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#1 of 29 Old 08-25-2010, 08:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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All the parents talking about Back to School are annoying me. I know that they're excited and all, but we just don't have anything like that to do around here since we unschool. I'm tired of answering the "are you starting school?" with "no" and then getting blank stares when we say we homeschool. Everyone wants to talk about first days and new teachers and how super fantastically awesome it all is and I just want to remind everyone that actually it sucks and how much more fun it will be when we're at the beach on September 1st.

I guess I just want to be a part of something and all the unschoolers I used to know keep enrolling their children in school. We have a few families we get along with, but no one really close. So my urge is to keep being a stick in the mud about all the school nonsense. I'm feeling rebellious, I suppose.

What can we do for back to no school day? Anyone have any plans?

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#2 of 29 Old 08-25-2010, 09:14 PM
 
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Because we UNschool, we don't really bother with anything, and simply carry on with our regular days and rhythms as we do all year round. We have all the rest of the school year to do things when the school kids don't get to do them, and don't feel the need to make a point of it on their first day back to school. My opinion is that it's bad enough for them to be going back to the herd in the first place.

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#3 of 29 Old 08-25-2010, 09:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Are you intending to imply somehow that I don't UNschool? I must have left my unschooling chops back with the herd. Excuse my mood. I'm a second-generation unschooler and I'm just annoyed at that herd and want to tell them all to eff off then go to the beach. At the same time, I am likely annoyed because I want a community to high five my brilliance. I'm sick of every time I mention unschooling or my way of thinking about education (or humanity) in general turning into an argument with some rabid schooler that I know. Sigh.

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#4 of 29 Old 08-25-2010, 11:11 PM
 
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I'm having trouble posting replies that are longer so I'll break up my response. (this was part of the reason that my original post was brief).

Sorry if I offended you! That was definitley NOT my intention. I didn't put the caps on to make a point about what you do, only to emphasize that in our family we ignore the school year and don't really take notice of the schooly dates that happen. In fact I have schooling friends who get annoyed with me when I don't realize there's a PA day coming up so I could attempt to include their kids in our activities or set aside time for a playdate with them. So, I can totally relate to your annoyance at the herd mentality that people have. In my case I feel sorry for them (some for how they're so pro-school, others because they may not like the system and just can't find a way out or may be afraid to). Also, I guess I might take more notice in these things if we were following a more traditional homeschooling approach, or using curricula, etc.. but since we're not, that was why I emphasized the "un" part - it just gets pushed out of my mind for the most part.

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#5 of 29 Old 08-25-2010, 11:12 PM
 
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One of the things I dislike so much about this time of year are commercials like the one where the parents are dancing through the aisles of the office supply store singing "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year"!! I hate the thought that parents can barely stand the company of their children so much that having them go back to school is like "Christmas in September." And there so many other reasons why that commercial bugs me!

As for great plans on the official first day of school, I've read things like taking the kids to a park that is normally crowded in the summer; to the beach; to a splash pad/water park if there are any still open (our board's first day is Sept 7th, so a bit cool where I am for that kind of thing); McDonald's Play Place; children's museum; leaving to go on a family vacation; Disney World or another family attraction where the line-ups are likely to be a lot smaller on the first day of school than they would be in summer or during Christmas or spring break.

All the best.
Kristine

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#6 of 29 Old 08-25-2010, 11:20 PM
 
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I think Back to School season is the last area I need to "deschool." Because I went to public school, late-August has the same sort of renewal/new beginning feeling to me, that the first of the year has. I can't really let go of it for some reason!

I totally know what you mean though. Lately we're being bombarded with "Has school started? Who's your teacher? What grade are you in" questions. I read somewhere the other day that a lot of people don't know how to talk to children, and so they use school as their "go to" topic.

Even friends and family who know 7yo isn't in school are asking, "What are you wanting to learn this year? Have you started homeschooling again yet?" UGH. SHUT UP. He's an amazing, well rounded kid....ask him about something else!! I think really though, the rest of the world is in "Go Mode" right now trying to get school supplies and clothes and back packs and and and...

I wish we had enough unschooling friends around that we could have a "Not back to school" party. But everyone we know who doesn't do public school, does school at home.

