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SweetSilver 08-02-2014 09:18 AM

August 2014 Unschooling Thread
Pinched from July:


Anything goes here, but how about a few day-in-the-life posts? We haven't done much of that recently. Just tell us about the details of a random day, warts and all.


SweetSilver 08-02-2014 09:38 AM

There is no ordinary day this time of the year. Fair starts next week, the garden is bursting, the air is crackling like no other time except Christmas.

But I'll do my best to start today off.

The girls and I slept in until 8am. Fido, our sebright cockerel, woke us up with his crowing. My brilliant idea to put his solitary confinement pen on te other side of the house was a fine idea, except the girls moved into our now-finished basement on the other side of the house, and now he's waking us up on that side :duh Doh!

DD7 woke dd9 up by launching on her bed, screaming something that they apparently agreed upon at some point. Not sure if dd9 thoroughly appreciated being launched like a human cannonball out of a deep sleep, but she didn't complain.

Onto the couch. Breakfast orders. Gilligan's Island. I'm on my screen. I let out the various chickens into their complicated arrangement. Pass out food, since we have to avoid feeding the possums. We talk about fair birds. Tomorrow is chicken bathing, almost better than fair and one of the most anticipated days of the year. Somehow we managed to enter 6 chickens this year. We talk about entering a dozen mixed eggs (which I regret because it means I need to drop them off on Sunday and that's an extra trip to the fairgrounds but oh well....)

Chickens out in the garden. We rally to tuck them back in. The girls try to go off downstairs to their new room to play, but the effort tanks and they are screaming at each other (dd7 does most of it) and they are back upstairs, teary-eyed and dd9 starts issuing commands like she always does when she is upset.

We settle on the couch with more TV this time trying out the old Little House pilot movie. Wow. This movie aired when I had just turned 5 and was so influential to me. Wow. I grew up in the wake of the hippie era, and back-to-the-land became a marketing ploy-- Little House, Wilderness Family. I had a set of dolls called the "Sunshine Family" and the mother had a prairie-style dress and they came with instructions on how to make things for the family, like a strawberry basket crib from those old green plastic baskets. This movie was like the pebble that started an avalanche.

And that's where we are now. I suspect the day will be better, but it might be a grumpy day. I'm going to close the windows against this heat we've been having and sip my coffee on the couch with the girls.

Nazsmum 08-02-2014 09:58 AM

August :surf

Mazamet 08-02-2014 06:41 PM

Yesterday we had a stay-at-home day, which translated into me being busy helping DS6 make a 'school table' out of wood that he had gotten from a friend of mine. His design is cool and we painted it gamboge yellow. Now we need to find a place for it in our small little house. I'm sure we did many more things yesterday, but I am drawing a blank.

Today, we did a lot of errands. We drove across town to water the garden of a friend of mine who is out of town. Then we went to help a friend move some things to the Sally Anne. We took some of the craft stuff that she was going to donate. After having eaten lunch at home (a rather uninspired sourdough bread with olive oil-balsamic vinegar dip with tomatoes on the side), we drove to another city to pick up a toy for DS that we saw advertised on craigslist. We were going to combine this errand with a hike. Now on the way to the hiking area, DS discovered that the toy was incomplete! Ridiculous. We could not find parking near the hiking site, so we drove back to the seller and asked for our money back. It turns out that she knew that the toy was incomplete, but had omitted to tell us this. I was not impressed and DS and I had a talk about that while driving away from her house.

I always saw this park while driving this road, but had never stopped. Since our hike idea didn't pan out, I decided to stop there. And...we found such a nice river to swim in. It was absolutely fantastic. We may go back there tomorrow.

zebra15 08-04-2014 12:19 PM

Taking a few lazy days as we can. I have a full blown teenager who is functioning on a noon -midnight schedule these days ;)

I might make a trip to the library to return some things DS has read over the weekend- simply to get the stuff out of the house.
I have an appointment this evening and DS has swimteam

Tomorrow is OT for writing and some errands but nothing much exciting for the next couple weeks.

moominmamma 08-04-2014 09:19 PM

14 Attachment(s)
Suzuki institute this week ... barely time to breathe. Fiona is having a great time, but so much music, so much socializing, so many performances ... total immersion.


