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**July unschooling Support!**

post #1 of 136
Thread Starter 
: It's summer, it's fun, it's unschooling at it's finest!!!!!!!!! Welcome mamas! :

We celebrated today by picking raspberries from the forest, catching frogs in the lake, and running about in wild pandemonium.
post #2 of 136
hi!! i guess i've been unschooling for the past three years, but i have just recently decided to continue on that path. i always knew we would homeschool, and unschooling seems to be the most natural way. my son, dylan, is 3 and his little bro, aiden is 1. we celebrated july 4th yesterday with a great fireworks show and today we played at the childrens museum.
post #3 of 136
We played video games all day.

Where has the time gone? July already!! My oldest will 18 in 4 months and Dusty will be 10 in next month.
Cody is busy creating RPG's and writing a book. (Hopefully it will be a best seller. )
Dusty is reading the Tale of Desperaux and a bunch of science experiment books.
Rhett is busy trying to master Mario 64 and Kirby on the Nintendo 64 as well reading in Japanese. I am so glad we started reading to him in Japanese rather than English.

Hope everyone is having fun on their first day of July!
post #4 of 136
The June thread

We went away for the weekend, to visit an old friend. I used to live on her property, about 10 years ago, and now all her kids are grown up, but the oldest has a little cottage on the hill and lives there with her DH, their 3yo DD and 1yo DS and their friend and her 4yo dd. They are so focussed on unschooling and homebirthing and all the stuff that I'm into. I'm starting to think maybe we should move there after the winter (looks like the place we're living on might be sold).

The drive down was really nice (3 1/2 hours), DD was pretty happy to play Eye-Spy and singing Dora the Explorer, and count cows, though we did stop a lot and make special effort to look at interesting stuff. We stopped at a town an hour south of here to meet with the local HSing group, which just happened to co-incide with our trip. I didnt really have time to get too involved, but it seems like theres a mix of more curriculum-based folk with more radical unschoolers.

Oh, if you know Dora well, you might like Maraka on youtube. funily enough, DD now loves it and watches it all the time. I downloaded a software that takes any youtube video and turns it into an .avi file and saves it to your computer, which is fantastic.
post #5 of 136
I posted on my blog about our weekend away, which you can read at www.majikfaerie.com
post #6 of 136
Hi all, and happy July to you!

We just got back from the lake camping trip. Holy cow are we tired, dirty, and full of random bits of energy. We have so much to talk about and so much laundry to do, but no get up and go to sort it all out. I wish we could have stayed at the lake for a 4 days or so. It's so nice to be near my bed though.

The kids have a couple of days home and then they are off again to the grandparents' house for a day or two. They will celebrate the 4th there and come home on the 5th or 6th I think.

Dd and her friends LOVED the FOB concert, Dd's best friend got to meet "The Academy Is", and Travis Barker walked right by them. Dd is kicking herself for not getting a pic, but she's sastisfied that she saw him. Ahh music is so good for us.
post #7 of 136
Still around. Still unschoolilng. Still mostlly lurking here!

Too tired this morning for any more words.
post #8 of 136
Thread Starter 
Dd and her friends LOVED the FOB concert
My 19 year old would have LOVED to go to a fall out boy concert!!!!!!!!! And who are we kidding here, I'd like it too! But I don't think they'd appreciate me going with my six kids.
post #9 of 136
Ugh, I am feeling so stressed out. I just had to finish writing my report of what my son learned.... his first year of homeschooling... wow. So Stressful!

I really wanted to do a straight unschooling experience for him, but he was craving structure. (high functioning autism) Now I am homeschooling all 3 kids. (Kindergarten, 5th grade and 8th grade) !!! *breathe* I think only my 5th grader will be truly un-schooled. My oldest wants a curriculum with teacher oversight. :/ But if that's what he needs... well, it is all about him isn't it?

This summer is trying to be relaxed in the midst of de-cluttering and packing/home repair chaos. I intend to journal about all that we do to include it in next year's review and try to keep from "teaching" or directing. Why is it so hard to let go of that?

