We had a slow day around here today, after being out and with people for the last too days for way to many hours today was a home day. Ds reorganized his studio, painted with ink. Drew. Watched some old school Snoopy, played with the cats, watched some other videos, made some sort of elevated line with his blocks and train tracks. Built towers of boxes and pillows, cuddled the cats, helped clean the kitchen, looked through some Richard Scarry books, helped his Papa hang laundry (of course it rained ten minutes later). Ds was exhausted and in an awful mood so I tried my hardest to give him space and give him lots of love.
what did your USer do today? - Page 5
I'm really glad everything worked out so well. I'm curious who the organizer was. That was uncharacteristically well handled! As for the illegals, it's darn near impossible to find any kind of group or organization with a high value for personal choice and individual freedoms that isn't rife with the stuff.
Yesterday we went to our favorite park, Tumwater Falls Park near Olympia. It has two concrete boats to play on but no other toys. It's enough to keep them very happy though. It also has lawn and trees and a steep hill for rolling down. It's full of natural things but not wild and wooly in the way that can intimidate little kids at times. The girls ran and ran and rolled and played.
The river in the park (Washington's Deschutes River) *is* wild and wooly on this stretch, otherwise I think we'd still be there this morning! This time of year the Chinook salmon are making their way up the river and fish ladder to the hatchery where they swim around confused because there is no good spawning grounds in the tank. Though it was a quiet day yesterday, other years we have gone and seen quite a show of salmon leaping in the ladder and (even more fun!) attempting to jump up the falls. The Deschutes has not had a natural salmon run in its history (I tried looking that fact up again but haven't found it yet) because the falls are high enough to be a natural barrier to migration.
Fish are not the only thing to find in the ladder. Licorice fern roots itself in the moss on the concrete walls. One species of spider, like a grey-black orb weaver, spin their webs just under the grates. Later in October they grow to immense size, out of the reach of birds. My youngest, the bug-lover, is particularly fascinated by them.
This is the park where I learn so much about HSing and USing. We all learn to balance the needs of others: slow down a little, or speed up a little. I learn to be unconcerned when we stick our rear ends up in the air to look down into the fish ladder for leaping fish. I practice patience and spontaneity. And we play!
On the way dd2 asked about some workers on the railroad tracks. This made me think about sometimes stopping if we had the time. That would be a fun way to learn about what people do and why. But this time we were on our way to open gym, a favorite stop since they were tiny. We passed by an abandoned farm-turned-wildlife preserve. Yup, the swallows were still there though we expect them to leave any day now that fall weather has arrived. In a month or two the elk will come down out of the Black Hills into this hay field to graze for the winter. We regularly stop to watch them. I think I'll stow a pair of binoculars in the car.
We stopped by the Oly Farmer's Market. I love this time of year. The produce stands are fairly bursting! Anyone visiting this town must visit this market.
I look forward to early fall. The river just south of us and the sky over it is a favorite flyway for migrating birds. Migrating salmon make several parks an adventure. Chum salmon are migrating well into November. Our giant puddles in the front of our gravel driveway fill up until spring. Time to get out boots and umbrellas and work on those sweaters I promised them. I got the wool socks out by the front door. And Halloween costume planning is chugging along at full speed. That's dh's corner. He has helped create some of the best costumes--two years ago it was sharks, last year a goblin (from the Hobbit) and a brown bat. This year a vampire and a witch.
Sorry for the long post, but this day has been one we have repeated for the last 5 years and it is one of my favorite days of the year.
We got up late, ate breakfast that we cooked together. Dd dictated her daily letter to daddy and we mailed it off, our morning ritual. Ds drew a picture of himself titled "The Man on Mars" (can you guess what his latest obsession is?) and we sent that off with the letter too. We took a long walk around the perimeter of our property, checking for broken fence or wire mesh sections that needed replacement, stopping to look at whatever caught their interest and to look for tiny fish in the streams. That took up most of the morning.
