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#1 of 16 Old 05-22-2012, 07:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is not a questionnaire.  Just a few questions to get the conversation going.   Feel free to include anything you wish.  

 

I am so often talking about what my kids are doing and where they are at, I wanted to talk a little about the PARENTS caught up in all this.

 

 

How does you day start off?

 

Do you work outside the home?

 

How do you help your kids?

 

How do your kids help you?

 

Are they learning crafts/skills from you or your dp?

 

What's your favorite part of the day/week/month?

 

What's your least favorite?

 

What do you want to change?

 

What is changing regardless?

 

 

Again, please add anything you wish.


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#2 of 16 Old 05-22-2012, 08:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'll start with a little, now dinner is over.

 

We've been busy getting ready to move to our new house, and getting this house on the market.  I was already relaxing on my relaxed weekly notes I make for our "HSing calendar" which is more a diary than anything.  I didn't write anything for 2 weeks, even though a lot of stuff happened.  Part is just relaxing more about USing in general, as it relates to the girls' education.  I felt like I went into mental overdrive when 7yo dd1 hit kg age, and that has wound down.

 

I've been adding to my work load as housekeeper, stressing a bit at the prospect that we won't be able to afford gymnastics anymore.  Me and money do not get on well!  Causes endless amounts of stress.  The girls get to work with me some days and dd1 is especially motivated to earn money when I work with particular clients close by.  I like that being self-employed we can actually employ the girls sometimes!

 

I've been starting my days earlier, hopefully before the girls get up and that gets my morning computer time out of the way, hopefully.  The girls watch a morning video/s and I feed all the critters except dh who feeds himself.  Then chores, then the Meltdown, then a story or chapter and hopefully some motivation outside, but often it's lunch time, or it's another Meltdown and we are soon back on the couch.

 

I'm still mostly helping my girls by finding books at the library according to their interests, and finding things in general.  Luckily they are getting better at finding stuff themselves. They don't seem to have much interest in my knitting or sewing.  Crafts so often lead to frustration in dd1 who is not content to make one felt horse, she wants one in every color combination we have available.  I have better luck with simple observations--nature and science-y kind of stuff.  

 

But mostly I find how little I am needed until trouble starts.  

 

Fair time is coming up, and our first year in 4-H is coming to a crescendo.   I am glad I am not the only county-fair-virgin parent in our club.  It's a bit boggling.  I am just trying to have faith that it will all make sense by fair time, and the barn superintendent will point me in the right direction.  I think they need a "lost fair-parent village" just in case.  That would make me feel better!

 

DH has been so busy and we are both so tired we are practically strangers.  Moving will be nice, and all the busy-ness will be Where We Are.  I am looking forward to building a chicken coop as a family and all the opportunities a house out of town (well, tiny town, pop. 650).  

 

I guess now is really a terrible time to judge too much about my day and week or make any big changes.  I look forward to getting resettled.  

 

My day is ending as it usually does.  DH is reading bedtime stories while I sign off on the computer and try to squeeze in a shower (sometimes I cheat and they have to wait a few minutes after stories for the Hand Off).  The critters are fed.  My "chickie-duties" (which I pronounce "chickie-doodies" just to get a laugh) are finished.  Resident and homeless cats fed.  

 

All done.  Wow, even all the dishes!  That is not typical!

 

Long post.  So sorry--didn't intend that.


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#3 of 16 Old 05-23-2012, 07:11 AM
 
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Ds and I get up together, both go down and do our computer thing. I make coffee and breakfast and we go back to computing. It's nice that he is older and doesn't need so much parenting so early in the day. It was awful when he was 3 and under because he wanted to be held and walked around for an hour every time he woke up. I'm still appreciating the whole getting to have coffee right away thing.

 

My computer use is checking some social sites (here and FB), checking freecycle and craigslist for free furniture I can fix up for resale, checking the homeschool yahoo groups for opportunities for ds. It's been a dry year for us socially. We just can't find kids his age that aren't too busy to do things with. I think much of the problem is being in a high reg state. It makes parents take homeschooling too seriously. Plus we are in a surprisingly Christian area and they seem to be rather exclusive and have co-ops through their churches.

 

I have a part time job teaching ceramics, which I love, but business is slow and my hours have been down since fall. So, I'm preoccupied with scraping together enough $ for whichever bill is due next. Dh has been unemployed for 2 years. He's a night owl so I do my computer thing in the morning, then switch to working on projects after he is up so he can do his computer thing, checking job listings, etc.

