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*~*September Unschooling Support!*~* - Page 3

post #41 of 152
Hi there!
We are visiting my parents this week, and while the weather in Norway is not the greatest, this city is the WORST! Rain, rain, wind, wind....as soon as we get our clothes on and head out the door it starts to pour so we run back in

Well we are spending much time watching Disney Channel, Nickelodion, Cartoon Network, Animal Planet, Food Network....my parents have all these channels we dont - the kids LOVE it. I am drinking coffee all day and chatting with my mom.

When we get back to Oslo, our dog that we adopted on a trip to Spain will be free from quarantine (sp?) and ready to come home: We are so excited!!!
post #42 of 152
Today has been a bittersweet day for me. It is the first day of school, and my dd, age 5.5 did not start K as we are choosing to unschool (although we barely know what that means!). I can't help but feel a little bit bad about missing out on new school clothes/backpack/supplies and the whole first day of school thing.

We went to our State Fair August 24th, and dh and dd went into the butterfly tent. They purchased 5 catapillers in a plastic holder. Four of them turned to chrysalis (sp?) - my dh actually caught one changine with the video camera! Unfortunately, the smallest catapiller died. Yesterday, one butterfly emerged, and this morning a second one did. Such excitement, all for an original investment $6! Dh and dd released the first butterfly today.

I bought a book at Target this morning at the dollar spot about the states. DD was thrilled because it listed them in alphabetical order, and she was able to read most of them because she recognized the names. Our babysitter had tried to teach her a song about the states before and all she could ever remember was the chorus. Well, apparently the song had the states in alphabetical order, because once she had this book in her hot little hand she could sing the song! So she called up her friend, who is in kindergarten today, and left a message for her singing the state song, and left the same message for my mom, who would prefer that dd be in K today, learning the alphabet I guess.

I'm due in 2 weeks, 5 days, and dd will be attending the birth. I guess that will be quite an unschooling experience, huh?

~Tracy
post #43 of 152
Originally posted by mama in the forest
Quote:
unschooling and heavy drinking go hand in hand


~Tracy
post #44 of 152
Ds (just turned 6) has been getting more interested in the concept of reading. He recognizes more words and has gotten to the point where he believes it is an attainable skill, not something just grownups do! He has been asking me to read to him more often, as well. Recently he said "I can't read, but I can't NOT read."

I'm looking forward to designing a new shirt for my unschool/homeschool t-shirt site that says something like "I learned to read by playing video games".

Ds has been doing a little sewing, too. He likes to work the sewing machine, hand sewing and anything else that doesn't require a machine holds little interest to him. He made a couple simple bags and some dog collars (long strips of fabric where he sewed the two ends together to turn it into a loop).

I learned to knit last night and ds wanted to help me but I found that tricky. I'll have to do a little crocheting soon so I have a project that he can help do. Somehow, I think it would be easier to incorporate his help with crocheting!
post #45 of 152
We had a great "1st" day of school today. Dd was begging to do more and happy with her first day presents and activities that I had printed for us to do over the next week or so. She seemed much more content with a little bit of a schedule that we had too. Although, it was the first day, so I know I've got a 50/50 shot of her rebelling against the structure in a few weeks too. We'll just take it a day at a time, keep her busy and engaged and see what happens.

My mom brought us some educational game books yesterday and dd is really excited about the Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes activity book so when we are done talking about weather, she's requested Mother Goose activities. I need to start pulling stuff together for that.

Tomorrow a friend and her ds are coming over. We haven't seen them all summer and now we have a new swingset that dd is dying to share with somebody. I love that it's the first full day of school for the ps district we are in and we are having a playdate all afternoon instead of her being stuck in school on a beautiful sunshiny day.
post #46 of 152
Ok, I have subbed to this thread before, but rarely have I kept up. So much is up in the air as to where dd will be going, but I feel like I belong here, so I hope you all agree. She had wanted to go to ps, but we really didn't feel that was the best choice for her at this time. As a compromise, we have her signed up for a preschool that runs three afternoons a week. It's going to be a major PITA, because it only lasts for 2.5 hrs and it's more than half an hour away.
Anyway, I know that socialization is a big topic, and frankly that's why we're doing it. DD has no friends, and we're fairly rural, and the hs group only meets once a month (and we usually forget about going to it), and her social skills need a bit of help.
When she's not there, I still consider us unschooling.

