Many are curious as to what kind of material is the composite of our learning environment. With unschoolers this will be as varied as there are people in the world as the materials one tends to have on hand is usually a reflection of the interests of the members of the household that resides at a particular residence. However I can let you know what we have at the moment which is a continual growing collection. It does not stop with what we have available today for we are always seeking new, fun and interesting items to add.
Books- My love for books was passed down to me from my mother, I love to have a home full of books which is an ever growing library. Some of the books we have on hand are Janice Vancleaves collection of hands on projects covering ecology, chemistry, math, biology, astronomy, constellations, and geography. Backyard Ballistics, The War of 1812, Martin Luther King Jr, Children’s classic story books, Historical book on Dracula, Family Math books, 5 minute detective math problems, field guides to birds, mammals and insects. We have an assortment of books covering astronomy, basic survival skills, paper making, homesteading, livestock care, country crafts, black smithing, wolves, and cookbooks. We have books for medieval life, the presidents, revolutionaries, puberty and the cartoon history of the universe books. We have books for video game creation, beekeeping, gardening and unschooling. We have books for how to be an explorer of the world to the diary of a wimpy kid to atlases to crocheting. This will always be added to and expanded, at times I have sold off many as we have outgrown certain books and to make room for new interests in books but always adding to it as finances allow. Of course we also have many more books I simply have not mentioned in this list as well!
Other things we use and have always available for the kids to easily access is a huge collection of computer software including things like Elementary Advantage, Math Missions, Rome, Reader Rabbit, typing and just a huge array of fun and educational games. We have digital cameras, video cameras, huge telescope, binoculars, rulers, protractors and measuring tapes. We have Rock Band, Video systems and games, 2 computers, drums, maracas and tambourines as well as small stereos and a collection of music CD’s.
We have baking ingredients, pots and pans, a garden and chickens. We had pigs up to butchering age and raised other farm animals although recently decided to get rid of them due to an economic decision. We have woods and a creek, bocci ball, Frisbee, baseballs and mitts. We have a yard full of lizards and even tadpoles that hatched in a pool! We have coloring books, plain drawing paper, construction paper, colored pencils, pens, markers and crayons along with glues and scissors and other crafty items. Monopoly old and new, stratego, battle ship, chess, risk, life, liars dice, scrabble, boggle, cards, some laser game, dice, yahtzee, clue and other board games I can not think of at the moment fill our shelves.
We also have 2 Televisions, dvd player, and a fairly nice collection of movies. Toys of stuffed animals, building blocks, army men, doll houses, dolls, and dress up clothes would be found in our home. Broken appliances such as game systems and televisions are also available if the kids are so inclined to tear something apart. There is an array of tools and wood for building projects. There are workbooks too which my daughter loves occasionally that I had bought from Wal-Mart’s. We have Cryptogram books, crosswords, and word search and maze books. We have a nice collection of comic books, rubic cubes, hoola hoops and jump ropes. There is yarn and crochet hooks, paper making screens and blenders. Seeds for growing plants, blankets for indoor forts along with paint and paint brushes. Our Unschooling material is all about surrounding ourselves with the things we are passionate about and activities we like to do. I am constantly observing or listening to the desires of the kids of what new things to bring in to add to our unschooling resources and material. I am sure I have left out many things I have overlooked as well my daughter seems to be a pro at making use of items around the house I never imagined the uses she comes up with for them. While I can not speak for other unschoolers, I can only give you a glimpse of our special learning environment and the materials we keep on hand for our unschooling environment.