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**August Unschooling** - Page 2

post #21 of 151
*jealous*
post #22 of 151
Love Drawing Down the Moon, btw

I have to submit a report at the end of the year (assesment) of what my children have learnd (sorry typs nac) complete with samples and pictures and receipts of field trips. or i can have a teacher come in and test him and i despise testing, it proves nada. i dont know what to do i am so sad:
post #23 of 151
to all the mamas coming over to the unschooling thread! I'm glad to see new faces!!

doulajewla ~ I don't know what state you're in, but when I lived in PA I had some strict requirements. What I did was create a very large colorful scrapbook with every possible activity we did. I made sure I included pictures we took, pamphlets from the event, other information too...and I made a huge portfolio scrapbook style. I also included a very long book list of the books my daughter read that year. My district was a pretty strict one, and they always seemed to love our portfolio. I never mentioned the fact that we unschooled, and I just made sure to tailor the portfolio to fit what I knew they were looking for.

We had to have a certified teacher review her every year, and I sought out an unschooling-supportive teacher for that purpose.

We had to do testing in certain years, and because I am morally opposed to that, we eventually moved. Well, that wasn't the only reason. But there was no way I was going to have each one of my kids go through that BS testing.

I live in MI now and am soooo thankful and grateful for no laws! Never again I say....
post #24 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by ColwynsMommy View Post
We listed to Hugan the Bard's songs about the Mabinogion.....we drew a life-size apatasaurus foot print with chalk in the driveway.. 3 feet long and 2 feet wide.
you saw Hugin??? how cool is that? he used to play PSG all the time! i SO miss the song "Pagans in the Mud"

where did you get the info for the dimensions of dino prints? what a cool idea! maybe we'll do that when we find a place where we can draw with chalk that big. we have a gravel driveway

MAN y'all are prodigious!! now back to the previous page to catch up....

pamela
post #25 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by doulajewla View Post
Love Drawing Down the Moon, btw

I have to submit a report at the end of the year (assesment) of what my children have learnd (sorry typs nac) complete with samples and pictures and receipts of field trips. or i can have a teacher come in and test him and i despise testing, it proves nada. i dont know what to do i am so sad:
If you tell us what state you're from, maybe we can help... and also how old your kids are.

When I worked for an independent study charter school back in the nineties, I specialized in unusual work samples. I used lots of photos, lists of books read (or listened to), game score sheets (yahtzee, or just any game), narrative reports (just a description of something the child did), pamphlets, or just anything. I never did anything special or had me kid do anything special, and we always had enough, and she was not a workbook kind of kid - actually, she didn't do much writing at all...

So, last night a few of my friends and Rain and one of Rain's friends went out, first for .99 margaritas (virgin ones for the girls, in all sorts of flavors), and then for .99 games at the bowling alley... it was very fun! The bowling alley was playing all these songs from the eighties, so we were cracking up and singing along as we bowled. And that's amazingly cheap, IMO - a whole evening of fun for $5...

dar
post #26 of 151
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the links, Arduinna!! I passed the links on to dd. She tells me she refuses to read anything from the "Complete Idiot's Guide" series on principle, as she finds the title insulting. But we can get Drawing Down the Moon from interlibrary loan.
post #27 of 151
my absolutely favorite Pagan books of all time are "Book of Shadows" by Phyllis Curott, and also her 2nd book "Witch Crafting". the first one reads like an autobiography, which it is. easy to read and a "how i came to Wicca"; the 2nd is more of a "why to" rather than a "how to" and depending on her reading level, might be over her head some, but maybe not. also i like Cunninghams books and Dorothy Morrison is a really easy read as well, very practical. IMO. i also like Starhawk's two *novels*(yes, there are some ): "The Fifth Sacred Thing" and "Walking to Mercury"; Mercury is the prequel of Fifth but it was written after, chronologically.

doulajewla (boy that's hard to type! ) if you google, i think it's "educationese", and follow links and search, you'll eventually find pages of ways to translate normal daily activities into language that educators understand. i don't have the sites handy but i think some of them are on unschooling.com. HTH!!

off to bed; i have a holiday to celebrate tomorrow

pamela
post #28 of 151
Quote:
So, last night a few of my friends and Rain and one of Rain's friends went out, first for .99 margaritas (virgin ones for the girls, in all sorts of flavors), and then for .99 games at the bowling alley... it was very fun
Now that's my kind of night!

My oldest daughter & I watched the movie 300 last night. Some nice eye candy going on there! : We were counting the six packs....
post #29 of 151
Oh man, dh wants to see 300 but it's on very long wait on netflix and he is too lazy to visit the local video store
post #30 of 151
today we are learning about SNAKES! Specifically, this one
and since you are all unschoolers, and know how one gets inspiration to learn stuff, need I say that I opened my door to go to the bathroom this morning and came a few inches from stepping on a 9' snake!
I blogged it at www.majikfaerie.com

anyway, DD is very interested. we are learning a lot. well, *I* am, DD is mostly just looking at the snake.
post #31 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by majikfaerie View Post
today we are learning about SNAKES! Specifically, this one
That snake is gorgeous! Wow. Not something I'd want to step on though, for a variety of reasons.

