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December Unschooling Thread - Page 3

post #41 of 51

I remember learning to read... I was 6 1/2. I was being taught the "see/say" method (memorizing sight words) which made no sense to me. So it was a bit ironic that my son was more of a sight reader. Anyway, as a parent, I thought it was nice having this memory of learning to read and the frustration of others' expectations. And it was great being able to tell people "Well, I couldn't read at that age, either!" My dh learned to read when he was 3 so he was a bit worried about ds. I figured if I learned to read at 6 1/2 while being taught in school, it was perfectly reasonable for ds to not learn to read until he was about a year older since he wasn't being actively taught.

post #42 of 51

It is so much easier when you remember a struggle than not.  I read at the age of 4, or thereabouts.  I simply remember not reading, then I remember reading.  Not very helpful, I'm afraid, except to have faith that it can happen spontaneously in the absence of active instruction.  Though, my sisters, 6yo and 8, might have had a hand in it.  


I've been devious and manipulative.  For years--forever it seems-- the unequivocal response to the Chronicles of Narnia has been "No, no, and no!"  It's one of my favorite stories, and even though I realize that my kids have different tastes than I did, I've had a hard time with this one, I think because I knew they would like it.  I can deal with them not liking Charlotte's Web, I'm baffled but resigned when they nix Mrs. Frisby et al.  And, OK, upon rereading the Dark is Rising, I can see how they would be bored (it does seem a bit, hmm, manufactured to me now, though perhaps because so much has been written since that drew inspiration from it).  I can accept they are not obsessed with Little House like I was, though they like individual chapters.


But I've never been able to accept the active disinterest in Narnia.  And such defiance!  It's almost they have a sixth sense that tunes in to when parents even *think* of trying a bit harder to convince them.


So, I sat on my hands, watched the movies after they have gone to bed.  But I had to try with the movie one more time.  The girls had just bought themselves a miniature horse set with their considerable savings, I had already checked the movie (LW&W) out from the library (and received the expected protests at the time I first presented it).  So, when we got home I said I wanted to watch it while they played with their new toys.  I did want to see it again, and I hoped (just a wee bit.... OK, actually quite a bit) they would get interested.  I guess their radar was jammed by the New Toy Waves, because they heartily agreed.  Which amazed me, because they hate having the TV going while they play.


I did watch it, and they did, too.  ALL of it.  They LOVED it.






I didn't really say that.  But I do feel smug.  Apparently, they are not as sensitive to Smug Mama Waves.


This is a confession.  I manipulated.  I strewed in the most intrusive way imaginable.  I barreled my way, got my way, finally.  I just had to share it with somebody.

Edited by SweetSilver - 12/21/13 at 9:58am
post #43 of 51
Thread Starter 
Personally I believe the more extreme forms of manipulation are entirely justified when it comes to the Chronicles of Narnia. Good for you!

post #44 of 51

How else will kids learn that sometimes Mama is right? :wink

post #45 of 51

Thank you for the support.  :p


Today illustrates the difference between a fun story (Gilligan's Island) and a great tale.  The girls have spent the entire day, rarely even disagreeing, constructing a Narnia "play" from their animals, and various materials for sleighs, etc.  


They even are expressing some knowledge of movie special effects, though a mite confused*.  "After they shaved his mane, they stabbed the spear into the ballistics gel......."  Thanks to Mythbusters,  "ballistics gel" has now entered our everyday vocabulary.


I've been listening to their games, and preparing Solstice dinner, taking the occasional break to play Operation.


*ETA: I vividly remember being just-8yo and standing in line to see Star Wars with my sisters and babysitter.  Though I'd been to movies before, I think I was still confused how the picture got up there.  I kept wondering whether I'd be seeing the actors coming out of the back door of the theater, like they were in back, projecting their image on the screen.  ???? I knew that wasn't possible, but I had no other explanation and (typical of me) never thought to ask.

Edited by SweetSilver - 12/21/13 at 7:19pm
post #46 of 51

I need to get ahold of the Narnia books again.  We were reading Prince Caspian this summer but didn't finish it.  I fully approve of that level of manipulation!  One for the moms, I say! :)


I learned to read supposedly at the age of two.  I don't remember how old I was really but I've been told I was 2 or 3.  I remember that I was reading before I went to Pre-K.  I just try whatever approach my dd6 seems to be interested in, so I think she's been learning from several methods.  I don't care a ton about her reading right now, but she really wants to and maybe she's feeling the pressure.


We went to a Holiday party today with lots of kids and the girls had a great time.  At the end of the night some family came over and the girls played and made up stories involving the rest of the family.  I loved the stories they made up about the "goods" and the "means".  They got "twin" dolls and they immediately became the "goods" who liked everyone, while the barbies became the "means" who didn't like anyone.  We had such a busy day we didn't have time to make snowflakes today, but tomorrow is game and craft day.


dd6 played with a girl her age that she's known since they were babies.  They did some playing on my phone and half-memorized the word "weather".  They learned a lot playing on my phone and I realized they were both at the same level (at least with the topics they shared with each other), although the other girl is public schooled.  I had also warned dd6 that it wasn't nice to tell other kids that Santa isn't real, before we got to the party, but as soon as her little friend came to sit with us she asked dd6 if she knew and they both bonded over the fact that they knew.  

post #47 of 51

Hah, loved your Narnia story, SweetSilver!


