road trip

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i’m blogging from the road!! don’t worry i’m not driving. we’re on a 9 hour trip and so far so good. darla has a whole bag of tricks that i’m praying get us through the day. d’s a pretty darn good travel partner though.

and me, i’ve just got my hat and a couple good books. that’s all i need.

ARKANSAS OR BUST!!!

balloon fight

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darla requested a water balloon fight over the weekend. experiences like these make me cognizant of how happy i am that i’m a parent. it has been a really long time since my last water balloon fight. i have forgotten some of the simple pleasures in life that come flooding back in a whole new way when you’re experiencing them with your child. Like looking for worms, swinging, catching fireflies and water balloon fights.

is that what summer is about? is summer eternal childhood?

i think i would like to think of it that way for the rest of my days.

unschooling: cherry picking

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we had cherry trees growing up. i used to sit in them for hours and eat sun-ripened tart cherries by the handful. i jumped on the chance to take darla cherry picking this week. if the trees hadn’t belonged to someone else I would have let her climb on up so i could look back on myself as a kid because i’ve somehow figured out a way to reincarnate myself before i’m even dead.

we compared the difference between picking cherries and strawberries and just had nice conversations about the orchards. darla was more interested in meeting new people so i let her do her thing, reminding myself that it’s important she learn from others. it’s always fun to sit back and listen to her discussions with other kids and grown-ups. it’s a built-in assessment opportunity.

and who can pass up the opportunity to have fresh cherries for 4th of july? hello cherry cobbler. darla requested we make some cherry jam b/c our strawberry jam is flying out of the fridge and into our mouths at an amazing pace. i’m also thinking of trying to dry some using the car window method.

one thing is for sure, we’re hooked on these food field trips. i can’t wait for black raspberries!

thanks for checking in on our latest unschooling efforts.

unschooling: strawberry picking

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last week darla and i went strawberry picking as one of our unschooling field trips. it was the first day of summer and let me tell you strawberry pickin’ is just about the best thing to do for the first day of summer. she and i spent a little less than an hour hauling in some sweetness and in that time we discussed attributes of the strawberry plant such as they seeds on the outside of the berry, the berries growing on the underneath side of the plant and the runners the plants send out. after that we discussed the principles of a market and how the price of things at a market or grocery store reflect the work of others to pick and transport. darla said “i prefer to pick them myself and do my own work because they taste so much better that way.” this means she gets it. this also means i let her eat berries in the field. oops.

the unschooling continued at home as we took on projects in the kitchen such as strawberry preserves, strawberry syrup from the discarded tops, strawberry cornbread muffins and fresh whipped cream for some snacking once we immediately brought them home.

you can check back in with us throughout the summer for more pickin’ field trips. I do believe July is when the black raspberries come in season and thems my favorite.

unschooling: butter making

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if you read this blog regularly {which you should} you know that i talk about butter a lot. go ahead and type butter into that search box and just see what pops up. anyway, when i saw this simple butter making activity on five little homesteaders the other day i was like “e’rybody got time for that” and giddily went about buying heavy cream and it’s the first thing darla and i did together when she got back to our home. i really enjoyed making this with her and we used basically the same method again a few days later to make fresh whipped cream for our strawberry pickins. i don’t need to give you any instructions because you can just click on that link. actually, here are my instructions on how to make butter: CLICK ON THAT LINK.

the kitchen is one of our main unschooling areas. i’ve been moving towards making food stuffs from scratch and it’s been an important learning arena for all of us. i think it important to understand where are food comes from and how it is made.

i’d also like to note that we were also able to use the buttermilk to make biscuits and added a bit to our soup. it’s like a turn of the century kitchen up in there. i mean the century before this one. if i meant 2000 there would be a dusty bread machine in some corner. there’s not. just dusty corners.

summer sun adventurez

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am i correct that memorial day weekend is the kick-off to summer? it is in my brainz. since we spent today at the pool i’m going to go with yes.

warm weather means a lot of activity, right? i’ve made it a habit in the summers to make a list of adventure destinations for darla and i for the mornings when i know we need to get out and about but i’m drawing a blank. i’m planning lots and lots of outdoor exploration.

i’m a big believer in filling my child’s life with experiences. i just want the summer time to be about adventure and exploration, loose bedtimes, walking barefoot and watching out for bumblebees. i want firefly catching and wading in the creek up to our knees. i want pies and watermelon smiles. and i want music and dancing and sleeping outside to watch the meteor showers. i want trips and camping and staying up late to tell spooky stories which darla will insist upon.

does that sound good?

well, this is the beginning of my list. i hope to add some new destinations because i know novelty was always a big learning opportunity for me. i feel like there’s a lot of this big state we haven’t discovered yet.

any fun suggestions for outdoor stuff out there???

growing thingz

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one of the things i think darla and i share in common is that we are experiential learners. the best way for me to learn is to try my hand at something and to then take note of all my mistakes and make plans for improvements in future endeavors. i wish i could be a better direction follower and researcher but my most concrete lessons are always the ones i’ve had to teach and learn myself.

i feel this has been the biggest purpose of our larger scale garden this year. we’re learning side-by-side, a bit of unschooling for both of us. i love the fact that the gardening and planting has been something that darla has had a great deal of involvement with this time around. everything from running items to the composter, planting, watering, helping me to make a natural insecticide and even talking to the plants when they were little sproutlets in our house. i’m happy to have the help while i can before she becomes to grown-up to find the tasks fun anymore.

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momma daughter field trip!

we took a field trip down to the public garden plots our neighborhood rents out to take a tour of what other folks are doing. we came a couple of times last year to look but this time we were able to talk a little more in-depth about growing techniques because both she and i have more knowledge.

i am reminded by these activities that everything is a learning experience for her right now. i am really looking forward to this summer, to get back to some of these free-wheeling learning expeditions. i’m always amazed by how much she already knows how to do for herself and i’m reminded that this learning happens from life and not from books. i pray the universe helps me remember this when conventional wisdom starts making me think that i should be pushing her into structured school and learning.

a day in may

the first day of may was very picturesque here in columbus. today is starting off pretty grand as well. i like what you’re offering so far, may:

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our day included picnic in the park, my first load of laundry out on the line for the year, a prenatal meeting for my june clients, and popsicles and nail painting on the porch. that’s a lot of P activities and it wasn’t on purpose. can you tell darla talked me into letting her paint mine too?  i just had such a good time with her yesterday. it’s during these days that i say in my head “can we just always be this way? can she just stay with me and we’ll read books in the park and go on adventures and she won’t need school, we’ll learn together along the way?”  i guess we’ll find out the answers to those questions in their own time.

actually now that i’ve looked at it longer, sorry about that picture. it’s pretty gross. outdoor feet = funky feet.

may, i give you permission to let all days be just like may day.

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