Seasons, Traditions, and Unschooling

Letting go of schoolish ways can sometimes leave families feeling like they have a void. This feeling is often even stronger if this is your first year to turn your back on the school system.
The school bus rolls past your house.
The back-to-school sales have simmered down a bit.
September’s mad rush is over.

Now what?

You can hear this across social media (if parents have a safe place to ask)…

“So… what do we DO?”

Let’s think about creating some Fall Traditions together. Traditions have a way of making us all feel more connected… to each other, to our community, to our world.

If you’re still in the midst of deschooling, you may be missing some of those school traditions like homeroom parties, football season, backpacks and lunch boxes. Everyone’s wistful thoughts are different.
But here’s the thing! Those objects and activities are often not solely connected with school. You can have them too – or some version of them – without the drudgery of dry lesson plans and every day like the one before.

AND! You can have even MORE than all of that! You may find that you’ve been shelving some things you’d like to do, because you were working around school schedules (homeschool or brick-and-mortar school) and there just wasn’t time. Now there is!

Let’s have a little brainstorming session together.

If your kid is totally uninterested in one of my suggestions, he/she has complete veto power! The last thing you need is to make this list a required ToDo list for Fall. Maybe something I suggest won’t really work for your family or location, but it reminds you of something that might. Yay! That’s great!

That’s what this is really all about: Individualizing the experiences.

So here are a few ideas for creating fall traditions in your family.
Let me know in the comments if you think of any others or if you tried something and it was a surprising success!

  1. Let the kids pick out a few mini pumpkins or gourds to create an informal centerpiece for a table.
  2. Bake some pumpkin bread.
  3. Find a local apple orchard and see what they have planned for harvest season.
  4. Try some new apple dessert recipes.
  5. Create a Halloween playlist. I have a few collections on the “Autumn Fun!” Pinterest board, if you need some ideas besides Monster Mash and Thriller. 
  6. Wear Halloween costumes whenever you want – not just on Halloween.
  7. Stay up late to see the full moon. There’s one on October 27.
  8. Stay up late to see the stars on a new moon night – are they different?
    Here are some inexpensive apps to help you figure out where the constellations are!
  9. Get a candle that smells like “Fall” to you. Beautify your nest!
  10. Dive into the idea of Gratitude.
    Take my November challenge: Unschooling Gratitude – 30 Day Challenge!
  11. Collect a variety of leaves – really LOOK at them. How are they the same/different?
  12. Get Leaf cookie cutters for sugar cookies with brown, yellow, orange sprinkles – It IS National Cookie Month, after all!

  13. Visit a corn maze. Why do they exist?
  14. Take photos of each other at a pumpkin patch.
  15. Check out what’s different in the floral department at the grocery store – is it set up for Autumn?
  16. Try some spiced apple cider. Why is it different from apple juice?
  17. Even if the kids don’t drink coffee, they can always smell your Pumpkin Spice Latte and watch the serene smile spread across your face!
  18. Did you know there’s such a thing as Punkin Chunkin for all the anti-PSL folks? And there’s even a world champion?
  19. Did you know October is National Learn to Bowl Month? Head over to the local bowling alley and have some fun!
    Actually, it’s tagged for a lot of things… you can look here and find something that’s piques your family members’ curiosity!
  20. Did you know that October 31st is also National Magic Day??
    Here are 15 Magic Tricks you can do easily to amaze your kids.

I know what you’re thinking…

Is this ok to do? Instead of math and science and lessons?

YES!  Because you ARE doing math and science and culture and reading and spelling and critical thinking and research and technology – it just doesn’t look like school! And that’s the point!

Unschoolers find learning – LEGIT LEARNING – in all kinds of ways every single day! We’re hard-wired for curiosity and our world is full of all kinds of opportunities to explore, discover and learn.

We don’t have to manufacture something.

We can just dive into our real life!

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About Sue Patterson

Wife. Mom. Daughter. Nana. Mentor. Coach. Writer. Editor. Speaker. Activist. Find me also at: Instagram: @UnschoolingMom2Mom Twitter: @Sue5 Pinterest: /umom2mom Facebook: /UnschoolingMom2Mom AND /SuePattersonCoaching
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One Response to Seasons, Traditions, and Unschooling

  1. Megan Fennell says:

    I love this post, Sue! This is how we do unschooling. We call them our bucket lists! We brainstorm and write out all the things we would love to do each season, and then again specific to each month if the month requires it (like December and October tend to). Our lives feel so full as a result. Not busy, but full and joyous.

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