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!

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.

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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.

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! Read the rest of this page »

BBC planet earth

At Cassius’ request Rosalind lent us the BBC planet earth series. It’s five DVD’s with three episodes on each one. Cassius says, “It”s quite good and interesting!” He enjoys the information about the animals most of all.

We talk about our thoughts as we watch it. We talk as much about the surprising information as we do about the film making. We’ve noticed that there is more of a focus on the visual images, which are amazing, than information. We also noticed the techniques they use to build dramatic tension. We both would prefer if they didn’t do this. For example they use scary music when a lion is hunting but happy music when a dolphin is hunting. Cassius thought it would be funny if they switched the music around. He also noted that if you’re cute when your hunting you get the happy music. He is considering becoming a vegetarian – I can’t believe it’s taken this long!

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 Read the rest of this page »