Angelorum 08-06-2014 04:51 PM


My oldest just turned 5. We are not sending him to Kindergarten, or buying any curriculum, or really planning on doing anything very different from this past year. Can we play here? :D

SweetSilver 08-06-2014 05:38 PM


Originally Posted by Angelorum (Post 17896778)

My oldest just turned 5. We are not sending him to Kindergarten, or buying any curriculum, or really planning on doing anything very different from this past year. Can we play here? :D

Welcome to our little corner of MDC!

mckittre 08-06-2014 11:22 PM

I feel like I've spent the entire summer either backpacking/camping/hiking with my kids, or not seeing them at all. With 2 grandmas and an aunt living here and an endless parade of guests coming through our compound, I hardly know where they are a lot of the time. The three year old has finally turned into an independent hiker this summer and it's been awesome not to have to carry her. We got up to an amazing local mountain the other day for the first time since the road washed out a few years back, now that she can hike the 6 miles in. The 5 year old has mostly been busy picking berries lately--there are just so many of them ripe right now, literally surrounding us in all directions.

Close friends already know (as does anyone who's asked me directly), but I'm a little leery of whether folks here will be unhappy with me in a couple weeks when school starts and it becomes obvious that my son is not going. There are so few kids here, and people are always fretting about the shrinking school population, loss of funding, loss of teachers, etc...

SweetSilver 08-07-2014 06:57 AM

Wow! 6 miles? That's not all in one day, is it? My girls are still working up to 1 mile hikes. It's not their stamina for moving as much as their stamina for leaving behind all the cool places they want to play in! (And they are very stubborn.....)

Nazsmum 08-07-2014 12:21 PM

mckittre-- Mothering Mag had an article about a Prek or K that was completely outside in the forrest. I think it was in Germany? You remind me of that school....Oh! I miss Mothering mag:frown:

My kids- are playing in the park. Working on fractions. What are they going to cut-up next?? :lol Today my poster of Jim Henson almost became a fraction. (priceless to me)

As we rode to Sesame Place we watch the miles that we traveled. How long is a on. (we had a ton of fun)

moominmamma 08-07-2014 04:14 PM

14 Attachment(s)
This week and last have shown me how much responsibility Fiona is capable of handling. I've realized that she's often as good as me and sometimes better at taking responsibility for organizational details. Not just household and personal organizational details either: stuff for our Suzuki summer program. Things like phone messages and emails and keeping track of caches of cash for the book of raffle tickets and master keys for the school and the community hall and so on. She is my go-to back-up person quite often! And she really loves being in the thick of things organizationally so it works for both of us. But what an education!


mckittre 08-07-2014 07:10 PM

Miranda -- I wish I was that good at taking care of organizational details (and I'm way older than 11). I'm lucky if I remember to check phone messages every week or two.

Sweetsilver -- Checked the map, and it was maybe closer to 5 miles in one day (then 3 the next as a day hike, then 5 again on the way back down). I think she's done 6 in a day before, but that was probably a record. There was a 2.5 yr old with us who had to do almost the whole downhill 5, since his mom had to carry her pack. It was a long day for my daughter, but not that far outside of the norm. She had no trouble hiking again the day after, a couple miles. Many of the preschoolers in town regularly hike 1-3 miles with us every Friday (less distance in winter), and have for around two years. We give them lots of time to play, but do also work to keep them moving between the play spots. They get used to it, and seem to have fun, so I don't feel too evil pushing them a bit. I find a longer milage day is more possible backpacking, since there's so much additional time to play at the campsite, and you can start earlier/end later to have more time in the middle.

