Tag Archives: legos

Unschooling Today 7/14/2017

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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!

Unschooling doesn’t stop on Saturday

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Once you realize that learning happens every day, and let go of the idea that it has to look like school, then you comprehend that unschooling doesn’t stop just because it is the weekend. There are not set days of the week that learning has to happen. We play and do our normal things that work for us every day.

Saturday we went to a program that I registered the kids for. It was Minecraft themed, and I just knew Hailey would love it. The first activity was making bow and arrows out of hangars. This was such a neat activity; one I never would have thought of. They spent a lot of time on that, and even more time with it a home.

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Then we inflated balloons with baking soda and vinegar. It was interesting experiment, but Hailey and myself talked about ways we could recreate it at home. Hopefully, sometime this week we are going to see if we can get the balloon so big that it pops.

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They played with Lego’s and made some crafts. After the program, we walked around a bit looking at the nearby river and the fountains. We were starving, and had the rest of the day to kill, so I messaged some friends and made a plan to meet up at Chick-fil-a to eat and let the kids play. They play for a few hours and had a lot of fun.

Back at home, Elijah was watching TV and Hailey brought me a library comic book over and had me read some with her.

She then wanted to take a bath and see if she could float in the bath water with her life jacket like she did in the big pool.

Elijah found a book that had a picture of stamps. He asked me if I would help him make a letter. So he drew a picture for his Papa, I helped him get an envelope and stamp, and write the address down. Hailey wanted to join and wrote one for a friend.

They wanted a before bed snack, and asked if they could experiment making one. They ended up tearing pieces of bread, spreading them with peanut butter, and placing a chocolate chip on each one. A tasty treat for sure!

Since Papa had to work on Father’s day they elected to give him his presents when he got home from work. The kids worked on cards for their Papa and my Dad.

Sunday, we took it easy in the morning. While I was laying the baby down for a nap, Hailey took it upon herself to find a sturdy butter knife and cut up an entire watermelon. I was shocked, but she was so happy with herself. Even Elijah told sissy “I so proud of you”.

We then headed to see me Dad for a few minutes. They don’t get to spend much time with him, so they were happy to see him, even if only for a short while.

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Then we met up with my Mom to head to see their great grandparents for a bit. It was nice to visit and chat, and of course have ice cream sandwiches.

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Back at home we made homemade Chinese food and read some animal facts in a book we borrowed. We ended the day with some audiobooks and cuddles.

We had a really fun weekend filled with friends and family, and of course plenty of opportunities for learning.

 

Why many “educational” homeschool activites don’t work for us.

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I am pretty luck that the area I live in is very homeschool friendly. There are not only lots of neat parks with programs that welcome all, there are also lots of programs available that are open to homeschooled kids. Since my children are still so young, it is my responsibility to find programs and activities that I think they might enjoy and sign them up to check it out.

We have found lots of neat local places this way, discovered new parks, met new friends, and discovered new areas of interest. We have also tried some things out and figured out that it was not for us for one reason or another. As the kids get older, and they can express to me what programs they want me to find, and tell me what ones they don’t even want to bother trying.

One thing I have been coming to realize is that there is a certain type of program that just does not work for us. These are the activities where there are timed activities, and when the time is up on one then they are finished with it and must move onto the next activity; often due to time constraints, a more structured facilitator, or the belief that there must be as many activities packed in as possible for the most “learning” opportunities.

I found a really neat sounding activity on our local metropark site. The program was supposed to be about Legos and Lego challenges. My kids have both recently discovered Legos, and we do not have many at home, so I thought it would be a lot of fun for us to check out. I didn’t realize until we were there that it was set up with strict time constraints on each challenge, and when that one challenge was over the children had to move on to the next. My kids were not particularly happy about this, but this was the program rule so we followed it and they chose to stay.

They both still had a good time and enjoyed completing each challenge to the best of their ability. They were glad that we tried it, but would have preferred to be able to continue finishing their creative vision of the project they were working on and skip the next challenge. They do not do well with forced stations. I am guessing public schooled children adapt better to activities set up in that way, since they are forced to go with a strict schedule on a daily basis. This just isn’t something my kids have a lot of experience with, nor do I find reason to give them that experience.

Sometimes they want to leave before a program is over when it is set up in that way. If that is the case, we leave. If they are not having fun, then neither am I. Sometimes the activity is set up in stations, but the facilitator is more relaxed and okay with some kids not following the group if it isn’t working best for them. Mostly, we try to just avoid programs set up in that way. I am getting better at deciphering the program descriptions to figure out if they are set up in a way that my kids will enjoy.

I am thankful to have found some really great places that are go with the flow. They have activities set up that kids can go at their own pace, or pick and choose what to do or skip. These places have facilitators that have understand children’s developmental capabilities. I have found groups of people that want the same environment for their kids, so that my kids have friends to go to these wonderful places with.

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I am glad that most of the time I can let out activities be about the process and not the end result. We focus on fun and play. We allow creative visions to be completed and make time for curiosity.

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