 

Ds learns things about the computer from dh. He isn't too interested in doing ceramics with me or learning how to refinish furniture. He did like trying out the tools when he was younger, though. Including the sewing machine. We planted a few things this year at ds's instigation. He doesn't have chores, as such, but he'll help put away groceries or help me carry stuff from one part of the house to the other. He's not a messy kid so mostly the things that need doing are dishes and laundry.

 

I'm working on getting the end of the year homeschool paperwork together. And I'm hoping next year is better socially. And financially!


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#4 of 16 Old 05-23-2012, 07:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That really puts things in perspective for me:  we are actually doing pretty well as far as work.  I shouldn't whine so much!


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#5 of 16 Old 05-23-2012, 08:05 PM
 
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No day is ever same as any other but today had a kind of "average" feel to it.

 

I got up and made lunches for my school-going kids, then drove them to school.

 

Came home and my homeschooler was getting out of bed. We had breakfast together.

 

She went to the kids' computer, I went to mine. I have a gazillion volunteer responsibilities and there's usually at least an hour of computer work I have to do. Today it was setting up the housing exchange message board for the local summer arts school, and doing some music arranging for a class I'm teaching in the summer.

 

Dd and I did a bit of cleaning and tidying. Then some laundry.

 

We grabbed a snack. Then I drove her to her haircut appointment. Awesome short semi-bob.

 

When we got home it was time for me to teach violin. She amused herself while I taught violin for a couple of hours. We had a short break together.

 

Then we went to the school, where I teach a violin group class. She and her teenaged brother and sister (now finished school for the day) take part in the class.

 

After teaching group class I had a short meeting with some of the other violin parents, planning for the summer and for next year.

 

Home with all the kids, to make dinner while they did homework, played guitar, hung out.

 

Dh got home. We ate dinner. I cleaned up. Did some baking for tomorrow (school lunches and snacks). Helped dd practice her violin. Wrote this post.

 

Tomorrow morning I work my medical job for 4 hours. Yesterday I spent 6 hours taxiing 7 kids (my own and four others) to the city for extra-curriculars. Different days, different wrinkles.

 

miranda


Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up

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#6 of 16 Old 05-28-2012, 04:58 AM
 
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I usually wake before the kids are up, as dh is getting ready for work. I grab my iPad and check news, weather, Facebook, email, forums, blog etc. for 30-60 minutes. Then I go and make breakfast for the kids and me, dh is gone by now. After breakfast, we do academics. Doesn't sound very unschooly, but the kids love this routine. We end this time with a read aloud. Then I work out, shower etc. I then put supper in the crockpot and make lunch. After lunch we either have playdates, run errands, do housework, gardening or organized field trips.the kids help me with whatever housework I ask help with, they don't have chores though.

I like to get most work done before supper so that our evenings are open for organized activities, family time, hikes, movies etc. just hanging out together with dh included. Or sometimes dh hangs out with the kids and I read or write or whatever.
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#7 of 16 Old 05-28-2012, 12:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indian summer View Post

I like to get most work done before supper so that our evenings are open for organized activities, family time, hikes, movies etc. just hanging out together with dh included. Or sometimes dh hangs out with the kids and I read or write or whatever.

I try to do chores by a certain time for the same reason, but I'm still learning how to organize that.  


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#8 of 16 Old 05-28-2012, 08:27 PM
 
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The typical day in my family tends to vary greatly depending on the day of the week and season of the year. I wake up shortly before my daughter to have quiet time for reflection, meditation, journaling, and/or yoga practice before my curious ball of energy says rise and shine to the world. My daughter usually wakes up between 7-8 and joins me in the dining room or porch where I;m savoring the first cup of tea for the day. Together we have breakfast and check in online after clearing the table. I peek onto Facebook and my email and she plays a game or two on one of her fave websites or checks out my pinterest boards to choose activities to enjoy on that particular day. Mornings often find us in the garden, pulling a few weeds or picking out some tasty treats for lunch and it's not uncommon for us to eat breakfast on the patio. 

