Adventures in Unschooling

Posts Tagged ‘potty training

Just want to quickly say that I added pictures of that bowling set I spoke about in my post from a couple of weeks ago…if anyone was interested in seeing it.

I have been reading this unschooling book called Homeschooling our Children Unschooling Ourselves. The books is entirely about unschooling and not homeschooling so I am not sure why she chose that title but no matter, it is still a lovely, inspiring book.

She talks a lot about her experiences as a teacher in a public school and how she saw young children full of excitement become apathetic teens. It was disheartening for her to see how the things the teachers did smothered the love of learning in so many children. When it was time for her children to go to school she couldn’t bear to send them to school. She then began her journey into unschooling.

I was regalled by her stories of her children learning a wide diversity of topics to the kind of depths that school never allows. Her children are now roughly the age of my parents (so obviously she was involved in the very beginnings of the movement).

I have been so inspired by her doubts and her eventual success. There once was a time when she thought her daughter would never read. Within a few years from then her daughter was reading far beyond the level of other children her age. Awesome!

I have been thinking about how we plan let our children direct their own learning and how that applies to the rest of their lives. Specifically the potty training aspect of it.

My gut tells me that I should just back off and let them tell me when they are ready to stay dry but the other part of me feels like exploding every time I have to change my four year old’s diaper.

And of course, my three year old won’t potty train either. Why would he want to when his brother won’t do it?

I just feel so lost and alone with all of this. Sometimes I think about putting Trey in playschool just so the other kids can make fun of him for wetting his pants. That sounds horrible but my being patient and supportive hasn’t helped, neither has blowing up though.

I sure hope we get this over with soon. I have been fighting with him for over a year and I have been at the end of my tether for a long time. And he will stay dry all day when he feels like it so it seems 100% psychological. Ugh! Well there goes my good mood.

Anyways, I have a picture of the kids learning their letters and reading completely on their own. These are flashcards they received from a teacher family member. I thought, “what am I going to do with these since I don’t “teach” my kids?”

Well, I let them play with them and they spent about a half hour working on the reading the words in the back and learning the letters. What do they need me for?  🙂


And the other day Trey came up to me with one of his magnetic fridge letters (the E) saying that the sun was making an E. And sure enough the sun was shinning through our window and forming a giant E on the wall.

A couple of months ago we let Trey have our old film camera. He has loved taking pictures and so when we had his film developed I thought he might like to scrapbook his pictures. Here are some of his scrapbook pages. I didn’t help him with any of this by the way.


And we also set up our Christmas tree last week. Here is Joel DSC06728cwearing a stocking on his head.

Yup, they are excited all right. This is going to be a good Christmas.

I am constantly impressed by what our kids are learning. Trey used a surprisingly large word in proper context this week.

Anna is learning to walk and is already manipulating her brothers.

Joel is using his imagination more and more and Trey is expressing  more interest in reading. It’s amazing to see them grow.



First off I really want to apologize for this next stream of pictures. I had fully intended on taking pictures of each step but the doll whipped itself up so quickly I just forgot. I will try to fill in the gaps.

The head is made of stuffing. I would rip the stuffing into strips and lay they across from each other (like how you draw one of these stars: *) When I had a big pile I grabbed the ends and pulled them into a bag then I stuffed it into a small mesh tube that had one end sewn off already.

Then I poked a needle through the head with some embroidery thread (hard to do by yourself FYI) and tied it off in the front. That makes a crease in the face. I also grabbed a small wad of wool and sewed that onto the face to make a nose.


Then I sewed a tube of skin fabric and stuff that into it. Then you bind off the top with a needle. Mine isn’t pretty but it will all get covered by hair so I didn’t bother being dainty.

The bottom is harder. You want to bunch it together without making a dozen creases in the face. Once I got it pretty smooth I used an elastic band for the closure. Then I sewed it together a bunch of times over. I left the elastic in. What will it hurt I ask?

Then I sewed the arm pieces and the body pieces leaving a couple or inches (or more) undone at the ends.