Spent time with the outside animals, Ds and I riding and Dd sulking a little just watching. We've been looking for a horse for her for over a year now, but no matches that feel right yet, meanwhile Ds got his first pony, which is family tradition when you're 5, going back to my grandma, a few months early this week. She's a little indignant that he got to his rite of passage before her. And a year early to boot :o But she got over it and had fun with him giving his new and rather unkempt friend a bath.
We forgot about lunch but visited more animals, a mama and 3 baby raccoons who've taken up residence in one of our trees. Keeping a safe distance of course. We talked about and then ran in to google rabies and ticks, which led to lyme disease, which scared Dd and fascinated Ds. Played with our cats and dogs and then I showed them how to check the dogs for ticks in their paws and ears. They had a late snack and are still thinking over what they want for dinner. And realized too late that it was Saturday, not Friday, and that we'd accidentally missed our homeschool co-op, which bummed us all out a little. Ds and I worked on a space-themed playlist for the iPod (any suggestions?). And now they're playing Mario Kart together and grazing on what I think might be the end of our strawberry harvest of this year.
There's a new crisp in the air and a bite in the wind the first time today, and it's a sign the seasons are starting to change. I'm already gearing up for fall with a renewed zeal, but thinking of whisking them off to the beach tomorrow for one last hurrah of summer before we pack in our boogie boards and get out our boots.
Today was packed.
Edited by IrishWristwatch - 12/28/12 at 2:56pm
I'm loving the tales of exploring rivers and sighting animals in their habitats. We've had a couple more distinctly urban days around here. Today we ventured to the archaeological ruins of Mitla and then to a village market day packed with everything. We just made it back to the city center to hit the giant lucha libre masked wrestling match, held in an open field by the fire station. And who did we run into there but my son's teacher, who just got back to Oaxaca after a vacation, so that was very exciting. My son wore his Psycho Clown mask and we spent three hours screaming "tecnicos!" rooting for the good guys and booing the "rudos" out of the ring. And I am now so very tired. I look forward to another week of unschooling updates from around the globe.
Well this morning we all wrestled for a while, this is DH's Saturday. Then Ds and I went to the coffee shop to meet another unschooling Mama and only child (they even share a birthday). Ds taught the other mom to play mancala and there was bionicles and us mamas got to talk lots. Ds and Dh are making some sort of lunch and zip line (?) and then we're heading out for an afternoon hike and maybe a special stop for some burgers.
We've still been in "deschooling" mode.
Last week we did a bunch of fun things:
-watched our CNN Student News
-played trivial pursuit and yahtzee several times
-made some stop motion animation videos using lego min-figs
-made still life drawings
-more random drawing
-read a book about french painters
-helped with chores/cooking
-crafts (scissor practice, letter recognition, number sense)
-learned about a bunch of abbreviations on a car trip
-trip to the library
-chatted about nutrition
-did some rebus puzzles
-played informal soccer
-got 2 copies of Nat'l Geo Kids magazines in the mail. DD8 read them from cover to cover
and today is DD10s birthday :D
This morning DD wanted to do something about birds again (this has been her kick lately) so we made an eagle out of construction paper and learned a little about golden eagles which live out here in colorado. She remembered seeing them at the raptor center awhile back so I may take her back there later this week. And taking some inspiration from SweetSilver, there is a golden eagle habitat not too far from here that we can go see. DD2 can ride in the backpack but I doubt DD1 can hike quite that far but we can it least get in the general area of where they live. She then played with a bunch of pastels (a new medium for her) while I cleaned up the disaster that is our kitchen and entertained DD2. DD1 then showed me 5 of her dances (I can so picture her becoming a choreographer or something) and we pretty much just played the rest of the day.
I am so type "A" that I am really having to be careful to make sure she just plays most of the day instead of scheduling something or trying to cram all sorts of lessons in. I am trying to ust following her lead and enjoy the last couple months of nice weather before the Colorado winter sets in!