Dar, margueritas, bowling and 80's music sounds so fun!

Well, Dh wanted to take us to a place he remembered swimming. It turns out it was super farther away than he remembered, and there was no good spot to swim once we arrived. So we were bummed, but it was stunningly beautiful scenery and that semi made up for it. We've promised the kids to hit our regular swim hole very soon.
post #32 of 151
unschoolnma, your swimming trip sounds like the kind of adventure we so often go on...
good luck next time
post #33 of 151
my children are 9 and 7 and then i have little ones, 4 and 20 months. Right now unschooling is best for us. I have some links another mamma sent to me from special needs child and I am going to check them out about state requirements. i dont mind putting a portfolio together, but i dont want to have to be so strict when it comes to my son. I dont want him to be forced to do activities he doesnt want to do...and ive sort of been doing that...and THAT is why we chose to unschool...to get away from the restraints and do what we know is best for us. Im letting my chlidren and I fly instead of swim with the other fish....
post #34 of 151
bummer about the swim spot! I miss our old swimming hole.
post #35 of 151

back after being offline (warning, this is LONG)

..and enjoying being caught up on what you all are doing. We moved mid May and I finally got high speed internet...no way was I going to go back to dialup after having high speed before! The move was hectic, as I got my appendix and a ruptured ovarian cyst out the week before...I knew I shouldn't be lifting too many boxes but I had a deadline to meet. The house we are in is HOT (1 1/2 stories) so we are "camping" in the basement on air mattresses at night which the kids think is neat. The big back yard is great, and I even have 2 large pine trees in the back...I have always dreamed of getting a Mayan hammock and can just picture the 4 of us reading and lazing around in it.

I am in a "re-analyzing unschooling /homeschooling" mode or at least my philosophies about it y'know? Ds (I posted about this a few pages back under "homeschooling and developmental delay) was at a developmental clinic this week, and is awaiting genetic testing (due to some physical features he has) and while cognitively appears to be 4, has the gross motor skills and speech of an 18 mo to 2 yr old, for example has to place hands on stairs and semi crawls up them although he stands, squats, runs ok, and only speaks 2-3 word sentences and is majorly garbled, although his understanding of speech is excellent. Of COURSE the ped I saw was sympathetic to homeschooling ...NOT. I didn't do so well explaining homeschooling to her put on the spot like that and I hope I was not defensive sounding as I reminded her that it was not the purpose of the visit to discuss it when we kept going on and on about it. : I am really having to concentrate on having the attitude of getting some "tools" for him from physio, etc to use in a RESPECTFUL way with him and not just have all of us walk in with a major focus on his weakness and getting him "fixed" to fit into their round hole, and just keep seeing my sweet smiling boy. OK, I hate the word "special needs" but already people are questioning my decision to homeschool even more, yet I know that even my dd too with her "quirks" (mostly high sensitivites at this point, and she is being tested for auditory processing issues in Sept...in a way I wish that we would have gotten her assessed at 3-4 yrs old as I see in her brother a carbon copy of her at that age, except her speech was better) would be crushed in the school environment and does so much better at her own pace.

All this is making me question myself as an unschooler : (OK, this is a support thread here, I might as well share this). I am going through a bit of a panic attack now, not necessarily is unschooling right, but am questioning how I "do" it if that makes sense. I just can't help especially now comparing how dd is in "school terms" and while I see her making HER OWN progress in the 3 R's, she would definitely be behind in a school sense, more like the level of a kid in grade one instead of two. It is so hard for me to trust her when I see her peers writing stories and learning adding #'s 1-18 by using manipulatives and on and on in school this past year. Yet my smart dd would think this is just bulls#$t as it is out of context and not meaningful to her, and she writes only a word or two on her drawings and knows some "math" (meaning logical thinking, patterns, concepts of big/small etc but not "arithmetic" if you know what I mean) because they came up IN REAL LIFE in situations meaningful to her...I keep trying to remind myself what Joyce Fetteroll says when she talks about on her site about the 3 R's being "learned" because they are a side effect of doing what we want to do and what brings us enjoyment, that they are tools. I know that I have NEVER implicitly taught her to write the alphabet for example, but over a long period of time she now knows how to because of ?'s she has asked, me providing her with paper and pens and a little "office" at her request, that she is reading albeit on a beginning level because SHE wants to know what the words say or wants to play Starfall, etc, I keep trying to focus on that, that it has happened that way and so will other learning, but it is hard.

What I am questioning is more what my role is, about "strewing" (do I get such and such a game because it will teach her some math skills, etc. She can smell manipulation/hidden intentions a mile away ) and at times I feel like I am "coasting" lately without a real "plan" if that makes sense. I guess I "plan" by making mental or real notes of things, like we have been talking astronomy for a while now, and I know next weekend there is a meteor shower so we are planning to go out to see it, but I guess I am talking about trying to decipher the grey line between manipulating...do I get Math-U-see just to explain a concept as long as I don't "expect" her to do a set amount everyday, or will dd get stressed by that...and just relaxing and enjoying life and trusting the learning will happen. I guess the issues with ds have got me questioning things too...will homeschooling be "good" for him. Which all leads me to muse on my goals in unschooling, that HOW MUCH do I REALLY value my kids happiness in thier lives TODAY, their autonomy in learning (and realizing what is meaningful to them may not be what my "agenda" is for them), their uniqueness and thier developing into thier OWN person, etc.

