Unschooling: Our September 2014 adventures

WOW, it’s October. I feel like we crammed a ton of things into September, and while it was fun, I’m looking forward to things slowing down a bit as it gets colder. They probably won’t, but I can dream, right? Anyway, here’s a look back at just a few things we got into as a family this September.

(If this is your first time catching our month-in-review posts, welcome! Check out July’s here and August’s here for a little bit of background on why we’re taking this approach to documenting some of our unschooling learning adventures.)

Our biggest project this month was the 4-H alpaca show at the York Fair. Here are Sarah and Jupiter.

Our biggest project this month was the 4-H alpaca show at the York Fair. Here are Sarah and Jupiter.

Books

Disclosure: This post has some affiliate links to things we legitimately use and recommend.
Remember our Bionic Blox? Sarah dug them out and built this cool, somewhat anti-gravity tower this month.

Remember our Bionic Blox? Sarah dug them out and built this cool, somewhat anti-gravity tower this month.

Movies and TV

One early morning, this katydid (leaf bug) was on the windshield of our car!

One early morning, this katydid (leaf bug) was on the windshield of our car!

Video games

  • Dragon’s Dogma
  • World of Warcraft
  • Club Penguin
  • L.A. Noire
  • Fibbage – Think of this as a “digital Balderdash” played through your TV using your iPod, iPad, phone, etc. We crack up playing it! (Watch out – there’s no rating on the questions, so sometimes you get some that are not topics you want to discuss. But it’s A TON of fun if you have teens or adults.)
The terrarium Sarah made over the summer for 4-H won second place at the York Fair!

The terrarium Sarah made over the summer for 4-H won second place at the York Fair!

Videos

Um, Sarah had never seen this, I don’t know how. I feel like a failure as a parent. But less so now.

Places and projects

  • Words of the Day. This is going to get its own entire post soon, but essentially, every day, Sarah is choosing a word and making a poster about it, with facts, the word in other languages, a quote and more. This was entirely her idea and the sum total of my contributions has been to download A LOT OF FONTS for her formatting pleasure. Some of her favorite words so far: Barricade. Matrix. Apocalypse. Space. It’s been awesome and a huge rabbit-trail starter.
  • 2014 York Fair. At our county fair, Sarah and I both entered paintings of ours; we both won prizes for two pieces! She also showed her 4-H project alpaca, who was kind of a poop, but she had fun. The best part was dressing him up in costume – she was James Bond, and he was Jupiter, normally an evil henchman to one of Bond’s enemies who was working with Bond on one mission. They dressed up, and she wrote a story to accompany their appearance.
  • Coursera philosophy course. Sarah and I have been checking out Introduction to Philosophy from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Not just because we like the lecturers’ accents, but it helps. Another huge conversation-starter.
The alpaca costume contest. Sarah, aka James Bond, with Jupiter, henchman to her enemy, but who she was using to complete a mission. You know, because he has a long neck and makes a good lookout.

The alpaca costume contest. Sarah, aka James Bond, with Jupiter, henchman to her enemy, but who she was using to complete a mission. You know, because he has a long neck and makes a good lookout.

Odds and ends of stuff we’ve talked about/read/geeked out over

  • In a rather long philosophy discussion, the ideas of religious plurality and Universalism, why most religions including ours fundamentally involve other religions being “wrong” and more.
  • The Scottish independence vote and why it mattered (even though it was “no”).
  • An overview of military history in the 20th century and beyond thanks to Wikipedia’s List of Invasions page.
  • That Daniel Craig is going to have a small part in the new Star Wars.
  • How a genet is making friends with large animals like a rhino and a buffalo.
  • Whether our society’s opinions about eating animals in the future are likely to change, either because of how the animals are treated and might feel or because of the health concerns things like antibiotic use bring for humans.
  • How Hitler convinced many Germans to either ignore or tacitly or actively support the killing of the Jews during World War II.
Sarah's paintings - Jazz Bluebird, top left, and Geordi's Visor, bottom center - won ribbons at the York Fair.

Sarah’s paintings – Jazz Bluebird, top left, and Geordi’s Visor, bottom center – won ribbons at the York Fair.

So what’s new with your family this month? Drop me a comment! I love hearing from all my “blog friends!”

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2 thoughts on “Unschooling: Our September 2014 adventures

  1. Phew! That’s an awful lot of awesome sauce. Sarah, ever the reader, also read most of a book called “Supermonsters” by Daniel Cohen (originally published in the 1970s). … It’s an interesting book that discusses the folklore and legends and real-life stories from past centuries that eventually morphed into our modern perception of fictional creatures such as vampires and zombies.

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