Our TV broke. No big deal. The kids can watch things on their laptops. We searched everywhere for the DVD drive to hook up for them...and dh comes out with "don't you remember? We don't have one anymore. It broke months ago." He did mention that it "broke" but in a "I just need to jiggle this screw and now it's fine" way. I guess no one has tried to use it in all that time and he just figured we'd noticed it missing by now. .... .... .... we read a lot today.... .... .... .... ds12 is working on the Lord of the Rings books. Dd10 finished the Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy "trilogy" (5 books) yesterday. They're both working on 39 Clues, and dd said she wants to start the Here There Be Dragons series today. It's still over 100 outside, and we're cold weather people, so we're kinda housebound. Funny, in the middle of winter in snow country we would make it outside on a daily basis...wearing 3 layers under snowsuits, maybe, but still...
You know, we don't even use the TV daily, but somehow breaking it is totally throwing off our groove. Like we all went brain dead and can't think of anything else to do. WTH? lol
Just One Of Those Days. I'll have 5 "library movies" lined up to watch but will go to bed early every night. Then, when all those have gone back unwatched I can't think of anything to do but sit in front of the tube. Go figure! So, I'm with you on this one....
Today I worked nearby doing housekeeping. I only have to drive 5 minutes to this job, which is wonderful for a change. DH had to meet a contractor at our nearby property, so my oldest got dropped off with me while the youngest when with dh. DD1 worked with me diligently for over an hour and I rewarded her by giving her $6-- a fortune for her considering her allowance is 1.50 per week (1 quarter for each year). One advantage (amidst all the disadvantages) of having self employed parents is the easy availability of real work to earn real money at an early age. DD1 is strongly motivated by money and what it gets her. She has mentioned a stand to sell jam at. Luckily WA state now has a "Cottage Foods Act" which legalized the sale of certain classes of homemade goods. Before you had to do all your work in a certified kitchen to legally sell, no matter what it was. So this will become a distinct possibility in the future. I am heartened by moominmama's posts and pics of her girls' market stand.
DD2 spent her morning playing in the dirt piles of the construction site. Beautiful dirt! Soft, no rocks, gorgeous, beautiful dirt. Rust-colored dirt. All the way up to her armpits, up to the knees, and fully plastered on her tushy! And, of course, they were headed straight into town to go to the "big library". Have to learn to stash extra clothes when we visit again...... Later she beaded another plastic-bead necklace. They've had these beads for months and she finally decided she was going to do something with them. She finished a blue necklace and bracelet and is now working on a yellow one. She is delighted that she has finished something. Worked on the erector set for a few minutes, and even did a couple steps all by herself. Cleared out the giant cardboard box (collapsing) to make a bed for the cat. All the toys that were in there? No idea where they went and I'm afraid to look....
Is it okay if I talk about magnetix again?
This morning dd said, "I can prove that 3 x6 is the same as 9 x 2." I mean, it would be the same because 3x3 is 9 and 6 is 2x3 so 9x2 would be the same as 3x6. And see I can PROVE it ... and she showed me her magnetix sticks - a set of 3x3 in each hand. Then she put the two hands together and pointed out that she now had 3 rows and 6 column, representing 6x3.
She then added, "They should call it mathematix, not magnetix!"
