Tag Archives: fun

Unschooling Fair

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A couple of months ago I read a brilliant post by  the blog Happiness is Here. If you haven’t read her work I suggest you head over right away because everything is spot on.  Anyway, she describes how her kids participated in an unschooling fair and market. When I read the idea I just knew it would be something that Hailey would love. She is always trying to sell her art and trinkets. She even opened a store in her bedroom.

I mulled over the idea in my head, and then decided to share it in my local unschooling group. The other parents in the group loved the idea as well. We wanted to do it, but I have never organized anything like this for a group and honestly was a bit intimidated. I knew if I didn’t at least try, then I would regret it. I made a poll post asking for good dates, and a friend reserved a room at a local library. The planning had begun!

I explained how it worked to the kids, and let them know they could work on artwork, jewelry, trinkets, or whatever they wanted to sell anytime. We had planned it for 6 weeks out so we had plenty of time. I went to the store and bought a bunch of supplies they might be inspired by. I figured whatever they didn’t use now would just restock our art and craft closet.

As the day grew closer, I continued to talk with the kids and remind them when the fair was. I was getting a bit nervous, because neither one had really made much. I set out the art supplies on the table in the morning sometimes, or at the toddlers nap time, strewing the idea.  I will admit that this was a trust fall for me some. I had organized this whole event, and my kids might not even bring anything. I wanted this to be enjoyable, and I knew telling them they had to make things wasn’t an option. I had to do some breathing on more than one occasion when Hailey made some beautiful artwork that she let me know was NOT for the fair.

However, as the fair was only days away, a little bit of this and that added up and they were each happy with what they were bringing. The morning of the fair I helped them make their signs and price their items. We packed up and headed out. When we got their all the kids set up their table.

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Hailey had Pokeballs and she was making more while we were there as well. They were a big hit. She also had a clay fish, some art work, some creations made out of pipe cleaners (my favorite was a Pikachu), and a decorative ball she called a “compass eye”.

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Elijah had clay eyes, a clay shark, some painted balls (one had different landscapes, one was a triple colorful ball, and one he said was a bouncy ball), and shaved ice cups which had decorated pretend shave ice inside.

The kids dug right in talking to each other and shopping. They looked around and bought treasures from each other.

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Elijah shopping

They would shop and then run back to their booth when they had a customer.

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Hailey loved her necklace

When they had a customer, they would help them figure out the cost of the item. If they needed my help figuring out change or anything I was right there to assist.

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One of Elijah’s favorite booths was the face painting. He paid a dollar and became a tiger!

While we were cleaning up and putting away our leftover things, Hailey decided she didn’t want to take home her leftover items, so she went and offered each kid something that was left. Other kids joined in and offered some of their leftover stuff too. It was so sweet. The fair was a success. The kids had fun, practiced so many real life skills, and met some new people.

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Unschooling Today October 3, 2017

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We had a slow morning with breakfast, Netflix, and chatting. Elijah asked to practice riding his bike, something he hasn’t done since the beginning of the summer at our old house. The boys and I went outside and they took turns riding with my help. By the end, Elijah had made such great improvement. He was getting 15 feet or so on his own, and being able to start himself when he stopped some. He was very proud of himself.

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After I laid the toddler down for a nap, I invited the other two to help me bake cupcakes for my youngest 2nd birthday tomorrow. He asked for a pumpkin cake, so we mixed a batch up. I made lunch and the kids watched some more TV.

I wasn’t feeling the greatest, so I rested on the couch while Winter played with Lego’s on the floor. Hailey and Elijah were doing some arts and crafts stuff for a long while. Then they were playing games with their crafts. At some point they switched to playing with Lego’s  in water.

They decided it would be fun to create a mud puddle, so they dumped water in a spot in the backyard. They all jumped around in it with their boots on. They made a mess and had fun. Then they went off to play on the swing set.

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We are going to figure out dinner soon, then they usually play on their tablets for a wind down before stories and bed.

Unschooling today and yummy snacks

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Some public schools near me started back today. That is almost hard to believe. It is so early! It is summer! I continue to be glad for the choices we’ve made to keep the kids home. 