Tracy, I am with you on the mourning of the loss of excitement of back-to-school. We've planned on hs'ing since dd was a baby, but recently, a part of me has gotten excited to think about sending her to school. And a fear is starting to creep up that she will be missing out on something important if I don't send her to school this year.

I am also trying to figure out how to explain my 'self-designed curriculum' to the school board. I'll post it here (at least what I have so far) and maybe you guys can give me some feedback.

"Our Homeschool curriculum will be mostly child-directed, according to Abigail's interests.

Our main study areas are planned to be:
Science/Nature: Outdoor exploration, measuring, plant and animal identification, observation with all senses, gardening
Food Preparation: Making simple snacks and helping with baking; measuring, nutrition, caring for livestock
Arts and Crafts: painting/drawing/sculpting; cut-and-paste; sewing, wool dyeing and spinning
Reading: Daily reading time, subjects according to interest
Music: making music with assorted instruments, creative movement, classical and world music
Math: workbook addition and subtraction, 'found' math (ie, math used in daily life, such as baking, measuring, shopping, etc)
Drama: puppetry and imaginative play
Physical Health: daily outdoor play, yoga, walking, biking, dancing, tree climbing,


Resources:
Starfall Reading Curriculum
Enchanted Learning website printouts (various sheets, to be selected according to interest)
Science Play: Beginning Discoveries for 2-To-6-Year-Olds by Jill Frankel Hauser
Children's Music Journey software
World Playground music CD
Selection of Classical Child CD's"

Hope I can keep up this time!

UnschoolinMa, hope you feel better soon!
post #47 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama in the forest View Post
I found a wine refrigerator today at Home Depot that was marked down on clearance. It had been something like $300 but it was damaged...lots of scratches on top and the bar along the side that you open it with was completely severed off.......but it was $35! I snapped that puppy up because who doesn't need a wine refrigerator. I mean, it holds 80 bottles of wine and you KNOW that I keep at least that many bottles in my pantry. (unschooling and heavy drinking go hand in hand)

Anyway, it has this really cool digital thermometer that lets you know exactly what the temp is. My children discovered that when you open the door, the temp increases by 3 degrees within about 15 seconds. They were performing this highly scientific experiment for quite some time. How many degrees will it change if I leave it open for 5 minutes? 15 minutes? more?

Then we took a thermometer and put it in the regular fridge to see how that would pan out. I was impressed at how much coldness was actually lost in such a short time. Guess that old saying my mom said was true, "why don't you just take a picture instead of standing there with the door hanging open".

I'm loving my little curious kids and I'm happy to buy more wine in the name of science.
:
mama, you crack me up!
:

I was just looking through my mail and realised that there had been nothing from the US support thread for a while. then I realised that we are in september, and therefore a new thread must have started. somehow, I missed it

sine we live in australia, and the school year starts in february, we dont have any of that stuff going on. anyway, my DD is only 4 so it's not quite effecting us.

DD started to read and write, quite out of the blue this week. She labelled all the new DVDs I burned in clearly legible writing. I didnt even write the titles out for her to copy. she just did it totally on her own. I was gob smacked. I'll take some photos and blog it later...
post #48 of 152
When I first pulled ds out of school, I was very aware of the school calendar. But as unschooling became our new norm, it just dropped off my radar. I dislike shopping of any kind, so I'm not at all missing the back-to-school blitz, and I'm really glad I'm not sending my kids out all day every day. I was talking to two ps kids this weekend and they told me how they hate school. They said they like the first couple of days because everything is new and it's only half days to start, but after that, it's "boring." They're going into 1st and 4th grades. Both get good grades, both are well-liked by their teachers and peers. But still, they didn't want to go back.

We're looking forward to the cooler weather that's coming and some trips we're putting together, and the fact that the playgrounds and museums will be less crowded. Right now, it's still hot and the schools here don't have airconditioning--another reason my kids are happy to not be there!

We went to the Ren. Faire on Monday with a bunch of friends and had a great time. Ds1 is away two days a week working with the carpenter, which really changes the dynamics here at home between my younger two. It's interesting. We went to two libraries yesterday and played games, dd did a lot of writing. We'll probaby be out in the garden today for at least a bit.

