Thursday, September 10, 2015

Not back to school

Well, a little bit back to school, but mostly just another week in this unschooling life. 

Camille plays the alto sax in the local public school band, as she has for the last two years. This year they bumped her up to high school band as a ninth grader (though she only just turned twelve which would otherwise make her a seventh grader). She also has the option to join pep band, marching band, and pit band (for the school musical), all of which she is excited for. The potential downside of this for me is that she needs to be driven into town daily for these activities. The actual upside is that Ayla, Sylvia, and I get to hang out in (or near) town while she is there and we can explore the parks, visit the library, check out the hydroelectric dam, look for clam shells, shop for groceries, or stop for a treat during that time.

During Camille's first day back in band, Ayla and Sylvia and I hung out at the park and played, swung, sang, and looked at mushrooms growing wild. We happened to touch on so many different topics during random conversation that I jotted them down on the back of an old receipt just to remember later. Centrifugal force, fungus, lichen, symbiotic relationships, kombucha, fermentation, springs, potential energy, karma, balance.  

After that, we headed for our nearest state park and set up camp. No surprise that we had the place to ourselves.

Sylvia and Ayla helped me pitch the tent and Camille used a hand pump to blow up our queen size air mattress.

This is our "first day" pic for what would be kindergarten, third, and seventh grades.

 This is what our day naturally evolved into.

The rest of the week was filled with the usual sort of goodness.
  dress-up play

 exploring town

 a Green Eggs and Ham floor puzzle from the thrift store

 garden harvest

  helping every chance she gets


 After watching an old episode of Mister Rogers where Bill Nye showed Fred how to combine baking soda and vinegar to blow up a balloon, they wanted to try it right away. Of course.

 After getting excited about parabolic arcs and midpoint formulas (for real) because of Pixar in a Box on Khan Academy, Camille came and asked me for a yarn needle.

Sure, what do you need it for.

Sewing a parabolic curve using straight lines, y'know?

 more explorations of what we've come to call Clam Shell River

Our very fine week also included CrashCourse history and chemistry on YouTube, digestion and chemical reactions episodes on Bill Nye, cursive writing apps on the tablet for Sylvia, meeting friends at the park, meal planning and cooking together, a spinosaurus episode on Nova, many different magazines, books, and audio books, an anatomy coloring book, snap circuits, Mythbusters ... I could go on, but you get the idea. Lots of learning and goodness and joy all rolled together.


  1. This looks like straight up Bliss to me, Nikole! Lovely, lovely days with your beautiful family! It's so nice to stop in and see how you all are. Gorgeous post :)

  2. Aw, dear Helena. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your kind words here. xoxo

  3. we are going camping soon and I am so ready! We just need the temps to cool off a bit more. I joined the homeschool co op this year for the first time and overbooked us. I am now scaling back drastically. You driving to town every day made me think of that. Being pregnant wears me out though and I really just want to stay home. Your oldest sounds like she loves band though. I was surprised to see y'all swimming still so far north. I'm waiting for your snow pics :)

    1. Oooooh, have fun camping! Even not being pregnant, I get worn out quickly if we over commit to social activities, but it's nice to have other homeschoolers to hang out with at times!


I love hearing what you have to say. Leave a comment?