Unschooling: Our April 2015 adventures

Sarah always loves to play dominoes, and she also loves using them to build things.

Sarah always loves to play dominoes, and she also loves using them to build things.

April was, as our months go, a fairly calm one. We had a lot to do, but it wasn’t “big stuff” for the most part. We did have some sad news, of the death of Sarah’s great-grandfather, but even that led to a day reuniting with part of Sarah’s extended family and a nice day trip upstate.

(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.)

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 are using the book or item!
Sarah and I both got new hairdos and new color in April... hers is blonde and shaved on the sides, and blue, green and a different shade of blue on the top!

Sarah and I both got new hairdos and new color in April… hers is blonde and shaved on the sides, and blue, green and a different shade of blue on the top!

Movies and TV

  • Furious 7 (Yeah, I cried at the end. Bawled like a baby.)
  • Die Hard 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5
  • Billy Madison
  • 12 Monkeys (Among our big themes this year, which I’ll talk about more in a post I’m working on about how we created a freshman-year unschooling transcript for Sarah, is the concepts and metaphysics of time travel. This is a GREAT movie about “time as library” and not “time as malleable,” which maybe you don’t care about but which fascinates us to no end!)
  • Blades Of Glory
  • A Knight’s Tale (We watched this as we were working on our post about learning from movies, essentially to prove to ourselves that we could learn from it.)
  • Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (We went to see this at the movies the week before Dan and I went to Las Vegas for vacation; once we got there, we totally scoped out the Wynn Hotel to try to see if we could find the movie scene places.)
Meet Spectrum, Sarah's new owl friend. We had a long wait at Red Robin for dinner, so she and Dan walked to a nearby shopping mall and... he just happened.

Meet Spectrum, Sarah’s new owl friend. We had a long wait at Red Robin for dinner, so she and Dan walked to a nearby shopping mall and… he just happened.

Video, board and card games

No, YOU bought your owl a bowtie to wear to the Cirque du Soleil show in Vegas.

No, YOU bought your owl a bowtie to wear to the Cirque du Soleil show in Vegas.

Places and projects and general randomness

  • Plague Inc. has been a super-cool way to talk about a ton of public health concepts. Since I just applied to grad school to pursue a master’s degree in public health preparedness, I’m especially excited to share this passion with Sarah!
  • We celebrated a low-key Easter with dinner at the Olive Garden, then a trip to our favorite local used bookstore, then tossing a football around, then seeing the aforementioned Furious 7 at the movies.
  • As part of her 4-H alpaca club work for the year, Sarah chose her project animal for this season, who is a cute little dude named Coal. She also started working with a peg loom for her fiber-arts project; I admit, neither of us have, really, ANY interest in fiber arts, preferring the more zoological part of the alpaca interest, but this one seems simple enough and less prone to injury than needle-felting.
  • Sarah, Mom and I went to a Celtic Thunder concert, an annual tradition that always makes all of us happy.
  • We went to Hollidaysburg, a small town in the center of Pennsylvania, for Sarah’s Great-Pap’s funeral. That was hard, but we made a day of it, going out for ice cream with a great-aunt (and a great aunt!) afterward, shopping, and reuniting with a branch of Sarah’s family she doesn’t get to see as often.
  • Also on that trip, we broke into the Hardcore History podcast series, picking up fun facts and analysis about Hitler, the plague, Winston Churchill and more. Dan and Sarah are actually “hardcore” history lovers, but I’m less a fan – and even I was interested.
  • Sarah and I both got new hair colors!
  • Sarah bought herself a new bike and a Barcelona soccer ball with her birthday money. We bought and learned to put a bike rack on our car. That was an educational experience.
  • In other family news, Sarah’s grandma moved this month, and Sarah had a blast helping her get settled in to a temporary apartment where she’ll live as she waits for her new home to be finished. They went to a grocery store across town, and the next week, we happened to be at the same store and Sarah had encyclopedically remembered where everything was. Which was cool, if … a little weird.
  • We bought one of our stuffed owls, Fwoops, a bowtie. Then we bought him a tiara. I don’t exactly know how to explain it, but it was definitely one of the month’s highlights, so…

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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8 thoughts on “Unschooling: Our April 2015 adventures

  1. I just watched “Blackfish”. It’s a great documentary. I don’t think I’ve ever cried so much at a movie.
    I highly recommend it, but it is found very upsetting.

    -Geeky Autodidact Teenager

  2. I love the owls, especially Spectrum with the lovely rainbow colours! It’s like the owl version of Sarah, I think. It’s so great that she can do things like change her hair and wear what she wants; a school would have arbitrary, stupid rules to drum out individuality like that (I once got into trouble for asking why we weren’t allowed to dye our hair “non-natural” colours like red, since one of the teachers had pillar-box red hair. Apparently we were also not allowed to question illogical rules).

    • May, that cracks me up – and makes me the saddest. Ugh. I am so glad for that with homeschooling Sarah, honestly. She is so much happier when she looks like “herself” – and Spectrum! 🙂

  3. Can I just say that Timeline is an awesome game? My homeschooler and I love playing games, and she got Timeline for her birthday. It’s quick, fun, and educational. Love it!

  4. Joan,
    I’m really enjoying poking through your old posts. I am realizing that I am actually an unschooling afterschooler. I love the old post about Moms learning too. So true! I have found that my own enthusiasm can rub off on my son (though certainly not always). And I try to take an interest in his interests. We will be doing a Leave No Trace Trainer Course together next weekend. He’d have gone on his own but since I have to drive him 2 hours for an overnight I might as well stay! I will definitely buy the Timeline games–they look to be right up our alley! And I read the Disappearing Spoon a couple of summers ago–around the time that we both learned the periodic table. BTW, the picture book from Theodore Gray–totally worth it–it’s on my coffee table and we have a poster version hanging next to American and World history timelines and US and World maps. Yeah, we’re geeks.

    • Jen, I’m so glad you are enjoying reading those! We are matching geeks, I think – did you find my older post about our gigantic world map??? 😉 I hope you guys have an amazing weekend at your course next weekend – how awesome to do together. And you’re right – if you’re going to spend the time anyway, why not learn something?! So cool.

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