Fossil Hunting, Homeschooling, and Saving My Life Right Now

Here’s for Fossil Hunting in the Pacific Northwest!


It’s been a year of change in our homeschool. My older son wanted more structure, my younger son and I live for the irregular and spontaneous spice of life.

Never the two shall meet.

What happens? What else: We have to compromise. We have some structure, we have some unplanned, and we keep the peace. We honor the process, we honor each other. We honor the process of learning. We continue evolving, changing roles, tweaking the process.

So, as it goes, we’re moving back into the season of field trips. This one was organized by a local homeschool events group on What’s great about organizing, or going to this kind of event, is payments for field trips are up-front from attendees. This ensures 1) organizers have funds available – whether or not attendees are able to attend, and 2) Organizers can rely on people to show when they’ve taken all the time and energy to planning events {it really can be an art, and not overwhelming, if you take the time to plan it right!}.

Needless to say, makes it really easy. Because there is a fee to have a group on, many organizers pass on that fee, however minimal, to the group. In return, the organizers can 1) keep out lurkers who have no intention to attend events 2) have a group of people who want to connect IRL. For homeschoolers, this is key. Many people are homeschooler-curious, but these people won’t necessarily get involved in real life interactions. What’s nice about our group? The organizer takes all funds collected above-and-beyond go to a fund to subsidize members or group events – Brilliant!

Long story longer, we went on a Geologic Field Trip last week to dig for amber – as well as find fossils. Our geologist-guide, Bob Jackson, takes students tours to the mountains starting in March for the whole summer. His laid-back, easy nature with the children was admirable. He was always smiling, but was sure to lay down the safety rules. Only one thing kept you from digging — and that was running down the steep slope. He relayed a story about the only child ever hurt on one of his adventures – that child ran down the steep slope, slid off of the side of the trail, and fell into the waterfall below – breaking bones along the way.

As such, he had zero-tolerance for running down a steep slope, which would land you on your tush at the bottom of the slope for the rest of the dig. Otherwise, he was very tolerant – almost grandfatherly – to the children. He enjoyed the endless questions, the tugging on his sleeve, the identifying of the same fossils and confirmations of amber – all 20 children had. It was really brilliant. He also takes the public on Paleontology hikes – and many others. Bob has the children carry the digging *tools* {butterknives!} and was a real delight.

If you’re in the Pacific Northwest, I encourage you: Check him out at Geology Adventures!

So, what’s saving my life right now:

  • Field Trips: The sun, the longer days, we crave the outdoors – we need the outdoors – we’re loving it!
  • Gardening: Again: Sun, Outdoors, Working in the Earth…for me, closer to God.
  • Yoga: I’ve been going, but not going recently. It has, however, uncovered an underlying shoulder issue I have. To the doctor, I will likely go. Ah, making health a priority – this is saving me right now.

Ah….another day in homeschooling paradise 😉


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