Snow Moon Unschooling Portfolio


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Once again I still don't have a camera so this was taken with Photobooth (the webcam). The nature table for the Snow Moon I thought would be the hardest one but it was actually the most fun. The white scarf was from the dressup box, and the cotton was from a bottle of vitamins. We made two pinecone Christmas trees using the red berries we found in the backyard. I can't remember the name but we looked them up and they are not poisonous, they just don't taste good and even the birds leave them. The penguin and the deer showed up on the scene in the fall but stuck around for winter. The two rocks on the lower right are actually oil clay that the girls made into 'colorful rocks', lol.

The focus of this month seemed to be art projects. Annie decided to make her own book, so I folded some sheets of blank paper together and stapled them into a little book. She sounded out words and began writing them and illustrating it. She read Are You My Mother?, Jesus Saves the World (a gift from a family member, lol - it doesn't sound like something I would do, does it?), Sesame Street's My Family, Katy and the Big Snow, Pinkalicious, Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? by Seuss, and Andy and the Lion. We're still reading Usborne Nature, and we tried to memorize a Buddha quote: "All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think, we become." We did some watercolors, and Annie drew birthday cards for Dad and Autumn. We practiced writing letters and words and illustrated her writing notebook.

Annie was reading The New Way Things Work by Macaulay, and was looking at helicopters, and then happened to find a related experiment in a science project book we have, so we made whirligigs. Ultimately, my whirligig flying was a failure - it's supposed to twirl down but it just didn't, and I tried forever. Then Annie picked it up and she had the knack for it and made it fly. It's kind of funny how she takes after me with the mechanical/technical mind but just doesn't have a knack for math, just like me. John did connect the dots with her several times to help her count to higher numbers. We did one math project involving fractals, where we draw a tree made of straight lines that were progressively smaller, from the Math Wizardry book. Another project she designed was also inspired by The Way Things Work. Looking at a picture of refracted light, she decided to use clay to make a model of the color spectrum. We also made skin care out of household items, and even made all kinds of Christmas decorations. Whew, lots of projects, lol.

Autumn is the mechanical one - she dismantles everything. Two pens, one with a light inside, were destroyed in the process, and she wanted to know how the roof of the Playmobile dollhouse fit together and took it apart (it's a pain to put it back together). The pumps on lotion bottles are fascinating to her, which have led to several lotion-covered fiascos, and also one night the screw lids on my mineral makeup and subsequently the powder holes became an object of observation. She loves to count things and every story we read starts with counting how many objects are in the illustration.

Dad also introduced Annie to Warcraft 3, a strategy game for much older people that she really wanted to try. You have a group of workers, they have to build up a fortress and gather resources, and then attack the enemy or defend yourself. They also love playing on Noggin, Treehouse and, or messing around with Photobooth.

We got a letter from Majorine in Ghana, and it was very cute. I wrote about it before this month, but we had so much fun looking up her favorite game, ampe, on YouTube and then playing it ourselves. One day I challenged Annie to try to think of her own game just like Majorine and her friends, so she drew little cat faces on paper, cut them out and taped them to pencils to use as puppets. Then she did a puppet show for us. It was very cute. Later she dictated a story to me about children in Africa and how happy they are even though they have nothing, but their lives are still sad because their mother's die. A project that branched off from all of this was that we realized that the game ampe had a kind of rhythm to it, so we played some rhythm games. We clapped the rhythm to our names, to poems, to songs, and we made up our own rhythms.

We visited family and friends, and one day John took them on another really long bike ride in the trailer. After the baby is born I'm really looking forward to getting on a bike and going along, too. We took some long walks in Bowen Park and fed the ducks. One of our fieldtrips was to visit the midwife and we listened to the baby's heart. They both became very connected to the baby-growing process. We played Art Masters Go Fish on a day I was really tired, and the final field trip of the month was to be flower girls in my father-in-laws wedding, which they actually seemed less nervous than I was as a bridesmaid.

All in all, a very crafty, busy month.

Comments (1)

Sounds like unschooling's going well for your family!