All Hallow's Eve, salmon, Girl Scouts, unschooling

Halloween Mandala Coloring
When I started blogging years ago, I journaled my experiences in a more free-flowing way than the focused utilitarian way I tend to do these days. I miss the old way, so I'm giving it a go.

I've been living this unschooling lifestyle for so many years now that "unschooling" activities don't immediately occur to me as anything other than living my life with my children. When people ask me or my kids what we've been learning, we all tend to draw a blank even though our days are so full. Likewise, I often draw a blank when wondering what I might blog about.

I sometimes worry that my focus on promoting my educational-sounding article topics will give the impression that my family is an "academic" or part-time unschooling family. Anyone who really knows us or spends any time in one-on-one conversation with me probably knows that's definitely not the case. Not that I worry too much what others think. I've developed adequate armor over the years as an unconventional parent.

I often write to search engines terms and topics homeschoolers in general ask for, although I never sacrifice my own integrity as far as unschooling values. My kids' interests, illustrated by all these links, also contribute significantly to what I write articles about. What people might do with the resources I gather and the ideas I share are up to their own prerogative, of course.

Anyway, what my family has been up to, sans external-educational agenda, includes the 4-H entomology curriculum, Girl Scouts leadership journeys with some side trips for badge skills activities and the Forever Green Challenge. My oldest daughter interviewed one of her muses -- her long-time dance teacher. And she made this video about caring for favorite places.

We sewed Stockings for Homeless Children and made stuffies and some other sewing crafts. We've been talking about stereotypes and self-esteem, and that transparent-headed fish recently captured on film for the first time. We've got decomposition column and fruit fly trap bottle biology projects going in the kitchen.

The kids have gotten into webcam games and iPod apps, and of course, they've been getting ready for Halloween. They went to a costume party last night and are eager for tomorrow's trick-or-treating.

Today we watched sockeye salmon building nests and chasing one another around. This river visit was the culmination of a month spent learning about watersheds and the annual salmon migration and life cycle.

My 6-year-old is moping right now because her 3-year-old sister nabbed the iPod. So, I'm going to wrap this up for now and do something, in the spirit of All Hallow's Eve, to cheer her up. Divination, perhaps. I'll just go down and fire up that skull lantern.

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