Tag Archives: tv

Unschooling Today October 3, 2017


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.


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.



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


Our Unschooling Week


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 and yummy snacks


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 7/14/2017


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 Today 3/28/17


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?

Unschooling Today 11/1/16


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.


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.


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.


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!


Learning to read without lessons


I am watching my 5-year-old learn to read. It is a beautiful, simple process. I have not “taught” her, she has not had formal lessons, no forced X amount of minutes she has to spend practicing daily. I read to her. Lots of books. Books she picks out; books I think she will like. I read in front of her. I read aloud things as I am typing them for her. I spell words out at her request.


The thing that has helped her the most is computer games. She likes to search for games herself on the app stores. For a long time, she would ask me how to spell something (like cat or baby). Then she would remember those words. She then began to like playing some games that had words to read as a part of the game. She could figure the game out without reading, but eventually she wanted to know what it said. I would always help read it, but sometimes I was helping my other kids, or she just didn’t want to get up. So she has started sounding it out.

I didn’t even know how far she was along in this journey. Today she called me into her room to ask for some help reading a word on her dragon game. She pointed out all the words she had already read. “Mom this says green fairy, and that says boss, and this says rock, but I can’t figure out this word after rock”. So I asked “what did you think it was when you tried to read it?” She sounded out the word and I repeated what she sounded out and she put it together. “Dragon! Oh okay! Rock Dragon!”

I don’t know who is more proud.

Why I don’t make decisions out of fear


Love this graphic from Positive Parenting Connection

I am not a big believer in making decisions out of fear. I’ve noticed that people make many choices out of fear of the “what-ifs”.

I have heard comments like “I wouldn’t let our child sleep in our bed because, what if they never want to leave?” or “If I start letting them watch television, they will want to do nothing else”, and “If I let them get away with that this time, they might always try it.” I have even heard of parents deciding not to have any more children because “they have been so lucky thus far, what if this next one is not healthy?”

Unfortunately, in life there are no guarantees. There is no guarantee that your child will even make it to tomorrow. You only have right now. So I choose to my decisions out of love, and what feels right for my family today. I will not let fear of something that may or may not even happen dictate how I will live.

I choose to bedshare because I love it, my husband loves it (actually it was his idea), and my children love it. Nothing makes me feel more warm and fuzzy than cuddling with my family. I can never replace the memories of the funny things my girl has said in her sleep, or the look on my son’s face when he sees me first thing in the morning. Will they be in there forever? I doubt it. I don’t know how long they or any of our future children will need to be in our bed. But I won’t force them out because of fear of lack of independence or what not.


We watch television sometimes, even my toddlers. I enjoy a good laugh, a little break, or some mindless entertainment sometimes, especially in the evening when I am tired from the day. I am not going to not watch because “they” say it could be bad. I do not prevent television for fear of a mindless zombie child who will lack creativity. That has not been my experience at all.

I try not to view allowing my child to do something that some do not, as “getting away with it”. I see myself as flexible. There is very little that is actually black and white. Every day, every situation can be different. Children’s needs change and so do mine. I make each decision based on what is needed now, keeping in mind my goals for the future and the desire to raise my children with love and respect.

I am blessed with a healthy family right now. I am not guaranteed health tomorrow and neither are my children. I am not guaranteed anything. So why would I make a decision based on a “what if” for a future I may never see.

I am not a big believer in making decisions out of fear. I am a believer in making decisions out of what works for us, not the subjects of some study I read on the internet. I am a believer in making decisions out of love.

Toddlers and TV


toddlers tv

Is that little one watching Television? Don’t you know they tell you how risky that is, how it destroys imagination, and how very necessary it is to put a strict limit on the amount watched?

Well, yes that little girl is watching television (probably Curious George since that is her “must see”). And yes, I have heard all the things they have to say. And if you had asked me a few years ago, I would have wholeheartedly agreed. Back then I believed a lot of what they had to say. I was actually on the path to becoming a “they”. But something changed. I had a baby, and with that came this mothering instinct. This instinct guided me on many things from how I fed my baby to how I slept with my baby. It felt good. But it also scared me sometimes, and I tried to ignore it. This big gut feeling was making me question things that are not really supposed to be questioned in our society. Things like vaccines, things like discipline, and things like freedom.

I fought the questions for a while, some longer than others, until I just could not let myself ignore it anymore. I researched, I read stories, I read books, I questioned myself and questioned some more, I networked with others, I prayed (and prayed and prayed), and I talked with my husband and then decided how we felt, how we wanted to live.

The television offers so many good things, that I couldn’t possibly believe excluding it from our lives was the right way (before this point I had basically stopped watching too, because she might see it). I love to watch cooking shows, shows that are about my interests, and every once in a while a show that makes me laugh. So does my daughter.

I am still not one to have the tv on all day. It just doesn’t fit in with all the playing outside, coloring, playing with babies, dancing, reading and cooking, building (and knocking down) towers and peek-a-boo games we do. But there is something special about the way her face lights up when I turn on her favorite show or the way we cuddle when we watch a movie, or the way we instantly get up and dance when there is music in the program.

I will admit, as much I believe in freedom, I was still a little scared to turn on the television for my girl. Those doubts lingered in me, they had been deeply ingrained. But there is no decrease in her imagination, no evidence of brain rot. She continues to grow and learn and wonder.

I recently read someone advising against it because “there are other more stimulating activities available”. You know what my first thought was? Who wants to be constantly stimulated? We all need to just relax sometimes, and the television is perfect for just that.




This post was written back in 2011. This cute baby is now 5 and still watches TV. She has survived and thrived 🙂




Our “Homeschooling” 1/7/16


Our homeschooling today started with watching a TV show. Something on it inspired Hailey to talk about apple trees. She asked to slice up an apple as a snack and take out the seeds to plant outside. So we got dressed and headed out with seeds and some water. I held back my thoughts on all the reasons planting those seeds were not likely to grow right now, and just let them have their fun. Then we decided to take a walk since it was a pretty mild winter day. We walked down to a field we sometimes play in. The big kids rolled down the hill, threw some ice into a puddle, and ran around. The baby was checking out grass.

Then back at home I made some lunch. The kids requested to try the starfruit they had picket out at the store, which went over well.  Now they are making playdoh creations and have asked for bingo to be the next activity.