Thursday, March 1, 2012

March Carnival: All About Animals

All month, we've been collecting stories about unschoolers and the animals in their lives.  We think you'll enjoy them as much as we have.

But first, how about a little reminder of what we can ALL learn from animals? This little list has been circulating the internet with several variations. We thought we'd share what life might be like if a dog was  writing the rules:

  • When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
  • Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
  • Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.
  • Take naps.
  • Stretch before rising.
  • Run, romp, and play daily.
  • Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
  • Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
  • On warm days, stop to lie on your back in the grass.
  • On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
  • When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
  • Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
  • Be loyal.
  • Never pretend to be someone you're not.
  • If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
  • When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.
Next month, our theme will be SPRING. For us, it means re-energizing and renewal. What does it mean in your unschooling world?  

So be sure to send us your blog posts. And if you're not writing a blog yet, what's stopping you? Join the unschooling blog community!

On to the Carnival!! Be sure to leave comments as you stop by the different blogs we're sharing today. Let the blogger know you found them through the Unschooling Blog Carnival. 

Cydney & Sue

The Blog of the Zombie Princess shares how a new kitten in the home provides an unschooling refresher course for Ronnie and her family in Unschooling My Cat.

She has daily periods of astonishingly high energy. We call this Satan Cat Mode, and Honey Badger has nothing on Satan Cat. What Satan Cat Rigby needs is someone to romp with her. It doesn't matter that we'd rather sit on the couch or go to sleep.

Linda believes that the animals in her life deserve the same compassion and consideration given to everyone else in the household. This month, she shares stories of her four-legged family in her post  Members of the Family from her blog Unschooling Me.

This doesn't mean the animals "rule the house" any more than "doing what they want" means my kids run wild without considering anyone else.
It DOES mean that some things around here are a little different from other, more "mainstream" homes.
Where incentives can be great when it comes to puppy training, Pam asks us to question the benefits of rewards and punishments in raising kind and thoughtful kids in Training is Tricky at her blog, Learning Happens.

I mean, animals and unschooling seem to go together like peanut butter and jelly. Yes, of course, you can have one without the other - but boy, oh boy, are they good together!

The Honey House Kindergarden records "180 Moments in a 5 year old's unschooled life."  Teresa's son, Woody, went to his cousin's house to create a maze for their Hamster, Karen, in 132. She shares information about hamsters and how loving animals can come in the form of "calm energy and easy acceptance."

The kids were delighted, and mostly kept their movements slow and their voices soft so as not to give the tiny thing a heart attack. 

What happens when we guide our children into situations we think we have under control, but nature intervenes?  Cap'n Franko, of Singularity, shares a valuable lesson about absolutes and trust in The Flesh-Eating Blue Tang of Death.

Chloe’s “first-aid figures” were labelled with all the injuries she sustained during that trip! Prominent among them was the label “Blue Tang BITE” and an arrow pointing to her poor savaged pinky.

Shannon explores  Animal Passions with her daughter, Annalise, in this post from her blog An Unfettered Life.  She nurtures their shared love of horses, as well as Analise's varied interests; everything from dolphins to gorillas is explored by these animal enthusiasts!

Because her passion for animals is nourished and supported, Annalise has learned a tremendous amount about evolution, genetics, ecosystems, plant life, and the human animal.

This Sandra Dodd blog shares personal and family news as well as chit chat.  In Joy and Sorrow, Sandra shares how difficult it is to go through the death of a beloved family pet.

Marty is a wonderful son, and Gudrun was a great dog, and sometimes I get frustrated from having no magical powers to heal or preserve.  

Sue Patterson talks about how her daughter and husband went from looking at horses on the way home in Alaska, to learning to ride in California, and ultimately owning a ranch of their own in Texas. Following Their Passions comes from her blog, Lifelong Learning.

She'd climb up so she'd be tall enough to hop onto the bare back of her horse, Dolly. Then she'd ride laps around the house, down the driveway, and around the fence lines. It gave her a confidence that would see her through many of the obstacles she'd face later in life.

Cydney Romano, of Recording the Atoms,  tells us about her son, Aiden's love of dogs in A Boy & His Dogs.  At 15, Aiden was able to land a job at a doggy day care where he has learned so much more than pet care!

As unschoolers, our focus has always been, do what you love and the lessons will follow. Aiden’s love of dogs led him to a first job that he enjoys, where he continues to learn about a subject he's interested in, in an environment where he is valued and appreciated. 

