Unschool Log - September 2018
Its Fin's first year of official education! I can not believe where the time has gone. He is growing into a proper little boy and I am so very proud. It's so hard when you're a parent. You become torn between the sadness that they are no longer babies and the pride of seeing them grow into such amazing human beings. This is just another one of those emotional mile stones that makes me truly grateful that we homeschool the kids. I get front row seats for all of their firsts and for me that is the greatest gift I've ever been given. Now, I'll noisily blow my nose and dry my tears and pull myself together for the rest of this blog post for you! (Or at least try…sniff.) 😢
What did the kids learn that I didn’t teach them?
This is an easy one this month because there were many things that they learnt that I didn't teach them. We went to We The Curious in Bristol and submerged ourselves into the world of science in honour of Fin starting school. We made a video to capture all of his first day at school activities and you'll see from the footage that there was no end to the things they taught themselves by being in that environment. Fin is science and space crazy as I'm sure you are well aware. We had a chance to watch two separate space shows at the planetarium and you'll see from the video that Fin was in his element. (So was I!)
What did the kids teach me that I didn't already know?
Pops taught me how to make some really sweet spider webs for our upcoming Halloween tea party. In fact, we have spent quite a lot of time this month working on upcoming Halloween crafts for the blog and they both surprised me with their creative and spooky ideas.
Fin taught me that amber is the softest gemstone. Fin is loving his National Geographic gem collection and has been soaking up facts from various books and youtube videos to broaden his knowledge. Like all things he sinks himself into, he could teach me 100 things that I didn't already know about it.
What would I have missed most if they were at school?
By far it would have been Fins first day of school. As previously mentioned it would have broken my heart to have missed his first day of official education. He was so proud to be a big boy starting his unschooling journey and I couldn't have coped not being there with him at the start of his official first day of unschool.
What was the most exciting bit of learning this month?
This is a tricky one this month. Of course, the science museum was fantastic and the huge milestone that went with it but we have also had some amazing at home crafting sessions too. Since turning our attention on the blog more to the unschooling side of things we have had so much more free time (and money) to put towards creative ideas to share with each other and with you guys. This month we have had lots of sensory play and craft afternoons and we have all thoroughly enjoyed it.
What was the hardest bit about unschooling this month?
Hmm, I always struggle with this one. I think for me the hardest part of unschooling this month has been keeping the house tidy. As you know we have entered the world of autumn crafts and creative play but with that brings overflowing tuff spot trays, cardboard tubes and more glitter than you can shake a magic wand at! Ha Ha!! It is all about striking a good balance when you unschool and I'm guessing I have failed miserably at it this month. We have had so much fun that it seemed like a much better idea to bang a few saucepans for musical entertainment or leave the paint pots out in case we need them tomorrow instead of stopping and doing a little tidying up. Hey ho, there's always tomorrow. (Maybe this is where I'm going wrong.)
What was their favourite day out this month?
What were the best books used this month?
We bought Fin Charlie Cooks Favourite Book by Julia Donaldson to take with us on a day out. I like to keep books that they've not read before for times when I need them to be as relaxed as possible. I'd bought him a few different books but this one was a huge hit! He loved the concept of a book inside a book inside a book. He kept referring back to the inside covers to work out which book spine was relating to which tale. I am a huge fan of Julia Donaldson books anyway but this one seemed to really strike a chord with little Fin.
Pops is a mad reader as you know and has got so into Jacqueline Wilson books recently that she is using her own money to buy them as she deems them "the best thing in the world" and wants to collect each and every one of them. She has been super lucky to find lots of them at the charity shop. However, the other day we stumbled across a lovely little bookshop during a day out and she found this latest edition, The Worst Thing About My Sister. She literally didn't put it down from start to finish and has picked it up to read for a second time too!
What were the best resources used this month?
We have played with our Halloween themed Orchard Toys games a lot this month. We are always a month ahead to be prepared to release timely blog posts for you all and therefore we have been in a whirlwind of Halloween for some time now. We had so much fun playing these games and we've even written a review of them explaining a little more about them for those of you who like to see things in a little more detail.
The other most used item has been our tuff spot tray. It is perfect for creating small world, sensory play or craft ideas on. It's shallow and large and easy to store. I'd have been lost without it this month for sure. Does anyone else find that autumn and winter they do so many more crafts than in the spring and summer? I guess it's only natural given the change in seasons and weather but I've felt it more keenly this month.
What were the most used apps/YouTube videos this month?
Fin has been catching up on his beloved PJ Masks programmes via YouTube. To say he is obsessed is a bit of an understatement but he gets so much joy out of watching them. Now I just need to get the theme tune out of my head! It's so damn catchy!!
Pops has recently started showing an interest in maths again?? I never thought I'd see the day but she is keen to start embracing her times' tables again and we found these great little songs to help her along the way. It all came about the other day when we were having a sort through of their activity books and found some old worksheets. I could see her ponder over what to do with them and encouraged her to make a choice whether to give them a go or recycle them. She decided to give them a whirl and aced them all so quickly that she felt immensely proud of herself. She then proceeded to ask me to set her up with some more maths activities. This combined with playing the maths games mentioned up above must have all come at the right time for her. Now she is embracing this new found maths enjoyment. There really is something to be said for enjoying things all the more because you choose to do them instead of being forced to do them. You got to love the power of unschooling. What a treat to see Pops enjoying maths instead of showing anxiety, frustration and upset as in previous years.
What do the kids want to continue to learn into next month?
I'm pretty confident that Pops wants to broaden the maths a little. It will all be completely under her steam and will come in any form she chooses but she has asked me to get her some maths workbooks. Eek! I feel like I'm swearing to all of us unschoolers but that's the beauty of unschooling. If your child chooses to lead their path that way then it's up to us as parents to support it. I'll keep you all updated with where this one takes us.
Fin will most definitely want to continue to learn about his gemstones. I think I may join him on this journey as it's tickled my interest too!
What new things do the kids want to learn next month?
They have both declared that they want to learn all Harry Potter. Crafts, watching movies, reading the books, lego projects you name it. I can not tell you how excited I am for this one. Bring it on!!
Have a fabulous month guys. For those of you who don't know we have recently started up a life learning Facebook group and we'd love for you to join us over there. It's a great way to connect with like-minded people and share ideas and resources to support each other on our journey through life. Until next time…
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