires more questions, more curiosity. That’s all learning is, it’s not a series of subjects that you sit down to study an hour each day. I’m so thankful we could give our kids this worldschooling opportunity.