adventures in unschooling


Bionicle Writing


Makuta Zeth had been a loyal servent to Makuta for many years, but was banished when he fell for a trap the Toa had set. Ever since then he has been trying to take down the Toa, this has been made hard by the fact that Makuta has taken away his mask power.


Ever since he was mutated, this Matoran has been trying to seek his revenge on the Matoran who fear him and attack him. His desire is to live with them and rule them. He has poison breath and can duplicate.

Bionicle come to the rescue once again. Cassius has been spending time on the lego network. He calls it Lego facebook. He has been posting pictures of his Lego creations and writing descriptions of them. He tells me what he wants to write and I write it out for him. He then copies it out on paper or types it – so he has been getting some writing practice I was so worried about!

An Unschooling Dilemma

How do you learn basic skills that don’t come up in daily life? If they don’t come up in daily life are they as necessary as we think they are?

Basic math seems to come up quite often. Contrary to popular belief I also believe algebra also comes up in daily life. I see algebra as a kind of way of using your brain to solve problems where you only have part of the information. You use the information you do have to figure out what the missing information must be. I’d love to find a concrete example of this.

How often do you use handwriting in a day? I noticed that I use it mostly to write lists and fill out forms, besides that I do most of my writing on a computer. I have also noticed that most people’s handwriting is elegible – which explains the PLEASE PRINT on most forms. We all know that although Doctors are very educated, but no one can read their writing besides pharmacists. (My mothers handwriting is beautiful, but she has written in a journal everyday for a few decades.)

The question of “How do you learn basic skills that don’t come up in daily life?” came up for me last week, after I asked Cassius to write down a grocery list of food he would like . He was complaining that there wasn’t any food he liked in the house. He insisted it was too hard for him because he couldn’t spell any of the words. He did make a short list which was all capitals and spelled incorrectly.

I had an unschooling panic moment “Oh no! I haven’t made my child do spelling tests, book reports, and write in a journal every day. He’s not going to know how to write or spell unless I make him! (more…)

Three Boys Reading & Four Girls Dancing

P is for Paris

A much loved christmas present from Aunty Tara

A much loved Christmas present from Auntie Tara

Paris is now three and a half. He is still taking things apart, but has developed a new obsession as well: The Alphabet

When I first put on for him he couldn’t figure out how to use the mouse – but by two weeks later he had figured out not only how to turn the computer on himself, find starfall, work all the controls, and dump my hard drive into the trash – and he also managed to learn his alphabet too. I was a little worried about how much time he spent watching it – but had to admit his interest was high and he was learning super fast all on his own volition.

Just to make myself feel better I pulled out all the letterĀ  puzzles, cards & magnets, that every unschooler has at the back of their closet. We started doing the puzzles together and reading the books and he is thrilled. I am amazed about how much somebody can talk about letters. He talks about them non-stop.

Paris asks me to put my finger under the word I am reading in his Dr.Suess books.

Paris has added the Cat in The Hat to his beloved list of cats.

Paris has added the Cat in The Hat to his beloved list of cats.

He is also interested in counting and has developed a very interesting strategy . He orders me the count things in a chant at the same time as him over and over again. He’ll count up to four then make the rest up but I can tell this is his way of figuring it all out.

Bone: The Complete Cartoon Epic

Cassius: “I think all the characters are awsome. It’s a really good adventure story and most of the drawings are amazing. I like Bone’s cousins, Smiley Bone and Phoney Bone. They are funny.

The story is about Fone Bone and his two cousins, who get chased out of Boneville and get sepperated in the middle of the desert. Fone Bone meets a young girl named Thorn, who tries to help him find his cousins and get back to Boneville. They go on crazy adventures till they find his cousins. But when they find his cousins, his cousin Phoney Bone gets them into a lot more trouble. Then they have to save the valley as well as themselves.”


Artemis Fowl

Cassius and I are really enjoying the Artemis Fowl books. Cassius’ interest started by listening to a few of the audio books and now he wants to read the books himself. He’ll have to wait until I’m done the Opal Deception before he can read it though!

The First Artemis Fowl Book

The First Artemis Fowl Book

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

Cassius and I fell in love with this story told in pictures and words. We both read in a 24 hour period, separately, fighting over it.

Before turning the page into part two Cassius exclaimed, “Oh I got a that excited feeling in my heart – when I know I’m going to find out the answer to the mystery when I turn the page!” He turned the page and his eyes lit up. Then he turned the page again, “Oh I got that feeling in my heart again, all has been revealed to me!”

I don’t want to give away any of the story, except to say much of it is based on fact. We spent the week watching old black and white movies featured in the book and researching automatons.