Today we went paddling with my aunt and uncle who are visiting, looking at eggs on the eelgrass and watching minnows in the slough. Tonight we're making homemade berry ice cream in a new ice cream maker. Then we do our weekly hike, say goodbye to my mom, and head out for another 3 days camping. Busy busy!

Angelorum 08-07-2014 07:56 PM

Wow, all that hiking sounds great. I wish I knew some good hiking spots around here.

We went to a free clothing exchange thing this morning and spent the rest of the day just chilling around the house. DS5 is way into the new legos he got for his birthday, and he just built a "story-picture maker" out of a play kitchen pot, a wooden squid, my old high school ID card, and a ton of rubber bands :lol.

I brought my almost-2yo on a quick trip to the grocery store with me this afternoon. For the first time I let him walk in the store instead of putting him in a cart, he had a great time being my little helper by carrying things, and insisted on carrying one of the full bags to the car, even though it was so heavy for him he could barely get it off the ground with both arms. It was easier for him once I took the grapes out of his bag.

SweetSilver 08-09-2014 08:40 PM

I am so tired, but popping in to crow a proud mamma crow for my dd9's first year as a 4-H Junior. Her first year and she won Grand Champion for Fitting and Showing in chickens (entrants are judged, not the birds) against a lineup of 3rd year Juniors on their way to Intermediates. You can imagine how surprised and thrilled she was. She also won 1st prize for the Junior judging competition, and her 3 birds won blue ribbons (Danish judging system). Now she's doing Round Robin tomorrow with other champions, and she gets to show a goat, a rabbit, a guinea pig (cavy), a cat and of course a chicken. She spent a better part of the day running down people to teach her how to show those animals.

And... the time I had planned to spend packing for our GS camp Monday morning is now shot and I have to set my alarm for tomorrow morning to pack now.

I am soooooooo tired..........

Nazsmum 08-10-2014 04:54 AM

Way to go :joy:thumb !!! SweetSliver that is so great.

3lilchunklins 08-11-2014 10:00 AM

I just wanted to drop by and say "Hello!" and join up with you ladies. Were starting unschooling this year. I'm a total nube and have zero clue what to do or expect so hoping to gain some wisdom here.

Nazsmum 08-11-2014 01:54 PM

Hey Chunk!!! Nice to see you here.

Mazamet 08-11-2014 07:05 PM

Our days are still filled with outdoorsy things, in an urban setting. We have cleaned out our garage. DS6 loves this! The treasures we find are amazing. And we will be doing some jewelry making with the materials we found.
We're getting a lot of fruit from neighbors now and we were canning all afternoon today. DH finished the canning actually while I took DS out for a swim at the pool. He is doing so great with swimming now. I have discovered that he does not like the fancy pools with the spout features and the gazillion kids. He likes straight old pools where he does not have to deal with so many distractions. I took him to a small festival yesterday and that was great too...and the day before we went to a more local festival. There were lots of activities for kids and I discovered that he can actually color in between the lines, something I was wondering about.
We're doing a little schoolbook practising. Most of his learning is still verbal, though. It's hot out and we're enjoying every minute of it.

moominmamma 08-11-2014 07:47 PM

14 Attachment(s)
Funny moment from last week's music camp. Fiona is in a class with the 16 most advanced violinists and violists, and she notices that one of the ensemble pieces they're playing has a marking in it for 'forte' (loud, denoted with the typical music-symbol curlicue f) next to a marking reminding students to play with a spiccato, bouncing, off-the-string bowstroke. Earlier in the piece this had been marked "off string," but in this section it's shortened to "off."

Fiona, the youngest member of the class, points this out to her standpartner, and they both start giggling. The teacher, a long-time family friend of ours, very fond of my kids, asks what's up. Fiona is clearly at a loss for words, but after a moment she says "I'm just sayin' ... in bar 72 my music says to F off."

The whole group of teens sees it and cracks up. The teacher also spots it and starts laughing her head off, but then sees that some of the parents who are in the room watching the class are doing a really good job of pretending they disapprove. She stifles her laughter and bumbles around for a minute or two trying to regain control of herself and the class. She's been teaching for almost thirty years, and later confides that she's never been so stymied for an appropriate reaction.

