This is how we Unschool...

We do not “do school” – we are students of life and we learn what we want to. We are growing into ourselves as we learn and we love it entirely.  

We employ a combination of methods in our homeschool based firmly on the Bible and based loosely on the teachings and findings of Charlotte Mason, Ruth  Beechick, and John Holt - but at the end of the day – our homeschool is uniquely our own and no one else’s opinions or directions hold as much weight as our very own in conjunction with God’s will for our lives. We seek to know what He would have us do in this life and we seek any and all wisdom that would align with His goals for us.

He gave us our passions and we fully explore them!

We primarily use notebooks/journals in our homeschool to aid us in learning and to teach us proper studying. We have math journals where we record our mathematical observations of the world around us. We have study journals where we fine-tune our reading and writing skills to record the fascinating things we study. We prayerfully study whatever fancies us day to day.  Sometimes we collaborate and study together and sometimes we are on journeys of our own. We also keep nature journals where we express our fondness for creation.  We study God’s Word together as we seek to live our lives according to His will. We also keep prayer/life journals.

**When I say “we” above I am including myself. My children have these notebooks/journals (math, study, nature, prayer) and so do I. I have a math journal, and a study journal, and a nature journal. I am still learning. I am still clay in my Potter’s hands and it’s important to me that my children understand that we are NEVER done learning. There is ALWAYS something new to learn. So I keep journals alongside them and it blesses me daily.

Sometimes we use textbooks, most times we don’t. We love our local libraries and we frequent discount bookstores. You can often find us at the local park playing ball or just running around. We love to catch bugs and name them before we release them. We revel with each other when one of us makes a cognitive connection to the world around us in our daily doings. We see things most do not in our daily lives because we are looking. We learn things it takes others ages to learn because we are eager. We own our knowledge and we enjoy sharing what we learn with others.

Everyday is filled with life and love in the Lakeside Schoolhouse – our home sweet home – that is actually not by a lake anymore but we kept the name anyway because… we can! 

Day 3 and Day 4 (Giving Up School - A Lenten Adventure)

Well... my lists are getting smaller.

Not because my boys are not learning anything! Quite the opposite... And I am too much involved now to worry about lists. :)

Check out this conversation between my 4 year old and my 8 year old while casually playing minecraft together yesterday, day 3:

4 y/o -"What is.... 2+2 anyway?"
8 y/o - "4... obviously"
4 y/o - "Well then, what's 4+4?"
8 y/o - "8"
4 y/o - "What's 8+8?"
8 y/o - "It's um... 17 I think? No... no.. it's 16. Yeah, 16"
4 y/o - "What's 16+16?"
8 y/o - "No idea! MOM!!! (to me like I'm miles away but only on the other side of the room...) What's 16 + 16?"

I told him... without making him work for it... without making him understand it... I just told him, "32"

So then he says to me... "How did you know that?"

So I told him that I had added it up in my head. That I knew because I know what 6+6 is and what 10+10 is. :)

So he thinks for moments and then says... "So then does 32+32=64?"

:) Yes son, yes it does!

Math... oh dreaded math! One of the main reasons I have not leapt full on into radical unschooling. Because my children need to be taught math right? And math can only be taught to someone! One could never figure out math on their own! Memorization! What about memorization!?!

God!! Don't I need to teach them math!?

Isn't it neat what he did there with my kids chit chatting math all on their own? Isn't it neat that this is one of my main stressors and hang ups in the way of what He wants me to do here with unschooling and He would show me just on my third day that it's ok. They will know what they need to know. They are capable of not only figuring out math... but liking it enough to casually talk about it.

I could slap myself in the forehead... if you knew the HOURS I have put into trying to teach math to my older son only to be met with no real world application what so ever! Worksheets and math counters to not a problem-solver make...

And if I may go this far... aren't I questioning God's ability a bit to think my kids could never learn math on their own if it was something HE wanted them to do? Sure, I  may play a part in it! But any part I try to play that He hasn't first asked me to do... is going to be in vain.

Big stuff...

Day four was just plain awesome! We went to a Rock expo today at one of the nature centers down here and because of the interests my older son has in the way of geology he really had a blast! It just so happens that we were recently talking about flint and it's uses because of how he uses it in mincraft and he got to physically watch someone making arrowheads with flint today. It was AWESOME. He also asked me some questions again this morning about salt after a conversation we had yesterday about salt water and which waters have salt in them, density, and all kinds of stuff. This morning we talked about how salt is mineral and mined and what do you know? There was a big ol' chunk of salt at this expo that he could touch and smell! :) Talk about making connections with information?? It couldn't get any better than today!! HA!

Or can it?

