Our Unschooled Week #4

Oops, had a bit of a crazy week and completely ran out of time yesterday to get this post finished and live; plus it was Lara's birthday so we were too busy having fun.  Sorry!  I have absolutely no idea how she has got to 7, and my main question is, can we go back and do it all again?  Right now is great, but I do miss those wonderful baby and toddler years, and all three are growing SO fast!!  Another reason this weekly cataloguing of our comings and goings is worthwhile.  So, what have we been up to this week?

The Aquabeads passion of last week continued into Sunday, and was joined by more crafts, painting and other bits and bobs of maths, phonics etc etc.  A bitty kind of day, but relaxing all the same.  On Monday, we drove up to RHS Wisley, a handy midway point when we're going to my mum's in Buckinghamshire.  Sophia and Tatiana were enthralled by this Henry Moore sculpture, King and Queen.  I can feel a new art project coming on...

After a brief stop in some large puddles, we had a good wander round to see all the late winter and early spring flowers.  I was surprised at how many Lara and Sophia recognised and could name.  We were delighted to see lots of active bees and talked about the challenges they face, the life cycle of plants, how light and weather/warmth effects what blooms when etc.

We were delighted to see bananas growing, and the girls recognised lots of the exotic hothouse plants from our visit to the Eden Project last summer.

The biggest attraction was in the large glasshouse where there are lots and lots of gorgeous, exotic butterflies in the tropical area (event ends next weekend).  There was a handy guide to the different varieties and we ticked quite a few off, although getting photos of them with outspread wings was a challenge.

The girls learnt more about the butterfly's lifecycle, what and how they eat and more.  This rather bedraggled specimen was having a good 'drink' when we saw him.

On Tuesday, we went to Banbury to meet some old friends who were over from Canada for a holiday.  Before they arrived we had the chance to find out about the origins of the Ride a cock horse nursery rhyme.  We found out about the 16th Century horse fair, the local Fiennes family who probably produced the 'Fyne lady' on the white horse, and the original crosses, all of which gave rise to the rhyme.  This then led into a lengthy discussion of the origins of other legends, such as Robin Hood, and how stories are passed down and history recorded in rhyme, fable and myth/legend.

The current Banbury cross

At the cafĂ©, the learning continued with shapes, building and play while Mummy chatted, followed by a long discussion on the way back to the car about different types of stone, prompted by the deep yellow Cotswold stone prevalent in the town.  Learning all around us, literally!

As most unschoolers will happily tell you, you really cannot stop young minds learning, and they do find everything fascinating.  This was just as well on Wednesday as we ended up spending a fair bit of the morning at a local garage, having a car fault investigated.  Luckily, the laidback mechanics were happy for the girls to peer under cars, into wheel fittings, and happily got on with their work with a mini audience agape.  They probably know more about how cars work now than I do!

After the car was sorted, we tried to salvage some of the day before heading home, and went to a playground in Maidenhead that is right by the river and has a great sand pit as well as all the usual stuff.  Lara made friends quickly with a little boy called Jack, who had been off school with chicken pox and was venturing out for the first time in days.  They all happily played with their dolls in the sand, Sophia practiced writing letters in the sand, and then used the same stick as a rolling pin to do some impromptu baking on a park bench.

Thursday was a crazy morning, trying to catch up with washing and sorting out, plus do some much-needed work.  In the afternoon, we met up with friends before heading home to do some drawing and topic work.  Friday did not dawn well, with Steve having a migraine and the girls feeling distinctly blah, so we had a bit of a duvet day, snuggled up on the sofa with a stream of movies and the occasional break to play or read.  And finally, it was Saturday - Lara's birthday, which I will post about elsewhere.

A week of two halves rather, but plenty going on.  See you next week x

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