Summary of Unschooling; Week 2

We had a pretty busy week this week.  I started trying to write up a summary of all that we covered this week and had just about a full page of things by Tuesday!

We're continuing to unschool everything except for a quick math review sheet each morning.  I've noticed that many of the things my kids do throughout the week fall into a multitude of categories and I often have a hard time choosing just one of the categories to file them under.  They're learning so much and having such a great time!

Construction/Math/Logic:  Working in the blacksmith shop making hooks and plant hangers Alec got to learn all about how the blacksmith shop works, the tools use, the burning of coal, etc.  The boys constructed towers with Oreo cookies.  They, of course, thought this was an awesome activity.  I think we all wished we had bought more than two packages of cookies though; they could have been much more creative and created much more complex structures if they had more cookies to work with.  I told them we might try again next month when I have to buy a bunch of cookies for some dessert recipes with all the family parties we have scheduled in July.

cranking the forge to keep the flames going 

Banging on the hot metal

Evan helped cool it off in the water 

The finished product (well, one of them anyway)

Alec's Oreo tower

Evan's Oreo tower 

Ian measuring his tower 

Alec and Evan built a pyramid with their Oreo cookies and then measured it; hoping to beat Ian's (they tied)

Art: Drawing on the back of their daily math reviews; reviewing numbers while drawing too.  Alec get very detailed with trees, birds, owls (with a mouse in his talons) and star nosed moles under the grass.

Life Skills: On top of the usual cleaning the house, making meals, & helping with the menu planning, etc., Ian added up all of his money and filled out a bank deposit slip this week.  He's getting quite good at it with all the deposits he's been making.

Math:  We've been playing Pitch; the boys are learning the rules and adding up game points/ keeping score and adding with negative numbers. Evan used math to figure out how many chores he had to do at $2 each to earn $20.  Alec and Evan pooled their money to buy a new video game; Alec figured out the taxes on the $60 they were spending.  They added up their money together too.  Evan also used math to figure out how long his story was and what half of the story would be.  He figured that a story starting on page 4 and ending on page 16 was 12 pages long, half of 12 was 6 so if he only wanted to read 1/2 of the story he had to read to page 10.  Measuring their Oreo towers they each used a ruler and compared their measurements.  Alec figured out 29x3 by quizzing himself to figure it out.  Ian and I played a game of Monopoly and he's a whiz at figuring out change, adding money & multiplying when there's a game at stake.

Writing-- Alec made up a list of Minecraft potion ingredients and what they do; trying to spell everything correctly.  He spent an afternoon writing down all the mods used in one of his favorite Minecraft video segments, filling up a whole page.  He's also been trying to learn and draw the various Egyptian Hieroglyphics.  He asked me to check out a few different books from our library and he spent a night pouring over them trying to understand their various meanings.

He's been adding to it each day and it's even longer now! 

Reading/ Language arts-- Ian and I have been reading a few more chapters in Catching Fire. He's also been reading some of the Weirdest School Books at night before bed.  We've all been listening to some more chapters in The Phantom Tollbooth. Evan has been reading The Adventures of Frog and Toad & some more Dick and Jane stories. While Alec has finished up Cats of Cairo, two more Amulet books, and his Warriors book.  He also read a Minecraft book at the beach when he discovered that his cousin had one of the books we're missing.  And then Alec sat with one of his friends at the lake reading a Skylanders book with him.  We've all listened to a few more CD's of The Serpent's Shadow in the car too and we're in the midst of the final battle! We watched the Boxcar Children movie and compared it to the book series; we've read so many of the Boxcar Children books and were thrilled to find the movie at our library.

Family Fun-- Fishing and tubing over the weekend.  Though I think I could have filed those under science if I wanted to; there's nothing like learning the laws of motion first hand while flying around on a tube attached to the back of a boat!  We also played several games of Scene It; both the Disney and the Harry Potter version and lots of card games.

Physical Education & Social Skills--  Swimming at the beach and state park with our family and friends. Playing at the beach and jumping over the waves.  They dug huge holes to sit in and get out of the wind too.  They were running up and down the beach trying to chase the waves toward the ocean and then running back away from them.  At the lake they met some new kids, dug holes together, searched for rocks in the lake and had a great time swimming & running around.  Ian wandered off with some of the older kids and they played pass with the football, a game or two of capture the flag, and had a great time getting all hot and sweaty.  Alec climbed a tree we were sitting under but I cautioned him not to climb too high in his flip flops since they aren't the best climbing shoes.  They rode their bikes and scooters over to a local park while my husband and I walked with them one night.  We continued working on their "rules of the road" skills and gave them free reign when we got to the park.  It's pretty quiet at night and they were able to ride all around.  Ian even went through a trail in the woods and I think it's the first time he's really taken his bike off- roading.

History-- Ian watched Men of Honor and learned all about Carl Brashear the first African American & amputee to serve as a US Navy diver.  All three boys watched Mulan and while it's a fictional story they still learned a little bit about the days of the samurai in China.  We then compared it to this real life story of Mulan.  They then took out swords and acted out being samurai warriors fighting off the mongols.

Science-- while walking in the woods Evan found a salamander and could not wait to share it with us.  We learned that it was the Redback salamander.  Evan also found this neat bird feather that we spent some time trying to identify.  While out walking we also saw some sun turtles. a red winged blackbird and all kinds of water lilies.  We talked about how dry the ground was and how cool it's been for June.  We watched a snapping turtle laying eggs on our beach, saw a peregrine falcon flying over the car and land on a light post, and then stopped to watch a bunny on my sister's lawn the day we went to the beach.

Our salamander 

The snapping turtle 


  1. Due to a lax winter - we are forging ahead this summer hitting the books hard. However, I hope we can "unschool" next summer! At least for a month :)

  2. Hi Joanne:

    I am the director of "The Boxcar Children" movie. Thanks for the nice comment about the film! I was wondering if your kids would like a signed copy of the dvd? You can email me at and you can see more about the film at


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