Tag Archive | unschool

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!

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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 ❤️




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!

Giving our chicken a bath

When I was a child, we had a baby chick that was given to us.  It was in poor health and the farmer had written it off as a loss.  Being young and kind-hearted, my sisters and I were determined to care for the baby chicken.

We bought it home and made a best for it.  Then I got the bright idea that it needed a bath (it was a hot mess of feathers and dirt).

Well… Shortly after the bath, it died 😦

My family has never let me forget the bath incident.  It comes up several times a year – a simple reminder that I shouldn’t give my chickens a bath LOL!

Well- today, I gave AppleRose a bath… Well at least a foot bath! And I’m pretty sure she’s going to live trough the experience!

We have had a LOT of rain, making AppleRose’s living space wet and muddy! I noticed that her toes were getting caked in mud that was as hard as rock.


I decided that this was a great lesson in chicken care and turned the cleaning process into a hands-on learning experience for the kids. (Although Eli and Andre couldn’t watch because for some reason they thought her toes might fall off -which they didn’t – LOL!)

It was actually very easy- we just dipped her foot in a bucket of water to loosen the mud and then picked at the mud ball- making it fall apart.



Within 5 minutes, her feet were scrubbed clean… Making a very happy chicken ❤️

Future geologist at work here

This is what summer school looks like when you unschool!

… My bathroom vanity…

Rocks being “cleaned and polished”!

Andre is certain there is a dinosaur bone soaking in the pink bowl! LOL

  

* Andre has been reading rock books (for fun) and loves to identify rocks and explain their characteristics! ❤️