- topicUnschoolingtagged by SweetSilver, 3/29/13
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Spring edition: What has your Unschooling family been up to? - Page 2post #21 of 354/26/13 at 10:37ampost #22 of 354/26/13 at 12:25pmThread Starter
It would be nice, but I often need a bit of a kick in the pants to get moving on things!
Anyway, doing my part to keep the face of Unschooling real, blemishes and all! (Yeah, right... I do it to vent my frustrations onto other people, but if folks get something out of it, I'm happy. My intentions, however, are not so lofty!)post #23 of 354/30/13 at 4:32amQuote:
Ah... unschooled learning lessons!
1. Many projects take time and planning.
2. Things don't always work out the first time.
3. People who are pestered and unappreciated when they're doing their best tend to get upset.
Sounds like a very successful learning experience for your girls.
Mirandapost #24 of 355/1/13 at 5:16am
Miranda, you mentioned hands-on equations. (and thanks for the recipes, btw)
I looked it up and found this: http://www.borenson.com/Products/ParentorHomeschoolingMaterials/tabid/916/Default.aspx
Can you tell me if I need to buy the manual? Can I just buy the very first item on that page and get started?
Okay so what have we been doing - a little gardening though around here spring hasn't quite decided whether it is ready to come or not - keeps coming and going and our neighbour already lost all the plants he planted a couple of weeks ago when the temperature went to freezing overnight.
dd needs a new bike but we haven't gotten it yet. She could still ride her 16 inch one but she feels that it is too small. I have never bought a new bike (hardly ever get anything new) and three times we have checked goodwill there is nothing there. have to search more widely now.
There is a "lapbook" that dd has been doing for 2+ years - every now and then she picks it up and works on it for a few days - this usually means reading and talking about it, as she is absolutely fascinated by the subject (an astronaut). Very little actually makes it in to the lapbook as such, though she scours the internet for info and photos. It would be wonderful to have a lapbook to show the reviewer but anyway, I understand that this is how it is going to go. We did go and buy some construction paper yesterday, as she had wanted to use black backgrounds for some of the pictures and passages that she saved to print out. While at the store we saw some pretty posterboard and I casually mentioned that it might be fun to use that for a lapbook some time.post #25 of 355/1/13 at 7:53amThread StarterQuote:
Bikes are hard to find at the Goodwill because people know the exact day and time the new bikes will be put out and they are there to snatch up the fixable ones. They resell these, often on craigslist. We found a nice Raleigh from a family posting there.post #26 of 355/2/13 at 5:24pmHans-on equations... we only bought the Learning System or whatever it's called, no instructional DVD or manual. There were some videos online that I watched that gave me a sense of the style of the program. That was all I needed.
Bikes... we've got some deals on PinkBike and Kijiji ... They're big in Canada, a bit like Craigslist but the former devoted just to bikes. I got a $3500 full-suspension all-mountain bike in immaculate condition for less than 30% retail price. Dd's aluminum frame hardtail cost us a hundred bucks (used) last year and we sold it for the same price this year.
Mirandapost #27 of 355/14/13 at 8:39amThread Starter
We finally made that birdhouse the girls have been bugging me about! I did research on size preferences, materials, brainstormed who could help with the project, set it aside, and finally, last night, dd2 decided we were going to make the birdfeeder!
So, here it is!
That's right-- it is nothing like the birdhouse that I had researched and planned (and put off building). DD2 saw this empty orange juice carton, told me how we need to cut it and did most of the cutting, directed where the string should go, collected the hay to stuff inside, told dh where to hang it.
I had to resist saying things like "but birds like very specific size boxes" and held my tongue until I answered her question "Will someone nest here?" So I said, "There's only one way to find out!"
I have an ulterior motive for posting this. This project has sit on the back burner for nearly 2 years while I waited for the best time, the expertise, the materials, and she completed her birdhouse in a 5-minute brainstorm and 1/2 hour busy time. And it has the added bonus of being an experiment: who would like such a house? We placed it in the trees outside our living room window for ideal viewing.
