Unschooling: Our November/December 2014 and January 2015 adventures

So it’s been a few months since I last posted an update on what we’ve been doing. In that time, we’ve had some major changes in our family and, to be honest, it would have been easy for me to just let “learning” go by the wayside and figure, hey, we’ll catch up later.

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But that’s the coolest part of our unschooling lifestyle. We have never done much that looks like traditional learning, and in the craziness that has been winter 2015, if we were trying to do a standard curriculum, we’d be hopelessly behind.

Instead, we’ve learned and experienced a ton, and by taking the time now to try to document what I can, I’m trying to show that learning really does happen anywhere, anytime.

(If this is your first time catching our month(s)-in-review posts, welcome! Check out our archive of previous wrapups here for some more info on why we take this approach to documenting some of our unschooling learning adventures.)

The big highlight of the past few months: Going to New York City to see The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway! The tickets were a Christmas gift from Chris, who was working and couldn't even go himself!  Pictured are Dan, Sarah and me in front of the theater.

The big highlight of the past few months: Going to New York City to see The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway! The tickets were a Christmas gift from Chris, who was working and couldn’t even go himself! Pictured are Dan, Sarah and me in front of the theater.

Books

Sarah and I had art on display in two local galleries in November and December. This is her work "Geordi's Visor" featured in a gallery called The Parliament in York.

Sarah and I had art on display in two local galleries in November and December. This is her work “Geordi’s Visor” featured in a gallery called The Parliament in York.

Movies and TV

This is Sarah with her art and mine at the York Art Association gallery. At the top is her painting "The Dragon," and below is one of mine called "Grapefruit Sunrise."

This is Sarah with her art and mine at the York Art Association gallery. At the top is her painting “The Dragon,” and below is one of mine called “Grapefruit Sunrise.”

Video games

Sarah and Chris took a November hike along the Heritage Rail Trail County Park here in York County and found an old switch.

Sarah and Chris took a November hike along the Heritage Rail Trail County Park here in York County and found an old switch.

Videos

This is Sarah, reciting the first stanza of The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe.

She’d mentioned a couple months ago that she wanted to memorize the whole poem, but I never saw/heard her working on it, and I assumed she’d lost interest until, one night before bed, she said, “Hey, Mom, want to hear something?”

The stage setting for The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway was awesome!

The stage setting for The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway was awesome!

Places and projects

  • Sarah had art on display at shows at the York Art Association and The Parliament, area galleries.
  • At Sarah's request, we checked out the site of the World Trade Center in New York. This building is a ceremonial 1,776 feet tall.

    At Sarah’s request, we checked out the site of the World Trade Center in New York. This building is a ceremonial 1,776 feet tall.

  • We took a three-day trip to New York City to see The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway (!!) and the new World Trade Center site.
  • Not for Sarah, but for me: I spoke in December to a group of parents in my county interested in learning more about unschooling, yay!
  • Christmas! We celebrated belatedly and in true night owl style, on New Year’s Eve into New Year’s Day, but before that Sarah had marked three other Christmases with different parts of her family.
  • We went to see Northeastern High School’s production of Night Tales, a Poe story collection, as their fall play.
  • Sarah went hiking along the Rail Trail with Chris.
  • At the York County 4-H alpaca club elections, Sarah ran for and was named the club historian.
One amazing Christmas gift: My mom drew Sarah for me in charcoals, then had it framed. It now hangs in our dining room!

One amazing Christmas gift: My mom drew Sarah for me in charcoals, then had it framed. It now hangs in our dining room!

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

  • What jobs you can get with a philosophy degree.
  • The Pennsylvania governor’s race between incumbent Tom Corbett and Democratic challenger Tom Wolf, who won.
  • New hair color was had.

    New hair color was had.

  • Population vs. population density (and did you know that the populations of London and New York City are almost the same?)
  • The Matrix Reloaded, machines and control, as it relates to the democratization of learning and information.
  • In sad news, our cat Floyd passed away due to complications from surgery. We talked about why it was still the right thing to do to get him the surgery, and why they didn’t bother to biopsy the tumor they’d removed after he passed away – Sarah wished they had, “Because then we’d know.”
  • Political slogans (like “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too”) and the pros and cons of a two-party system.
  • Tons of facts about the Eiffel Tower as part of our “Words of the Day” series (more on this to come).
  • All about the Bielski Brothers and the Jewish resistance during World War II, and also some information on Holocaust Remembrance Day.
  • A skinny pig on display at the pet store.
  • New haircuts and colors!
Mom got Sarah a Michael Jordan varsity jacket for Christmas. See, even homeschoolers get varsity jackets. Or... something.

Mom got Sarah a Michael Jordan varsity jacket for Christmas. See, even homeschoolers get varsity jackets. Or… something.

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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4 thoughts on “Unschooling: Our November/December 2014 and January 2015 adventures

  1. It’s so good to see you back, I was worried about you all! Sorry to hear about Floyd ๐Ÿ™ Sounds like you’ve been up to a lot, as always!

  2. Look at all the fun adventures you guys have been having! I see how the artistic talent is going through the generations of your family. You know how much I love the theatre. Good books, good art, exciting experiences and a loving family…there is no doubt learning is going on.

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