Sunday, May 6, 2012

7 Snippets of Unschooling

Welcome to 7 Snippets of Unschooling where I show you seven things going on in our unschooling family in the past week or so. Enjoy! And feel free to join up with us here:

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1. Puzzling.  Out of the blue, Hunter decided he wanted to try "The Brady Bunch" 500 piece puzzle that I had gifted myself a couple of years ago.  I had not put it or the "Cheers" and "Happy Days" puzzles together yet because we had a toddler in the house and no where to leave the puzzle while we worked on it so that it would be out of his way.  But these days, he's not interested in eating our puzzles or throwing the pieces away so we decided to sacrifice part of our dining room table to put together the puzzle.  It went really well.  In only three days we had completed the puzzle.  We would work on it together, separately... it was a family affair.  One night I even worked on it while also watching "The Guild" on Netflix (with headphones) just because I could.  It was great fun and now we are on a mission to find even more awesome 500 piece puzzles.  Might hit up the thrift stores soon!

2.  Barbie goes into labor.  Hunter and Ronin periodically drag all of this stuff out of Ronin's closet and have a day of Barbie play.  Typically they have a party with the Barbies but last week, instead of a party, Barbie and Ken were having a baby.  And that process included trying some interesting (and surprisingly accurate) labor induction techniques to bring on the breaking of water and the beginning of contractions.  They also set up an area for Ken to hang out because Barbie wanted him nearby but not too close.  When I asked why Barbie was having a hospital birth they explained that Barbie just isn't the type of person who would give birth at home.  Hmph.  

Barbie play

3. Taylor Swift birthday party.  Both big kids were invited to attend a friend's 9th birthday party with a Taylor Swift theme.  They put a lot of thought into what to buy their friend as a gift and they ended up getting her a Friends Lego set.  Ronin decided to go with the fashion design one because they know that their friend loves costuming.  Ronin got all dressed up in one of her special outfits and her brand new big girl high heels. 
Big Girl going to a party
 They both had fun playing Freeze Dance to Taylor Swift songs...
Freeze Dance!
 and jamming with the other girls.  Hunter was the only big boy there (he was told this going into things) but this didn't seem to bother him.  A friend from church was also at the party, as well as a teenager that Hunter knows from the show he's doing.

4.  Reading.  This past week Hunter finished "Diary of a Wimpy Kid".  I've read it to him before.  His dad has read it to him before.  But a couple of months ago he decided he would read it himself.  And he did.  It was sorta slow but I love that a little over a year ago, he could barely read at all and now he's reading entire books that are on a 5th grade reading level.  We've done nothing more with him other than making sure we visit the library as often as possible where he has free range of any book he would like.  And ensuring that we strew the environment with lots of interesting reading material (like "The Simpsons" comics).  Of course I've continued to read to him almost daily.   Ronin took a break from reading but was suddenly inspired to pick up a Juney B. Jones book this week and has read most all of it.  

Reading their new "Adventure Time" comics on Free Comic Book Day

5.  Theater.  We've been spending most of our free time dealing with theater things these past few weeks.  Today is the actual production of the show that I've been directing at church.  Both Hunter and Ronin are in it.  It's been such a great learning experience for me as a director.  I really like directing and I'd like to do it at some of the local theaters here in the Boro.

The cast of Noah's Rainbow playing baseball after a rehearsal.  I hit a home run!

Ronin during Noah's Rainbow dress rehearsal.  She's part of the red in the rainbow.
Hunter is also involved with a local production of "Beauty and the Beast" and let me tell you, it's the real deal.  He's learning just how exhausting and challenging the theater can be.  He has already said he'd like to stick with less time consuming productions in the future and I think that is a completely legitimate observation.  He's only 8.  Plenty of time for these HUGE shows when he's a teen.  I hope he can see this experience for what it's teaching him though.  Because it's truly a learning experience.  I've never done a musical like this before and I'm fascinated by how it's all being put together. 

Beauty and the Beast rehearsal.  This is one of the village scenes.
6.  Archery.  Hunter has taken up an interest in archery.  He found himself a little bow and arrow set at Phillip's Toy Mart a few weeks ago and because it wasn't super expensive, he went ahead and bought it for himself.  He showed it to his grandpa when he was over for a visit and so grandpa went out and found him a nice junior boy and arrow set.  He even made him a cool quiver with a strap on it.  Hunter is surprising me all of the time by the new interests he just picks up on his own.  I love that his grandpa took it upon himself to help him develop the interest even further.  The plan is to get some hay bales and set up a target practice area in the back yard.

His great aunt and uncle came through town and stopped for a visit.  Here he is demonstrating his archery skills for them.
Grandpa showing Hunter how to use his new big kid archery set.

7.  Randomness.  So much more has been going on.
Hunter and Ronin found a tiny dead baby bird and gave it a funeral.  Ronin made this marker for it's grave than Hunter dug.  She found a book with a duck in it to help her with the drawing.  You can see that I didn't help with the spelling. 

Bird grave

 I recently had a burst of energy and inspiration and ended up cleaning out my craft closet (including my sticker box, yikes!) and my pantry. Both are much tidier now and I was able to make room for the stock piling of prepackaged snacks, a task I've decided to undertake to help get us through "Beauty and the Beast". 
Recycyling from my cleaning spree.

We continue to meet every Thursday with our friends. We are meeting at a different park right now and we've been including short hikes in our time together.  The older kids want to return to the other park but the smaller kids seem to be enjoying the new one.  I suppose they are all learning about compromise and meeting the needs of everyone in a group.

Drayken, Elijah, and Owen throwing rocks into water.

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  1. "Barbie just isn't the type of person who would give birth at home" ... LOL but it is too true!

    1. My midwives did tell me a story of a Barbie-like lady who had a homebirth and... well... let's just say it was VERY different from what you'd have expected from Barbie!

  2. Your week looks AWESOMELY fun. My daughter is 12 and also loves Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and in the same way - she used to love to have it read to her and now can make it through on her own, which is amazing!

    1. Isn't it so much fun to just sit back, relax, and watch the reading happen on its own? I love it!

  3. Barbie sounds like me. I am all for homebirthing but I am just not the type of person who wants to give birth at home. I love your kids' creativity!

  4. I love this post! We are very into puzzles right now too. Alex would love archery..think I will have to look into that.
    I wanted to let you know that I really enjoy following you! I just awarded you the versatile blogger award. I really wanted to let you know that I appreciate your posts!
    You can see the post with the award here:
    I hope you guys are having fun at the beach down in my neck of the woods & surviving without a Whole Foods ;)

    1. Thank you! I appreciate the kind words and the award! Thanks for reading!

  5. "Sorry You're Dead <3" keeps making me LOL! So sweet! :)


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