locations & destinations

We went geocaching for the first time!


It was a learning process, and a fun one.  We downloaded an app on my phone that allowed us to look for caches nearby and then we headed up to the Capital grounds where we used the compass and map on my phone to move toward the cache until we were in the area.  Then we had to use our eyes to find its hiding spot. We found two caches and tried but didn’t find a third.  I think I need to do more research before heading out and we need to choose carefully.  We’re hoping to do this with another family over the summer.

We played on the playground with friends before heading back here for more play, goodbyes and then soccer for Gavin and Broken Age playing for Lilah.

Broken Age is an amazing narrative computer game where you solve puzzles of various kinds and difficulties. Gavin has been playing it with his dad when Lilah does gymnastics and recently Lilah requested to play too so we’ve started another game, she and I.

Gavin had soccer games and practice.

They played Small World.

We visited the Wild West playground which is a really fun set up with local places of significance represented in a unique playground.  When they got hot and tired we had a picnic lunch in the shade and I read a few pages of Castle in the Air before they ran off to play some more.

We happened upon an article about the old Wasatch Warm Springs Bath House history, which is now abandoned and in our local park so we read about it and looked at some old photos.

The kids built various things out of K’Nex.   It’s fun to watch the complexity of their creations grow along with their building and planning skills.

We spread mulch over our vegetable garden.  We need a bit more but it’s a good start.  We haven’t tried mulch before this so it will be interesting to see how it does.  I think I spotted a pumpkin sprout and possibly a dumpling squash as well this morning.  Lilah was thrilled that there was a pink strawberry on one of the plants.  Today it was ripe enough to pick and eat! It’s such fun to watch the changes and help nurture the plants along and then enjoy the harvesting and feasting.

We puzzled.


We read more of Castle in the Air.  It’s a delight.

We met with other unschoolers at a new to us park in Ogden called Ogden High Adventure park.  It was full of ropes play, spinning things and other challenging equipment, plus there’s a river flowing right behind it.  What a fun park!  I’m going to play more on it next time too!

Lilah counted up the money she’s earned (with my help) from doing chores and then when we went to Target, she bought herself a Lego Hero Factory set.


We visited the aquarium.  It had been quite a while so that was fun.  Gavin particularly likes the river otters and Lilah enjoyed seeing the caiman alligators.  I always like the cuttlefish and octopus especially.  The penguins were all nesting and we watched them carefully picking up small stones and carrying them to their nests and arranging them while their partners lay on the top of the rock nests.

We met up in the canyon with other unschoolers for “Forest School”, which was a bunch of families meeting in a forest meadow and exploring and we scouted a creek and found bones and climbed rocks and hauled a rusty car hood over to make a bridge.

And in between all of this, reading and story making and researching and experimenting and hula hooping and painting and giggling and cuddling and cleaning and negotiating.  It’s been good.


Cuttlefish and Number Games

We went to the aquarium.  We saw lots of animals and tested out some new displays.  We spent quite a bit of time with the cuttlefish, observing them.  They are fascinating creatures, very curious.  They come right up to the glass to observe us and one even sort of puffed water at us several times.  We wondered aloud what the tube like part under their head does and I promised to check it out at home.  Later I found it helps to propel them through the water, along with their fin.  They can change color and release ink.  From watching them for awhile, it seems to me to be the spots on their skin that change color, not the underlying skin itself.  We know they like to cover themselves in sand and hide on the bottom of the tank, but today we only spotted swimming cuttlefish.  We also saw the Gentoo penguins, lots of sharks and unicorn fish and jellyfish.

We listened to Harry Potter on the way to and from the aquarium and Gavin asked to watch the movie so we started that when we got home.

The three of us played a Magic the Gathering draft. Lilah and I were on a team since drafting is so complicated that I don’t think she could do it on her own.  She was disappointed but ended up enjoying it and then leaving partway through the game, which is about right for her attention span.