All week the teacher keeps reliving the moment with me and the other faculty, laughing over the moment when Fiona said F off.

Here's the music:


It's easy to spot if you know it's there, but to a musician that 'f' means loud and that changes perceptions. No one else noticed.


Angelorum 08-12-2014 08:56 PM

Too funny, Miranda. I miss those shared jokes that come from rehearsing for hours with other people.

Lots of writing and copying of letters happening here lately, and it has me wondering what the reasons are behind teaching children specific procedures for producing each letter (always start at the top of the letter, with this stroke, etc). I remember teachers hounding kids about that kind of thing when I was little, and I can't really come up with a good reason why they should have. DS will occasionally do some really weird inefficient things to make a letter (like drawing a capital B in two separate little D's). I think he'll eventually catch on that there are faster ways to draw a B, but does it really matter if he forms his O's from the bottom instead of the top?

moominmamma 08-13-2014 08:18 AM

14 Attachment(s)
We're starting to discuss the ideas and interests that will make up Fiona's learning plan for the umbrella program we're part of (a public-district-based DL program in BC, Canada). Actually, while we've been quite committed to the DL program for several years, I would say that at this point we're provisionally enrolled with it. The principal of the program is also hired as the teacher of it this year, which is an all-your-eggs-in-one-basket situation to us. If she turns out to be difficult to deal with we won't have anyone to buffer the situation. She's not only new to us and new to our area but she has no experience with such programs. She may, like her predecessors, turn out to be wonderful, but it's very much an open question at this point.

At least the school strike won't affect how long it will take to find out. As a principal, her teaching duties don't fall under the teacher's union. We have until September 30th to make a quick-and-easy decision about where and whether to enrol, and since the teachers' strike is ongoing, that deadline might come before unionized teachers have a chance to really dig into the school year. The funding available to DL students for purchase of materials and services has dropped by more than 50% this year, so if we decide the new person is not willing to provide enough added support and opportunity, we'll either change to a different DL program or revert to being registered homeschoolers, a designation that comes with no funding but no accountability either.

Anyway, on the assumption that our DL program will continue to be worthwhile to us, we're starting to talk about the plan we'll provide. We tend to think of this as a general description of how Fiona's learning normally proceeds, with a few of her wish-list items added in for things she really wants to learn about. We're not held accountable by the plan, and we are free to revise it as the year goes on. But it's a useful exercise to go through in terms of deciding how we might allocate and structure our time and energy to accomplish what she wants.

This year we expect to be living half the week in a city of 10,000, about 90 minutes from home. There we'll have access to dance, gymnastics, choir, a swimming pool and a library. We can also get violin lessons there. So it's not surprising that Fiona's list of things she wants to do and learn is full to bursting with the "extra-curricular" type activities that have been so difficult for us to access logistically in the past.
  • gymnastics (2.5 hours, on the wait-list for another 2.5 hour class)
  • Ballet level 6
  • Int. ballet technique class
  • Hip-hop
  • Children's choir
  • Violin lesson
  • Occasional private swim lessons, supplemented by weekly free swims

Back in the "old days" I sort of figured that at-home music plus one or maybe two out-of-home activities was sufficient for my kids. On the surface this looks like an insane list to me, especially because other things will probably get added to it (skiing? tech club Mondays? string quartet?). But ... Fiona is developmentally no longer really interested in play, is very much a socially-motivated learner and has become a de facto only child. Add to this the fact that she has a pent-up long-standing desire to try out activities that haven't been available to her in our tiny home-town.

Other, personal interests... we haven't really got to planning much there. She's thinking about learning some French via DuoLingo, continuing with her (recently much neglected) math book learning, and teaching herself piano. She loves anything John Green talks about, so his social studies stuff will likely inspire a lot of learning and discussion. Right now she's keen on violin, and is wanting to fill in some of the gaps in her Suzuki Book 7 and 8 repertoire learning before carrying on with any more after-Suzuki repertoire.

