Washing the car, rearranging the house, time with friends, more Indians: Snippets from unschooling this week

It’s been a particularly hectic week around here… and not looking to slow down any time soon!

This week, Chris and I are celebrating our seventh wedding anniversary with an out-of-town trip on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

When we come back, we’re headed to a demolition derby with our best friends and a large group of other friends.

My father-in-law comes to visit… then my brother comes from Arizona… then my uncle comes from eastern Pennsylvania… and amidst all that, we officially “wrap up” what would be Sarah’s sixth-grade year if she were in public school!

So what have we been doing?

1. Ah, Sculpey clay. This has been a passion of Sarah’s since earlier this year in public school (remember her masks?) and she decided not too long ago that she wanted to make a baby dragon.

She wasn’t sure at first how to go about it – but then she realized that, on her fairy-tale bookends, there is a sculpted dragon hatching from an egg! Winner!

She did all of this herself – I just had to help her shape the egg around the dragon.

Sculpey Clay dragon

This clay definitely wins as our favorite resource this week… possibly one of our favorite art resources this year, in fact!

2. Sarah is spending today with a homeschooling friend at Black Rock Retreat’s Outdoor Education Day. It’s likely raining there, like it is here, and they’re going canoeing to see what birds they can spot from the water.

But she’s with her friend Paige from 4-H (and Paige’s grandpa), and hopefully the weather won’t spoil their fun!

3. I’ve been busy putting our portfolio together for our upcoming meeting with our evaluator on May 29. I’m pretty impressed, actually.

First, I’m impressed at all Sarah’s done and learned – to be fair, that includes both IN public school as well as since beginning our homeschooling journey.

Second, I’m impressed with myself! I kept good records, I have the appropriate amount of documentation – what’s required, but not too much – across a variety of subject areas, and I’m not waiting until the last minute to pull it together!

4. Sarah decided – completely out of the blue the other night – that she wanted to wash my car and my mom’s. So she got a bucket, a little bit of soap and some old washcloths and did just that!

Washing the car

She’s nothing if not thorough… she even figured out how to get up and wash the roof! I followed up by washing the windows and vacuuming the insides, so now we have two nice cars, as close to being detailed as they’ll probably ever come!

5. We sorted some more of Sarah’s postcard collection this week, as part of a massive house-reorganization project. Sarah used to have both a bedroom and a “playroom” upstairs (the playroom being kind of a landing outside her room and ours), and my scrapbooking stuff and my mom’s sewing stuff used to be in our finished basement.

But Sarah’s craft supplies and collections were also in the basement.

So we consolidated… she now has ownership of a full-out “rec room” in our basement (our family room, where our washer and dryer are, complete with couch), and that’s where all her stuffed animals, her desks, her Matchbox cars, her blocks, her art stuff, her building supplies, all of that is.

She and her friends from the neighborhood spend an awful lot of time hanging out down there anyway, so it seemed to make sense to move all her things there.

And the added bonus is that my mom’s sewing projects and my scrapbooking supplies now have a very easy-to-get-to spot near our bedrooms, giving us more space and more motivation (and more sunlight!) for our hobbies.

As part of doing this, though, Sarah decided she wanted to sort out her large postcard collection a bit more.

Organized postcard collection

My best guess is that she has more than 1,500 postcards from all time periods and all around the world. She loves to get them out and look through them, and has learned a lot by exploring the places pictured!

Her organizational system, though, is pure Sarah. Her categories include “Art,” “M*A*S*H*,” “Kennedy Space Center,” “York County,” “Pennsylvania,” “States,” “Volcanoes,” “Ireland and Australia,” “Scenes by Water,” “Cities and Buildings,” “Scenery,” “Animals,” “People” and more.

Chris has a hard time helping her sort. I must think eclectically like Sarah does, though, because I can look at a postcard of a man holding a kookaburra in the middle of a crowded city and tell you right where it goes.

Any guesses? People? Animals? Cities and Buildings?

Well, it’s “Ireland and Australia,” of course. Because kookaburras and the kingfisher bird family, which are basically Sarah’s favorite animals ever, are found in Australia, making it her favorite place ever.

You just have to “get” how she thinks. Then you can help sort the cards. I think it’s kind of fun.

6. Our cowboys and Indians took a walk the other day with us to the former golf course near our house. Sarah wanted to set them up for a nature photo shoot – and we’d just read about Omri, the main character in the book “The Indian in the Cupboard,” taking his cowboy and Indian outside!

Cowboy and Indian toys posed outdoors

Apparently they didn’t mind standing on the edge of their equivalent of the Grand Canyon for a photo. And Sarah certainly didn’t mind making up stories about what they were doing!

7. Speaking of the golf course, Chris found us some new friends there.

Ants under a rock

We stood and watched this ant colony (which was previously under a rock, before Chris, uh, disturbed them) for quite a while. These guys were hustling! We weren’t sure at first if they were transporting their own egg sacs or some yummy grub food, but we’re pretty sure they were eating grubs/larvae. Yum yum yum?

So that’s a look at seven snippets from our unschooling life in the last week. What’s going on in your world?

Also linking up today to Collage Friday, Moments to Remember and Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers Weekly Wrapup.

6 thoughts on “Washing the car, rearranging the house, time with friends, more Indians: Snippets from unschooling this week

    • It’s still in the unsorted section… but my best guess will be art. I’m not going to say anything to Sarah, we’ll see what she does, but that’s where I’d put my money.

  1. Wow, you guys do sound busy! Happy Anniversary!!
    My girls like Sculpey clay, too. Sarah’s dragon is awesome 🙂
    Good for you, getting all your portfolio stuff together early…I hate the paperwork stuff of homeschooling. It’s not awful, and I certainly can keep up with it fine, it just annoys me. (NY requires a fair amount of paperwork, unfortunately)
    That is one huge postcard collection! Love Sarah’s categories 🙂
    Thanks for linking with Favorite Resources, btw.

  2. Aww, thank you so much! PA is kind of weird about its paperwork – they front-load when you start, but the portfolio requirements can be read in any number of ways. Some people submit almost nothing, and some submit a ton; I went for middle-of-the-road, to try to not overdo but not get questions either!

    Glad you stopped by 🙂

  3. Thanks for linking with Collage Friday. I think we need to get some Sculpey for the kids to work with this summer. You are the third person whose blog has mentioned it!!!

    I notice on G+ that you work for Man vs. Debt?? If so – how cool is that?

    • YES – and I love it!! I started working with Baker full-time in December, from home, and that is directly what led to us being able to homeschool. So it’s awesome in LOTS AND LOTS of ways!! 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by – here AND hopefully MvD!

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