Homeschooling at the Beach

A lot of people ask us why we homeschool, how we homeschool, talk about how they want to, but can’t do it, etc. Well, I’m not here to talk about any of that stuff. We’ve addressed some of it before.  I’m here to tell you about how homeschool works. Or how it can work. Opportunities pop up all the time, and we like to capitalize on them whenever we can, such as our recent trip to the beach for Bug’s 9th birthday. We did homeschooling at the beach.

Homeschooling at the Beach

Homeschooling at the Beach?

So of course, we do have a homeschool area at the house, complete with desks, school supplies, and the like. But one bonus of homeschool is that it isn’t all about sitting at a desk at your house from 8-2:30 every day. You can head out and experience the world, and learn at the same time. Sometimes even when you aren’t expecting it, such as at Bug’s birthday trip to the beach. So instead of homeschool, I guess it’s beach…school?

Image of family wading in ocean.

Learning opportunities

Since Bug and I are possessed of bad judgement fearless, we spent a lot of time in the ocean. Bear is pretty fearless, too, but Bug will happily discuss sharks while in water that is over her head. Whenever we would spot some ocean life, we would take photos, and observe everything we could about it. Then, when we were back at the hotel, we would research on Google and figure out what we had seen.  One of the coolest things we learned about were the Comb Jellies.

Comb jellies seem like they’d be related to jellyfish, but they aren’t in the same phylum.  Comb jellies have a similar structure to jellyfish, but they don’t sting! Neither Bug nor I were quite fearless enough to test this out, though.  Apparently, they secrete a type of glue, which is how they catch food. Something else we learned (that didn’t pop up on any fact pages) is that while in the ocean, they take on a brownish color; but in our pail, they were a beautiful iridescent hue. So observation as well as research aided us in learning about these interesting creatures.

Image of comb jelly in bucket of water.

Lasting Impact

So Bug has been our little beach girl for years, now. But this trip, something amazing happened; she discovered a possible career path. During our various researching, spotting wildlife, hunting ghost crabs, etc, she learned about Marine Biology. Once she learned that helping and working with turtles could be an actual job, she’s been all about it.  And homeschool gives us the freedom to start introducing her to concepts that are related to that field before the age of ten! We don’t need to be experts; I didn’t even know what a comb jelly was before this trip. You just need to look for the opportunities when they pop up. And have a smartphone. That comes in very handy.

Looking for Opportunities

A big part of homeschool is nontraditional learning, so it helps to learn to embrace that idea. Most people think of June, July, August when they think about beach trips. But some beaches, such as the Gulf of Mexico, have climates and currents that facilitate beach trips through late September, or even later! It can have a lasting effect on your homeschooler, maybe even lifelong. And you don’t need a whole bunch of books and supplies, just a bucket and a smartphone. So if you’re a veteran homeschooler, or just getting started, consider a trip to your nearest beach. Landlocked? No problem. There are lakes everywhere. Your little learners can have a blast while they learn, and you can be a homeschool pro, just like us. Or, like we will be, once we have it all figured out.

I’ll let you know.

This, uhh, might take awhile.

Homeschooling at the beach.


Jacob is a husband and father of three.  He has a full-time job, but a lifetime commitment to making life magical with the rest of his family.  He enjoys reading, cooking, visiting places, and not trading his baby away to the Jawas.  We don’t recommend following him, but if you must, he does have a Twitter account.

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