Oh, I can't wait to find out! I am learning that God really is in charge and His plan is way better than mine for sure! Who else could have mapped out the connections that were made today for my older son! There's no lesson plan in the world that would have captured him like today did!

Anyhoo... on to day 5 tomorrow! And after that 35 more to go!

CLICK here for day FIVE - Giving Up School - A Lenten Adventure

Day Two (Giving Up School - A Lenten Adventure)

Well today wasn't as... obviously filled with "educational" things. Today we kinda just lived a day. It was nice!

Our morning was quiet and filled with minecraft and lounging. Then in the afternoon we went to visit our favorite buddies. The kids got to romp around and I got some time with my friend. <3 

One thing I will mention is that it didn't take very long for the enemy to try and use a situation to tempt me away from this adventure! I am in love with BOOKS and the Charlotte Mason's method - all it takes is a glance over at my "about me" section on the right column of this blog to know that! ;) So anyway... I'm chatting with my lovely friend who is also a bibliophile like me and she is showing me all the new CM stuff she has and books she has and I got that little twinge that usually sends me into a spiral of questioning what we are doing and if I'm doing what I should with the kids and could we add more of this to our day and should I be teaching them this and blah blah blah blah... my brain doesn't stop until I have a new plan formulated full of my ideas - not God's - on what my kid should be doing... 

Because you see... I will make these decisions without consulting Him at all! Because I LOVE the CM method. But is it what's best for my kids? I don't know... Only God does! 

So we continue on... to day three tomorrow! I only had about a half of a page of notes from today. But they were good ones! We used the dictionary and chatted about what an interlude is during a song. My small son brought a book with him to dinner tonight and I thought that was pretty neat! :) 

Mom... My love tank is low...

As an adult I find that I am often times completely crippled when it comes to expressing my need for physical attention and/or love in relationships. Which is a strange thing because it's something we all  NEED to be healthy and feel whole!

As humans, we were made to love and be loved. But the world is cruel and if we let it... it can rob us of our most basic instinct. And when we don't understand our own needs in relationships, it's very likely that we wont be meeting anyone else's need either. 

My kids and I do this thing... we call it "filling the love tank!" :)  It started because one day I was reading a random blog post  somewhere on the internet about silly ways to connect with your children and one of  the post's suggestions was to tell your kids that their "tickle tank" was looking a little low and they needed to be tickled until it was full. I tried it... it felt weird and forced so I didn't do it again.

But later one of my kids said to me... "Mom, my love tank is low..." and I was like "Huh?"

So I pulled my little kid up into my arms for some TLC and the concept of asking for love and care in my family was born.

This is my small son, posing as a "sad kid" :) Totally posing!! 
This morning my son was eating his eggs. He takes for ever to eat and is often left at the table long after everyone else is gone. So I said from across the room, "Make sure you are eating over there!" and he replied... "Mom, my love tank is draining..."
It caused me to stop and look at what was going on... he was alone at the table and probably feeling a bit, well, lonely! So I called him over and we hugged and snuggled for a few minutes and I gave him some kisses. I didn't let him go until he was ready and he went about his way eating his breakfast!

This practice has helped me to be more vocal about my need for care and affection in all my relationships. We must remember, it is not weird for us to need and want to be loved! It is not a bad thing to have to ask for it either... When we can be honest and vocal about our needs in relationships I think we find they grow stronger.

I am hoping that this "love tank" business in my home helps my boys to be more vocal about their needs in relationships throughout their lives! For now... it helps us to touch base and connect with one another where we might not always remember. It keeps us

Day One (Giving Up School - A Lenten Adventure)

Day one! Wow!! I have learned so much....

I kept my notebook just kind of around all day and I made mental notes of what the kids and I were doing... I found out a few things.

1) I payed SO MUCH more attention to them today. And I feel like they could tell as well because by the end of the day they were arguing about who's turn it was to be with me. <3 Which makes me feel both sad and glad at the same time. Sad because they must have been starving for more of my attention than I was giving them... and I suppose I felt like I was already giving them a lot. But this also made me glad though because I can feel that things are about to change for the better in our home!

2) THEY LEARN SO MUCH without my "interference" at all!! I tried really hard today to just butt out! I didn't break out the workbooks or the curriculum. I let my idea of their day go and just let them have it. And they took it with a force! Suggestion after suggestion and topic after topic naturally flowed out of them! And because I was paying attention I could help facilitate what they were needing. This all happened naturally through conversations and day to day life!

