Family Travel Stories

Helping our kids follow their passions while road schooling – baseball and cooking

Jacob and Coach Gray2One reason we decided to take an ultimate adventure across country and homeschool our kids was to allow them the opportunity to follow their passions.

Our oldest son, who is 14, loves baseball. He understands the strategy of the game and immerses himself in the sport whenever possible – reading books, checking out websites, watching ESPN or the sports broadcast of the local news station, talking with other baseball enthusiasts, etc. His passion and positive attitude have also helped him develop his skill for the sport. Over the past month he has finally been able to continue training and learning more about what it will take to fulfill his dream of playing for a Division I college and someday perhaps a Major League Team.

He had the opportunity to train with Cedric Gray in Portland, OR – a former MLB player and wonderful coach who connected with Jacob in the short four days he was able toJacob Batting work with him. His training was specific and his knowledge and experience helped Jacob improve his hitting and fielding. It was incredible to see the improvements he made, especially swinging at 90 mph pitches or the one-handed hits at 75 mph. Coach Grey also had many fielding drills he introduced Jacob to for sharpening his skills. He had many nice things to say about Jacob and his skills. One of our favorites was “If I had Jacob to coach for two months, I could create a monster!”

While staying in San Jose, California, Jacob had the opportunity to train at South Bay Sports Training thanks to a Groupon we found. The following week, he Jacob and Coach Grayattended the Winter Skills Sharpening Camp at the University of California at Berkeley. Each day was split into three segments: hitting, defense and pitching. Each session was two hours in length and included individualized instruction from the Cal Baseball Coaching staff.

We have also spent many hours researching what our son needs to accomplish both educationally and athletically over the next four years to accomplish his goal of playing for a top college. He will attend future baseball camps in Arizona, Florida and North Carolina while we travel in early 2015.

Lucas at cooking class-smOur youngest son, who is 10, loves to cook. He dreams of being on the MasterChef Junior reality show in a few years. This year he helped plan the Thanksgiving dinner menu and has been working with me to bake a few desserts.

Lucas at cooking class2-smWhile in San Jose, California, he attended classes at Young Chefs Academy in Sunnyvale. He worked in small groups with other kids his age to create all kinds of dishes, including pizza, sweet potato pie, Brazilian cheese balls, chili, cornbread, blueberry scones with lemon glaze frosting, and banana nut streusel. He loved the teachers and had a great time learning new cooking techniques and how to make so many yummy foods.

Lucas menuAfter his first class, he was so excited to share with us what he made that he set up a mock restaurant at the kitchen table in our camper. The table set up included toys to play with while our food was being prepared, custom-made menus, napkins and utensils. The menus listed all of the items he made at cooking class (click the image above to see in detail). The price of each item was also listed and included a hug, a kiss, stand up and sing the ABCs, a high-five and other payment options. The food was delicious. It made me smile to see how excited and engaged he was in this activity.

Today, he decided to make lunch for himself and his brother. He was very industrious gathering the items he needed to make turkey sandwiches with a pickle, sliced apples (he had help cutting these) and Chex mix on the Lucas made lunch_smside.  He even got out the step stool so he could reach the cabinet where the bread is stored above the stove.

I love to see them this passionate about learning. My goal is to continue to look for opportunities for them to expand upon and grow their passions as we travel.

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