While the school kids were taking SOLs…

  I keep driving by our local elementary school where they have posted that the Standards of Learning (SOL) tests are happening this week. This time of year makes me doubly glad that we are not in school. Jason would be in 3rd grade…which means that SOLs would have been a really big deal this year (I think that for some reason 3rd, 5th and 8th are important years leading up to high school where every year “counts”). I remember my friends’ daughter’s 3rd grade year…she took “SOL prep” classes 3 afternoons a week and her mom would swing by and pick her up at 5pm on her way home from work. Otherwise the daughter would not get home until 5:30 on the bus. I do sometimes feel like we have dodged a bullet! The emphasis put on standardized testing in schools nowadays drives me nuts.

But enough about school…this is what we got to do on Wednesday!


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Shark Tooth Hunting at Breezy Point Beach

 Breezy Point is a regular field trip for a couple of the homeschool groups I belong to and is only about an hour away up in Maryland. This is the first year that we made it and I am so glad that we did! You could not ask for a nicer place…the first thing that Jason said after he got out of the car was “Mommy…it is so quiet here!”. And it was. Our group of 9 families were the only ones on the beach.

There is a great playground right off the beach, bathrooms, showers, and of course the beach and an enclosed swimming area on the bay. Oh, and did I mention the shark’s teeth? They are all over the beach! The kids (and moms!) had fun sifting through the sand to see what they could find. We found many, many sharks teeth (way cool!), lots of neat polished stones and even some sea glass.

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Hanging out on the playground



Kyle pauses for a drink


Digging in the sand


Ali and her boys


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And of course a day at the beach would not be complete without burying each other in the sand (Zak, Jason and Kyle are under the towels)


Tia and Leslie hang out with the kids (Tia was the only mom brave enough to actually go swimming!)



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Yes, the kids actually went in!


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About throwingmarshmallows

I am a homeschooling mom to two sweet, energetic boys although I am probably not exactly what you would expect (definitely NOT your stereotypical homeschooler, if there is really such a thing). I support progressive political causes (yes, liberals can and do homeschool!) and I have found a spiritual home in the Unitarian Universalist Church. I have no real idea of how I want to use this blog, but will probably focus on homeschooling, things that I am learning from my boys, personal thoughts and opinions and maybe some liberal politics thrown in, who knows!
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4 Responses to While the school kids were taking SOLs…

  1. ~Rachel~ says:

    Oh that *does* look like fun! Maybe we’ll make it one year too!

  2. Steph says:

    Ah … the Standards of Learning. My oldest WAS in public school for 3rd grade; that was shortly before we defected. I never could have imagined the pressure the schools are under to pull off those test scores if I had not witnessed it personally. (And that’s nothing compared to Bush’s LNCB :-( )I could have papered all the walls in my house with all the SOL PRACTICE TESTS my dd brought home. For many reasons (including that one), we made sure she wasn’t around to take them in 5th grade. I LOVE the freedom we have now!

    Your pictures are fabulous. That looks FUN.

  3. Tia says:

    Leslie paid me a dollar to squeeze into the suit. So I had to swim.

  4. Kimberley says:

    Wow….are we sorry to have missed this adventure! I just couldn’t re-shuffle the schedule that day! Why wait until next year for another outing….June is a good month for this activity too! Anyone interested?

    Thanks for documenting the trip! Glad you had fun and found lots of treasures!