A Year in the Life of an Interest-Led Learner 2011-12 (video)

by ChristinaPilkington on May 5, 2012 · 16 comments

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Each month I share with you the activities and resources our family uses on our interest-led, unschooling journey. But I don’t usually share pictures of my family.

It’s not that I don’t want to share. I do. It’s just that I decided the major focus of this site will be to talk about ways we can provide a life of adventure, passion and connections with our kids.

Now, that said, I was thinking that maybe you wouldn’t mind just a little  better glimpse of our day to day lives. And the best way I can think of to do that is to share pictures.

Maybe it’s because I’m a visual person, but I think that when you can really see into someones elses’s world through pictures or video, it helps you become just a little closer to them.

Each year, I put together a birthday DVD for the kids. I pull pictures from the entire year, highlights of the special things we did and places we went to, and put them in chronological order along with a few songs on a DVD. I plan to do this every year, and then when the kids turn 18, I’m going to combine the highlights from all the years onto one DVD to play at a special birthday celebration.

I’d like to share with you the DVD that I put together for them. I hope it helps give you a little better idea of what our family is like and the life that we live.

Photo Credit: JnL

Do you have any special way to remember the highlights of your family’s year?

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  • http://thegettys.blogspot.com Susan

    Chris, this is just fantastic! I have finally gotten the time to actually watch this..what a great idea :) So special!

    • christinapilkington

      Thanks! It takes quite a bit of work to put it together every year, but I love watching all the fun we’ve had over the past year. It will be fun to watch all of them in a row when they turn 18!

  • http://profiles.google.com/kacagle Karen Terry Cagle

    What a beautiful thing to do for your kids. First of all HAPPY BIRTHDAY to them! I miss Keilee being 6.

    There are so many pictures I love; the one with them in the mud pool [Keilee loves mud, still!], the one with your daughter with the panties? undies? on her head and the one with the crowns and earrings. Is that Pretty, Pretty Princess?? Keilee loved that game. :)

    I loved the first song too. So sweet. One of the ones I have used for videos like this is “Child of Mine” by Carole King. It is a lovely song.

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful video!

    • christinapilkington

      You’re welcome :) Yeah, the one picture was taken after we played several games of Pretty, Pretty Princess. They played it almost every day for a month, but we haven’t taken it out that much lately. Maybe I’ll lay it out for them again to remind them. I love all the ways the kids dress up. Those are my favorite pictures of them! And it makes my heart feel so good that Keillee still loves mud. She seems to love to play so much at age 12. That’s how I hope my kids will be, too, at that age.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VPWZ2C6HZCI3RHBRMCW3NOAFXY Michelle and Hub

    Christina, I have been following your blog for only a few weeks and I’m finding it really interesting. This post was just awesome! There’s something really touching about you sharing such an intimate view of your family’s life.

    I do exactly the same as you…I use One True Media to make a birthday video for my little boy every year. He loves watching them over and over (he just turned 6 as well), and I do too!

    I admit I cried a little as I listened to the first song (so sweet!). Would you mind sharing what it is? Thanks. And thanks for your wonderful blog.


    • christinapilkington

      Michelle and Hub, I’m so glad you’re finding my site valuable! It’s so awesome to hear about someone who does the same thing, too. I know lots of people who scrapbook or do something with just pictures, but never making a birthday DVD. I used Windows Movie Maker. I could get more fancy with transitions between the pictures, but I like to have as many pictures as possible.

      The first song is called Come to Me by Celine Dion and the second is These are the Special Times by Christina Aguilara. I also take a long time each year deciding on just the right song:)

  • http://www.littlehomeschoolontheprairie.com/ Jenn

    I have to do this for my girls!

    What a great idea! I love seeing all the fun y’all had this year:) Just beautiful!

    • christinapilkington

      You should do it! It’s so much fun to watch the previous years each year, too.

  • http://creatingtreasures.blogspot.com/ Tereza Crump

    oh, Christina this is so beautiful! thanks for sharing.

    The way I remember the highlights of our lives is through scrapbooking. I make mini albums and scrapbook pages and then I put my favorite photos in there and journal my feelings or thoughts. Sometimes I write a little prayer on the page for my child. Sometimes I tell them why I like the photo and record what is so special about it. It takes more time to do it and I don’t do with all the photos…sometimes I am months behind…but the ones I do make I make them special so that the children can see my heart and how I love them so.

    Here is an example…


    This is a layout I made of my 2 oldest children. We went fishing on a beautiful fall morning. As always they are inseparable. Wherever you see one the other is there too. I couldn’t resist and snap this shot and then it took my breath away later and time just stood still. ah, love!!!

    here is another photo of them when my DD was about 5-6 and her brother was 3-4 years old. They were watching a parade and naturally embraced each other.


    blessings, :)

    • christinapilkington

      I loved your pictures! I’d like to play around with an editing program, too, someday. I always love the spotaneous pictures more than the posed ones, too. What gorgeous memories!

  • http://www.homegrownlearners.com Mary

    This is a great way to chronicle your year. It was beautifully done – and I love the song. :-)

    • christinapilkington

      Thanks! Yeah, I feel in love with both songs the first time I heard them.

  • http://amylandisman.com/ Amy

    I’m so glad you decided to share this. What a wonderful and sweet idea!

    • christinapilkington


  • http://onceasmallseed.blogspot.com/ onceasmallseed…

    Thanks for sharing. What a beautiful life you all have. DVD that’s a good idea. I put the first year of my blog into a book for my daughter. I plan on doing this every year as well.

    • christinapilkington

      Thanks! I was thinking about doing that for another blog that I have. It will be such a wonderful way to remember all the memories you’re making in your family.

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