Tag Archives: free play

I don’t fear daylight savings anymore. 

Standard

Daylight savings time. I used to go with the rhetoric of how awful it had to be, because everyone else complained; and truthfully, when we pressured ourselves with early time commitments, I’m sure it did have its challenges. 

Back then, I was very much still discovering who I was and what I believed as parent. I caught myself parroting what I heard others say. That was the normal. I wanted to fit in. Not only in my words, but my actions. I did many things differently, but I also conformed in ways that were hard for me. Get up early, rush to a million activities. Go go go. 

Not now though. Now my kids can sleep and wake as they need. We adjust each day and go with the flow, sometimes earlier, sometimes later. Hailey did wake up earlier than usual today, not because the clock was changed, but because of an excited little brother who made a bit too much noise. That’s okay. We can figure out what we need as the day goes on. Our morning was free to take it as slow as we needed it to be.

We ate breakfast, the kids watched a bit of a movie, checked on their birds nests they made for the back yard, and found ladybugs on the porch as I sipped my coffee. Winter demands I take pictures of anything he deems interesting. 

I am thankful that this day won’t throw us off the week and that we have no strict schedule to adhere to. I know that can’t be everyone’s reality. My husband will still have to sleep at his normal time, even if the kids are still up. I could look at that as putting more “work” on me. I don’t look at it that way anymore. I love this life.

Advertisements

Our Unschooling Week

Standard

I’m going to be completely honest and upfront with the fact that we had a rough week. There was plenty of fun, connecting, and learning moments; There was also lots of tears and fighting. I’m not sure why, but the kids were just out of sync this week. So we had lots of breathing, conflict resolution, and sometimes just some siblings separation.

Monday, we started the day out with breakfast and books. Hailey then watched some Pokémon while Elijah watched YouTube videos with me. The kids played on their tablets a bit. The boys played dress up. 

The kids did their own separate art projects. Hailey made pokeballs and Elijah painted. 

                                      Crafts and chaos 🙂

The kids played outside for a while. Elijah found a praying mantis. The checked him out for a little while.

Tuesday started out with some porch time. Winter played with Playdoh out there. 

The day was spent mostly switching from playing Pokémon, and watching TV. Hailey and I took a wall in the evening.

Wednesday, I asked the kids I’d they wanted to check out a new park. We spent a few hours having fun on the gravity rail, and snacking too. 


Hailey had Kung fu classes that evening. There was tablet time and TV too.

Thursday, Papa caught a cicada for the kids to observe. 


Grandma came over for a visit. The kids love when she comes. They each worked on their own projects for a bit. The boys taped yarn to paper. Hailey wrote cards to each of us. We had fun writing to each other for a few hours. 

Her first notes to me


When Papa got home he had a Pokémon card battle with Hailey. We read books, and played tablets.

Friday, we watched a movie with popcorn during the afternoon. Elijah built with Lego’s for quite a while. Hailey played her DS.

Today we had a big family breakfast. Then we went to watch remote control airplanes fly and do tricks. We finished out afternoon with a quick grocery trip, and then back home to relax. 

Unschooling Today 7/14/2017

Standard

It’s Friday! Looking forward to a fun weekend as a family. Fridays often seem to pass slowly due to the anticipation of the weekend, so I usually plan something for us to do. However, this week we’ve stayed at the house. We rarely stay at the house for a whole week, but everyone needed some rest and recoupuration. 

After everyone was up today, I turned on one of my favorite childhood movies. The kids all enjoyed Dunston Checks in.

At the credits of all movies around here, when the music starts playing, we start dancing. 

After that was finished, Winter asked to go outside. It felt HOT. So we filled up the kiddie pool and the squirt guns. Everyone chased each other. I think I got hit the most. They each slid down the slide into the baby pool. Winter did it over and over. 

Hailey went inside for a few minutes and came back out with some of our homemade popsicles. Her and Elijah had the pina coloda and strawberry popsicles, winter had a chocolate banana one, and I opted for a cold brew coffee popsicle.

After coming inside and changing into dry clothes, Winter went down for a nap. When I got up, Elijah asked for help building his new Lego car. I’m not particularly good at following the directions on the kits, but we figured it out.

Then I read a chapter in a Magic Treehouse book aloud. The kids sat at the table together, playing with Lego people. Winter and I played on the porch.

Grandma stopped by for a visit. She brought the kids each a special toy. Elijah got a whoopie cushion and he is thrilled. 

Papa just left to take the two oldest to the movie theater, which is a special treat around here. The kids are excited to see Despicable Me 3.

Feel free to share about what you did in the comments!

