To all who live in the United States, Happy 4th of July! I hope you all will be having a wonderful day with your family.
We’re spending our 4th of July in an unusual way this year. We’re driving to Canada! We’re actually headed out today on a three week road trip. We’ll be staying briefly in Toronto and Montreal. Then on Saturday, we’ll leave Canada for a week in Acadia National Park in Maine. Then we’ll be going to Boston and New York City before returning home to Chicago.
While I’m gone, I’ll be bringing you a series of some great guest posts. I’ve really excited to share them with you!
For today, I’m listing all our unschooling fun and resources for June. Enjoy!
By the Shores of Silver Lake – A Little House on the Prairie Book
Andre the Albatross
Birds of Antartica: Adeline Penguins
Travel the World Multicultural Boxed Set- Bobbie Dazzler, My Father’s Shop, What Eddie Can Do, and Half of an Elephant
I Spy Books: Santa Claus: Riddles, An Egg in a Nest, A Skeleton, A Pumpkin, A Scary Monster
The New Better Homes and Garden Cookbook – I know- this seems like a strange selection. But Alexa decided, quite out of the blue actually, that she wants to learn how to cook. Since our house has been pretty torn up this past week and we haven’t been able to use our stove, she’s spent hours and hours just sitting on the couch reading this cookbook. She’s actually taught me a lot of new cooking terminology!
National Geographic’s Encyclopedia of Animals – Alexa spent at least a dozen hours this month looking up animals in this book and then reading about them on Wikipedia.
Kiwi Crates – Medieval Dress-up and Catapult
Creating a Glowing Firefly out of a plastic bottle and sliding it up and down a string
At Home Fun
Outside: playing catch, riding scooters, throwing pop bombs and smoke bombs, swinging, running through the sprinkler
Playing war and spy games, lots of pretend play, baking cookies
Learning how to cook – My mom had brought over a pack of Ramon noodles and the kids loved them! They beg for me to buy packs when we go to the store. So, I decided that if they wanted to eat it a lot, they should learn to make it themselves so I don’t have to do it for them. They were very, very excited to do it by themselves. So now they can boil water by themselves without me helping, know how to set the timer, and stir the noodles and seasonings without me doing anything at all. After our trip, they both want to learn how to make lots of other things, too.
Made Maya Number Cookies – We got this recipe out of the book The Secret Life of Math. We’ve been learning about how early peoples used different types of notations to count numbers instead of the numerals we’re used to. So we made sugar cookies and decorated each of them with a different Mayan number.
Scavenger Hunts – The kids are very into playing spy and reading mystery books involving following clues, so I made up a little clue game for them. I wrote rhyming clues on pieces of paper and then hid them around the house, in the backyard, and even down the street. One clue would lead to the next until they reached the end and got a “treasure” (really a small baggie of coins!). Sometimes the clues would be hidden along with special “tools” they needed for the next clue, like car keys or scissors.
Researched what spiders live in Illinois. Jared said he saw a spider that looked like a tarantula in the backyard. We looked up where tarantula’s live. Then when we looked up pictures of spiders that live in Illinois, he jumped up and down, excited about the spider that he saw which is dubbed the tarantula of the Midwest.
Helped rip up the kitchen floor – Both of the kids worked with the pry bar and pulled out all the nails from the old floor and helped rip the tiles out.
Watched workman tear down a wall in our house, install porcelain tiles, run electrical wiring through the ceiling. They also helped a little with starting to hang drywall on the living room ceiling.
Out of the House Activities
Isle a la Cache Museum – We went to an outstanding program called The Story and the Circle. First, we learned a little about the history of the French fur trade in our area. There were two interpreters: one portrayed a half French, half Indian woman and another portrayed a British woman whose husband had been sent to scout out the land before white settlers began to arrive.
The French woman talked about how beaver skins were used as trade, how to tell what beaver skins were worth, what types of things the Indians would want to trade for. Then they set up a mock trade where half the kids were the French traders and half were the Indian traders.
After lunch, the British woman told the kids stories using Indian sign language, and then stories using picture circles on a buffalo hide. The kids then worked in groups to write their own picture circle where they explained natural phenomenon like why frogs have no tails or why the sun disappears during a storm. Afterwards, we played in the museum dressing up, and in the wigwam and canoe.
Pet Parade – We attended a yearly pet parade in a neighboring town.
A night at the kids’ cousins’ house – The older cousins watched the younger ones when Steve and I went out with his brother and brother’s wife to dinner. Kids played video games, jumped on trampoline and watched a movie together.
Attended a theater production of The Wizard of Oz at Drury Lane
Went to the Little Boots Rodeo – This was a really cute experience for kids under 10. In a big field, they had set up different events the kids had to complete: Bow and Arrow, Milking a Cow, Panning for Gold, Riding a Mechanical Bull, Grinding Corn, Plastic Duck Race, Shooting Gallery, Horse Shoe Toss, and Lasso. Then the kids went on stage and were presented a certificate of becoming a real cowboy/cowgirl. Jared didn’t want to go on stage or talk into the microphone, so just Alexa did that part. She loved it!
They also had pig and duck racing, too. Jared and Alexa also went on their first camel ride. Even I haven’t been able to do that yet! Oh, and we also saw a man get shot out of a cannon. Pretty cool!
Church, Finished Last Swimming Lesson, Library Visits, Haircuts
Went to a Homeschool Garage Sale – A woman who has been homeschooling for 25 years held a garage sale where she got rid of a lot of stuff they had used while homeschooling. We walked away with a big bag and huge box worth of goodies for only $29!
2 Bike Rides to the playground – Hide and Seek
Spent an afternoon earning money at Grandma and Granddad’s house. The kids are very interested in ways they can earn their own money. Steve’s parents gave them little jobs like dusting, pulling weeds and straightening and then paid them for it.
Wild Wednesday – At the Lakeview Nature Center they have a free program every Wednesday during the summer months. Someone will start off reading a few books about animals. Then they bring out a different animal each week. This week it was a peacock that they kids were able to pet. We, along with my sister and nephews, also took a walk around the lake, and then had a picnic lunch and played at the playground.
Two afternoons at the outdoor pool
A morning at a friend’s house playing and eating lunch
An afternoon at Grammy’s house – ping pong, playing badminton in the rain, helping to collect branches, roasting marshmallows, going to a splash park.
Father’s Day – Went to a Chinese Buffet place with Steve’s extended family, then had my dad, mom, brother and grandmother over for a BBQ.
On the Computer, Kindle or I-Phone
Kindle: Checkers, Hangman, Young Sherlock HD, Plants Vs. Zombies, Temple Run, The Lost City, The Secret of Grisly Manor, Oregon Trail.
PC Games: Animal Genius
Photo Credit: gordsam
What have been some of your favorite activities or resources this June?
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