After much searching and many emails I found a wonderful Christian homeschool group in Rockport. They meet at the beach every Friday afternoon! The girls have really enjoyed getting to know some new homeschool friends. This Monday one of the families had plans to go to Padre Island National Seashore for an educational beach walk on Monarch butterfly migration. We ended up joining two other families and had a great day. Although it was not cold enough yet for the butterflies, we found out that the ranger does educational beach walks everday (one family had been a couple times before), and they also have a Junior Ranger program they can complete. This consists of a booklet where they can go through and answer questions on things in the visitor center and what they learn fron the ranger. The visitor center/ gift shop is very nice and has a small museum, tons of information and some hands-on things. Not to mention they gave a 20% discount on their great selection of books and products to homeschoolers! After the beachwalk and talking to the great rangers and folks at the visitor center, we decided to come back to complete the jr. ranger program. I learned from another homeschool mom that the National Parks all over the US have the Jr. Ranger program and her family has completed several. She said they have a passport they can actually get stamped everywhere they complete one. The neatest thing is that it is very informative, fun and educational too!
So after the beachwalk we drove down to a different part of the beach to eat our lunches and play in the sand and water. This is the nicest beach I’ve been to yet, as it is undeveloped/primative beach since it is protected as a National Seashore. The ranger talked about how important it is to have these protected areas for people to see as well as the natural habitats preserved. What a priviledge to be able to experience God’s beautiful design that hasn’t been messed up by man! I’m so thrilled to have this perfect opportunity to share this with the girls. We will defintely be taking many more trips to this wonderful place!
We learned that a few families from our group participate in a Homeschool Choir and Band/Orchestra group that was started about 5 years ago. We had only missed the first meeting, so were very fortunate to be able to join. The main instructor is an awesome homeschool dad of 6 (ages 30 – 14!) who is retired Air Force (was in Air Force Band) and has taught band and choir in many public schools for years. He is so cool, and we begin with choir, then split up into groups for band and orchestra. He teaches the horns, percussion- "regular" band. His daughter is teaching the violins which the girls are learning and they just love her. There is also a guitar instructor who has a big job with so many students!!!
I just have to praise God for allowing me to find this awesome group as I’ve been praying to find an answer to our violin delema. I got the violins last year and we tried to use the Violin Book teaching method, but with all the instruments I do play and as musically talented as I am, I’m just not a strings person. I told the girls we could go through and learn together, but it just wasn’t happening and I was praying for an affordable violin instructor. After their frst lesson the girls were sooooo excited and said "no offense mom, but she’s a GREAT violin teacher!!" No offense taken, LOL. I’m no violin teacher!!!
It’s so awesome to recognize such OBVIOUS answer to prayer. God is good.
I was finally able to load the Switched On Schoolhouse onto the computer and Taylor just loves it. I was delayed due to some technical difficulties in loading it onto the newer computer with it being a 2004 program, but after a series of communications with AO technical support it’s up and running. YEAH!!
I will blog about our horse adventures next time. Until then, keep the faith!!