Unschooling is all about the child learning through engaging with their surroundings and then pursuing more deeply the concepts that spark curiosity and interest. The environment is key for learning to be a natural and smooth process. The environment should encourage children to explore their interests, learn from experiences, and pursue project based learning. Everything in the learning environment should encourage experimentation, problem-solving, creativity, and open-ended play.
You can create a more sustainable and healthy lifestyle regardless of where you are – an apartment, a frat house, or on a farm, there are little changes you can make to make a big difference.
Sustainable living describes a lifestyle that attempts to reduce an individual’s or society’s use of the Earths natural resources, and one’s personal resources.
Grow Microgreens & Sprouts
Don’t fret, I promise it’s easy! All you need to start growing sprouts is a mason jar, a draining lid, and seeds that work for sprouting! I also like to keep a drain stand and tray so I can keep them on the window seal, but they’re not necessary. Each seed pack will typically have their own variations but typically you soak the seeds for about 12 hours, drain and rinse, and continue to rinse twice a day for a few days until you have a lovely jar of sprouts! Seriously, it’s that easy!
“While their nutrient contents vary slightly, most varieties tend to be rich in potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium and copper”
Grind Your Own Flours (Especially Gluten Free Ones!)
You can save SO much money by making your own flours, especially when you’re making organic, gluten free, or unusual flours. I love using quinoa flour for baking, but it’s usually ten dollars a pound! When I make it myself, it’s usually under three dollars a pound! You can also save money and get a better quality flour by making your own wheat flour. While a larger initial cost, a grain mill is a fantastic investment. While saving money on flours, you also get fresher flour with a higher nutrition content. While store bought flours are typically lacking nutrients, fresh ground flour is actually a super food!
“Grains are the seed-bearing fruits of grasses. The fact that grains are the seeds of the plant as well as the fruit and that life-giving nutrients are contained and perfectly stored within, make grains an incredibly nutritious food. In fact, of the 44 known essential nutrients needed by our bodies and naturally obtained from foods, only 4 are missing from wheat–vitamin A, B12, and C, and the mineral iodine.”
Sue Becker (Source)
Sow A Garden
Even if you don’t have a lot of space, you can have a garden! My first garden was on a table inside my apartment!
Add a small grow light and you can grow a lot of things indoors! Some easy starter plants are basil, rosemary, oregano, lettuce, kale, and radishes. If you have a small patio you can grow all of your own greens and maybe even more! Vertical gardening can extend your usable space to be able to grow more of your own produce.
Make Your Own Teas & Tinctures
Studies have found that some teas may help with cancer, heart disease, and diabetes; encourage weight loss; lower cholesterol; and bring about mental alertness.
Making tea is probably one of the easiest and quickest methods to living healthier while saving money! Teas have endless healthy benefits from lowering anxiety to preventing cancer, but as with all plants the nutritional value is highest when fresh.
What are your favorite ways to practice sustainability?
Children explore their roles in the world and their impact on the world around them through creative play. It’s important for children to process and understand their world as well as express their emotions through creativity for emotional well-being.
Follow these easy tips to support your child’s development through creative play and building the skill of creativity!
Set Up The Environment
The environment is key in encouraging creative play. It is important to create a “no” free zone that children know they can engage in without criticism or many limits.
If it’s not possible to always have this space set up, you can get a large baby gate to section off an area that you can add toys or art supplies the child can engage with freely. Providing a playroom, if possible, is a great option as well.
Simple Toys and Supplies
Research actually found children engaged more and formed more cognitive connections when using simple, wooden toys rather than electronic “learning” toys.
Keep simple toys that can be used for multiple purposes and imaginative play available at all times.
Schedule Free Time (or Don’t Schedule)
Always make sure there is time in the schedule for your child to engage in play without direction or a goal.
Give Children Space
Simple, give children space to play on their own without direction. However, ignoring children or forcing them to have alone time will only create children to be more “needy.”
A child’s emotional and attachment needs must be met before they are interested in solo and imaginative play.
Show your child how to use their imagination! Read some fantasy books together or grab a stick and pretend it’s a wand.
Teach your children it’s ok and even encouraged to engage in creative play and use things in creative ways.
“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use the more you have.”