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~ June Unschooling Support! ~ - Page 6

post #101 of 226
Ds likes doing math verbally, too.

He got intrigued last night with pictures of ringworm on the computer. We tried to find the picture that best matched the suspected case a relative has. I wasn't expecting my search to generate so much interest in ds when I started it .

Ds inspired me to design a few unschooly t-shirts. I never could find ones that were quite right for us. I'm appreciating hs advocacy t-shirts since we've been hitting so many area hs parkdays where we don't know anyone and we have to pick the hsers out of the crowd.

We stopped by the library, today, after watching a local parade and rented Spirited Away. Ds was pleased he found a pack of matches. Tonight, we'll go to see local fireworks which my pyro-boy is greatly anticipating.
post #102 of 226
Hi! I'm Cara. My boys are 4 and 3. We live in Alaska. We are currently renting a house on 15 acres on a mountain called Lazy Mountain. It backs up to the neighbor's 90 acres and is chock full of trails as she is a musher. This past winter we started skijouring our dogs and in the summer we hike around eating whatever wild edibles present themselves. Right now it is Bluebells, Wild Geranium, Wild Rose, Lamb's Quarter and a few others. I adore wild plants and love to prepare foods with them.

My intention is to US, but I must admit I haven't fully commited the mental leap. However, I know I will because I completely believe in it and because I know I could never be so structured. I would simply lose interest and feel contrived.

Anyway, it is a beautiful day here. Sunny and 70 degrees. We went to our town's local carnival today. It's funny because we live in a small town so there were no lines at any of the booths. At a few of the game booths it looked like the workers were going to fall asleep!

We stayed for about an hour and now we are back here. The boys are outside relaxing in the sun and digging. I'm getting ready to put some annuals in pots for our very short but beautiful season.

So that's all for now. I have been recently lurking here after a five month hiatus from the internet. I enjoy reading what you all have to say. You all are immensely spirited, intelligent, and funny.
post #103 of 226
welcome mama!
I was born in Fairbanks Alaska.
post #104 of 226
We had 2 birthday parties today. They were both outdoor parties and it was a beautiful 70ish blue sky slightly breezy day. One was a backyard water party, slip and slide, splash pool, waterballoon toss, etc. The 2nd was a beach party with burried treasure, island cupcakes, and hot dogs cooked over the fire. Lake MI was still pretty cold, but my dd and her friends got in up to their knees. I think dd will sleep good tonight.
post #105 of 226
Originally Posted by oldermamato5 View Post
welcome mama!
I was born in Fairbanks Alaska.
Cool! I am in Palmer.
post #106 of 226
Just sending a wave from Juneau!
post #107 of 226
Originally Posted by TEAK's Mom View Post
Just sending a wave from Juneau!
Smallish world!
post #108 of 226
Welcome Cara! So glad to see you here!!
post #109 of 226
Originally Posted by unfrozncavegrl View Post
Hi! I'm Cara.
Welcome Mamma!
So I think that makes 3 K/Caras on this thread!!! You, me and karaboo!!

Yesterday we went to Dh's house he just sold to finish off a few things, and then went over and explored the beach. After we got home Ds made a "lego movie" with Dh and the video camera! Then we built a fire and had some s'omores, and the 2 boys used the hose firefighter style to put out the fire

Today is a lovely day here, and we are off to enjoy the Fiber Frolic (a fiber arts festival). I'm excited to add to my stash of yarn and wool fleece, and the boys are excited to go see all the animals!
post #110 of 226
Yesterday we spent time at the local park with friends. The kids played in the woods,played basketball,played on the jungle gym and just all around had a great time being together.
Today is the pool again.

I long for a *natural* body of water but that is not to be here.
post #111 of 226
Thanks mamas! Glad to be here.
post #112 of 226
Hello, 'nother Kara here! My oldest dd is ten and just finished fifth grade. She has decided not to go back to school in the fall. I've wanted to homeschool her from the beginning, but I've had to work. She's old enough now to stay on her own for longer periods of time, so I've decided to let her have a go. Her first project is to have a "Christmas in the Summer" fair at the local community center.

I didn't read through the whole thread, just skimmed the first and last pages, but will like to pop in now and then for ideas and support since we are fairly new to this!
post #113 of 226
Hi all!

Dd is watching Drake and Josh re-runs and practicing money combinations. The type that always fascinated and drove me a bit crazy when I was a kid. "You have a quarter, two nickels, a dime, 7 pennies... how many combinations can you make with these coins using up to four coins at a time?" or something like that.

