Saturday, January 17, 2015

January ~ unschooling snippets

We're over halfway through January and we have been in pretty serious hibernation mode around here. We took turns being sick at the beginning of the month and then when we were (mostly) better, the temperatures were dangerously cold outside. Yet, somehow we're surviving, and dare I say, even thriving, in this unschooling nest of ours.
 Clean Water Science: filtering oily, dirty water through gravel, sand, activated charcoal, and a paper filter 

archeress, on a warm-ish day

castle-building project

Camille picked out a wooden chess set with a gift certificate that she got from her Great Grandma for Christmas.

 a new microscope for Christmas

a roll-out keyboard

excavating gemstones

adding to their winter castle


Sylvia loves to chop veggies and received her very own paring knife for Christmas. She was very excited to put it to good use.

a little red fox (knit from the Failynn Fox cowl pattern)

one of Ayla's elaborate everyday toy set-ups 
(barn animals, wooden blocks, plastic tools, glass pebbles, tile spacers, and a Barbie dining set)

 origami flapping bird

suction cup arrows

watching Wild Kratts

One evening, we cleared the wool rug out of the living room for some rollerskating, scootering, and skate boarding to burn off energy.

sister snuggles while watching a Monster High movie on Netflix

sewing socks into a sock monkey

more time at the easel for me
work in progress

We utilize our local libraries very heavily. This is just Camille's stack, not counting two of her book club books, all of her audio books, and a small pile of Muse magazines. (pictured ~ Mysterious Messages: A History of Codes and Ciphers; Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul II; Kids of Kabul: Living Bravely Through a Never-Ending War; Summer of the Wolves; Maybe One Day; Amendment XIX: Granting Women the Right to Vote; Beautiful Creatures; Clockwork Prince; Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony: A Friendship that Changed the World; Catherine, Called Birdy; American Privacy: the 400-Year History of our Most Contested Right; Legal Rights; Extraordinary Hispanic Americans; Children in Crisis: Living as a Refugee in America; Writing Skills: Success in 20 Minutes a Day) 

I helped Sylvia's Girl Scout Brownie troop work towards their painting badge. They created abstract work independently and collectively (inspired by Jackson Pollock).

500 piece underwater ocean puzzle

Clean Water Science: distilling clear water from green tea by evaporation and condensation

Camille's latest work in progress

Finally, one of the very best-est kind of winter days, just above freezing, clear, and crisp. A day for frolicking, and breathing deep, and being easily and immensely grateful for this fine life.

*photo by Sylvia           


  1. So delicious, Nikole.
    Paint is one of my favorite things to photograph. It's just so damned delicious and messy.
    What bow do you have (the real one) Ours is a bit difficult for the babes to pull back. Maybe too 'advanced', if you will, for them.
    Love the roller skating rink, of course.
    Oh! And the filter--I've been meaning to do that...
    And the microscope slides and photos! Another of my favorites.
    All good stuff, my friend.
    I'd expect nothing less.

    1. Aw, Stephanie, your comment made me smile. The bow is a Barnett Lil' Phoenix that Sylvia bought with a gift certificate. Not very expensive and it has good action for her size.

  2. A wonderful post. So many great projects going on. I have an identical chess set that I was given at a similar age.

    Spirographs, that takes me back......

  3. LOVE the fox hood! And the archery and castles!
    I'm jealous of your microscope. We really need to get us one of those.
    Great stuff.

  4. Thanks, ladies. A lot of our new stuff was really thoughtful Christmas gifts that the girls got from family. It's been so nice to have these things to keep us interested and engaged this winter. I also loved spirograph back in the day. It's still fun. :)

  5. rad hair in the microscope pics.

  6. Fabulous! Love your stack of library books, and the painting, and the watching of wild kratts, and the photo of your daughter on the chair with her red hat. Also loving the knit fox hat, and microscope pics. Just fantastic, all of it!

  7. Love the fox hood, I need one of those for winter!

  8. I love your artwork! Also I didn't know about roll out keyboards. I have one who has been asking for a keyboard for a very long time but our house is so small that I didn't know where we could store it.

    Ps. Hope everyone gets better soon. :)


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