Thanks for listening.
post #10 of 136
Well, I am in such a transition right now and I'm just trying not to freak out. DH's neice and her 2 kids (3 & 5) moved in with us 3 weeks ago. They have such a different life than we do. She has lived in poverty her whole life and so have her kids up until now. All of her decisions about what the kids do and how they live are made from a place of survival, and you know how when you are in survival mode all the time you don't have the luxury to make healthy decisions for your family...or at least you are making the healthiest decisions that you know how.

I am taking care of all the kids now (mine and hers) while she works - she started working Friday. Since dd is 11, and although she is high needs (in a wheelchair, etc.) it is quite a change to be taking care of a 3 and 5 yr old. I absolutely love it. I don't want them to go to daycare and because of the cost I think it will stay the way it is now.

It's not that the kids get on my nerves - I have a pretty good tolerance level and kids running around screaming under foot has never bothered me. My biggest issue right now is getting organized. How do I get everything done without going crazy. I cannot keep up on the laundry. The amount of towels we go through with the swimming in the wading pool out back, at the pool, etc. - geez! Going from laundry for 3 people to 6 people is crazy. Obviously my neice does her own laundry, and the kids, and helps with household laundry, but there just seems to be too much of it. She is working full time and is interviewing for a part time, night and weekends job. This is fine with me but leaves me needing to organize my time even more.

Besides the laundry, the meals have me going nutty. Her kids ask for corn dogs, pizza bites, campbell's cream of mushroom soup, pop tarts, etc. for DINNER!!! Neither of them like mashed potatoes, or any other kind of potato, no rice, or pasta besides angel hair. It has been quite tricky. What to feed them seems to be a little bit under control, but here's the questions --- Do you all plan your meals each week? I am spending so much on groceries and it still seems that we never know what to cook for dinner. When it was the 3 of us, and since dd has sensory issues, dh and I ate whatever we wanted and some days that meant eating pita bread and hummus and some fruit, or whatever. DD just ate whatever she would eat whenever she was hungry.
Now meals are like this big thing you have to think about.
Any suggestions.

Oh, and I know that flylady says 1 load of laundry a day, but we have more than one load a day. DD and the 3 yr old both have accidents on the bed and during the day too, not to mention all the other stuff every day.

I will say that the 2 kids fit right into our unschooling philosophy, even though there mom has no clue She is sending the 5 yr old to kindergarten in the fall - I am just blocking out what I think about that and hoping that she does really well and it suites her. I guess she went to pre-school and she loved it (according to her mom), but when the subject of daycare came up both kids begged to stay home with me so who knows.
post #11 of 136
Originally Posted by mama in the forest View Post
We celebrated today by picking raspberries from the forest, catching frogs in the lake, and running about in wild pandemonium.
I am so jealous!!! although we have the "running about in wild pandemonium" down pat
post #12 of 136
Originally Posted by mama in the forest View Post
My 19 year old would have LOVED to go to a fall out boy concert!!!!!!!!! And who are we kidding here, I'd like it too! But I don't think they'd appreciate me going with my six kids.

LOL! Now that would have been fun. : Dh was originally going to go with Dd, but at the last minute step Dd was able to come along. So Dh hung out in the parents room reading newspapers and eating popcorn. He said he'd occasionally here huge explosions and massive screaming so he knew they were having fun. The girls came home all hoarse from screaming. lol
post #13 of 136
Originally Posted by judejude View Post
--- dh and I ate whatever we wanted and some days that meant eating pita bread and hummus and some fruit, or whatever. DD just ate whatever she would eat whenever she was hungry.
That's what we do. I usually announce, "I'm making _______, anyone else want some?" My older two sometimes make their own dinners, dh too, my youngest usually eats what I do, or I'll help him get what he wants. Dinner isn't a huge sit down big deal for us. It could mean a lot of cooking, or it could mean a yogurt--depends on who's home, who's hungry, etc.