Ds is semi awake now. He was up until about 4 am finishing a quest of some sort on his game and watching the Daily Show or the Sci-Fi channel. He did come in my room right before he went to be to tell me about some horrible bug drama he'd just had. Apparently a wasp like creature made it's attack around 3:30 am. I woke up - sorta- to "Mom...mom there was this huge bug wasp thing and it was awful. I got it though." Well thank goodness. It's noon-thirty so any second he'll come down stairs and say "Morning" and we'll say "Afternoon".

Dh is in Arizona waiting to pick up hours to deliver his load to another shipper. He called me early this am to tell me that his nephew's baby had been born overnight. A little girl! I do mean little too. 5lbs 10 oz. Her name is Reba, and we should be able to get over and see her this weekend sometime. Of course this means I really should be knitting. ting
post #114 of 226
UnschoolnMa, whatchya gonna knit?? I am home alone, meaning to knit, but I'm on here ...
The kids are at Gma Z's (just rode them over ont eh bike from Gma P's...they live 5 minutes apart. DH is on a day hike with our neighbor friend.
I have been emptying closets. My yarn stash has resurfaced and is on the floor...in every room .
DS is on a huge Lego kick. We had to take his Legos to his first Gma's. Then, he intentionally left them there when we left for his other Gma's so they wouldn't get mixed up...this kid is so silly this way. Very particular about some things. Legos have proven to be quite an adventure. He went from fiddling with a few pieces and asking for help a lot, to building these intricate structures and vehicles. His big thing is symmetry now. He must have pieces of equal size and shape on opposite sides, etc. It's fun to watch him. And, man is this kid quiet when he's "working"!! Love those Legos!!
DD has had a language explosion. My dad loves to sit with her and chat. They have had many conversations about bugs, flowers, the dog, her booboos, etc. Her favorite expression currently is, "Wow, that's just wonderful!" She says it clear as day, and she has such emotion in what she says...it's pretty darn cute!: Yesterday she took DS' drawings from the fridge, walked them over to him and asked, "Did you draw these, Dillon? They are wonderful!" Oh man, I have got to charge our video camera!

I keep going back and forth between pulling in some Enki stuff and just leaving things be with the kids. I mean, unschooling has been absolutely amazing for us, but I keep wanting to bring in more nature. Maybe I'll just do it for me, and see if the kids take an interest...I know--they are 4 and 2, what's my problem! Sheesh!! "Hey, Teacher, leavce those kids alone!!"

Good day, all!
post #115 of 226
"Hey, Teacher, leavce those kids alone!!"
We don't need no, education....

My kids played with a giant parachute in the yard today. The kind you can run under as everyone lifts it into the air. What fun!
post #116 of 226
Hi all,

I've never been hugely active on this board, but today the kids seem to be occupying themselves nicely, and I'm avoiding housework... :

We're Tiffani (a mom, among many other things), Mark (an animator), Lucy (7) and Dexter (5) and we're happy life learners. I look forward to learning from ya'll!

Originally Posted by dharmamama View Post
I *know* that she will learn to read (the kid loves books and last week sat for five hours listening to a book)
good to hear that others "let" their kids do stuff like this...my dd has been upstairs *literally* all day listening to 'Harriet the Spy' on CD, with her spy notebook and pen ready to record observations! She pauses every now and then to make herself a snack, and for a while she was in charge of alerting her brother (5), who was dressed as a mouse and hiding in a big box "mousehole" when the cat was near...

I do struggle with how much my 5 year old wants to play computer games -- I'm not against them, per se, but he would play all day if I let him, and it's only if I draw the line, help him get engaged with something else, that he'll stop whining "I'm bored! I want to play a video game!" anyway, finding the balance, right?

Originally Posted by 3lilmonsters View Post
Since the homeschooling coop is very much a school type environment, my kids have become more familiar with the concept of different grades. dd (5yo) has decided that she wants to be in 2nd grade by the end of the summer and ds (7yo) has decided he wants to be in 6th grade. So we've spent some time talking about what getting to those grade levels entails. They seem to be up for it, so we're going to sit down and make up a plan that they're ok with and see how it goes...but we're flexable
when my dd#1 was 3, she would whine "you never let me go to kindergarten!" I was worried that our plans for HL'ing would never work out, but then I presented it to her that if she were a "school kid" she would have to wait until she was 5 to go to Kindy, but since she is a homelearner, she can start Kindergarten at 3!! She went for it, but quickly promoted herself to grade 1, then 2, then declared herself to be in grade 9 for anyone who would listen -- I worried that people would think I was trying to create a super-genius 8 year old college student or something, but tried not to worry about it.

Originally Posted by mommabear View Post
Here in BC
have we met? May I point you in the direction of the vancouver tribe here on mdc if you've never partaken? I do believe we have the most active tribe around...

Originally Posted by alima View Post
(ds's all time favorite food is octopus.)
my 5 yo's too!! He mentioned one time that it made his lips itchy -- is that a sign of a serious allergy or could it be just something in the octopus (salt?)? I haven't gotten it for him again, but wanted to ask around first...

