Obstacles. Three Year Olds are Free. This One Should Be Paying!

ctc obstacles in london ontario

What a great place for kids of all ages, even for the adults who bring them! Disclaimer: Most adults come prepared to sit and wait, and the cousins we brought came prepared to hate it, so did 🙂 )

The catchphrase I’ve been hearing lately is ‘soft play’. Let the kids go do whatever they want in the safety of their injury-free environment. I suggest hard play for every child.

Teachers Don’t Need Training. They Can Even Be Five.

homeschool dinosaur teacher

“What I like the most about playing dino doctor is teaching her the dino names like you taught me ” – Aidan, 5

I wondered, very briefly, when we had our second kid, isn’t it going to be a lot harder trying to manage two kids learning at different ‘grade levels’? That was quickly replaced with, ‘well, I guess she’ll have two teachers, and he’ll be a teacher of things he learns.’

Pets Are So Important. RIP Willis :(

pets are so important, especially for homeschoolers

The cats have been so important to us for two decades. Now we have none. The kids were seemingly not affected by his passing, already wondering what new pet we would get. I think it might be a couple of hamsters next. (Their minds were blown when I told them unlike hamsters in the pet […]

A Broken Keyboard

keyboard innards mask

We had to replace the keyboard. What to do with the old one? Take it apart!

Lots of screws to unscrew, and lots mysteries to unravel.

Meeting a Sloth & Mommy Touching a Snake

burmese python ray's retile

We had a great time at the Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo Meet a Sloth event! The biggest downside was it was on March break and there was an ocean of school kids there. Man, they make for a crowded event 🙂

It doesn’t take long after getting in to see how much the staff loves doing what they are doing and are so good with the kids; whether it’s answering their questions ‘at their level’ or artfully avoiding questions in order to maintain the flow of the presentations.

Mortal Kombat, Green Screen, Scootering, & Swimming : A Week of Unschool : Episode 4

How fun is unschooling? How beneficial is screen time? How comical is ‘video game violence = violent kids’?

Another great week of education and excitement!

The five year old beat Mortal Kombat Armageddon on the Wii. Leading up to this, and since this happened, there have been several dad-son ‘real life’ battles. They mostly end with me getting to his tickle spot (ribcage) but one, in particular, ended much differently. An accidental headbutt and a bloody lip on dad. He officially Finished me! His little sister is also getting on board. She threw a frisbee at me outside. She said it wasn’t a frisbee, but Kung Lao’s hat! (I haven’t caught on video the super cute way she mimics Scorpion’s ‘GET OVER HERE!’)

A Day of Pool Firsts

unschooling in the pool

Swimming lessons?? Unschoolers call it ‘swimming’.

Before heading over to gramma’s for another swim (and snack from gramma’s snack drawer) I reminded the new goggler how little time he spent under the water on his trips under the surface. I figured it was because he was fighting buoyancy and had not learned how to keep himself down.

I then realized he probably had no idea how long he could hold his breath for…

A Week of Unschool : Episode 3

unicycle lessons in london ontario

Another great week of learning! He learned how to more properly navigate a giant ice pile that used to be a snow pile. They even got to climb up and slide down it when it was a snow pile again.

We were on the DIY kick after our homemade playdoh, so we made up some homemade puffy paint. Just self-rising flour, salt, water, and food colour, but oh no, we didn’t have any self-rising flour. We had to find out if we could make some from our existing ingredients. You bet your baking powder we could!

Unschool Obstacles

Biggest Jump So Far

Do you know if your city has an indoor obstacle course or climbing-type place? I just happened to see a post in a facebook group…I would never have known about this little gem!

CTC Obstacles is in London, Ontario. An old warehouse turned climbing/swinging/playing facility!

Can you stay back, dad? I’m going to do this.

syringes for science experiments

A perfect example of unschooling? I think so!

The five year old was watching youtube. Interestingly enough, it wasn’t about some lady opening toys! He asked if we could do a science experiment…but we needed a syringe and we didn’t have that.

I let him know Walmart probably had them, and I knew of the general area where they might be.

“We need to ask someone if we don’t know where something is,” he reminded me.

Making Changes For Fun: Skyscraper Destruction

lego homeschool unschool

It turns out the kids LOVE Lego skyscrapers. They play together, (or alone) for hours. They follow common sense Lego rules like if one kid builds and ‘claims’ something, the other kid can play with but not modify or break it. Or not to worry about things falling apart on their watch if they were trying to rebuild something, but to not break something ‘just because’

Dad, Come See My Swidda!! Introduction to Computers

screen time for kids

I’m so glad we found the game called Slither.io, a browser-based game that has helped our three year old start to figure out how to control a computer. I wasn’t trying to find a way to ‘teach her computers’ yet; that’s just what happened. She saw her brother doing it…and well…that’s all she needed.

It’s all about Roblox at the moment

gaming roblox for unschool

So what do you do if your kid discovers computer games and watches computer game videos on youtube?

You fit as much education into that as possible!

Introducing Children to the Dark Side

star wars lego

Back in my day it was star wars OR lego. or star wars WITH lego!

she hasn’t seen the movies. he’s seen the ‘making of’ 🙂

dad: make sure you put those pieces together very carefully. don’t use FORCE

5yo: good one, dad

A Week of Unschool : Episode 2

We had another fun week. It was winter jackets and snow at the beginning and no coat scootering at the end of it. We went to the library and were excited to see they added two ipads to the computer section. The three year old went with me to get the cars and trains for the car and train table and wanted to return them before setting them up after I said ‘huh, oh look, they have ipads like at gramma’s library!’

Treading Water

no nose plug

Down to one kid in waterwings! Many hours have been spent in gramma’s pool between now and the time he was wearing swimming diapers. Swims with gramma, or grampa, or mom or dad, or his aunt, uncle, and cousins, or any combination thereof.

Just recently he mastered ‘goggles and nose holding’ for new underwater adventures and was excited to show me. (I got him to dip down sans-nose holding a few times, but it didn’t last long)

Birthday Terrarium From Gramma

terrarium for homeschoolers

Here’s a fun little activity for the kids…let them grow their own life in a container…Well, actually, let them follow the instructions, give or take, to make their own life in a container…I guess we’ll see in a few days if it worked.

Unschool Math Immersion

lego at unschool

The main lego pieces are bricks and plates. (the plates are one third the depth of bricks).

“Hey, can you find this 2 by 3 plate? It’s called a 2 by 3 because it’s two rows of three. How many posts does it have?”

“1,2,3,4,5,6!”

“See how much faster I can count them because of how I am just adding groups of numbers? See how they are organized in rows and columns?”

Unschoolers : You Have Whiteboards, Right?

whiteboard for unschoolers

The whiteboard has had many letter games, tic tac toe games, and all sorts of pictures set up for them in the morning (which caused me to search youtube for ‘how to draw characters’. (I suck at it, but they don’t realize it yet!). It has little dots on it in a grid pattern which have many advantages down the unschooling road for sure.