Jen...wife to Shawn...Radically Unschooling Mommy to Connor (4/03), Autumn (1/07) Aiden (1/08) and Ella (10/14/09) Just had the of our dreams!
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#7 of 29 Old 08-26-2010, 12:06 AM
 
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We do a fair number of activities that follow the school year, and that fills my need for something "new" this time of year. Generally I don't resent the back to school excitement, it seems like there's at least as much anxiety as excitement, because they have so little control, KWIM?

The only question my kids get is something like "Are you looking forward to going back to school?" and my oldest generally answers something like "Not particularly", the questioner shoots me a look, and the questions stop.

We have a surprising number of friends putting their kids in school this year. It's a bummer, but luckily it's not everyone.
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#8 of 29 Old 08-26-2010, 12:17 AM
 
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I'm enjoying our not-back-to-school. We can go to museums again without the crowds and parks are all ours again and soon the zoo will be nice again (still too hot here...)

*high fivein'*



-Angela
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#9 of 29 Old 08-26-2010, 02:42 AM
 
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I love it too and don't let all the questions about school annoy me one bit.

We have nothing to buy, no new schedule to get used to, no curriculum to stress over, and the whole freakin town is empty and ours again during the day time.

I get what you mean OP about all the back to school hoopla. It is a lot, almost as crazy as the holidays. And the questions and dumb stares do get old. We just try and enjoy the positives of it I guess.

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#10 of 29 Old 08-26-2010, 03:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Sorry mimaja! Guess I got a little worked up there...

Our local unschoolers did do a not-back-to-school beach day last year, so maybe we can join in this time. It seems that as my kids get older, the hoopla gets worse. More and more of the former homeschoolers (those who didn't drop out at preschool) start putting their kids in school and the arguments about unschooling just come to mind. I really am serious about getting into arguments about it though. I mean, I suppose they aren't rabid schoolers - that's probably an exaggeration - but it's like my choice offends their sensibilities and is a direct affront to their choice. But honestly, unschooling has invaded every inch of my thoughts about what people need and who they are fundamentally, so school is just like this big giant "what-the-hell-are-you-thinking-for-doing-THAT?!?" to me.

I got all pissed off about the day camp my kids attended for 3 days because there were worksheet-y activities which I thought were really about crowd control and didn't add to the experience at all. So school is just...well, it's just stupid to me. I can appreciate having no other choice. I can appreciate that people really do fundamentally think differently than I do. But it still doesn't quite make any logical sense to me as to why one would actively choose it.

I think most importantly, I've encountered more parents in my day-to-day life recently, particularly suburban parents. We're of a certain ilk around these parts. And we are the kids-grow-up-to-be-doctors-and-lawyers sort of neighborhood. It's a little disgusting. And I've had to explain my choices to people and they, again, just stare at me blankly. They break out all the things they think kids need to know like listening to an adult other than their parent tell them what to do or teach them how to behave or force them to read or whathaveyou. Of course, my thoughts, particularly on the behavioral issues are along the lines of, "so what? my kids can learn to like cubicles when they're adults?" Which of course never gets me anywhere.

I'm just frustrated. It's just all reached a frenzy. The paper is having a contest on first day of school photos. I was thinking of entering some. It might be hilarious.

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#11 of 29 Old 08-26-2010, 03:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think Back to School season is the last area I need to "deschool." Because I went to public school, late-August has the same sort of renewal/new beginning feeling to me, that the first of the year has. I can't really let go of it for some reason!
Fall does have that sense to me too, but I'm not sure that it's exclusively about school. I've learned, at least, to transfer it. Summer is super busy for us because we can be out all the time, so the fall is a time of renewal. It's the harvest season and the changes are so beautiful and smell really good. It's a time to slow down with the in-and-out-of-town-ness and start hiking again and getting ready for the holidays. We start thinking about Halloween then Thanksgiving and Christmas. We come indoors for more crafting and more at-home activities. It is a change, though not the same one as going to school, and September 1st doesn't signify it.

The museums and the beaches are more accessible again and the new schedules for activities at libraries and museums and rec centers all come out. I start knitting for Christmas and we do more indoor activities. We bake and cook more again. We phase out our CSA (though right now we still have 9 weeks left!).

I like to think of us as following a more agricultural tradition. It's nice.

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#12 of 29 Old 08-26-2010, 03:34 AM
 
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School started here 3 weeks ago.... its 115 degrees and humid, the middle of the monsoon season.... Dont ask me why or how they plan these things (oh ya its to be done mid May). Anyway I've had subbing jobs already. But DS is unschooled again and we've had some great trips to the kids museum. That place was jammed packed all summer now its barren and he had a blast. The library is serene for DS as well. He is almost 10 and enjoys his quiet time. And most importantly the LEGO store is empty during the day What more could you ask for??