Originally Posted by LeftField View Post

Again, it probably sounds like a no-brainer to you guys but as we're really new to the whole thing, I was looking for some reassurance and BTDT. Thanks.
Since he is such an autonomus learner, do you think he is picking up on your desire for him to read and sort of balking at it? My kids are like this, and I have to really just NOT SAY ANYTHING if I have a secret agenda...

Originally Posted by majikfaerie View Post

I'm just not sure I want to move in with this kind of environment, and I dont really want to try to convert her... I dont really mind how she raises her daughter, but it looks like our DDs will be spending a LOT of time together, and the woman is already planning how we will do shared lessons...

any ideas?
Do you think her dd's influence would be harmful in any way? Because in my experience, if you can be firm about your family's needs, and respectful of hers, then all will work out fine. It sounds like a great set-up!
post #117 of 226
Someone earlier mentioned "christmas in the summer", and I had to laugh! where I grew up (south australia), Christmas IS in the summer; we usually have a christmas day of around 36 degrees (I think that's around the late 90s in farenheight). We play in the pool, have a barbecue christmas lunch, and all that stuff.
Admittedly, when I was small, for some brainless reason, my mum would put on a "traditional" english christmas lunch, with about 4 roasted animals, loads of roast veggies, and enought salads to feed an army. and everyone in the family (about 15 people) would bring a plate of food as well. It was stiflingly hot, and we didnt have AC back then, and we would all be sitting around in the dining room stuffing ourselves with this massive roast dinner :

about our dream home, I'm getting more used to the idea of living with this family; DD is already used to the concept that in some households people do things differently, and I'm sure the other mama will be open to flexing a bit in our direction, if I give her the right examples and some good books to read.

So, anyone have suggestions of a good book I can give her that will give a good understanging (and convincing) of radical unschooling?
This mama is totally crunchy to the extreme, and AP all the way, just that when it comes to education and discipline, she is pretty "mainstream".
post #118 of 226
Originally Posted by majikfaerie View Post
and I'm sure the other mama will be open to flexing a bit in our direction, if I give her the right examples and some good books to read.

This mama is totally crunchy to the extreme, and AP all the way, just that when it comes to education and discipline, she is pretty "mainstream".
Maybe she isn't aware of these other alternatives. My oldest is 6, and I'm just learning about unschooling, unconditional parenting and things like this....and while I've found some things on my own, I've also been helped along the journey by others!

When we know better, we do better!
post #119 of 226
We're recovering from a whirlwind weekend trip to Kent, a part of the country my kids and I had never seen. We went because dd had a gymnastics competition, but I told dh that if we were travelling all that way (it was only a 4-5 hour drive, but the landscape/culture is so very different from where we live) then I wanted to see more than just the hotel and sports hall!

So, we checked into the hotel, got back in the car and drove the 40 or so miles from Maidstone to Dover. We hadn't planned our journey at all (other than heading towards the white cliffs), so it was a "let's see what we see" kind of adventure.

We saw on the map a marking for a Knights Templar Church, but we couldn't find it. We did happen upon the ruins of another 12th century church (St. James). Ds is curious about the history presented in The da Vinci Code, so he looked up the Knights Templar Church when we got home. All that's left of the site in Dover is a scattering of stones, so we didn't miss much.

Along the way, dd spotted the chalk outline of a horse on the side of a hill. She goes riding once a week, and is a total horse fanatic. She'd read about it, and was absolutely beside herself with excitement when she realized what it was. Apparently, there's a controversial project to put this carving at the entrance to the Channel Tunnel at Folkstone. It's based on the ancient Celtic tradition of chalk carving. It's something we'll be investigating in the next several days, no doubt, and was the highlight of the entire weekend for dd.

We decided not to pay the £25 to enter Dover Castle, although we later discovered that there are secret tunnels w/ artifacts from WWII hidden within and wished we'd gone in.

Still, we enjoyed a stop at the cliffs. The kids hadn't realized how close England is to France, and dd was amazed to hear that people swim across the channel. She wanted to know if there are sharks in that water. I don't know, but we're going to find out! She admired some shiny beetles, and wondered if the purple butterflies she spotted were (as she said w/ great seriousness) "The Rare Emperor Butterfly". I have no idea how she knew of them, but I looked it up and they are indeed purple and live in the south of England. After looking at pictures, the ones she saw weren't emperors, but (as with the carvings) it was exciting for dd to make real-life connections with things she'd read about.

