Friday, December 7, 2018

A day in the life of three New Zealand homeschool kids

It's not my aim to sell homeschooling to you, but I must say that I'm falling in love with it a little bit more every day.

Some days are hard. Some parts of days are hard. But on the whole, it's a blessed life. Especially on glorious days like today, when we get to ditch the books and go adventuring instead.

A friend of ours has been talking about the Lake Wainamu bush walk near Bethell's Beach for a while now. It's one of the few tracks still open in the Waitakere Ranges, after most were closed at the start of this year to prevent the spread of Kauri Dieback disease. I figured the walk probably gets busy over the weekend, but luckily our family doesn't have to wait for weekends to go exploring our beautiful countryside.

This morning I looked at the blue skies and decided it was a grand day for an adventure. I packed a picnic lunch and the kids' togs and towels, and then we set out for Lake Wainamu.

The drive there was beautiful. It took us through picturesque farmland and native bush, but nothing could have prepared us for the spectacular scenery at Lake Wainamu. I'll let my photos do the talking, although they really don't do it justice.

Enormous black sand dunes. The kids felt like they were in a desert.
Oasis sighted. A glimpse of the lake in the distance.
Sliding down the sand dune towards the lake. 
Washing hands in the lake before a picnic lunch.
The start of the Lake Wainamu loop track. 
Walking anti-clockwise around the lake. 
Big sister to the rescue when little brother's legs got tired. 
Washing hands in a stream halfway around the lake, before having another snack. 
And then this stunning waterfall surprised us all. 
The kids were so refreshed by swimming in these cool waters.
The girls even dived under.  
At the end of the lack track, back where the dunes meet the river. 
Following the river back to the carpark. 
It was a big day. We left home at about 10am and didn't get home till after 4pm, but the kids all managed the walk admirably, I think because the scenery kept changing the whole time and made things interesting. The kids all took turns carrying one of the backpacks, while I carried the other.

I thought it was a good opportunity for them to build their stamina, while breathing in fresh air and seeing more of the gorgeous world their loving God has made for them. S told me she will remember this day for as long as she lives.

We were completely knackered by the time we got back to the car, so I'm sure we'll all sleep well tonight.

I highly recommend the Lake Wainamu to anyone living in or visiting the Auckland area. (I also highly recommend homeschooling, if it's something you feel nudged towards.)


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