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January unschooling thread - Page 2

post #21 of 41

Alright!  Made it through the bottom of the basket.  I confess I did chuck a wad of creations into the trash.  The were impenetrably tangled with a thousand pieces of junk.  Hoping the storm will not blow over this one.  I can stand fairly firm on this issue (with dd2, usually) but recently after I threw away some ancient creations, she sobbed "But I worked so hard on those...."  Ouch.


Yes, she did work very hard on those flattened, crud-crusted projects.  I felt miserable and guilty and didn't tell her about the pile of paintings I sorted through and recycled.  Oops.  She can be so.... prolific.... I am concerned we could be buried under it all.

post #22 of 41
I had to laugh when I saw your last post SweetSilver, I have now gotten to the point where I recycle and apologize after the fact if need be. Otherwise we will just have piles of stuff. I am careful when I do it though; we have had very few issues.

The owl is beautiful Miranda. Thanks for posting. Getting out and about in winter is just hard. Good to know we are not the only ones who have a hard time with that.

I do ask the kids to go outside on regular schedule. If the weather is good then they stay out for a couple of hours. In winter it is generally about 45 min. Living in a 6th floor walk up complicates outside time. It is just not as accessible as having ones own backyard.

I often think the northwest will be perfect weather wise. Not too hot; not too cold. Maybe that is where our next move should be wink1.gif
post #23 of 41

We are not doing anything this month.  I was in the hospital right after the new year and I am still exhausted.  My body needs rest.  Kiddo is reading and focused on art and some legos. (no changes there).  I am attempting to try to get some days of work in.  Otherwise Im planted on the sofa looking for where all my energy went.

post #24 of 41
Zebra, I hope you get all the rest you need and feel better soon.
post #25 of 41

Get well soon zebra!  Thanks for sharing.


dd6 is doing a lot of rhyming games and constantly counting her money.  She's getting really good at reading.  We've gotten back into reading The Little Princess.  Going outside more often.  The girls drew chalk art on the patio.  We're working on better organization right now.  It's taking a while.  


dd6 is also getting really good at dancing.  She has a leapfrog tag system that she's loving and made drums out of water jugs today.  The neighborhood kids are older and they don't play with her, so she is begging for some friends.  I know I really need to work on that, it's quite tough during this time of year though.  


I think I'll let her help put together a kid swap activity for our website tomorrow.  Other than that, I've had a really bad back lately and haven't been doing a ton.  Really low-key stuff for the most part.  The girls are also doing a lot of yoga and speaking Spanish.


They've been watching Dora dvds, The Wizard of Oz(almost daily) and occasionally something on netflix. (Lilo and Stitch, Leapfrog shows)


dd6 has also started waking up early enough to catch Sesame Street and her favorite new PBS show Peg + Cat.  It's  actually a pretty good show. 

post #26 of 41
Thread Starter 

Still in a slump! My Dad's still in the hospital (been bouncing in and out) and most likely won't make it (terminal cancer and things are shutting down..) So basically I'm in/out of the hospital throughout the day (depending on how many emergencies are happening that day) and the kids are bouncing between me, Daddy, and their grandparents. Blessed to have help but a little stressed we are so so far from our usual rhythm.


DD's been deep in pretend play, and using her fashion designer kits..and DS has been building with blocks (new monster blocks especially) and drawing/making tons of art. We've gone to a few neat museums and have some fun plans coming up but lots of hibernating with our art supplies. 

post #27 of 41

Oh mommariffic, I'm so sorry to hear about your dad. Are your kids able to spend time with him too? When my dad died a decade ago, I was so thankful that unschooling gave us the flexibility to be with him. The kids got the opportunity to strengthen their connection with him as he got ready to leave us. All our usual flow was diverted for a time, of course. But what we did instead, now that I look back, was so important. 


Take lots of pictures of your kids with your dad. Even just "kids putting together a puzzle on the table beside grandpa's hospital bed." People kept reminding me to do that, and I'm glad they did. It'll be important to your kids some day, as it is to mine these days. Even -- or perhaps especially -- if they don't remember him very well or at all.



post #28 of 41

mommariffic- :Hug

post #29 of 41

mommariffic just :Hug

post #30 of 41
Thread Starter 

No, they can't visit. The hospital has a no one under 18 rule right now because of some insane flu outbreak..and besides THAT, we have to suit up to see my Dad because he has some seriously nutso (very contagious) germs..

post #31 of 41

Well I will just jump here. WE are baking/cooking! :eat Banana-Chocolate Chip bars, brownies, cookies and we made meal for a couple that had baby.

post #32 of 41

I am brand-spanking new to home schooling/unschooling.  I never ever thought I would choose this path, but after a disastrous first half of first grade (preceded by a tough time in kindy and pre-K) I took my son out of school and we are winging it.  My  husband, a very practical "regular guy" has been amazingly supportive.  He figured out (along with me) that our child needs hands-on experiential project based learning instead of sitting quietly at a desk.


