Unschooling Sausages


“I want to write a post for my unschooling blog,” I say, “but I don’t know what to write about.”

“You could play the writing game,” suggests Sophie. “I’ll give you a word and then you can write a post about it.”

“Okay,” I agree. “Sounds good. What’s my word?”

“Sausage!”

“Sausage?” I think about this for a moment and then ask, “What’s a sausage got to do with unschooling?”

Sophie shrugs her shoulders. She has no idea so I Google the words ‘unschooling sausage’. I find a blog called Educating Sausages. (Hello Lucy!) And I discover unschoolers have lots of sausage sizzles.

Sausage sizzles… unschoolers… No, that’s not very interesting. I have to find another connection between the two words.

“Imogen, tell me something about sausages,” I say, hoping she’ll have an idea that will lead to a story.

“We eat a lot of sausages.”

She’s right. We found a butcher that sells gourmet sausages. Some sausages have cracked pepper in them. Others have bacon, and there are even some chicken ones with feta cheese and rocket. They are delicious!

Every Saturday evening is sausage night. Sometimes we eat sausages during the week too. We love sausages. It’s our favourite meal at the moment.

At the moment? Yes, it hasn’t always been that way. Not so long ago we ate lots of home-made pizza, the kind that has pitta bread as a base. Oh, those pizzas were delicious too!

And we once had a hamburger phase: thick patties in soft buns with all the extras such as beetroot and cheese and salad greens.

And during winter we couldn’t get enough zucchini and leek soup.

I suppose sausages won’t always be our favourite meal. Something else will come along, tempt our taste buds and then become the new flavour of the moment.

Unschooling’s a bit like that. At least it is in our home. Not so long ago we couldn’t get enough of Shakespeare. We watched one play after another. We even watched multiple versions of a single play. I lost count of the number of times we watched Hamlet.Then suddenly we’d had our fill of Shakespeare. He was replaced by Jane Austen. We watched three different mini-series productions of Pride and Prejudice, and then every other Austen movie adaptation we could find. And then one day we moved on…


… to the BBC Farm programs. We’ve worked our way through The Tudor Monastery Farm series. Next we’re going to watch The Wartime Farm episodes. And if we can afford to buy the DVDs, we’d like to watch The Victorian and Edwardian Farms too.

It’s not just our viewing which changes over time. Other things go in and out of fashion too. The girls were doing a lot of sewing a few months back. They couldn’t make dolls and monsters fast enough. Now they’re crocheting. We haven’t recited any poetry recently, but we’ve been speaking out loud as we’ve been making podcasts. No one has done a lot of drawing in recent weeks, but our blogs have been redesigned and hundreds of photographs have been taken.

There are so many interesting things to do. The menu of life is endless. We couldn’t possibly do everything all the time. There just aren’t enough hours in a day, or a week, or even a term. But that’s okay. It’s nice to concentrate on a few things at a time, and then have a change, isn’t it? And we can always return to a former favourite activity, and continue where we left off.

Suddenly I feel like returning to Shakespeare. And pizza. Yes, my mouth is watering at the thought of crispy bacon, pineapple and cheese pizza slices. Perhaps our sausage phase is nearly over…

… just like my unschooling sausage story…

The End.

Image: Pig in a Blanket by Emily Orpin(CC BY-NC 2.0)
You can also find me on my Stories of an Unschooling Family Facebook page!


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Comments

    • Amy
    • September 16, 2014
    Reply

    LOL….this was great! Now you've got me wanting to run fix pizza for lunch & watch some Jane Austen. 😉 My oldest daughter is a HUGE Jane Austen fan & I watched SO many movies with her a while back, but would honestly like to watch them again now. And I totally know what you mean about not being able to do it all & how life seems to ebb & flow. I have TWO crochet projects going right now that I keep swapping back & forth between not to mention my art journaling & the books I have lined up to read…….great post!! 🙂

    1. Reply

      Amy,

      Did you make that pizza? And watch some Jane Austen? We've got one Jane Austen movie we haven't yet seen. It's the version of Mansfield Park starring Billy Piper. Have you see that one? We've loved all the Jane Austen movies we've seen except for a version of Northanger Abbey which we couldn't finish because of the (unnecessary) sensuality.

      Life seems to flow and ebb… yes! That's a perfect description. I love the sound of all your projects. I bet you never have time to feel bored. Too many interesting things to do!

  1. Reply

    What a fun post! Love the dachshund picture, which made me remember the three we had over the years. And now I'm thinking of finding just a word to write about…after all, look at YOUR terrific results!

    1. Reply

      Nancy,

      You've had three dachshunds? They look like beautiful dogs.

      I'm glad my story turned out okay. 'Sausage' felt like a big challenge for a while. I was tempted to ask for another word. Perhaps you can ask your granddaughter for a word, and then write the corresponding post. No cheating though if it's hard word! (I wonder what she'd suggest.) It was a lot of fun writing this post. Maybe I should try this again some time.

    • Vicky
    • September 16, 2014
    Reply

    I have fads that come and go, too, Sue. Sometimes, I think it would be good to be consistent and more disciplined but then I think about the seasons. At the moment, we're all quite excited about spring and, the other day, we were saying how dull it would be if we had only one season. It's lovely to welcome the old seasons back all refreshed to start again.

    Gourmet sausages are so much nicer than plain, old grizzly ones! We've been enjoying homemade pizzas, lately. Bethany uses the bread maker to make the base and she's a great cook! 🙂

    1. Reply

      Vicky,

      Yes, perhaps it's good to be disciplined and consistent when projects are started but never finished. I'm thinking about my knitting!

