Tag Archives: aquarium

We Moms [and Grandmas] have our own species, yay!

Kudos to Erika Kristakis who has articulated my thoughts so very much better than I could myself.  Silly as it no doubt sounds, having an animal to identify with makes me feel much happier.

Since we’re in the Pacific North West, perhaps orcas or belugas have similar behaviour to dolphins?  Here’s a link to the Beluga Cam at the Vancouver Aquarium, although the Sea Otter Cam is generally livelier and more entertaining.

I’ve placed a hold on Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother at the library, but I’m 25th in line!

Much of my recognition that one size fits none is a result of my own upbringing and family situation.  It’s long and complicated so will be a post for another day.


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Seize the teachable moment ~ but which one?

As I mentioned, we took a trip to Vancouver just before New Year’s.  The adults’ main goals were to:

1) have a family/friends reunion and

2) visit the Vancouver Aquarium, which is not really practical on a day trip from Victoria.  Although it could be done, it would be exhausting.

Of course we felt the Aquarium would be very educational and the high point of the trip for the Young Sprout.

On our way to the SeaBus, we passed rail yards, and he saw trains for the first time in real life.



That and the view from the hotel room of cranes was the most exciting thing to happen on the whole trip!


So my question is:  how to mesh interests with activities?  Especially when it’s something that involves planning ahead and traveling?  If we plan a trip up Island to see steam trains in Duncan will we be satisfied, or will the Young Sprout be in an aquatic phase where a trip to the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre in Sidney would give more bang for the buck, so to speak?

Part of this is the adult wish to provide rich experiences for children and the disappointment that ensues when one’s efforts seem not to be appreciated or the child doesn’t want to participate.  Getting into the mode of “you WILL enjoy this if it kills me” mode just makes everyone miserable.

Now, that certainly didn’t happen on this trip, and there was a balance of kid-friendly, fun activities, outdoor walking and running, and the visiting, shopping, and sushi that appeal more to the older generation, but this is still a question worth pondering, I feel.

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Travel the World and Learn Something

YARTHS – sounds like pirate talk, but it’s the acronym for Yet Another Reason to Homeschool and insha’Allah will often pop up on this blog.

Today’s reason is that the search for knowledge can be a geographic search, depending obviously upon family circumstances.

Prophet Mohamed (SAWS) said “Seek knowledge even if you travel to China.”  This inspired the Moroccan traveler Ibn Battuta, who spent a lifetime traveling in Asia and Africa in the 14th century CE.

The Imax movie Road to Mecca is a great introduction to his life and travels.

So, for a Muslim homeschooling family, which three countries would be the best to visit?

I’m opting for Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Morocco.

It would be great to go on Umrah as a family so children can learn about their faith and be prepared for the Hajj they will insha’Allah make as adults.

Egypt has been on my must see list since I was a teenager, and I’m still waiting … this would be a great place to visit for homeschooling to learn more about Islam, science, agriculture, engineering and construction, history, and art.  And not to forget the marine life on the Red Sea.

Morocco would give children first-hand exposure to agriculture, crafts such as leatherwork, dyeing, silversmithing, zellig tilework, weaving, decorative trim for clothing, and of course cookery.  Old cookery books from the time of the Caliphs in Baghdad have survived but the everyday cooking in Morocco today is closest to these old recipes than anywhere else.

Of course learning while traveling as a family takes some discipline on everyone’s part.   One of the families on my guest list spent a year in Morocco and I’m looking forward to their insights.

So, which three countries would YOU pick, and why?

We just spent three days in Vancouver.  That counts as travel, since it involved traveling on busses, the SkyTrain, and two ferries.  And although we’re still in British Columbia, there is a difference in culture and surroundings, compared to the Island.

At the Aquarium I was surprised that the vast majority of children were toddlers.  As a child I loved the Aquarium in Brighton and insisted on a visit at least once a year.  During the visit there were times when I felt unsure that our young sprout was taking much in, but when we came home and read I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean, it was clear that he had taken a lot on board.

The challenges of educational travel are threefold:

  1. Make sure no one gets lost or left behind and hopefully no luggage or belongings go astray either
  2. Getting children to participate and be engaged by what they are visiting rather than aimlessly rushing around playing chasing games
  3. Getting children to even see what you came to see.  This is a bigger issue with older children and teens.  I’ve done trips where the theme t-shirt should have been “We went to Niagara Falls and my parents made me get out of the car.”

How do you cope?  You don’t have to be homeschooling to answer this one — any and all input is welcome.  Let’s get a dialogue going and come up with some travel tips.


Filed under Travel, Yet Another Reason to Homeschool (YARTHS)