July 2014 Unschooling Thread - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 53 Old 07-11-2014, 02:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a bunch of friends who talked about possibly/probably homeschooling their kids but then enrolled them in school once kindergarten rolled around. I get it: while there's a lot of idealism amongst parents when their kids are young, often the social, financial and emotional realities make school the easier, safer, more secure choice. We're in a community where my kids have often been the only homeschoolers in their age range. Right now, for instance, my 11-year-old -- whose interests and aptitudes are more like those of a 14-year-old -- is the only homeschooler over the age of 9 in our area. That doesn't really create problems for us. My kids aren't usually a good fit for age-levelled group learning anyway, and their social needs are pretty low. There's good acceptance of homeschooling here and we find friends and activities amongst all types of families.

My pet peeve is when my friends who chose to put their kids in school at age 5 explain to me that they're "also homeschooling." They go so far as to keep up membership on our regional homeschooling email listserv and use it for networking (buy & sell stuff, childcare connections, etc.) as well as taking part in outings, field trips and other events organized by homeschooling parents for the homeschooling community. Our region's homeschoolers are far-flung, so I don't think other parents necessarily know that these kids are enrolled full-time in school. Or close to full-time, since they will take a half day or a day off from time to time to take part in a homeschoolers' field trip.

As a homeschooling parent I feel like there's something different when it is you, and not a school, who is considered to be responsible for the day-to-day process of your child's education. School provides a fair number of perks. Obviously on balance for my kids I believe the benefits have made up for losing those perks. But when you're a homeschooling parent you don't get free child-minding, you don't get someone who shoulders a large part of the responsibility for educating your child, you don't get basic tools and resources and facilities for arts and physical education, social opportunities for your child and so on. You have to provide those things yourself and if you don't manage, the blame is only upon your shoulders. And I think being part of a regional network for grass-roots activities and resources and events and networking helps compensate for the loss of some of those perks.

When my elder kids enrolled in high school they didn't give up playing violin, working in the garden, singing in choir, drawing, writing computer code, reading, travelling and having deep conversations about philosophy or politics. They still learned a ton outside of school. But that's not what makes a child a homeschooler: what makes a child a homeschooler is *not going to school.*

Now, I'm obviously being a bit of a hypocrite about this, because Fiona has been going to school one or two hours a week for the past year and a half. (That's one of the perks of being involved in the DL [teacher-supervised] home-learner program run by our school district.) But the thing is, if I choose to provide for part of her math education by sending her to school, if it doesn't work out I am the one who has to fix it. It's a question of where the responsibility lies. I think that makes it different. That, plus the fact that she is legally enrolled in a home-learning program.

I referred to one of my friends as a "homeschooling sympathizer" and she once again clarified that she considers herself a homeschooler who happens to send her child to school because she has to. I said something softly worded like "I still think it's a bit different, because when your child goes to school you share the responsibility for your child's education with the school." She was adamant: "No, the ultimate responsibility is still mine. If school wasn't working out for her I would do whatever was necessary to fix things. Not all parents feel this way, but I take full responsibility for my child's education."

Whatever. I still think it's different.

End of rant.

Starling&Diesel, I don't think using JUMP math necessarily disqualifies you from inclusion in the radical unschooling or fully unschooling clubs. I think of radical unschooling as extending the principles of unschooling into the realm of things that are not normally considered education (like nutrition, bedtimes, conflict resolution and so on). And I think of unschooling as being not at all about whether your child uses school-style academic resources but about where the motivation and expectations surrounding that work comes from. In your case maybe it's coming from you, but if it's coming from her I think that's very much unschooling.

If my kid begs for gymnastics classes so we sign her up and she spends hours every week at home practicing what her coach has showed her, how is that different from when she begs for a math book which we provide and she then works enthusiastically through? I don't think it is different to an unschooled child: it's only different to we school-conditioned adults, those of us who think Math=School and Gymnastics=Hobby. Our kids probably don't put these things in different categories.

