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5 Easy Unschooled Projects to Do With Your Kids

Jonathan Longnecker Jonathan Longnecker / October 22, 2014
Education is not the filling a pail, but the lighting of a fiire

Ever since Adali and I finished up her comic book project, we've been trying to think of other creative ways for the kids to learn. Even when you homeschool it's easy to follow the curriculum to the "t" and not do anything else with it. 

As my kids start getting older I'm excited to share new things with them. For instance, this week we started watching the Star Wars movies for the first time. Film education, anyone? :) Seriously, though - I get to watch it with them, give them history on the whole thing and help them tie the stories together. Even explain how some of the old effects were created and how they got updated in newer versions. They love to know how things are made and that excites me.

Wouldn't it be great if you had these little projects you could work on with your kids, too? I guarantee you they'll remember these moments many years from now - probably more than all the school functions, soccer games and birthday parties. Why? Because it's your chance to get personal with themshare knowledge with them that isn't in the form of a "stern talking to," and let them know what you're passionate about. It also shows them how much you want to spend time with them and do fun stuff together.

So! Here are some ideas to get you started:

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Adali's First Comic: The Legend of the Secret Sword

Jonathan Longnecker Jonathan Longnecker / October 14, 2014
Loss Adali Cover

We talk a lot around here about trying to be a family that makes more than we consume. It's not easy, that's for sure. But sometimes we push through and something really cool happens.

A couple of months ago I sat down with Adali (our oldest) and gave her a school project. I told her she was going to make her own comic book! Needless to say this went over very well ;) I wanted to make sure she didn't just draw a few pictures and call it a day, though. I wanted her to know what it was like to work towards something bit by bit. To take on something that made her push through the dip we all face when trying to finish a project.

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Join Us at ConvergeFL Nov 7-8 2014 in Jacksonville, Florida

Jonathan Longnecker Jonathan Longnecker / October 13, 2014

Ashley and I are super excited to be a part of ConvergeFL this year - we'll be moderating a 10/20 session on creativity all day Saturday!

What's a 10/20 you ask? Good question. They are hour-long sessions with a group of attendees where anyone can take 10 or 20 minutes to ask a question or pitch an idea. Everyone can jump in and have a lively discussion - it's just limited to 10-20 minutes. There’s a moderator in each group (us!) to keep time and offer some topics if no one's feeling chatty.

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Simplify September : Our Closet

Ashley Longnecker Ashley Longnecker / October 07, 2014
Simplify September

The theme for our closet is, “Never organize what you can discard.” This is embarrassing. I’m going to show you what I had to deal with. I’m not even sure how it got this bad, but that’s how it happens. No one sets out to have a ton of clothes in their closet that they don’t wear, or a bunch of shoes that they no longer wear, or boxes of junk that they’re not even sure where it came from or boxes on the top shelf that they don’t even know what is in them. So, here it goes....

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Draw Like You Mean It

Jonathan Longnecker Jonathan Longnecker / October 06, 2014

Tonight I got to spend some time with my oldest son. We walked around Target and looked at some toys he was saving to buy, and then we headed over to Panera Bread to eat a cookie the size of my head and draw some stuff. What you see above is our first father-son collaboration! He drew the robot's body lines and I gave him a quick overview of how light and shadows worked, filling in the shading.

What really struck me was when I gave him the pencil to start drawing. He didn't hesitate, or ask me what I thought he should draw. I wish I could have gotten a video, because the sureness of each stroke was amazing. He just dove in and pounded this thing out in 30 seconds. It was beautiful. 

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