Tag Archive | homeschool

A Roll in the Park and the reaction of bystanders

We went to the park the other day, right before a Boy Scout meeting.

 I thought it would be a great way to burn off some energy.  The kids put on their helmets and rollerblades and started down the path…

They got a little ahead of me – and when I caught up to them – they were halfway up this “mountain”.

  

There was an older couple that stopped to watch the kids playing.

The man thought the kids were hilarious and he kept laughing… the woman, on the other hand, kept giving me dirty looks of disapproval.  She was so disgusted with my children and I that she huffed away, leaving the man behind (who, by the way, stayed until after the children rolled down the hill and then gave the kids a round of applause).

I was surprised by the diverse reactions of these two people.  I felt the woman judged me quite harshly as I was only allowing my children the freedom to play and explore a hillside… they even had helmets on!

By the time they all had finished rolling down the hill, all four children were filthy!! and Simone had a giant hole in the back of her jeans!!

   

We did a quick dusting off of the clothes and did an impromptu trip to GoodWill where Simone got a very stylish pair of turquoise Lucky Brand jeans for $2

And Eddie had a great time at the Boy Scout Meeting where became an official Scout!

A Fairy Wing

Simone just came running into the house to show me that she found a FAIRY WING!

  

  
Yes… I teach my children about the true wonders of life ❤️

* I am currently reading the book series FableHaven by Brandon Mull aloud to my children… A truely magical story!! 📖

Vintage paper dolls

Simone woke up late this morning….. And was quite jealous that the boys had already played a video game with their father.

I figured I should pull out a mother-daughter activity…. And I had the perfect thing!

A book of Shirley Temple paper dolls and clothes!

  
We have been enjoying a morning of cutting and dressing up the dolls ❤️

  
  
Simone was very excited about the paper dolls because Laura from Little House on the Prairie played with paper dolls too.

Prairie Hat

Simone got this adorable vintage prairie hat at a garage sale –

(We met the lady that made the hat (and dress) for a dance about 40 years ago!  We also bought the dress, but Simone is saving it for Halloween)

Since she is currently reading the Little House on The Prairie series, she has been working on a MineCraft world that involves all the places that Laura lived.  Simone was so excited to wear her hat as she played!

Total immersion into a great book 🙂

My child-friendly sewing space

Hooray! The emails and letters are coming in… Asking for us (it’s a family affair around here) to register for various craft fairs 😊

It’s the motivation we needed to get back into sewing mode!

First– I had to move the sewing machines into a better place.  I have a super cute sewing corner – but there isn’t enough room for us all to sew at once! (click the picture to see the full post)

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So…. I moved the sewing area upstairs to the boys’ room!

(They happen to have the biggest room in the house – but they never play in there because they would rather jump on the living room couches!)



 
There is plenty of room for children to sew and create ❤️




A wild birthday

Happy Birthday to me!

Yes, I took a selfie… I was camping and didn’t have a mirror and I wanted to see what 35 looked like!

So… rumor has it I had a “WILD” party!

That’s because I did… I spent a few days in the wild – camping with my family 🙂

There were bike rides, river swimming, rock climbing, a float trip, campfires, star gazing…

a whole lot of wild fun!

All these bikes are second hand bikes

I invite all my (wonderful) readers to read about the wild adventure on my other blog where I write about our journey to become a wild family.

I am reading this fabulous book called How to Raise a Wild Child: the art and science of falling in love with nature by Scott Sampson.  It is an inspirational book that is encouraging me (and my husband) to get the kids outside and become wild (nature loving) children… however it is more than just throwing our kids outside and locking the door (LOL) – it’s about changing our attitudes as a family to love, understand, and respect the Earth 🙂

 – which is why the blog is called Becoming A Wild Family . (click here to see the blog)

…And this KindCotton post wouldn’t be complete without… vintage luggage!

Sewing minecraft gifts

Minecraft is a favorite video game in our house and has been for years!

I can’t play it or even watch the screen for long because it makes me dizzy, but I do like that all the kids can play it at once!

I wanted to share two simple Minecraft themed sewing projects…

Minecraft Creeper Pillow – Easy

Supplies

  • Green material (I used fleece)
  • Black material (I used felt)
  • Chalk
  • Ruler or other straightedge
  • Needle
  • Thread (green and black)
  • Stuffing (you can reuse the stuffing inside an old pillow)
  • Sewing machine optional

Directions

  1. Cut the green material into two squares – size depends on how big/small you want the pillow to be
  2. Sew the squares together (inside out) leaving a hole a few inches wide
  3. Turn the pillow right side out
  4. Stuff the pillow
  5. Stitch the hole up with green thread
  6. Look at the creeper’s face (sorry I don’t have a template) and draw the eyes and mouth on the black material with chalk and ruler
  7. Cut out the eyes and mouth
  8. Hand stitch the eyes and mouth into the front of the pillow with black thread 

