Unschool log - July 2018
What a summer we are having! It is probably common knowledge that here in the U.K. it can be a bit hit and miss on the sunny day stakes but boy, oh boy have we been blessed with one long hot summer or what?! July has been a delightful mix of sandy toes, salty hair and ice cream kisses. Shall we begin?
What did the kids learn that I didn’t teach them?
Pops came out with a gem the other day. She said “Mummy, did you know that a starfish isn’t really a fish because it doesn’t have gills, fins or a backbone?” I picked my jaw up off the floor and looked suitably proud and impressed by her vast and ever-growing animal knowledge.
Fin has started singing! It is the cutest, off-key sound you’ll ever hear. It literally melts my heart to hear him. He has now taught himself all the words to all of the songs on the Moana soundtrack and performs it with joy and gusto.
What did the kids teach me that I didn’t already know?
Pops taught me that some lipsticks contain fish bones! From being vegan I knew to avoid some makeup products due to the use of crushed beetles (carmine/cochineal) but I had never heard of the fish bone thing before? She’s such an amazing animal advocate. (Proud mummy moment.)
Fin shared a favourite video of his with me and taught me what the Tyrannosaurus Rex most likely sounded like! You imagine them to sound like they do in the movies but this video clip would suggest otherwise. Loved being taught this!
What would I have missed most if they were at school?
This month has been the perfect example of how much freedom you can have from home education and unschooling in particular. The kids have been so free in both their environment and their learning this month. We have been on the beach, in the ocean, swimming every day and watching the sunset most nights. I feel blessed to have that time to be free with them. To let them stay up late and nap on the sand if the mood takes them would have been sorely missed if they were at school. Hearing their squeals as the waves chase at their heels and to see their sleepy eyelashes flutter on their cheeks from wild adventurous dreams. To be able to do this whenever the wind takes us and not be limited to school holidays has been appreciated so much more keenly this month than any other.
What was the most exciting bit of learning this month?
Bodyboarding! This was a new venture for the kids. In previous years they have been content splashing in the rock pools but now they are older they have felt the pull towards the ocean. We had discussed before arriving, the idea of bodyboarding and we were met with wild eyes and broad smiles. When we arrived Daddy Journey surprised then with a very fitting body board that reflected their personalities perfectly and they were well away! They are both natural water babies and I wouldn’t be surprised if they both end up proficient surfers before long!
What was the hardest bit about unschooling this month?
Car journeys. I love getting away and enjoying new experiences and environments but I would just prefer it if I could click my fingers and magically appear there. Or better still, win the lottery and move there instead! My kids are so well behaved but let’s face it, even the closest of families begin to feel fraught after several wee stops, spilt orange juice, a generous helping of travel sickness and the dulcet tones of “are we nearly there yet?” Let’s move on shall we.
What was their favourite day out this month?
It had to be the beach. Specifically though, their most favourite day was the day we took some watercolours to the beach. They used real sea water to paint their pictures of the ocean. Here’s a video that will show you in more detail how we unschooled on holiday this month.
What were the best books used this month?
We took a few books travelling with us this month. Peters Pebbles and On The Seashore are old favourites of ours. They were perfectly fitting for our beach trip away and we always like to support a days activities with a great book or two.
We also purchased a couple of new books to treat the kids with this time. The book that wins the gold award this month though is Supertato. I’m not kidding you, this was so well received by both the kids that it has become a firm favourite by all of us. (Mostly because it makes them sit quietly for five minutes!😬)
What were the most used apps/YouTube videos this month?
As you all know Fin is crazy about science and what better time to see the stars than when you’re camping by the ocean. This Sky View app (Android version here) was met with gasps of wonderment and even taught me a thing or two!
What do the kids want to continue learning into next month?
I think it was unanimous that they both want to continue bodyboarding. We usually like to lie low during the school holidays as things get pretty busy (and expensive!) but I think we may consider a mini trip to the coast if this glorious weather keeps up!
What new things do the kids want to learn about next month?
Pops would love to create some salt dough crafts from this book. After a conversation on holiday and listening to the Moana soundtrack on a loop she also wants to learn more about Hawaii.
Fin is all in for the dinosaurs at the minute. He would like to learn more about them and their habitat. Hand in hand with that he wants to start learning about volcanoes. (So excited about this, science experiments ahoy!)
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