 

Afterward we both get dressed and meet in the dining room to plan our day. On many days we pack up our bento boxes and head our for an activity with friends, a class at the nature park, or another activity in the community. I recently founded a local homeschool group for freethinking/skeptic leaning families and once a week my group meets for a co-op day. Several times a month we have a group field trip and once or twice a social event--last month it was a honey tasting party. On "stay at home days" we usually read together in the morning, work on science experiments or craft projects, write letters to her penpals, or play board games together. I try my hardest to reserve two hours of my morning without interruptions to work on projects together and consider these times one of my favorite parts on the day second only to our dinners together as a family.

 

After our time spent working together time we eat lunch, often making a recipe from the Mollie Katzen children's cookbooks, and then head outside for free play or a nature walk, take a bike ride to the park, head to the pool for the swim, or go to homeschool skate or bowling if the weather is poor. In the late afternoons I set aside an hour for my reading and intellectual or artistic pursuits. My daughter is free to do as she wishes during this time and most often chooses to read her latest chapter book, play some games on Dreambox, or play quietly with toys or art supplies. We have a snack again and then spend time together with a read-aloud or science documentary before it's time to start dinner.

 

Shortly before my husband arrives home I began dinner prep, a task which my daughter often helps with, and begin cleaning up the day's activities in the kitchen and dining room area. After dinner we may be heading to a sports practice depending on the season--right now we're in the midst of baseball. When it's an off-season or non-game night we usually take a walk as a family or my daughter & husband play chess together or work on one of their many father-daughter projects. Most recently they built a computer together and finished constructing a new set of shelves for our learning room. Their next project will be building the wooden go cart project from the Handy Dad book. I use this time to catch up on my email, review plans for the next day, return phone calls, that sort of thing. 

 

After this family time it's bath time, an hour of read-aloud storytime, and then light's out for my daughter. In the evenings my husband and I typically discuss current events, politics, or science topics together. When he's away for work I Skype with military wife friends also on "solo parenting" duties to share some good conversation and laughs. A bit of reading or journaling before bed and then it's lights out for me. 

 

On weekends we spend time together as a family, heading to the farmers market, enjoying cultural events in our town, socializing with friends, working on volunteering work, hiking, weekend tripping, or our shared and much loved family hobby of geocaching. Once a month my daughter and I attend a Saturday morning painting class together and this has quickly become one of my favorite times of the month. We enjoy breakfast at a locally owned cafe and then spend a couple hours painting, making a new creation to proudly hang up in our home. 

 

In the past year I've taken action to change my life for the better and have begun to treat myself with more compassion. My daughter is a very curious child with great intellectual intensity and requires a great deal of adult attention to answer her seemingly never-ending questions about the world and to help her meet her needs for mental stimulation and learning opportunities. As most of my days are spent actively with her and focused on her and my husband is AD military and we do not utilized babysitters, I've missed out of a rich life of my own for the first few years of her life. I have recently begun to carve out a nourishing life of my own once again, making time with friends, taking classes that interest me, going back to school, dedicating a bit of time each day to my own pursuits. I've also begun to get involved with activism, both political and not, and volunteer work as well to dedicate time and energy to causes that are important to me while meeting interesting and beautiful people in the process. I feel refreshed and alive in a way I haven't in quite some time and have more energy to devote to my daughter and her needs by virtue of caring for myself and no longer running myself ragged. I've been sincerely enjoying motherhood and my daughter as the person she is since ceasing the mommy martyr nonsense. 

 

As for what's changing regardless, my once easy and rather boring schedule has filled up tremendously as my daughter has grown. Between my friends, her friends, volunteer work, activism, classes, sports, and the like I'm now color coding my calendar and don't see that changing anytime in the near future. I've stubbornly fought against my new reality for awhile, wound up in the McDonalds drive-through line thanks to my foolishness, but have finally decided to make the crockpot my friend, feed the freezer, and accept the fact that one day my daughter will be grown and I'll badly miss these years of hustle and bustle just as I miss those long brutal mother to a brand new baby early mothering days. The non-foodie crockpot meals are well worth the memories of smiles when that bat hits the ball on the first try! :)


~Daisy~

Unschooling Mother to S, my 6yo "Moon Farmer"energy.gif

 

 

 

 

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#9 of 16 Old 06-05-2012, 05:28 PM
 
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My DD is now 3, and this is our schedule:

 

8-9: Wake up

9-10: relax in bed

10: get ready

11-2: lunch/ playdates

2-6: self play

6-7: dinner

8-9: bed time


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#10 of 16 Old 06-12-2012, 12:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, brother!