This morning started out with an oatmeal bar. I got the idea from Our Muddy Boots Facebook page. If you don’t follow her already, head straight over and check her out! The kids made their bowls of oats with their add-ins of choice. 

After breakfast, Hailey picked up a workbook we have laying around. She found these at the store a couple of years ago, and works in them when she wants. I call them activity books. She’s really enjoying practicing her spelling lately, so that’s mostly what pages she chose to do. 

The majority of the rest of day, the kids spent in the computers together. They u watched some shows, played starfall, then some PBS kids games. I’d bring snacks and check in. They’d show me their computer creations, and songs they made. The toddler was running around doing toddler things like building blocks and making messes. 

On the way to taking Hailey to her martial arts class, I mentioned I was stopping at the store while she was gone. She asked me to pick her up a couple of things because she had an idea of a treat to make. 

I grabbed the groceries, and then picked her back up. I made dinner, while the kids played and chatted about their plans. Immediately after dinner, Hailey set to work on her recipe idea. She wanted to create a bar with marshmallows, peanut butter, pretzels, and chocolate chips. 

She had me help her with the peanut butter and breaking the pretzels, but she did everything else herself. The recipe was completely made up by her. 

We baked it. It was hard to wait for it to cool. 

Hailey was disappointed that they weren’t as sweet like a dessert, more like a granola bar. She decided on less peanut butter and more marshmallows next time. 

Elijah had fun making some creations with the extra supplies. 

That was our day. Please feel free to share about your day in the comments. 

Unschooling Today 4/24/17

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Today is my Mom’s birthday, The kids woke up excited to celebrate her. After breakfast, the kids got to work on cards for Grandma. Hailey decided to turn her card into a book. She taped paper together and got to work. She wrote the first three pages on her own, trying her best to sound out the words and spell them on her own, and drawing pictures to go with it. Her hand grew tired, so she asked if I could write the rest while she told me what to write. When it was finished, it was a great book with a thoughtful story about a bee celebrating his birthday. My favorite part is when he went to a restaurant and ate pollen pizza pockets.

 

Next it was time to bake a cake. I knew I had the ingredients to bake a chocolate cake, but I had to figure out how to make it vegan and come up with a vegan frosting. My youngest is intolerant to both, and while we hope he grows out of it, we wanted him to enjoy cake today! So we looked up some recipes and got to work. Elijah loves to help me in the kitchen and quickly took his place as sous chef. We got the cake bake, and tweaked a frosting recipe to make it more to Grandma’s liking.

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We are in the process of buying a house, so I am starting to pack little by little. While the kids played, I packed a box and went through some junk drawers.

Papa came home shortly after. While I was outside drawing with chalk with Winter, Grandma arrived. The kids ran to show her the gifts they had made. Hailey was so excited for Grandma to read her book. Elijah explained his birthday picture he drew. Then we all went inside to sing happy birthday and eat cake! The cake turned out rich and chocolaty.

After Grandma left, I got dinner in the oven. Elijah was playing on his tablet and Hailey was looking for something to do. I asked her if she would like to help me with dishes and I got a excited “sure!”. I washed, she rinsed and dried. She said she was pretending we worked in a restaurant and we were the dishwashers.  She took on a Texan accent and complained about the boss. We got all the dishes washed together.

After dinner, Papa was studying, so I took the kids into the bedroom to read some new library books. I read one, then Hailey asked to read the next, and then she read the last one, while Elijah repeated the words so he felt like he was reading too. Then teeth got brushed and the littles ready for bed.

How was your day?

Getting creative.

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A big part of radical unschooling, for me, is finding a way to help the kids pursue their ideas. Sometimes these ideas are larger adventures, and sometimes their just small curiosities. I’m really learning lately, that even the small requests are a big deal, and I’m trying to find a way to say yes.

Sometimes saying yes is easy. Other times, the kids have ideas that seem impractical, impossible, or for some reason or another unable to be unaccomplished. Some ideas get talked about and thought out and the kids see the logical fallacy upon further reflection, some ideas get lived through only through imagination dream board style. This journey, however requires flexibility and creativity, and I’m trying to get better at that.

