~a month (or two) of unschool~ expedition to the east pole

i took last month off from posting, since quinn and i lost 3 whole weeks together. but i looked back and there were still a few gems from last month, so today i’m posting our last two months of unschooling.

~we’ve been learning a lot about how families come in all different shapes and sizes. and that families grow in all kinds of new ways and we count ourselves lucky for all that entails. all that matters is love, and being together.~

~we are still big on dinosaurs, drawing, and uno. we did some gardening in between winter storms~

~quinn turned five! and used the opportunity to work on his letters and drawing and coloring skills. he learned about the concept of plays/theater by hearing a sparkle story about martin and sylvia putting on a play, and by attending a play that rich starred in, called woman who fell from the sky (it’s an iroquois creation story, and was beautifully done! and young children were spellbound and only had brief blips of trying to interact with the actors on stage;)). the martin and sylvia story had them traveling to the south pole with roald amundson’s expedition (he was my great great aunt’s boyfriend, if family legend is to be believed.) quinn’s version was also a polar expedition, but his was to the east pole. i participated as the sled dog, and i am withholding the embarrassing image of myself wearing a kitty headband since i am in charge around this here blog. we built a shelter in the kitchen, transformed a yoga mat and booster seat into a dog sled, donned stylish explorer costumes, and stuck our pirate flag into the snow at the east pole when we arrived.~

~buttoning his own shirt and choosing his own outfit (awesomely rad, too bad about the photo quality) for attending the play as my “date”. checking out the paper-scultped masks from the play after the show, including his favorite, the dragon. reading, being, taking care of kitty, drawing in chalk, and getting to do “guy” stuff with rich.~

~learned all about track meets. exclaimed “make a loud sound like a cannonball!” and ran himself around imaginary tracks in the grass. cheered on his new buddy e while she ran.~

~finished reading the princess bride, read a huge book about dinosaurs several times, began reading the lion, the witch and the wardrobe. animal sticker book from my friend liz absorbed him for hours on end. found all the hidden dragons in a new dragon book. became a t.rex in the snow. found a newt that survived our crazy oregon coast “blizzard.” made and played with playdough.~

~made blueberry pancakes a few times, and in general helped mama cook whenever he felt the desire. helped mama garden whenever he felt the urge. planned out his own little garden plot, which will contain sunflowers, peas, and not surprisingly, dinosaur kale. read his baby scrapbook after asking me to tell him the story of “myself from when i was a baby to when i turned one year old.” drew, lived, breathed dinosaurs.~

~other fun stuff: he is learning about giving hints, and becoming more subtle with the hints he gives when he is leading a guessing game.

~sarcasm: in the store, i showed him a fabulous dinosaur raincoat on sale, and he told me with perfect deadpan, “i guess i could get used to that.” later he giggled as he told rich, “i was just joking with her!”

~surprises: and how not to give them away. sort of.

~plays: while he was putting on the east pole expedition performance, he kept declaring that he was “playing a game” and that we could use such and such for “the game” and i finally realized he was confusing “game” with “play”. makes total sense, given how much fun he was having doing it!

~practice/discipline: a topic that ebbs and flows for quinn, he has been cycling through another round of wanting to already know how to draw things, and has been asking me to draw things for him a lot, rather than attempt it, if he is afraid it won’t turn out well. so we are working on practice, and repetition, and being ok with not getting it right the first time, while i’ve also been doing a lot of drawings according to his direction that he has been coloring in with the most thorough attention to detail. he seems to feel incredibly secure in his ability to color (vs. draw) right now, although he is less confident in rich’s coloring abilities, which he likened to those of his two year old friend hope. (is learning how to insult people considered a life skill? ;)) to be fair, i don’t think he meant it as an insult, i think he just sees everyone he knows on a sort of coloring continuum, and maybe rich just needs to practice more…

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