Our trip to Sea World was a great success. Though we all had a bit of a rough night in the hotel (not sleeping well, except Emma, who slept like a baby!) we woke up ready for the day on Thursday. After packing up the truck and eating breakfast, we didn’t make it to the park until 10 a.m. but it didn’t matter. Karl got our tickets (we can use them now for the rest of this year) and we headed into the park. Our first stop was the Sea Lion and Otter show. It had just started, so we didn’t miss much. All the kids loved it, and Emma was content to sit on Daddy’s lap to watch. We also got to see the Shamu show. We headed to that area ‘early’ so we could get good seats…and I’m glad we did! We got there half an hour before the show time and we still had to search for seats…the stadium was packed. Still, we found enough space to fit us in together (some very nice folks moved over for us). The man asked Logan if he had $5 to pay for seating…Logan said, “no-oooo” and the guy said “Okay, you can sit here for free, then.” He was nice…it just takes Logan a minute to catch on to the way we adults joke sometimes…we’re so lame, ya know! The kids wanted to sit in the soak zone, but we didn’t do it…I figured Emma would not like it; maybe when she’s older. I saw some families with babies on the big screen who got soaked and their poor babies were not happy. Emma would have ended up being fine, but….why risk it? It turns out she was even happier at this show, clapping her hands and yelling, dancing to the music. It was more fun to watch her reaction, I think, than to watch the show (at least for me) but it was a lot of fun. And every killer whale minded his manners…no trainer ‘accidents’ while we were there! After lunch we spent the rest of the afternoon seeing the dolphins and walruses, walking through the aquarium, trying to pet the sting rays, and watching Daddy ride The Manta….a roller coaster he’s always wanted to try. We ended up leaving the park around 4:30 p.m. Everyone was tired, and since we have tickets for the rest of the year, it was no big deal. We’ll get our money’s worth during several more visits this year.
There were several school groups at the park…field trip time, I guess. Many of them were well-mannered. However, we ran into a couple of groups that had no manners….including the teachers/parents that were chaperoning. I know from experience that it can be difficult to control children (my own and others), but I always try/tried to make sure that children/students treated one another, their teachers, and any parents, etc. with kindness and respect. This was not the case in this situation. These kids were being very rude to everyone around them and the chaperones were right there, not saying a word. Karl even said something to one of the ladies…no response. At that point we left the area we’d been in, and shortly left the park.
It was just another reminder for me why I homeschool. I do not want my children being forced to ‘socialize’ with other children who behave that way. My own children have had, and still have, times where they behave poorly. They are certainly not perfect. At least with homeschooling they have a choice (and if needed I can choose for them) to refrain from hanging out with those children who behave badly, pick on them, or that they just don’t have much in common with. There’s not a lot of choice in the schools in that regard. Our socialization is by choice…with family, neighborhood friends, groups that we may decide to join, even just everyday encounters at the bank, post office, or library. This is real life, not some contrived situation that is supposed to help them get along with others….I think it does just the opposite. I observed those children making fun of one another, being rude to people they do not even know, and generally just behaving in an out-of-control manner. If that’s what ‘socialization’ does for them, I don’t want my kids to have any part of it! Thank God I have a choice to keep them home….I’m constantly reminded of the many reasons, and I’m so thankful for that freedom.
Overall, a very successful day…we saw lots of animals we’d never seen (well, Corbin and Emma anyway). I think they’ll all remember the fun they had for a while….I think I may have them write a paper on what they liked best about the day.