So, as you can guess, my head is spinning lately : and I just wanted to pour it out here to people who wouldn't tell me to just get Calvert and start following it!

Anyone want to share their own musings in response, I am eager to hear from you!

Tina, dp James, dd Stephanie (7) and ds Jonathan (4) here in Manitoba, Canada
post #36 of 151
Quote:
i dont mind putting a portfolio together, but i dont want to have to be so strict when it comes to my son. I dont want him to be forced to do activities he doesnt want to do...and ive sort of been doing that...and THAT is why we chose to unschool..
You don't have to be 'strict' and you don't have to force him to do things he doesn't want to do. You can still unschool! It's pretty easy to put a portfolio together to please your district. Let him do his thing, then you make the portfolio according to whatever requirements you're "supposed" to be doing. Things can be enhanced too, if necessary. I always had to separate it in my mind between the unschooling experience I was giving my daughter, and the experience I was showing to the school district. I don't know if that makes sense, but that's what I did.
post #37 of 151
Thread Starter 
mercyn, I'll add those books to the list, thanks! I didn't think to mention reading level--it's not a concern though, she reads/comprehends everything.

majikfaerie, I hope that snake was outside and not in your house!

Quote:
Originally Posted by canuckgal
The house we are in is HOT (1 1/2 stories) so we are "camping" in the basement on air mattresses at night which the kids think is neat.
We used to do that! Same set-up here, 1 1/2 stories and that dormer gets HOT! But the kids thought it great fun to "camp out." The basement is still the place to be when the kids have friends sleep over.

I read your thread about dev. delay. I'm sure this is a stressful time for you, but I was thinking that I'd probably tell myself to put any re-analyzing of unschooling on the back burner for now. Dealing with doctors and evaluations all this new info would be enough for me without getting into thinking about changing our unschooling, yk?

I'd wait until the dust settles and you have a chance to digest the new information, THEN think about how you'll proceed. There's no crisis that demands immediate action, right?

I think this is very wise:
Quote:
I am really having to concentrate on having the attitude of getting some "tools" for him from physio, etc to use in a RESPECTFUL way with him and not just have all of us walk in with a major focus on his weakness and getting him "fixed" to fit into their round hole, and just keep seeing my sweet smiling boy.
Not the same thing, but we dealt with some ld's when ds was in school. I found that focusing on strengths made all the difference. Not that difficulties were ignored, but by building on strengths, not only did ds's confidence grow, but those strengths helped him to get around any weaknesses. So, for instance, when handwriting was an issue, rather than focus on drilling handwriting, I took dictation for him, or he'd type if he wanted to. Whatever the issue was, we'd look for ways around it, rather than make him miserable by focusing on things he had a hard time with. Not sure how this would translate in your situation.

But, like I said, I think it's perfectly fine to just step back and give yourself a chance to absorb the new info you're getting. You don't need to decide what to do with it all immediately, right?

Quote:
Which all leads me to muse on my goals in unschooling, that HOW MUCH do I REALLY value my kids happiness in thier lives TODAY, their autonomy in learning (and realizing what is meaningful to them may not be what my "agenda" is for them), their uniqueness and thier developing into thier OWN person, etc.
This is an ongoing process for me. It's certainly not the ideal for the majority of people I'm surrounded by, so re-centering myself on this is something I've needed to do from time to time.
post #38 of 151
Hi everyone! We're eclectic unschooling. Combination of unschooling with a Montessori beat. Or is that the other way around? I still haven't figured out what real life activity counts as each "traditional school subjects" or if that's even important. What I've read suggests that you need to know that cooking = science (for example) so that you can say "Oh yeah, my kid is learning science" to anyone who bugs you about unschooling. Has that been any of your experiences?

Yesterday we went to the zoo. Little Guy raced back and forth with a friendly meerkat for half an hour. It was behind a glass. Does that count as biology, zoology, and fun-ology? He loved it.
post #39 of 151
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AntoninBeGonin View Post
What I've read suggests that you need to know that cooking = science (for example) so that you can say "Oh yeah, my kid is learning science" to anyone who bugs you about unschooling. Has that been any of your experiences?
No, that hasn't been my experience. My kids talk about what they've been doing in a general way. Depending on your state's requirements, you might need to translate what you do into "educationalese," but where I live, we don't report and I don't have a list of subjects that my kids need to work through, so we really don't think in terms of subjects. Do you live where you need to break down your activities or are you wanting to do that?
post #40 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joan View Post
No, that hasn't been my experience. My kids talk about what they've been doing in a general way. Depending on your state's requirements, you might need to translate what you do into "educationalese," but where I live, we don't report and I don't have a list of subjects that my kids need to work through, so we really don't think in terms of subjects. Do you live where you need to break down your activities or are you wanting to do that?
I'm not sure if it's state required or not. Are there any lists online?
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