They played on coolmathgames.com.

Then we worked on necklaces with beads Lilah got for her birthday.  They discussed knot making, how long string needed to be, where the beads came from and what they were made of.

Legos were built with and Magformers were put together.

We did some Spanish practice together.

The new glowing birthday Wikkistix/Bendaroos were brought out and they made shapes on the provided cards and then made shoes for their ponies.  Then we took them in the dark bedroom with a black light to see if they would glow.

Then Lilah and I headed off to pick up her friend to come play here.  We braved the pouring rain and even some hail and the girls loved the excitement of it being a challenge to get from school to the car.  At home, there was dress up, lego play, more magformers building, especially building homes and vehicles for stuffed animals.


There was story telling and Goldieblox building.

After saying goodbye to Lilah’s friend and dinner, there was tag in the living room and beginning discussions about halloween costume plans.  Lilah has requested a butterfly costume, like last year, but a different species.  Gavin wants to be a lego minifig.  He’s not sure what kind yet.  We have some research to do, some materials to gather and some creative assembly to do together in the next weeks!  How exciting!




There was computer play for Gavin and part of a Garfield movie for Lilah before the three of us baked muffins for breakfast.

We read a chapter of Wise Child.  This book has some great issues to explore for us at 9 and 6, like being scared of differences in other people, peer pressure, fear of being alone, improving skills through practice and needing to do things you don’t like.

There was lego play and reading some newly borrowed library books.


We did more Spanish on Duolingo and Mindsnacks Spanish numbers.

I brought out our And Then… story starters and we each chose a story starter, then wrote the next part.  The story starters are a box of beginnings of stories, each with a charming picture on it.  It’s a fun way of inviting the kids to write imaginatively.  Lilah dictated her story to me and I wrote it out for her and then she illustrated it.  Gavin wrote his out and then illustrated.  We’ve found that lined paper makes a huge difference in his confidence and quality of writing as he gets so easily frustrated and overwhelmed when trying to write.  After we finished we each read our story aloud and enjoyed them.

There were handstands and arabesques and hula hooping.


Lilah decided she was tired and asked me to read her a book and then she lay down down for a bit.  The fact that she recognized her need and acted on it without worrying about missing something makes me happy.

I wrote out a scavenger hunt for the kids to do around the house full of things like something blue, something fuzzy, something that smells good, something funny to do while I did yoga.

Gavin made map hunts for Lilah and I to decode.


Lilah and I headed out to a Spiral Scouts meeting and Gavin and Dad headed to his soccer game to finish off our day.




They began with computer play and Pokemon watching.

We watched the construction right outside our house and its’ progress, wondering about what would happen next.


Then we learned how to say good morning in German and Spanish: guten morgen and buenos dias.  And how to say and: und and y.  We decided to try an app to learn Spanish together on my phone.

There was lego play and we read another chapter of Wise Child.

We looked at flowers and plants and animals and talked about different kinds of symmetry.  Lilah drew a flower, with radial symmetry.

I asked the kids if they’d like to do some math and they said yes, so each of them answered a few questions on the whiteboard.  I was wondering if Gavin would remember the greater than, less than symbols.  He did.  He enjoys math very much.  It’s a language that makes sense to him and he especially loves story problems so I try to throw a few his way regularly.  I enjoyed watching his process of division drawn out.  It’s fascinating to see what way a kid approaches a puzzle that can be solved in so many different ways.  Lilah enjoys math puzzling too, especially patterns.

After lunch we looked up the weather on wunderground.com and Gavin wrote down info in his weather journal.  Then we discovered it’s a new moon so we took name suggestions and voted as a family on this moon’s name, inspired by our beloved teacher Leslee’s class the last two years.  Suggestions included: Kitten moon, Owl moon, Hoot hoot moon, Magical moon, Starlight moon, Magic moon, Meow meow moon, Squirrel moon, Woof moon.  We settled on Meow meow moon.  Some stuffed animals got in on the voting.

The kids worked on assembling our vacuum.  On a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day last week our old vacuum broke beyond repair, so we were very excited to have and try our new one.

