Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Unschooling (on a Budget)

Monday through Thursday, photos of our family's unschooling life. Learning is everywhere.
 On Monday we drove through pockets of cloudy fog while the sun shone rainbows around us on our way to Bill Blagg's Science of Magic show. (We were able to get free tickets through our homeschool cooperative for educators and their students.)
 We stopped at a large town library while we were there and loaded up with stacks of books, audio books, and music CDs. (Free, of course.)
 We like to pull over and check out quirky roadside displays. (We checked carefully for any No Climbing signs. There were none.)

While Camille was at her saxophone lesson and band class, Sylvia, Ayla and I stopped at a local park to read books and play around. (Camille participates in instrument lessons and band for free through the local public school.) 


 I guess we wore Ayla out.

 Camille's ducks and geese (that she wanted for her birthday) provide eggs for us.
 Every day is dress-up day around here. Our dress-up clothes (as well as our wardrobe in general) is mostly thrifted, gifted, or homemade.

 Camille found a quiet spot to read Anne of Green Gables (for our local library teen book club).

 We grow as much of our own veggies, fruit, and herbs as we have the energy and skills for.

 We visit our local parks often.

Camille used some of her Christmas money on a snap circuit set a couple of years ago. It still gets used.


 My husband researched starter guitars to find a relatively inexpensive one for Sylvia to learn on when she showed interest. This is a left-handed, 3/4 size, classical guitar.

  A mom from a local homeschool group set up a tour of our phone and internet service provider. (Another free educational opportunity that my children were interested in.)

 We buy a pass to the state parks for $25, which provides us free entry to any Wisconsin State Park year round.
This is the one nearest to our home.

 making a faerie house

 There is an 8-week gymnastics class every spring and fall through a nearby town's recreation department for a ridiculously low fee. Camille and Sylvia have been enjoying it so much.

"Look, it's an am radio. All I can tune in is country and talk radio, though."

We live on one (modest) income for our family of five. While we may be privileged in some ways, there were a lot of sacrifices and difficult decisions that led us to creating the kind of lives that we want to live and raise our children in. We are not without some debt. Our home has solar heating, a wood burning stove, standard electricity, phone, and internet, a well, and a small parcel of organic land around it, but it is not (nearly) completely finished. We have continuously (but slowly) been building walls, finishing flooring, replacing appliances, putting in doors, etc., and we have been blessed with some help from our families. We try to bring in opportunities and supplies for our children that are exciting, open-ended, and educational while being very conscious of spending and consumption. The more that I see my children growing into thoughtful, respectful, creative, and curious people (as their developmental abilities allow), the more I see that the kind of resources that create a thriving, joyful unschooling life are less about financial resources (beyond basic security) and more about the kinds of resources that can be found by being creative, engaging, and engaged ourselves, in our community, and in our world.


  1. So much of our lives are free and low cost too! We have more than we could possibly need and are so blessed!

  2. It's definitely an art and you do an amazing job of it.


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