Sunday, June 7, 2009

An unschooling summer 1

Having some unstructured play in the sand - a perfect beginning to the summer! 

With the semester finally over, we have been enjoying the summer and our unfettered time with the kids. In addition to the usual dinosaur books, we've been reading lots of fairy tales by Hans Christian Andersen and the Grimm brothers (Syler's favorite: Rotkäppchen - he's quite enamored of the wolf dressing up like grandma and devouring the heroine; Violet's favorite: Die Bremer Stadtmusikanten, which Uncle JD has expanded upon by gifting us the Lithuanian DVD of the Russian production from 1968, Bremeno Muzikantai/bremenskii musikanti - full of late 60s psychodelia, which the kids are loving.) The kids are busy playing in the backyard, making music, learning baseball basics, and digging in the dirt, while I'm delving into some pleasure reading venturing into more blogging time. Jason is still the domestic god, whipping up delicious dinners, mowing the lawn, and keeping the kids' creative juices flowing.

The kids have really gotten into observational and creative drawing, in the driveway, after hikes and on chilly days.

Driveway art

Pine cones found along the trail.

We've also discovered the joy of Ed Emberley's drawing books . . .

which show us how to use basic shapes in creating elaborate animals and entire worlds. Thanks, Ed.

We've been talking a lot about tall tales after reading Rebecca and Ed Emberley's version of The Story of Paul Bunyan. Sy is now ready to counter any exaggeration with "hey, I think that's a tall tale." Today we were entertained by a live circus performance, complete with feats of gymnastic agility and frolicking dances. Yesterday was the puppet magic show: the magician couldn't keep the purple egg from prematurely producing characters that couldn't breathe underwater. It was a comedy of errors. Today, Jason and the kids baked a pie and built Lego garages for the Hot Wheels. Violet will most likely read The Runaway Bunny to Mickey for the 40th time, and I will try to finish Susan Linn's The Case for Make Believe.

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