Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Back to Unschool

Today everywhere I turn I see cute little images of children standing out on front walks and sidewalks, waiting for the bus. While some kids have already been back to school for a week or more, school starts today in Salem.

But, of course, not here.

Our morning started off quite usual and ordinary. The kids got up before I did and were allowed to play quietly in the front room. By the time I have stumbled groggily in here this morning, I see a floor covered in cars, trains, roads, and train tracks. As I sip my warm mug of tea and type this, Shannon is busy picking most of it up, loading it all into a re-purposed box, and taking them all into their bedroom.
Ah .. their bedroom. Bunk beds with tie-dye sheets in their colors of choice. This is now a tent, with blankets hung from one level to the next. Apparently the stuffed animals are having a to-do with the cars and trains and tracks and roads. I'm not quite sure what he meant by all that, but he meant something and their world is alive right now.
Their animals all have names, though Shannon's mostly have descriptive names. For example: Shannon's stuffed brown bear is named "Brown Bear"; the stuffed black lab we got him from Chateau Morrisette is called "Puppy"; there is a lion called .. you guessed it "Lion". Tristan's animals have more familial names. His favorite stuffed animal, a bear wearing a rabbit suit, is called "Beer" ~ not because beer is such a big part of our world, but out of simply mispronunciation. His larger brown bear is called "Beer's Mommy", and the soft bear's head that rattles in the center of a little blanket (handkerchief size) is "Beer's Baby" or "Baby".

Yesterday I downloaded Google Earth onto the computer. We looked at our house (and put a pin on it, like marking it as a favorite), we looked at all the grandparent's houses. We looked at where Shannon's penpal lives. Since she lives in Jerusalem we couldn't zoom in and actually see her house, but we could see what the area looks like. Then we went and looked at the deserts and pyramids in Egypt. It was fascinating to watch the Earth spin around and begin zooming into a location. I can remember spinning around globes, pinpointing an area and trying to imagine what that area looked like close up ... so to see it now is simply amazing. It is magic.

And now the boys are setting up a bowling set in the Sunroom. Surrounded by plants, sunlight, books on their new bookcase, cleaning up toys off the floor to make way for their bowling pins. Learning to share .. ok, that's my positive way of saying they're now fighting ... figuring out how to take turns, and that you have to "share" your bowling pins so that the whole set can be set up.

Other unschooly activities?? Playing in the sandbox outside, building mountains out of sand and covering them with morning glory blooms. "Paper Cutting" (as Shannon calls it), which he is surprisingly good at. He cuts spirals out .. I am very impressed. Learning letters with Tristan (who tries to convince me that he doesn't already know them). Each of them building their own wooden toolbox with Daddy's help. Picking out a book to read from the ever-growing stack (thanks Sarah!) on their bookcase. Playing some learning games on the computer ( & are current favorites).

Welcome Fall. As school buses go rumbling by our house in the morning, we mill about in our pjs, starting the day as we please or as the day calls for it. And we couldn't be happier.

1 comment:

Karen Johnson said...

ahh, unschooling. Been doing this about 19 yrs now, officially, and the morning was almost past when I realized its a "Not Going Back to School" Day. I just enjoy living our life I easily forget what the system is up to ;)