Posts Tagged ‘Tonto National Forest’

Go to the River!

March 6, 2016

the river

(Photo courtesy of Simona, the mom with the phone.)

If you have been to any of my seminars for homeschooling, you are well aware that the river is my escape from schooling when it isn’t exactly working out as planned… and my fill-in for science. Look, plants! Look, frogs!

Homeschooling is hard, friends. But God made rivers and saw that they were good.

When kids can’t read when they “should”… go to the river.

When kids can’t remember the math operations you taught them yesterday… go to the river.

When children born in America who only have one language can’t seem to speak or spell their native tongue… go to the river.

See? It works wonders in multiple situations. We have been going to the Verde River in north east Scottsdale for 15 or 16 years. When we discovered it, it was an undeveloped reedy wonderland of huge stones, polliwogs and secret tunnels in the cattails. My kids LOVED it. I loved it, who are we kidding here?

Our minivan braved the rocky banks many times before the Tonto National Forest folks paved most of the road, cleared the rocks for a parking lot, put up barriers so you can’t accidentally drive into the river, and placed porta-potties for our general convenience. It is still just as grand and adventurous as the days of old… minus the standing water filled with frogs eggs. I miss that.

Phoenix has met or broken more heat records this year in the last month than I remember in all 19 years that we have lived here. It was 91 on Friday, MARCH 4th so I summoned some homeschool peeps and we went to the river. In the shade of the buzzing trees (Bees were very busy collecting pollen!  Science… check!) it was ideal for us moms to sit and relax in our camping chairs.

The water, however, was straight from high country snow melt and had the 17-year-old almost-men screaming like little girls because of the chill. My brave little Colombian princess was the first one all the way under… which is a BIG deal because she only went in up to her ankles for the first hour. I think her feet went numb and her brain froze and then she went all the way in.

As usual science naturally occurred. The kids gathered flowers for me when they saw my nature journal. The boys picked cattails and had sword fights. Several kids discovered a dead possum and examined its claws and teeth. Most importantly, they enjoyed being out in God’s creation and so did every one of the moms.

Please, go to the river. You need it. Your kids need it. Consider it Spring Break.