January unschooling thread - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-20-2014, 04:35 PM
 
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Well I will just jump here. WE are baking/cooking! :eat Banana-Chocolate Chip bars, brownies, cookies and we made meal for a couple that had baby.

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Old 01-22-2014, 12:08 PM
 
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I am brand-spanking new to home schooling/unschooling.  I never ever thought I would choose this path, but after a disastrous first half of first grade (preceded by a tough time in kindy and pre-K) I took my son out of school and we are winging it.  My  husband, a very practical "regular guy" has been amazingly supportive.  He figured out (along with me) that our child needs hands-on experiential project based learning instead of sitting quietly at a desk.

 

I am probably going a little overboard in my first weeks, but here are a few of the things we have done:

 

sledding and LOTS of it.  

Bought a coconut, figured how to open it and make coconut milk.  My son then wrote a book with pictures explaining the steps to open a coconut

started Karate classes (he was too stressed after school before so he wasn't in an extra-cirriculars...now he can take classes in things he is interested in.  Yay!)

started a mushroom garden and are keeping observations on it with photos and notes (the kid loves science)

dismantled our dining room and turned it into a library/sitting room/science lab/art station

made a LOT of pots on our new pottery wheel

Went to work with my husband (who owns a restaurant) and helped with cleaning and inventory and greeting the delivery trucks!

 

It is helpful for me to see that it's okay to have downtime with your kids where you are not constantly doing projects.  In fact, this morning I decided not to plan anything at all and just let my son be bored.  He is now making a city out of boxes...after complaining for about an hour that there isn't "anything to do."

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Old 01-22-2014, 12:49 PM
 
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Welcome, alinds.

 

I just wanted to add that unless someone has raised your child to this point, you are definitely not "brand-spanking new at this".  It's just looks different because your son is older.  :wink


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Old 01-23-2014, 12:00 AM
 
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Welcome alinds! Wow, sounds like so much creativity and excitement in your lives. 

 

We had a birthday today. Dd10 is now dd11. We measured her and although she's still small for her age compared to "average" children, she's taller at 11 than all three of her older siblings were at 12. She's pretty happy about that. She's growing like crazy the past couple of months. 

 

For her birthday I made her a fake ID that says she's a teenager. There are a bunch of activities she'd love to be involved in that only become available at age 12 or 13, things we all are sure she's ready for, that's it's been kind of our ongoing joke: "You're really two years older than you are." Now she has a Homeschool Student Card that says she was born in January 2001. It's not meant to be used: just a way of adding some humour to the frustration.

 

She spent a good chunk of her birthday doing the unit on polynomial inequalities in her math book, and then baking a cake and decorating it with fondant. Her Skype buddy was all indignant that she was baking her own cake, but around here it's a real treat to be provided with the ingredients and assistance for a cake-of-choice and to make it yourself or alongside a parent. I had no idea how to do fondant, so she googled recipes and we watched videos and worked away at the carrot cake innards, the buttercream crumb frosting and the various stages of the fondant. And we pulled it off!

 

 

 

The cascade of red and black spots was her idea. I made the ladybug with the leftovers and we decided it needed to go on the cake. Dd is thrilled to have demystified the whole fondant business. She'll want to do more, I'm sure. It's really fun!

 

She has spent a lot of the past four months spearheading a major re-furnishing and redecorating of her bedroom. She got some birthday gifts to help with the final stages of decorating: accent cushions, red & turquoise spray paint for crafting her own kitsch, some framed art prints she had wanted. So she's seriously psyched to get the walls and shelves spruced up.

 

Sadly ballet and jazz dance were cancelled yesterday due to a power failure which interrupted heat at the studio. We didn't find out until we drove the 2 hours to get her there. Then someone backed into the van when we were fuelling up to head home. :( Just a wee bit of fix-it-at-home paint damage to the brush bar, so that could have been a lot worse. But it was a disappointing trip. At least there is gymnastics tomorrow! And we did have a nice day together today.

 

We're addicted to Homeland, all the teens, youngest dd and me. We topped off the birthday evening by watching the finale of Season 2. Probably quite inappropriate content for an 11-year-old, but maybe less inappropriate for a 13-year-old. We have the ID. We're good.

 

Miranda


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Old 01-23-2014, 06:38 AM
 
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Great cake

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Old 01-23-2014, 09:29 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alinds View Post

started Karate classes (he was too stressed after school before so he wasn't in an extra-cirriculars...now he can take classes in things he is interested in.  Yay!)

This would be kid. I cannot fathom how she'd still have the mental and emotional stamina to anything that she wanted to do after school.
Sounds like you are doing exactly what your kid needs. Right on!

dust.gifFour-eyed tattooed fairy godmother queer, mama to my lucky star (5) and little bird (2.5). Resident storyteller at www.thestoryforest.com. Enchanting audiostories for curious kids. Come play in the forest!
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Old 01-23-2014, 09:53 AM
 
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Fun post Miranda.  I watched all kinds of inappropriate things at 11.  Comes with the territory of being the youngest, I think.  

 

And I always make my own cake!

 

DD1 has started developing breast buds, just shy of her 9th birthday.  I was closer to 10, so it feels too early for me but I know that it's right on time.  Hard to believe.  She's been reading her American Girl body books (Care and Keeping of You) avidly, and she's excited.  That's another thing that's different-- I was mortified, but then I was the youngest.  (I'm feeling hopeful that she will not enter adolescence with the body shame that I did.)  I've also been catching her reading other books on her own as well, so she's finally comfortable enough with the skill to relax and enjoy it.

