Beached Whales and Tastebuds

First of all, no we did not eat a whale.

However, a sperm whale washed up onto the reef line a few miles from where we live. I heard about it on the news and in typical unschooling fashion, decided to take my kids on an impromptu field trip to see this sight. The only directions I had for where to find the whale was on the beach near the Yona cemetery. Eric thought it was very fitting of the whale to die near a cemetery.

I parked as close to the beach as I could get and then Eric, Cassie and I hiked a short way to the water’s edge. Along the way, Cassie noticed pinecones on the ground and was surprised to see them. She remembers our conversations in Canada about the different kinds of trees that grow in different parts of the world. The pine cones she saw were tiny replicas of those seen in Canada, and came from the Ironwood trees that line the shoreline.

The kids were expecting to smell the whale long before we saw it as we discussed decay of animals. But all we could smell was the usual salty air of the ocean. No sign of a whale. Looking out towards the reef line, at least 1/2 mile away, I could see a rounded long brown “lump” that the waves were splashing over. I'm fairly certain that was the sperm whale reported in the news. Too far away to smell or to get a good look at.

Disappointed we returned to the cemetery where we wandered a bit looking at graves and reading inscriptions.  Then home we went, where we looked at various pictures of sperm whales (and others) online.

Later that night, another teachable moment ensued when Eric was trying his first hot banana pepper. He talked about enjoying hot things and the trick is to not let them touch his tongue. So then I asked the kids if they knew that certain parts of the tongue could taste different tastes.

“Oh, yes” Cassie exclaimed,” I read about it in a book.” Both her and Eric were able to tell me what parts of the tongue tasted sweet, salty and bitter. And then told me how they had both experimented with this to see if it was true. All without benefit of a science curriculum or lesson plan.

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We have decided to start this journal to keep track of our children's life lessons learned in our homeschool journey. We believe that as parents we are accountable for our own children's education. It is up to us to make sure we prepare them to be active and responsible citizens, not a drain on society. So this blog will be a place where we can share our daily lessons and activities that we incorporate into our homeschool.

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Mother to 9 children, 5 on earth and 4 in heaven.
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Christian Unschoolers
Unschooling is learning as you live life. All of life involves learning. This is what we "teach" our children.


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