Last night, Ds1 surprised me with the fact that he's considering engineering school. I guess we'll be looking into that today.
post #49 of 152
I'm subbing after lurking for the last couple of months. We've been unschooling for three years since DD#1 left first grade. Every summer I still have internal panic attacks and buy a few workbooks or something, but then I come to my senses!

Even though I don't like the back-to-school hoopla, it's also back-to-fun-organized-activities time for us. This week I'm schlepping to 4-H, choir, and acting classes, plus there's a choir retreat and play auditions. :
DD#1 auditioned last night for the part of Violet Beauregarde in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the local children's theater. Which is funny, because she hates chewing gum. They asked her to do a monologue a couple of times different ways, which is a good sign. Keeping fingers crossed; she really wants this part.

We've been having a lot of fun with limericks lately. One of our friends had written a funny one for her son's birthday, and the kids were making up their own versions. We sat out on the porch on Monday evening swatting mosquitos and taking turns writing lines. The best one was about our idiot dog that crashes into the fence every time another dog walks by.
post #50 of 152
: as I am currently reading The Unschooling Handbook
post #51 of 152
fingers crossed for your dd, mugglemom! I like your screen name, by the way. It reminds me that my husband wanted to make a Tshirt for me with "Pokemom" on the front.

Speaking of the school calendar...I love how when you begin to live your life as you desire, that part of schoolishness just falls away. It's not even a blip on my radar unless my daughter happens to ask to make plans with a certain friend who is schooled.

Today, it's raining, my husband just left for a two-week trip to the States and we have a light case of the stomach flu. So not much going on today. We spent the morning eating rice and bits of chicken (as bland as I can go with what we have in the fridge) and playing on Gaia, Club Penguin and messing around with fonts and email.

Then, for some reason, dd wanted to "make African habitats." I dragged out some books on Africa (My favorite is Africa is Not a Country), opened up the atlas and we went at it. She wanted to make a savannah and a rainforest habitat so she could play with some toy animals. Basically, since my artistic talent is limited, we just glued colored construction paper to some carboard, made grass and trees with paper and cardboard, and colored watering holes. She used some rocks she brought back from a recent walk as the "sunning rocks" for the lions. It's simple and she's happy.

We listened to some Ladysmith Black Mambazo for a while and she messed around with the habitats. Then we looked through our movies for something about Africa. I'm already thinking we'll just snuggle in bed with books and movies after dinnertime cuz I'm not feeling like much else. I had promised to take her out on her scooter after dinner if it wasn't raining...I'm lucky it's raining cuz I'd either have to drag myself out to make good on my promise or disappoint her or try some compromise. Actually, that's not fair to her. She's empathetic when I'm ill. I shouldn't say it would disappoint her. I don't know.

We watched "Duma" yesterday so she's watching "Lion King" now and we'll watch a National Geo special on lions later tonight. Right now, I'm looking for websites with picture tours of the areas she's interested in.

So I guess we took a trip to Africa today. I'm feeling sort of guilty cuz it's almost like a "unit study." Shudder. But this is the way we operate. Immersion, baby!

She goes through periods in which she is absolutely fascinated with the African continent. I wish we could actually travel there but I just don't think that's possible.

Sooooooo that's what is up with us today. There is a local Food Festival and I had planned on taking her there Friday. I want to take pics and write it up for my blog. I told her she could take my old camera, take pics and do her own write-up and I'd post it. But if we're still sick, that's not going to happen.

She is rarely ill with stomach troubles so I'm sort of more worried than usual about this illness. I'm more ill than she is, as usual. That kid has an amazing immune system! Which reminds me that people often see her slight build and think she's frail and sickly...until she outlasts them! Also, she has eczema troubles off and on and for some reason, people equate that will a sickly disposition. She has maybe one or two slight colds a year and has thrown up about four times her entire life (she's nearly 9). She burns hot and her body just deals with it.

I'm rambling, I know. Sorry!
post #52 of 152
The NBTS picnic yesterday was fun, and huge! When DH asked how many people were there, I answered "The park was full." He didn't believe me at first -- it was a really big park -- but it was. He didn't realize "Not Back To School Day" was such a big/popular homeschooling event.

