Our Unschooled Week #20

Even when I think we don't have much going on in a week, it quickly fills up and there is palpable learning, hundreds of photos and lots of fun to look back on.  We wouldn't have it any other way of course.  The girls loved delivering their handmade birthday cards to my mum this week, back from her birthday travels.

On Sunday, I took Sophia and Tatiana to church, and they behaved beautifully all the way through the service, quietly drawing and playing while they listened and joined it at certain bits. Tatia's favourite is joining in during prayers with "Lord, hear our prayer".  Whilst we were out, Lara had done a survey of everything we owned that is purple and presented her findings in this document

After lunch, we went to Costa as a treat.  Sophia is crazy about the place and had been asking to go for ages.  Although she looks rather sullen in this photo she was actually deep in thought, contemplating her drink bottle.  "But Mummy, how many blackcurrants are in here?"

Tatiana was in her element: tutu and pink iced bun = happy girl!

The highlight of the visit though was a leaky roof, which they were both were fascinated by and watched for ages.  Cue many questions about rain, roofs, leaks etc.

After a full inspection of the leak, we picked up a load of fantastic bargains in Tesco's: 2 huge bags of fruit and veg for £4, plenty to last most of the week.  The girls happily searched through and suggested recipes we could make with our booty.

Monday was a quiet day. While I caught up on some work, Steve took the girls to the beach, played LEGO, scooted etc.  We took some photos of our resident sea gull 'Mr Shouts' and his wife.  They come back to nest on our roof every spring and spend lots of time here getting scraps from us and others, and are very friendly with the girls, coming over to sit near them when they play outside.  Very cute.

Steve also phoned our local wildlife centre to see how a pigeon we had taken in was getting on, only to find out he had had to be put down.  The girls were very sad, and tears shed and prayers said for our poor little pigeon.

On Tuesday, the sun was shining again thankfully, so we headed out to the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust at Arundel.  All WWT centres have summer activities running, so we did some pond dipping, bug hunting, studied plants and leaves, and did some crafts.

Lara found a dragonfly nymph during pond dipping, our biggest find there yet.  We found various other interesting things and identified them with charts, before examining them under the microscope and then returning them to the water.

After lunch Tatiana was in model mode so I got some lovely photos of her.  We've been going through a phase of 'don't take my photo!', so I was glad she wanted me to again.

On the reed bed walk, one of their favourite places, Tatiana communed with a moorhen and Sophia with a duck.  They all enjoy identifying the different plants and birds they know the names of and learning some more, or acquiring some new facts.  Spotting which ducks were drakes (just some yellow beak remaining with their brown autumnal coat) was a favourite thing to do this time.

This late moorhen baby was a big hit too, so cute with its crazy colouring and bald little head.

Back at the visitor's centre, the girls made some crafts, including these gorgeous dragonflies.

At the start of summer we chose to forget any formalised learning again for a bit, but the girls were crying out for a bit more structure to the week again, so on Wednesday we re-started what may loosely be termed lessons, time when we look at work books or do some more organised form of learning again. We do this two or three days a week and it's enough, usually on Steve's work days, the only definites in our unschooled weeks. Of course, even when they weren't doing this they were learning all the time, and we have endless conversations every day about things they want to know more about.

During a bedtime story a couple of weeks ago there was something about sharing out between people. Lara stopped me reading and explained the principles of division to me and Sophia. I've never told her, but she knew all the rules and how/why it is done. They talk about the world, wildlife, history and much more all the time. At the moment their particular interests are the weather, the body and the solar system, so we have been looking at lots of resources on those and talking about all sorts.

The three of them ask hundreds of questions every day which we either answer or, preferably, find the answer to together. To be perfectly honest, they are learning all the time and I can no sooner stop it than stop the Earth turning!  Lara demonstrated this on Thursday when I asked what she was doing outside and was treated to a lesson on what happens to liquids we drink, using two bowls and a length of toy vacuum cleaner hose.

On Friday I took the girls up to Wembley to see PAW Patrol Live!, which was fantastic.  We all thoroughly enjoyed it.  On the way we stopped at a playground and admired all the new development in the area.  I don't shop recreationally any more, but it looks like a great place to do so!   At the PR reception before the show, the girls coloured, played and ate.  Tatiana got her face painted for the first time, which she loved, and all three were utterly enthralled by the show.  A great day out!

Look at this happy little face going home after the show!

What on earth is going on with this weather?!  Summer seems to consist solely of the occasional day here and there now.  Today was an on and off day, with a sprinkling of sun and a lot of thundery storms intermittently.  We were in Petworth to play and go to the fair on the common there.  We just about managed to dodge the thunder and rain and the girls went on a few rides and a very soggy bouncy castle and giant slide.

Having just seen PAW Patrol, Lara thought it only right to grab him on the hook-a-duck stall!

Let's hope the weather gets better this week! Lx

And don't forget to enter our competitions