Unschool Vision Board

I recently made vision boards (view them here) and one of them is for unschooling. I think it is important to have a visual reminder of why we chose to unschool our son, verses more traditional homeschool methods.

Sometimes the pressures of society and those that don’t know the vast benefits of unschooling can allow doubt and worry to creep in, especially with my teaching background. Having a list of traditional schooling and unschooling differences and a quote from “Free to Learn” by Peter Gray can help clarify  our decision with just a quick glance.

“Children (rid of us) are biologically designed to educate themselves through play and exploration! We don’t need to educate them; we need to provide the conditions to allow them to educate themselves!”

Unschool Vision Board

Having things to remind us to live in the present and be mindful of our child’s interests and needs is so important. Sometimes we can let the stresses of life take us out of the moment, causing our child to be ignored or rushed and not have their curiosity fostered as well as it could be.

Drinking Orange JuiceWhat do I mean by fostering their curiosity? Well, answering questions through speech, a book, a dvd, or better yet, giving a hands-on opportunity for them to answer the question for themselves.  For example, my son LOVES orange juice. He thought it just came from a bottle (he is only 3), so I took an orange and helped him stick a glass straw through it and he was able to both touch and taste the orange juice right from the source; making the connection of where orange juice comes from. He loved it and now asks for his orange juice like that. When he is done drinking the juice he eats the orange.

Being present for unschooling isn’t just answering questions the child already has, it can be inspiring them. We have a large range of books and manipulative of varying age levels that we play with all the time. We also do a lot of vocal counting, reading, spelling, letter sounds, and color recognition, plus allow multiple opportunities for him to see us write in cursive (yes, he is learning cursive first and his favorite kindle game is teaching him to write in cursive). We try to make this a habit for daily learning opportunities. He seems to enjoy it, since he repeats what we say and is already counting and adding to 4, recognizes the letter A and number 2, knows all of his basic colors, knows what words are for, and can recognize a few sight words in both print and cursive. This is why our vision board includes an “ABC and 123” picture and “ASL” picture, as a reminder to demonstrate knowledge throughout the day.

An added bonus of having a homeschool vision board is as motivation for older children. (Thank you, Tashara for pointing that out!) They can see why homeschooling is important and focus on concepts they want to learn. To enhance this, it would be great for the family to plan and make their vision board together.

Do you have a visual reminder for your homeschool/unschool goals? What would you place on your vision board?

Elimination Communication/ Natural Potty Training Supply List


When practicing Elimination Communication/ Natural Potty Training it doesn’t mean your baby/toddler is naked and peeing wherever they want. Certain supplies can help reduce your stress and assisted in simplifying the process. This is a list of possible supplies and links to buy them from. You don’t need every supply on this list. Do what is comfortable for you and your family, and if something isn’t working change it up.

(I do get a tiny commission from the sale of certain products listed, using the link provided, but the price does not change for you. I only recommend supplies I have personally used, multiple families I have taught have recommended, or another fellow Go Diaper Free coach has recommended.)

Possible Potty Receptacles:

1. Grown-up toilet, held over it (with or without a mirror or sticker stuck  inside of the lid for baby to have something to look at)
2. Grown-up toilet with toilet seat reducer:

Potette Plus (My favorite!!!) It is a seat reducer plus a mini portable potty that can easily fold away. We keep one in the house and one in the back of the car/diaper bag. When used as a portable potty it uses disposable liners, a reusable silicone liner, or plastic bags with napkins or a cloth wipe to soak up the pee.

Other toilet seat reducers are:


  • Foldable travel seat reducer. This is probably the second most popular portable seat reducer style.


  • Seat Reducer with Handles.


  • Seat Reducer with steps: I own this one. It has a stable ladder, folds away, and has a cushioned seat.

I have also heard good things about this brand.

3. Sink (bathroom or kitchen).
4. Bathtub (good for boys). When the toilet is occupied and my son can’t hold it any longer, he uses the bathtub like a urinal.
5. Stand-up shower (also good for boys).
6. Any bowl-like container that works for you (ie: mixing bowl, tupperware bowl, chamber pot, etc.).
7. Shallow container (such as a wide rectangular/ circular basin with low edges) used next to bed on floor.
8. Water bottle or jar (boys).
9. Mini potty/ potty chair:
High Back Potty chair for support while sitting. We keep a Potette Plus as a seat reducer in our bathroom, but we also kept a floor potty, when my son was young and willing to use it, for when the toilet was occupied. It’s also handy to use in other rooms of the house, like the living room or playroom.

There is also a 4-in-1 soft seat toilet trainer. It is a floor potty, toilet seat reducer, portable potty, and step stool.


10. Top Hat Potty: This is great for newborns, especially to catch pee/poop while they are feeding. http://www.naturallydiaperfree.com/Potties.html
11. Disposable, cloth/plastic-lined, or wool puddle pad : I prefer wool puddle pads, since we use wool diaper covers anyway.

12. Frisbee or whatever else is laying around in your car.
13. Towels.
14. Potty cozies can keep a baby comfortable on their portable/mini potty, since it helps them avoid sitting on hard, cold plastic. http://www.naturallydiaperfree.com/Potty-Cozy-Menu.html


  1. Split Pants: These keep your baby’s legs warm, but allow them to sit on the potty without taking their clothing off.

Open Crotch Romper.

2. Tiny Undies: I love these undies. You can’t find underwear to fit a small baby or toddler and these start at 6 months. These are amazing! They are made by the author of Go Diaper Free.
Purchase directly: http://tinyundies.com/our-shop/tiny-undies-new/?invite=31
Purchase from Amazon:

3. Toddler Undies.

3. Leg warmers: We wear leg warmers and undies a lot. They are great for layering or to just keep legs warm during diaper free time.

