What Does Unschooling Look Like?

What exactly is the definition of Unschooling? What does Unschooling look like and how do you do it?
For me, it’s like my favorite recipe…..follow my child’s interests, add a lot of free play, plenty of time for exploring, and create a rich learning environment.
Simply put, learning through living.

Last week was unusually full for us. Three big outings in one week, but it was fun!
We would normally spread all these outings out over the course of a month, but it’s hard to sit still with all this gorgeous weather we’ve been having.

Almost 90 degrees one day so you know where our first stop was…

This is one of our favorite local beaches. I think this one has the best shells and if we’re lucky, we get to watch crabs walking around, coming in and out of their holes in the sand.

littlesinthesand boysplashing

Anytime Samuel leaves one of his trucks in the sand I’m going to take a picture of it.
I love the whole abandoned toy look.

truckinthesand

Besides being one of the best spots for relaxing, the beach is also perfect for exploring and observing.

exploring

No crabs but we did find a few crab skins…just as good!

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When the tide is low like this we’re able to walk out and explore the rocks and talk about how the shells became fossilized on the rocks.

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And how these grooves were created in the sand.

designsinthesand

In the car on the way home:

practicing the times tables

talking about the periodic table

playing a game of I Spy

Had to take my gamer kids to see The Art of Video Games exhibit at the Chrysler Museum before it was gone.

Bonus: we ran into a couple of homeschool friends on our visit.

theartofvideogames
I was shocked to see arcade machines. I couldn’t help but laugh when Nakiah asked me what they were.
Even more hilarious? When she told me Space Invaders on the Atari wasn’t a real game because of how bumpy it was.
A quick explanation on some of the first games I ever played as a child and then on to exploring the rest of the exhibit.

There were stations set up in this big room and you could pick up the phone and listen to them talk about how different sections of the game were created, how long a character had been around, very cool. Ava ran around listening to almost all the stations.

They loved playing the games on the big screen. Pac-Man is not as easy as it looks.

originalpacman

The girls hung out in the arcade room for a while, taking turns with other kids, they played the xbox one, but Kiah was really drawn to the arcade machines. I think Ms Pac-Man was her favorite.

Original Mario Bros with the original controller!
How come my kids were able to play this game better than me?  Samuel played like a pro, taking the secret tunnel and using that remote like he grew up playing back in the 80’s.

I lost count of how many times we went back to this one. My Mario loving boy was in heaven.
originalmariobros

At home there was the Life and Planet Earth Documentaries on Netflix.

Particularly the episodes on whales and sharks, venus fly trap, and insects.

Puzzles

Backyard play

Talking about the weather and how meteorologist predict the weather

To the Zoo towards the end of the week.
I can’t get over how big she’s getting! You know she’s almost as tall as me(I’m 5’3″) and she’s only 10 1/2!
She’s so sweet.

girlwithmap

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Samuel had his map out and I asked him what he wanted to go see, he said the Tanuki, and I’m like “what are you talking about?” He points to what looks like a raccoon on the map, so we headed that way. His Tanuki is a Red Panda, but he insisted on calling it a Tanuki, like the one from Super Mario Bros.

My brother informed me that Japan does have an animal called a Tanuki aka Japanese Raccoon Dog.

sleepingredpanda

A Double-billed Toucan. Interesting looking.

doiublebilledtoucan
How adorable are mama and baby zebra?

mamaandbabyzebra mamababyzebra

We were taking a snack break when Ava spotted the giraffe.

I’m kinda in love with this photo.

girlandgiraffe
I thought this turtle was just a rock when I first walked by. He’s huge!
Ava kept insisting he needed water because he was so dry…I assured her that if he needed water he would walk over to it and get some.

bigturtle

kidsandturtle

Kiah really wanted to see the snakes, so we trekked across the zoo.
Spotted a Bald Eagle on the way. It’s sad he can’t fly because of injury to his wings.

baldeagle
Samuel asked if that bird that walks around would be there when we pulled into the zoo parking lot….he got his wish.

kidsandpeacock spiderwebplay

Reptiles and Amphibians…

greensnake

Hey mom, aren’t those the frogs we saw on that life show?

Yup, those are poison dart frogs.

poisondartfrogs

Is that an iguana?

lizard

He came down to look at me!

kidandlizard

Looks like we have the place all to ourselves before heading home.

giantglobe kidsandglobe

After all that, it’s no wonder we’ve slowed down this week.

This week we’ve played with friends

Stopped at a park on the way home from running errands

More Life and Planet Earth on Netflix

Gumball on Hulu

Charlie and Lola on YouTube.

We’ve talked about what helium is, the symbols for oxygen and water are on the periodic table

That one time we saw dolphins on the beach right on the other side of the rocks

Skyping with homeschool friends while playing Animal Jam

That one time looooong ago when a dead baby shark washed up on the beach and how badly it smelled

What Does Unschooling Look Like?  For me, it’s like my favorite recipe…..follow my child’s interests, add a lot of free play, plenty of time for exploring, and create a rich learning environment. Simply put, learning through living.

This is what unschooling looks like for my family.

I’m so in love with our life right now.