adventures in unschooling



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.

Knight camp #4

Here is a great little video my Uncle made  of Cassius’ most recent Knight Camp performance. Cassius really enjoyed himself this time, and commented that he could tell that all his hard work was paying off. He felt pretty good about defeating two of his teachers also.

Saint Patrick’s Day Parade

Cassius was in the Saint Patrick’s Day parade this Sunday with Academie Duello. It was pouring rain and then snowing. He was freezing waiting in the cold for four hours, but had fun swordfighting down Georgia Street.


Viking longboat

We had a lovely two hour sail in the sun last Saturday aboard The Munin, a half size replica of a 9th century Norwegian viking longboat. The Munin sails on weekends from the Heritage Harbour at the Vancouver Maritine Museum. The suggested donation is $10/adult, $5/kids or $20 for a family. It was more than worth it.

More information at (this website seems to be down right now,
but it is usually functioning)

It was a lot of work to row out into the harbour. Paris was sad at first that he couldn’t row, but once I got fired from my rowing post ( I pushed when I should have pulled one too many times) he felt a bit better. Once the beautiful sail was up we got going faster than the crew had ever gone before.

The Munin

A half size replica of the Gokstad ship.

Type: Viking longship
LOA: 40 ft
Built: 2001 (Launched 2001-07-07)
Owner: British Columbia Viking Ship Project
Lying: Vancouver, B.C., Canada

Cycling Motivation!

We now officially have a bike riding kid! I knew he could do it once he found his own motivation. I wrote this last January:

The main thing stopping him is that HE DOESN’T WANT TO. Why he doesn’t want to is in a way besides the point, because until he decides he does, it’s going to be a uphill battle to teach him. When he decides he wants to do it, he’ll be able to learn quickly, as it is obvious he has the ability.

It is us, his parents, that want him to learn to ride a bike. Why? Because a seven year old should know how to ride a bike! What if he never learns?!

After I wrote this Cassius kept trying, for us, to ride his bike, with many tears and cries of “this isn’t any fun!” We are carless again and are trying to find ways besides the bus to get around. So we got a trail-a-bike so we could take Cassius along on bike rides.

I was hoping that the feel of the wind in his face would give Cassius the motivation he needed. The first time he was terrified and miserable but had no choice but to hold on for dear life! Surprisingly he went with his dad again the next day, and this time he loved it! “I felt the wind in my face! It was so much fun!” It didn’t matter how many times we told him he would love it, he actually had to experience it for himself.

Right after his second ride he asked to try his own bike – and did it! He’s gone out everyday since then, and has had a few falls, but is now officially a cyclist!

Knight Camp


This Spring Break Cassius attended knight camp again for the second time and was promoted from a Squire to a Man at Arms. This time round there were twice as many students. Cassius really noticed that he had to wait around a lot more than last summer. He had a new appreciation for small class sizes by the end of the week.

He did get some one on one teaching which he really enjoyed. At the week end presentation the director said that Cassius only had to be shown how to do something once and he did right the first time.

Knight Camp


For about six weeks this summer we barely left the house. We didn’t have a car and Tyler (Dad) was working long hours. Cassius spent all all day up on his loft bed (out of his brother’s reach) reading and building Lego. It was a nice break, but when the opportunity to go to Knight camp at Acedemie Duello came up Cassius jumped at it.

The camp ran Monday to Friday 10-3:30. This was the longest class Cassius has ever taken and the closest thing timewise to school, so I was wondering how he would find it. He loved it. “It was Awesome!” was his exact opinion. He did really well too, considering the age range was 7-14 and he was one of the youngest. I took fencing in theatre school, and found that it took a lot of concentration and could be quite tedious, so I was really proud a t how hard he worked.

The teachers worked the kids really hard too, and Cassius came home everyday tired and sweaty. He learned the art of Sword and Shield, Longsword and Wrestling. Everyday they focused on a different knightly virtue, such as of chivalry, fairness, and generosity. They also learned midevil games and history.

We are trying to set up a weekly homelearners class for the Fall and really looking forward to it.