24 March 2014
Unschool Monday :: Rambling...
Well… after a valiant attempt on both our behalves to, at Big Owlet's request, very loosely follow the Australian grade five Steiner curriculum, Big Owlet proclaimed herself "a little bit bored" with that and has set aside her research books for now and moved on… Time at the table, working together has made way for short bursts of inspiration and chats over mealtimes while we all ramble a bit and find our way through the day. Finding rhythm within that, to satiate Big Owlet's sometimes-love of structure, and knowing when to let go of the structure in favour of fun and chaos, is what keeps this nest bubbling along happily.
So Big Owlet is currently rising early, often to work on her drawing in a quiet nest, before her siblings awake. She also steals moments at times during the day to keep drawing... always drawing and practicing. She still asks me to work on an art exercise with her from time-to-time, but for the most part she's working at her drawing on her own, taking on suggestions as they arise.
We found some anime and manga drawing books on sale at a bookshop in town and Big Owlet set to work not long after. She's been enjoying graphic novels and we've been analysing the social constructs and sexual stereotypes within some of the anime and comic genre while exploring feminist anime characters. We've also, of course, been watching lots of Miyazaki films. Then sometimes Big Owlet will just break out and draw something from observation. She's beginning to get over her perfectionism and can see that her work is improving.
Then there's role playing. Huz visited his Mum and picked up all his old Dungeons & Dragons and Middle Earth role-playing books and miniatures geekery - an absolute treasure trove for Big Owlet and where she's at right now. It's also providing hours of fun for Huz who's constructing games for Big Owlet which surprisingly take in lots of geographic, historical and mathematical concepts, while testing her literary thinking and knowledge. Add to that her Minecraft Homeschool Vikings unit, her days with friends at co-op, gymnastics and kung-fu and weekend adventures and she has pretty busy days!
Little Owlet is still absorbed in her cook book. Always adding to it and re-visiting recipes. Taking ideas from books we read and films we watch. Once a week she stays up late on her own to watch a tv show with me and Huz. Her show of choice, without fail, is Iron Chef. She always wants the challenger to win. Dismayed with the lack of baking while I'm undertaking the Whole30 challenge, she's taken to cooking every day for her sisters and still always grabs the spoon from my hand when I'm cooking.
Lately Little Owlet has taken to gardening alongside me and I'm secretly hoping some of that practical interest will cross over and she'll enjoy learning holistically about where the food she's cooking with comes from. Both interests have certainly helped quell her fear of the outdoors and experimenting with new foods. Progress! Yes! She's also working super hard at reading, mastering her first small chapter book and spelling out random words she's learnt, off the top of her head. I'm loving watching her literacy learning path and how it is so different to her sister's.
As for Tiny, well, her days are filled with play and exploration of the sensory kind. Just as life should be when you are three. She's coming down with the squeezels quite regularly these days, so it's a good thing that Dr Cheeseballs is here to help.
So our days are pretty loose and flowing gently right now. A little out breath, perhaps before Winter. They seem to match these golden, last warm days of Autumn and I'm thinking of squirrelling away some nurturing, inspiring resources and activities for wintry days.
I'm also making the most of the garden and it's always lovely to find an owlet or three spending time alongside me, playing, digging, helping or daydreaming. Foraging for berries and eggs, playing with pets or bouncing on the trampoline… Golden, rambling unschooling days indeed.
How are your days rolling along?
Is your year different to how it started out?
Getting much time in the garden?
Have a wonderful week. xx
**Photos in this post are by me @owletmama and Huz @berondi