Banana Bread, Bowling, and Books: A Day in the Life of an Unschoooling Family

We decided to take advantage of our last week of free bowling coupons and hit the bowling alley today.  But first Ian was asking if he could bake something.

He has been asking for a few days now, but always seems to wait until I'm ready to cook dinner to decide he'd like to make something.  I told him last night that mornings and right after lunch are the two best times to tackle something like that.

He decided to make banana bread today.  I turned that task over to him and left him to do 90% of it on his own this time. 

 While Ian was busy baking the younger two boys were dragging out board game after board game.

Playing Dinosaur Train
Evan asked me to please read the rest of Mr. Docker is off his Rocker while they ate their cereal.  I sat down to read and kept an eye on Ian in case he needed help with his bread.

 As soon as the boys finished eating, they went right back to playing.

Ian finally got his bread into the oven and went to play with Lego's, K'nex and Jovo blocks.

Building w/ Jovo blocks

Playing a Lego game
We finally headed out to the bowling alley and listened to the end of The Secret of the Indian.  Once at the alley, we were amazed by how many families were there today!

We played a few rounds and once again I found myself thinking of all the math, science and gross motor development bowling entails.

They count pins, add scores, compare scores, subtract pins standing from the total number of pins, compared the speed of the balls thrown, etc..  They also pointed out things like force, speed, and trajectory.  They watched the path of the balls, calculated angles when the balls bounced off the bumpers, and tried to determine if a heavier ball was better or worse.

Evan managed to get a strike without having his ball touch a single bumper, all three boys managed quite a few spares and we learned that a spare and a strike during the last frame allows that person to throw another ball or two.  It was great.

Ian really gets into his game

Evan jumps, twists, pleads and prays with his ball
On the way home we stopped to buy some of the supplies we needed to run some of Ian's science experiments and then we stopped to eat lunch.  At the restaurant they all received a different kids menu and played word games, word scrambles, did mazes, and more.  I loved that they were learning while having fun waiting for food!

The best part was when they flipped the menu's over and Evan was so excited to realize his menu was all about the Aurora Borealis.  He loves the northern lights and excited started talking all about them.

Alec flipped his menu over and we learned all about Mt. Everest. We talked about elevation, sea level, and below sea level.  We talked about the weather patterns on Mt. Everest, why only 300 people have made it to the summit (according to the menu).  Ian knew a lot about climbing Mt. Everest and was eager to share with his brothers.

Ian's menu taught us about the Great Barrier Reef.  When talking about why it was visible from space Alec informed us that the Great Wall of China is also visible from space.  So our day included some geography as well!

Once our food arrived Evan asked me to cut his three chicken fingers up so they'd cool off faster.  He counted them up and as I cut through the first one he told me he now had 4. I asked him how many he'd have once I cut them all and with the help of some fingers he was able to figure out he'd have 6.  But since the chicken fingers were pretty long I cut them each into thirds.  Once I asked him how many he'd have when I was done cutting them all into three pieces he quickly said 9!  I tend to think this was just a very good random guess but he was so proud of himself.   Real life math lessons! 
Since we had no books on CD to listen to in the car on the way home Ian decided to work on his friendship bracelet.  He finished it!

 Alec was working on his bracelet a bit here and there too but he kept having problems and so he decided to do some drawing.  He drew a very elaborate picture of Mr. Klutz (from The Weird School books) surfing with a shark, a swordfish, and lots of seaweed.  He decided the picture would be funnier if Mr. Klutz was in his underwear.  He then drew Andrea (a girl from the same series) swimming naked next to the shark and her best friend Emily surfing while crying buckets of water.  It was quite imaginative and all the boys were laughing hysterically as Alec narrated what he was drawing.
We had a few stops to make on our way home so we were in the car for quite a while.  Out of the blue Evan announced that when you count by three's you start with the number 3, and next thing I knew we were going through all the numbers.  "When you count by 4's you start with 4" etc. all the way up to 10 and then Alec skipped right to 100.  He started counting by 100's up through 2,000!

At one point Alec asked why the south pole was cold if it was in the south and the south tends to be warm.  I explained that it all had to do with the shape of the globe and the intensity of the sun.  The north pole is very cold, we get some cold weather, and yes, south of us down near Florida and the Caribbean it is very warm.  We talked about the Equator, the Tropic of Cancer, and the Tropic of Capricorn.  We talked about the "tropics" and how it's always warm where the globe is fattest and closest to the sun.  I explained that as you get even further south the temperature gets cooler again and places have weather similar to ours with seasons until it gets to the south pole and it's frozen again.  I wasn't sure I explained it all perfectly but I think they all understood the gist of it.  I wished we had a globe in the car but was confident that it was a good geography lesson.  It probably only took about 5 minutes but they were interested and asking questions.

Once their questions stopped I stopped talking and explaining.  I find it works best not to give more information at a time than they are looking for anyway as they just start to tune me out. 
Once home the boys played and swam in the lake until dinnertime.  We ended the night with the whole family snuggled on the couch reading the Weird School Anthology aloud.  While it's a repeat for Alec and Ian they still enjoy listening and Evan was begging us to read these stories out loud to him.

It was the perfect end to our great day! 

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by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo YoureTheStarHopLarge_zpsncuylahd.jpg


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