I know this lesson. I've given it many times before, but sometimes I need to be reminded of it: kids don't necessarily have the grand, complex plans adults envision for their ideas. Sometimes--in fact most of the time-- it is something simple like this!post #28 of 355/16/13 at 8:25am
Fantastic story at every level, Sweet Silver.
We still haven't gotten the bike. Looking for something more like $25. meanwhile dd is riding the old one, we can ride it for a while longer.
A funny thing happened recently - dd and I went outside to plan a surprise party, taking along our notepad and paper. We happened to sit in the grass across the street from a school. A friend of mine whose daughter goes to that school saw us and stopped by. I could only imagine what she saw - a homeschooling mom-and-child, sitting in the grass, notebook in hand. It is like, picture-perfect homeschooling. I don't think we've done that before or since.
other than that I am trying to declutter. It is very hard!post #29 of 355/16/13 at 8:34amThread StarterQuote:
Like all the advertisements! Mom, lovingly cradling their happy child whilst reading a textbook, pencil at the ready. (No "Mom! What are you doing?! Go away!!!")post #30 of 355/16/13 at 9:10amQuote:
Ha! We had one of those surreal "Mom and Child Homeschooling" photo-op moments yesterday too. We recently bought a new (to us, but actually very old) minivan, and dd loves the way the seats all swivel in the back with a sunroof above. She asked if we could have a tea party in the van before her violin class, so I loaded up a thermos and some cheese scones and we went and parked in the lovely treed laneway at the music studio. Usually we arrive early to turn the heat on at the studio, and just hang out, chatting or being bored. But the tea and scones in the van were a great idea and put her in a great mood. Then she found her math workbook in the back, where it had been languishing since we'd come back from a trip to the city to drop her sister off at the airport, so after finishing scones, she pulled it out and started working in it. Worked really hard, too.
Then, totally coincidentally, both of the other [homeschooling] families who are part of the violin class arrived 15-20 minutes early. All year we've done nothing beforehand and they've arrived on time. This one week dd is doing a MathPower 8 workbook before and they both show up early? One family is out-and-out unschoolers, the other relaxed eclectic. They probably now wonder if we've been fibbing about our loose, unschooling approach.
SweetSilver, the story about the birdhouse deserves to be written up as a featured article on some sort of curated unschooling website. Truly, there's so much wisdom to be gleaned from the story... and from how you told it. Brilliant!
Mirandapost #31 of 355/17/13 at 8:11amThread StarterQuote:
"Curated"? That's sounds high falutin'!! But seriously, I would love to get recommendations for a dedicated unschooling website, not so much for posting as reading. But, sharing, too. I found the Radicl Unschoolers Network, which is helpful, but slow and I'm "not really very" radical.
ETA: I think that's the second time "high falutin'" has been used on this forum (and in a matter of minutes!) Odd how some things work out. Like, when I check movies out from the library one and a time, and 3 in a row will have the same actor. Weird.post #32 of 355/17/13 at 7:54pmpost #33 of 355/17/13 at 8:39pm
We have been at the beach on Corpus Christi since Tuesday. It has been amazing, with DD finally old enough to really enjoy the ocean and sand. Last time around was in Sept, when she was still eating sand. DS and DH took the tour of the USS Lexington today, so they got a big history lesson with lots of extra learning in there. Lots of physics and architectural learning has taken place on the beach making sand castles and a huge vol-cave-o (it was a mountainous structure with a hollow middle and a tunnel running through one side. :) I can't take any credit there, as I still get less beach time since DD nurses to nap and tires quickly of the blustery wind and crashing waves. Maybe next year I'll endure the sunburn with DS while DH takes a little siesta. :)
Spring has been pretty much going on for a couple of months now, but April/May are the ideal times for our abundant wild flowers and much-needed rain. We have visited our local botanical gardens twice, and discovered that a regional metalworkers guild sets up shop in the little old-time blacksmith workshop on the property. We had no idea this was an actual working forge, so it was great to stand around chatting with a few of the workers during our visit. We learned a good bit from them, then moved on to the rose garden, which was in full bloom. Stopped and smelled those wildly fragrant things before heading to the huge koi pond, where we discovered a couple of large diamondback water snakes (non-venomous) lounging in the reeds.
