Wednesday, July 8, 2009

An Unschooled Summer

Last year, we began DS's Year 1 school year in June. The reason was mainly due to a loooong break we'd taken from about March till May. The previous January and February--after a nice long Christmas break with my sister here--hadn't been what I would call very productive either. So I got all gung-ho and prepared and excited about doing school "properly" in June.

This year, we've just decided to have a quiet, unschooly summer. It wasn't meant that way really. I had prepared a sort of a plan to get some stuff (read: our Ancient Egypt studies) wrapped up. And I had one or two online subscriptions that I had wanted DS to spend more time on (read: to assuage my guilt for paying for these programs). But it just so happened that DH had a shutdown and that of course means no "school" school gets done. Add to the fact that DS and I both succumbed to a very mind and body-numbing flu (hence, the lack of posts lately) and of course, preparing for our move (more in post to follow).

So we've just been having a nice, lazy summer filled with many unexpected learning opportunities and constant reminding of how much I'm learning with and from my rapidly growing young son. He's been filling his head on his own with lots of books as usual...everything from Peanuts and Calvin & Hobbes to a Chess manual and the math workbooks he adores. There's been lots of voluntary writing and doodling and journaling going on too and to keep it voluntary I've promised not to examine too much of what he's been writing and recording. He's also managed to complete two weeks of Schmahl Science camps where he obviously had a blast despite missing almost half the camp due to the flu.

Before the both of us fell ill, DS and I had an exciting week of Classic Science (Life), learning about recycling and why we do it. We recycled paper from our shredder, which turned out a lot prettier than what I expected and a little uglier than what he wanted LOL:

Clockwise from top left: Soaking paper in a mixture of water and cornstarch; Spreading blended pulp on a screen; Squeezing water from pulp with waxpaper; Dried and recycled paper sample gets a quality check.
After we got our breath and health back, we returned to one of our favorite regional parks, Coyote Hills, for a rejuvenating walk. I just love this place. You know how some places just can't help bringing a smile to your face? Well Coyote Hills really knows how to tug on my lips and make my heart sing. It's such a pretty, peaceful place to enjoy nature!

Clockwise from top left: We had to constantly keep one hand on our hats, it was just so windy; A beautiful mosaic of colors and textures; The boys bid farewell to tired ol' Mom and take a hike; Fluid perspectives at the marsh.

We've been having fun. And I am very excitedly looking forward to new beginnings coming very soon into our lives.

Hope you have a joyous summer dear reader!


  1. I'm constantly amazed how much can be learnt while unschooling. While I'm too "controlling" to let go and do it completely, the more "natural learning" we do, the more relaxed we are and the better we seem to enjoy life and school.

    I love that recycled paper - will definitely have to give that a go with Billy!

    Beautiful photos of the walk.

  2. Hiya Kerrie! You know I am constantly fighting with my two voices about unschooling. I have the same problem you do, deciding between my controlling and natural learning sides so I guess I try to balance it by deciding to control more from Aug-Nov and March-May and unschool more in between LOL.


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