 

Living in a home for sale has just upended my life.  Now I spend every morning (especially when we have to leave) cleaning.  I am weary and will be thankful to MOVE but there is more cleaning involved.  And I clean for a living.  I am amazed I am not cleaning everything in my dreams!

 

All our usual routines have been sidelined.  Homeschool calendar I usually keep has been ditched.  If I had been a regular HSer, I would officially call a break.  But I guess there is no break in unschooling, is there?  In some ways, I don't think I have ever let my faith in USing flow quite so freely.

 

Spending way too much time on the computer.  Collapsing into bed with the girls.  Vacuuming 10 times a day.  Thankfully, it is summer (nearly) and I don't need to do much to keep the girls from getting bored or tearing into each other when the good will runs out.

 

There went the morning, and the errands are piling up, but it just gets too late to leave the house for town.  Just way, way too much right now.

 

ETA: well, crap.  There it is.  Proof I have been on here too much.  #2 on the Most Posts list.  How do they figure that?  I don't think I've written more than 2 posts today.....


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#11 of 16 Old 06-12-2012, 05:14 PM
 
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Oh, I don't envy you! I'd hate to have to keep the place nice enough to show. It's been a real pit, lately, because I've been busy with my money making schemes (fixing up furniture for resale). And we haven't been having regular visitors, this year. Last year, I hosted the parkday group during the winter and we exchanged playdates with ds's friend. But that relationship fizzled out and parkdays were not a success this year.

 

I don't know what we're going to do for socializing, next year... This year was bad. And ds is getting too old to want to hang out at playgrounds trying to make new friends. We need something just a little organized/themed, like a science club. But I see all sorts of problems trying to start one. I was hoping years of parkdays would have resulted in us having a little group of kids that we could get together with to do things...

 

(Where's the most posts list??)


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#12 of 16 Old 06-12-2012, 05:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have kept hoping that the girls would have something of a social group now, as well.  A science club sounds fabulous!  

 

Most posts is on the right, on the "Home" page.  Top 3.  Don't know how they figure it.  Better that the Backyard Chickens forums.  They have some people posting 150, 180 times.  Mine was 12.  Paltry, yet telling!


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#13 of 16 Old 06-12-2012, 06:52 PM
 
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Ah, I see it, lol. I never go to the home page...

 

Yeah, a science club would be cool but I've had problems in the past when I've organized things. Once, I got stuck helping all these young kids while all the moms sat across the way in the shade and my own son got frustrated because I couldn't help him. Another time, while teaching a 6 week class, the other kids started mocking how ds talks (he doesn't pronounce the letter L correctly). I've had people commit to stuff so I spent money on materials for which they were going to reimburse me and had them not show up. It wasn't a huge sum or I wouldn't have fronted it. But I spent time and energy, as well, getting everything ready.

 

Then there is the sibling issue. I'd like to do a tween science and adventure club and have the kids be about 10-12. But then people will ask if their 7 yo can tag along... I like all ages stuff, in general, but I've done so much to accomodate younger kids over the years that I really just don't want to have to worry about them and the stages they are going through. Ds has been the oldest kid in almost everything I've managed to put together. He's good with younger kids and they love them but the point is for him to be able to develop friendships with peers. I'd like to do a science club with people we mesh with. Not gamble by putting out a post to the hundreds of homeschoolers in the area.

 

Many many families around here do cyber school and/or co-ops. Unschooling is rare because people get scared off as a result of it being a high reg state. So everyone is busy being academic and taking everything seriously. There's a fair number of nice people but they are so dang busy and don't seem to prioritize children's friendships, at least not ones with my ds. 


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#14 of 16 Old 06-12-2012, 07:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That sounds like a lot of work, and very frustrating.  I'm looking at it from the "starting" line, and stories like yours can be a good reality check.  I read in another thread about the difficulties of USing in PA.  


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#15 of 16 Old 06-13-2012, 06:20 AM
 
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Funny thing is, USing in PA has been a complete breeze so far for me. But I do think it having higher regs changes the homeschool culture and makes it predominantly more schooly. 


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#16 of 16 Old 06-14-2012, 08:27 AM
 
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How does you day start off?

 

DH is up way before the rest of us, like 5:30. I used to be up that early, but things have shifted.

I come downstairs with the nursling toddler around 7

DS1 is often already on the sofa watching Dinosaur Train. 