      I love spending long periods of time on one thing, and then only moving on when we feel ready We could never do that at school. Aren't we fortunate having the freedom to learn as we like?

      I was thinking about how unschooling has its seasons just like the weather. I wrote a post about that once, and I spoke about it in this week's podcast. I agree with you completely: it is exciting at the start of a new season. We all need a change every so often. Imagine living somewhere that doesn't have the traditional seasons. That would feel so strange!

      I bet Bethany's pizza tastes delicious. We never seem to allow enough time to make our own dough bases. Does Bethany bake her pizzas on one of those special stones?

      • Vicky
      • September 17, 2014
      Reply

      Yes, we have a couple of pizza stones and pizza knives that we bought from Aldi, a few years ago. I'm not sure how stones might be better than metal trays but the pizzas are delicious. Our favourite, at the moment, is chicken, feta cheese, baby spinach and tomato. The dough takes about an hour and a hour and we do it ourselves because it has a softer texture than store bought ones.

    2. Reply

      Vicky,

      I'm not sure how the stones work either. Maybe the bases cook more evenly on them. I don't know! Ours broke in half after only a couple of uses. We obviously did something wrong!

      I like the sound of your chicken pizzas. Much more interesting than our usual pineapple and bacon variety!

    • Wendy
    • September 16, 2014
    Reply

    The sausage sounds lovely! I've thought of making my own sausage, but I haven't tried it yet. I do love these phases of fascinations! We do so much more than I ever did in school – as a student, I'm sure I would have been horrified! But it's all so fun, and we don't have to stop mid thirst. I think the stopping mid thirst (we can't talk more about that now, it's time for the next lesson) is what kills the love of learning. The message I got was: don't be thirsty.

    Right now everything is photography and knock knock jokes and baking. And yurts. And dissections! Choclo told me, "My favorite dissection was the shark (sigh), but the cow eye was so fun!" What I really love is the way the interests spill into each other. Mxyl started being into photography, but now everyone is taking pictures and learning the rules of composition.

    Before that it was Shakespeare, and I think we are heading back into Greek plays. We're all over the map, but we're having a great time! 😀

    1. Reply

      Wendy,

      "I do love these phases of fascinations!" I do too! You sound so excited as you describe what you've been learning about recently. Yes, having a great time! Don't you just love how learning is a family affair? Everyone shares and inspires each other.

      We're into photography too at the moment. And Charlotte has discovered 3D animation and we're all watching her, totally fascinated by what she is doing. This morning, someone suggested we read a Shakespeare play out loud. We might read Julius Caesar. We haven't tried dissecting anything. Perhaps we should!

      Always good to share with you!

      • Wendy
      • September 17, 2014
      Reply

      Ooh! Is Charlotte doing Blender? Mxyl loves Blender! We've also used Kodu, but Blender works like the professional programs. In fact, did you know that you can use Blender to make things with a 3D printer? Not that we have one, but it ups the coolness factor for me! Anyway, his blog (The Amateur Computer Animator) is mostly about using Blender.

      • Wendy
      • September 17, 2014
      Reply

      Oh, if you decide to try dissections, and you have anyone who is a bit squeamish, I would suggest that you start with basic animals and move up. Klenda was worried about dissections, but we started with a worm, then a grasshopper, and so forth, and she never was uncomfortable. It also helps to go from simple to complex, scientifically speaking.

      Also, I used the videos at "Biologybyme"'s You Tube channel to prepare for the dissections.

      Also, also: did you know that you can dissect plants? Daffodils are the most common plant dissections and you must be getting near daffodil time.

    2. Reply

      Wendy,

      We will definitely look at Myxl's blog. It's always good to share with fellow enthusiasts. 3D printer? I don't even know what one of those is. I will have to do some research. I bet Charlotte would like to know more about them!

      I remember dissecting rats and cow's eyes at school, but we looked at other animals at uni in my first year zoology course. I think the smell was worse than the look of the animals! I remember breathing through my mouth as we cut up the rats.

      We've cut up flowers before. (Passing on my botany knowledge!) No need to be squeamish here! I used to love doing this and then drawing the various bits and pieces. You are quite right: the daffodils are starting to bloom. I shall certainly suggest the girls take a look at them while they are available. Thank you! Oh we must look at the Youtube channel too. That sounds good!

      Thanks for sharing your discoveries and enthusiasm, Wendy. I appreciate it!

  2. Reply

    Thank you for the video links!

    Rocket? Beetroot on burgers? This is all so new and exciting. I've never heard of such, but maybe I should look into it.

    I've been reading Dickens to the kids here, but they don't seem to be latching on so that we'll be in a "Dickens phase". I was hoping it might work that way. But I"ve enjoyed the story…and the reading time.

    1. Reply

      Lynne,

      Rocket is very popular here but I've heard it's not that way in America. I used to grow it in a large pot on the patio and add it to our salads. It's much nicer than lettuce. Have you tasted it? It has a sharp peppery taste. I really like it. Beetroot on burgers is good too. At least I think so!

      Have you watched the BBC mini-series of Dickens' novels Bleak House and Little Dorrit? We all fell in love with Dickens after watching them. The girls wanted to read all his novels, and have now read a few of them. Perhaps your kids will like the mini-series versions too.

      I hope you enjoy the farm series. The Tudor monastery one was especially interesting as it is set in a time when the Church was a big part of everyday life. Everyone went to Mass and celebrated the feast days. Can you imagine that? A peaceful time before the storm caused by Henry VIII and the Reformation.

    2. Reply

      I'll look up the BBC series. Thank you!

    3. Reply

      p.s. my library had both! Yippee!

    4. Reply

      Wonderful! I hope you enjoy them! The theme music is good too.

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