It was really great to see so many free kids enjoying themselves. Both my boys and I had a lot of fun, and it broke the ice getting me out to meet the group so I'll feel more confident joining in other group park days and events from now on.
post #53 of 152
I'm so frustrated! We thought they sprayed the lawns with pesticide on Friday, because they'd put up the pesticides signs. But when we went out yesterday, they were in the process of spraying the lawn -- they were just getting to it then. So we gave up a lovely long weekend's worth of outside time, and now we still can't go out to play, because now the grass is covered with fresh, toxic chemicals. They even sprayed the local playground! : And it's not supposed to rain all week, so the chemicals won't be washed off anytime soon, and we're going to be wasting another full week of potential lovely-outdoor-playtime weather (some of the last warm days of the year before our long Canadian winter) avoiding lawn toxins. :
post #54 of 152
Hi everyone!

Fighting an infection but it didn't stop Ds and I from walking around town today to run some errands. It was great if a little warm yet. We got to talk and do some grocery shopping. I love spending that time with him. He is the coolest guy! I seriously could not ask for a better son.

Well Dd has asked for an "assignment" on history. She wants me to suprise her and then she can go online to find the info. Sounds fun to me so I am still thinking on what direction to send her in. I was thinking women's right to vote or industrial revolution, but I haven't totally decided. Her best friend started back to school today and I guess she came home with some pretty heavy homework ...can you believe it? So Dd and her were on the phone with Dd on google trying to help her find some information on the Panama canal. Inspired by her friend's math homework Dd decided to take an online standardized practice test.

Ds and I are beat after our walk so he's upstairs catching up on his computer stuff after a game of Guitar Hero and eating a burrito.
post #55 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa View Post

Well Dd has asked for an "assignment" on history.
I love her intrinsic motivation. How about "Historical Reasons for Compulsory Schooling"? :

Here are some links to get her started.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History..._United_States

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compulsory_education


(this was just a topic of discussion on Radical Unschooling. )


Pat
post #56 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Milakais View Post
I'm so frustrated! We thought they sprayed the lawns with pesticide on Friday, because they'd put up the pesticides signs. But when we went out yesterday, they were in the process of spraying the lawn -- they were just getting to it then. So we gave up a lovely long weekend's worth of outside time, and now we still can't go out to play, because now the grass is covered with fresh, toxic chemicals. They even sprayed the local playground! : And it's not supposed to rain all week, so the chemicals won't be washed off anytime soon, and we're going to be wasting another full week of potential lovely-outdoor-playtime weather (some of the last warm days of the year before our long Canadian winter) avoiding lawn toxins. :
oh man, that would have me

I had a huge fight with my best friend this morning Basically, my DD was watching a video and not letting friend DD watch too. my method is to very calmly try to get at the bottom of why any child is doing an action that upsets another child. In this case, my DD was feeling bad that friend DD was disagreeing with her on the spelling of a word.

So what I'd normally do is talk to them about why each one was feeling bad, (initially leaving the resulting "bad behaviour" out of the calculations) and try to facilitate them in resolving that. What usually happens is as soon as the initial problem is resolved, the overt problem is also gone.

In this case, I could see that friend DD was too stressed to give this discusion the space it needed, and as long as the movie was playing, they were both going to focus on that. So I suggested putting another movie on my computer for friend DD to watch, thinking that its easier to just provied each child with one of whatever than trying to force them to share when they're both in bad moods. I figured, once friend DD was settled, getting to watch the movie, my DD wouldn't feel pressured to "protect" her space from her friend, and we could talk about it. Seemed to me like both kids would get what they want, which is to watch the movie, and we'd get the space to resolve the inital issue.

anyway, my friend does things really differently. She was angered that I would put a movie on for her DD on a different player, and thus "letting DD get what she wants". Her approach would be to find out what's going on, in this case that my DD isnt sharing her DVD player, and decide that not sharing is bad, and insist that DD has to share, no questions asked. If DD refuses to share, and cant be forced to do so, they say "if you arent going to share then we dont want to play with you and we'll go home".

I'm trying really hard to see things from her perspective, and not judge her parenting. she just does things differently. But she really quickly started shouting at me, and accused me of saying my DD is a saint who can't do wrong and can get away with everything and her DD is a b!tch (yes, she actually said that to me), and that I'm constantly judging her.

