Saturday, July 12, 2008

Living, Learning and Gaming!

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you will know that both of my boys are passionate about video games. Over the years, I have been amazed at how much their gaming has been an integral part of their learning process. I feel so strongly about the many ways in which gaming has expanded the lives of everyone in our family, that I decided I needed to write a book about it!!

My vision is for the book to include dozens of stories from unschoolers all around the world who have joyfully expanded their lives in a variety of ways through their love of video games. In true unschooling fashion, I'm learning as I go on this whole thing - right now I have no idea how or when it's going to be published, just that I intend to make (um, LET ) it happen!

I am seeking submissions from unschoolers of all ages about how a passion for video games has expanded your (or your child's) world!! Stories can be about skills learned from playing video games, or how playing a certain game acted as a springboard to a new passion and other (non-gaming) living and learning, or any combination thereof.

As this project is in the early stages, there is plenty of time to pull something together if you're interested in submitting a story (or 2 or 3 !!) I'm anticipating that certain themes will emerge that I will structure the book around.

If you are an unschooler with a blog, I would love it if you would link to this post from your blog, or even copy the whole post onto your blog if you feel so inclined :) I also have a Squidoo lens set up that you can link to. Please feel free to forward this information widely among the unschooling community - the more contributors, the merrier!!

As the book approaches its final form, I will contact all submitters to let them know what portion of their story I wish to use and what (if any) personal information (such as name and city/country you live in) they would like included.

If you have any questions about what I'm doing, or are interested in submitting, please contact me at karen_mclaughlin AT cogeco DOT ca.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Summer Fun & Festivities

[No, we still haven't replaced our digital camera - this photo's from last year, but Joe and Noah still look exactly the same!]

This week has been a busy one!

On Sunday, we attended It's Your Festival at Gage Park - the oldest and biggest Canada Day festival in the country! We hung out at the park's splash pad and playground for a while, then had a relaxed picnic dinner while we enjoyed live performances by The Spoons and April Wine.

[Cool fact: the Spoons' keyboardist, Scott MacDonald, happens to be my across-the-street neighbour's brother, and was visiting from China, where he's lived for a few years now. Scott's son was playing in my backyard the afternoon of the show!!]

Tuesday was Canada Day, and therefore two traditional activities were required: strawberry picking (at Lindley's Farm in Ancaster), and fireworks (at Bayfront Park). Joe and I managed to squeeze in solo bike rides as well - I rode 25 km and Joe squeezed out 45!

The Canada Day weather was perfect; sunny and mid-twenties (that's Celsius!) with very little humidity (nearly a miracle in July in southern Ontario). We picked 18 quarts of strawberries in about an hour. The kids got bored of picking after a while, so Noah started investigating the environment a bit more closely and noticed the irrigation pipes. He asked what they were, and we ended up having a rather interesting discussion on farm irrigation systems (we pointed out the farm's irrigation pond on the way back out). Nathan entertained us by making up a story of King Berry and his plot to take over the world (yep, the kid's watched a lot of Pinky and the Brain, LOL!)

We all rode our bikes along the Waterfront Trail to the fireworks display. I was in the lead keeping up with Nathan the speedster. Joe and Noah were quite a distance behind us, and were lucky enough to see one of our local beavers swimming in the Desjardins Canal!

Much of the rest of this week has been spent either wrestling with strawberries or loafing at the community pool (a mere 5 minute walk from our house). I now have 1 1/2 dozen jars of strawberry jam - with any luck these will last us until next year; I only had to buy 1 jar of storebought this year to get us through to the new season! I still have 6 quarts left to hull and freeze, which I should probably be doing right now instead of blogging....

This afternoon, the whole family went for a ride down to Pier 4 Park - we brought a couple of the boys' friends along for the ride, too! We were lucky enough to catch the end of the Dragon Boat Races as we'd been meaning to attend but the event had slipped my mind. The boys played at the splash pad and playground while Joe and I took a stroll around to soak up the Harbourfront atmosphere and relaxed on a bench by the water with our books.

And now, I believe it is time for me to go deal with those strawberries!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Happy Canada Day!

I've been far too busy picking (and eating) berries and riding my bike to think about doing a long and involved post, but here are a couple of my favourite Canadian things on the internet, in honour of our country's special day.

Oh Canada
No, this is not an incorrectly spelled link to our national anthem, it's the Yarn Harlot's traditional Canada Day post, devoted to all things Canadian (in a most amusing sort of manner). Take time to link through to previous year's posts if you haven't read them before (maybe even if you have) - they're all great!

I AM CANADIAN - the ultimate classic Molson commercial, required viewing every Canada Day!!

Wishing all my fellow Canucks a fabulous day!