Cookies, cousins, crazy weather and hickory nuts: This month’s snippets from unschooling

As a blogger, I have a tendency to get overwhelmed in “mega-posts.” Do I have tons of photos? Do I have enough links? Did I make a nifty Pinterest graphic?

But that’s not our whole life. In fact, the best parts are our in-betweens, the things that don’t turn into major resources or treatises on educational philosophy.

Here’s a look at some of those in-between moments since my last snippets post.

1. My husband and Ashar are a little excited about the announcement of Star Wars Episode 7. How excited?

This photo shoot ensued the night of the announcement.

Star Wars toys from the 1970s

Later, they used their mad photo-editing skills (and a font I’d found them some time ago) to create this masterpiece.

Star Wars toys from the 1970s celebrating the release of Episode 7 in 2015

Ladies and gentlemen, the Nerdpire strikes back.

2. Meanwhile, we’ve been collecting hundreds of hickory nuts from our neighborhood.

Chris has been collecting them in baggies on his walks home from work, and Ashar then artfully pours them into Mason jars to sit around as a fall decoration.

Hickory nuts

It was cool to be able to identify them as hickory nuts. It was NOT cool when we found them to be inhabited by hickory shuckworm larvae. (Though that did make for another identification project.)

Solution: I found a website that said roasting them in the oven at 350 degrees for a half-hour would kill anything inside. Since we didn’t care to eat them, only decorate with them, that suited us fine!

Fun with cousins

3. We had a surprise visit from some of our favorite cousins, also fellow homeschoolers! Ashar loved having a house full of new friends, and the four of them went absolutely crazy and stayed up til 6 a.m.

Having family members who are also friends – and who GET you, and who think like you do, and who have the same faith and the same dreams – that’s priceless.

4. I learned something new along with Ashar at our recent alpaca club meeting. We learned how to do needle-felting. (I didn’t even know what that WAS until last week.)

Needle felting project at 4-H Alpaca Club

You can see Ashar’s pumpkin (she’s working on his smile in this photo), and I made a smaller pumpkin with no face, but with vinelike green tendrils near his stem!

I don’t normally consider myself crafty in a yarn-and-fabric sense, but this was kind of neat!

5. Many of you know that our town was RIGHT in the path of Hurricane Sandy as it passed through the Northeast over the weekend. We were incredibly fortunate despite some rough parts, which I’ll actually share next week, but the dog absolutely did not deal well with the barometric pressure changes.

Cuddling the dog during a thunderstorm

So Ashar (wearing her new pajama pants, which she loves), decided to cuddle him and be kind of a “Thundershirt” for him.

Calmer dog, happy Sarah. Win!

6. Ashar decided to bake some sugar cookies and decorate them with a fall theme. We did the “regular” type, but then we had a bunch of dough left, and she was just adamant that she wanted to make one big cookie.

I figured, hey, what’s the worst that can happen? (Lest you think I’m doing TOO good of a job in the homemaking department, it was only store-bought sugar cookie dough, so I figured if it didn’t work out, no huge loss.)

Baking one gigantic cookie out of store dough

Here they are, in all their fall glory.(And they tasted pretty OK, too!)

7. Ashar has – and I can barely believe this – started to DO MATH FOR FUN.

This is big news. In addition to absolutely loving Life of Fred, and begging to do the rows of practice and the “Your Turn to Play” sections, she plays a ton of Moshi Multiply on Moshi Monsters, one of her favorite online games.

It’s basically a “times-tables drill,” and it’s scored based on how many problems you can get right in 30 seconds. Ashar has always struggled with timed tests (in a more complicated sense, that’s part of what led us down the path toward an Asperger’s diagnosis), so to see her able to get almost one per second right, well, that’s honestly amazing.

Multiplication facts practice with Moshi Monsters Moshi Multiply game

To me, that’s proof that our style of learning works. I love it.

So that’s a look at seven snippets from our unschooling life lately. What’s going on in your world?

Also linking up today toΒ Moments to RememberΒ andΒ Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers Weekly Wrapup.

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12 thoughts on “Cookies, cousins, crazy weather and hickory nuts: This month’s snippets from unschooling

    • Judy, thank you so much for saying that! I think we are very blessed, both of us, to have found the ways that work for us, our children and our situations. I DO NOT think I would make the same decisions if we had a large family, to be honest – or they might turn out very differently! πŸ™‚

  1. Yay for so many things in this post! Yay for cousins and lots of fun and people who GET you πŸ™‚ Yay for needle felting…David’s aunt showed our girls how. Yay for making through the storm in good shape! And, yay for doing math for fun!!

  2. This was definitely a “yay” post – I loved it! It’s cool that your girls know how to do needle felting too… one of those things I’d never have explored on my own but found pretty enjoyable!

  3. I love these Snippets. I have been wanting to do one forever. Cousins who also homeschool!!??? I WOULD LOVE THAT! How blessed you are. Keilee and I have wanted to try felting forever. Sarah’s pumpkin is awesome. We have acorns all over our house too. I read about baking them but never did. I probably have bugs everywhere. EWWW. Love the Star Wars pic. πŸ˜‰

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