28 March 2011

unschool monday :: experimenting


Big owlet is our first child, so much of her life has been an experiment for us. Trial and error. Following her cues, hypothesising and testing ourselves. Each challenge has been met with hesitation, but usually if we just trust her we find our way through. I've learnt something about big owlet, after our little experiment with removing restrictions on screen time. She's extremely dedicated to finishing what she's started. Over the past two weeks she dedicated her time to watching 75 hours of Arthur. It drove us nuts. She spent time drawing pictures of the characters, telling us who were her favourite. She modelled Arthur's head from clay. She was totally engrossed. By wednesday this week we realised we were on the home stretch and we knew there was nothing we could do but ride it out. We tried various things to drag her away, but she kept returning. A bag of balloons led to all sorts of play and experimenting. The balloons made it out to the trampoline where the static electricity made them do all sorts of interesting things. They seemed to have a life of their own...


They became the cast of Arthur.


She told me she had one favourite episode. The one where Arthur and the Brain make a tv show of their own. Ah yes. That makes sense. We reflected lots on our experiment with Arthur 101. She agreed that it wasn't the healthiest way to spend her time. She understood that we wanted to find a little more balance in our days. That little owlet missed her playmate and we missed her general input. Felt like we'd lost her. And so when she finally finished watching yesterday, there was much cause for celebration. We were cooking and cleaning and gardening and the sun was shining. She played outside and proclaimed that everyday should be like this. And she hasn't looked at a screen since.


She snuck alongside me in the kitchen and asked to cook. She wanted to make her own recipe up. She hates following rules, so recipes aren't her thing at all. She often asks to have free reign over all the ingredients to make up her own things... which would be fine by us, but we work with a meal plan and a budget, and given the generosity of her cooking style, we've never been comfortable with free reign. But we've found some room for experimenting with left overs. So yesterday she concocted these jam and apple tarts with puff pastry scraps. Quite delectable and reassurance that somedays the experiment works out.


  1. Ah, so with Big Owlet with the not following recipes thing! For every dish that turns out a disaster, many more are awesome....problem is, you can never remember what you put in them!

    Hooray for you and Huz getting through the screen time! Congrats!

  2. What a gorgeous post Lauren, I'm smiling from ear to ear about Arthur 101.

    I sort of understand why a kid might want to watch Arthur over and over - it is the most weirdly compelling show with its odd little characters and spooky bits and comforting moral tales...

    A post of yours from a little while ago, with big and little owlets mixing and baking side by side inspired me to let my little ones loose on the pancake batter, at the same time. What a surprise - no fighting, no squealing or whinging or stealing each others tools. Just peaceful, cooperative industry. Thanks!

  3. Our eldest is doing the same with the TV show Charmed.She just has season 7 left then i have no idea where she will go from there....she will work it out.Its amazing how much TV can inspired a child (an Adult for that matter).

  4. Hello! I have just found your blog while searching for autumn tables! I hope you don't mind I have referred to you in my blog today?

    I see Sarah reads you too - I am newish in the last year to the blog world.

    Love yours and thanks for all the wonderful posts (:

    Rach x


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