slate run

 photo 84F8E536-D8E5-42B6-B2E3-21CCF80790FE-16021-00000CD36952FEAC_zps5b2b5de6.jpg photo 47D038C8-B651-4C07-B250-ACA82E918F14-15595-00000C6263D43854_zpsf209b68c.jpg photo 6E1E3946-2300-4A61-97F0-665CAE4A35E1-15595-00000C6274992A86_zps6d7bd487.jpg photo B503641F-C5CD-4931-AB1D-72FD15B1453B-15595-00000C627ABE553B_zps4d29e231.jpg photo 9BCE927A-004E-4AC1-9DE1-15753CE464CE-15595-00000C6280208944_zps1b9645f5.jpg photo 6455FD77-0B89-4A35-989B-06735A115032-15595-00000C629188D4F2_zps667edffb.jpg photo 1031F705-7D4B-4892-9093-F6BF77DFEB25-15595-00000C6295B71590_zpsef6bcec6.jpg photo 3CC250FC-C2FB-4735-8059-F6EFD0FCCAAC-15595-00000C629A5EF228_zps81b9fb19.jpg photo A23C1214-162E-40F9-AC7F-321B32E5B75A-15595-00000C629FA0F6D5_zpsb0d4c5d5.jpg photo DCE1FE54-E767-4F00-B043-08962934B70A-15595-00000C62A3AA92B0_zpseffc4613.jpg

oh how we love slate run. i think it’s been way too long since we were last there. we really got our farm on last week given that we were at aullwood just a day before but this time were both equipped with boots. boots make a big difference on a farm.

we started out the morning exploring parts of the park previously unknown to us. our visit started with the covered bridge. darla made me gallop with her back and forth across the bridge. she was ichabod and i was the headless horseman. we walked some short trails and paused for a bit in the prairie with the wildflowers. and it was at that moment that i was again struck by how thankful i am to have this life with her. i will keep my daughter in the wildflowers and out of the classroom for as long as possible.

i’m really looking forward to fall outings. i hope we get nice sunny days perfect for short trips back to slate run. d was pretty excited about getting to romp around after a flock of she-turkeys. she was not so enthused to mess with the males.

can i just say i’m glad i wasn’t born a turkey. i’m real sorry but they are quite ugly creatures.

oh and ps.

I JUST WANT TO DO THIS FOREVER!

Advertisements

afternoon

 photo CD6BCE28-F924-4242-BC28-A1BC8E8FFBCD-16021-00000CD371CDB9DC_zps284884cb.jpg photo 8ACE4F75-D7DF-4289-892E-3C4686C38F05-16021-00000CD66C76F514_zpsc1103618.jpg

darla’s art projects always end the same way…inking up her body. i know what the future holds. i was told “this is a cyclops and his girlfriend.” I would actually be thrilled if Darla got this tattooed later in life. I think I’d get a matching one.

i’ve struggled a bit with teaching d to write. other than her name and the word poop she hasn’t had much motivation to learn to form letters and any lesson we’ve done up until now has seemed pretty pushy to me.

reading up on the unschooling philosophies has taught me to sit back and wait for the teachable moments. i have relied on the confidence that darla will show interest when she is ready and motivated and we finally had one of those moments. i suggested making a welcome sign for my mom and d was very into the whole process. she even seemed to like the process we developed of practicing each letter twice before putting it on the sign. this was a good time! i realize this is not the greatest penmanship but i’m mostly jazzed about the effort and enthusiasm she had for this activity. i’m thankful to be learning to be gentle with the learning process. We’ve been writing pretend letters and books for a few months so I think a real interest in learning to write is write around the corner. {pun!}

we shall see.

Unschooling: Aullwood Farm

 photo C019C7A8-3DE2-498F-BF21-75B123EE9DD0-14711-00000B9F77F1C556_zps069d5a04.jpg photo 1C04D15A-5F9F-4EE5-8BD6-6798AE8196EE-14711-00000B9C788520FA_zps61b403ef.jpg photo 25DFE4B6-F096-410D-94E4-EA9248FCB0D8-14711-00000B9C80360847_zpsdbab1ca2.jpg photo F1702E9C-2F01-4E90-9902-91606FC075B9-14711-00000B9C8417554F_zps9fdf8a66.jpg

our second half of our visit to Aullwood was spent at the farm. i found it very interesting that darla chose to spend most of her time and energy exploring was the herb garden. she asked about every single herb and we spent almost an hour smelling and comparing. there were hundreds of these little yellow butterflies that swirled around us every time we moved further along the path. i wish i had been able to get a picture of it but i’m glad i just left it as something to experience instead of document.

we thoroughly enjoyed visiting the animals but spent more time in the farm exhibit house.

another aspect i enjoy of unschooling is that it works even on days when i don’t really feel at my best. many days i’ve simply taken darla out into the world and let her be the guide about what we learn. i imagine it would be so hard as an educator on the days you feel less than tip top. all i have to do is provide an atmosphere in which learning can occur and be willing to interact as darla sees fit. it’s always very interesting to me to see the things she latches onto and inquires for more information. it’s usually not what i would have guessed and i’m thankful to be able to follow her lead.

thanks for checking in on our recent unschooling!

