Changes | Schedules | Dealing With Wrenches | Routines

It’s been a rough few weeks. I don’t do change well. Trying to switch from garden mode to winter mode is hard enough, Then, I got so sick I had to go to the doctor. Grampa Tom is supposed to be in the field, but it keeps being put on hold because of rain, kids schedules have changed more than once.ย  I feel like I just can’t get any kind of routine going! It’s an elusive goal but, I really need a routine!

In spite of it all the kids have thrived! The Brown One has learned some important life skills: finding the front of his underpants and how much toilet paper to use when he poops.

He has also made some fun discoveries. One day, he was “washing” a big metal spoon. He asked if it was plastic. I told him “No, it’s metal.”


“Oh!” he exclaimed, “That means my letter magnets will stick to it!” And he proceeded to find some letters to stick to it. Then came the discovery! The letters would stick to the convex side of the spoon, but they would not stick to the concave side because the magnet couldn’t actually touch the spoon. He tried it with several letters just to be sure, but finally decided it just wouldn’t work. We talked about why and he seemed to understand ๐Ÿ™‚

He has also learned to “read” a book all by himself! It just has two words on each page, which he has memorized, but he diligently points to each word as he “reads” it. That’s an important step in reading readiness!

And of course Sissy is busy learning all the things that 6 month olds do, She’s starting to eat solid food, getting up on her hands and knees and chewing on anything within reach ๐Ÿ™‚

At one point, my inability to function worried me terribly, but over the years, I’ve learned that kids will learn in spite of me. I just need to roll with the changes and recognize the things they learn!

What has your child learned in spite of you?


Back in the Saddle

Over the summer, I’ve only been unschooling myself because my son moved to Keokuk and I haven’t had any kids. This week his wife went back to school and Grama gets to babysit and teach!

So what does an almost unschooling day look like for The Brown One and me? He’s only 3 1/2, so it looks pretty much like any stay at home preschooler’s day. We have a check off list so I keep on track that includes sorting, letter and number ID, shapes, phonics, counting and writing, but these things can look different from day to day and even from hour to hour.

For instance, this morning we read a book about trains. We counted the number of cars and animals and we looked for the numeral we had counted on that page. We looked for the letter t. We talked about how the letter t sounds like “t” in train and tried to think of other words that started with the letter t.

Then The Brown One asked if we could play domino math. Domino math is a game I made up that can be quite complicated for older kids, but our objective right now is counting and matching. We put the dominoes down face down and take turns drawing them out. After we draw, we count each side and then look to see if we can match them to a domino that is already on the table. The dots on the dominoes I have are colored. That makes it easier to match, but tricky too since 4s and 11s are both brown, just different shades ๐Ÿ˜‰ There is no “winner” at this age. We just play until he gets bored with it and then of course we have to set as many as we can up on their edges until they all fall down!


We took break from “doing school”, had a snack, did dishes and watched “Team Umizoomi” Then The Brown One wanted to “do school” again so I helped him with some dot-to-dots I had printed off the internet. Then he wanted to paint so I set him up with that while I cooked lunch.

After lunch we went for a long walk outside for PE. He would run with the dog, while I pushed his little sister in the stroller. Then he’d sit on the stroller for all of 30 seconds to “rest” and then off to run with the dog again. When we got back we worked outside until quiet time. I think I wore the little guy out! If he wakes up, there’s some other activities we might get too, but if we don’t it’s OK. There’s always tomorrow!



The Letter T

The Brown one can pick out the letter T on his alphabet mat!


We’ve been working on the letter T for quite a while now.ย  When introducing the alphabet, I always like to start with letters that will mean something to them. T is the first letter of The Brown One’s name.

We’ve been making the letter t with play dough, writing it on paper and in the air. The other day The Brown One even decided he wanted to make the letter T with some rocks. What a brilliant idea!


He made the t. Then I followed his lead and spelled out the rest of his name while he eagerly brought me rocks.

This morning after The Brown One pointed out the T on his alphabet mat, he wanted to know which letter was for Grama, so I showed him. Then he pointed out the letter y. He knew it was part of his name, but he couldn’t remember it’s name. Then he wanted to know what the letter Q was. That led to a discussion of queens. We made a play dough queen and then of course we had to make a crown!

ย The aim is to make learning fun! Roll with it!