Thursday, October 22, 2009

Unschooling Kids Site

We have started a new chat and discussion forum site for unschooling kids. Join us:

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Fun at the Skate Park

Sunday the kids wanted to go to our local skate park. They had a blast. None of them really skate, though, so I am sure all the teenagers on skateboards thought we were crazy and annoying, but we didn't stay forever, and bigwheels and scooters are also really fun at the skate park.

Dalton, trying to look very hip hop skater. Not sure he quite got there,
but whatever... it's all good.

Winnie also really enjoyed the park next to the skatepark.

There are cool plaques all along the path to the skatepark with do-it-yourself mad lib poetry. Zhara stopped to copy one and do her own mad lib poem.

The Joy of Building

We ran errands this morning, including a stop at the library to pick up some books that we put on hold that had come in. My kids can't leave without doing a little building. Angus made a castle.

Zhara decided that she wanted to work on symmetry today. She learned about symmetry awhile ago, and then had it reinforced by the teacher at the Nelson the other day regarding the masks that they made. So today she made the two sides of her castle completely symmetrical. Beautiful.

They have been working all afternoon on building dinosaurs out of old cardboard boxes and then dressing them in elaborate costumes they are making out of my old fabric stash. Pictures to follow when the creatures are complete.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Princess Bride & More

We watched Princess Bride tonight for the first time with the kids. Oh, they loved it. Pirates and princesses. They thought they were in heaven. Then afterward we had a wrestling and tickle fight. So much fun. Unschooling at it's finest.

We read three more chapters of Alice in Wonderland this afternoon. That means we are now almost halfway through with the book. I put Through the Looking Glass on hold at the library, since it looks like we'll probably be at it before the weekend. The kids beg for the next chapter when we get to the end. They are really loving it.

Angus really learned to peddle and stay on the bike with training wheels yesterday. He rode all the way around the block. Today he insisted we take the bikes and big wheels to the park, and he rode around and around the park on the sidewalk until it was time to take Zhara to guitar lessons. Every now and again he would get stalled and need a push, but overall he is zipping along with it. Now if Zhara would only learn to ride without training wheels, we could hit the road and put some miles on the bikes. In her time, I know she will. It just has to click. We need to get her new training wheels to replace the ones she broke jumping off of the bike earlier this summer.

We are still LOVING what radical unschooling is giving us. Yesterday in the car on the way home from dropping Dalton off, Zhara pulled the multiplication flash cards out of my purse that she likes to keep there to play with when she gets bored. She learned how to multiply by 11s and 5s in like 5 minutes by asking me a couple of questions. It is amazing. When they are ready. It is there. And she is learning to add and subtract in her head better than I do. She isn't just memorizing this stuff, she is LEARNING it. Getting it. Grasping the deeper concepts. You can actually physically see it click in her eyes when she understands it. It is wild to watch when it happens. It totally makes every bit of unschooling worth it, those moments. Well, that and the absolutely amazing relationship that we now get to have with our kids.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The White Rabbit

We started Alice in Wonderland last night. OMG, do my children love it. I am amazed how well they sit for what most consider too advanced books. I intended to read one chapter, then proceeded to two because the first chapter is short. At the end of each chapter they begged to find out what happened to Alice next. We read five chapters. They were rapt the whole time. I hope they continue to like it this much, if so we may read Through the Looking Glass and some of the other books, as well.

Fun at the Museum

Oh, did we have fun making masks at the Nelson yesterday? Yes, we did! Can't you tell? Angus ended up hanging out with his friend, Lewis, at his house, and Winnie and Zhara and I went to the class. We didn't think Winnie would get to participate because she was too young, but she did, and she had a blast. She used a LOT of glue and loved it. We also had a good time meeting more people from KC Homeschool, and looking at the African exhibit.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

All for One, and One for All!

Yesterday we finished The Three Musketeers. The kids enjoyed it. We have decided to start Alice in Wonderland next. I'm excited.

Since I last wrote we took a class at the zoo on Endangered Species with Roots and Shoots, and had a super busy day yesterday, including the library, lunch with grandma, and Girl Scouts.

Today we are SUPER excited to go to a Art and History group. We are learning about and building Stonehenge out of blocks. Fun, fun.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Kerri is teaching Zhara the fine art of scrapbooking. She LOVES it! Loves it. She went over to Kerri's house yesterday evening while Angus had drum lessons.

Yesterday Zhara worked some more on her Lego movie, and we accepted an invitation to come to a homeschool program put on by the KC Zoo on chimpanzees. We are all very excited about that on Thursday.

Today Angus has preschool where they are doing egg experiments, and Winnie and Zhara and I head to the library for reading hour and some new books and movies.

Monday, October 5, 2009


We always have to find something to do while Zhara has guitar lessons. Today I needed to get some straw bales to use for mulch in the garden before it gets too cold. So we went to the garden store. No trip to the garden store is ever complete for Angus and Wednesday without a visit to the koi pond. There are some BIG koi in there. They are friendly. Very very friendly. They like to be fed. A lot. I found a quarter in the bottom of my purse. So they were fed. Great excitement ensued. For both the fish and the kids.