We are reading the Voyage of the Dawn Treader right now and I have to say I'm struggling to get through it. Is the next book better?

post #48 of 51

You know, it's been years and years since I read the other stories.  Decades, even.  I'm not sure I made it through Dawn Treader.  Beside LW&W several times, I've finished Prince Caspian, HAHB, and the Silver Chair.  I'm starting the series again, but not Magician's Nephew first the way the publishers seem to want you to read it.  We'll see what I think of the series this round.

post #49 of 51
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by SweetSilver View Post

I'm not sure I made it through Dawn Treader.  


I love all the books except LB. I have a bit of trouble with the racial stuff in HHB, so that's probably my second-least-fave. I really like VDT: it is an iliad type of story and because of that it's made up of a series of smaller discrete events rather than an over-arching plot. Not as satisfying plot-wise as a novel, but it has its own appeal and I think it's a good example of the genre. I can still quote from memory the first paragraph of the book. I love the transformation of Eustace throughout the book, and I love the American version of the ending of the Dark Island chapter. That version is less simplistic and more disturbing than the British/Canadian version. Lewis changed it back to his original non-sugar-coated version for the US edition and I actually bought a US boxed set as a twenty-something: it was my sole state-side purchase when I moved from eastern to western Canada and dipped through the US to take the I-90. Yup, Narnia fangirl from way back.



post #50 of 51
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post

Unfortunately the teacher does not have the time as she's working on completing her Master's degree over the next two years. It's a huge stretch for her to even offer the weekly extra-curricular class next semester, and that's something that's officially encouraged by her employer. She also doesn't live here, as her partner works elsewhere, and the commuting (90 minutes a day) helps keep her more or less completely overwhelmed. I am going to be looking far more seriously into whether we can include some dance in our Thursdays or Fridays next year in town, assuming we'll be driving back and forth to pick up her big sister. There's a good dance school there. Unfortunately I think it's rather built around huge weekly commitments to multiple classes, but we'll see.


Thanks for that. Its interesting to hear. I really hope the classes work out next year for you. 


Just wanted to say, in case it helps anyone. I really like the BBC Narnia radio adaptations. They have great music. I think they must be abridged, can't quite remember though. I remember them from my childhood so they are quite old. I did struggle with HHB for the same reason as Miranda, but it also sparked some interesting discussions. It is actually quite staggering how such thinly veiled racism was ok back in the day though. You have the blond, blue eyed, pale skinned and rational Narnians vs the dark skinned, animalistic Calormenes, and the hero is discovered not actually to be a Calormen but the heir to a country allied to Narnia. It is a bit extreme.

post #51 of 51

It was a blog-worthy day today.  Meaning, it was mostly uneventful, excepting the pleasant weather, and punctuated by those fleeting activities you pull your camera out for and post about, before settling back into the mundane activities really fill up the day.


We woke up late after a heavy, 11-hour snooze.  Started with our usual screen time: TV, computer.  Chicken chores.  Checking on mousetraps in the car (welcome to rural life!)  Bingo!  Got one little fat boy first night.  I've attempted to get rid of them without resorting to violence, but they were simply not getting the hint.  DH dealt with the aftermath.  


Felt pretty lazy all around, same with the girls.  DD1 folded her new dragon flyers while dd2 made herself an anklet with her new and colorful plastic beads.  She invented a clasp from a pin back which works nicely.  Everyone is in a much better mood today compared to yesterday, but we still spent a lot of time on the couch with Gilligan's Island and Kung Fu Panda.


I donned my new traffic vest and blaze orange hat for the first walk in the woods I've done in months.  The occasional sunshine has kept me to the roads where I have lovely view of hayfields and a creek with a considerable semi-wild buffer zone frequented by hawks.  But today I went up to the end of our road and over to the back side of the hill where my friends have some property, including a 20-acre hay field which felt sun-soaked and inviting.  Back down to the shadier side of the hill to ravines lined with fern-covered maples and back home again.  Modern deer season is over, but some hunting is still happening here and there, and I simply feel safer and more at ease when I'm visible.  Even private property is not immune from dolts with guns.


I encouraged the girls outdoors with a promise of finding the "fairy house" I found this summer.  We stomped all around the little hillside behind our house, but the fairy house was no where to be found.  Last summer, it was under a large, exposed root.  Artist's conch was growing out of it, making a ceiling far back--into a burrow probably--and a little of the conch grew out, like a little awning.  It had been covered with moss, and I had forgotten about it or they didn't feel like going out or whatever.  But the leaves, possibly critters and whatnot have altered the topography enough so I couldn't locate it again.  I was disappointed, but the hillside was so sunny today, the girls quickly settled into exploration mode, and we made a good afternoon of it exploring the deer trails and all the hillside in view of the house.  DD1 especially is like a train--hard to get moving, but once moving hard to slow down.


I ended the day at the library in our little town, chatting with the librarians and not doing much at all.  Paid our considerable fines.  Went home.  Made dinner.  Now I'll be settling onto the couch to read my Troop Cookie Manager guidebook in advance of the parent meeting for out girl scout troop.  


DD1 has folded all the dragons from her book and is racing them down the hall.  DD2 has been dividing her time between reading and racing dragons with her sister.  That sounds sweet, but they are forever on the verge of a fight, even when they are having fun.  I'm always on the alert for when things letdown.  No wonder I'm so tired!

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