Unschooling: Our May and June 2015 adventures

Part of the fun of visiting Centralia, an abandoned town with an abandoned section of highway now turned into a living art project, is finding your favorite graffiti!

Part of the fun of visiting Centralia, an abandoned town with an abandoned section of highway now turned into a living art project, is finding your favorite graffiti!

Well, I’m a little (a lot) behind in catching you up on our unschooling adventures. Since I last posted, we totally finished what would have been Sarah’s ninth-grade year, and as of July 1, we’re officially “sophomoring it!”

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I’m going to hit what highlights I can of the past couple of months, but they may be shorter than usual. I have two HUGE posts in the works – one on making an unschooling transcript for high school, and another on our “curriculum plan” for Sarah’s 10th-grade-ish year – that will be posted in the next couple of weeks, so I’m trying to focus on doing the best job I can on those, and I’ll try to do a more thorough month-end update once July concludes!

(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.)

For Mother's Day, Sarah and I went with my mom (front) and my sister Linda (right) to tea at our favorite local teahouse. This is now an annual tradition of ours!

For Mother’s Day, Sarah and I went with my mom (front) and my sister Linda (right) to tea at our favorite local teahouse. This is now an annual tradition of ours!

Books

We drove two hours, went to a large mall, and ate dinner with our friends Mmm the hip-hop-otamus and Chompers the panda. No biggie.

We drove two hours, went to a large mall, and ate dinner with our friends Mmm the hip-hop-otamus and Chompers the panda. No biggie.

Movies and TV

  • San Andreas (Um, yeah, she saw this three times.)
  • Jurassic World
  • Eureka (This was probably the “biggest hit” of the past couple of months. Sarah loves it, and we have had a blast talking about the concepts in it!)
  • Star Trek: Enterprise
  • Community
  • Parks and Recreation (I find this show ridiculous… but Sarah, hearing it had His Royal Awesomeness Chris Pratt in it, decided to binge-watch all of it on Netflix. More power to her!)
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron (For both this and Jurassic World, we went with my friend Sam and her son Vincent, who is like a slightly younger boy version of Sarah. It was awesome!)
My mom and I went to see the classic movie Yankee Doodle Dandy, about the life of George M. Cohan, on the big screen at a theater about an hour from home. It was awesome!

My mom and I went to see the classic movie Yankee Doodle Dandy, about the life of George M. Cohan, on the big screen at a theater about an hour from home. It was awesome!

Video, board and card games

  • Injustice: Gods Among Us (This is basically Street Fighter with superheroes and villains, and Sarah loves it.)
  • FIFA 2015
  • Timeline
  • Star Fluxx
  • Parcheesi
  • Cribbage (OK, this was mostly me, not Sarah. My boyfriend Dan’s parents stayed with us for a week, and cribbage was their family’s main game when he was growing up, so they all tried to teach me to play. I’m terrible. Like, really horrible. But I’m going to keep trying! Fifteen two, fifteen four, knobs, it’s like a weird foreign math language.)
We escaped the room! This was a great way to spend an hour. We can't wait to go back and do the 1950s police-themed room and the soon-to-open Sherlock Holmes one!

We escaped the room! This was a great way to spend an hour. We can’t wait to go back and do the 1950s police-themed room and the soon-to-open Sherlock Holmes one!

Places, projects and odds and ends

    Random soccer fun. This was after Sarah scored a particularly cool goal.

    Random soccer fun. This was after Sarah scored a particularly cool goal.

  • One of the coolest things we did was an escape room! Sarah, Chris, Dan, Dan’s parents and I went to Escape Games Live in York and did the “Escape the ’70s” puzzle – and solved it! It was awesome.
  • We had two family weddings in the past month: One for my niece in New Jersey, and one for Dan’s cousin in Pittsburgh.
  • In one of the THREE viewings of San Andreas Sarah had this month, she and Chris did the D-box seats, which move and shake along with the action in the movie. This sounds nausea-inducing to me, but she loved it!
  • For both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, Sarah went with relevant family members to tea and brunch respectively at our favorite local teahouse, the Red Brick Bakery.
  • As I mentioned earlier, we heard from our (amazing) evaluator, Dawn, that Sarah was officially GOOD TO GO on the year, and we turned in our paperwork to the school district. Achievement Unlocked: Ninth Grade Completion!
  • We drove two hours in a monsoon to visit the Tyson’s Corner mega-mall, where we then bought nothing except a Cinnabon (well, Dan bought two pairs of fashion shorts, but Sarah and I did not spend)… mostly because we’re crazy.
  • Also as mentioned above, Dan’s parents visited us for a week from their home in Arizona. We had a great time just hanging out, watching Eureka and touring local farmers’ markets.
  • As part of their visit, we took everyone to Centralia, our favorite abandoned place. Sarah fell in love with their cemetery and spent the better part of an hour seeking out graves of World War II soldiers there.
  • As a new family hobby, we’ve taken up doing jigsaw puzzles, and last month, we finished a 750-piece panorama of the Las Vegas skyline at night.
  • I had a painting on display in the Adams County Arts Council’s juried show, and I relaunched my personal website as a pseudo-online-art-gallery thing.
  • And, last but not least, my mom and I went to see Yankee Doodle Dandy on the big screen at the Majestic Theater in Gettysburg, which was a cool night out!
And one last Centralia photo; this time, me with MY favorite graffiti in the form of a cat.

And one last Centralia photo; this time, me with MY favorite graffiti in the form of a cat.

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

2 thoughts on “Unschooling: Our May and June 2015 adventures

  1. Isn’t Centralia still on fire? I think I’d be equal parts fascinated and terrified! I do like that giant cat graffiti though. Also love Sarah’s constantly-evolving hair style!

    • May, it is still on fire! It’s not quite like it seems, though; in fact, this last time we were there, we couldn’t even see steam rising up from various cracks, which we used to be able to see. (I’ve been going there multiple times a year for about the past 9 or 10 years.) And Sarah says THANKS about the hair!!

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