By Ann Zeise
What my husband, Fred, wanted for Father's Day this year was
an family outdoor adventure, and, boy, did we have one! We rented
a canoe and started down an 11-mile trip on the Russian River
near Healdsburg in Northern California. Scott, our teenaged son,
and I traded off paddling in the bow with Fred steering in the
stern. We enjoyed talking about currents and erosion, trying
to identify birds and wild flowers. Blissful. Peaceful.
A curiously friendly gray crane seemed to be showing us the
way. Whichever side of the river he was on was indeed the side
with the deepest channel: the best canoeing. Then he seemed to
hide behind a large haystack of debris. He went right; we went
left. Suddenly there appeared before us this steep waterfall
with one damaged canoe already blocking half of it. We avoided
the canoe only to hang up on a hidden boulder. Our aluminum canoe
swamped, wrapping itself almost in two around the boulder, but
didn't tip completely over. Thank God we had life jackets on!
We stowed what we could of our stuff in various bags we were
determined to take with us. Water-logged towels and extra clothes
were abandoned, as we slid down the mossy rock and began our
float down the rest of the way to the camp ground, goodness knew
how far we'd have to float. The Russian River is rain water,
so fairly warm, still we got out on sand bars to get some warmth
in our bodies.
We learned the lessons of survival: keep your cool. Stay together.
Plan every step. Listen to everyone. One could see better, one
could hear better, one could sense what the river was going to
Whether you decide to learn the lessons of nature as a family
or by sending your older children to camp, there are no better
lessons to be learned. I've included some links for and about
homeschooling adventures in the outdoors. Enjoy!
Next time I'll believe the crane.
Homeschool Adventure Tales
Tides, currents, mathematics, reading, geography, biology, fluid
dynamics, astronomy, history. It takes scarcely a moment to peel
back the surface of a day's adventuring to see that our simple
voyage called out all these disciplines. by Jeff Kelety, HEM.
Ultimate Field Trip
A family friend invites the eight members of the Mazel family
on a backpacking trip across China. With only one child still
in diapers, how can they say no? By Julianna Mazel, HEM J/F02.
This article, by Cristie Boone, was originally published in the
March-April 1996 issue of Home Education Magazine. It tells about
a Rightful Passage trip.
Just getting up early to watch the sun rise can give you a feeling
of connecting with nature.
Homeschooling Outside Tips
Teach Your Sons With These Great Homeschool Camping Ideas
Do you need some great homeschool camping ideas? Are you planning a camping trip and have no idea what to do with your sons while you're out in the great outdoors? By Michelle Caskey, Homeschool Your Boys.
Outdoor Career Opportunities
I learned a new word! Did you know you could even have a career
in "helping" people have outdoor adventures?
Are you considering a career that will keep you outdoors as much
as possible? Do you want to keep abreast with environmental issues?
Check out this site.
Student Conservation Association
Exciting, hands-on service opportunities lasting up to a full
year, women and men as young as 16 can start blazing a new trail
of conservation service, experiential environmental education,
career skills and leadership training.
Open to All
Synergia Learning Ventures
Whether you are rafting down one of the most beautiful rivers
in North America with your family or participating in one of
our unique whole family learning weekends, EnCompass experiential
programs facilitate families in play, interaction, and work with
each other to tackle challenging engagements and problem-solving
scenarios to deepen relationship and strengthen communication.
Based in California.
at Eagle Landing
An all-outdoor adventure program located in the Blue Ridge Mountains