We’ve spent the last two weeks in the pool for swimming lessons. His constant screaming would indicate that he absolutely hates it, but he’s coming around and has made significant progress. In fact, by the time we got to the last lesson of the session he was no longer crying. Second to last lesson – still cried.
It can be hard for many to navigate lessons for such young kids and to see them hate it day after day. But more than anything, I want him water safe. We have a pool in our backyard and I need him to be safe near water. Today if he fell in from the edge of the pool I believe he could make it back to the side and pull himself up – I couldn’t say that two weeks ago. Of course after being gone for summer activities we’ll have to work really hard when we get back to make sure he retains.
He’s also starting to find the enjoyment in the pool – and he absolutely loves the diving board. We should have a fun summer of swimming.
We made it to the last day of school! And these photos are evidence that a year of school makes you grow up just a little bit. These photos are also evidence that it’s time for summer haircuts! We are stocked with sunscreen and swimsuits that fit – we’re ready for a summer in the sun.
Make your own first and last day photos with this tutorial.
Today’s lettering post is brought to you by Hallie. She’s playing with watercolor and practicing her handwriting and every time she shows me something I’m impressed with her progress.
She’s graduating from 6th grade tomorrow and she’s been counting down the days to summer (She can officially say she’s in junior high then!) – vacation, seeing cousins, living in a swimsuit. She’s living her best life! I’m sure there will be lettering practice in her near future. Hello Summer!
Our second day in San Diego was spent at Sea World. Of course, this quickly became the highlight for the week. It was informative and interesting – but more importantly it was fun (mostly because of the rides and we rode them over and over again). You know what was not so fun – trying to keep track of 9 girls with different interests at Sea World! But we didn’t lose anyone or even misplace anyone for that matter.
The kids had a book they were required to fill out while they were at Sea World. They could ride one ride upon arrival, but then they needed to complete their packet before riding other rides. The girls were so excited, they wanted to ride the biggest and scariest ride. At least some of them did. Hallie did not. She is not a thrill seeker, she likes to feel safe. But I love roller coasters and I figured she would love it once she tried it (space mountain was her favorite ride at Disneyland when she was 7).
She sat in line watching others ride the ride, paralyzed with fear. A friend next to her in line bailed and Hallie was ready to walk out with her. I did my best sales pitch. She was convinced she would fall out of the ride when it went upside down. Yet, the whole time she watched, miraculously no one fell out!
I decided to sit next to her and hold her hand throughout the ride and I will be the first to admit – it was more intense than I was expecting and even more intense for Hallie. She swore she would not ride the ride again. A couple hours later after our books were complete, her friends were all jumping back on the ride and she was timid as could be – and they convinced her to ride. Something clicked in her and her fear was suddenly gone – she went three more times after that because it was just that fun. I was happy to see her face her fear and really enjoy it. At that point – she was ready to ride every ride in the park.
One ride – the Manta – had no lines and we would get off the ride and get right back on. I think we ended up riding it 11 times total for the day. 6 times were one right after the other. After the 6th time, my head started feeling a little light and we made that the last run of that ride for the day.
Our final destination on the last day was to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. This was my least favorite stop. It probably didn’t help that we had to drive over two hours to get to it (add that to our 8 hour drive home and it made for a long day). Once we arrived, we had two hours to see everything. Unfortunately, it was packed with other school groups and it made it a mediocre experience.
They’re adding on to the aquarium so perhaps one day it will be amazing, but it was just a basic aquarium. I think we could’ve had the same experience at the aquarium 30 minutes from where we live. I think the kids liked it – but most were just asking to go to the gift shop so they could buy souvenirs. I’m suggesting they find another oceanography experience or perhaps a closer aquarium!
After the aquarium it was back on the bus for the long ride home. The company that manages this field trip did a great job at entertaining the kids on the bus – I was impressed with their bag of tricks. And all was well…until several kids started throwing up when we were a half hour from home and then I was done and ready to get off the bus and wash away all the germs!
I am so happy it worked for me to go with Hallie. I’m grateful she still wants me around and was really excited to have me with her. I loved spending time with the kids and the other parents. I enjoyed learning right alongside the kids – there is always so much to learn. I’m grateful to teachers who organize this trip every year. I’m grateful we were riding on charter buses and not school buses. 🙂 I look forward to going again with my boys!
At our elementary school, every year, the 6th graders go on a three day science camp adventure to San Diego and study oceanography. Hallie has been looking forward to this day for two years. This whole year has been a build up to this adventure – and I was lucky enough to accompany her as a parent chaperone. Spending three days with her and her friends (and friend’s parents) was awesome – I could do without the 20 hours in a bus full of 6th graders – especially when kids started throwing up!!
We participated in three main activities: A floating lab (fishing boat), Sea World and the aquarium.
After riding for hours on a bus, our first stop was the floating lab – a fishing boat that took us out to the open ocean. The kids were instructed to stop eating hours before this and then most took motion sickness pills and I think all of that was good advice. There were only a few who started to feel queasy. I think most were unprepared for how cold it was – even though they were instructed over and over again to dress warm. I suppose its hard for someone packing a bag when it’s 97 degrees out to think they would ever need a coat. Hallie and I were prepared and I was so grateful to not be cold.
After trawling the ocean floor, the nets were pulled in and the findings were examined. Hallie was probably sitting a little to close to the bucket for her comfort and I have several pictures of her with curious/disgusted faces!
After they explained what was in the nets, they kept a couple species (that were safe for the kids to examine up close) and put them in the touch tanks for the kids to touch and feel. Then they examined the microscopic particles of the ocean water. Hands on learning is so valuable and even I learned so much on this excursion.
The next morning we ate breakfast at Children’s Pool in La Jolla. We learned that this seawall was erected to create a safe place for children to wade and play in the water. However, over the years, more and more seals have inhabited the area and have had their pups on this beach. They even had the beach closed off when we were there because pups had been born the week prior. They said its still open to the public for swimming and wading but the seals have first priority and they do shut it down!
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