Unschooling: Our March 2015 adventures

Sarah's 15th birthday celebration included this new friend, "Snowy," a white bear that matches two others we have, Wudge and Fudge.

Sarah’s 15th birthday celebration included this new friend, “Snowy,” a white bear that matches two others we have, Wudge and Fudge.

Wow! Things that happened in March: Sarah turned 15, we celebrated my mom’s 80th birthday with a huge surprise party, we confirmed a huge trip for this fall, we went to a Comic-Con, and, in a technical sense, Sarah finished the attendance requirements to complete her freshman year of high school. Whew? So anyway, with that said, we had a pretty busy month and hopefully this wrapup will be a good way to show some of the highlights!

(If this is your first time catching our month-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.)

A random dinner in Hershey. The better photos are the ones in which we're making dumb faces, but it's the internet and I don't want to embarrass Sarah too much.

A random dinner in Hershey. The better photos are the ones in which we’re making dumb faces, but it’s the internet and I don’t want to embarrass Sarah too much.

Books

Disclosure: This post has some affiliate links. I only link to things we legitimately use and recommend, so if you see such a link, it’s because we really do believe in the book or item!

A side note: Lest you think we just never read, I should add that Sarah has a SUPER completist approach to books; it’s hard for her to start a new one while she’s in the middle of another.

And this book she’s reading, it’s weighty. She reads for sometimes an hour or more before bed every night, and she’s diligently plowing through it, but MAN. I’m actually excited for her to finish it so she can take on something lighter!

A big thing this month was celebrating my mom's 80th birthday. That's her in the center, with me at right and the rest of my sisters around her. We love you, Mom!

A big thing this month was celebrating my mom’s 80th birthday. That’s her in the center, with me at right and the rest of my sisters around her. We love you, Mom!

Movies and TV

Video games

Timeline has been THE BIGGEST hit for us. Here's Sarah with all of the Inventions cards in order from earliest to latest. Totally fun way to put some history in context.

Timeline has been THE BIGGEST hit for us. Here’s Sarah with all of the Inventions cards in order from earliest to latest. Totally fun way to put some history in context.

Board and card games

  • Monty Python Fluxx
  • Star Fluxx (These two games are HILARIOUS fun and awesome. Great for creative thinking.)
  • Poker
  • Blackjack
  • Texas Hold ‘Em
  • Timeline: Inventions
  • Timeline: American History
  • Timeline: Americana (We saw a demo of and picked up the first of these games at the Central Pennsylvania Comic-Con, and it was one of the best impulse purchases I’ve ever made. We have had a ton of fun figuring out what happened when. Even history-major Dan is often stumped, and it’s cool to see what Sarah knows!)
  • Sequence

This was actually a huge thing we added into our family time in March; we go in cycles on our board and table gaming, and last month we got some new games and really spent a lot of time trying them out.

Sarah's 4-H club trip to the Wolf Sanctuary was extra-fun because one of her close friends, who also went to Comic-Con with her, was there.

Sarah’s 4-H club trip to the Wolf Sanctuary was extra-fun because one of her close friends, who also went to Comic-Con with her, was there.

Places, projects and odds and ends of stuff we’ve talked about/read/geeked out over

    This is Sarah and our friend Swoops the Owl with an actual live owl at ZooAmerica in Hershey.

    This is Sarah and our friend Swoops the Owl with an actual live owl at ZooAmerica in Hershey.

  • ZooAmerica in Hershey: Dan and Sarah spent one of his days off here while I was working. They also did the “designed for little kids but kind of a Central Pennsylvania requisite” tour of Chocolate World. Of note at ZooAmerica, Sarah was most interested in learning more about a bird called the Gambel’s Quail, a neat desert bird with a cool top feather. We intend to see some of them…
  • … when we drive to Arizona this October for the Free to Be unschooling conference!! This is a huge, huge, huge deal for us and I’m so excited to hang out with my unschooling friends from around the country and to have Sarah get a chance to spend time with her unschooling friends. Also, we’re driving across the country and taking a two-week vacation, so that’s cool even without the conference!
  • Central PA ComicCon: We went to the first day of this as a group, then Sarah went back on the second day with a good friend of hers and the friend’s boyfriend. They had a blast!
  • Sometimes you buy a $20 prom gown on clearance. Just because you can. What of it?

    Sometimes you buy a $20 prom gown on clearance. Just because you can. What of it?

  • We had a surprise 80th birthday party for my mom, with family from Pennsylvania and New Jersey, friends from various churches and groups she’s been part of and some other longtime family friends. We also had a nice family dinner out at Red Lobster on the actual date of Mom’s birthday to celebrate.
  • Sarah’s 15th birthday: Two parts to this. First, for her birthday, Sarah got to take over our house’s master bedroom and bath, and most of her gifts were things to convert this into a Batman-themed “Batcave.” We also went to our favorite Japanese restaurant, Masa, for dinner, during which we talked about where the Bahamas are, the meaning of their flag, what mochi is and more. (The Bahamas thing came after Sarah received birthday wishes from there on our Unschool Rules Facebook page!
  • Wolf Sanctuary: Sarah took her fourth (we think) trip to this cool place with Chris as part of a field trip with the Wildlife Watchers 4-H Club.
  • Yum: We talked about what foods we’d like to make into potato chip flavors as part of the Lay’s Do Us A Flavor challenge. I went with a chicken-bacon-ranch combo; Sarah wanted something like a 10-cheese chip.
  • Cool animal things: How the penguin got its waddle and why we don’t want to feed bread to the ducks and Species in Pieces (an awesome look at endangered species that led to talks about ecology, geography, development, programming and more) were on our list this month.
  • Vroom: This look at James Bond’s cars through the years is super-cool.
Sarah's Batman bed set was a huge hit!

Sarah’s Batman bed set was a huge hit!

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

4 thoughts on “Unschooling: Our March 2015 adventures

  1. Love the idea of a bat cave! Can’t wait to see it!!! Sounds like you guys are really moving! Keep up the great work! I love reading your blogs and seeing what the unschoolers are up to!

  2. i hope this blog is still around in a decade, when i will want to refer to it for my kid! planning to get pregnant soon, and also planning to unschool. i always read your blog and think, oh, i should remember that! but then i think, i can just revisit it when i need it. so i hope you keep it up forever! =)

    actually i am tempted to check out “timeline” on my own, now, and not wait for the kiddo! 😉

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