Monday, April 27, 2015

Homeschool Hiking

We have an awesome homeschool co-op group that we get together with regularly.   All of our kids are very close in age and we all live pretty close to one another.  We can already see we are building lasting friendships with these fun friends.  I know some who aren't familiar with homeschooling think that homeschooled kids don't get "socialization."  Well, they are completely wrong!  Our kids get plenty of organized interactions with other kids and adults. 

from one of our first co-op meet-ups last fall. 

It's fun to see how much each of these kids has grown even since the fall!
I admit, I feel like a wonderful perk to being a homeschool teacher is that, to some degree, I can pick my kids' friends.  The group of us moms connected last August, exchanged contact information, and the rest is history.  Each month, the hosting mother comes up with some fun lessons (based on the theme that has been decided).  She schedules crafts, activities and always allows for plenty of playtime.  At our last spring-related meet-up, it was decided that scheduling a hike very soon was a must!   So, we did not delay and scheduled it immediately.  We had that hike this morning.  What glorious weather we had!   We just had a big thunderstorm last night, so there was plenty of water to fill up the creeks where we hiked.  It made the hike even more exciting!  Here are some photos of our adventure with our friends.  (We missed two of our co-op moms and 4 kids.  We will have to do this again with all of us--so much fun!)

Right away, Abbey found a "cool stick."

And she was elated over all the puddles she could splash in!

And, I noticed that just like when our family hikes together, Luke was always at the front of the pack.
There were lots of neat things to throw into the water and watch them splash.
And our friend, Jack, found the coolest stick I have ever seen.  Doesn't it look like something you would find in the Lord of the Rings or Narnia?
Because of the recent rain, the water was rushing pretty rapidly down the creek bed.  There were several little "waterfalls." 
The kids enjoyed throwing various objects into the water and watching them flow down the stream. 
The scenery and weather was absolutely gorgeous!

My friend, Sarah, had a great idea about putting duct tape on the kids' wrists.  As the kids found a treasure, they could stick it on their duct tape bracelet instead of having to carry it.  There ended up being some pretty cool bracelets at the end of our hike.

Our friend, Ava, is one of the sweetest, most kind little girls.  Here she is helping out another friend, Austin, with his bracelet.
We had so much fun exploring with our friends.

Abbey couldn't get enough of the water and the puddles!

Thankfully, I brought an extra pair of shoes for her to change into.  With Abbey, if there are puddles around we always need an extra pair of shoes.

A message along our hike:  "True Love is not easy to find." 
We spotted this really cool, black, furry caterpillar.  Thankfully, us moms remembered that there are caterpillars with that resemblance that, when touched, can cause severe allergic reactions to humans due to a toxin that its tiny hairs emit.  So, it was fun to look at, but we definitely didn't touch.
This was our beautiful scenery as we walked back to our cars. 

After our hike, we headed to the nearby Whole Foods for lunch and ate outside on their picnic tables.  4 moms and 10 kids.  I am sure Whole Foods employees were thinking, "Oh Yay!  Look who is coming to visit!" (said in a sarcastic tone), as we all came up the escalator from the parking garage.  But, it was such a great time there and we made some lasting memories for the kids!  What a fun day with friends!

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