3) I am a control freak.... Like I said above, today I was trying really hard to just butt out so it was OBVIOUS to me when moments happened where I would normally try to... how can I put this? Moments when I would normally try to control my kids! HA! There's not better way to put it! For example: My older son wanted to hand sew a little guy today from the math book that he loves and I totally took over the making of his guy's mouth. Man... I feel bad about that! He made a mouth and I got critical of it. I watched his face sink... I watched his confidence shift... I was paying attention to the whole thing... and my heart hurt a little bit because I felt like I had taken something from him... I had taken his ideas... and I replaced them with mine.

Is this really how I have been parenting/homeschooling my kids?


So yea... lessons learned today for sure!! And on to tomorrow we go!! I ended up getting 3 whole pages of notes today of their learning! Here's some highlights!

My son loves these books!
I don't know why because when I read them out loud they are really confusing to me! Lol! But he loves them! We get them from the library because they are way to expensive IMO to ever buy.
My son likes to sew so today he made this guy! ;) He's Subtraction from the book set above! I helped a bit by holding tools and fixing bumps in the road but just like all of his hand sewn little guys... This was all his design! :) 

My little son Jason has been teaching himself to read for weeks now! It's a neat thing to watch! I have never forced reading on him but he has eagerly asked me to teach him. He looks over his older brother's should when he's reading aloud. And he taught himself this to read book! He read it out loud today 3 times! :) It's eye opening for me because my older one has been through a multitude of phonics/reading programs with me and has been THE MOST reluctant reader I know... meanwhile my younger son has just taught himself to read because he wanted to... crazy! 

Giving Up School - A Lenten Adventure

I haven't blogged... or facebooked on the Lakeside Schoolhouse accounts for quite some time. Truth be told.. I have lost my motivation.

Because, you see, I don't even know what I am doing with our homeschool!! How can I be blogging and writing about it when I'm not confident in it? I mean, look at this blog! It has no center! It has no order! No theme... Just like our homeschool.

God's not involved in our homeschool right now. I have been trying hard to control it myself. Figure it out myself. Curriculum anxiety fills my head and I am drowning. I can't DO THIS! LOL!

I understand the principles of Unschooling - But literally - I have never applied them!!

I am in a very personal revival with God in my life right now as he helps me clear up some emotional issues and mend relationships. He's helping me to learn to live a little more stress-free and so it only makes sense that He would extend me help in this area as well.

Today is Ash Wednesday... and I found a blank composition notebook lying around. In it I have been writing down all the things my kids were doing today. And by golly!! They are learning! They hardly even needed my help today! Except to look something up here or hold a ruler there.

I had no idea.... 

So I was thinking about Lent and what to give up when God said to me, SCHOOL.

Give up SCHOOL...? 

Ok! I can do this! I can do this for Lent!

So I'm gonna use this blog as a diary of sorts because it's here and because maybe it will be interesting to see the process we go through! :) Join us if you'd like!

If you are new to unschooling and you're reading this, let me know! I'd love to connect with you!

If you are a veteran unschooler and have a blog post or link to something I could read that would help me along please post it below! I will read every single one! :)


Day One
Day Two 
DAY Three & Four

From Scratch Adventures: Jambalaya

So I'm on a quest to make things from scratch... Since we live in Louisiana now we, as a family, have fallen IN LOVE with Jambalaya! Shortly after we moved here, we were invited to a football gathering at my new friend April's house and that's where we were introduced to this wonderful Cajun food. None of us were interested in trying it... until we did. Then a few weeks later we hung out with April's awesome family again and her dad made Pastalaya... and it was over... we were hooked!!

(btw... my friend April blogs over at Wildflowers and Whimsy! You should check her out! She's so creative!)

photo credit
Anyway so to get our Jambalaya fix at home... we have been buying a box of mix for a couple bucks, throwing some chicken in and chowing down. Like all the time. Like several times a week...

First we were buying this box of Zatarain's... till I realized that it has *caramel coloring* in it which is very bad for you. The most common place to find it is in sodas...

Then we started buying this box of Tony Chachere's which doesn't contain *caramel color* but it still has a bunch of ingredients that I do not understand... lol

So it occurs to me at this point, that we eat this dish so much it needs to just be one of those things I make from scratch. To save us some money and also to save a little bit of our health. LOL

So I started googling recipes online and was pleasantly surprised to find a wide variety of different ways to make this amazing dish!

The first recipe I found, a cabbage jambalaya, had me laughing really hard though because of the description... Because I have extremely picky eaters in this house! I let you click on over to it and read it. 

poto credit
Are you back...? HAHAHA! Did you read the part about how "your kids will be eating cabbage like it's going out of style!"?

Yea that cracked me up...


This is the recipe (from I'm going to go ahead and tackle this week! After I do... I'll just edit this post to reflect the outcome!

I am super stoked!!  Stay tuned! :)
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