Oh, and I know that flylady says 1 load of laundry a day, but we have more than one load a day.
I didn't know this was a flylady thing, but it's sort of what I do. I aim for one catagory a day. Like, I'll do darks today, lights tomorrow, etc. That's usually one load a day, but sometimes it's two. When I had sheets and diapers that was yet another load though. We're really bad about getting laundry folded and put away around here, but I'm happy if it's just washed and dried, so I'm sort of easy to please. Maybe one person could put the laundry in the washer and another could be responsible for switching it to the dryer later while a third did the folding or something?
post #14 of 136
Ds has a summer cold, a bit of sniffles and a cough. This is what he built for himself to "recover":


The shoebox in front of him is his "greatest invention ever!" He poked some holes in it and routed all his cords through it, so they don't get tangled and the cat doesn't try to eat them, lol.

Mama in the Forest, thanks for clarifying who FOB are, I feel so out of the loop,

UnschoolingMa, there is a parents room at the venue? I've never heard of that. I work at an arena, and I'm sure there are more than a few parents who would have appreciated this during the Black Eyed Peas concert, or the upcoming Hilary Duff concert. I was just incredibly stoked to get to see the second half of the Roger Waters concert, where he performed the entirety of Dark Side of the Moon (yes, I am an aging rocker chick, sigh)

Gargirl, the first reporting process can be pretty stressful. Once you know what they want, it becomes pretty second nature. I'm lucky to live in an area where they actually don't want much information and the whole process is pretty openly just about covering everyone's butt. Since ds is now highschool age and has recently decided he might want to go to university after all, I downloaded Homeschool Tracker, the free version

I just input whatever ds has done after the fact as an "assignment", the hours add up really quickly. Ds has already completed about 1/3 of his history credit for the year in one month.

JudeJude, how great is it that you're willing to take in your dh's neice and her family! Sounds like it will be fun.
Ds was a very, very picky eater, and we were very poor when he was younger, so I didn't always have high quality food available for him. Getting him weaned off the crap took a while, he had a lot of sensory issues, and the 5-8 years were the worst. I learned to just keep serving him the food I wanted him to eat, and just keep exposing him to new things.

There was a really funny moment (in retrospect) for me. Ds absolutely refused to eat spaghetti and tomato sauce for years and years. One day, I was craving spag and decided that I was just going to make it and he could eat it if he was hungry enough. He argued and whined and complained and finally I put it in front of him. He looked at the plate, said "oh, THIS is spaghetti?" and ate the whole thing : I learned from that to question him a little more closely on his dislikes, lol.

Now that ds is 14 and eats as much as two grown men, I have to be very careful with the food bill. I've been menu planning for years, and have gotten even more anal about it now. I have a list of soups, salads, sandwiches, entrees, breakfasts and desserts, I try for 14 of each so I can rotate a lot and not have a whole lot of repeat meals. I sit down once a week and pick out what I'd like to eat (what ds wants is no longer much of an issue, his answer is always "FOOOOOOD"), and then make a grocery list from the menu. I never shop without a grocery list, and I'm very precise on my list, if we're having a ham sandwich one day, then I buy enough for just 2 sandwiches (otherwise ds would eat it all standing in front of the fridge looking for a snack, ahhh, I'll be sooooo happy when this teen growth spurt thing eases off!)

I did take me quite a while to put together the list of meals that ds would eat when he was still picky, it took a lot of experimenting with recipes and tweaking things, but I'd say it took about a year total till the whole food/dinner/what do I make thing was never an issue at all anymore. With a 3 and 5 year old, their memory is not that long, and if you just keep offering them the healthy stuff, and never have the bad stuff around, they will quickly forget their old habits.

Yikes, this post is getting long, why am I getting so wordy in my old age?

Happy belated Canada day to any Canucks around here, and Happy 4th of July to all you Yanks!
post #15 of 136
Getting subbed to the July thread... Rain just got home from 24 hours with a good friend of hers, who is schooled (not in the summer, of course, but generally). In the beginning the two of them hung out, then they met up with two other girls and all spent the night at Good Friend's house.

Rain said it made her very grateful to be homeschooling, because the girls spent most of the evening making catty remarks about other girls they knew, and she said it got old very fast. She's decided Good Friend is best in smaller doses.

She does have other schooled friends who are not so catty, thank goodness, because there really are no unschooled teens here...

post #16 of 136
judejude- I suggest getting the kids involved in meal planning and grocery list making. Even the little kids can say what foods sound good when a recipe is read to them or they see a picture of it, and in general kids are more likely to eat foods they've helped to prepare.