We tried out the Spanish app, Duolingo.  It was fun, though I’m not thoroughly sold on it being fantastic for young kids.  If we do it together it’s pretty accessible.

We took a trip to the library to return books and find new ones to read and came home with three armfuls, one for each of us.


Gavin immediately dove into a map book where you find treasure by using mapping skills.  After he finished he read about the other related books and requested we try to find them.  Lilah was very interested too and asked to read it on her own as soon as he finished.


We played with density using water, vegetable oil and coins, legos, plastic animals and rubber bands.

Lilah and I went to her gymnastics class where she practiced candlesticks, arabesques, cartwheels and handstands while Gavin played Civilization with Dad and then helped him with dinner.




There was coolmathgames.com and lego building.


We met my sister for a tour of her roommates beehives and then a walk along the Jordan River.

Then we read a chapter of Wise Child.

We found a mouse in the house so we set up a humane trap to catch it and relocate it.  We listened to it’s scritchings and scrappings behind our microwave as we waited for it to check out the yummy peanut butter and cracker we put out for it.

We played with stuffed animals and legos more, then Lilah and I headed off to pick up her friend.


When we got home the three kids made up their own version of The Lego Movie, then played mom and kids, then played with our marble maze.


There was some gymnastics practice and giant ball play.


I enjoyed listening to an explanation of what being unconscious means and then enjoyed a demonstration more.

“What would you like for dinner tonight, kids?”  “Come dance with me and I’ll tell you.”  “Okay.”  “Now spin me around three times.  Okay, I’ll have rice and tofu and apples.”  “Dance with me too, Mama and I’ll tell you what I want.”

We watched this video about a knot:

Then we wanted to watch (and dance and sing to!) another favorite by Ylvis before bed:

It was a good day.



There was computer play time, then on to trains and legos.

Then we headed up the mountain for a picnic lunch and then to the Fairy Forest.  The kids read books most of the way up.  We’d never been there before so we followed some directions from another family and they took us straight to it!  A hot pink arrow painted on a log didn’t hurt either.  Thanks, fellow fairy admirers!

We thoroughly enjoyed exploring the fairy villages and immediately made plans to go back with additions.

We got back on the road and went up to Lily and Wall lakes for a short walk before we came home to meet a friend for evening play time.

At home there was a frenzy of make believe birthday parties with their friend, complete with dressing up and elaborately imagined feasts and gifts before the end of the day.

It was a day full of sweet moments that left us wanting for more.  We’ll be back to the Fairy Forest and the Uintahs soon, I think!

art, unschooling


They began by building with train tracks.  A whole village filled the floor!


I read from Wise Child to them over breakfast.

Then there was K’nex play and stuffed animal adventures.

Gavin read from The Complete Brambly Hedge by Jill Barklem to us; Sea Story.


We made self portraits from tangram blocks.

Then we drew self portraits and added crayon, paint, oil pastels.

There was tumbling practice.


After lunch we headed off to The Museum of Natural Curiosity where we climbed, directed water through pipes and hoses, tested structures in earthquakes, played music, measured our heart rates, built with giant blocks, played on a zipline and on swings.

We came home, ate together and watched an episode of The Cosmos, which fascinated both kids and spurred all sorts of questions at bedtime.



Today I cleaned the house because we had guests coming and between you and I, I’m one of those people who believes a clean house is a sign of a misspent life, so there was a lot of cleaning to do.  The kids helped by organizing, picking up here and there.  I had to spend a lot of time cleaning though.  The kids played legos together happily for a long time and then went in their room to play a newly invented game with stuffed animal real ninjago battle!


They missed out on doing more active things together though and missed spending quality time with me.  They were both incredibly grumpy and disregulated by the time I was through.  So I sat down with them and tried to reconnect.  I picked up Gavin’s foot and pretended it was a phone, held it to my ear.  I pretended I could hear people on the other end, and answered all kinds of silly questions and then kept hanging up. “Hello, hello?  ….. No, I don’t need any chickens. …. No, not even one.  …. I don’t need any ducks either!  …. Please stop calling here!  Good bye!”   Gavin then would laugh, go back to looking grumpy and then hold his foot up for me to answer it again.  Eventually Lilah came and requested I talk on her foot phone too.  We ended up giggling a lot and then the kids were more able to figure out something fun we could all do together afterward.

