Thursday, September 30, 2010

Learning is FUN!

Learning really is fun!
{and everything counts}

Does fun matter when it comes to learning? You bet! 
Author and mother Laura Grace Weldon explains why in this blog post, entitled "Fun Theory."

Picking and smelling flowers
Making 'fake spills'

Table Time, Charlotte Mason and Technology

 As John Holt said, "People should be free to find or make for themselves the kinds of educational experience they want their children to have."

Our children learn from their own discoveries, as well as from what my husband and I share with them. It's a learning lifestyle.

One tool our kids love using is technology. Computers and other devices are a large part of their day.

Their interest in technology makes sense when you know that their Dad's job is all about tech stuff.

Our Life Without School, Lately

Here are a few things we've been doing to keep busy the past month or so.

 Giant Geoboard

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Nature Study - Birds

For the Outdoor Hour Challenge #2, we studied birds at a local pond about
a 15 minute drive from our home.


When we arrived, the thermometer in the van read 96 degrees. Hot!
We saw an empty lower pond. Where were all the birds?

Seeking shade, apparently. There were a few ducks on the upper pond,
so we walked up there. We brought some bread along to feed them
so we could get a closer look.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Nature Study Fall 2010

We have started our weekly nature study a la Charlotte Mason this week. 

I have not read
Anna Botsford Comstock's Handbook of Nature Study yet,
but I have found an excellent online resource which has been a help
in getting started on nature study right away.
The Handbook of Nature Study blog has Outdoor Hour Challenges
and the Fall challenges are just beginning! Perfect!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Hands-on History: Mummies

Fun facts: The kids were playing with this thin, tall cardboard box. One of them would get in and the other would cover them with the lid. The boy inside would then burst out and chase his brother, screaming. They were re-enacting a cartoon they'd seen on Netflix about mummies chasing people. I volunteered to wrap them in high-quality Costco TP, and can you guess? They agreed very excitedly. Boy #2 was totally in to it, as seen in the photos.

Quote from the phone files: A little while later, I was on the phone with my mom, while Boy #1 was tearing off his TP mummywraps. He then decided he wanted some TP on his leg to make a cast. I said, "No, I will not tape that toilet paper on you!" Of course, mom laughed at this bizarre statement. I'm sure there will be many more quotes for the phone files to come like this one . And, for the record, his dad taped his leg and he then enjoyed pretending it was a cast. One more part of a full day at our house!

More recently last year, reprising his role...

Mummy waits in his cardboard sarcophagus to come back to life.

What started this ancient Egyptian mummy game?
It's a little like "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie"...

If you pick a sticker story book and let the kids put the stickers on the pages...
they'll pick stickers for the ancient Egyptian pages.

If you talk about ancient Egypt,
they'll want to talk about mummies.

If you talk with them about mummies,
they'll remember that ONE time you let them 
get all wrapped up in toilet paper and run around.
And they'll want to do it again!

If you let them wrap themselves up in gauze fabric 
this time instead of toilet paper (phew!),
they'll want a box to lie in for a tomb.

If they lie in the box, all wrapped up in mummy garb,
they'll want you to hide so they can burst out of the box 
and chase you!

If they chase you,
they will catch you...

and it will be fun!

Laundry can wait...

As a busy Mom of three little boys and a baby daughter
who are home most of the time with me,
I admit things can pile up very quickly around here.
Laundry. Dishes. Dust and dirt.

For those of you who do not homeschool,
imagine your typical Saturday or summer break
with all the kiddos at home, plus visitors,
and you would have an accurate idea of what I am talking about.

I try to keep things as orderly as I can,
but I am discovering
that while I can do it all (usually),
it doesn't usually all get done at the same time!
Dishes may be done, but there is always laundry to be washed or put away.
The kitchen floor may be swept, but the toilets may need another cleaning.
Housework is one those those things that never stays 'done'. It's a constant.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Unschool 'Center'

Pretty cool set-up.
I'd love to see a center like this in our town.

In the meantime, we have our own home as
our personal learning laboratory.

Pretty fun to see something like this in the news.
And nice to see a positive story on unschooling.

Alphabet of Nations

Algeria, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Dominica, Egypt, France, the Gambia, Hungary, Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan, Libya, and Mongolia, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Surinam, Turkey, Uruguay, Vietnam, West Xylophone, Yemen, Zimbabwe.

Have you heard the They Might Be Giants' song by this name?
It's fun to sing.

Did I mention listening to some of their tunes just makes me smile?
Yeah, and their off-beat humor is silly and thought-provoking at the same time.
A breath of fresh air. I like how different they are from most songwriters and performers.

I bought their album 'Flood' back in high school, but haven't listened to all their stuff. There are a lot of albums. We've downloaded their kids' albums, the 123's and ABC's and 'No'. Highly requested when we are driving in the van. They are strangely educational. Or is that edutainmental?

Thursday, September 2, 2010


"Sooner or later, pleasing mom is no longer going to be sufficient motivation, for anything. It may happen at 8, or 11, or 17, or 46, but eventually, the motivation to learn, and to allow the spark to ignite has to come from within rather than from without. And maybe, at some point, we can envision our main job to be adding fuel to the flame."

--David Albert