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#32 of 53 Old 07-11-2014, 11:36 PM
 
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I did for my son (and probably still will for my daughter next year), use the free preschool two mornings a week. It was totally play based, lots of physical activity, outside time, field trips, very flexible and very part time, and let my kids get to be part of the social circle of kids their age before it was on me to set up play dates for them. I didn't send him for periods when he wasn't into it, or when we were out of town, but I did send him a significant amount. I probably didn't actually count as a homeschooler until my son aged out of that--but to me it never seemed any more like 'school' than swim lessons or kid ski days or arts camp or any of the other community activities my kids have gone to. Certainly it seems not much different than the community childcare program (which I don't end up using, but lots do). So I can see how you could use school to some degree and think of yourself as a homeschooler still.
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#33 of 53 Old 07-12-2014, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Here is the video from the summer music program for young children that Fiona assisted with

Music Explorers 2014

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#34 of 53 Old 07-12-2014, 12:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So mckittre, are you saying that if one is using full-time enrolment in 5th grade primarily as a form of free child care (because you have to work full-time away from home during the day, for example) that you can still theoretically consider yourself a homeschooler? Or are you saying that a handful of hours a week of participation in structured group activities, if optional for the child, doesn't mean one isn't homeschooling? I agree with the latter, but not the former.

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#35 of 53 Old 07-14-2014, 10:16 PM
 
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I think that there are many reasons that parents in the end choose to send their child to school. I once read a book by Ionesco called Rhinoceros and it sums it up. It is very difficult to go against the norm.

I find that I get many subtle and not so subtle comments/remarks that are disapproving of our choice. They range from the neighbour who is a principal sarcastically saying: Good luck with that!', to the mom who would find it rewarding but very draining to the friend who says that you need time away from your child. And then there are family members who are disapproving, some to the point that we are not in contact with them anymore. So, the pressure to conform is huge. These remarks are, thankfully, set off by the ones which encourage us in our choice.

In any case, despite the fact that I find it difficult to go against the grain, my partner and I still follow our own compass. We don't think that school would be a good fit for DS at the moment. We have philosophical objections to schooling as well. Yet, it is very likely that we will at one point move to a country where opting out/homeschooling is not legal. And I have therefore chosen to follow somewhat of a curriculum according to grades. This is minimal for now and we mostly still just answer DS's questions and follow his interests.

He too is a boy who loves all things construction/utilities. So, we too, seek out opportunities for him to witness these and to talk with people in the trades. And they love it and find it refreshing to talk to a six year old who is interested in their work. Many tell us that it is rare to find a boy so full of questions (followed by the advice that he should finish his high school if he wants to get a job like they have). He's got elders around him who are knowledgeable about these things and they help him understand what he is ready to know. This is how we envisioned his learning and he does not want it any other way (DS quote: I don't want to go to school. It would kill my day and I would not be able to see the [utility] people work). Yep...
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#36 of 53 Old 07-16-2014, 03:39 PM
 
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We are reading books like crazy.
Watching a spider that made a web on our front door.
That math workbook is done Thanks MIL
Learning about cats
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#37 of 53 Old 07-16-2014, 05:27 PM
 
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Making hopping origami frogs.

Lots

and lots

and lots

and lots and lots and lots

of hopping origami frogs.

Big ones, bigger ones;

small ones, smaller ones;

itsy bitsy teensy weensy tiny tiny tiny

hopping origami frogs.

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#38 of 53 Old 07-17-2014, 01:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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lol, SweetSilver... we've had origami blitzes here too ... so many cranes, so many boxes

Fiona is at Dance Camp this week. She's made a good friend, a girl who it turns out dances at the same studio we joined last January. Fiona is philosophical about her extremely limited social world, but I'm hopeful that we can maintain this connection a bit next fall. The girl lives 90 minutes away, but in the town we travel to twice a week, and where we'll be renting an apartment next fall. Fiona's relatively friendless status is becoming more of a concern of mine as she gets into adolescence and as two more of her siblings are poised to move away. They have comprised the bulk of her social circle; she has casual friends and kids she's friendly with, but feels little real connection with them. It's not that she's picky or hard to please. I think in a community bigger than ours she'd have certainly found close friends. But the crop of twenty or thirty kids within three or four years of her age provide for pretty slim pickings.