Our unschooling day 10/12/16

Standard

Trying to keep up the momentum of write all the things so here is what our today looked like. We took it slow and easy this morning. When we were ready we got dressed and headed out the door. Papa needed some quiet time at the house to study for a test he needs to take for a technical certificate, so I made plans to meet up with friends at a park with the kids.

The kids played for hours. The park is one of our favorites and they all had a great time. They played with fresh walnuts that were fallen (and some fell right before our eyes and luckily didn’t hit anyone). Elijah and his best friend pretended to cook with them and have a restaurant. They also used them as balls, and rolled them down the slide. His hands are now walnut stained color despite washing them a few times.

The kids played in the creek a bit. They all enjoyed wading in the water, but got more wet than we had originally planned for.

14708158_10211195464902131_7948921861908978237_n

Hailey said they found a frog or two. Her best friend caught a little fish in a bucket. We all took a look and she let it go.

14682099_10211195464222114_991582307222533090_o

Winter and his best baby friend threw rocks into the creek.

14691042_10211195458061960_7060849015310203834_n

We all bring snacks and share them so there is always that. Lots of the normal park type play as well. After about 3.5 hours we headed home to change wet shoes and clothes, have another quick snack, pick up Papa, and run out to the store to grab some things on sale.

Back at home was dinner. Then the kids took a long bath and played in the bath water. We read books before Elijah went to bed, and Hailey is still up hanging with me. That about sums up our day. Feel free to share about your day in the comments!

Our Unschooling day 10/11/16

Standard

This morning we woke up and decided we wanted to make pumpkin waffles. I love that our relaxed schedule means that we can have a more elaborate breakfast when we feel like it. After breakfast, we all got dressed and ready and headed out to enjoy the beautiful day. We decided to head somewhere we could go hiking and the kids could play at the nature play area they love.

The kids set right to work finishing a house made of sticks and getting involved in an imaginary game they created. They played for about 40 minutes. Elijah built a large “stove” out of logs.

14717302_10211183169234747_4583443694455134746_n

Papa was busy playing too. He used a big stick as a lever to raise a log back onto two other logs that used to hold it. Then he built a little obstacle course.

14691333_10211184769314748_6954334099929774463_o

The last leg of the course was a bit shaky. Hailey took it upon herself to see if she could figure out a way to make it more stable.

14712856_10211184764554629_2171017370691989134_o

After some trial and error, her and Papa figured out a way together to get it the way they wanted and we took turns trying it out. Winter was having fun too. He noticed a tree had a large hole and was sticking things into it to see what would happen.

14680743_10211184780115018_4472942741054510490_n

After the play we went for our hike. The kids ran ahead and played as Pokemon characters for most of the hike.

14671222_10211184761834561_2817228912055024196_n

We stopped to take a snack break at our favorite area of the hike. This area is known as the Osage Orange tunnel and it is so neat looking.

14690846_10211184759554504_6982749707812316931_n

The hike was finished soon after and we headed home to finish the dinner that I had started earlier before we left. Hailey tagged along with me to our local Le Leche League meeting.

We came home and Elijah and I played superheroes for a few minutes. Of course he was the superhero and I was the bad guy who he had to “defeat up” (that is what he says instead of beat up). He picked out the book “Green Eggs and Ham” for me to read before going to sleep. Hailey is relaxing with a show in her room before the rest of us will head to bed.

How was your day? Feel free to share in the comments.

Our Unschooling day 8/19/2016

Standard

Today I had to get the kids up a bit earlier than usual because we had a chiropractic appointment. It was a bit of a rush to get out the door, and we were still 15 minutes late. We walked in, the kids didn’t have shoes on (they were with us but I couldn’t get them to put them on quickly and we were already so late), the baby has a crooked onsie snapped on by one button, and I was clutching the now lukewarm coffee I had not finished. At least we made it! You have to laugh at yourself to get through this life. Appointment went well as usual.

It was a really nice day out, and we had not been hiking much this past month due to the heat. We decided to head to a nearby metropark to play and hike. The kids played for a few minutes with the logs. Winter thought this was super cool.

14063728_10210670183170416_7783355851141175784_n

Elijah and Hailey pretended they had an office, with a kitchen I believe is what I was told.

14021579_10210670182370396_2036888398419772848_n

Hailey found a slug. We looked at it but didn’t touch it. She remembered how difficult getting slug slime off was from the last time she found a slug.

 

Elijah found a walnut in the shell and noticed that the smell was quite interesting. He asked me to smell too. Before today, I do not think I have ever smelled one. Smelled kind of pine like.

smell

We headed off to hike. The sun came out and we were not under shade for a few minutes, so it started to feel like a mistake, and the kids were not happy. We persevered though, made it to the shade and everyone was better. We came upon a creek. The kids played in the water a bit, pretending rocks were fish. When they were finished playing we had a snack. Hailey asked Papa questions about rocks, and Papa was more than happy to talk about rocks, the earths makeup, the age of rocks, etc. We kept on hiking. The kids pretended to be Pokemon while we finished hiking. We stopped for drinks of water, and the kids played in the water a bit. Winter loves the water so much. He laughed at the sight of the water fountain.

