Having a Mild Panic

Yes, today (or should I say ‘this morning’) I was mildly panicking about the lack of THINGS BEING DONE.  We’ve been on ‘go-slow’ over the last 5 days, partly because of illness (the girls were full of cold and D seems to have a weird spotty virus on her face) and partly because of days spent playing with family.  I know, I know, playing is great and all that but I can’t help hearing that nagging voice, saying they should be sitting and writing sums or something.

I can now confirm that neither sausage responds well to being told what to do.  Haven’t got a clue where they got that from.  If I ask M to sit and do sums she will do it but in an utterly ‘this-is-so-boring-I-can’t-wait-to-get-it-over-with’ way.  If I catch D in the right mood then she loves doing the odd sum but this is often not the case.  The whole point of HE for me is to re-ignite M’s love of learning and to keep D’s spark going.  So telling them what to do and ‘teaching’ them is no longer really an option for me.  My heart knows this but my head hasn’t caught up yet.

So this morning I calmed myself by asking the Facebook UK Unschooling Network group a question: I am fascinated by ‘strewing‘ as I can clearly see that showing the world to the sausages really sparks their interest, as opposed to trying to teach them about it.  So I asked the group how to strew and got some great responses, but more on that later.

This morning started off energetically: M started to make a mobile (the kind that hangs from the ceiling, not the phone type) from her magazine and D wanted to write out all the names of the planets in our Solar System…


But then it descended into murk.  M collapsed into tearful anger because something wasn’t quite right with the mobile.  I couldn’t get through to her so left her to her own devices while I played chase with D in the garden.  Then when M had recovered she wanted to put on Parent Trap so we all sat down to watch.

This was when my niggly feelings began; so I posted my question to FB and got some lovely responses back which sparked off lots of ideas of what I could do strew with the sausages.  Call it a ‘sausage strew’ if you will, ha ha.

The first thing I did was to set up Pinterest accounts for both of them so that I can send them things of interest, with a ‘I saw this and thought of you’ vibe.  I sent M some junk modelling, DT and fairy pins and D some space ones (naturally!).  After the film had finished, M in particular was intrigued by her pins and wants to make a geodesic dome out of newspapers next!

We had a quick game of Downfall (me against the sausages: guess who won?  I’ve seriously only won 1 game out of 6 now.  Tsk.)…


Next, D typed out a couple of emails to Granddad and Grandma and M had a 5 minute bounce on the trampoline in the garden.

And then M felt ready to tackle her mobile again – hurrah, back to business!  No photos of it yet as it’s still in progress but she must have spent 2 hours just cutting today.  D got busy with painting a rainbow in watercolour and then wanted to make another celebration elephant like the ones we made for Diwali last year.


I spent some time going through my emails while this was going on, and found a video from The Kid Should See This.  It was about ‘eyebombing in Madrid‘ and the girls watched it on loop for half an hour.  If you watch it, you’ll see why I immediately bought 200 googly eyes from Ebay afterwards!

I also got M to write a few things down on our easel that she’s interested in learning about and she wrote this!  The last one is ‘drawing spring flowers’ but she got tired of drawing the lettering 🙂


So the day wasn’t so bad after all: it seemed to gear up after 2pm so it will be interesting to see if this becomes a rhythm or is just an odd day.  I do feel a little less panicky now and a little more excited about a possible new path into unschooling – I’m taking tentative steps towards it.

Here’s a few pictures of what we got up to at the end of last week in Nottingham:

D's colour wheel
D’s colour wheel
Making a pom-pom
Making a pom-pom
D making her pom-pom
D making her pom-pom
The finished pom-poms!
The finished pom-poms!
Making our own butter - soooo much better than shop-bought!
Making our own butter – soooo much better than shop-bought!
Folding paper aeroplanes
Folding paper aeroplanes
Making potions
Making potions
Learning about circuits
Learning about circuits

Little things:

While in the bath, D asked M if she would like to watch Jake and the Neverland Pirates with her afterwards.  M replied ‘No, I’ve got too much work to do’.



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