Happy Earth week!! I hope my readers are finding peace during such a strange time that we are all learning to navigate. We have recently found a place to call home here in Sooke, on Vancouver Island. It’s funny how life works, we came here over a year ago to look at a trailer and we didn’t think we would call this place home, but now we are here and absolutely loving it. We are lucky enough to have a grocery store, parks and the beach all with in walking distance and a yard with a huge garden. Also it’s just a short drive to a few amazing surfing spots, huge plus for us! The house we are in is a sweet character home, and though some may find it on the small side for us it is perfect! We couldn’t have moved somewhere at a better time considering how fast Covid-19 took over. As a traveling family we relied on public places, parks and museums ect. to fill our days. About 4 weeks before everything shut down we joined a beautiful homeschool community here in Sooke and we were just starting to make new friends and connections, we feel lucky to have those now and enjoy keeping in touch online. We are excited for when things can go back to a more normal pace, but for now enjoying the down time to make this house a home.
Yesterday morning we had a Zoom call with Weston’s Homeschool Group and since then I have felt a need to share a few exciting things (to be honest I have been feeling a bit down and discouraged as covid-19 has slowed things down) Weston’s teacher did an Earth Day themed scavenger hunt with the kids, which was so cute, at the end of it she asked the children what they are doing or could be doing to help our environment. Weston eagerly went on to share about our beach clean ups that we have been doing as a family and the children’s book ” Scuttley Buddies” That I am self publishing. He was so happy to share, I could see joy in his eyes. I had one of those moments as a parent of being so proud. There are many days that I am being pulled in three very different directions and I often feel like I am failing. The biggest reason I am sharing this here, is to remind all of us parents that it starts with US! We are the example for our children. And so often it feels like they don’t hear us, or they don’t tell us how they feel. But I am here to say keep trying and working at all those positive things, keep manifesting that greatness because its going to pay off. I just know it.
When we started traveling a year ago I made a personal goal to consume less, spend more time in nature and to live intentionally. After participating in a Beach clean up in Tofino with two brothers who were traveling in their aqua converted school bus ( the coolest RV we have seen yet, and the coolest dudes ever may I add), our eyes were opened!! We continued to do our own beach clean ups, and have felt the need to spread the word about our beloved beaches. We fell in love with surfing and beach-combing and want to keep it a safe place for our children and all the surrounding marine life. With the Launch of my book also comes another avenue and that is “Kids 4 The Coast Environmental Society” thru this society I hope we can organize beach clean ups, inspire others to do their part, have book readings and meet ups. I am not sure of all the details of this society just yet but I am wanting a portion of the proceeds from my book to go towards the society. What I do know is that my boys are very excited and even if this is just something for our family and close friends it feels good to be doing our part. My main goal is to make caring for our environment educational, safe, and fun.
Surf lesson in Lincoln City! The start to our journey.
First time up, love my instructor cheering me on!Mackenzie Beach in Tofino, Home for 6 months this year.
During this year we have grown so much as a family and my intention for more connection and more quality time was fulfilled beyond what I thought was possible, I wasn’t expecting to find a new outlet for myself and certainly one that my children could be apart of, but now that I have I am even more passionate about it. My boys and I water-colour paint daily which allows me to work on my illustrations for my book. They have helped me research about pollution, crabs, marine life etc with open arms. Our nature journaling and curriculum has grown and continues to grow each week. These kiddos have been my biggest source of encouragement and I am thrilled to see Weston becoming a leader and taking action on our new adventure. Since about August we have been working on these things, and seeing our progress has brought me so much joy. I am not saying you need to start a non-profit society or write a book, but have a family goal and something to be passionate about, the shift in our family dynamic and our closeness has made for a more peaceful home. Doug and I started with just a small idea and now it has become a big part of our family life. They have listened to our many conversations and watched us work hard on something together, and as a parent I am so happy to see the chain reaction.
These boys thrive when given the chance to run!
Building a sand race track, hours of fun!
One of our favourite nature treasures to find
Getting a hands on experience in nature and then returning them to their ocean home.
These micro-plastics were collected in about 5 minutes on a super clean beach in Tofino, its amazing what you find once you start looking closely!
I have started a new instagram page ( Kids4thecoast) which will feature our beach clean ups, tips on being more environmentally friendly, how you can get children out in nature and more! If you would like to share please use the hashtag #kids4thecoast, I can’t wait to see all your helping hands. Also here are a few tips if you are going to do your own beach clean up! Once we are allowed to have social gatherings, I will let you all know when our first Kids 4 The Coast beach Clean up will be and where !
- Remember to be safe, teach your children about things that could be dangerous to pick up.
- Use gloves, preferably ones that can be washed and re-used !
- Bring a metal bucket or mesh/burlap sack to collect garbage/micro-plastics
- If it feels safer you can use tongs pick up the trash.
- Dispose of it properly, check with your local recycling places.
- Have fun!
- Talk about where these items have come from? how did they get here?
- Teach children to ONLY pick up garbage and micro plastics with an adult.
- have a large jar at home, make it a goal over a few visits to fill it with micro-plastics
Cohen absolutely loves looking for crabs now, he gets so excited when we find one, he also loves looking at my illustrations for my book and it brings me so much joy seeing my boys happy with something I have created. I hope it will bring other children the same joy to learn more about ocean life. Being near the ocean really makes me feel alive, its my true happy place.
So thankful for this guy helping me, and wanting to be an amazing example for our boys!
The best kinds of trails are the ones that lead you to the ocean 🙂
Thank you for taking the time to read this. My message for all the parents out there is keep doing your goals and chasing your dreams, trust me your children want to be a part of it!!
Love, Bre and the Choo Boy Crew!