today, ds is 13 yrs old. Even if I let him, he wouldn't lie about his age to gain access to web sites, so today is all about the internet. He made a facebook page, a paypal student account, a youtube account, joined a couple interest sites with age limits, and made a character on dh's WoW account. He's setting all these things up, and spending a lot of time playing facebook games. Dd is looking over his shoulder the whole time. lol She's also planning to make his bday cake, and we really need to get out to the store to pick up ingredients! =D
Tomorrow we're going on a field trip with a homeschool group -- for the first time in 3 1/2 years! It's perfect timing for my 8-year-old. Her eldest sister moved across the country two weeks ago, and her other sister and her brother started high school recently and have been gone all week on an out-trip. My 8-year-old doesn't particularly want to attend school, but she sure was jealous of all the social and travel time her siblings were getting. Then a field trip presented itself: a 3-day, 2-night stay in the police barracks of a restored 1888 fort, with an array of activities -- scavenger hunt, leatherworking, tinsmithing, blacksmithing, ice cream making, wood stove cooking, horse-cart rides, etc. etc.. There will be about 20 other kids along, including four or five who are good friends. Dd and an 11-year-old friend are bringing their violins and plan to offer entertainment around the barracks wood stove in the evenings, fiddle-style. (The funny thing is that a lot of what we do regularly at home is considered "historical re-enactment" at the Fort. We have a blacksmithy at home, we cook on a wood stove, make our own hard candy and ice cream, bake our own bread and such. But what the heck, it'll be fun anyway!
So today we're prepping some of the food. We've got four loaves of trapper bread rising in the kitchen, some hard-tack cooling on racks, and have made up a bannock bread mix. We've packed our oat-flaker and will take groats to flake and cook into porridge for breakfast. We're taking apples, plums and walnuts from local trees. We couldn't quite stomach the idea of pemmican, but we'll take some bison jerky.
Our special treat this week while dd is an "only child" is to go to our favourite cafe each afternoon. Yesterday dd took along her math and science workbooks and spent a leisurely hour drinking rooibos tea and doing some workbooky stuff. We'll do the same today I expect. We also have some grouting to do to finish up the mosaic table top we're making on and octagonal deck table. There will be violin practicing this evening, and then we'll reading the last couple of chapters of biography of Darwin.
Kind of an atypical flow to our days this week, with so much time and flexibility available for just one child. Very enjoyable for a change, though we're all missing the big kids.
Today our group of four scavenged straws and made a working shower for their fairy and gnome house. They connected the straws and placed them in the current of the creek, saying it would help clean all the stinky fairies. Then they read spooky stories and made lemonade. Tomorrow is a field trip to the Zapotec ruins of Monte Alban, where they will climb pyramids and crawl into tombs. It's the tail-end of rainy season which means the site will be filled with lush grass, a rarity in Oaxaca.
Wow moominmamma & Serena those field trips sound amazing. When I read about the stuff you are doing I feel like coming to those places!
So moominmamma - your 3 days field trip is for parents and children together? Sounds like a very dedicated hs group!
I really think we need to get out more often. .. or at least cook more interesting things.
thanks everyone keep up the posts. this thread is inspiring!
It's a surprisingly casual group. The field trip is just a canned historical experience the site offers to school groups, so we're doing it on the weekend when the school groups can't. Yes, our version of the trip is for parents and kids together. Families will cook all their own food (or share cooking if they've made prior arrangements with each other), which vastly simplifies the organizational issues. There's only about five hours of programming each day, with the rest available for meals, exploring the historical village, playing or hanging out.
Yesterday we had our old playschool co-op friends over for a pizza making party, DS and his friends went up stairs and drew building plans. In the afternoon ds decided that he wanted to spend the money he's been saving all summer so we took all the change to the bank for them to exchange it for bills (20 dollars) and then walked the 2 miles (or so) to the art store, he spent an hour thinking about his choices and ended us with three big brush markers and sketchbook. We decided to take the bus home and stopped for ice cream on the way. Once we were home ds made dinner with his Papa, after dinner there was some glider flying and a Magic School Bus movie before bed.
I haven't been on here in a while, but saw this thread and thought I'd respond about our day today.
My oldest (13) son is out of town atm on a mission trip to help serve the deaf community. His Aunt and Uncle are both deaf along with their 3 out of 4 of their children. He is visiting them for a week because he wanted to learn ASL better. He actually took a train there 3 hrs away and that was done via his own planning and money. He has required himself to not speak English and only use ASL to communicate while there helping with their family and a deaf conference that his Uncle is leading. We talk via chat everyday since he's been gone and he is so thrilled with all he is learning. He also is writing a novel (one of many he works on daily--he has an addiction to writing). He brought his laptop so he could work on that during his down time. He's an avid reader and is reading The Silmarillion by Tolkien atm. I'm sure he's playing his PSP too.
