Trailer Park Unschoolers

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


Pokemon Go and Science

About two weeks ago Oz got Corde and I into Pokemon Go. We decided it would be a thing we could do as a family. At the very least it would get us out and walking. There’s definitely something to be said about that. We need more reason to get out.

However, this has come with some unexpected bonuses. For example, we went on a raid for a legendary Pokemon. On our way there we came across a ladybug. The kids saw it on the wall they were climbing on. There were all these little bugs around it that we concluded were aphids. The ladybug hunted down these tiny bugs and we sat and watched it eat two. I had never seen a ladybug eat before.

Today while on errands we decided to stop in a park for yet another raid. The kids watched some geese for a while. Then, right by the bench we were sitting at, we found a blue jay feather. The kids learned about how feathers can be smoothed out when they get all pulled apart. The kids thought that was pretty cool.

We spent the week doing blah book work (something I hope to cut back on), but this was a fun way to inject science into daily life. We’ve been given more opportunities thanks to Pokemon Go, something I swore I would never get into, but now I’m glad we have. It’s been fun and educational!


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Two Days of Sun

Can I just tell you how amazing the past two days have been?  It’s been amazingly warm outside.  Who knew we’d have the windows open in February?  We took advantage of the nice weather and spent two days outdoors.  It was great!

Yesterday we wanted to go to the park, but we ended up playing at the neighbor’s house instead.  The kids had a blast.  They even busted out the water table to play on, that’s how warm it was.  They ended up coming home wet and happy.  Who can beat that?

The park day got pushed off for today instead.  The weather was even nicer, if you can believe that.  It was 68 out yesterday.  Today it peaked at 73!  From what the weather reports told us today was supposed to be cooler than yesterday.  I guess that tells you how accurate weather reports are!

The kids had a lot of fun at the park today.  They ran around for a good long while, longer than I’d anticipated.  We’d planned to stay for an hour but we ended up staying for almost two hours.  Now they’re eating a quick snack before it’s time to get dressed and ready for jujitsu.  (No, I really can’t go a post without mentioning it!)

img_20170224_142056_957I even got a couple of good pictures of the kids.  For some reason Beekee always looks so serious and intense in pictures.  As I’ve gone back through old pictures I’ve found this to be a regular thing throughout his life.  Funny how he’s so intense!

img_20170224_142205_769Corde, on the other hand, was hard to grab a picture of.  She was running from the camera like it would kill her.  She finally settled to let me take a picture of her when I told her I just wanted one good one.  Her personality really shines through!

img_20170224_142728_672Then there was Luca and the snow.  Luca was so excited to be standing in snow in sandals, shorts, and a t-shirt.  After being bundled up in the snow, it was a lot of fun to be able to stand in what little was left without having to wear layers.  As the kids said, “If only it was always like this in the snow!”

img_20170224_142854_424Speaking of standing in the snow…  Corde wanted to show what she was made of.  She said she wanted to be barefoot in the snow, see what it felt like.  Her answer to this?  “It felt mostly wet, like stepping on ice someone dropped on the floor.  It wasn’t really cold.”  I’ll take your word for it, Corde.  I certainly wasn’t going to find out!

img_20170224_151015_503Even Oz got into the fun.  He was playing zombies with the kids, then wanted to lay down with Sander on the double slides.  They were just laying there, looking so chill.  He really had a great time with the kids, though.  It was pretty awesome to see him playing with the kids again.  He hasn’t had much opportunity to play with the kids outdoors because of the weather, but today happened to be a perfect day for it.

Then, of course, there’s all the other observations we got to make.  Since Nika came with us, she observed how fun it was to chase shadows on the swings.  I couldn’t get a picture of it, but I wish I had.  Then there was the kids making footprints in the sand.  I managed to get my boots slogged in the wet sand when I was going to take pictures.  I started to feel like I would be stuck there forever!

I kept an eye out on the way home to see if we could spot any other signs of spring.  We didn’t see any, but I hear the crocuses are starting to come up.  I saw some of what looked like leaf buds beginning to form on some trees on my walk earlier.  I just didn’t see any when I was out with the kids.  I have a feeling we’re going to see other signs of spring coming up here soon.

It seems like Mr. Groundhog was wrong this year.  We’re not going to have six more weeks of winter at all.  Granted, we did get one more storm, so maybe that’s what the groundhog was predicting, that winter wasn’t quite over yet.  Either way, it looks like spring is finally here now and I’m glad for it.  We’ve got the windows open and are letting in the warm, fresh air.  It’s beautiful out.  Best of all, it’s not quite going to be dark by the time the kids have to go off to jujitsu.  They’re still going to get to enjoy some of the nice weather for just a little bit longer.  That’s definitely going to be a nice walk to class!


New Habits

Living out here in the country made me realize how good this could be for all of us. We’ve gotten into some much healthier rabbits. I could get used to this.

Being in the country has removed us from being in such close contact with the neighbors. I don’t have to worry about rules demanding the kids be supervised when they play. I just let them go out and poke my head out to check on them every few minutes, or not at all depending on who is outside. I don’t have to worry about the neighborhood kids convincing my kids to take off to somewhere I’ll never think to look for them. I don’t need to worry about nosey neighbors reporting me to CPS because my kids choose not to wear shoes to play outside or because they look dirty (probably because they were just playing in the dirt!) It’s so much more relaxed. I could get used to this.

This morning we started a new habit. Before breakfast the kids went out to play. It was in the 50s and beautiful. The kids played pirates for a while, searching for treasure, then they created a house in the trees. By the time they came in they were all pretty hungry. They didn’t have enough, so they asked to go out and play again. Now they’re exploring mansions under the trees. They’re getting plenty of sun, fresh air, and exercise. They get out every day to walk, run, climb, and explore. They do art with the things they find in nature. They use their imaginations.

Best of all, they get along. I’ve never seen the four of them play together before. Usually Corde is doing her own thing, Sander and Beekee play together or on their own. Luca just explores. Instead they all go marching across the yard, deep in some imaginary land together. The four of them are one little pack, sticking together with no fighting, encouraging the one who wanders off alone to get back into the game, and having genuine fun! This is almost unheard of from them. Even better, the bad attitudes completely disappear!

Clearly this is good for them. I’m starting to think on ways we can keep our family out in the country. Unfortunately, Oz doesn’t want to live the country life. He likes being able to go talk to the neighbors and hang out at the drop of a hat. He’s the kind of person that just likes to drop by. It’s a waste if gas to do that in the country. It means calling and planning ahead. He wouldn’t be able to just wander off without telling anyone to talk to this or that neighbor. He loses his freedom to just disappear, which is actually a good thing. It means he has to communicate. It also means he’s cut off from a lot of drama, something I’ve come to notice he thrives on. I think that’s a good thing too. It’s time to grow up and leave the drama behind. There will be enough drama soon enough when we have a teenage daughter in the house! That’s only a few years away!

But for now I’m trying to find a way to keep our country lifestyle. I want to get set up in a way the kids can really blossom and grow. They’re so happy out here. It would be a shame to change it.