The dance instruction itself isn't really her style, so it's worthwhile but not really stoking her up to huge levels of motivation. The guy leading the camp has most of his teaching experience through his theatre background, so there are lots of theatre-games style activities, lots of talking and imagining and discussing, and not enough physical and dance training for Fiona's liking. Also, the age of the class is young (10-12), while she tends to enjoy older groups more since there's usually less focus on entertaining and redirecting.

So it's good she met the new friend. They've been hanging out at the lake for a few hours together each afternoon.

Not much else going on. Reading. A bit of violin practicing. Some evening TV shows with her siblings. A bit of cooking and baking.

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#39 of 53 Old 07-17-2014, 06:53 PM
 
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sweetsilver- LOL

A friend was over with her 4th grader. She was asking my 8yr old some questions based on what her DS learn this year. Well my 8yr old ROCK IT She was shocked.

Sorry, I just had to share.
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#40 of 53 Old 07-17-2014, 09:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well my 8yr old ROCK IT She was shocked.

Sorry, I just had to share.
That's awesome! I've had moments like that myself. Not with friends pop-quizzing my kids, but when my various kids started high school and need accelerated material to get any challenge, or when they took tests at our local school and topped out with their results. My immediate reaction is always a self-satisfied "Well, that proves unschooling works!" and I think that's true in the sense that it shows that unschooling worked in this particular way with my particular child. And it's reassuring to know that your child could enter school and academically not have a lot of catching up to do.

But there's a certain amount of luck involved: your child happened to be interested in learning the things that your friend happened to ask about. If your child had learned, oh, to read and interpret four-harness weaving loom patterns, or to build an HTML website from code, or how poker odds are calculated, or to help run a small market garden, but couldn't answer many of your friend's questions, would that have said anything about the success or failure of your unschooling? Nope.

Not trying to take anything away from your child's obviously broad and impressive knowledge and understanding. Just pointing out that if a child doesn't perform well when quizzed by someone throwing out questions based on a course of study the child has not followed, there is no meaningful criticism of unschooling that can be made.

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#41 of 53 Old 07-18-2014, 04:44 AM
 
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No criticism at all! Sorry if anyone would take it that way.
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#42 of 53 Old 07-18-2014, 07:21 AM
 
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I'd be feeling so smug because it annoys me when folks do that-- though it hardly ever happens. I'd think: "HA! You thought you would catch us up in some preconceived inadequacy that you have constructed concerning homeschooled kids. And I hope that future homeschoolers will hence be saved from your self-righteous rudeness."

Bah! Raises my hackles. I get all contrary inside and have to mind my tongue, cause sometimes it inadvertently gets used as a whip. (Sometimes "advertently"!)

In fact, I just beat up a lady (in my dream last light) who was rude enough to criticize my 9yo's handwriting. I's not very good, admittedly, and last week dd9 insisted on turning in her own animal entry form for the county fair, and I got a call to confirm what she was entering. Not one comment on her handwriting, thankfully, which is so painstakingly illegible. So, I think this dream of mine might actually have been Me attacking Other Me, the part that really wishes she would learn to write more legibly. Ah well. Funny, that dream.

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#43 of 53 Old 07-18-2014, 08:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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No criticism at all! Sorry if anyone would take it that way.
No, don't worry, that's not what I meant. I mustn't have explained myself very well. Your story wasn't critical at all. I was just thinking a little thought experiment: if your child hadn't performed well in the eyes of your friend, what then? Would that have meant your unschooling wasn't working? Personally I think it wouldn't have. Not at all. It would have meant your child hadn't demonstrated mastery of what another group of children had been taught, that's all. While I very much agree with SweetSilver, that it's worth feeling satisfied that perhaps some other poor homeschooler may be saved from the self-righteous rudeness of similar quizzing, I also think it's too bad that your friend is still left measuring the value of unschooling through the lens of her very narrow assumptions about what constitutes educational success.

