Monday, March 5, 2012

Week in Review

Last week was a different kind of week. It was 100% an Unschooling week. But, it was planned that way. I thought I'd share with you what we did last week. Unfortunately, I don't have very many pictures, but I will share what I have.

Last Monday was my birthday, so we took it easy.

The girls painted pictures for me.

The three of us played Ponyopoly together. It was great. It's like Monopoly, but with ponies (duh). It was great math practice. They had to count by 2s to pass out the horseshoes, they had to add up money (called treats in this game), they had to double numbers to see what was owed when one person owned both horses. The Hippie ran the Farmer's Market (similar to being the banker in Monopoly). It was lots of fun, quality time spent together and math practice, all wrapped up into one.

On Tuesday, we met my grandparents for a fantastic Historical field trip. We walked through the oldest city in America, read the signs on the statues and cemetery and marveled at the history that surrounded us. When we entered the Castillo de San Marcos, the girls got Activity Books and we spent some time answering some of the questions inside. We walked up and around the entire fort, learning about the cannons and how soldiers trained and how they lived and how they used the bathroom and got rid of the waste. We learned that the Castillo used to be bright white with red towers and that it was so bright when the sun shone that the reflection would blind you. We sat for a talk by the ranger and learned all about the explorers and the early colonial days in the area. We learned that Ponce De Leon had actually discovered the Gulf Stream and that everyone who came to the New World to find treasures and bring them back to Europe had to travel the Gulf Stream to get them home. That is the reason that the Castillo de San Marcos was built. The soldiers were there to protect the treasure fleets from pirates. Our ranger was fantastic. He really knew his stuff, loved history and knew how to bring it to life!

On Wednesday, the girls and I spent HOURS cleaning out and organizing their room. We decluttered, threw away, donated and sorted. It was quite a chore, but so freeing and an opportunity for personal growth in them.

On Thursday, we met our Homeschool Group for another field trip. We went to the local Maritime Museum. We had another fantastic guide there. The curator was another man who loved what he did and knew what he was talking about. He asked the children about 1492 and Christopher Columbus and some rose their hands or shouted out the answers. When he started to talk about a ship that sunk 100 years ago this April in the North Atlantic, the Hippie blurted out LOUDLY "Titanic". Made me proud. She knows all about that one! Another testament to the beauty of Unschooling!

After our museum tour and fun, we brought our coolers out and enjoyed lunch by the fountain. Of course, it didn't take long before the kids started playing in the fountain. First a few toes, then a run back and forth ... leading to every single child in the group being completely drenched to the bone from head to toe. Fun, fun, fun. Gotta love 85 degree days in February!

On Friday, the girls and I did our monthly big shopping trip. We headed out to Wally world (yuck) then Whole Foods and our local Natural Foods Market. It's always a fun day for us. We eat lunch together at the Whole Foods salad bar and the girls LOVE to get all the samples around Whole Foods and the Natural Foods Market.

We finished off the week with a play date with friends. The girls got to go swimming (yes, on the first Saturday in March. We are that lucky, lol). They enjoyed all kinds of creative play, including a wedding where the Hippie was the Master of Ceremonies and the Princess was a bridesmaid.

It was a fun week. Lots of stuff going on in LIFE this week led to a week of Unschooling instead of following lesson plans. I think it is wonderful to school in waves or tides. We have some weeks that are super structured with checklists and lesson plans that cover 15 different subjects. We have some weeks that are more relaxed and cover things like baking and painting and more time outside. And, we have some weeks that squeeze in living history (field trips) and math (games) and lots of fun. And, then we cycle through again. It works well that way. There is less likelihood for burn out when we mix it up.

How was your week? I hope it was peaceful and blessed.

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