Unschooling Summer Week #6

It's been another fun and busy week.  This week we've been busy with family and with our near fatal tubing fiasco this past Sunday (if you missed it you can read about it here), I find I'm doubly grateful for all the added memories we've made this week.  There's just something about being reminded of how quickly life can change in an instant that has made me hyper aware of all that we've been doing this week and how lucky I am to be a mom to three wonderful, active, growing boys.

Cross Curricula-- Alec discovered Trivia Crack over the weekend and has been playing as often as he can honing up on facts about geography, history, sports, entertainment, art, & science.  He's also discovered that he can send messages back and forth with those family members he's playing so he's getting lots of spelling and typing practice in there too.  Mostly, he has discovered the joys of emoticons and stickers.  He loves all the animal ones and uses LOTS of them with each and every post.  It's so cute and I love to see this new found passion for writing! I have found him in front of our U.S and world maps looking for quick answers to his questions too.

Reading-- Alec got the new Wings of Fire book over the weekend and spent a good portion of the weekend buried in his book re-discovering the joys of this series.  He finished it by Monday morning and spent the week reading some of his Warrirors books and manga stories.  Ian read some more of Mockingjay and finished Mr. Cooper is Super. Evan read more Dick and Jane stories and insisted on reading them all in his room to himself.  I knew he was really reading because he did stop at one point and ask me a new word he had encountered.  Rather than just tell him though I had him re-read the page and skip over the new word reading to the end.  He then knew it was above and re-read the page one last time with the new word in it.  He then summarized everything he had read.  The boys had some coupons for free comic books and took a trip to the comic book store to pick then out.  They each spent some time looking at & reading their comics.  We went to the library a few times this week and the younger boys all read up on this week's lion hunt clue & moved their super chicken.  Ian read and answered this weeks Tween/ Teen trivia clue and learned that he won last week's raffle.  He was so excited since he's never won a raffle before.  He even saved the empty box of Goobers and the raffle ticket to show his dad.  We started reading The Hero's Guide to Saving The Kingdom together during lunch and we're really enjoying the silly version of the the traditional fairy tales.

Math-- All three boys worked on recall of math facts with some timed tests this week; but only a few since we were pretty busy.  Evan quizzed us all on math facts asking things like what is "41+41?" "82!"  or "401 + 401; that's 802!" We were hardly ever given time to answer so he was basically adding two and three digit numbers in his head making sure he understood the patterns he discovered in math.  The boys were all playing Temple Run in the car one night and comparing their scores, distances, and coins earned.  Evan still has troubles with larger numbers and would say things like "I have 4- 8- 4 comma 3-5-1 how far is that?"  And we'd explain how to say those numbers out loud.  Yet if his brothers told him their numbers he could easily compare the larger numbers so there is definitely progress and growth.

Social Skills-- we spent so much time with family this week!  The kids attended some huge family reunion type parties over the 4th of July weekend.  Ian went fishing with his great uncle on Monday.  All three boys went with me to visit their great grand mother on Tuesday.  The younger two got to have a sleepover with their grandmother.  My mother, sisters and their children came over for an impromptu visit; we were just social butterflies all week long.  It felt like were surrounded by people of all ages all week long.

Life skills/ Health/ Safety-- We've been talking a bit about boating safety, life jackets, and the rules of the lake.  Alec had an orthodontic appointment on Monday and got some braces put on; he only needs his top teeth straightened out and only has 4 or 5 adult teeth at this point so he only needed a few brackets put on.  We learned all about the next few steps he'll be going through in this process.  How braces work, how they're assembled, and that they aren't always easy to talk around. He's adjusting rather well but his teeth have been sore and it's been affecting what and how he eats.  We all have been working together to keep the house clean and pitching in to do laundry when needed too.  Alec helped me make a pasta salad this week; cutting up all the vegetables for me.  I was busy shelling left over steamers and muscles to freeze for making homemade clam chowder and clam cakes and Alec offered to help.  I showed him how to do each kind and then he took over.  We also looked up a recipe for making cinnamon butter like at Texas Roadhouse and made our own to go on our waffles one morning.  I love that they all help out in the kitchen now asking "what can I do?"

Physical education-- The boys have spent so much time in the water swimming, diving, jumping, and rough housing with cousins. They made up their own games, scoring systems, and have been having a ball playing.  They ran through the sprinklers, went kayaking, paddle boating, used the swing set and climbed all over the slides and monkey bars.  They played volleyball and corn hole too.  Evan discovered the joys of Velcro ball and had us hunting the whole house looking for a set he remembered getting a few years ago.  We all went on a kayak ride one morning during the week while eating breakfast and enjoying the stillness of the lake.  It's quite an arm workout!

Science-- We've spent a lot of time observing nature again this week.  Being outside and around the lake it's been pretty easy to do.  We've had an increase in leaches this year on our lake; nothing alarming but it's the first time in 11 years that I can actually remember having to pull them off my boys a time or two.  This led to a whole discussion about weather they can swim or not and after a bit of a debate we finally looked it up and read up on how they swim and watched a mini video of them moving through the water.  We also have watched all sorts of birds flying around our yard near Alec's feeder-- finches, red winged black birds, nuthatches, chickadees, and robins.  We tried to hang a few orange slices from it to see if we could attract any orioles but the only thing we seemed to have attracted were bugs and flies.  We watched a group of birds mob a red tailed hawk and saw a few egrets at a nearby marsh.  We had one lone duck visit us and after feeding him watched him walk up onto our shore; right past all the screaming, splashing, and jumping!  We saw some toads on our patio and tried to catch one that was smaller than my pinkie nail.  On our morning kayak ride we saw so many different varieties of birds- eastern kingbird, yellow warbler, heron, ducks, what we believe was a downy woodpecker, red winged black birds, mockingbirds, and a few others we can't yet identify.   We also saw turtles, fish, and heard frogs croaking.  We picked some waterlilies and compared the various species we have on the lake. The older boys played with some "slime" they found in the water.  They knew it was some sort of lake weed and compared what it felt like in the water with how slimy it became out of the water.  Once home, Alec cut the stems and arranged the lilies in a decorative bowl on the table for us.  Ian spent some time on Thursday trying to catch some baby catfish and all the boys had fun feeding the ducks again.  We had a few different groups show up and remarked on all the changes that had taken place since early spring when we first see all the babies.


We could not identify this bird since it was so far away
but we could hear it! 

Part of the yellow warbler 

another bird singing in the trees 

our flowers all arranged on the table in our bowl 

watching the ducks after we finished feeding them

History/Geography-- While we are on school vacation I did end up ordering us a new game and brought it outside on our picnic table hoping to intrigue the boys.  They asked to play and we ended up playing a few different rounds.  We played both regular Bingo and fill the board.  We learned a little bit about world geography and had fun playing GeoBingo World.  Evan amazed me doing a great job reading the names of the countries and finding them on his board.  I was surprised at how many countries they all knew and how many were new even to me.


  1. Well, all but the boating accident sounds like a wonderful week. I am so glad your sone was ok.
    Blessings. Dawn

  2. What a full, fun week! I love the summer months when we can combine the usual with outdoor activities. Stay safe!

    1. Yeah, I think summer is my favorite just because we can combine all our usual fun with lots of time outdoors.

  3. Summer is a great time to do unschooling or explore a new way of learning. I'm visiting from Weekly Wrap Up.


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