My kids have tended to be pretty precocious academically, and fairly regularly people would point to their achievement as evidence of the value of unschooling. I would always feel a sort of "yeah, but ..." reaction to that. My favourite bits of evidence in support of the value of unschooling are the stories where kids didn't achieve at a high level at early ages, where they travelled an educational path very different in scope and sequence from a typical school education, and yet they still grew into amazing people with important skills and plenty of intelligence and wisdom.

Nowadays when I see people forming opinions about the positive value of unschooling based on the precocious achievement of one of my kids, I like to tell them about my eldest and her best childhood friend. My dd was an early reader, and was reading proper novels like Harry Potter by age 5. Her friend did not read at all until she was almost 10. In school the friend would have been considered hopelessly delayed, and her education would have been held hostage to her lack of literacy skills. And yet as an unschooler she spent those last five pre-literate years learning like crazy: violin, piano, animal husbandry, weaving, knitting, market gardening, environmental sustainability, politics, home management, veterinary medicine, doing dance, gymnastics, memorizing hours and hours of Norse and Greek mythology tales almost word for word, composing poetry, learning French, drawing and painting with great passion, becoming a competent cook, helping run an off-grid home electrical system, and on and on. Then at age 10, she learned to read and within weeks she and my dd were sharing novels back and forth with great enthusiasm. And a few years later she graduated high school with top marks in AP English among other things. She's now thriving with a full-ride scholarship at a private university. And yet when she was 8 she was so different from my dd in her academic skills, and someone like your friend would likely have pronounced her unschooled education as tragically lacking in the realm of basic learning.

So when people see evidence of impressive school-like achievement in unschooled kids, that's affirming to us unschoolers and it helps deflect any negative judgement that we might otherwise have suffered. But I like to use that as an opportunity to shake up their perceptions of what achievement and education can look like, so that hopefully they are less likely to judge -- whether positively or negatively -- in the future.

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#44 of 53 Old 07-18-2014, 10:28 AM
 
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Nowadays when I see people forming opinions about the positive value of unschooling based on the precocious achievement of one of my kids, I like to tell them about my eldest and her best childhood friend. My dd was an early reader, and was reading proper novels like Harry Potter by age 5. Her friend did not read at all until she was almost 10. In school the friend would have been considered hopelessly delayed, and her education would have been held hostage to her lack of literacy skills. And yet as an unschooler she spent those last five pre-literate years learning like crazy: violin, piano, animal husbandry, weaving, knitting, market gardening, environmental sustainability, politics, home management, veterinary medicine, doing dance, gymnastics, memorizing hours and hours of Norse and Greek mythology tales almost word for word, composing poetry, learning French, drawing and painting with great passion, becoming a competent cook, helping run an off-grid home electrical system, and on and on. Then at age 10, she learned to read and within weeks she and my dd were sharing novels back and forth with great enthusiasm. And a few years later she graduated high school with top marks in AP English among other things. She's now thriving with a full-ride scholarship at a private university. And yet when she was 8 she was so different from my dd in her academic skills, and someone like your friend would likely have pronounced her unschooled education as tragically lacking in the realm of basic learning.
Thanks for sharing this, Miranda.
I remember being horrified at the fact that my 7- and 9yo nieces weren't reading AT ALL. I harboured all kinds of very dark and critical thoughts about the way that my sister was failing to nurture their intellect in any meaningful way.
Once they started reading (at about 9 and 11 respectively), I was still critical, albeit relieved. I remember thinking, "About frigging TIME!"
Did I ever take an inventory, or even take note, of the things they were mastering while not reading independently? Fiddle, dance, friendships, gardening, creative play, piano, singing, interests in ancient Egypt, animals, fairies, archeology, musical theatre, and so on and so on.
Sadly, their mom passed away before I could sit down and apologize for being so critical of her approach when it came to reading.
Her third daughter (who was 11 when her mom died) started reading earlier, so she could connect with an online Minecraft community as a way to cope with her mom's illness and decline.
All this to say, all three girls came to reading at different ages, for different reasons. All three read for pleasure. All three are totally different in terms of personality and interests.
And here is my 5yo, reading early and easily, in a homeschooling community where the average age of independent reading is closer to 8yo. We're definitely the odd one out, in this regard.
Now I can see the benefits of reading later, and I wish I'd been able to apologize to my sister.
I try to share this with mamas who ask me how I taught E to read (I didn't), and ask my why their kid isn't reading yet, or defend their firmly held 'delayed academics' approach (I agree!).

