Tag Archives: nature

Unschooling Today 3/28/17

Standard

I was ready for a slow paced day after our stressful surgery day yesterday. I made us breakfast. Elijah wanted to go outside. It is not uncommon for him to play on the porch without me, but Winter wasn’t having it. He wanted to be outside too! I normally would rather finish my coffee before headed outside, but I made the exception today and finished out there while they played.

Hailey wanted to find some music to listen to once we were all inside. She found an interesting video that combined music with “how to draw” type tutorials of Pikachu. She watched that and I did some housework.

Elijah was watching that Daniel Tiger episode where characters are sick. This apparently made him crave sick people food. He asked if I could make him toast, chicken noodle soup, and orange juice. I was surprised to find we had all those things. Of course , Elijah is not much of a soup person so he just ate the carrots out of it.

The kids played the  Wii while the baby napped. I helped them with a few level they were stuck on and exercised too.

Papa came home and chatted with everyone. The kids went back outside to play, and for Hailey to check on the birds nests she had made. I made some quick dinner.

Hailey built a nest for the birds and made some signs for them to see it.

After eating, we went to the store to grab some things. Hailey is now watching a movie and Elijah is doing his nightly cuddle with Papa before sleeping.

How was your day?

Honesty and forgiveness and childism

Standard

Today we took the kids to a local nature play area and hiking trail. They played in the play area for about an hour, building their house of sticks, and enjoying some fresh air. After we were all played out, we headed to the trail for an easy, kid friendly hike.

Hiking with kids is always an interesting adventure. Sometimes they are really into it. They immediately start noticing their surroundings, pointing out animals or unique plants, asking questions, or running ahead to play. Other times, they start complaining about the walk only a short while into it. Today, it was a mix of both. Elijah (4 years old) got his feelings hurt pretty early on, and he wasn’t easily cheering up. He asked me to hold him. Winter (17 months) was happily toddling along, so it was easy for me to pick up Elijah. When it was clear he needed some extra cuddles after a few minutes, I told him I needed to put him in the carrier on my back. He liked that and all was good.

We stopped for a short rest break. Elijah was still on my back while I sat down. Hailey (6.5) was sitting close to me, Winter was playing behind in the dirt, and my husband was checking something on my new boots. All of a sudden Hailey was screaming crying. It all happened very fast, but I heard a rock swish by and quickly realized that someone had thrown a rock and it had hit Hailey in the eye. She was almost inconsolably (understandably). All of attention was focused on her until she was calmer. Then I asked what happened. She didn’t know. I asked if Elijah threw the rock and he said no. I felt bad that the baby had grabbed the rock and tossed it without me noticing. He can be pretty rough in his curious toddler way. He is definitely in a throwing phase. I had been watching him, but my attention had turned to my then bare feet as hubby looked at my boot.

Winter was completely oblivious to all of it, as he sat digging up dirt. There was not much to do at that point. Prevention is really the key with that age, and the time for that had passed so I sat and comforted Hailey. All this happened in about 5 minutes. All of a sudden Elijah tapped me on the shoulder. He said “Mommy, actually I threw the rock.” I was surprised at his confession, seemingly out of nowhere. I asked him why he threw the rock. He tried to explain where he meant to throw it, and he didn’t mean to hit his sister. I don’t know if he really meant to throw it somewhere else, or if he didn’t think through how it would feel to be hit with a rock, or maybe he thought he couldn’t reach her and he wanted her attention. His face was full of worry for his sister. I pointed out her bruise beneath her eye, and explained that this is what happens when rocks hit people It is very dangerous and not a game. I said if he wanted to throw rocks, I could help him find a place to throw them away from people. He told Hailey how sorry he was (not coerced from me).

Hailey seemed to calm down more, knowing what had happened. We decided it would be best to head back. After a few thoughtful moments, Hailey stopped and said “Elijah, I am really proud of you for telling the truth about throwing the rock.” I was proud of that too, because admitting mistakes is not easy, even for adults.

On the way out of the trail, a woman passing by asked Hailey why she wasn’t walking and having me carry her (why is this her business?). Hailey said “My brother accidentally hit me with a rock so I was sad and Mommy is holding me.” The woman rolled her eyes and said “Oh yeah an accident, I’m sure”. That really rubbed me the wrong way. Here was this interaction that she had no idea about, but yet she was assuming such negative intent, even given the information that it was not intentional. I can’t imagine a stranger having the same reaction if I was limping and she had asked what happened and I said “My husband accidentally bumped into me on the trail and I fell”. I really do not understand why someones mind goes to the worst possible scenario with these little people. And really, even if it had been on purpose, she had no insight to what occurred. This was probably a situation that was best for others to stay out of.

Overall, I think some important things came out of a hurtful accident. I am really proud of how both my kids handled themselves. I am most proud of the empathy they are both learning.

 

Unschooling today 10/22/16

Standard

Today we got out the door a bit smoother than usual. I think that was because Hailey woke up much earlier than usual. She said her dream woke her up. I had made a pot of oatmeal at Elijah’s request, so we all ate and headed out the door.

