books, unschooling

fall in the mountains

Lilah’s been finger knitting. She’s made a scarf, two necklaces, some bracelets, a head band and some curtain ties that I know about plus likely just as much that I don’t.

We went swimming and worked on breathing while swimming.

Lilah took a lyra class and has been doing more aerial silks classes. I do yoga while she does aerials which is perfect.

We’ve been listening to the Brotherband Chronicles, The Outcasts by John Flanagan in the car. It’s so good.

Gavin is working with his Odyssey of the Mind team on a Star Wars themed challenge. They are working on a play with various characters and scenarios. It will be his turn soon to be a student leader and bring and support a short activity for the group so he’s been brainstorming about that.

I’ve been working on Halloween costumes. The kids weren’t sure what they wanted to do until just a few days ago so I’ve been scrambling to collect pieces and parts for all of us and to make Lilah’s costume but it’s fun to do even if we are on a tight schedule.

We took a hike up to Fifth Water hot springs with my sister.

It was a beautiful cool day and there were still colored leaves everywhere though a bit less vibrant than the previous week. When we go up to the hot springs the river runs blue and a bit cloudy and there are many small pools with rocks, waterfalls, reeds. We found one that nobody else was using and my sister and I enjoyed immersing ourselves while the kids dipped their feet and legs in and explored. Gavin had brought a book so he read for a while as we soaked.

We watched a Ginormous Pumpkin Regatta, a boat race in giant pumpkins with my family. It was really entertaining. There were some capsized pumpkins and one that was so big it could barely move aside from spinning in a circle. I want to know more about growing those pumpkins. How big are the plants? How much soil do they need? Do you pick off all the other pumpkins to grow one as big as possible? How do they taste? If the growers spend up to 30 hours a week caring for the pumpkin, what is it they’re doing? I may do some research to satisfy my curiosity. However, I doubt we’ll be growing giant pumpkins anytime. The usual size kind took over our yard just fine this year. We got 4 orange pumpkins from two vines and 2 gray-green pumkins from another vine that grew from seeds in the compost. The kids are particularly excited about the green ones.

We’ve been going to a homeschool gymnastics open gym session with friends. The kids get to use the equipment and play for several hours.

One of our favorite places, Red Butte Garden, a botanical center near us and where Chris and I were married has a Halloween activity every year called Garden After Dark that we enjoy. This year it was Alice in Wonderland themed. It was really fun to hunt for gems for our key to the portal to another world, search for white rabbits and enjoy the Queen of Hearts reciting Jabberwocky. They had games like flamingo croquet and giant tea cup decorations and also fun information about plants like there are roses that change color and riddles about flowers and herbs. We had a lot of fun and came home with wildflower seeds and chamomile (tea) seeds.

 

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unschooling

backwards glance

Here’s a post about mid-late December of last year.

Grandma picked up the kids for a candle making date at her house!

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They played Settlers of Cataan, and then they made up new rules and played it again,

We had friends over.

We watched the kitten climb the holiday tree.

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We worked on top secret holiday projects (the kids made bath fizzes, choosing from our essential oils collection  after smelling all of them, the ones I use to make my own deodorant and perfume, which I thought was both interesting and sweet: jasmine, sweet orange, lemongrass.

The kids made dried flowers/leaves mandala sun-catchers. Lilah made stationery sets with adorable pictures, mostly of cats.

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We made orange and peppermint flavored chocolates in molds of owls, hearts and castles. Gavin worked on his book, and gave a few coupons for copies when it’s ready.

 

Chris and the kids picked out projects to make on raspberry pi computers. They put together and coded an own-cloud and a motion-triggered camera to take pictures of pets. It was really fun watching them working together on them, eagerly reviewing options, typing, proof-reading, problem solving.

We read.

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We sledded with my sister

and shoveled lots of snow.

We went to an animation presentation at the library with friends.

We read. (Yes, we do a bunch of this and yes, it’s worth mentioning several times in the same post.)

We baked.

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They worked on Mad Libs, chatting about adjectives and nouns while giggling.

We visited a trampoline park, the first time since Lilah broke a leg when she was five. They were careful and safe and had a wonderful time and were never still enough to get a clear picture of.

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Here is a project I worked on for a holiday gift for Chris: an embroidered version of Calcifer from Howl’s Moving Castle:

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We celebrated the winter solstice, the shortest day, longest night of the year. We lit and used candles instead of electric lights, made pomander balls out of clementines and cloves, made a lasagna for dinner and had a little dance party in our warm house.

We celebrated Christmas (early) with my parents and sister and baked cookies covered in red hots and enjoyed each other.

We celebrated Christmas (late) with Chris’ parents and read books and played games and enjoyed each other.

There was much, much more goodness, but this is a bit of what we were up to.

 

 

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