Trailer Park Unschoolers

Because you don't need to be rich to unschool!

It Started with Books


The other day when I was at the library I found an incredible book.  It was on making Fairytale Quilts.  I thought it could be a fun read for me so I picked it up.  I’ve always wanted to learn how to quilt, and I’ve never been one to start at the beginning.  I always jump in head first.  I figure I’ll start with something too hard, muck it up, find an experienced knitter to help me restart with something a better speed for me, and then eventually I’ll get back to the original project, tear it to bits, and do it right.

When I got home I felt the need to share my find with someone.  I tried to share it with Oz, but he wasn’t impressed.  I mean, he thought some of the art was beautiful, but he couldn’t share in my excitement over the find.  I wanted someone to really appreciate it, so I showed the book to Corde.  I figured she’d appreciate it, if nothing else, for the artistic quality of the pictures and the beauty of the finished products.  I was certain she would love it.

This is where unschooling moms everywhere can surely understand how I felt when this happened…Corde wasn’t interested in the least.  She said, “That’s cool, mom.”  It was totally dismissive.  She didn’t care in the least!  I was heartbroken!  My art child wasn’t interested in some of the most beautiful fabric art I’ve ever seen!  Clearly this wasn’t happening.

I moved on to Beekee, who has a slight obsession with quilts.  He thinks they’re the coolest things ever.  Since they did their project on quilts at the co-op a while back he’s been crazy for quilts.  I was certain he would be interested in these beautiful quilts!

Nope…  Nothing.  He didn’t even want to look at it.  He said he was over the quilt thing and he just wanted to go play.  Apparently some time between the day before when I was talking about wanting to quilt and actually picking up the book, quilts became uncool.

Then trying Sander ended up with much the same result.  He’s majorly into fairy tales right now, so I figured it’d be a sell, but no.  He didn’t want to look at it because it was too boring and there weren’t enough animal pictures.  It just wasn’t his thing.

Today, while reading the Princess and the Pea to the kids, I came to a realization.  The love fairy tales.  We should make our own fairy tales!  I bet that would be a fun project!  This was something I had to suggest to the kids.

Sander decided his fairy tale would have to be about a frog and a dog.  We have no idea what the story is going to be about beyond that, but he thinks it will be fun.  I think Minket will make an appearance too.

Beekee wants to make his fairy tale sound more like a comic book with lots of action, and I’m okay with that.  I guess the main character is going to be a princess that fights zombies.  I had a feeling it would have to do with princesses and zombies.

Corde, however, picked up that quilting book and started looking at it.  When I asked her what that was about she informed me that if we were going to be making up fairy tales, maybe we can make some quilts to go with them.  She was trying to get some inspiration.

Finally!  Someone who can appreciate the book!  Now all the kids are excited about the book because they want to make quilts of their fairy tales.  I think we might do it with fabric or paper glued together instead of by sewing.  Corde might sew hers because she’s got the skills to do so, but the boys won’t.  Now I’m going to have some quilting companions too.

Who says you just have to bring home cool things to strew in front of your kids to increase their field of interests.  I’ve never done that strewing thing, mostly because I’ve never needed to.  Instead I just need to flop down, intensely interested in a book or project and they flock to me with some unknown magnetism, like the kids just instantly know I’m doing something cool.

In our house, it all started with a book.  In this case, it started with a book I wanted to share with my kids, but it also started with a fairy tale book.  Then the world just opened up from there.


Author: Fox

With four kids, who has time for much? We spend a lot of time together, which translates to a lot of knitting time for me when we hang out. We've been trying to get back to our unschooling roots. We watch a lot of videos, play a lot of games, and pay attention to the things we notice in our everyday life. It's been quite the big adventure!

2 thoughts on “It Started with Books

  1. I’ve never even heard of that strewing thing in all my 28 years of homeschooling!

    • Apparently it’s something that unschoolers do, leaving interesting things out in hopes that your kids will get curious and develop a new interest. I’ve always found it’s so much easier to just be interested in things. Sometimes the kids are interested too. Other times they just kind of think I’m crazy for being interested in something they think is super boring. I’ve never quite figured out how strewing is supposed to work.

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