We went to a super neat event. It was called Human2fest. It focused on meditation, mindfulness, yoga, art, wellness, and holistic care in general. This is right up my alley! We mostly hung out in the kid’s area. The kids made some art pieces. Elijah worked on painting the outline of his hand, for a project the art coordinator is going to make. It will be a collaboration of all the kids hands who made one.

They had a kid’s yoga class. This was so much fun. Hailey loves yoga and often watches yoga YouTube videos. The teacher of the class was laid back, gentle, silly, and patient. Some parts I even did right with them. They did yoga, a yoga story, all crawled through a downward dog tunnel, and said positive affirmations about themselves.

 

We walked around and checked out the booths. Hailey asked to have a sample at the Indian Food truck. This is a big girl for my girl. She has always had trouble trying new things, and has been intimidated by foods that do not look just right. But she really enjoyed her sample so we bought a plate for her and Elijah to share. They played at the playground area for a few and then we headed out.

We let the baby nap in the car on the way to meet up with a group to do a pumpkin themed activity. We read a pumpkin story, had a snack, and then took a short walk to find little pumpkins hid throughout the trail.

14670882_10206184056078878_2195387897998884693_n

On the way out of the trail, Papa and Elijah threw some leaves off the bridge into the river and watched them float down the stream.

leaves

We then headed home. The kids took a bath. We might do a movie night before bed.

 

What did you do today?

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.

Hey, it’s been a while!

Standard

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.

pumpkins-birthday

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

14502841_10211044902178157_6959374298336541903_n

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.

14633393_10211147555744432_262276617625345350_o

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!

14484958_10211147559024514_182236811887223695_n

We also found this cool little creature.

14612392_10211147556384448_631276171401417211_o

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.

eggs

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!

first-tooth-fell-out

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 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

Choosing connection instead of control

Standard

Today we were going to meet with some friends at a nature play area and creek. Hailey (6) was not really wanting to go our of the house but agreed. She brought her tablet along to keep herself entertained doing.

At first I looked at her sitting to the side of everyone playing and thought “she is really missing out.” I wondered if I should tell her to put her tablet down and play at the nature park with her friends. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t tempted, but I held my tongue. I stepped back and seen that she did not feel like she was missing out on anything, and she was happy.

It didn’t stop there though because we walked down to the creek and everyone was looking for crawdad’s. I knew she would love it but she didn’t want to go in the water unless she could bring her tablet, which obviously not a good idea, so she chose to sit to the side and keep playing on it. The voices in my head crept up again. “She would love this, if I just told her she had to put it down, she might be frustrated at first but would probably have a good time.” Once again, I stopped myself. She was choosing what she would enjoy most at that moment from the options she had. She didn’t even feel like going out today, but got ready without hesitation because she understood that everyone else wanted to go.

It started to rain a little, but everyone in the creek didn’t mind. I told her that tablet might get wet, and this might be a good time to put it somewhere safe. This time the words were not coming from a place of control, but a place of love. Kids can usually tell your heart; they know the true intentions behind your words more often than not. She understood that there was a legitimate reason for my suggestion and she agreed. She put the tablet away and played in the creek. She used the net to help catch some crawdads to show the littler kids. She had fun.

13921025_10210573319188877_2205499787720832257_n

She was able to enjoy herself the entire time. I was able to stop myself from making choices that were about control instead of connection. Everyone had a good time and all were respected for their choices.

 

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 Today 3/29/16

Standard

We had a slow morning with breakfast, coffee, and chatter about random stuff. We all got ready and went out to lunch. The restaurant had colorful decorations of animals all throughout. The kids named the ones they knew and asked about the others. We talked a bit about different types of cuisine and which foods were different among them. Hailey sadly learned that breadsticks were not a part of Mexican cuisine.

We went to a park to go hiking and explore. This has been a favorite activity lately, so we have been going at least once a week. We discovered they had a special kids trail with signs throughout. Each sign had a piece of the story and an animal fact. Hailey really enjoyed discovering each one.

12593792_10209466590241345_6743875049669077324_o

We then headed to the regular trail. At some point, the kids became interested in looking for bugs under logs. With some help from Papa, they found some centipedes.

Hailey ran a bit ahead and when we caught up to her we discovered she had found a thick stick that she was using as a lever to help he lift the large logs.

12378078_10209466592761408_8595574630475847023_o

The kids found some worms. In the past, Elijah has been a bit hesitant about all things creepy crawly, but he found some courage and picked up the worms. He named one wormy and carried it with him until it pooped on his hand. Then he said it was time to put wormy back into his home.

On the way back Papa noticed some tracks in the dirt and Elijah compared his feet to the animal track. We talked about which animal it likely was and we landed on deer.

12916759_10209466611441875_5989619372495947825_o

At this point, Winter woke up from his nap in the carrier and I decided to let him down to play a bit and stretch out before headed home. He enjoyed feeling the grass and attempting to crawl forward.

12901123_10209466615721982_6918617501319051251_o

Feel free to tell me what your day looked like in the comments. 🙂