adventures in unschooling

Creativity & Play


We have been going to the homelearners gym every week in North van. It is great the see the kids play dodge ball and volley ball etc. in a joyful, positive, trauma free way. Tamara and I spend the whole time playing badminton. Every once in while the kids will come and join us. For the first couple of weeks Cassius couldn’t hit the birdie at all and didn’t seem too impressed by the game.

I was having so much fun with Tamara that I bought my own set. When I brought it home Cassius asked me if I would play with him. We have been playing everyday in the amazing spring like weather we’ve been having. He LOVES it. He keeps begging me to play with him and saying how much fun he has with me (in a bit too surprised of a tone.) He would play with me way more than the hour we have been playing – even though we hardly manage to hit the birdie because of the wind!

It’s interesting to watch him fail and fail and fail and just keep trying, not in the least perturbed. Perhaps it’s because I’m there failing with him. He likes to talk about why he missed or didn’t and what we could do differently. When we play next week in the gym he thinks we’re going to be way better because there won’t be any wind.

We got a birdie with real feathers and it is our favourite to play with.

Homelearning Neighbourhood House: Our First Garage Art Day

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Our first Garage Art Day was not actually in the garage at all. First of all the garage was a mess, and also it was a beautiful sunny day!

Building an art table

Apparently you can’t just screw legs on flat piece of wood and then expect it to stand. We did it the wrong way , and then we took it apart and did it the right way. Good thing there was four of us. It looks great!

Paris the Pink Panther Turns 4

Paris4thBday invite (more…)

The Return of the Blueberry Ninja!

Cassius needed to make a puppet for his animation class and he decided to make it of the Blueberry Ninja cartoon he greated a few years ago. He worked sooooo hard on this. The work was very detailed and he had a challange figuring out how to cut along the line. Making the joints was very tricky.

I sat beside him all day as he figured it out. Sometimes I would do it at the same time as him and explain exactly what I was doing. This really seemed to help. I found it difficult to figure out myself, since I had never done it before. It was really fun solving our problems together. After working all day he figured out that the arms couldn’t reach the weapons because the were on the back. I moved then to the front for him. He really did make the puppet himself though!

They spent the class making an animation with the Blueberry Ninja as the hero.

Freedom from Homework

Mars Kelsey is the fifteen year old daughter of friends of our family . She attends the alternative school Indigo Sudbury Campus in Alberta. Check out her beautiful music on her My Space Page. Her Biography states that it is “freedom fom homework” that has allowed her the time to develope her talents.

“Her participation in an alternative schooling program meant she was left to pursue her own interests at school and at home. More than anything, the freedom from homework allowed her to spend hours and hours alone in her basement bedroom listening to everything from the Beatles to Janis Joplin, Feist, The Rolling Stones and Radiohead, some of which were on scratchy old vinyl records culled from garage sales and thrift stores. These were her “History” lessons. A lover of almost all forms of music and a self-admitted “ham”, Mars enjoys each part of the creative process and is utterly involved in all aspects of her music, from writing and arranging to performing and even marketing. Her demo CD with 10 of her own songs was completed in January 2009. With her beautiful melodies and introspective lyrics, Mars provides an insightful look into the human experience that is seemingly well beyond” her 15 years.

How to Make a Plaster Mask

Base Making Supplies

  • Plastered cotton strips
  • Scissors
  • Vaseline
  • Headbands or handkerchiefs for hair
  • Bowls for water and strips
  • Towels
  • Dropcloth for floor (more…)

Mask Making at Purple Thistle


Cassius helped me do a mask workshop for the Young Gunz  program at Purple Thistle last weekend.