Homeschooling: It's not what we do, it's how we live.

Homeschoolers Suspected of Terrorism

Before you get yourself all worked up over that, let me just say – it’s not what you think. Our homeschool group took a trip out to Galveston Island State Park this past week, and to get to Galveston from my house, one must cross the ferry at Bolivar Peninsula. Apparently, ferries may be a target for terrorism and the TX Dept. of Transportation has instituted protocols to keep us safe. I found this  NY Times article from 2005 that tells a little bit about it; odd if that’s the new rule, that of the last 3 trips across the ferry in the last year this is the first one that I’ve seen them taking this security step.

On this particular trip, I was one of the lucky ones selected for a random bomb check. I kinda go back and forth on how I feel about it. On the one had, yes, thank goodness – that’s one of my irrational phobias – being trapped in the car with the kids as the car is sinking. I have no doubt that I would absolutely lose my mind if that reality ever befell me. On the other hand though, it was a random check and I was asked to cooperate. What would happen if I said no? Would they then have probable cause and require a more invasive search? All these things require thought, but not on field trip day {wink}.

Obviously, we made it through the checkpoint with no trouble (other than getting hassled about my Dr Pepper that may or may not be ‘confiscated’) and we were on the ferry with very little wait time – enough for me to get out and go tell SFK and PB&JMom that the title of the re-cap blog was going to be “Homeschoolers Suspected of Terrorism”, lol.

We drove all the way down the seawall to GISP – this was the first time I’d been that far down. We had to go check in, and our fee was waived since we’d called ahead, which was really nice. We’re always looking for group discounts or school discounts when we go with the group and usually get them. I think that since the park was so affected by Hurricane Ike, they were more inclined waive the fee.We were supposed to get the kids’ ‘estuaries and bays’ sticker for their Wilderness Passports, but the rangers didn’t have any. I did contact the HW program to see about having the stickers sent directly to me, so one way or another, they’ll get their stamps!

We had a lovely picnic lunch (even though LittleBoyBlue got an old fishhook stuck in his toe, which prompted the bringing out of the first aid kit and mandatory shoes for all children), and the kids waded down into the little swampy area and found a couple of fiddler crabs.

After lunch, we hit the trails, which included an awesome observation deck. We had a mini-lesson on ‘erosion’ (everybody say, ‘erosion’!) and then took off on a little hike. After about 15 minutes, the kids were hot and tired of walking and wanted desperately to go over to the beach side of the park. I think we moms were a tiny bit disappointed that the kids weren’t more into it, but when they’re grouchy they’re not learning anyway, so I’m really glad that everyone was on the same page about respecting the kids’ needs rather than expecting them to continue on a path that was clearly not going to accomplish anything.

So, we loaded up and headed out to the beach! I didn’t get many pictures of the kids on the beach; there were 12 of them and a couple of strays, so we were constantly keeping count between the 5 of us moms. We did manage to arrive and leave with all heads accounted for, so I’d call that success.

After a couple of hours (and 2 very sun-kissed mamas later), the kids were getting hungry, so we packed up and went up to the showers for a rinse-off and back over to the bay side for a snack. Afterwards, the older kids found a bay trail that led to the water and a shoreline that was teeming with life. They spent a good hour or more catching hermit and fiddler crabs and playing in the mud. This was, by far, the best part of the day. To see a group fo 12 children, ranging in age from 3 to 12 work together with no conflict (older ones helping the younger ones and valuing their input) was amazing, and I think that all of us were very, very proud of our kiddos.

All in all, this has probably been one of the most enjoyable trips we’ve taken so far. We were all sun-kissed and exhausted by the end of the day, but it was worth it! Have I mentioned how much I TOTALLY ENJOY homeschooling?




3 responses

  1. Oh what a wonderful trip. It is amazing to watch the children of all ages work together. Homeschooling is the best !

    September 19, 2010 at 10:09 am

  2. Oh, wow–the Bolivar Ferry! I’ve been on that ferry lots of times! I used to live in Crystal Beach (many years before the hurricane trashed the peninsula.) Do people still feed the seagulls at the back of the boat?

    I loved seeing your photos of the kids on the beach. I spent many hours on that beach and walking the seawall. I hope to take my kids to Galveston someday, to show them my old stompin’ grounds!

    Thanks so much for the award! I’ve been neglecting my blog for a while, but I’m hoping to get some photos and new posts up soon. Glad you had a great day in Galveston (in spite of the random search!) Your post brought back lots of memories.

    September 19, 2010 at 10:54 am

  3. Thanks for posting all the great pictures! It was such a fun day. I loved all the mud, the dirt and the digging!

    September 19, 2010 at 3:33 pm

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