By the time we got back to the hotel, the rest of the gym team had arrived. An exhausted dh went for a nap, while dd ran around (the hotel was in a lovely spot on a canal w/ a pub and beer garden) with her friends. Ds and I sat with a couple of the gym parents in the garden. Ds was impressed to find that one of the dads shares his love of music, and they chatted for ages. The girls begged him to join their game of hide and seek, which he agreed to for a short time. Some of the parents were complaining about their teens while I smiled inside to watch mine interact as easily with giggling, screaming 8-10 yr. old girls as with a 30+ yr. old man he'd never met before. Yeah. Socialization.

There was so much crammed into such a short time -- The Channel Tunnel, the tunnel through to the white cliffs, the tunnel under the Thames, tunnels in castle walls. Tunnels, tunnels, tunnels, and dd asking all the time, "Why?" and "How?" The bridge over the Thames that looks very much like the Sunshine Skyway that we went over many times when we lived in Florida. Chalk carvings and ancient churches. Castles and strategic locations. Ports and waterways. Sharks, butterflies and beetles.: None of this was looked upon as "teachable moments". We just did what we wanted to do. Saw what we wanted to see. How can anyone say that living isn't learning?
post #120 of 226

Long post, sorry, lots on my mind this morning

Nomadmom, it was really cool to read about your trip. I went to Dover once, when I was 10 (and took the hovercraft to Calais, totally cool), I wish that I'd been able to wander around the countryside a bit like you did.

It's been brutally hot here (there was snow on the ground a month ago, ahh, the Prairies : ) so we're not doing much, and not really going outside before 10 at night.

Ds spent most of yesterday napping with the cats. He perked up in the evening, and spent a few hours composing a prank email to his buddy who lives downstairs. They have been joke emailing each other for months, but, being 13 yo boys, it has mostly consisted of various combinations of monkey, poo, and your face. Last night, though, ds spent hours writing up a fake commodity sale offer (like the sort of stuff he gets on his msn account from Nigerian princes and the like ) about how frozen waffles have quietly become the dominant commidity traded globally, and are poised to become the most important form of currency in the world .

He spent hours on this, looking up the Great Depression and other major economic events on Wikipedia, finding a pdf chart program online and faking up a pie chart demonstrating "waffle dominance". Asked me to spell and grammar check his writing to make sure it looked more official and formal and asked me to explain some stuff about formal writing so he could get all the details right .

Ds is still listening to his book on tape every night, a history of the rise and fall of the British Empire. He has always had phases of his main interest, where he will be completely obsessed with and spend huge amounts of time reading on one subject. When he was a baby and toddler it was moving vehicles (he didn't read the books, but from 1 on would sit and listen to anything, or watch anything, that had a car, train, plane or construction vehicle in it), at 3 it was dinosaurs and that morphed into becoming an expert on all sorts of animals. At 10 or so this morphed into reading every single nature guide in the library and an obsession with nature in general, trees, fungi, animal tracks, weather, geology.

This paralled his interest in game systems, video games, online, card games, etc. He was mostly all about games for the last 2 years or so. This last year he's been getting more interested in politics, government, because of the war, and elections both here and in the US. So this has taken off in the last 4 months or so into an obsession with politics, religion, civics, ethics, philosophy, etc. Basically anything that has to do with how humans choose to regulate themselves.

The interesting thing for me, watching this, is the progression his interests have taken, going from the simple "what things are" and "how things work" to complex living systems. What's interesting for me is, my sister is a resource/special ed teacher and writes curriculum for special programs, and we talk a lot about how curriculum is written and the developmental approach that is taken, and ds has naturally followed exactly the "optimum path" in terms of his intellectual development, and how the school system works so hard to try to make kids follow this kind of path and finds it incredibly difficult to acchieve. Even my sis, who has never really been out of school since she was 4, talks about how most kids are just better left on their own, and that the programs in use often do more getting in the way of natural development. There is a movement now in curriculum development to follow children's development more naturally, basically to try to mimic the kind of enviroment that unschooled kids would have and to move to "experiential learning" situations.

What really gets me is that more and more, schools are trying to mimic home life, so that kids get up, are rushed through their morning to get to school to experience a simulation of what they're missing at home : The longer ds is out of school, the less the whole thing makes sense to me.

When I first pulled ds from ps, I was pretty scared about how, and what, he would learn. It's been really neat for me to look back now and see how he has covered on his own (with a lot of input from mom ) far more content, and studied it far more thoroughly, than he ever would have in school. Even more gratifying since I'm a single mom, was very low income for most of his life, and all the things I've been told you *have* to have in order to be educated (lots of expensive equipment, access to classes and programs and experts, travel, tests, etc.) none of that has been remotely neccessary. In fact, I would say that internet and library access are the only things we couldn't live without at the moment, and if I had to choose between the two, we could do without the internet

Anyway, sorry for the long post, like I said, lots on my mind today
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