The first thing you add is the arms. I wrapped one arm’s open ends around the nubbin leftover from the head and sewed it on securely. Then you do the same with the other arm. Make sure your arms are facing the way you want them too (especially if you have thumbs on her).

DSC06604Then the body slips on like this:

You secure the top layer at the shoulders and very strongly at the head (which bobbles a lot right now). Then you stitch it into the rest of the arms etc.

I think I made the head a wee bit too peanut shaped but I think the distinction will be less prominent with a full head of hair.

I am most nervous about the eyes and mouth to be honest and I haven’t figured how I want to do the hair yet. I am leaning towards crocheting each strand into it individually I just want to make sure it won’t pull out or rip out damaging the “skull.”

If anyone has any advice???

And before we got an unwelcome dump of snow here my hubby was doing work in the yard. Here is a picture of the boys having a root beer break:


And this is a tiny bowl I dry felted:DSC06520

I think I will save it for Anna when she gets her own space.

In my personal life we are still having toilet training troubles. My four and three year olds both refuse to use the potty! I am considering putting them in some kid of activity where other kids will notice and point out the improper behaviour. This might correct. We have realized that they must want to do it for themselves (after well over a year of trying to get Trey to re-potty train) but they aren’t getting any desire to do so around us. Arg! Sometimes I swear their baby sister will train before they do.

And we still haven’t figured out what the next couple months to a year will look like for us. My husband did pass his entrance exam but there has been a delay in getting his package. Once he get that we can proceed again. We have been waiting for this for so long. I would really love to see it moving a little bit more.

I also had my wisdom teeth out recently and that has made for a rough week. My gums are feeling OK overall but I can’t wait to be able to open my jaw enough to fit some of my favorite foods in.

My baby has learned a couple words in sign language. She says, albeit inconsistently, milk and more. She is also standing up on everything and will likely be walking before her first birthday! Yippee!

This parenting thing is so hard.

Don’t get me wrong, my kids are a tremendous joy but yeah, really hard work.

After fighting with my son all day on Sunday and completely ruining all of our moods we decided to simply give up.

We have always wanted our children to be strong willed and confident and I don’t think we are acehiving that end by punishing Trey like we have been. It is likely to crush his spirit. It’s not worth temporary obedience!

Instead of getting angry over yet another pair of soiled pants we are going to show him how to take care of his own laundry. He puts his wet pants in one of our laundry baskets. There’ll be no shame because he will be able to get himself all cleaned up when he soils himself (meaning he doesn’t have to come and tell us). And because we will be seeing less of it, we won’t be getting so angry.

He is even scrubbing his own shorts. And he is excited to do it. When the novelty wears off and he is tired of cleaning them up I imagine he’ll stop soiling them. In the meantime I am not scrubbing poop and that is a good compromise for us. There are no hard feelings. I don’t get mad or disappointed. I just ask him to go to the bathroom to clean up.

No more tears and no more high blood pressure.

Some people may find this terribly innapropriate but he is enjoying washing his poopy pants and I think it is a learning opportunity. He is learning that when he poops himself it is very frustrating for us to have to clean it up. When the novelty wears off and he gets tired of washing his pants I imagine he’ll try hard to have more control.

We are also letting him wear diapers at bed time if he wants them. This way it protects his dignity. He can have a cozy sleep in a warm, dry bed.

Earlier I said we had a bad day. It wasn’t all bad. We went shopping at the art store just the boys and I. We bought more wooden people and made some cool dolls. We also made a spaceship (pics to follow).

It was fun for us all to craft together and they truly love playing with their wood people. That and going to bed dressed like superheros. Awww.


  • None
  • withoutloveweallperish: 50 books for $10!! As a book lover, that sounds like Christmas come early! Lovely library set up, need to set up one of those for myself!
  • theworldismysoyster: Sure. Just none of my kids. :)
  • goobrobinson: Hi! I'd like to seek your permission if I can reuse one of your pictures for my next post? Specifically the second picture.