Monday, February 26, 2007

While Matt was lounging on the beach, er, I mean away on a business trip, in Clearwater, Florida, the kids and I shopped for Webkinz pets and then spent much of the week playing on the Webkinz website. They've been having a blast (admittedly so have I) playing the games and activities to earn points to buy virtual food, clothes, toys, furniture, etc. for their online pets. Today they decided to pool their resources, gathering and cleaning up some old toys and outgrown clothes to sell so that they could each adopt another pet.

We also spent an afternoon at the Cincinnati History Museum at the Cincinnati Museum Center. This was our first trip to that part of the Museum Center. The kids loved the room with all of the models of downtown Cincinnati, playing in the old street car, and seeing the model of the Zoo as it looked when it was first built.

They also enjoyed playing with the toy steamboats and flatboats, shipping cargo up and down the Ohio River. Riley and Maya liked touring the big model steamboat, but Seth thought the noise was too scary.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Happy Birthday, Maya!

Today was Maya's 6th birthday. We had a really full day with presents at home, then a homeschool day at Jump Zone, and ending in a birthday get-together with some very sweet friends for cake and ice cream and more playing. Exhausted now, we're all chillin' with a movie (monkey-themed, of course). I'm incredibly thankful for each and every day we spend together. It's a wild and amazing adventure, and I am so filled with love for this girl!

Poised to play

This must be my boys' preferred position for serious play. On the left is Riley playing the board game Huggermugger. On the right is Seth playing monster truck demolition.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Low-Key Learning

Monday was one of those really nice, low-key, unschooling days where there are no real plans and the day can just unfold and flow as we go. We are all in various stages of recovering from the flu, and it was the first day we had all felt like doing anything more than lying down! We were still too pale and red-nosed for any pictures, so I'll just describe our day here.

Riley and I woke up first. We had breakfast together, and then he wanted to play Uno, which we did. When Seth woke up, he joined us as my partner. After the game, Riley went to use the computer, and Seth wanted to play more Uno. We each played with our cards face up so I could help him see his choices for moves and he could see mine as I talked through what I was doing. After a few hands, he went on to watch Dora the Explorer.

Maya woke last and wanted to look at Riley's pop-up version of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. Riley and Seth joined us, and we read some of the story and enjoyed the pop-up art of Robert Sabuda. Inspired by the story, we decided to go make paper fans. After making several, Maya and Seth decided to draw and Riley went off to practice martial arts moves with his fans. He and I went again to the computer to research more about using fans in martial arts.

By lunch time Riley looked pretty wiped out and took a nap. Maya and Seth came to the kitchen to help make lunch. We cut and shredded cheese for mac and cheese, trying a grater, knives, and a pizza slicer. After lunch Maya and Seth went their separate ways to play in their rooms while I did some cleaning. Later Maya and I counted down the days til her birthday and talked about party plans, Seth worked some puzzles, and then the two of them had a jumping contest and set up an obstacle course with the couch cushions in the living room.

We did finally get out to go to tae kwon do since it was Riley's day to lead class. Maya and Seth were wiped out by then and fell asleep on the drive there and slept until we got back home.

After dinner, Maya wanted to work on Valentine's Day cards, so she, Seth, and I did this while Riley and Matt watched a movie.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Reflecting on January

Welcome to my blog, Unschooling Snapshots. The photo to the left is of our kids, Seth(3), Riley (8), and Maya (almost 6).

January started off with such mild weather, and the kids and I had the nicest trip to the Cincinnati Zoo that we've ever had. The animals were all so vocal and active -- so different than when we visit in the hot summer months! From the antics of the gorillas and polar bears to the vocalizations of the flamingos and tigers to the creeping of the snakes in the reptile house, we had such a blast watching and listening and laughing. You can watch these gorillas or the zoo's Sumatran Rhino or some views of downtown Cincinnati on the zoo's ICAM here.

The latter part of the month got much colder, so we hunkered down in the house a lot more: reading, drawing, watching movies, playing...

...and welcoming the two newest members of our family, our guinea pigs, Eureka and Matilda.