Hailey has been talking about having a camp out in the yard again. It has to been warm enough (or we don’t have the appropriate gear for the weather), and Papa has had some health issues that wouldn’t have made it possible this week. No Hailey, is the definition of creative, and never short of ideas. She came up with the idea of a living room camp out and was determined to make it happen tonight. However, her brother wasn’t feeling up to it, so we came up with a way to get the tent in her room and she is happy with the idea of sleeping in that as a bed alone. But they really wanted to roast marshmallows, and of course they came up with that idea at 8 pm, and we have no wood, and a wet ground and a fire just wasn’t happening. We talked about other similar treats that could meet that need. We decided on chocolate covered marshmallows instead. It was a big hit! This has led to a fun night.

I was sitting here thinking if we had just said “No we can’t camp out, it’s not possible, no we cant make a fire, sorry another time” and left it at that. The fun and yummy treats wouldn’t have happened. So be open, creative, and flexible and you can end up in some great places.

Play can turn it around

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Often, it is very difficult to get the kids ready and out the door. Even when they want to go somewhere, they lose focus while getting ready, wiggle while we try to help them put clothes on, etc. Sometimes, this causes frustration for Papa and I, and that can lead to a not so great start to our outing.
 
Once I start down the cycle of feeling like I am in a battle with the kids, it is hard to pull out of that and before I know it we are locked in a pattern of me demanding something while they resist it (Like get in your car seat and buckle right now etc.). No one likes being bossed around and really, it is not how we want to parent. I believe we operate best, and feel the best, when we come from a place of partnership.
 
So today, I was in the kitchen cleaning up while Papa was trying to get Elijah (4) dressed and he was distracted and wiggling around. I sensed the all familiar pattern, but today, two words popped into my brain. Playful parenting. I read a book about that years back, and still try to incorporate many of the techniques from it. Whenever I turn a situation into an opportunity of play, it almost always makes the day better. The kids have fun, we connect, and they usually are more cooperative afterwards.
 
I ran into the living room and said “who wants to play Simon says?” The kids immediately got excited. So I started giving Simon’s orders. There were lots of silly animal noises, and body movements, but there were also “Simon says lift you foot into your pants leg”, or “put your socks on.” They were laughing and were suddenly happy to get ready in the game. Then they each took turns being Simon.
 
Everyone had fun. I spent some special play time with the kids. As a bonus, they got ready in record time and were happy to do it. There is no negative demanding cycle to break out of as we start our day either; in fact, it is quite the opposite. We are feeling connected and like a team.
 
So next time, before you engage in a power struggle, try to think of a way to play that everyone will enjoy.

Unschooling Today 11/1/16

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The day after Halloween! I was a little nervous on how moods would be today from staying up later than usual, and basically replacing dinner with candy :P. We took it very slow and easy this mornings and early afternoon. We hung around, snacked on candy, and watched a new show on Netflix that Hailey discovered last night. We talked a bit about what shooting stars actually are. I picked up the house a bit, and got dinner marinating.

Grandma stopped by to say hello, which always makes everyone smile. We each visited with her for a few minutes. The baby took a nap and then we all got dressed. Today was a beautiful day, and I wanted to get out and get some fresh air. I don’t know how many more days we will have that are warm and sunny, so we should soak it up!

The kids immediately started playing a game together. They were birds and needed to build a nest. They collected rocks, sticks, and leaves. They played like this for well over an hour. Winter wondered around, sometimes following them; other times investigating sticks and random objects he could find.

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Hailey told me she named each one of the rocks based on what it looked like. This one was named Moon Rock because she said it resembled the surface of the moon.

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She also was grouping her rocks. Here she had them grouped into sets of three. When I commented that she grouped them she answered “Yep, right now I have nine”. Real world math and multiplication there.

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After playing for a while longer, we took a short walk and I finally caught my first Charmander on Pokemon-go!. We were getting hungry so we headed home. I cooked us up the dinner I had started earlier while Elijah played a computer game and Hailey watched her new show.

I just finished playing a game with the boys, who can be very rough and tumble and I am a little sore. Elijah was an alligator and Winter was determined to tackle everything. I got them settled down eventually with books for Elijah and nummies (our word for breastfeeding) for Winter.