Unschooling: Aullwood Audubon Center

 photo 334F9336-5BAB-4F5E-A88A-2F9A8FAE45CD-14711-00000B9BA3D42477_zps584722c7.jpg photo D11577DD-6337-47DB-9702-36C6E3C3DD59-14711-00000B9BFEBC5777_zpsdae5fa9a.jpg photo 43A78B88-0D5B-46F8-87FB-8F978F828DAD-14711-00000B9BEABB556B_zps514a1d6a.jpg photo C4E698C2-B743-4E20-85C7-E26E43C6C4A5-14711-00000B9BF02500B5_zps9298ec79.jpg photo A1A7654B-6A78-4B5A-B727-D2799B2CA4A8-14711-00000B9BF40797F6_zpsb2e0a381.jpg photo 8EF70052-28B3-45F1-AA42-6C6E1CF4519E-14711-00000B9C265ABBA2_zps8aeeff26.jpg

d’s absence all weekend made me really ambitious towards unschooling last week. we didn’t even make it home before it began. we had stopped at the aullwood center last year as a fam but only saw a fraction of what the park had to offer so we stopped off again last week and spent the rest of the day there.

i’m splitting this post into two sections because there was soooo much going on with this day i kinda worry it was information overload. we spent the beginning of the trip in the center learning about turtles and creek life, bees, animal bones and tracks and the usual nature center stuff. the highlight here was petting the turtles. i really spent most of my time explaining to darla why she could not get in the turtle habitat.

then we took our time on the .75 mile hike to the farm through the woods. d was in an especially determined mood and lead the way through the forest picking up on all sorts of foresty details. i thought it was cool that some of the trees were labeled with the date and causation of their fell.

we stopped to say hello to an especially woolly friend at the gate into the farm. i love this outing and hope to return to the Aullwood Audubon Center again soon. some highlights from the farm will be coming shortly.

thanks for checking in on our unschooling today!

unschooling: batelle darby metro park

 photo D5E28890-3DC9-4E30-B326-BC8A373A55FE-8074-000006A470546E93_zpsa07ab692.jpg photo E7F15664-9BE6-4CA2-9AAD-2D50BE4D50BD-8040-000006A1488E9822_zps642933bc.jpg photo 9765A089-51A6-4BF0-AA18-F081FFDA58B3-8040-000006A14D20458D_zps68683da0.jpg photo C47BA905-328E-4108-BC5F-9D504D7C5B60-8040-000006A151497CC4_zpsd49c15d3.jpg photo 7340259B-21D0-480B-940A-5905EAF84020-8074-000006A31E880ED0_zpscfcce1d2.jpg photo 5397FB28-291D-4891-A778-B35907B12381-8040-000006A15A3A2990_zps5cd63db0.jpg photo F794CB56-7882-4D11-8ABC-B4FBF4C152DC-8040-000006A15DEB3236_zpsfede2d6d.jpg photo 4AD1FDDF-2629-403B-B09C-F1F82B67483F-8040-000006A1618F995D_zpse0b0809c.jpg photo 89D8FF05-3740-4101-AE13-31AA9E84FC90-8040-000006A1654BA154_zpsa711eba0.jpg

it is gorgeous days like this one that remind me why i’m keeping this blog. i will cherish these times always.

so here is a not-so-short list of things i can remember that we discussed and learned at batelle darby:

  • architectural structures
  • rock formations
  • gravity
  • the difference between bison and buffalo {fact: there have never been buffalo in America, only bison.}
  • flower names
  • the ecosystems of a stream
  • touched a turtle and a snake {not me, but darla did}
  • practiced the different sounds a rock makes when it’s thrown in the water
  • looked at decaying wood
  • hiked in woods and prarie and compared them
  • looked at bones and pelts
  • examined feathers on bird’s wing and magnification
  • different frog sounds
  • bird migration patterns
  • bees
  • trees

and honestly, i can’t remember b/c there was just so much to take in. we spent a good 4 hours there. 4 hours and no bison, however. they were hiding for the day but that gives us a reason to go back.

i am so thoroughly in love with the metro parks system. I am hoping we have a good 2-3 more months of outdoor exploration. we still have so much to see and revisit.

i hope these posts show how truly thankful and grateful I am to have the opportunity to spend these days running around with darla. it’s hard to imagine ever doing anything differently than the way we are now but i know to take each day as it comes.

i’m just filled with gratitude and love when i look back on some of these days. i want to put that down here for my darla.

what is unschooling?

 photo 1A93F2F0-0E2A-45A8-BFA2-6ED2781A7890-7827-0000066F83149529_zpscb9e1da2.jpg

since i’ve been passing our summer adventures off as unschooling i’ve received lots of questions about unschooling, mainly: what is it?

the truth is, i don’t know exactly. My first exposure to the idea of unschooling was on a tv program called extreme parenting. when i first saw it, probably due a bit to dramatic tv editorial, i thought it seemed very strange. but something piqued my interest and i began to poke around on the internet for more information.

