One thing we did a lot of at the Kalihari was watching. Adrian could not play in his section by himself, so he often had to watch the “big kids do big kid things”. Most of the time he was very patient.
Some times, one of the older kids would have to wait their turn. If all the kids wanted the same ride with Daddy, one of them would have to wait, because no ride was for more than four at a time.
Just for fun, I found this old picture of the girls and Adrian watching the “big kids” from when we went to the Kalahari with cousins in 2009. Adrian has grown up quite a bit in three years!
The first few days at the water park, Megan wanted MOMMA! She would fuss and cry unless she was very close (usually being held) by me.Â I am not to fussy about most of the rides, so I was happy not to go on many. By Wednesday evening she was doing lots better, and Thursday, she was content to just be somewhere around us.
On Thursday, the kids started asking me to go with them.Â “Come on Momma, it’s fun!”Â “The only scary part is when you look down, and you can’t see without your glasses!”Â “It’s dark most of the way, you won’t see anything.”
I raced the kids on the Cheetah race.Â I yelled my way down the Swahili Swirl. Then Allan had the older kids watch Megan and he took me on the tube race.Â They were not bad.Â I would only do a few at time before saying that was good for now.
There were two other rides the kids thought I would like, but unfortunetly, we ran out of time. 🙂
Sometimes, Megan grows quickly. She experiments a lot and begins to do a lot of new things in a short amount of space.
This last week was an example. She discovered new uses for bowls, how to get into the sugar bowl, that chocolate frosting tastes better than the cookie, green sugar crystal suckers are delicious, that sticking your tongue out for pictures causes adults to stop and say “how cute” and many other useful things.
One of Mark’s favorite “little kid” places was the waterfall.Â A bucket would fill with water, the chimes would begin, and before long LOTS of water would come down. Water would come down from all around the “tree house”, but most would fall in the front.
One day, the bigger kids were all waiting for the bucket to dump.Â Adrian, unaware, was playing by himself off to the side.Â When the bucket dumped, he was caught under the waterfall and ran out, “quick as lightening.”
Allan tried not to work muchÂ this last week.Â He was able to play with the kids and take them on the “big kid” rides.
He decided to do the boogie board and it was exciting watching him.Â There were a few guys sitting around watching.Â I knew he was doing very well, but it was nice hearing other people complement him too.
Most people “wipe out” on their first few rides. Allan was able to stay on for over a minute (time limit) plus do a few tricks that many people struggle with.
His favorite ride though was one that many people skipped.Â One day there was no one in line and he would do the ride and then hurry up the steps to do it again.Â He would lay on his back and then spiral around a bowl until he dropped down a hole in the middle into a pool of water. I loved watching him having fun while showing off for me!
Adrian really enjoyed the (extremely wet) water tree house for the younger children. It had toys to shoot water, buckets that dumped water and slides.
He learned how to go really fast on the slides and would race whoever he could persuade to go with him.Â He gave me some pointers, wiggling his little body to show me how to do it.Â His lessons improved my speed, and I even beat him once or twice (out of about “50” attempts.)
He impressed the life guards that he talked to.Â One of the girls, after watching him give lessons, told me that he was “a keeper”.
Adrian was just big enough to ride some of the “big kid” rides. We asked him on Thursday if he wanted to ride some of the milder ones. He was willing to do the Cheetah race and loved it.Â When asked about some other rides, he said no, maybe after lunch.Â After his nap, he still refused to try them.
Before leaving he started talking about riding the Victoria Falls. He really wanted to do it.Â So Allan took him down twice.Â He loved it!
After a week playing at the waterpark, the kids are exhausted!
Today we met some unschoolers and discussed what unschooling means.Â Allan and I have a lot of questions, but know that we are not unschoolers!Â We learned a new phrase, eclectic homeschoolers! I guess that describes us, using a littleÂ of both ideas.
For school today, the kids learned about boogie boarding and “wiping out”.
We debated a long time on how to do the girl’s hair for the waterpark.Â We knew it had to be braided, but we did not want to have to brush it out every time we swam. So, we went with a cousin recommended style. A few years ago we came to the Kalahari with Allan’s cousin’s family. Michelle planned to do her little girl’s LONG hair in little braids. So to match, we did all the girls similarly.
We took about 4 hours to put about 25 braids in each girl’s hair.Â Then they have 5 pony beads at the end.Â Their hair is cute, and I won’t have to do anything with it for a few days.Â We slathered each braid with conditioner as we braided it and the girls take a shower to soak their braids before swimming.
They give the thumbs up to this cute and easy to care for style!
One of the nice thing about homeschooling is the ability to go on educational field trips!Â This week we are in the Kalahari, a waterpark in Ohio.Â Our family is at an “unschoolers waterpark gathering”.Â We will meet other homeschoolers, most with different philosophies on life, play in the water until we are sick of it, and have the chance to play as a family.
The children will do school, but it won’t be paper and books.Â We will interact with strangers, explore unknown places, have lots of gym time, learn to do new things and just enjoy life school.
Our first activity (art 🙂 ) was to decorate our door.Â This week, as the kids color additional pictures of African animals, we will put their art work on our doors.