There seems to be the sense that families whose children are reading and achieving in an apparently 'more academic' way (as judged by non-unschoolers) are somehow poster families for unschooling.
I wish there was more appreciation and acknowledgement for those kids who are learning in all the other awesome ways too. We know kids who are well on their way to being experts in their chosen fields already (parkour, fiddling, beekeeping, leadership, social justice, cooking, gardening, gaming, etc).

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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#45 of 53 Old 07-18-2014, 11:33 AM
 
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These attitudes are why it bothers me when people, particularly parents of other five-year-olds, mention how smart my son is. And it isn't even skill-based--none of them can read! They're picking up on the fact that he likes to glom onto adults and lecture them on whatever his latest interest is (solar systems and star lifecycles lately) using lots of big words, while the other kids might be off wrestling in the dirt. And though I love my son dearly, being geeky and socially awkward are personality traits that do not actually mean he is smarter than the rest of them, or that what he's learning is any more valuable than all that dirt-wrestling. I suspect he gets just as much useful learning in when he's off playing Frozen with his little sister, or leading us all on berry picking expeditions. Just not the kind that gets commented on.

Likewise, folks assume that of course my family will be OK homeschooling, because my husband and I have advanced degrees in science, but it would never work for ordinary people like them. You know, for kindergarten.
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#46 of 53 Old 07-19-2014, 04:04 PM
 
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moominmamma-- DS is not reading on "grade" level. BUT he was able to do the math in his head. He does know a lot of science and some other things that she asked him. (He did not get every question right.)

I completely know what you are saying. I myself was a late bloomer. I think this is why I homeschool. I do not want my children to be push into something that they are not ready for.

Even if he had gotten zero right I would still homeschool!

ETA- I want to say thank you for your feed back.
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#47 of 53 Old 07-22-2014, 07:41 PM
 
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It was so nice tonight to pop in here and read through the latest posts especially regarding reading. I am feeling pretty down about a short discussion I had with my husband earlier this evening. We were listening to our two sons (6 and 1 1/2 ) playing in the next room over and smiling at the conversation (little guy is actually not truly verbal yet but his noises clearly have meaning to all of us) they were having. I said something like, "aren't they amazing?" My husband replied in the affirmative and then said, "but I think we need to talk about his reading." Thinking he was in jest I scowled at him, snorted, and said "yeah right." However, he was not joking. :-( He said some stupid thing about there being a developmental window for learning to read and that he was going to miss it. He pulled that out of his *ss OR someone recently fed him that crap. Instead of saying that however, I politely said that I would really like to read whatever he was seeing and I would share with him what I have read on the subject. The I mentioned how much he loves to be read to and how he loves to type and write things (lists, books, cards, etc) with us dictating the spelling. He responds with "He doesn't even know the alphabet." Argh!!! I don't know if he can sing the ABC song like many 2 year olds who hear it sung over and over and have no clue what it means but WHO CARES! I got called in to the other room so it got dropped but I was really disappointed. It just goes to show that although he let's me call the shots in regards to their education because he is busy making a living he doesn't TRULY believe in our son's ability to learn what is right for him, when it is right for him. I think I'm just sad because both boys are so amazing and I see the incredible learning unfolding before my eyes minute by minute through the day and my husband is missing it. Guess I have some work to do.

