IMG_3607The boys are I were able to go on D’s first Kinder field trip on Monday. We trekked down to San Francisco and spent a few hours at the Steinhart Aquarium at the California Academy of Sciences.

I haven’t found the right “time” to tell you about D’s school this year, so now is as good a time as any! It is best described as “untraditional”, since it’s basically a homeschool environment, just not in my home. It has worked out FAR better than we could have ever dreamed of. There were so many unknowns going into this type of setting, not knowing how his behaviors would impact a small group of kids – there are only 2 other students in the school, for the moment. It’s a K-8 school, in a local church, with 1 teacher. All the students are boys, so far. There’s D, a 4th grader and a 5th grader. A few times a month a couple of homeschooled kids come in so the teacher can help them with subjects their parents aren’t able to.

Like I said, untraditional. Thankfully, D is thriving and learning all kinds of fun and interesting things, and we could not be more happier. His teacher is patient with him, desires to learn more about how to teach and interact with kids who struggle with sensory processing issues, and she is really enjoying having him in her school. It is such a blessing to not have to worry about super-huge class sizes or a teacher who does not have the ability to tend to D’s needs the way we’d like at this point in his life.

Now, back to our field trip! Because D’s school is the way it is, I’m able to bring L along for things like field trips, when it’s appropriate. And the Steinhart Museum is a wonderful place to bring children of all ages to. It is very interactive, wide open spaces for them to explore, and I was pleasantly surprised at how slow the pace was throughout the day.

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We were able to experience the Rain Forest – yes, an indoor Rain Forest. And it certainly felt like a Rain Forest within the first few minutes when the mugginess started to get to us and we all wanted to head for the nearest elevators! It was neat to see all the butterflies around and different types of frogs the kids have been studying in school the past few weeks.

They have a massive skeleton of a Blue Whale that was killed in the 1930s and then donated to the Academy. I really could not believe how incredibly huge that whale was. Huge!

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We saw jelly fish, Claude the albino alligator, and of course fish – lots and lots of fish.

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It was neat to watch D get excited about discovering a fish or an animal that he had been learning about in school.

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This was my favorite part of the day. It was so peaceful and quiet. I was sitting on a bench when I took this picture. It was a room with several rows of benches that people could just sit and observe the huge fish tank and all the different species going by. Kids could get up close if they wanted and because it was carpeted the sounds were much more muted than the rest of the aquarium.

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If you’re ever in the San Francisco area, I highly recommend a visit to the Steinhart Aquarium. You’ll be amazed at how much has been discovered in our world and you’ll be left feeling like we’ve barely scratched the surface of all that God has created.

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