"Always walk through life as if you have something new to learn, and you will."
With the smoke in the air, little to no rain, and a hot Summer - Autumn snuck up on us early this year. The leaves on the trees are already colored and dropping, the weather is shifting quickly, and August bestowed us with one final gift of chaos, my maternal grandmother had emergency surgery.
So we went down to Sisters Oregon and spent the first part of September there, living in the middle of real life. Simple and amazing, we spent our days playing games and hiking, riding bikes and inventing obstacle courses, reading books and eating ice-cream.
Unschooling is one of those things that sneaks up on you. Like playing scrabble with your six year old or having your three year old make an "S" out of coins on the floor. When you release expectations, your kids can absolutely surprise you. Freedom to do what they need to do means rock climbing in the middle of a hike, it means playing Lava Monster on a playground, it means letting them learn why playing with exercise bands might be a bad idea on their own.
Some of our favorite things this month were spending time with books: Barnes & Noble, Sisters OR Public Library, and Maple Valley WA Public Library; Discovering new playgrounds in Sisters OR as well as around Maple Valley; Spending a weekend with Dad playing at the beach and watching Jungle 2 Jungle and making blow darts; Doing any and all things leaf related while planning for the multitude of other adventures Fall will bring.
Find the girl child.
Rory is our artist in residence, constantly learning some new drawing trick and creating scenes from his imagination or from books or movies. He loves riding his bike and playing video games. He would also play board games all day long if he could find someone to do so with him. His ability to play Scrabble threw me for a loop earlier this month, especially since he insists he can't read...
When he "isn't" reading, he is particularly fond of Star Wars and Scooby Doo books, and adores comic books of any kind. He is particularly fond of Spiderman right now, but we will see how he is feeling about "favorite" super heroes next week. Oh, and Legos. All the Legos. Always.
Jinora spent September determined to learn how to ride a pedal bike - which she has now done. She loves anything tactile, whether it is creating artwork, playing with leaves, or imagining some world I have yet to be allowed to enter in. She remains a fashionista obsessed with matching outfits adequately sprinkled with glitter and sequins - and also climbing, running, jumping, fighting.
She is working on her letters and numbers and has zero patience for Rory's beloved board games. Jinora loves being read to, without preference for content, but her favorite character currently is Ramona Quimby - we have some concerns, but overall I am sure it will be fine...
Interest lead learning is easy and impossible all at once.
While there is no need for curriculum, tracking down why it's called a "transformer" and if it has any bearing on "The Transformers" takes up some time and brain power. Part of me loves as the become more independent and I am able to do more chores and other things - but another part of me only wants to be with them and help them learn every little thing.
After all, these are the days.