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So we don’t fish.  I mean I did once or twice as a kid, but honestly I don’t know anything about it.  I often get these ideas in my head though that I get kind of obsessed with and learning to fish has definitely become one of those things.  (as I mentioned in previous posts I probably just watch too much reality survival shows about Alaska)  I was thrilled yesterday though when ES said she definitely wanted to learn to fish in Alaska.  In particular she wants to ice fish (which is good because the majority of the year it will be cold!) Yay!  I have a fishing buddy.  I immediately looked up everything you could ever want to know about ice fishing and salmon fishing.

To say the least I got a little too excited with researching licenses and equipment and locations and fish. Not to mention I started a nice reading list so we could learn about the types of fish and also have some just nice fishing novels…..  Yeah, I went a little crazy.  (You’ve heard the joke about asking a homeschooler how to change a lightbulb? ) Since teenage daughters have made eye rolling an Olympic sport I thought I would stop driving my family nuts and take all this new found knowledge and put it together into an Alaska travelschooling unit that complements our Alaska Grand Circle Road Trip that I am also working on.  I’m very excited about it so I took a break from the Little House trip and knocked this one out in no time at all. (My family loves this blog because everytime I get super excited about something they don’t want to hear about anymore they just tell me to blog about it. lol!)

My first amazing discovery is that the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has this wonderful Rod Loaner Program.  They will loan you equipment for up to seven days which is perfect for us since we just want to try it out first.  And it will be perfect for clients I send to Alaska who just want to do some basic fishing.  (there are plenty of companies that will freeze your catch and mail it home to you too!) To say this discovery was life changing might be a bit of an overstatement, but just a little bit.  Honestly, it’s very helpful because I send a lot of people to Alaska and I imagine that number will increase. 

Also on the ADFG website are some great videos about identifying and fishing to various species of Alaska fish.  And a lot of family friendly (ie homeschool friendly) programs including the Five Salmon Family Challenge which might be a bit of a stretch for us, but by golly I am totally going to try.  In case, like me, you immediately think, “Well what are the five salmon species of Alaska?” there is this great article that includes a fun way for young kids (and adults) to learn the five species.  It also has a quiz at the end!  Perfect for homeschooling. 

My travelschooling units are written so you can pick and choose the elements that appeal to your kids. With this one though I really think some emphasis should be placed on learning about the life cycle of salmon particularly for young kids. We were in Alaska last year for the salmon run and it was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. The picture above is one jumping up a salmon ladder. Fish can climb ladders!! Kids should definitely learn about the magic of salmon during their elementary years and to pair that learning with a trip to Alaska would be just a great learning experience. 

Anyway here is the link to the Alaska Road Trip travelschooling page.  I will continue to update this as we spend more time in Alaska, but it is based on our own research and past Alaska travels as well as from client feedback. 

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About Mary

Mary Stephens holds a degree in international affairs from Georgetown University and a Masters in Teaching from the American University. Mary spent almost twenty years homeschooling her four children and is now navigating post homeschool life in Alaska. She offers personal insights, recipes, homeschooling tips and tricks and travel advice on her website Mary also owns Christopher Travel, a luxury travel company specializing in exquisite vacations around the globe.

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