Unschooling Summer Week #9

We had such a busy week again this week!  Our calendar didn't look very full at the onset of the week but the days quickly filled up and morphed into one another.  I felt like it went by in a blur.  We did so much and yet we felt pretty relaxed and happy.

Socialization-- I felt like we spent the bulk of our week with a house full of friends and family.  We had my college girlfriend and her family over so we had 7 kids running around playing in the lake enjoying the boat, jet ski, and each other.  They swam, laughed, ran, jumped off the bridge into the water and had fun visiting with everyone.  Alec had a friend sleep over one night and so we had an "extra" kid for 24 hours.  The boys had a blast playing with him and their new Wii game Lego Jurassic World.  Ian went to play at a friend's house one day this week and when he got back home we offered to watch said friend and his younger brother while their mother went shopping.  We took them tubing and boating and the boys spent some time "fishing" off the dock with nets catching small minnows and catfish. The boys had a blast using the remote control jet ski and boat every time we had people over; all the kids that were left without the remote control took turns making waves and trying to sink them.  It was great fun for all.  We also had some of our homeschool friends over during the week.  Our schedule hadn't meshed with theirs since we went surf casting together and the boys were missing their friends so much.  It was wonderful to see them.  Evan and I got to meet some of the new doctors and workers at our new doctors office when we visited them this week.  He charmed them all in no time with his straight forward answers and his talk of the summer and winter solstices.  The boys and I also stopped by the library and I took them with me to the hair dressers and on lots of errands.  They enjoy chatting with everyone everywhere we went.  We spent a couple of days this week with my great grandmother playing with her organ, playing croquet, and shopping.

Physical Education-- We were on the go a lot this week.  Having lots of friends over our house meant we had lots of fun swimming, tubing, kayaking, and paddle boating.  The boys played croquet at my grandmother's house and made it through a good 75% of the game before they started fighting.  Alec has re-discovered our monkey bars and has spent a bit of time every day this week trying to see how many times he can make it back and forth until he just can't make it any further.  Evan and Ian gave them a try too but decided to leave the monkey bars to Alec for now.  The boys and I spent one morning kayaking around the lake enjoying the peace and quiet and looking for wildlife.  It's such a peaceful way to start our day.

Evan's lucky enough to get towed around the lake!

Music--  I don't often think to cover music as part of our homeschooling but I realize that they often cover this topic on their own.  They all enjoy listening to music and have a variety of tastes.  They have their own MP3 players and their play lists.  They all asked for new headphones this week and that found them all using their MP3 players a lot.  They sing along to many songs on the radio too, but I miss the days when they were interested in making music.  It was great to see the boys playing the organ at my grandmother's house and talking about their old piano and guitar lessons, reading music, and some of the things they learned.  They remember them fondly but still say they don't want to take lessons.  Perhaps one day they'll change their mind but in the meantime I'm glad they enjoy playing around with lyrics, beats, and making their own sounds.

Art-- Ian decided to pull out some paper one day this week and draw.  He spent a good hour drawing boats and jet ski's.  Sometimes he tried to draw them on a trailer other times he drew them in the water.  He did a pretty good job too! Alec got a new art kit called Qixels.  He spent some time playing with them and putting them together.  We also tried to figure out the science behind them and why wetting them down had them all sticking together.

Reading-- We were so busy this week we hardly had any time to read!  We did squeeze in a bit of reading here and there though.  Evan read Swing Otto Swing!, Scaredy- Pants; A Halloween Story, & More Snacks!: a Thanksgiving Play.   He was really struggling with the stories this week and I could see he was getting frustrated so I suggested he should take some of his old favorite books home from the library and just re-read stories he's already read.  We'll work on fluency and expression and just enjoy reading again.  To try and help him we reviewed his sight word stacking cups and he had a great time building a nice tall tower with them. We must have checked out 6 Elephant and Piggie books for next week.  Alec read a lot; as usual.  He finished up his Warriors books and read I Choose YouDino- Boarding, Wild About Us!, The Sea, The Storm and the Mangrove Tangle , and started reading Tombquest 2: The Amulet Keepers.   Ian and I read another few chapters in Mockingjay and he told me we can't skip any days because we're at the good part!  We all listened to a bit more of Inkspell in the car while running errands and we finally managed to read one more chapter in The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom.

Science-- In playing Terraria, Evan has been learning about gems and asked me to look up pictures for him on the internet.  We searched for pictures of topaz and amethyst crystals and jewelry.  We talked about birth stones and which months have which ones.  There has been so much talk of gems around here!  We tried making exploding sidewalk chalk baggies one day.  We filled Ziploc sandwich bags half way with vinegar, corn starch & liquid watercolors.  We added small packets of baking soda wrapped in tissue and watched the bags fill and burst for a colorful (if somewhat lackluster) "explosion."  We spent plenty of time outdoors looking at birds, turtles, fish, butterflies and flowers.  We watched a wild turkey family crossing the road, saw a family of geese on the lake, fed the family of ducks, and followed the peregrine falcon's flight into the trees.  The boys watched a few episodes of Wild Kratts and Evan and I read a book about reptiles at the doctor's office.  Alec was overjoyed to find a finch at his bird feeder; twice in one week!

A gold finch! 
There the baggies go filling up with air... 

our driveway is quite colorful now! 

See the turtle on the tire? 


Math/Technology-- The boys worked on their summer review sheets this week a few times and each ended up getting some of their best times so far this summer!  The boys watched several episodes of Cyberchase too reviewing money, adding, subtracting, and fractions.  They have played TONS of new video games; Lego Jurassic World (where they're learning about types of dinosaurs too), Wave Blazer, Jet Ski Racing, I fishing lite 1and 2 (salt water), Hero Factory Invasion of the Brains, and probably a few more.  They're enjoying learning how to play each game and looked up questions about the various games on Google or YouTube.  Ian set up his own account on Trivia Crack and him and Alec have been having a ball playing back and forth (honing up on all sorts of wonderful science, geography, history, and art facts!).  The boys went shopping several times this week and compared prices, added up totals, figured out change, etc. applying math in real life.  The boys got a few new Lego sets and spent a night putting them together.

Life Skills-- The boys cooked for themselves a few times this week.  They helped clean the house and prepare food for all of our company.  The younger boys took care of their grandmother's cats and earned a bit of pocket money.  Ian went to do his mowing job.  I was also impressed by how helpful Ian was when we took my grandmother out for the day.  He escorted her into the bank by himself; asking me to stay in the car and let him handle it.  He never lost his patience with her or got flustered (even though they were in the bank for over 20 minutes and we went to check on them).  All three boys held open doors for her too.


  1. The ziplock color bag explosions look like fun.
    Blessings, Dawn

  2. It was pretty fun; the only problem we had was that most of the bags started leaking (or as my kids called it-- peeing) the colored liquid out the seams instead of exploding. They still enjoyed it and even had fun playing with it in the driveway a few days later when it had dried and felt soft like colored chalk piles.

  3. Wow, that's a busy week! Looks like tons of fun. Thanks for sharing. :-)

  4. I'm starting to realize they're all busy weeks! Thanks for stopping in to check it out.

  5. Learning everywhere you go, I see! What a wonderful summer you're having! I love this post, and appreciate you linking up at Homeschool Memo Blog Hop!!!!

  6. Thank you! More and more I do realize that we learn everywhere, all the time!


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