Thursday, April 24, 2014

An Academy of Housekeeping and Play

I don't know that there are any real guidelines to unschooling. I think it's all the stuff you do when you're not doing formal bookwork. It's life-learning planned and unplanned. That's what we've been doing lately.

Homegrown Catholics: St Patricks Day

At the end of my pregnancy and after the cesarean, there was no energy in me to motivate my kids to learn anything other than stay calm, keep the house clean and let me nap. Some of those days incorporated holidays where we could leave the house and I could nap during the ride and the house stayed clean. Other days the kids were their own playmates and had fun with the hundreds of toys, movies, books and gadgets around the house. Winter is tough enough, then God said - make it longer in 2014.

 

Then she arrived. Our baby Molly came into this world so beautifully. You can read about it here: Growing in Grace - Family Centered 6th Cesarean.

Homegrown Catholics: Baby 6 Stylin

 

It really took 6 weeks to recover, so during that time I encouraged the kids to study their history and religion. We read their school books and watched Netflix films about the holocaust and science fun. We talked a lot about personal behavior and consequences, a perfect fit for Lent. I think in those six weeks we learned how to respect others and their stuff, stuff we're so privileged to have. We learned how to be attentive to others, be good helpers, and remember that we're a family. Table for Eight!

Homegrown Catholics: Table for Eight

 

Then the sun came out!

Homegrown Catholics: Nice Laundry Day

Who wants to be inside when winter FINALLY goes away. Not me!

First warm spring day 60 degree

First warm spring day 60 degreeFirst warm spring day 60 degree

Of course the kids went from winter into summer mode. They wanted to swim! Of course only inside pools are open for swimming in March. (I could shave my legs for that.

Homegrown Catholics: Worth Shavin ForHomegrown Catholics: Comm Ctr

We learned that everyone, including the toddler, was able to swim on their own. I love these floaties.

Breezy Point pool dayBreezy Point pool day

Breezy Point pool dayBreezy Point pool day

 

Well, it was short lived - we can't swim forever.

HGC: Fell asleep after coloring on faceHGC: Baby and Daddy sleeping

 

But there's only so much cleaning and staying at home that we can take! It feels so crowded here, even though our new addition was only under two feet long. It's the mounds of laundry, the toys in the hall and stairway, the sink full of dishes, and the whining  - all that never seems to go away.

HGC: SistersHCG: Daddy

HCG: Big Brother Can Fuss Too

 

Like with most homeschool moms I know, Spring brings homeschool burnout. For us it was more home burnout. So we left. I sewed a sling carrier for the occasion!

Modest Mommies: Baby Ring Sling

We took advantage of homeschool week at the Mall of America, and went to Sea Life.

MOA Sea Life homeschool week

And as long as we were there, Eddie got to join the Build-A-Bear pet club.

MOA BuildABear Workshop - EddieMOA BuildABear Workshop - Eddie

They even have free rides there!

MOA free ride

 

Now that I'm feeling more recovered at 8 weeks, we're catching up on all the chores and visiting we've been meaning to do. Holy Family it's a lot more than I anticipated! 6 times more. Do you ever really get caught up?

Melissa and children

 

SO I haven't got a regular schedule for homeschooling. We're taking each day as it comes, which looks like lots of outside time with all the warm weather and gardening. AKA Science, PE and Art.

But we know there will be rainy wet days and sweaty hot days ahead to come inside and do the rest of the "bookwork" AKA Math and Language Arts.

 

Happy Spring!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Science Museum Fun

Need to get out of the house, but want to stay inside? Visit the science museum. It's a classic adventure.

Science Museum of MN day

Create stop motion animation!

Science Museum of MN day

Anchor the news!

Science Museum of MN day

Play Tetris on ice!

Science Museum of MN day

Learn about liquid nitrogen!

Science Museum of MN day

Build a dinosaur!

Science Museum of MN day

Be amazed!

A Warm and Frigid Winter

sledding 42 degree day

Minnesota weather never has a typical weather pattern in my opinion, and that's what we love about it. This winter we've felt a little more like shut ins, between subzero wind chills and episodes of terrible flu and colds. It's just been the nastiest year for flu, colds, croup, RSV, etc.  Every time we leave the house together, it finds us! Therefore, we've been hermits as much as possible.

Snow Fun Inside20131219_110927

It's no wonder on a warmer day (like 20 degrees +) we get cabin fever and break out of here. The last weekend in December (2013) we got a chance at a 42 degree day! Coats came off for most of us at the sledding hill. We stayed out for hours just soaking in the sunshine and germ free air.

sledding 42 degree day

sledding 42 degree daysledding 42 degree daysledding 42 degree day

Melissa 7 months pregnant w Mollysledding 42 degree daysledding 42 degree day

sledding 42 degree day

 

But then there are those subzero temperature days where we still manage to find some fun to be had. We found out it takes 5 minutes to frost an egg, boiling water becomes a cloud, and cold water instantly freezes when it's 40 below windchill outside. It is inevitable that we're spending our science time in January studying the arctic and winter phenomenon.

20140106_10452120140106_10571720140106_105742

 

The in between days are fun when we can choose in or out. Getting back to "school" when half are sick, I'm pregnant, and we took a Thanksgiving thru Christmas break, is near impossible. So we've just had unschooled learning fun - and laid back activities until Mommy gets some motivation. It wasn't until this past week we've really hunkered down on bookwork.

normal day wear

Inside it's 70 degrees! Not often, but on occasion I will allow the choice of shorts?

However, most days have been pajama days.

 

Snow Fun Inside

Sometimes the snow comes inside!

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Or we pick one of dozens of other things we have to do!

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Best toy ever - Magnatiles

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Playdoh, Nook Books, paperback books, Wii games, and a plethera of toys.

Math with Daddy

Math on the couch with Daddy, or crafts at the school table with Mommy.

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(White crayon snowflakes, ready to paint over with water colors.)

 

Sometimes we head outside, even if for just an hour or so, because Mommy and Daddy need a break.

20140119_160755

for snowfort building in the fresh air. Keep those mittens on kiddos!

 

At the end of the day, they are usually worn out if we made the most of our time. I love watching them cozy together on the couch or floor during story or movie time. I must admit, we have watched a lot of movies lately, as it is the easiest way to calm an antsy child. While autumn is our favorite season, we admit that winter is always welcome at our home.

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That's just some of the ways we've spent our current winter. Thanks for looking!

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