Thanks for giving me a place to vent.
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#48 of 53 Old 07-23-2014, 08:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Healthy momma, glad the thread was helpful. I think it can be really hard for parents who are work-away-from-homers, because their process of deschooling is so much slower than the in-the-trenches parents who are intimate witnesses to the daily evidence for unschooling. I expect he'll come around, but it'll take him longer than you expect. I would just keep sharing with him the flashes of brilliance you see in your kids day to day. Especially the "making connections" stuff that shows how they're putting together ideas in new ways. Even (especially!) if they're overgeneralizing something they've noticed, because it makes it so clear that they're thinking for themselves, defining and doing their own learning. For instance I remember my dd writing "sleeping bag" as "SLEYPEYNBAG." She had figured out that a Y after an E in the word "key" made the long-E sound, so she started applying that rule anytime she wanted the long-E sound. So smart! So wrong, but so smart!

The Forums are a bit of a mess today for most people. Hope they get them fixed soon. The individual threads work fine, but unless you can get to them through a "My Subscriptions" bookmark or another "Recent Threads" link or something, you're out of luck.

I just completed my run-around adventure. I wrote about it here, so I won't bore any of you with the details. But my kids survived my absence, and my husband too. Nobody missed any shifts at work, there were meals cooked and cleaned up from, the house didn't fall down, the laundry and dishes and housecleaning and yard work weren't waiting to be caught up on. Since dh was on call and couldn't do much, I suppose that says a fair bit about my kids pulling together and being responsible. It was only three days, but I know from experience that a household of five can go to pot pretty easily in that little time!

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#49 of 53 Old 07-24-2014, 09:05 AM
 
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Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post
Healthy momma, glad the thread was helpful. I think it can be really hard for parents who are work-away-from-homers, because their process of deschooling is so much slower than the in-the-trenches parents who are intimate witnesses to the daily evidence for unschooling. I expect he'll come around, but it'll take him longer than you expect. I would just keep sharing with him the flashes of brilliance you see in your kids day to day. Especially the "making connections" stuff that shows how they're putting together ideas in new ways. Even (especially!) if they're overgeneralizing something they've noticed, because it makes it so clear that they're thinking for themselves, defining and doing their own learning. For instance I remember my dd writing "sleeping bag" as "SLEYPEYNBAG." She had figured out that a Y after an E in the word "key" made the long-E sound, so she started applying that rule anytime she wanted the long-E sound. So smart! So wrong, but so smart!

The Forums are a bit of a mess today for most people. Hope they get them fixed soon. The individual threads work fine, but unless you can get to them through a "My Subscriptions" bookmark or another "Recent Threads" link or something, you're out of luck.

I just completed my run-around adventure. I wrote about it here, so I won't bore any of you with the details. But my kids survived my absence, and my husband too. Nobody missed any shifts at work, there were meals cooked and cleaned up from, the house didn't fall down, the laundry and dishes and housecleaning and yard work weren't waiting to be caught up on. Since dh was on call and couldn't do much, I suppose that says a fair bit about my kids pulling together and being responsible. It was only three days, but I know from experience that a household of five can go to pot pretty easily in that little time!

Miranda
Thanks for the encouragement Miranda. I'll just keep plugging away at opening his eyes. And I must say it was fun to read your account of your run-around adventure. As a non-runner I sometimes just can't understand what people get out of "extreme" runs but I must say your adventure sounded amazing in so many ways. Glad you had a good time and came back to a smooth running household. I'm looking forward to a few more adventures myself in a couple of years when the littlest is a bit older.
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#50 of 53 Old 07-27-2014, 08:35 PM
 
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I feel like I've been moving into my house for 2 years! Basement is done. Girls spent their first night down their with me on the floor. Tempers are up, the day is hot, upstairs is a chaotic mess but the old bedroom looks very nice for the most part. Slowly, slowly, picking through the detritus (really, a lot of it is recycle or trash).

Our feistiest cockerel started attacking our ankles, so he's in solitary for the rest of his (possibly short) life. Poor guy. We tried. DD9 is really disappointed. But, you know....

I've been going all day cleaning and tidying. We have one solid week before fair and girl scout camp and I want to be DONE. FINALLY in the place where I can grow old and decrepit and die picking blackberries because I wandered off, following the berries, too far and couldn't get back and just.... die... and get picked clean by the ravens before anyone finds me. Sorry. A bit morbid tangent there. I guess I'm saying that I won't be moving any time soon!

