Today, we joined six other families from “Home Education For Us”–a relatively new homeschooling group that we’ve recently become involved with–for a fun get-together. Aidan was a little nervous to venture out to a new setting with new people (as were Mom and Dad a little), but we all mustered our courage and were glad we did. It was a very nice time. Everyone in the group seems so very friendly and welcoming. Philosophically, we seem well matched as well, as there seem to be no real extremes; most (as far as I could gather today) lean towards unschooling but stop short of “radical unschooling.” This is becoming our approach with Aidan, [singlepic=110,250,250]following his interests and curiosity, trusting in a child’s natural ability to learn.

The day started with a name game, where the kids tossed a stuffed animal around the circle calling each other’s name to get to know one another. Then we moved onto show-and-tell, where the kids each took turns sharing either a book or a favorite object with the rest of the group. Some of the kids read from their books; others just talked about the book; and still others demonstrated how cool their [singlepic=109,250,250]favorite toy was. Aidan brought a Magic Tree House book with but wasn’t quite ready to talk to the group just yet. We had some free play time, ate lunch, and then, for the main event, we made homemade ice cream. It was a lot easier than you might think (just don’t add too much flavored syrup, as this slows the freezing process, we learned.) Here’s a link to the basic process we used: Plastic Bag Ice Cream. Part of the process involves shaking the bag of ingredients non-stop for five minutes. Needless to say we all earned the small amount of ice cream that resulted from the process. But, mmm, was it good.

We all hung out for a while after that. The adults got the chance to talk a little while the kids played. It was nice chatting about ideas and approaches to teaching our kids. Aidan even began to warm up a little to the point where he didn’t really want to leave at the end. We hope to continue to get to know this group better and have more fun again soon.