We're experiencing a bit of post-music-camp recovery time. It was an amazing experience, but exhausting for all of us. Over the next 2-3 weeks we'll be sending her three siblings away to school and life will change a lot. Transitions....


SweetSilver 08-15-2014 09:37 PM

Sigh... back home after two crazy weeks. County fair, with dd9 bringing home some hefty first-Junior-year 4-H awards and GS camp. Having that camp the day after was a baaaaaad idea. Fair for Junior becomes more and more time consuming and we found we simply didn't have any time to prepare for a subsequent week of camping. No time to relax at home before diving into camping and gs camp. Forgot my flashlight and can opener-- that kind of bad planning. Lived off chili dogs for 5 days. Rained 1.5 inches and flooded my car's interior *one week* before my appointment to replace the windshield gasket (couldn't replace before hand because the car stayed with the girls everyday at fair in the exact opposite direction). Hurray. The sterling engine atop a piece of moldy mouse condominium. Great.

Wishing we could have some solid time at home, but looking forward to at least a weekend.

moominmamma 08-15-2014 10:27 PM

14 Attachment(s)
:( I had a leaky car once. So gross. Giant seat sponges.... no fun.

Fiona is spending some serious bonding time with her siblings while they're all here for the next two weeks. Her social compass is largely pointed at her siblings: sometimes it's lovely and endearing, and sometimes it's downright scary, since they're older and jaded and full of dry wit and sarcasm. Lately she's been playing Rummy Roots with her biggest sister, playing Half Life 2 with her brother, and watching horror and suspense films with her middle sister. There's lots of banter, silly photos, good-natured teasing and wacky eccentricity. She increasingly holds her own, even with her brother, who used to be a master of derisive comments but for the past few months has really been enjoying her company and sharing his interests with her.

She's also got pretty good mastery social media, and can churn out hipster-sounding status updates. Here's what she wrote the other day after watching "The Mist," based on a Stephen King novella:

Stephen King, why you do this to me? You give me feels I don't have any idea what to do with, then when I'm like "ok whatevs I'll adopt these feels and love them and put them into a good school and stuff" you take them away and go all "I'm gonna turn these feels into demon anger feels, then give them back to you". wtf dude. #themist #worstendingever#bestendingever #idontevenknow

She sure sounds like a teenager, doesn't she?


mckittre 08-17-2014 10:37 AM

Miranda -- enough like a teenager that I don't understand her. :)

SweetSilver -- most of the cars that end up out in our tiny (not connected to the road system) town have more than a few quirks. My MIL had a for at least a year, and I had to try and to scooch over onto the part of the seat I wouldn't get dripped on every time I rode with her. No fun.

My kids decided to have an academic moment in the garden the other day. 3yo was trying to sound out words on a electric conduit pipe, then started asking math questions and answering them herself (2+1, 3+1, etc...). Then she asked "What's 3+4?", which she couldn't answer. 5yo brother heard from where he was playing in the puddle, rushed up saying "I know, let me help you!" Of course he knows and I expected him to blurt out 7. Instead, he walked up to his sister and said "3+4? Well, 3+3 is 6, and 4 is one more, so 6+1 is the same math as 3+4. That's easier. What's 6+1?" When she still looked a little lost, he prompted her again "What's one more than 6?" She suddenly blurts out "7!" and they both look very pleased with themselves. I was very impressed with how he decided to transform the problem so his little sister would succeed, rather than just show off how much more he knows.

He's been in a very helpful phase in general lately. Walking with his sister to the outhouse when it's dark and she's scared, helping a friend scramble down a tricky boulder, etc...