Academically, dd7 has been reading through Life of Fred Apples. My brain nearly imploded reading it myself (oops, sorry, more death there) so I'm glad she is enjoying reading it on her own. "Mom! x+3=7!" That took some explaining, but it was a cool discussion. (That's in Apples? Cool!) She's been folding hopping origami frogs like there is no tomorrow. Glad she's feeling so confident. She made a giant one, and taped warts all over it and gave it a mouth and a stomach, and taped a speaker magnet to it and other stuff so she can "find it" with MAGNETISM! The magnet is so heavy, I don't think she can possibly lose it!

The girls have been begging for more cursive words. They do their bedtime "chores" so they can earn 2 instead of just one "word of the day". I laugh because it was Donny Osmond who got me off the floor and in my jammies at 8:30 so I could be back before the commercial break ended. They get cursive words to practice as a reward. Not exactly sure how that got started, but here we are!

Spent one extra night camping at our favorite beach (Kalaloch Beach on the Washington coast, Olympic National Park). Not only did they ace the third night, but they managed in a bit of rain as well, though not nearly as much as we expected and the weather was actually quite nice until we drove home and discovered our house had received an inch of rain. The girls were thrilled about the new Junior Ranger patch offered there. A beautiful "Ocean Steward" patch that dd9 wants sewn on the back of her GS vest, but dd7 tacked to the wall by her new bed.

They are really excited about their new room. They would only be happier if they each had their own room, but honestly I never even thought I'd get them out of my bed (or actually me out of their bed). But I'm sure I'll spend another night on the camping pads rolled up in my sleeping bag.

"Let me see you stripped down to the bone. Let me hear you speaking just for me."
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#51 of 53 Old 07-30-2014, 10:43 AM
 
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File this under "Unschooling Myself":

Just made a banana cheese cake-thing completely from scratch, sans recipe. I was defrosting the big freezer and we just don't need to keep it running for a while. So, using up what doesn't fit into our tiny duel-fuel Servel freezer. Had 6 bananas. Made a mash. Had graham crackers and cream cheese left over from camping. A couple of eggs and some vanilla. Made a cheesecake-y thing that I baked up. Lighter than cheesecake. Too dense to be a cream pie, and a little chunky with banana. Threw in some unsweetened chocolate at the last minute. MMMMMMM! I just need to be more precise with the crumb crust, it got a bit greasy with butter, though there are worse things.

Preceded this with another slam dunk invention. Could not find a campfire peach cobbler recipe, so created my own. Mixed up the dry ingredients at home. Packed butter milk and cold butter (which I melted to add to the batter). Didn't have a dutch oven, covered skillet with foil. It was done except the top, so a use cooking tongs to place a well-charcoaled log or two on top of the skillet for around 8 minutes. I couldn't have improved on it in any way. It was like dumplings, soft and pillowy with a hint of cinnamon, not too sweet, but with chunks of peach in a generous dark brown sugar "goo". Must reproduce this somehow. Fire was better, but I don't spend the time getting a really great cooking fire, so the heat was hit-and-miss and the grate was too high over the fire ring.

Some people base jump, I invent something and throw it on the fire and hope for the best!

"Let me see you stripped down to the bone. Let me hear you speaking just for me."
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#52 of 53 Old 07-30-2014, 11:10 AM
 
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sounds great!

We are into fractions this week. Ds is cutting everything he can get his hands on. "mom look 5/12" Great, thanks for cutting-up the front page of the newspaper. LOL
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#53 of 53 Old 07-30-2014, 03:20 PM
 
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When dd2 was 5yo, she kept asking how old she was, and how close to her birthday she was and I had to answer "5 and seven twelF-TH-S" and getting a kick at how hard that was to say. "5 and eleven twelF-TH-S", etc. Funny. She kept asking every day and I'd have to get more creative.

"Let me see you stripped down to the bone. Let me hear you speaking just for me."
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