I am probably going a little overboard in my first weeks, but here are a few of the things we have done:


sledding and LOTS of it.  

Bought a coconut, figured how to open it and make coconut milk.  My son then wrote a book with pictures explaining the steps to open a coconut

started Karate classes (he was too stressed after school before so he wasn't in an extra-cirriculars...now he can take classes in things he is interested in.  Yay!)

started a mushroom garden and are keeping observations on it with photos and notes (the kid loves science)

dismantled our dining room and turned it into a library/sitting room/science lab/art station

made a LOT of pots on our new pottery wheel

Went to work with my husband (who owns a restaurant) and helped with cleaning and inventory and greeting the delivery trucks!


It is helpful for me to see that it's okay to have downtime with your kids where you are not constantly doing projects.  In fact, this morning I decided not to plan anything at all and just let my son be bored.  He is now making a city out of boxes...after complaining for about an hour that there isn't "anything to do."

post #33 of 41

Welcome, alinds.


I just wanted to add that unless someone has raised your child to this point, you are definitely not "brand-spanking new at this".  It's just looks different because your son is older.  :wink

post #34 of 41

Welcome alinds! Wow, sounds like so much creativity and excitement in your lives. 


We had a birthday today. Dd10 is now dd11. We measured her and although she's still small for her age compared to "average" children, she's taller at 11 than all three of her older siblings were at 12. She's pretty happy about that. She's growing like crazy the past couple of months. 


For her birthday I made her a fake ID that says she's a teenager. There are a bunch of activities she'd love to be involved in that only become available at age 12 or 13, things we all are sure she's ready for, that's it's been kind of our ongoing joke: "You're really two years older than you are." Now she has a Homeschool Student Card that says she was born in January 2001. It's not meant to be used: just a way of adding some humour to the frustration.


She spent a good chunk of her birthday doing the unit on polynomial inequalities in her math book, and then baking a cake and decorating it with fondant. Her Skype buddy was all indignant that she was baking her own cake, but around here it's a real treat to be provided with the ingredients and assistance for a cake-of-choice and to make it yourself or alongside a parent. I had no idea how to do fondant, so she googled recipes and we watched videos and worked away at the carrot cake innards, the buttercream crumb frosting and the various stages of the fondant. And we pulled it off!




The cascade of red and black spots was her idea. I made the ladybug with the leftovers and we decided it needed to go on the cake. Dd is thrilled to have demystified the whole fondant business. She'll want to do more, I'm sure. It's really fun!


She has spent a lot of the past four months spearheading a major re-furnishing and redecorating of her bedroom. She got some birthday gifts to help with the final stages of decorating: accent cushions, red & turquoise spray paint for crafting her own kitsch, some framed art prints she had wanted. So she's seriously psyched to get the walls and shelves spruced up.


Sadly ballet and jazz dance were cancelled yesterday due to a power failure which interrupted heat at the studio. We didn't find out until we drove the 2 hours to get her there. Then someone backed into the van when we were fuelling up to head home. :( Just a wee bit of fix-it-at-home paint damage to the brush bar, so that could have been a lot worse. But it was a disappointing trip. At least there is gymnastics tomorrow! And we did have a nice day together today.


We're addicted to Homeland, all the teens, youngest dd and me. We topped off the birthday evening by watching the finale of Season 2. Probably quite inappropriate content for an 11-year-old, but maybe less inappropriate for a 13-year-old. We have the ID. We're good.



post #35 of 41

Great cake

post #36 of 41
Originally Posted by alinds View Post

started Karate classes (he was too stressed after school before so he wasn't in an extra-cirriculars...now he can take classes in things he is interested in.  Yay!)

This would be kid. I cannot fathom how she'd still have the mental and emotional stamina to anything that she wanted to do after school.
Sounds like you are doing exactly what your kid needs. Right on!
post #37 of 41

Fun post Miranda.  I watched all kinds of inappropriate things at 11.  Comes with the territory of being the youngest, I think.  