We've been participating in a local homeschool soccer game that happens twice a week in the large open field at a local park. It's wonderful for people like us who are active, yet very un-sporty. DS could really care less about the rules of games at his age, but the group is of diverse ages, and I can set up a little picnic for me and DD to enjoy while he RUNS AND RUNS AND RUNS! Much needed activity, and I'm sure he's absorbing at least a little of the foundations of soccer. Most importantly, he's making some new pals to supplement for our huge loss of weekday playmates as his buddies all start kindergarden this year.
We bought the annual season family pass to all the municipal pools, which include two non-chlorinated spring-fed pools. We have already enjoyed a few trips, and expect to really use those passes through the better part of October. DS is already a really capable swimmer at nearly 5 years old, and DD is doing her best to "catch up" in that department. Boy, do I have some water babies. Lucky me, since there's no place I'd rather be in our long hot drought season than a cold, chem-free, zero depth pool (the kind that slopes from sidewalk to water without a lip or edge. PERFECT!!! Unfortunately, I'll probably be spending a bit more on food, as my kids eat everything I can carry within minutes of our arrival to any outing. sigh.
Happy SPRING everyone! Now I'll read up on all of your responses for some inspiration and delight. :)post #34 of 355/22/13 at 1:32pmWe are riding bikes, all the time.
Ds 2.5 is looking for hills to jump and racing on the dirt track. We are looking for a better BMX bike for him, he needs bigger wheels but a shorter frame (he is short for his age), and hope to find one for his 3rd birthday, late summer. He is so cute in all his gear, but it's still scary to see him flying down big hills. DD1 just hangs out in my bike trailer, her Ergo, or climbs the bleachers at the track.
Other than that, we are meeting other US and HSers in town, there are a huge amount of them. we are fortunate to live where we do.post #35 of 356/3/13 at 8:54pmThread Starter
Wow! Some really gorgeous fabulous weather to slide us through the last weeks of spring. Nothing better than the PNW in the mid-70's to make life sooooo nice!
Came home from a trip to Seattle for the weekend. Today we visited the science center. Always fun, but.... canned and noisy and no time for immersion. Still, it was the first trip for the girls. The show was a silly demonstration using magic tricks to teach about the scientific process. Nice to hear they use "prediction" instead of "hypothesis", and hm... something else for "theory... forgot....anyway, those words are so overused and misused in everyday language it's just time to ditch them. The girls giggled and guessed how everything was done and had a grand time.
If only I could find a pretzel. Huh? The Seattle co-op has a really delicious German-style pretzel-- nothing like chewy-gluey ballpark pretzels. DD2 begged me for a pretzel. Didn't expect one at 8:30pm Sunday night, but surely in the morning.... right? Maybe not Monday morning, though! No pretzels! Tears. Well, surely the Seattle Center has pretzels. Saw a pretzel warmer but wanted to eat in the Center House (now the "Armory"), surely some there. Nope. Tears. Ran back 5 miles to snack shop to get a pretzel from the warmer. No pretzels. Gah! Ran 20 miles back to Armory. More tears. Crap. My kingdom for a pretzel!
Science center, butterflies, cool contraptions, it all wiped the pretzel out of her mind until we started for home. Our first pretzel-free visit to Seattle since she was 2.
Back home, back to slower, mellower exploration. Went in search of roly-polies and learning Science Through Balrog (our cat-- bringer of all things dead and gory). Today we discover a dismembered baby bunny (yay!! ) plus a headless vole riddled with maggots. We practiced our Scientific Method figuring out how it got part way down a whole without it's head. Hmmmm.... better avoid that hole at night...MWAAHAHAHAHA!!! Of course we dutifully explained why the maggots were there, etc. etc.
They've been asking some great questions, I need to write them down just to look back on them and say "Wow!" I wish they would come at other times besides bedtime-- I am always such a grump and ready for sleep.
Speaking of.... the light in the sky belies how late it is. Looking forward to approaching this Solstice with clear skies and balmy temperatures for a change!
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