Ta-Da! Creeper Pillow finished 💚

Minecraft Doll- Intermediate

 

Supplies 

  • Green material (I used fleece)
  • Black material (I used felt)
  • Chalk
  • Ruler or other straightedge
  • Needle
  • Thread (green and black)
  • Stuffing (you can use the stuffing inside an old pillow)
  • Sewing machine optional

Directions

  1. Use the chalk and draw a human shape on the backside of the green material and cut it out (pin it together)
  2. Sew around doll (inside out) leaving a hole in the top of the head 
  3. Turn the doll right side out and stuff 
  4. Stitch up the hole in the head with green thread
  5. Use chalk and a ruler to draw the eyes and mouth on the black material
  6. Sew the eyes and mouth onto the doll face with black thread

Ta-Da the creeper doll is finished!!

Give as a gift or keep and play with!

The creeper doll makes a great reading buddy!

 

A vintage tool set (that actually works!)

Pocket knives and tools are a big thing around my house…

To be trusted with a knife is HUGE! They must follow the rules:

  1. Always be sitting when you open a knife.
  2. Always close the knife before you stand up.

Last year, knives were given as birthday presents.

They are also cheap treasures found at Flea Markets and Antique Malls.

Now, I admit sometimes I get nervous when my littlest has a knife- or any tool for that matter.

Last year, he was satisfied with a used plastic stool set.


This year, however, we have been working on wood-working and tool using.

(I consider it an elective as part of our homeschooling curriculum.)


… Thankfully we happened to stop at a random Flea Market while we were out and about one day- and found this awesome tool set…




We bought it because it was so super cute…

But when we got it home, we realized the tools were real, just mini-sized!

It is so nice for Eli to have child-sized tools that actually worked!!


An Unschool Field Trip

Yesterday we took a field trip to a beautiful nature reserve close to where we live…

This place has 38 lakes/ponds and for $5.30 and you could rent a boat – for the whole day!!!


We had tons of fun as my husband rowed around the lake 🚣

Later on the day, the kids were begging to row a boat… Without us parents in it!

My first instincts was to say “NO!” It’s too hard, too dangerous, and what would people think if my kids were in a boat by themselves!

Whoa! Those were my excuses for saying no! I had to reevaluate!

  1.  My kids are very strong, rowing would be difficult because they had never done it before, so the only way to improve would be to practice!
  2. Too dangerous? I was beginning to doubt that!! All four kids are excellent swimmers, they were wearing life jackets, the lake was very calm, and I knew they weren’t going very from shore!
  3. I was afraid of being judged?? Really?? I quickly recalled all the rules about the boat, none of which said I couldn’t let the kids row by themselves!

The kids couldn’t believe their good fortune when I quickly recanted my “no!”



I sat on the shoreline watching and admiring not only their progress and skill, but how they worked together and helped each other!!

It’s hard as a parent to transition our minds from protecting our young children to allowing them to spread their wings and try… and succeed… and grow up!

In the past, I would have had a whole lesson plan of activities to do while at the nature reserve with information to learn, facts to memorize, opinions to be formed…but as a parent/teacher embracing the unschooling ideals, I was trying to trust my children to learn without me directing their every action and thought!  It was neat to see them using the site map to tell their father how to drive to the different lakes, or noticing the lily pads and having a scientific discussion about how they grow, watching them learn to row, but most importantly – seeing them love and appreciate this wonderful world God made!!

Our homeschool classroom

Since today marks the day kids in the neighborhood go back to school, I thought it would be fitting (and fun) to give you a tour of our classroom!


 

Other side of the room

 

School supplies on table

 

Personal art/craft supplies

Several years ago, my sister made these personalized lunch boxes for each of the kids.  She claims it was easy- she just glued a picture of the kids on the front!

The My Little Pony box is mine ($.25 at a garage sale).

 

We call them our art boxes and they are filled with markers and pencils and glue.


Giant vintage Chalkboard

 

School bags 

These vintage carry-on bags make a perfect storage case for the kids notebooks and workbooks. They stand up nicely beside the kids’ assigned chairs.

Piano



*finished drawings get tucked into the piano bench

* drawing paper, tracing paper, and construction paper are in the picnic basket beneath the bench


Reading Area

 

I got a map from Target and reused a picture frame and some duct tape to turn it into wall art.

I laminated some subject cards  so I can write out our daily plans.

….And there it is!  The room I love the most 🙂

*Although my husband and I lean towards the ideas behind unschooling, we know that the kids thrive on routine and clear expectations.  Although I don’t pull school lessons from a textbook, they are still expected to learn everyday!

…but that’s for another post!