Christine Yablonski chronicles her family's adventures in her Unschooling Life blog.   Day 47: The San Diego Wild Animal Park, from their "Cruising America" RV trip, was any baby animal lovers' dream. This part of the San Diego Zoo is the home for their breeding program.

As Kimi moved the toy, the baby lion tracked the toy's movements with his head. Kimi, not letting this opportunity slip away, moved the toy as if she were playing with a kitten, and this little cub took the bait.

 Tim in the Kitchen writes a blog called, Breakfast with Diamonds. He shares thoughts and reflections of life without school. Life Smells Good reminds us of how we can learn from our pets, some as simple as sitting still and breathing deeply.

None of the above is in any way specific to unschooling and yet for me it illustrates perfectly just how the world, and our lives in it, are simply bursting with opportunities to learn. This morning, a 12 week old labrador retriever taught me     how to use my nose.

Christine shares her daughter's fascination with the deadliest animals on earth in  Educating Astra.  Her post,  Live 'n Deadly,  describes an exciting day spent on a television show set not too far from their home.

He unrolled a giant snake and stretched it across the stage. He got a nip from a scorpion. He answered the most random questions, got genuinely excited by some of them. This is a guy who really knows about and loves animals. Truly inspiring.

MamaScout is "passing out tickets to the family circus!"  She and her son, Elliott, have focused their latest adventures on Entomology. Read about how they're Raising Some Snails over there! You could too!

When we hike, no rock goes unturned. His ability to focus his attention on the tiniest creatures astounds me.

Sparkling Adventures of a Free Range Life describes their blog as "a nomadic family with five kids, currently living in Australia, rethinking everything and living free!" Against her initial instincts, Lauren allows her daughter Brioni to examine a bird that dies when it crashes into the kitchen window in  One Dead Bird .

For a brief moment it had been part of her world, and now it was gone. The fact that it was dead the whole time was almost irrelevant.

Sarah McGrath shares practical unschooling tips in her blog, Unschooling Lifestyle. Her 6.5 year old daughter is Having So Much Fun with Bugs, Insects, Spiders, & Entomology!

We've got a forest spider ("Wolfie") in a terrarium on the kitchen counter, some pill bugs in her forensic entomology kit, and two woolly bear caterpillars (one banded "Caramel", one yellow "Vanilla") in a terrarium on the picnic table out back.We're going to house them overwinter and watch them cocoon and transform into tiger moths.

Tamara blogs as The Rookie Housewife, sharing her life with her babies.  As she's just starting out on her parenting and unschooling journey, she makes a list of all things that animals might bring to their lives in the future in Oh the Possibilities!

Obviously we wouldn't jump on everything with every interest, but say they really only have the one? With all the options and branching points there would be no reason for concern. And this was just the tip of the iceberg!

Cathy Earle writes a blog post every day about either world holidays, historic anniversaries, or famous birthdays in her blog, Every Day is Special.
Today, March 1st, is A Great Day for Animals: The Anniversary of the Creation of the 1st National Park in the World. Cathy shares info, photos and links about Yellowstone National Park.
Also on this date:
National Pig Day 
National Horse Protection Day
March is Adopt a Rescued Guinea Pig Month

Lisa Nielsen, a long-time NY teacher, has recently been blogging about unschooling at The Innovative Educator. Lisa shares a fable written in the 1940's illustrating what's wrong with focusing on the weaknesses instead of the strengths of animals or children in Don't Judge a Fish by it's Ability to Climb a Tree - The Problem with Assessment.

They had adopted an activity curriculum consisting of running, climbing, swimming and flying. To make it easier to administer the curriculum, all the animals took all the subjects.

Thanks for reading! Don't forget about next month's theme, SPRING.

And if all these animal posts inspire you to share one of your own, or even write another, feel free to include it in the comment section.

See ya next month!
C & S


  1. This was a fun, wide-ranging carnival!

    But next month is "Spring?" I wrote about Spring a coupla weeks ago! (grin) Maybe I'll hafta think of something new(er).

  2. Thanks for hosting this. Have tweeted to bring more visitors.

  3. Just thought I'd share my blogpost here. It seems applicable!

    The Antidote to Animal School - Unschooling!

  4. wow...really cute pictures.... love it.. cool post.. . really much appreciated...keep it up . .love it..
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