You probably didn’t know this about me, but I live a half hour from a Unesco World Heritage Site. Yeah. Alberta’s that cool. It is, of course, about dinosaurs. Yeah. Alberta’s that much of a desert wasteland.
Joking! Sort of. Our climate zone is definitely on the “arid” side of temperate, but Dinosaur Provincial Park is actually in this insane otherworld of badlands full of cactuses, snakes, sagebrush, and sandstone hoodoos that just appears out of nowhere as you approach the park. When we originally moved begrudgingly to this heretofore unknown town from our favourite place in the world, Dinosaur Park was a balm to our painful nostalgia for those abandoned climes of the Fraser Valley BC.
Because it’s so dang awesome.
So last week, when we were exploring around the hoodoos with several homeschool friends awaiting the kids’ bus tour out to the natural reserve (where the real bones lay) that I’d booked, in the cool fall weather that is so much more pleasant for playing in a treeless expanse, with no one around save maybe some well concealed scorpions (very well concealed: I have encountered scorpions exactly never), I thought, “I should post about this in the blog.”
But then I hesitated. Because, I reasoned, my main objective in starting this blog was to give a real sense of the average unschooling day (which is a feat in itself, since we aren’t held to any repetitive routine), and if I keep just posting about all the exceptional things we experience, I won’t be doing my duty at all. How could I do that to the fair citizens of The Internet?! I couldn’t. So I put it out of my mind.
And yet…here I am, posting about it. Indeed. Here’s what happened: I thought back on all the other exceptional things I’d considered posting about before, and realized that these things aren’t the exception. This is an average unschooling day! Sure, we don’t go to DPP every single day. But last week we went on a trip to Ontario. The week before that G had a birthday and we spent most of an entire weekday celebrating. The week before that E went gopher hunting with her dad and spent the next few days drying out some hides (maybe she’ll make a sweater out of them?). The week before that we went camping…and so on. This week, we’ll be taking advantage of the pool’s first Toonie Tuesday of the fall and going to play in the morning when most others are at school and work. So an all-day visit to Dinosaur Provincial Park, exploring caves and hoodoos, chatting and playing with friends, admiring museum exhibits, attending an inexpensive and really cool field trip, basking in the crisp fall air, and having a Unesco World Heritage Site nearly all to ourselves…that’s just how we roll, guys. This is legitimately a day in the life.
What is also a day in the life, is this:
Our average Monday usually starts off with the house in the greatest disaster of the week, because I chill on Sundays and the kids still insist on living. So I like to take the morning to get some laundry done, tidy, maybe make some bread in my shnazzy $5 yard sale bread maker–you know, home stuff. I hate going out on Mondays. And this is just a moment I caught of the kids as I was moving about: G pulled out a container of craft supplies and asked me to pour him some glue from the industrial sized jug we keep far out of reach, then got to work. E decided to work on a letter to a friend while listening to a podcast. The two littles began planning their next trouble making venture over a plate of shared nachos and cheese. L, not pictured, was wandering about in search of a ball pump so he could try to master the skill of spinning a mini basketball on his finger. Since then, the boys have moved on to wild play in the basement and E has found a comfy spot on the couch to finish her podcast. Baby is executing Trouble plans. Later, an alarm on E’s [no cell service] phone will remind her that it’s time to get her swimsuit and walk to the pool for Junior Lifeguard Club. I’ll pick her up with G after dropping L at ballet, to go to rehearsal for the community theatre show we’re in. This also is how we roll. This, too, is a day in the life.
They certainly don’t blend into each other, I can tell you that much!