Our Unschooled Week #14

An early one this weekend because we have had the most amazing week, and lots more to come in the weeks ahead.  It's shaping up to be a fantastic summer!  (Warning: super photo-heavy post #sorrynotsorry 😉)

Last Sunday we took off for a few days' break in a wooden wigwam pod in north Hampshire.  We stayed in a wigwam last summer and loved it, but this time round we went for the true 'glamping' version, complete with loo and shower.

With the rest of the world still being at work and school, we had the luxury of being the only ones there and having the whole field to ourselves.  The girls loved roasting marshmallows, kicking their ball around - or just rolling around with it, rolling down the hill, and finding lots of nature treasures.

With woods a short walk away, cultivated and wild flowers to admire, and sheep and deer to watch, we had plenty of entertainment.

We loved going for evening walks around the farm and in the woods.  Counting the rings on this fallen tree and talking about the different tree types we spotted was a favourite of Lara's.

Whilst Sophia was busy vacuuming the road with her stick, before more hill rolling with Tatiana.

The highlight for her though was a much-longed for first visit to Stonehenge.  Sophia has been fascinated by the place for about eighteen months now, and increasingly desperate to visit.  She was so utterly delighted to finally be there.  And so much learning and fun to be had in one place.

Lesson 1: geography in the car park - chalk downland, Salisbury Plain, why and where.

The girls could hardly contain themselves at the prospect of the reconstructed huts, containing the tools, weapons and furniture of Neolithic man.  They had lots of questions for the English Heritage volunteers.  Biggest hits were the beds, water carrier, and information about what they ate, hunted, gathered and farmed.

Tatiana couldn't believe she was allowed to stand where the fire would have been.  Sophia just took in everything.

And finally on to the stones themselves.  Sophia was in total awe and kept saying "I can't believe I'm here".  So cute.  She wandered around utterly absorbed and fascinated by everything, intently listening to the audio guide at each point, absorbing it all.

And dollies came too...

Listening to the audio guide:

We visited the indoor exhibition after lunch, where the girls were utterly enthralled by the time lapse film surround showing how the site, and the stones, have changed over time.

Then back to the stones again, a final visit to the exhibition, and a third visit to the stones, this time including wheelbarrow race.

We finally managed to drag Sophia away, clutching her bag of souvenirs from the gift shop, and with the promise we would be back soon.

More chilled time at the wigwam followed, more camp fires, more exploring, picnics and fun.

Eating peppers the size of their heads:

When we finally got back home Steve had to work a couple of days, but with such glorious weather we've been out and about in the afternoons as much as possible.  I love these photos from the splash park:

The other theme of the week has been fairy tales, must have been all the storytelling we did in the woods and at the wigwam.  We've talked lots about the origins of fairy tales, the tradition of storytelling, how the brothers Grimm collected the tales, and how stories can change over time and according to who is telling them.

In the past couple of days back at home we've watched some 1970s Russian films of traditional tales, a couple of Disney versions, and sought out different versions of the texts.  Lara's current favourite is Rapunzel in all her guises, whilst Sophia loves 'The Pea and the Princess' [sic].  Next stop, subverted texts, intertextuality and recount...

Such a great week.  Hope yours has been good too. Lx

And don't forget to enter our competitions