i follow a couple of blogs {here and here} that employ unschooling in their homes. with the homeschool movement back in full force, unschooling now seems like not such a big leap.

what has appealed to me about it thus far is that it allows me to educate darla in a very fluid way. i don’t have to prepare intricate lesson plans. i or darla can determine an activity or adventure for the day and we “see what we can see. find what we can find.”  also, unschooling just makes sense to me. children learn by doing. children learn by seeing. children and ADULTS learn by gravitating towards their natural interests.

but i admit i am just now starting to really dig my fingers into the research. i just picked up my first two books on unschooling. i hope to follow these up with more. See, i’m unschooling myself.

i’ll share what i find out. then you can read if you want to and unschool yourself. or not.

unschooling: ohio historical center outdoor session

 photo 6082FDCA-B04B-4449-B2F4-0E55BBBAF4A0-7110-000005F6E31F9C55_zps27d841e5.jpg

dear people of ohio,

take your children to the ohio history center. you’re welcome.

i’m going to tell you about the second half of our day at the ohio history center along with these amusing photos. sound good?

for the second half of the day we visited the Ohio Village. activities like these are a dream come true for me since traveling back in time is my ultimate life goal. before we could actually visit the village we had to dress ourselves appropriately:

 photo E715E00F-2019-4091-B7A1-97EEDF9F8B63-6750-0000059629F54D3B_zpscec9599d.jpg

bonnets!

 photo 2E6ED665-411D-4A56-8F16-79D82DF0A519-6750-000005963121EACD_zpseb9c2d21.jpg

OMG, the bonnets!

 photo 256590AC-6FC1-4C87-9458-8256B31FCD1F-6750-000005963E8465B1_zps87fb45ed.jpg

I like to call this next one “Sad Bonnet” because this is when darla faked sadness and said i never take pictures of her. hahahahaha. future darla has now read a whole entire blog composed just of pictures i’ve taken of her. silly sad bonnet girl.

 photo 70CE05C6-C98E-4291-9040-8E622892CC80-6750-000005963914C8D5_zps98492f07.jpg

and in her sadness she declared she did not like the bonnet any more, so i wore the bonnet. and this took me back to the days when i would run around the yard in my own bonnet and prarie dress playing Little House.

 photo B32146B9-7E01-4B71-8528-5651F520A41C-6750-0000059648920FF2_zps4dd13dcf.jpg

after dealing with the dressing and undressing, we were finally able to cross the bridge over to the magical Ohio Village. a place where all the volunteers think it’s funny to chastise you for wearing shorts and claim you are showing your undergarments. {it’s not funny.}

  photo 0C128C68-1520-4B03-B1C1-6747C0891A9D-6750-000005964EF1D42A_zpsb3f2b23e.jpg

indecent exposure aside, that did not stop us from having all kinds of old-time fun. like making lace!

 photo D78E462D-70BD-4CD5-9970-7A0CF7429D56-6750-0000059659C4E9E9_zps1c77959d.jpg

yeah, darla made lace! can you believe it? she also almost stabbed a woman but it’s cool.

 photo 98BAB29D-58E3-4CED-B5BC-13937F2AD1F6-6750-00000596613FBBFF_zps63753591.jpg

this was the point in the timeline that i started feeling like the ohio village was really, really rad. i mean, darla made lace!

side note: does it sound cool when i say rad?

next up, more dress up!

 photo D78D5BB1-0982-4BEA-874B-37762DC385E6-6750-000005966F66795A_zps5d763246.jpg photo 34AF16C0-0E85-4521-89BC-6B5F712CC092-6750-000005967462A2DF_zps76310413.jpg photo 48B1F653-6D30-40DC-ADE5-5FA3FB08E456-6750-00000598CEFADA93_zps30da39fa.jpg photo 2A00B2BB-48E0-4971-8D4D-CA00038C1DFE-6750-00000597CF5A509B_zps088721a2.jpg

and there it is. a dream come true for me. i finally got to wear a hoop skirt. i cannot for the life of me understand how those things ever went out of fashion. it was so breezy up in there! i want to make my own. i also want to be corseted but apparently i missed the boat on that about 27 years ago.

we rounded out with the druggist, the toy maker and the barn but i stopped taking pictures here. do we really need to see 50 pictures of our day at the ohio village? no. we don’t. although a few years from now I may be lamenting the fact that i didn’t take more pix of that hot, beautiful day. { i think not though. }

 photo 46C8299C-C776-4CBB-BBC3-4A8B66009CF8-6750-00000597C75CD350_zps39c00688.jpg photo A03D991C-2CA3-438B-9428-A8637023559D-6750-00000597CBE70368_zps3d799570.jpg

ending on an advertisement for ridding your body of tapeworm seemed like a good idea. so there you go.

also, i’m going to bet that the kickapoo indians never saw a dime of money from this enterprise.

so that’s the end of a fine day of unschooling. the ohio historical center gets a top-notch rating from me for offering us an extremely interactive experience on our first visit.

thanks for checking in on our unschooling today!