31 January 2011

unschool monday :: growing - part one


As I've mentioned before, big owlet's current interest is with all things that grow. So she tells me anyhow. Seems to have been her main interest since birth. She's our little bug lover. She picks up spider eggs to examine them, collects creepy crawlies and gives them names, like Emily the slater. She's our little Gerald Durrell. If you've not read his book, My Family and Other Animals, I highly recommend it. Its basically an account of a boy's unschooling in the Greek Islands. I'm reading it to big owlet for the first time and although the language is a little beyond her, she's enjoying it and it opens up all sorts of discussions on words and phrases she's not heard before... Her interest in growing things has extended to plants of late. In the picture above, are two pots she found in the back yard. She and little owlet shoved a pea in each and named them. Peatrice and Louis. They water them occasionally and are marveling at how much they are growing everyday and that little owlet's is smaller. I do love how these little unit studies or themes pop up naturally and we just follow along with them, strewing some interesting things in their path from time to time that relate. It keeps my creative head entertained thinking of little things for them.

I've also mentioned how we're designing a children's play area in the garden... Well I use the term designing in a rather loose way. The garden is a rather large project, bigger than our wallets and timetable will allow all in one go, so it will have to evolve gradually. We've so far endeavoured to source everything extremely cheaply and re-use/recycle if at all possible. This was both a budgetary measure and an ethical one... we'd like the owlets to understand the importance of re-using things and how to source things locally. How to make something beautiful or useful out of something thrown away. So, of course we started at the tip shop...

tip shop

The owlets are no strangers to the tip shop, and we came away with armloads of stuff for our new space.


We've worked all day today. Digging out the old cat toilet - I mean sand pit - yuk!! Relocating old horrid sand, finding dirt underneath for digging in instead, then constructing a new, clean sand pit nearby, with fresh sand and although I hate adding plastic to an area I'd rather remain natural, we used a clam shell. Mainly for the reason that little owlet is the complete antithesis of her sister and has a phobia of all things bug or dirt. At least she can have cleanish fun there. And get her hands dirty without really noticing. So the smallest sandpit in the known universe has landed in our garden.


Other plans involve a mud kitchen, noise making wall and a log ring which I'll tell you all about tomorrow if I get it set up...

So that was our unschool monday. Not bad, given tiny owlet only allowed work in ten minute bursts and little owlet had a cold. We also managed plenty of screen time... something I'm hoping the outdoor area will provide distraction from before winter sets in.

While I'm here, Onlinecollege.org have put together a list of 50 best blogs in the unschooling movement. There are some brilliant blogs on their list and much to my surprise, owlet is there too :) Do go have a look if you are vaguely interested in unschooling, parenting, education, interesting stuff... Some fab reads there.

Also, feel free to join in here. Leave your link and have a look at what others are doing in their unschooling days/weeks.


  1. 'my family and other animals' was my absolute favourite book when i was about 11...i read it, re-read it, and read it again! In fact, i think i might need to re-read it again soon!!

  2. Congratulations on the award.

    I love reading your blog and you were instrumental in me starting one myself.
    Thank you.
    With love,

  3. I'm going to see if the library has a copy of book, My Family and Other Animals. Sounds like a book that my daughters and I would enjoy reading together.

  4. Hi Lauren, what curriculum do you follow for your un-schooling? Is there one that you recommend?


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