And I always make my own cake!


DD1 has started developing breast buds, just shy of her 9th birthday.  I was closer to 10, so it feels too early for me but I know that it's right on time.  Hard to believe.  She's been reading her American Girl body books (Care and Keeping of You) avidly, and she's excited.  That's another thing that's different-- I was mortified, but then I was the youngest.  (I'm feeling hopeful that she will not enter adolescence with the body shame that I did.)  I've also been catching her reading other books on her own as well, so she's finally comfortable enough with the skill to relax and enjoy it.


With the arrival of her birthday and party, she is helping make toys for the kids that are invited.  She wanted to make boats for the boys down the road, stitch a dog for one little girl, and a doll for the other.  I did ask if they might want boats as well as the boys, but she wants to do these.  The doll was her design, and I could have let her do the entire project by herself, but she didn't plan for seams or stuffing, and I insist they use templates because otherwise they draw and redraw all over the fabric, attempting to get what they want and wasting it.  She help dh sand the rustic alder boats, stitched up the dog herself and we are now working on the doll.


DD2 has been plowing through her nature books by the stack from the library.  It doesn't bother her that her reading isn't easeful.  She plows on through anyway.  She's been coloring her Peterson Butterfly guide.  This one has stickers for 130 butterflies, plus plates of several more, and you get to color a black-and-white drawing to match the one on the sticker.  She made herself a paper "mailbox" on a cherrywood stick and dh is delivering "math tests" to her every mail day.  She's doing very well (thank you Monopoly!)


Last night I taught the girl scout troop how to tie friendship bracelets, the ones using embroidery floss that were really popular in the 90's (I think, I was a tie-dyed-in-the-wool hippie back then).  I enjoy the challenge of trying to teach a skill almost more than I enjoy gaining it, and I definitely learned a few things.  With this "knots in crafts" meeting, I'm attempting to start bringing in more traditional scouting skills, because the national badges and curriculum seem to have sidelined it.  You can still find it in camps, but it is not emphasized outside of it much anymore.  They stress cultivating leadership skills directly, not indirectly through developing individual skills and building leadership on top of that, an approach I am not thrilled with.


This dry winter has allowed us to explore our forest more.  We did a family "hike" up the hill to our chosen tent spot.  We brought rakes to help clean up storm debris from the "road" and the tent area.  They seem eager to camp there, but our sleeping bags are not rated for winter nighttime temps.  I'm thinking I need to graduate to bags that can be used in 3 seasons-- 10 degree bags would actually get us through most of the year.  (And who decides those ratings??  I think a "10 degree" wouldn't be that comfortable in 10 degrees!  Maybe someone can explain.)


Girl Scouts is starting its local cookie sales tomorrow, and booth sales start end of February.  I'm going to be doing a lot of booths, because (of course) the girls now want to sell on their own.  DD1 is in her element, planning and marketing.  DD2 seems oblivious, mostly.   We are also coming up on a busy season of buying chicks, (trying to) keep 4-H records, planning and preparing for public presentations for 4-H.  Time for plotting out summer camping trips and making appropriate reservations.  Scheduling GS camp-- we will be camping 5 minutes away from the GS camp along the Snoqualmie river east of Seattle again.  (This time the yarn store will be open for business!  Goodiegoodiegoodie!)  We considered a different session that includes more horse-work, but it comes on the heels of county fair and I think we'd be exhausted.


Gymnastics continues.  Riding will start up again no later than March.  


Off do dig ourselves out of the detritus of dd2's busyness.  It's a big job on a normal week, and it's been a long time.

post #38 of 41

Ugh.  DD2 is demanding I *explain* to her what to do on her bracelet.  I've tried, she didn't understand, and she is screaming her head off because I want to *show* her one row instead.  I cannot contrive another way to explain it verbally.  No, she wants to do all the work herself, so she and I are at an impasse.  


So.  Frustrating.

post #39 of 41

Can you make the beginning of a separate bracelet (with throwaway materials) and show her on that? Is she hung up on the idea of doing every last part of hers herself?



post #40 of 41

She is hung up on that, but that's a good idea to start on another one next to her.  I guess I was too flustered to think of that option, darn it.  I'll see if she'll accept that kind of help.


ETA: they are playing together happily for the moment.  I absolutely cannot interrupt that, it's precious and rare.

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