adventures in unschooling

Homelearning Community House Update

I haven’t made any posts lately about our Homelearning Community House. It is not because we haven’t been doing anything, but because we have been doing so much, I haven’t had time to write about it.

One thing we have all noticed is that we are having so much fun focusing on our community that other things are falling to the wayside – like laundry, grocery shopping, & cooking dinner. We also haven’t been driving much. Why bother with the trip to Science World, packing lunch and paying for parking, when we are busy dying wool with Kool-ade in the kitchen. In fact I have hardly gotten into a car all season and I love it.

WOOL DYING

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THEATRE

One of the biggest thing we did this fall was Romeo & Juliet with our group, the Burrardview Homelearner’s Cooperative. It was a lot of work and there were many times we wanted to quit. It was frustrating when we had to stop something wonderful that was spontaneously happening and make the kids work on the play. It is difficult to balance structured and free activity. If you have too much structured activity it can really start to make things difficult. I realized that I really value having the freedom to follow things as they come as apposed to having to do something.

At the same time I feel that the kids really got a lot out all the hard work they put into Romeo and Juliet. It was very ambitious and we asked a lot of all of them. The youngest kids were six, and performing Shakespeare in front of over 100 people, remembering their lines, projecting and remembering when to exit and enter was a great accomplishment. I think they all had a lot of fun performing. Cassius needed stitches in his lip a few days before and could just talk by the time of the show. Despite it, he tried his best and had a great time.

Romeo and Juliet was a bit too real for Cassius & Anja, who both managed to play the title roles without looking into each other eyes. They adore each other but saying it in front of an audience was a challenge.

Cassius and Anja as Romeo and Juliet

All the kids also except for Paris and Thomas went over to the Northshore on Wednesdays for musical theatre, led by another homeschool parent. Our group performed our show and the musicals at the the Northshore Homelearner’s Winter showcase.

Cassius and Anja in “Oliver

FRIENDS

It has been wonderful watching the kid’s relationships develop. Kate, Maia & Clara are stuck together like triplets. First thing every morning Paris(3.5) asks to phone Maia & Kate. He is in love with Rosalind and loves to go to her house on his own. Thomas(4) likes to come to my house and play Bionicles. He has suggested that perhaps we should trade children! It is wonderful to see what joy their feeling of Independence brings them.

CYCLING

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We have missed a few wonderful activities at Rosalind’s house because my house doesn’t wake up as early as the other houses. Rosalind has managed to get us up out of our cosy beds for a morning of bike riding, so I ‘m willing to make the effort to change my ways for the right event.

Rosalind, helping Paris remove his trainning wheels.

Rosalind, helping Paris remove his training wheels

Speaking of physical activity. I think this is the number one thing the kids are getting out of being together.They swim, climb, wrestle, bike and hike together. They RUN constantly, inside, outside – everywhere! They can play hide and seek anywhere, and they play it running. I think it must be a very important thing for them to do or else they wouldn’t want to do it so much. The older kids are as involved as the younger ones, and they play together effortlessly.

BAKING

Anja loves cooking and she is always interested in what I am making and gives me much needed tips. She likes to go over to Rosalind’s to help her bake. She is a wonderful help!

Making Cookies

Making Cookies

GARDEN CO-OP

Rosalind is very good at getting involved with the community and is extremely inspiring. We bought a share in a local organic farm she is very active in, for 2009. I’m going to have to learn how to cook turnip,celeriac, and parsnips. I’m looking forward to visiting the farm in the Spring.

MUSIC

My Quintet of homelearning moms meets on Fridays. We often have nine kids playing peacefully in the living room while we play. Anja often listens at the door. Anja and I worked on jingle bells together (cello/piano) which was really fun, even if I did do the worst performance of my life at the Seniors Centre – Anja was great.

Rosalind had rented a child’s cello and would bring it along to rehearsals. Paris loved it!

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DISHES

The most wonderful thing that happened this fall is that I bought a dishwasher – Rosalind and Tamara must be very relieved after all the dishes they have washed! At one point the downstairs toilet wash plugged {playmobile}, there was no dishwasher of course, no facet on the kitchen sink , and when there was, there was no hot water. You had to get buckets of hot water from the bathtub, which doesn’t really turn off. Tamara and Dallas installed a new hot water facet in my kitchen as a birthday surprise!

THE NEW YEAR

Our plans for the New Year so far include an art class in the garage, crystal making, light experiments & playing games and the Noble knights of knowledge, and drinking lots of tea.

The beginings of a sugar crystal

The beginnings of a sugar crystal

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