My 11yr old son, has been very interested in researching his family tree lately due to wanting to find out if we have Cherokee Indians in our blood. Sadly, we don't know much because my husband was adopted and my grandmother was …um….loose. lol. But, that being said, it has lead him into researching about the Lewis and Clark Expedition. He watched BrainPop on that this morning (again). Quizzed me on my own knowledge of that expedition (which I failed. lol) and told me he really thought the name Meriwether (Lewis' first name) was a cool name. Then, he went to our neighbor's house (homeschooled too) to watch The Pilgrim’s Progress movie. Both of them (best friends) just finished reading that book (on their own) and have decided to watch the movie together. They also watched Myth Busters on whether or not poking a shark in the eye would ward off an attack. He also did the dishes and put his clothes away this morning before he left.
My 7 year old had his piano lesson this morning (his desire to learn piano) and ever since then has been sitting on the computer surrounded my Native American Indian books that he got from the library yesterday. He has taken a real interest in NA lately. He and his friend have researched how to build a teepee and are building one outside in the woods. He wants me to sew him a "real" NA Indian outfit. He wants the rain to go away, so they can finish it and has come down stairs repeatedly to ask me questions on tribes, languages, culture, etc... We found a PowWow to attend this Nov. Wish there was one sooner. He wants to cook Indian food for dinner.....we'll see. He also dried/put away the dishes today.
My 4 yr old dd is an emergent reader and printed out pictures of princesses, unicorns, mermaids, and a castle off of clipart on Word this morning. She cut them all out and glued them onto construction paper and wrote a story about them using phonics and sight words that she's chosen to learn on her own. Everything spelled correctly are words she taped on our wall that she has learned by sight. ”Five prite Princessis wox and wox to the casl. They see a prite prite flawr and a tene tine grl." (Five pretty princesses walk and walk to the castle. They see a pretty, pretty flower and a teeny tiny girl.) She’s playing in her room with her castle and dolls right now.
We went outside in the rain earlier and played with her sand toys in the rain and rode her bike in the rain. Rain is fun! She helped me make the beds this morning too.
My 2 year old colored this morning while his sister was writing her story, then he played in the rain catching water that poured off our roof into buckets. We got muddy and wet and then came inside to dry off. He helped me make lunch..poured in the milk and cut up the butter. We read some books and he's now taking a nap.
That’s about it and I have to say it was fun writing it down. I love reading about all of your days. I am now going to go back and try read the rest of y'alls posts.
I made a discovery with dd1's reading. She likes to read mostly by word recognition, which combined with some impatience means that she doesn't sound out words very well. Fast forward several months. We've been reading Garfield books together, and today (after I said it was a lot of work to read the *entire* book by myself) she agreed to read the noises. This was the big discovery. She slowed down and sounded out each letter. BRAP! SPLOIT! AAAAAIIIIIIEEEEEE! She read half the book! Yay!!!!! I also heard her reading aloud from a horse book a couple of days ago. So exciting!
After dropping off our accidental rooster off at a friend's to meet his fate (and running around with their best friend) we've mostly just played. DD2 harvested some kale for dinner. I've been trying to catch up on the housework. Puzzles with dd2. Planning for her birthday party (5!!!).
We had a really busy day yesterday on our hike. It was an awesome hike and we saw rock formations and (possibly) some of the golden eagles DD1 has been learning about this week (they were soaring very far away so they could very well have been red hawks or vultures or something).
That said we were T-I-R-E-D today. We had a lazy morning, took rode the bike to her dance class and napped. So glad I get to SAH with my kids and they can nap when they need it. DD1 has discovered simple addition too which is fun. She surprised me yesterday with telling me 5+4 = 9 !