 

With the arrival of her birthday and party, she is helping make toys for the kids that are invited.  She wanted to make boats for the boys down the road, stitch a dog for one little girl, and a doll for the other.  I did ask if they might want boats as well as the boys, but she wants to do these.  The doll was her design, and I could have let her do the entire project by herself, but she didn't plan for seams or stuffing, and I insist they use templates because otherwise they draw and redraw all over the fabric, attempting to get what they want and wasting it.  She help dh sand the rustic alder boats, stitched up the dog herself and we are now working on the doll.

 

DD2 has been plowing through her nature books by the stack from the library.  It doesn't bother her that her reading isn't easeful.  She plows on through anyway.  She's been coloring her Peterson Butterfly guide.  This one has stickers for 130 butterflies, plus plates of several more, and you get to color a black-and-white drawing to match the one on the sticker.  She made herself a paper "mailbox" on a cherrywood stick and dh is delivering "math tests" to her every mail day.  She's doing very well (thank you Monopoly!)

 

Last night I taught the girl scout troop how to tie friendship bracelets, the ones using embroidery floss that were really popular in the 90's (I think, I was a tie-dyed-in-the-wool hippie back then).  I enjoy the challenge of trying to teach a skill almost more than I enjoy gaining it, and I definitely learned a few things.  With this "knots in crafts" meeting, I'm attempting to start bringing in more traditional scouting skills, because the national badges and curriculum seem to have sidelined it.  You can still find it in camps, but it is not emphasized outside of it much anymore.  They stress cultivating leadership skills directly, not indirectly through developing individual skills and building leadership on top of that, an approach I am not thrilled with.

 

This dry winter has allowed us to explore our forest more.  We did a family "hike" up the hill to our chosen tent spot.  We brought rakes to help clean up storm debris from the "road" and the tent area.  They seem eager to camp there, but our sleeping bags are not rated for winter nighttime temps.  I'm thinking I need to graduate to bags that can be used in 3 seasons-- 10 degree bags would actually get us through most of the year.  (And who decides those ratings??  I think a "10 degree" wouldn't be that comfortable in 10 degrees!  Maybe someone can explain.)

 

Girl Scouts is starting its local cookie sales tomorrow, and booth sales start end of February.  I'm going to be doing a lot of booths, because (of course) the girls now want to sell on their own.  DD1 is in her element, planning and marketing.  DD2 seems oblivious, mostly.   We are also coming up on a busy season of buying chicks, (trying to) keep 4-H records, planning and preparing for public presentations for 4-H.  Time for plotting out summer camping trips and making appropriate reservations.  Scheduling GS camp-- we will be camping 5 minutes away from the GS camp along the Snoqualmie river east of Seattle again.  (This time the yarn store will be open for business!  Goodiegoodiegoodie!)  We considered a different session that includes more horse-work, but it comes on the heels of county fair and I think we'd be exhausted.

 

Gymnastics continues.  Riding will start up again no later than March.  

 

Off do dig ourselves out of the detritus of dd2's busyness.  It's a big job on a normal week, and it's been a long time.


"Let me see you stripped down to the bone. Let me hear you speaking just for me."
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Old 01-23-2014, 10:53 AM
 
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Ugh.  DD2 is demanding I *explain* to her what to do on her bracelet.  I've tried, she didn't understand, and she is screaming her head off because I want to *show* her one row instead.  I cannot contrive another way to explain it verbally.  No, she wants to do all the work herself, so she and I are at an impasse.  

 

So.  Frustrating.


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Old 01-23-2014, 12:06 PM
 
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Can you make the beginning of a separate bracelet (with throwaway materials) and show her on that? Is she hung up on the idea of doing every last part of hers herself?

 

miranda


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Old 01-23-2014, 12:27 PM
 
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She is hung up on that, but that's a good idea to start on another one next to her.  I guess I was too flustered to think of that option, darn it.  I'll see if she'll accept that kind of help.

 

ETA: they are playing together happily for the moment.  I absolutely cannot interrupt that, it's precious and rare.


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Old 01-26-2014, 02:35 AM
 
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Wow.  So much going on with you guys!

 

So much going on here too:

dd6 is obsessed with money now.  She lost a tooth, then she started doing chores and counts her money several times a day.  She's been washing dishes, making beds, doing laundry, vacuuming, begs to help me with my work, making breakfast and snacks, etc.

 

She's also made her own "Uno" cards...called the "polka dot game" because she stores the cards in a polka-dot box.  dd3 is playing a continuous game of copying everything dd6 does she has made her own cards too.

 

dd3 is writing her letters and drawing very well.  

 

There's been lots of gluing and cutting here.  We got craft sticks but need to get real glue, rather than paste to do anything with them that stays together.  

 

dd6 has decided she will watch TV on Mondays and Fridays during the day and Saturday and Sunday she will watch TV or movies at night.  

 

Lots of yoga from dd6.  She has also come up with a Valentine's swap that I need to go put on our website now.  She's also made fruit pops several times this past week.  Oh and for my birthday the girls made me surprise after surprise.  I was given my own queen carpet...I was given flowers made out of paper, rocks that were actually "gold" or "sharks teeth", beautiful kid-made art, books, etc.  At some point I told them, I was surprised out!

 

It was very sweet.

 

dd6 is using a mandala app, often and has been playing her guitar.  The girls made instruments out of boxes, water bottles and wine bottles a few days in a row. 

 

Also, there's been lots of yoga, spanish, dancing and singing.  

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