I do stock up on pencils, erasers, markers, notebooks etc on the sales but only to stock up, not to actually use THIS WEEK LOL.

DS is on break since he went to math camp this summer and that counted as school for him. I may prolong his CTY program extra weeks too, he seems to have finally found the american history bug!

I wanted to squeeze in a trip to colorado before I went to full subbing but they seem to need subs quite a bit earlier this year so... we may just go and I will miss 'work'. Not what I want to do but... We need to get out of here for a week

We love unschooling and I really dont want to change it for anything... DS leads and I follow as best I can. (I may need new sneakers for this year tho')

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#13 of 29 Old 08-26-2010, 10:50 AM
 
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I'm just frustrated. It's just all reached a frenzy. The paper is having a contest on first day of school photos. I was thinking of entering some. It might be hilarious.
Do it!

This is not my favourite time of year. Everyone is so excited, rev upped or dreading school - ugh. School talk is everywhere - and even when it isn't - people are carefully avoiding it.

I agree with the poster upthread on the Staples commercial - I find it offensive, really.

I am having my own angst because my middle child has said she wants to try middle school - which, quite frankly, is a bit of a nightmare to me.

I will be happier once the whole season is over.

Kathy
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#14 of 29 Old 08-26-2010, 10:58 AM
 
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I think most importantly, I've encountered more parents in my day-to-day life recently, particularly suburban parents. We're of a certain ilk around these parts. And we are the kids-grow-up-to-be-doctors-and-lawyers sort of neighborhood. It's a little disgusting. And I've had to explain my choices to people and they, again, just stare at me blankly. They break out all the things they think kids need to know like listening to an adult other than their parent tell them what to do or teach them how to behave or force them to read or whathaveyou. Of course, my thoughts, particularly on the behavioral issues are along the lines of, "so what? my kids can learn to like cubicles when they're adults?" Which of course never gets me anywhere.
We live in that kind of neighborhood too. We don't hang out with the neighbors much, but I haven't found that anyone is all that interested in what we mean by "homeschooling" or why we do it. I don't enjoy discussing unschooling with people who aren't likely to get it, so I sidestep those conversations. I have found that I am a better mom if I minimize antagonistic interactions with strangers/acquaintances.

I think submitting some photos to the newspaper contest would be awesome, though!
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#15 of 29 Old 08-26-2010, 02:30 PM
 
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I have come to abhor the questions this time of year, it just gets so tedious to answer. My son feels annoyed by it too and thinks it's pathetic that adults have nothing else to talk to kids about.

I try really hard to stay in the 'it works for us, and what works for you is fine' category. I do think school pretty much sucks but the bottom line is, I don't want to be judged for our choices so I try not to judge them for theirs.
I have friends and families with kids in school and even though I don't think it's ideal, I totally respect their place and expect the same from them. I would be pretty pissed if people started saying how annoying I was for being so excited about unschooling.

I feel the same buzzy excitement about fall starting in general, but I use that to come up with a new list of fun fall activities and make new goals etc.

We celebrated Not Back to School by picking out some new dvd's, books and games at the used bookstore and making a cake and lounging around together.

I would imagine living in a conservative area and not having an unschooling community would be really hard. I bet that would leave me feeling pretty bitter about the whole thing. I'm sorry!

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#16 of 29 Old 08-26-2010, 03:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have come to abhor the questions this time of year, it just gets so tedious to answer. My son feels annoyed by it too and thinks it's pathetic that adults have nothing else to talk to kids about.

I try really hard to stay in the 'it works for us, and what works for you is fine' category. I do think school pretty much sucks but the bottom line is, I don't want to be judged for our choices so I try not to judge them for theirs.
I have friends and families with kids in school and even though I don't think it's ideal, I totally respect their place and expect the same from them. I would be pretty pissed if people started saying how annoying I was for being so excited about unschooling.

I feel the same buzzy excitement about fall starting in general, but I use that to come up with a new list of fun fall activities and make new goals etc.

We celebrated Not Back to School by picking out some new dvd's, books and games at the used bookstore and making a cake and lounging around together.