4. Shirts.


5. Wool soakers: We use these with our flat diapers, with undies, under pants, or as pants (commando/undies) when going on a long car trip or at someone’s home. If we have a miss, properly lanolinized wool creates a breathable, yet water proof layer. You will still have to clean up your child, but whatever they are sitting on should be protected. [Wool typically only has to be washed and relanolinized (the process that keeps it from leaking) once a month, when it gets an odor, unlike PUL diaper covers that need cleaned daily. Another benefit of wool compared to PUL is that it is absorbent, like regular clothing, which is what we are going for with EC backups.]

EcoPosh Wool Diaper Cover.

Disana Organic Merino Wool Cover. (These are my favorite soakers and pretty much bullet proof.)

Personalized Wool Cover. 

Eucalan Lanolin Enriched Delicate Wash (Lanolin is used to make wool waterproof).

Rebourne also has some amazing wool, especially the OS wraps, and has a great lanolizing kit with wonderful instructions. Send the owner a message if you have any questions or if she is out of stock of anything you are needing.  https://www.etsy.com/shop/rebourne


It is always handy to have a reference book on hand. Here are a few I recommend.

Go Diaper Free/EC Simplified (0-18 month) (My class is based largely from this book.):


The Tiny Potty Training Book (I reference this for children who are 18+ months.):

The Diaper Free Baby:

Tiny Potty Board Book (A book you can read to your baby.):


1.Snappi: These are used to hold prefolds/flats/burp clothes on babies.

2.Cloth Diapers:
Thirsties Hemp Prefold:

Bummis Organic Overnight Cloth Diaper:

OsoCozy Indian Cotton Unbleached Prefold:
Disana Organic Cotton Muslin Flat:
OsoCozy Organic Birdseye Cotton Flats (Love these!!! They make one size cloth diapering for all sizes a breeze, plus you can fold them to fit your child’s needs (wet zone, jelly roll legs and back to keep poop in, etc.):

3.Cloth Wipes (We use these for baby, family cloth, blowing noses, cleaning messes, etc.) (Read this article for more information http://cleaningouttheclutter.com/2013/05/all-about-homemade-cloth-baby-wipes-and-wipe-solutions/):

3.Wipe Box: We love this thing. It has a weight for easy access and you don’t have to worry about how you fold the wipes.

4.Diaper Belt: Diaper belts are elastic belts that are worn around the waist to hold a prefold/ flat diaper/burp cloth in place for an easy back up option. http://www.naturallydiaperfree.com/Diaper-Belts.html
There is also an adjustable option:

5.Wool puddle pad: we use these to protect our sheets in case I don’t wake up fast enough.


7.Wet Bags: I love wet bags! I use them for a variety of things. For EC I use the large to hold wet clothing/diapers.

I use the small to store clean cloth wipes.

I also like Planet Wise’s hanging wet bag and diaper pail liner.

My favorite hanging wet bag is by Kanga Care. It held 3 days worth of flats.


8.Potty Training Dolls (I like to use these as a teaching tool.):

  • Once Upon a Time Plush Doll Set w/ Potty :
  • Potty Time Elmo
  • Potty Time Elmo DVD (This is great to have with the doll. My son loves this movie and it helped him with the steps of potty independence.):

  • Potty Training Caucasian Baby:
  • Potty Training Black Baby:
  • Boy Potty Doll with Book and DVD:

Not every Elimination Communication/ Natural Potty Training Supply listed is needed. Figure out what works for your family. Use what will help you have the least amount of stress during this process.

For more ideas look through my free support group (www.facebook.com/groups/NaturalPottyTrainingETx/), or ask a question.

DIY Color Matching Square

I have been increasing the number of homeschooling supplies I have and the color matching square I found on Etsy.com was $35 and not exactly what I wanted. So, I decided to get crafty and make my own color matching square with the fabric and pattern of my choosing.

I used small patterned felt, found here, to make each section. I chose dots for primary colors (blue, yellow, and red), snowflakes with swirls for secondary colors (green, orange, and purple), and stars for my black and white sections.

To make it easy on me, I made my square out of 8 sections by cutting each square fabric diagonally in half, creating a 45 degree angle.

I used Mod Podge glue, found here, to keep each section in place over a large piece of felt, found here, then sewed the edges of each section to keep it secured in place. (Please, don’t judge the quality of my sewing. This was my first time using a sewing machine and it took me a very long time to not just have one big knot of thread.) I then trimmed off the remaining felt from the back piece.

DIY Color Matching Square 3

On the back of the felt I wrote the name of each color next to the corresponding edge (As you can see, I tried paint and it didn’t turn out well. I ended up using a permanent marker instead).

Back of Color Matching Square

For my 2 year old to be able to play with the color matching square (more than just dancing on top of it like he loves to do) I painted 8 clothespins in  corresponding colors.

His new toy is already working. After only a day of playing with it he now recognized the color “orange!”

DIY Felt Color Matching Square

Using the front of the color matching square, we can practice matching colors (we use other manipulative besides the clothespins), naming colors, learning the difference between primary and secondary colors, match fabric patterns, and practice fine motor skills by manipulating the clothes pin. On the back he can learn to match the color of the clothespin to the written name of the color. As he gets older, we can discuss angles and how the square is made of 45 degree angles and right angles.

As you can see, a simple felt square can provide a lot of learning opportunities.

How will you design your DIY color matching square?