I tried really hard to keep my voice calm and listen to her shouting at me, but she interrupted everything I said, and in the end just announced, "we're leaving!" and got to the door.

Basically, I feel like this attitude of "if you dont do what I like, I'm leaving" to be really manipulative and ugly. I dont have a problem with someone deciding to leave if they feel uncomfortable with a situation, but to try to blackmail someone into doing what you want by saying it makes me feel awful. And IMO, just starting a fight and then leaving isnt modeling conflict resolution to our children.

Anyway, she walked out to her car, leaving the girls with me. I calmly explained to them what's going on, and asked each of them how they're feeling. they apologised to each other and went off to play happily.

I went down to talk to my friend in her car, but she was avoiding me, wouldn't look at me or answer anything I said. So I just said to her that it makes me feel bad that she's trying to shut me out, and walked away.

We made up in the end, didn't further discuss the fight or our parenting styles, but we both talked about our personal issues that are making us stressed in the moment...

I still feel miserable. I've just moved to this country, and she is the only good friend I have here, and her DD is my DD's best friend, and she's homeschooling. So I really dont want to lose that friendship.
Sigh.

Sorry to blather on so long, I just needed to get it off my chest
post #57 of 152


What a way to show the kids how to solve their conflict. I hope everything works itself out.


I take advantage of the back to school sales. I get enough, glue, paper, folders, etc for the whole year. Everything is so cheap right now that I can't pass it up, plus it does help get dd excited about what's to come (even if it is more of the same stuff we always do).

Our playdate went well today. The kids had a blast on the new swingset. Tomorrow is library day and we have some errands to run. The interesting thing is that dd got up and did her workbooks first thing because she didn't want to miss out on them because of the playdate. It's so funny how different we are. I don't care at all about workbooks and worksheets and dd craves them.
post #58 of 152
Quote:
I still feel miserable. I've just moved to this country, and she is the only good friend I have here, and her DD is my DD's best friend, and she's homeschooling. So I really dont want to lose that friendship.
Sigh.

Sorry to blather on so long, I just needed to get it off my chest
Oh that is a really tough situation! I think your approach was a great one. I wonder if your friend knew that deep down, or has been feeling that your approach in general is better than hers and she's reacting to that by being a bit hostile. I had a friend do some of that some years back when my kids were younger. She'd say things like "You just think i'm a bad mom" or "Your kids are alwayyyys perfect aren't they?!" It was definitely frustrating. I am glad to hear you made up, and I hope things can continue on a good note.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wu Wei
I love her intrinsic motivation. How about "Historical Reasons for Compulsory Schooling"?

Here are some links to get her started.

Oooh good idea! Thank you.
post #59 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pam_and_Abigail View Post
Ok, I have subbed to this thread before, but rarely have I kept up. So much is up in the air as to where dd will be going, but I feel like I belong here, so I hope you all agree.
When she's not there, I still consider us unschooling.
Nice to have you!

Quote:
"Our Homeschool curriculum will be mostly child-directed, according to Abigail's interests.
I think that sounds fine. It should more than satisfy the schooly folks. Do you live somewhere that you have to submit that or is it just in case someone comes asking?


Quote:
UnschoolinMa, hope you feel better soon!
Thank you! It's been a rough time, but I am hanging in there. I appreciate the good thoughts.
post #60 of 152
I am supposed to submit the curriculum I have designed myself, by outlining it on a separate page. I don't know if what I have above is enough, but since I also have to submit a progress report in June, I don't want to put too much into it and then have her "fail" because we didn't cover anything.

And I was doing really good yesterday with my resolve to hs, reading a great and very helpful book that was recommended here, The First Year of Homeschooling Your Child" by Linda Dobson. I've even decided to buy a copy.
But then...
the school called this morning asking if Abby was going to attend this year. The only reason they have out number is that she went to the one day initiation this summer (and had such a blast, but it was really not what school will always be like). I just feel like she is missing out on this important thing with her peers. Yesterday I felt bad when the bus went by at the end of the day too. I can't seem to stick to my resolve to homeschool.
Last night I was reading about how unhelpful school can be for kids in that book, and completely agreed with it, but then as soon as school presents itself again, I feel like she should be going.

It's not like hs'ing is a recent decision for us, we've been planning on it since she was a baby. Why can't I make a decision that I don't constantly doubt?
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