I've been busy trying to get more organized. I pulled the ice trays out of the freezer to wash. Austyn was suppose to dump them in the bathroom sink for me, but instead he decided to play with them and Zoe joined in. They are getting better at finding their own things to do when I get busy. It was an interesting science experiment. I listened in as they discussed what would make the ice cubes melt faster. I saw popcorn, juice, and other things get added to the ice.
One morning while Austyn was at an early hockey practice Zoe and I stayed home. I gave her a weaving kit that I purchased at the dollar store. I started it for her and she continued it. I was surprised at how well she did and how much she enjoyed doing it. It looks like there will be more handy crafts in our future.
This book may be short, but it is full of useful reminders and positive inspiration. Dayna Martin really knows how to make a parent-in-transition feel good, even when there are set-backs. I recommend this to others who are switching from a more traditional way of parenting to a much more gentle, loving parenting style (which is what radical unschooling is all about). This book also touches on spiritual (not to be confused with religious) ways of thinking, just like many other unschooling books do. It was a refreshing reminder for me.
One important piece of information that I learned and have to be aware of is that unschoolers (especially those new to it and may not truly understand how it's done) could get homeschool burnout! Yes! Burnout! I can relate to this. I think that being new to this homeschooling philosophy we sometimes assume as parents that what it is all about is meeting the needs of our children but we might think that means ignoring our own needs. I find that sometimes the work involved in facilitating the education for my children seems like more work than if I`m just following a curriculum. I need to think creatively and come up with things to do on the fly. I know that if they ask for something that I don`t feel like doing I can find ways to peacefully meet both my needs and theirs.
This book also touches on Dads in unschooling and how to be patient with them as they go through the transition. Basically, from what I understand, in an unschooling lifestyle we treat everyone in our lives the same way... with respect and love, no matter what.
We have been reading about the Mayan, Aztec, and Inca civilizations. I looked up some activities we could do that go along with with these themes. The funny thing is that with unschooling I may organize something that Austyn might like, but he may or may not choose to do it. He wanted me to get some activities ready for him but he took the materials I made available for the planned activities and decided to do his own things. He decided that he wanted to make Mayan people and a hut. He didn't fully finish but it looked good so far. He decided a day or so later that he'd make some sacrificial knives and capture stuffed animals to sacrifice to the Aztec Gods.
Zoe did follow my instructions. She made it herself and didn't fully understand what she was making before she started, but it all worked out for her anyway. She made an Incan Quipu. It is a way to keep track of things in life. We looked at actual pictures to see what they looked like and made our own but with a piece of bristle board so that each string could be identified as a different thing to keep track of. Zoe decided that she wanted to draw the activities she wanted to keep track of instead of printing the words out. She hung it on her wall and each time she does an activity she puts a knot in the string that represents it.
I assume that just about everyone knows who Robert Bateman is. He is a famous nature artist who spent a great deal of time in nature studying animals. Birds of Prey is full of Robert's beautiful, realistic paintings of raptors from all over the world.
He includes important details about each bird and shares his own personal experiences with them.
Be learning about Robert's experiences and his own observations I found that this book evokes more interest in spending more time in nature having our own experiences with these wonderful birds and other animals for that matter.
Robert has been an advocate for getting our Canadian youth outside to experience nature as much as possible. You can be sure that I'll be looking to see if he has written any other books like this one.