After we were loaded up in the car we headed to a store to get a few things I noticed were on sale. We drove home, making sure to hit some Pokestops. At home, Elijah helped me make dinner and asked if we could make banana bread with the super ripe bananas on our shelf. So after dinner, he helped me bake that.

Papa downloaded a flight simulator and played with the kids for a few minutes. We read our new library books and got in Pj’s.

That was on unschooling day! Feel free to share about yours in the comments.

Save

Unschooling Today 7/2/16

Standard

Today has been a pretty relaxed pace kind of day. After a week of being out hiking, geocaching, appointments, library programs, festival, fireworks, and playing with friends, we really needed a down day.

We were outside enjoying the very nice weather and we noticed something interesting on our van.

13566933_10210236556250014_4439929766449065528_n

We were trying to figure out what this little thing was and just watching it wiggle and move across the van. The kids were fascinated.

13523005_10210236556850029_2392084258715051182_o

We moved it over to our bush, figuring the wind blew it there and it would much rather not be on the van. Elijah completed the rescue mission. This brought on an interesting conversation and what a chrysalis is and the differences from a cocoon. Some googling and discussion later we were all satisfied.

We are helping take care of my Mom’s dogs for a few days, so we walked the few blocks down to her house to play with them and let them run around outside. All the kids took turns on their favorite activity at her house.

13522024_10210236559370092_1848768214852073594_n

Even the baby loves to hold on to the rope while I let him think he is swinging on it. The dogs enjoyed the company too.

13600157_10210236559890105_2406706600038703034_n

After a while, we walked back home. The kids watched some Garfield for a bit. The baby napped on me while I picked up the house. Elijah played outside and pretended to cook with leaves and sticks. Then we all made some strawberry lemonade.

13606488_10210238185970756_6227675167282406668_n

Elijah helped me with the dishes and I made dinner. We are going to walk back down to my mom’s in a bit. I am guessing we will read a bunch of books before bed too.

 

What did your day look like?

Unschooling this week.

Standard

Back again for another peek inside our lives. We have been out and about so much recently, I have not been able to keep up in documenting it for you. Here is what we have been up to.

Monday we took the morning very slow and relaxed. In the afternoon we headed to a library program with some friends. The listened to a story, made crafts, had snack, and played dress up.

13432421_10210056632752039_217089450482843933_n

We played outside for a bit before headed home.

Tuesday we went strawberry picking. This was a lot of fun.The farm was so beautiful.

13391666_10210025976505652_2419362526733846306_o

The place we were at was very family friendly and told the kids to feel free to snack while they picked. They all didn’t hesitate on that, especially the baby.

13411645_10210025974345598_2198381918008237824_o

Yummy! After that, we had a few errands to run and we stopped for some lunch as well. We headed home and relaxed for the rest of the night.

Wednesday started off by Hailey finding a workbook we bought a while back. She loves those and sat at the table for a bit with it that day, as well as almost every day that week. We met a bunch of friends at a park for a surprise party and playdate for a friend. We ate snacks, played all day, and had cake. Fun day all around.

13434934_10210056631832016_5217913854637704193_n

Thursday I had an eye doctor appointment. The kids walked over with Papa to get ice cream while I got checked out. Then we headed home in a hurry for an unexpected vehicle repair.We headed back out to our very last nature class that is taught by my friend. It was just us and her kids so we mostly just played. The kids made bird feeders.

Then we took a hike. A toad was found along the way and they took turns holding and petting it.

13422270_10210047781610766_4003144766073147401_o

The kids threw rocks in the pond and gathered the biggest ones they could find. Some of the grownups had a headstand contest.

13407027_10210047778810696_4908777536296708_n

Today was grocery store day. The kids have their own little bags of money that they wanted to bring so they could pick out something and pay for it with their own money. At the first store Hailey picked out a croissant with chocolate in it. Elijah picked a nitrate free beef stick. At the second store, Hailey and Elijah both went for a chocolate coin and a tiny little dollar container of ice cream. They both helped count out the money and hand it to the cashier. I loved their faces, beaming with excitement. Hailey was so thrilled that she had her own receipt.

Share your unschooling adventures in the comments!

 

What we have been up to lately

Standard

This whole week or so has kind of been a blur. A mix of relaxing days around the house where we didn’t do much to write about and days we played all day.