Lilah read me an Elephant and Piggie book: My New Friend Is So Fun.

Gavin and I played Rat-a-tat-Cat and he won with only 4 total.  I had 7.

We headed to Classic Center for some roller skating. The kids practiced skating in a crouch, stopping, turning and jumping.  I practiced not hitting small kids veering wildly on scooters while trying to enjoy skating.  Next time I think we’ll go earlier and avoid the crowds.

Lilah played some Spanish games with number and color words.  They’d forgotten many of the ones they had learned already but they came back fast.  In one of the games she has to spell the words so the visual learning kicks in there.

We got out the Math Dice and Gavin taught me how to play.  It was fun to practice our addition and multiplication.  He’s so good with numbers!


Lilah performed a Chapstick experiment wherein she tried all of her chapsticks together, layer upon layer.  It was hilarious and I told her she smelled like a candy shop.  She’s still a bit sticky.


The kids played Carcassonne with my sister while I went for a short hike and then they played with Legos and jumped on the beanbag.


There was a soccer game in the hallway.


There’s always more fun to be had.  I keep learning that particular lesson, over and over!  It’s a good one.



They worked a  bit on computer coding this morning with Scratch on Hour of Code.

Then there was Lego building and imagining.

Lilah read me an Elephant and Piggie book and Gavin read me Pete The Cat And His Four Groovy Buttons by Eric Litwin.

We went to the aquarium.  On the way we listened to a bit more of the Howl’s Moving Castle audio book.  One of the river otters was awake so we watched him swimming.  We saw sharks, shark eggs, shark teeth, crabs and urchins being fed.  We saw lots of cuttle fish, some swimming, some hiding, some almost invisible in the sand.  The octopus was awake but quiet.  We got to see an octopus beak today, from a deceased octopus.  It was only the size of the tip of my thumb but the person sharing with us said it came from an octopus bigger than the one they have now.  She showed us shark eggs and said that they lay them every day.  After that we looked closely and spotted the eggs in the tank with the sharks!


There was a huge blue crab who was jumping and dancing.

There were tiny black and white fish who’d just been released from their dad’s mouth after being kept safe inside for 21 days!

We visited the penguins and learned about what they eat and why their feathers looks more like fur.

I learned wood ducks are native to Utah and that they are called wood ducks because they nest in holes in tree trunks instead of on the ground.

We marveled at the huge river fish with scales that are inches across.  We watched the African Grey parrot preen himself and chatter, then squawk raucously when left alone.  While the kids crossed the rope bridge several times, I spotted as many rainbow colored frogs as I could.  Here are two: a  beautiful yellow one the size of a baby’s hand and a striped one the size of the tip of my finger.


When we got home, we worked out a few puzzles in Chocolate Fix, our sudoku puzzle set.

Then it was time for Gavin and Chris to drive to soccer and Lilah and I to do some salsa dancing at home.




We began by building with hexbugs and legos.


Then we looked at national flags in a book.

“Can we listen to the Dreamland cd, Mama?”

There was a game of zombie dice.

“Mama, can we build a zipline for legos?”  “I bet you can!  Try that yarn.”  “Whee, it’s going down!”

I put together an unschooling interview and interviewed the kids.  Then Lilah interviewed me.  I wrote them up here.

We took a trip to the aquarium and enjoyed many animals.  We read about extinction and endangered animals in Utah.  We spotted sea turtles and sharks, penguins and toucans eating fruit.  They crossed the rope bridge.

Then, back home for brownies and more legos.

We read eachother jokes.  “What kind of school do you go to to greet people?”  “High school.”

Gavin read to us about carnivorous plants.

Then Lilah and I were off to gymnastics class for pull ups, balance beam jumps, handstands and then back home to show Daddy and Gavin the “broken monkey leg” maneuver.


There was Civilization playtime with Dad for Gavin during gymnastics class.

Back home for dinner, books together and cuddles.