I would imagine living in a conservative area and not having an unschooling community would be really hard. I bet that would leave me feeling pretty bitter about the whole thing. I'm sorry!
I'm not judging people openly. I'm just venting here. I want to say it sucks. I'm not doing that and intellectually, as I stated, I understand everyone's reasons for choosing other options. My emotional urge with this clusterf**k is to tell everyone to shove it. Not what I'm actually doing. Just what I feel.

I don't live in a conservative area. I live in a pretty progressive, professional area full of doctors, lawyers, and professors, etc. Also school teachers and engineers. It's fairly urban and my immediate area is actually mostly graduate students. It's exactly the sort of place where you say you homeschool then they ask how precisely or give some example and I, having a miniature golf face and incapable of lying, admit to unschooling in some form or another. And it's funny how everyone can clamor for our very exclusive and expensive Montessori schools here and completely be revolted by unschooling.

We also have some really good unschooling community. We used to have more, however, and what's left is pretty spread out. We also get out of the habit during the summer when we're busy with other things and more immediate neighbors.

I don't mean to be overly dramatic or condemning. I'm really just mildly annoyed. The increased fervor this week as most of the moms on my local list started sending their kids back made me need the release.

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#17 of 29 Old 08-26-2010, 03:33 PM
 
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I find I get most grumpy about it when the waves of former homeschoolers (and unschoolers) head to school. It's like -hey, you KNOW what you're going to be missing!-

I hear ya.

-Angela
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#18 of 29 Old 08-27-2010, 12:55 AM
 
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One of the things I dislike so much about this time of year are commercials like the one where the parents are dancing through the aisles of the office supply store singing "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year"!! I hate the thought that parents can barely stand the company of their children so much that having them go back to school is like "Christmas in September." And there so many other reasons why that commercial bugs me

Exactly to your bolded! I am so sick of reading "countdowns to freedom" on facebook, etc. Or people saying - how am I going to make it through the summer, etc.. I want to say = I LIKE spending time with my kids. And if your kids are so yucky to be around, maybe it's because they need more tiem at home (and less peer influence, etc...).
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#19 of 29 Old 08-27-2010, 03:41 AM
 
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A hs group I am part of (filled with every type of hs and us'ler out there) holds a yearly "Not Back to School" potluck party at a park and gets a big cake for it. Usually in August and in the evening so it wont be as hot out


Any chance you could do something like that?


Or just actually tell everyone that you will be at the beach.

Resistance is futile Matey
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#20 of 29 Old 08-27-2010, 04:43 PM
 
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Exactly to your bolded! I am so sick of reading "countdowns to freedom" on facebook, etc. Or people saying - how am I going to make it through the summer, etc.. I want to say = I LIKE spending time with my kids. And if your kids are so yucky to be around, maybe it's because they need more tiem at home (and less peer influence, etc...).
I LIKE spending time with my kids. And if your kids are so yucky to be around, maybe it's because they need more tiem at home (and less peer influence, etc...).


YES!! YES!! YES!!

(Sorry if this doesn't turn out right, I'm not very good at the quotation thing yet.)

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#21 of 29 Old 08-29-2010, 04:42 PM
 
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Our community holds a Not Going Back To School (NGBTS) Picnic on the first day back to school....Sept 7th here. Different people have ran it over the years. This year we are gathering at a park, some homeschoolers are offering different activities. For instance, a 12 yr old homeschooler is organizing a soccer game, there will be a frizbee toss, face painting, painting table, plant potting, bubbles, potato sac races, a scavenger hunt....different people are bringing different activites. There is also splash pad. Just a day to hang out, have fun and celebrate being outside with fellow homeschoolers.

Then we are going to a Pioneer Village two days after, there are around 50 homeschoolers going....should be a fun week!

Create your own celebration! Others in your community might be interested in celebrating too!
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#22 of 29 Old 08-29-2010, 06:54 PM
 
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This is our first year "officially" unschooling, ds went to public K last year..the questions are a constant. My son so far has handled them well and I try to let him handle them in his own way. It helps me to not want to tell them a whole long story of how awful that year.

I've thought of doing a little BTS party which would be tomorrow, but then I figured I didn't want to make a big deal out of something that is already a big deal to everyone else. School starts tomorrow and he doesn't really need to know anything about what's going on with the public school. We are heading out across the country on Friday for two weeks. I guess that will be our party..instead of school we are road tripping to places the kids have never seen, visiting family and learning!..it just doesn't get any better so our focus is there. Maybe just go do something fun...hit a museum or park or somewhere else that is usually crowded.

