Today was one of those awesome homeschooling days that reminds me why I'm doing this.
We went on a field trip to our homeschool group to a beach on Puget Sound for some low tide exploration. The beach was pretty packed (there were several buses full of kids there too!) but I can't say that I blame them. It was a particularly low tide and the weather turned out to be perfect. The forecast said rain (bleh), but the sun came out for us! It was beautiful.
My kids found sea cucumbers, seastars, tons of crabs, both small and large, as well as these slippery little eel things (not positive what they actually were), and even a tiny octopus! My 7-year old is still exclaiming about how "freaked out" he is (in a good way, by the enthusiasm) that he held a real octopus. Tiny as it was, it was actually a little tricky to get it to let go of his fingers.
After our beach exploration, we joined the other homeschool families at the adjacent park for lunch and playtime. My boys spent a rowdy 2 hours prowling "the woods" (which was a 15-foot-ish wide section of trees next to the fence), playing something my oldest called "fort" with a group of other kids. The kids were all having so much fun, the only reason I was able to tear them away was because we waited until most of the other families had left. Their game had died down enough that they reluctantly followed me back to the car.
Their enthusiasm and excitement was so strong as we picked our way among the muddy rocks of the beach, discovering treasures and sea life. And not that everything has to turn into a "lesson", but my oldest came home and wanted to look up everything we could find on the octopus; I finally put on a ocean nature documentary for him, just so I could make dinner :).
All in all, it was a great day.