DH has already made coffee, gotten his own breakfast, and left for work by 6:30

DD likes to snooze til 8...she's oldest but needs more sleep. I want to get everyone to bed earlier, only because DH and I have zero time together alone, when we can barely stay up past the kids being asleep.

 

 

 

 

Do you work outside the home?

No

 

How do you help your kids?

 

Encouraging and supporting their interests the best I can, and trying to be an open listener, and being honest about it when I mess up, because I am FAR from perfect, and do get to the yelling "QUIET!" stage when 3 kids under 7 need me simultaneously while the pan is burning on the stove and the kettle is whistling. I also help them and myself, by learning, bit by bit, to delegate and involve them, instead of doing everything myself, around and in spite of, them. This works great with my DD. Not so well yet with DS1, who may need a couple more years before his emotional and physical maturity will make it feasible. He's still a "preschooler" in age.

 

I also don't have any trouble saying so, if I don't know something, and follow up with, "Let's see if we can find that out!" or if it's my DD who is old enough to work independently, "Why don't you see what you can find out, and come tell me?"

 

How do your kids help you?

 

They show me where I need to improve as a human being and a parent, and why simply shutting someone down doesn't amount to leadership, but fostering willing cooperation instead, does. Sometimes there's no time for willing cooperation (especially with the 4 yo DS) but just shutting them down is something I am learning in steady stages to evolve beyond. 

My eldest does chores and learns skills, and helps when I need someone to watch the toddler while I get the boiling pasta drained. 

But primarily, my kids help me to realize where I need to grow, and I am trying to become better at parenting, and life in general, and have already become less judgmental of myself and others.

If I had a nickel for every time I used to say "I'd NEVER do ____ or let my kids ___!" before kids, that I have now learned better from, I could go to Magical Perfect Parenthood Land for a weekend getaway.

 

Are they learning crafts/skills from you or your dp?

 

Mostly cooking right now, as they are both intensely interested, and there's good cause. They have lots of food allergies, so everything we eat, is made from scratch at home, or else is an expensive alternative food, like $7/pint coconut-based ice cream.

 

I built a large, lockable (to keep the toddler from getting in and scattering everything) cabinet, 6 foot tall, with clear bins inside so DD can take out arts and crafts and creative supplies and use them at the table near the living room, at her own discretion. I enable her, more than teach her. But she doesn't need any help, and wouldn't want to be "helped" at that, either.

 

They learn a little Japanese from me here and there, and we listen to Japanese CDs in the car sometimes, and watch Studio Ghibli films in Japanese sometimes.

They also learn chores like how to load the dishwasher, and help at various times with sweeping, cleaning, etc. Sometimes willingly, sometimes not, but I don't extend my concept of unschooling to mean they don't have to eat their veggies before dessert, or ever do chores unless they feel like it. Some differ on that, but that's my take. 

 

What's your favorite part of the day/week/month? 

Whenever DH has a day off! :)

 

What's your least favorite?

 

Lately, whenever we have had a planned activity we HAVE to get to at a certain time, especially if it gets to be more than twice a week. At the kids' request, we are staying clear of scheduled obligations for a good while, now that we are done with them. They really resented having to gear up and go to soccer, when they could have been outside playing with the neighbor kids.

 

What do you want to change?

 

Certain physical aspects of my house and yard, which mostly, I can't change. The yard is microscopic. The house was built over 100 years ago and has next to no storage space, and baseboard hot water heat, everywhere, so you can't put cabinets in anywhere in the bathroom, there's no linen cabinet for towels, just no storage. Bikes and toys litter the scant yard because they are too heavy to constantly heft up and down the stairs either into the house or onto the enclosed porch, and the bikes rust in the rain. The neighborhood is scuzzy. Having very little reasonable or accessible storage for anything, makes housekeeping hard, but I work at solutions.

 

For me personally, I want to change my bad habits, but I can honestly say I am working on it, with an attitude of humility, about my parenting. 

 

What is changing regardless?

The kids' needs change as they grow. They outgrow one activity and grow into new ones. It's exciting, but I also have to constantly reconsider how we organize our living space, to make it suit our lifestyle and needs, instead of having it one basic way for a year at a time. That will be less so as they get older, but they are very young, so right now, we are constantly changing our living space, the games and toys we have, and I have to keep updating habits.


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