It is really hard and when I get those questions I remind myself how thankful I am to not have to go school shopping, no uniforms to buy, no daily lunches to pack, no daily struggles to get out of the house not babies to wake to drop off and pick up..no see you in 7 hours goodbyes....
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#23 of 29 Old 08-29-2010, 07:03 PM
 
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The paper is having a contest on first day of school photos. I was thinking of entering some. It might be hilarious.
Love it.
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#24 of 29 Old 08-29-2010, 07:24 PM
 
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I so understand. My kids are still to young for school, but I do get so tired of all the back to school stuff. It's sad to see all these kids shipped off. I hate hearing how 'happy' parents are to be rid of their kids, like they are huge burdens.

I think if it's not a big deal to your kids to not be doing something for 'back to school' season, then I wouldn't. Why celebrate something you don't do or believe in? If they (and also you) are really feeling left out, maybe have a fun day of celebrating your freedom FROM school. Go someplace that school kids can't, and if you know other unschoolers maybe have a larger gathering.

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#25 of 29 Old 08-30-2010, 06:50 AM
 
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We're going to a Not Back to School camp-out for homeschoolers. Last year it was about 15 families camping out together for the first three days of the public school calendar. It really helped my get through what would have been the first days of dds kindergarten without having a panic attack and dragging her to school at the last minute in fear that I was doing the wrong thing keeping her at home. Being out in the woods I was too distracted to think about what we might be missing.
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#26 of 29 Old 08-30-2010, 07:28 PM
 
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Exactly to your bolded! I am so sick of reading "countdowns to freedom" on facebook, etc. Or people saying - how am I going to make it through the summer, etc.. I want to say = I LIKE spending time with my kids. And if your kids are so yucky to be around, maybe it's because they need more tiem at home (and less peer influence, etc...).
Oh my gosh, this very thing is driving me crazy lately too. It's so sad, and SO disrespectful to say that about your own children. I'm also sick of a certain couple facebook friends that keep posting about how they are spending the day "reconnecting" with their child. How do they live so disconnected from their kids??!!

Anna, I wish we were neighbors! I'm also sick of the Back To School questions and hubbub. When I say we homeschool (because I don't even want to open the unschooling can o' worms) they inevitably say, "Oh I could NEVER do that." I feel like rolling my eyes, dramatically sighing and walking away, but I make the boring, polite conversation.

I need to get more involved in our local unschooling/homeschooling groups, but one of my kids is a real homebody and the I ticked off the Christian group we joined because I (not religious) said I didn't appreciate being told that "Jesus is waiting for you, and for your children's sake, I hope you find him." I live in a more suburban part of town, and everybody around here seems to just send their kids to school, no questions asked. The unschoolers are mostly closer into the city, for some reason.

I did enjoy taking advantage of back to school sales without the mandatory supply list everyone else was studying, and buying only what we wanted.

There's a Not Back To School camping trip that sounds fun, but I don't think we can go for logistical reasons.
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#27 of 29 Old 08-30-2010, 07:43 PM
 
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I feel like rolling my eyes, dramatically sighing and walking away,
For some reason this made me laugh so hard. I feel the same way. I'm usually polite too. But I have been known to give a raised eyebrow or just a bored, "are you serious"? look on more cranky days.

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#28 of 29 Old 08-31-2010, 12:47 AM
 
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There's a lady on Flickr (her kids are homeschoolers) who took a photo of her daughter in her new back-to-school clothes....PAJAMAS!

I thought that was so brilliant that I think *I* am going to take my son out and buy him some back-to-school PJs too. :-)

Here's the link:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/17005328@N07/4941438311/
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#29 of 29 Old 08-31-2010, 01:04 AM
 
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I saw an idea some where about making a back-to-school time capsule. Basically you make hand prints and the kids can write down their favorite things from right now. Anyway, I thought that might be a fun thing to do. Whenever our not back to school days is.

I just wanna say, I loved this:
Quote:
Oh my gosh, this very thing is driving me crazy lately too. It's so sad, and SO disrespectful to say that about your own children. I'm also sick of a certain couple facebook friends that keep posting about how they are spending the day "reconnecting" with their child. How do they live so disconnected from their kids??!!
Hells yes! Why don't people respect children? How did we get here? I have heard my own mother say that respect is earned and not a given. Yuck, just gross.

mama to DS1 10/04 and DS2 9/07 and brand new DS3 5/29!
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