Mazamet 08-18-2014 06:49 PM

It's blackberry season now, so we have been going out to pick them. The first time DS6 was not into it. He was scared of the forest and the spiders, but in the end I got a good haul anyway. The second time, we went to a different spot. It was beautiful there and he had a good time. He showed me where a good patch was. We watched birds and listened to them. And then he got really happy helping. He even volunteered that he can tell which are the really ripe berries. Today we went picking again and this time we were near a river. He met a man who helped him search for four leafed clover and they found three! At home, we are canning like crazy. I am so happy to be doing this!
As we are driving to spots where the berries are good and not too polluted, DS is practicing his reading. He now recognizes all car brands and street signs. He (unfortunately) now also knows what the yellow signed 'Mango' restaurant is really called (McDonalds). Summer continues and we are happy about that.

moominmamma 08-18-2014 08:26 PM

14 Attachment(s)
Further to the learning plan, in the realm of self-directed learning... today Fiona and I had our lunch date where we worked on the Learning Plan we'll submit to the homeschool umbrella program (called a DL or Distributed Learning program here) that we've been enrolled with for a few years. Being part of this program allows us to access some funding for services and resources. And it smooths the way when we approach the local bricks-and-mortar school asking for favours, because our DL enrolment generates funding for the school district.

Architecture. Wants to watch documentaries and try out Google Sketchup software. Will continue to explore architectural design and design in general through blogs, articles and ezines.

Math. Would like to complete the textbook she's been working through since mid-spring, and then likely move on to the next in the series. Really enjoys this as a "chill" activity. Will also continue to follow Vi Hart videos and possibly to use Khan Academy.

History, social studies, politics, etc.. Would like to stay more abreast of world events, likely by watching the news and reading on-line. Enjoys John Green videos but would also like the chance to discuss politics and ethics in a group environment. May ask the social studies teacher if she can attend his class on a casual basis for same. (He's amazing; my older kids rave about his ability to inspire interest and critical thinking and good debate skills.)

Creative pursuits. May be able to take advantage of the youth centre's after school art classes, depending on timing, and would enjoy this. Would like to work on her drawing / sketching / lettering skills (to help with architectural drawing skills). Dance: ballet and hip-hop classes. Would like to self-teach (re-teach) piano skills. Will continue violin lessons. Plans to join youth choir.

Dislikes the science textbooks she's been offered at the school, but when we pulled their Chem 10 book out as a resource when she was asking questions she really liked the look of that. The level of challenge needs to be high enough to interest her, so we may look to keeping the high school texts and workbooks available if her interest moves that way. Generally speaking she likes the "curriculum of serendipity" for science, but feels that she would like some systematic materials on hand especially for the physical sciences.

Has some vague interest in learning French. Might try out the DuoLingo app.

Reads copiously for pleasure, a big change from this time last year.

Takes a real interest in films and dramatic TV series. She's always interested in the relationship between films and the novels they originated from. Enjoys tracing back movies to the sources they are derivatives of -- historical events, earlier films, novels, styles, etc.. She does a lot of re-reading and comparing books and movies. She's taken big jags into social commentary documentaries, horror/suspense films, classic cinema and various writers' or directors' bodies of work.

She says she actually enjoys writing but not when it's done "to task" for the purpose of submitting something for evaluation. We talked about our liaison teacher's interest in receiving occasional writing samples. She understands better now that it's just to help him create a record of the fact that she can write in case anyone ever questioned the DL program's value and procedures. It's not that he wants to secretly judge it. (We did not submit writing samples last year and there was no real pressure to comply, but we know it would be preferred.) She would enjoy participating in the local high school's on-line book club discussions if those take place this year. Otherwise, she is hoping to do bits of fiction writing for pleasure and to communicate with her summer music friends, and will be happy to copy & paste bits of this writing into a separate file as she goes along. We talked about the biggest determinant of good, clear writing being good, clear thinking, and how I am confident that her current path is making her a great writer even if she doesn't strew that path with the kind of exuberant paper trail schools are used to seeing.

Physical activity and health ... we've got that pretty well-covered by way of her interests in dance, gymnastics, swimming, snowboarding, hiking, yoga, cooking and meal-planning and such. