Gardening,playing, and unschooling oh my!

I thought for sure I would be sore this morning but I am not. We made it out to the garden yesterday. We being the littles and SiSi, the only big that can and will rise before noon. We harvested radishes for the farmer’s market Thursday and then weeded around the radishes that weren’t quite ready for harvest. Emi had a lot of fun with the harvesting but then was disinterested after about 15min of weeding. Ace was not at all happy about the dirt on her hands! She just looked at me like I was nuts for bringing her. She did pick a few radishes though. I have hired, or at least think I have hired Aly to watch the littles for me on my next trip out. She will get a $1 for every hour I am out working. Since this is something I *want* to do and not something I *have* to do I don’t mind her having some monetary gain.

I did some housework when we got back and the littles played. Then I had a huge sugar/chocolate craving and there was only a small Ghiradelli chocolate square in the house. Not enough to satisfy the craving. I found a recipe for homemade brownies and by 3:30pm we were eating the brownies.

Supper was actually cooked and ready before 6pm and then after a bit of kitchen duty I took the littles outside to play. SiSi joined me and brought a Which Way USA to work on. For those who aren’t familiar with those, it is a geography puzzle book put out by Highlights. It comes with a workbook full of puzzles to work through and a state map. As  you work through each book you learn about significant people and places from each state.

I also worked on recovering the barstools that belong to my brother. I have the old cover off and all the pieces measured so I can make another cover. I just need a compass to draw the circular top. I might brave the stores today with the littles in tow. I would like to have both barstools finished by the weekend. I also plan on touching up the last chair I painted and starting another.

I was asked yesterday what educational pursuits we had planned for the summer. Some of our family members do not know we unschool. If they stopped by here to read, they would but I don’t think many do. I used to hide it, now I just don’t care. We are who we are and we do what we do because it works for our family. Anyway my response to the question was just to share with the person the current interests of the bigs.

Aly has a huge interest in the civil rights movement. She has a stack of books in her room right now that are mostly nonfiction along with a few historical novels from that time period. She was reading about some of the horrible things that happened during that and one of the murders against a black man that they shared about was in the town that some of my family live in now. We have talked about fear and how it can drive hate. We have talked about how for some people racism is a big part of their lives still. We have discussed how I feel that the civil rights movement wasn’t just a black/white issue but that is was a people issue. That no matter, race, nationality or sex everyone deserves to be treated in a humane way. Not made to sit somewhere else, or drink from a different water fountain or made to shop at only certain stores just to name a few ugly things. I think about the state of things back then and wonder how on earth things like that actually were able to happen.

She asked me why no one did anything about the hangings, how people got away with it so often. So corruption came up, then injustice and morals and character.

None of this was a scope and sequence laid out for her. None of this was even suggested by me. Tucked in that stack of books is one about the Dust Bowl. It sound interesting to her so she checked it out. Another is a book from a series called opposing views. The book takes different subjects and gives opposing viewpoints to each one. Maybe that will lead to a desire to debate, maybe she will be more open to other’s ideas or understand better where someone who thinks differently than she does is coming from.  

Then there is SiSi. She is big into mystery books and is rereading a favorite that she found at the library a few months back. She is also huge into the slip-n-slide and our neighbors new pool. So I guess you could say physics is a big part of her plans for this summer. Along with geography because not only does she like the Which Way USA books she gets another kit that is a World Geography book in a spy/intrigue form. Oh and she will be attending her first away from home, overnight camp in a couple of weeks. She is totally excited. Do not ask how mom is doing. I will exhale when she comes home safe and sound thank you very much!

The littles are doing the same things as the bigs….growing and exploring the world around them. It’s also known as living life. I don’t see what my kids do as educational pursuits so to speak, I see it as just a part of the path of living that will take them into adulthood where hopefully the desire to know more continues until they leave this world.

“My schooling not only failed to teach me what it professed to be teaching, but prevented me from being educated to an extent which infuriates me when I think of all I might have learned at home by myself. “
George Bernard Shaw




6 thoughts on “Gardening,playing, and unschooling oh my!

  1. When did you decide that you would unschool? How old are your kids? It sounds like you have a wonderful, fulfilling life! I love reading about the children’s interests, and how they came to them on their own… I hope that we are brave enough to continue living this way… (my daughter is only 2). Awesome!

  2. @dancinmomma – at one point both of the bigs asked for math curriculum. SiSi has made the most progress through it but it’s when the mood strikes her. I might let her know I am available to help her if she wants to work in it and it is her choice if she does. Aly is not a math person and hasn’t touched her curriculum since about a month after having it. Math is in the every day….cooking, money etc. If they want to persue a career that will require higher math then at that time they will have to do what is required of whatever system they find themselves in. If they never do algebra that is just fine. I completed highschool with higher math that I NEVER use, and wouldn’t have used even in my major in college. Our focus as facilitators in their education is to equip them with the ability to accomplish the things they are interested in. If they know how to find out what they want to know then we have done our jobs. 🙂

  3. two more “grown up books” about true stories from the Civilr Rights Era that I suggest are Coming of Age in Mississippi by Anne Moody and Silver Rights by Constance Curry 

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