Later on, after dinner, we tidied up, then the kids put faces on their pumpkins from the front porch. Angus got a haircut. I would almost rather remove an arm. Trimming an autistic child's hair should just be illegal, it really is that horrible. He does like the end result, though. And Zhara played on the talking globe given to us by Ms. Kerri. She likes it a lot, and I think it will really help with her teaching herself geography.

A Beautiful Fall Day

Oh, the park was PERFECT today! The weather was amazing, the trees are starting to change, the kids all played nicely together, the ducks and geese were pleasant, we found an amazingly beautiful cove to sit and watch the ducks, pitch acorns, and run perilously close to falling in the water. It couldn't be a more perfect unschooling day, in my opinion.

The kids are three of mine -- Zhara, Angus, and Wednesday, and their three best friends, Layla, Lewis, and Lincoln.

Kids up a tree

Hello, Mr. Turtle. We saw 5 of them here.
We got to watch several swimming under the water. Very cool

Skipping rocks... and acorns.

Zhara, pondering natural mysteries, or perfecting her fashionable look for the day?
Who knows. Bonus Winnie butt in the background.

Happy Ducks

The Weekend

On Friday night we had a lovely evening playing at our friend, Kerri's, house. Nothing better than pizza, brownies, and beer (for the grown-ups) and watching the kids play together.

Saturday morning Winnie helped Adam and I in the garden. We pulled out dead stuff, pulled up all the tomato plants and deposited them in the compost. Dug potatoes, sweet potatoes, and the last of the carrots, and put them away in our make shift larder (AKA brown box with dirt in between layers of root veggies) for the winter. Winnie had fun finding fat juicy worms to play with. We transplanted some strawberry runners to increase our strawberry patch size, and spent much time staring at the garden plot deciding how to lay it out next spring. There is still work to be done in the coming days, but it is better and closer to ready for the winter.

Saturday evening Zhara camped out at her Girl Scout troop's first camp out of the year. Brrrr, glad I passed up helping out with that one. But she had a lot of fun hanging out with her best friends and roasting hot dogs and marshmallows.

The boys and Winnie headed down with us to grandma and papa's farm for the evening where we went on a hayride with their good friend's, had chili dogs from over the fire pit, and made smores. Mmmmm. Fun was had by all and there were many sleepy, smoky-smelling kids the next morning.

Sunday we had fun at church. I taught Sunday school with Ms. Kerri. We talked about feelings and danced and read about the Earth. I do love the UU church. The kids got to go to main service, as the RE teachers (yep, me) were being honored for their work with the kids.

We had a great weekend and are looking forward to a fun day.

Angus is at preschool now doing science experiments with eggs, and when we pick him up we are going to Antioch Park for a picnic and play with our best friends. Later Zhara has guitar, and there are pork ribs in the slow cooker for BBQ later tonight. Mmmm, we love Fall.

Friday, October 2, 2009

It's Friday

This morning Adam took Angus to preschool and John met them there so they could have a Dad(s) and Donuts dealio. He seemed to have enjoyed it when I picked him up before lunch. The girls and I went to Winnie's tumbling class, where Zhara alternatively helped Winnie with her tumbling and worked on a cross-word puzzle on the US States that Grandma had given us the last time we saw her.

There was quite a bit of temper tantruming as we picked up Angus from preschool. I think everyone was hungry, as now they all seem to have greatly improved moods. We collected some pine cones this morning from the preschool parking lot, and were all set to do pine cone art this afternoon, but Winnie was tired and is now down for a nap, and Zhara and Angus each got involved in their own full-scale Lego build while I was putting Winnie down for a nap. Now no one (except for me) is interested in doing pine cone art. So I can wait.

The weather is so perfect and fall-y. I think we'll hit the park this afternoon and over to Kerri's for dinner and playing tonight. I don't really want to be inside too much.

Zhara has a Girl Scout Camp Out tomorrow night, and I am going to try and press the family into helping me in the garden tomorrow morning, so that we can get it ready for fall/winter. Plus, I still need to harvest and store the last of the potatoes for the winter.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Movie Making

The kids and I have spent a lot of time this rainy morning creating the great Lego sets. We sorted through and found people, then Zhara came up with an idea for the shoot, we built scenes, and then a backdrop out of star fabric. We got the chicken lamp and put a regular bulb in it for better lighting, and now Zhara is shooting her pictures.

Angus helped for awhile, but then he got bored and now is coloring a dinosaur picture and practicing writing his name. It's all good.

Today Zhara is also researching more about why the honey bees are dying and she's going to try out some math in the Singapore Math books that came yesterday. At four we have to pick up the cat from the Spay and Neuter vet. The kids helped drop her off this morning.