Thursday, May 15, 2014

Embracing our Unschooling roots

   I was in a cleaning frenzy yesterday morning and we never got around to schooling at all.  I recruited the boys to help me thoroughly clean all the rooms upstairs (including their own); we washed, organized, sorted, dusted and vacuumed.  They then asked for my help cleaning out the toy bins outside.   As tired as I was after 3 hours of cleaning I agreed to help.  We emptied out the toy bin on our patio; even scraping out the excess sand and leaves that had found their way inside and started sorting through.  I was completely dumbfounded when the boys willingly got rid of three garbage bags of toys (mostly broken ones though some were just outgrown).  They all had to agree on what to get rid of and what to keep and they worked together to get the bin all organized again.  They also decided to tackle the bin on the playground another day and take a break from cleaning for today. 

So much neater! 


       Ian wanted to take his math multiplication minute and passed his 12 times tables so the boys made me promise to go to the store and buy the supplies for the ice cream sundae party.  We sat down and wrote up a list of what I needed to pick up (3 different kinds of ice cream, whipped cream, cherries, sprinkles, shell topping, waffle bowls and ice cream cones).  They were so excited that their math minutes were over and that they know all of their multiplication facts so well (though I warned them that it will only be for a few months since I'd like to start in with some on division). 
    It was lunchtime by the time we finished cleaning and all the boys eagerly brought their lunches outside to the patio and asked me to read a few chapters in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. They then spent some time wading in the water, blowing bubbles, sifting sand and trucking it around the beach.  Evan wanted to see if bubbles would float and if they last longer on the water than they do floating through the air or on the ground and spent considerable time trying to blow bubbles onto the lake.  They took the bubble wands around the house and blew bubbles acting like Hermione and Harry making protective enchantments around the house.  The bubble wands soon turned into regular wands and they cast spells and had mock battles.  The boys turned into Leo, Jason and Piper from Heroes of Olympus and Ian worked to control fire while Evan called on the power of lightening and Alec used Katoptris to "see" the future.  They had so much fun playing together and it was such a nice day outside.

      We cleaned up and headed out to the library and to their Lego class.  While they were at class I went to the grocery store and bought all our supplies.  I picked them up a few minutes early and Evan was very relieved.  He told me Lego class was boring and he did not like it at all yesterday.  All the boys were hot, sweaty and red- faced and begged to go swimming when we got home.  I agreed and told them I'd cook supper on the grill so they could swim for a bit and cool off.
    The water is still freezing so they cooled off quickly and were all shivering and sporting purple lips during dinner.  We ate outside since it was so nice and the boys begged me to read a bit more Harry Potter.  We then rode our bikes and scooters to their grandfather's house and back.  We again reviewed the rules of the road, the importance of watching for traffic and cars, and which side of the road is the correct side to ride on. 
   Once home we piled in the car and the boys came with me to my hair appointment.  We got to finish off another CD in our Mark of Athena book and it's getting really good now; all our Heroes are on the verge of dying and we're biting our nails trying to figure out how they're going to get out of this mess.  The boys made me promise to request the next book in the series already since we only have two CD left and they don't want to have to wait to start the next book.  They brought Kindles and DS games to keep themselves occupied while we were at the hairdressers.  Alec and Evan played Scribblenaughts again and I was so thrilled when Evan asked me if snow had a silent w on the end!  They took turns asking me how to spell a few different words here and there like "garbage" "pharaoh" and "embalm" (Alec's game was all bout mummies this time).  Ian was busy creating in Minecraft the whole time. 
   Looking back at our day it was hard to say what we had learned but it was such a great day with my boys that I couldn't complain.  I know they learn something new everyday (whether I teach them or not) and they were following their own interests.  I had forgotten how much fun unschooling could be (but for us it really only works in the spring and summer when the boys can get outside and spread out).  After the success of the day I'm sure we'll be unschooling quite a bit more for a while until the boys ask me to start teaching them again. 

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