Last Thursday we all decided to take a quick hike. The kids had some energy they needed to use and me and Papa wanted to get some sun. The baby fell asleep on me. I really love babywearing. I am not sure what my life would be like without it. Oh wait, yes I am sure. It would be a lot more frustrating.

13103457_10209728286223581_1691124771539088625_n

A nearby zoo was having a free admission after 5pm because of a concert. We headed up to play. There were not many animals out, but we enjoyed this up close and personal look at the snow leopard.

13112929_10209788929019613_4713880980087380546_o

The lack of animals didn’t really put a damper on the kid’s fun. They enjoyed walking around, listening to the music, and playing on the animal statues.

Friday was a sit around the house day. Papa worked on the van and Elijah loved “helping” with that with his tools.

Saturday I took the kids to a free gymnastics event. The kids love gymnastics. Both had fun and conquered some fears.

Sunday was church. After church we headed to visit with a friend who was visiting from out of state. It was so nice to catch up and let the kids play.

Monday was another take it easy kind of day. The only thing we did was go to the grocery. The kids were not exactly having an easy day. Everyone has off days. So we took lowered our expectations and took the cue to relax.

Tuesday we were also around the house. Papa and the kids had a lot of fun testing out our new virtual reality goggles that I got in to review. Me and Winter got a mommy baby date by headed out to run a few errands on our own. It was nice to spend some time with just him. He loved all the attention he was getting out and about too.

13173637_10209788891978687_5418513369172862398_n

Wednesday the kids chose to go to our local science museum. There is a lot to do there. Winter really enjoyed the water table.

13179268_10209788933259719_8846997562612001896_n

The kids all worked together building with atoms to make structures.

13147301_10209788933819733_1030178314489663322_o

Thursday We hung around in the morning and early afternoon. After a while we headed to a park to meet up with some friends at a super fun, relaxed nature program. My friend is an amazing teacher, if we couldn’t homeschool, I would want her to be there teacher. She set up some really cool activities.

We sang songs, played games, and got dirty. Elijah wasn’t so sure at first, so he participated for a while on my lap. I love that there was no pressure to participate.

13198536_10207984720329628_953425683030999992_o

Of course, he warmed up quickly. When it came to the adventure hike portion of the program, he had no problem getting dirty with his friends.

13178543_10209788934499750_2789933155528096195_n

“I am a princess queen dragon king!”

Friday we had a picnic with a local group to celebrate mother’s day. Food, fun, friends. A whole day at the park and playing!

13102620_10207984676008520_6644975575978823399_n

We took a walk to the pond next to the park.

13123390_10209786747165068_7880040658050756049_o

We even saw say goslings! They were so cute and fun.

13177111_10209794597881331_6574190982774636218_n

We stopped by Hailey’s art studio to make some art with our city’s new semi pro soccer team. They had lots of fun stations, including an area to dip soccer balls into paint and throw them.

Hailey loves art. Very rarely does a day go by that she isn’t doing some form of art. It really is not my forte, so I am always looking for opportunities for her to do art in ways she might love.

13173477_10207984669288352_209779810182029973_o

This week was a good mix of home and out. We did a bunch of playing. I love that in a generation of busied rushed over scheduled lives, my kids can play play play. I am thankful to give that to them.

Ramblings…

Standard

I’m in the mood to ramble and type for no reason. There will be no profound insight in this journal like post. We have had a difficult week. Not a life is difficult type week; more so the kids are grumpy, Mommy is distracted, the baby fussy for some unknown reason difficult type week. We were able to end this rough week on a good note. Today we met some friends at Chick-fil-a and ate and played. It was a good time that was much needed.

The weekend is here, and I am looking forward to some family time. My oldest is looking forward to spending a night with her Grandma, which means more room for us in the big bed. I am looking forward to a few days with extra cups of coffee with my husband. The weekend is my favorite. I am trying to claim this weekend as a positive one. Sometimes, I get so many ideas in my head for the weekend; so much that I want to accomplish in those two short days, that I get anxious and end up not actually enjoying it. I am trying to become more aware of that and start out in a realistic expectations mindset.

I love how a day of play gave us all a much needed reset. It is amazing how sometimes that is all it takes to get back on track. Play is so good for kids (and adults!). It is so much more than what you see on the surface. Play is literally the language of childhood and so much learning is happening while children are playing. We are naturally pretty lax around here, maybe even too much at times, but time for free play is a priority.

Speaking of play, I have been noticing my 3 year-old’s play has been changing. He has started playing some more independently. I have also noticed that his play has been including more social fantasy. He has been pretending toys talk to each other and having them hold conversations. I remember doing that as a child. It makes me smile. I like when I can pick up on these subtle milestones because it is like an outward show of maturity.

I think that is all I had to get out. Have a great weekend!