Does the 11yo have any mental disabilities, or are her special needs only physical? A typical 11yo is quite capable of selecting interesting recipes from cookbooks and/or recipe websites, assembling grocery lists based on what's needed for all the meals, and even menu planning based on which foods are available or cheapest. She'll need to be taught how to do all this, but if she's got the mental capacity of a typical 11yo she should be capable of doing these things. If she's got some mental challenges, then she may be able to do some of these things but not all.

DD2 has been pretty busy lately reading, going to the pool, and walking over to the house of the only friend who's not at sleepaway camp. Maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration, I'm sure there are a handful of girls not at camp, but she's only gone to that one friend's house, though once I took 2 extra girls to the pool (that one friend plus one other.)

Right now, she's on the other computer reading Harry Potter theories. She missed a chance to go to her friend's house because she slept til noon, then I went to the eye dr with DS, then when I got home I fed everybody and insisted she clean up her room before going anywhere. By the time her room was clean, the friend had already invited somebody else over and was no longer available. Maybe I can convince her to clean up the living room with me today so she won't have to miss out on any more social visits to clean anything.
post #17 of 136
We rescued three kitten siblings and another of our hens started laying. Our garden is growing and we're proably getting too much sun. We decided today is a home day. The kids are, of course, outside, but I've pretty much been sitting at this dang computer off and on all day.

Grand total animals at our house-- 26. That would include rabbit, dogs, cats, and chickens. It does not include fish in multiple fish tanks, the wild bunnies that we chase away from our gardens, the huge *loud* frogs that live in our pond, or the bats that live in our attic (I think there are 4 of those, and hoping there are no babies). Keeps the misquito population down however.

Anway, never a dull moment.

I've stopped counting the number of ice pops consumed. No need to fret about sugar when the children don't sit still anyway.
post #18 of 136
I had a very positive and affirming moment today with my 14yo stepson, who we brought home after the end of the 7th grade when we discovered not one but THREE of his public school teachers had been telling him he was stupid for the entire year. Of course, after this, we have been mostly in "detox" mode - I don't push him academically at all, we are waiting for him to find an area of interest to gravitate toward. Anyway, today I went down to get some laundry, and there he was watching the History Channel about the Civil Rights movement, and says to me "Hey did you know they used to not let black people ride wherever they wanted to on the bus? Just because they were black?" So I watched with him a while and we talked about the show some, but it was just really a positive moment for me, sometimes I despair that he will leave this house having learned anything but "Don't whack your sister" and it was just good to see him absorbing knowledge that HE cared about, in HIS timing. I'm sure at some point in his public school career they must have talked about civil rights, Martin Luther King Jr., etc. but it really further cemented unschooling as the right thing to do in my mind when I saw him really understand it because he was open to learning it at that time, not because some teacher's schedule said it was time to learn it. KWIM?
post #19 of 136
Thank you alima, I just discovered a bunch of similar things! Next year should be easier. Thank you so much for the encouragement.
post #20 of 136
Subbing for July....we are now moved (WOO HOO) just got DSL back (another WOO HOO) and are 1/2 done with our renovations....'bout 1 more week and I can have a *home* again.

The coolest thing happened today. After Ds was upset because he didn't want to comb his long hair, nor get it cut so combing didn't hurt so much....poor thing....he wrote Dh and I a letter. He'll often do this after he has a tough time like that, but usually it is Mine or Dh or whomever's name with a heart around it or something, but today, he spelled SRE. I thought that was so cool he sounded out "sorry" like that. After he gave me the letter, I said "Wow Isaiah, I really think it is neat that you sounded out sorry" He got all turned around and told me exactly how he thought it out etc. This is the first he has done this.

So, I do have a question though. Have you guys corrected things like this? It feels unnatural to me to correct it, and I didn't, but I also don't want to....I dunno.....have him think incorrect things are correct. I guess at this point I'm pretty psyched he used the letter's sounds to make a word and saying "you know, sorry is spelled s.o.r.r.y not SRE" is kinda negating the whole thing he did. Just curious what you all think.
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