Please feel free to share your day in the comments!

 

Hey, it’s been a while!

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Hey all! It has been a while. I mentioned on my Facebook page a while back that I would not be writing as much for a few months because my Mom was having some major heart surgery and I was going to be helping her with recovery. For all who asked, she is recovering well and I have more time opening up again.

So what have we been up to? We had some weeks in and out of the hospital. Then weeks of running back and forth from our house to my Mom’s house. Much of our down time has been spent relaxing because we needed it. But this past week, we have been back in the swing of things.

We celebrated the baby’s birthday. He was affectionately known as Pumpkin in utero so we had to do a pumpkin picture for his birthday.

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We’ve played with friends at the park. Had a bonfire with friends, and handled some appointments.

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Today, we went to our favorite farm for a “spooky” scavenger hunt program. We had a bunch of fun hunting down the clues, and playing games.

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We also got to make Papa a mummy! I was supposed to be the mummy, but we voted and Papa got picked to be the mummy 3 to 1. Ha!

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We also found this cool little creature.

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Back at home Elijah wanted to make “Easter eggs”, which means he wanted to dye hard-boiled eggs like we do at Easter. I have no idea what made him think of it, but I said yes, and searched for the last remaining bits of food die and the last few hard-boiled eggs we had in the fridge. He mixed and dyed and was so happy with his results. He was super proud of doing it himself.

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Hailey has been playing around with rhetorical questions and sarcasm. She has asked a bunch of questions about those two concepts and has been trying it out for herself.

She also lost a tooth!

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Also, I have a very newly started reviewing blog and Facebook page. I will be posting reviews of products, books, toys, clothes, local restaurants and events, and natural products. So if that kind of thing is for you than check that out and give me a like to help me build up my following.

Tomorrow we are surprising the kids by taking them to an amusement park for a Halloween event. The crazy, fun, busy season is starting around here. How are you enjoying Autumn so far? Please feel free to share your days in the comments.

Our Unschooling Weekend

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We are in the middle of an extreme heat wave with excessive heat warnings out. I don’t handle these types of temperatures well, and neither does my oldest. Considering when we are out and about, I have an already sweaty baby strapped to me, I have not been in a hurry to get out this weekend; Even more so because Papa is working and I don’t have his help chasing after the little’s in this heat. So we have taken this as a sign that we needed some slow down time.

Saturday, Elijah and I started to make strawberry ice cream using yummy local ingredients. I forgot to chill the ice cream maker bucket so we didn’t get to finish it at that time. Winter found some hidden chocolate around the house and had a taste while I wasn’t looking. I had a good laugh about it.

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We watched some videos that a friend put of a baby squirrel she has been taking care of. Then we read some Bird and Squirrel book together. Hailey really likes this series. Elijah had a bath with all the toys to clean up from a bonfire with friends the night before. Hailey wanted to play “school” which was a hilarious take on what she must think public school is like. She quizzed me in math questions, that I got “wrong” and she had to teach me. I also got punished by being sent to kiddie corner. I thought it was interesting that she had an idea what time out might look like since we have never done that. We watched some Pokémon, read some more books, and just relaxed until bed.

Today, has been kind of rough. The kids started out in a fight. I lost my cool for a second, but gained composure and we handled it, and all agreed to start over. Elijah and I have been working all day to make this ice cream without the ice cream maker, since it wasn’t working. We laughed about the idea of learn nothing day. We watched a video of a baby bat.

The kids wanted to get face paint out. So I helped Elijah and Hailey painted herself.

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Pikachu!

We made snack plates. Elijah pretended to be many different things. At one point he was a vet and I was a dog who he was checking up on. At another point, he played dress up.

Captain Judge

Hailey wanted to play a drawing game in which I told her things to draw, and then she had to draw it and create a picture around whatever was the main thing. She made a bunch of drawings. She asked how to spell some words she was putting on her pictures, and sounded out others. She loves art.

 

We finished Bird and Squirrel. That about sums up our unschooling weekend. What has your unschooling days looked like lately?

Unschooling Today 7/2/16

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?