An Unschool Journal (June)
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June has been a slow sort of a month for us, and I wondered if I should post at all. But then I decided I should because that’s what unschooling is all about. It’s real life, and that’s what I want to show people. It’s not an unachievable perfection. Not every day, week, or month is packed full of inspiring learning moments that you can see. Life is not really a series of beautiful activities and explorations, but, as those moments are more easily captured on camera sometimes that’s what it can seem like from the outside. Learning is happening all the time, of course, but not all of it is able to be photographed. In fact, most is much less obvious. Conversations, observations, play, daydreaming. I can’t show you how much of that is going on. Some of our best learning for instance, happens in the car! Always so many questions in the car! And not all learning is ‘academic’ either, which doesn’t make it any less important.
If you don’t already know, we’re waiting on the arrival of our last family member, arriving in July! And so things are slowing down here. With this big belly to carry around I haven’t been bothered to run and grab the camera and take as many photos as I usually would. We’ve also been busy preparing for baby’s arrival, doing all the last things. As well as a seriously major declutter of the house after reading this book. Seriously, life changing is not an exaggeration! If you haven’t read it I would highly recommend it! We are so organised now and everything is so tidy and manageable. It’s going to make looking after 4 precious people much easier for me. So while lots of learning is always happening, our focus has shifted at the moment, and that’s OK! Life goes through different phases and that’s also something to learn. We don’t have to keep doing anything and everything at times like these. This is real life we’re living here. There’s no curriculum to keep up with. It’s ok to take things slow for a while. And I LOVE that about unschooling. We have all the time in the world. There is time for us to appreciate moments like these.
And so, onto what I did manage to capture! Predictable from me I know, ha! But, nature time! Really, you can’t have too much can you? We’ve been out and about with friends playing in nature of course but this month we’ve also been doing a lot more exploring as a family on the weekends. Making the most of the last weeks as a family of 5 and having adventures while we can.
Is nature not the best teacher ever? How easy is it just to go outside and let them explore and discover and ask questions. Here they’re looking at the bark of a tree up close through a microscope. They always pack a backpack of stuff to take with them. Usually magnifying glasses, microscopes, nature journal, and pencils.
These handheld microscopes are really cool! I only bought them recently and they’ve been used so much. Great for taking on nature walks.
We even bought some creek water home one day to have a look at under our big microscope.
Love this one. My little girl is getting so big, always wanting to keep up with the others now.
Always so much to see! You might have seen me mention in a recent post that we’d been reading ‘Tree of Life‘. We had just read the page about Kingdom Fungi the night before this particular walk and the girls were really interested to see some growing. And I mean squealing and yelling excited about it. That is what I love to see. Such joy from learning.
That night when they were in bed I was called in to their room and asked about how fungi grows. As I’ve mentioned before, instead of giving them the answer I prefer to let them think about it and research themselves. Though they were already in bed so I told them I would write their questions on the whiteboard for them so they wouldn’t forget.
Learning all about fungi reproduction the next day.
Apart from nature time, the other thing you can always count on happening is art. Lots of art time.
Painting on the light table.
Little Miss deciding to use paintbrushes like her big sisters now.
Last month I mentioned an interest in Aboriginal culture developing. We borrowed a stack of books from the library and have been learning all about it! Here one of the books even inspired some art.
And as luck would have it this month our homeschool co-op had an Aboriginal art and culture workshop! Here we are learning how to make fire.
This was Miss 4’s favourite part. We were not successful though. It’s so much harder than it looks!
Getting painted with ochre paint.
Decorating their hair with Emu feathers. They also got to throw a boomerang and play a didgeridoo!
Another co-op day spent experimenting.
Along with her interest in Aboriginal culture, Miss 6 has been busy writing a play for her and her friends to star in.
Miss 4 has continued to be interested in writing and found this book during our big clean out to practice in.
She also loves to build and I love seeing what she comes up with. Here she’s using different Spielgaben blocks.
I particularly loved this Magna-Tile building.
And that pretty much sums up our month! Along with a lot of conversations, stories, cleaning, preparing for a baby, wondering about a new sibling, playing with dolls, dress-ups, watching documentaries, reading books, resting, and lots of fun!
If you’d like to see more you can always come say hi over on Instagram or Facebook.
What about you? How have you been?
I always say that a lot of our learning happens when out and about, walking, waiting for the bus, etc, and the main thing is that we do have the time to talk about, to stop and demonstrate if needed…
Congratulations and good luck on your (soon) new arrival
Thank you! 🙂
It’s just another inspiring post to read. Thank you for presenting a picture of your real life of unschooling. I mean, we can always ready om theories and principals but when come down to daily practise of what we believe, pictures paint a thousand words. Just one question please on doing independent research, when the girls exploring on the topic of fungus, for this instance, do you provide selected materials for them to learn from. My concern is that information are too accessible on internet that not all are constructive. And if you do have a pool of resources to select from, may I ask how do you find them please?
All the best with the coming birth, it would be another amazing chapter!
Thanks Ling 🙂
When we’re researching on the internet I’m always with them and we do it together. Who knows what they’d come across otherwise! We also visit the library together.
I just love seeing what you are up to. Thank you for presenting real life. It is far more inspiring to others. Congratulations on your lioittle one (soon). I’m due this month too!! So exciting. It certainly has changed our focus, but the boys are learning a great deal from that too. They are becoming more independent along with learning all about babies….
Thank you 🙂
And congratulations to you too!
Beautiful belly!!! The other post by the way with the home birth book was amazing! I wish I would of seen that to show to my guy. I gave birth at home with a midwife, it was the best experience ever. Enjoy these last few days as a family of 5.
Thank you 🙂 We are loving that book!
We are a long way from starting “school” but even at 15 months the little guy is learning so much every day. I think that homeschooling/unschooling is just a great way to encourage their natural curiosity. I think your June was amazing and I find it very inspiring! Congratulations on the new baby!
Thank you Maria 🙂
Thank you 🙂
Really interesting to read, we have decided to home school and will be following the un-schooling route so it’s nice to read how others do things 🙂 x
I think you’re totally inspiring me to pull my “good camera” along for a month and see all the learning we do. Sometimes I forget about it all and get a bit down/hard on myself as a result. Thanks for being inspiring!
Thank you 🙂