We read some Wise Child by Monica Furlong.


We played Hanabi together, a fun collaborative game where you have to play without knowing the cards you’re holding and have to rely on your team mates to help you know what to play and what to discard.

We watched:

And then we went for a walk to the park to swing and race cars down the slides, then dinner with family from out of town and across town and then home and songs and cuddles and bed.



There was some computer play for Gavin while Lilah was still sleeping and then The Lego Movie.

Gavin read the latest National Geographic during breakfast and Lilah read her All Aboard book she cut out and put together from her Highlights magazine yesterday.

There was lego building and imagining and some balance beam walking and cartwheels and hand stands on the tumbling mat.


I read some Dealing with Dragons to them.  After lunch they asked for more, so we finished it and they immediately ran to look for the next in the series by Patricia Wrede.

There was more lego play.

Lilah read In The Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak aloud.


We played a game of Blokus.

Then there was more balance beam and mat play.

Gavin left to swim and play with a friend while Lilah and I played a game of Fluxx and then built part of a new computer desk set up.

Then Lilah and I headed to her gymnastics class for candlesticks and cartwheels and handstands.


Gavin came home and worked on assembling more desk furniture with Dad.

It was fun.




They started with coolmathgames.com.

Then we made a visit to the pediatrician.  Afterward we played with legos and listened to Ella Fitzgerald.  We discovered a new favorite song:  Chew, chew chew (Chew Your Bubblegum)! We’ve been singing it off and on all day.

We watched Fossil Rock Anthem, a parody of Party Rock Anthem that’s about geology and that led to some other kids fossil videos on youtube.

After lunch we went Tracy Aviary.


We watched the ducks and pelicans and identified a few species.  We looked at the Andean Condor, Andy and the golden and bald eagles.  One of the golden eagles was having lunch while we watched.  We read about how the eagles they have at our Aviary were injured in the wild and wouldn’t have survived on their own.

We made our way toward the the flamingos, swans and macaws and met a peacock on the walk.  Lilah was so proud that she was able to say still enough and silent enough not to scare it away.

Then we had a nice long rest in the shady Owl Forest to look at all the different owls and watched some Patagonian parrots fly from keeper to keeper for treats.  We even got to see an owl fly in practice for their bird show.  It was beautiful.


Lilah did some feather collecting.



We spotted a quail bunch wandering and the kids crept slowly and quietly after them to get a better look.



After we got home, we ate and then headed to our neighborhood park for a bit of swinging and biking to end the day.



They started on with some Pokemon and some My Little Pony watching.

There was lego creating.  Gavin built robots and Lilah discussed primary colors she was choosing to build with.

We baked oatmeal cranberry chocolate chip muffins.  They turned on the oven, read the recipe, measured, stirred, set up the pan and even tried our mortar and pestle to grind up some cardamom seeds!

Then there was more lego imaginative play.  “There was a black-out!”  “He bumped into her house and crashed into the window.”  (Indescribable sound effects here.)  “And then Nya came out to help.”  “Yeah…”

I invited the kids to join me in making a color wheel out of legos.   We dug out lots of colored blocks and tried to place them according to where they belong between the primary colors.  Gavin chose to make a white/light grey/dark grey/black gradient to accompany our color wheel.


Lilah made a hammock out of a scarf tied to the table and rolled a ball inside and then gave her bear a nice place to swing and nap.


Then Gavin and I picked up his friend from school and came home to play “LEGOS!”  They got out our lego board game Heroica sets and put them all together.  Chips and salsa were eaten as bosses were defeated and weapons were earned.  Then there was a Magic The Gathering game, followed by an epic tale of stuffed animal surprise attacks and spying.

After playtime with Gavin’s friend, we ate and ended our evening with Dad reading some Ranger’s Apprentice by John Flanagan before bed.  We’re in the middle of the fourth book now.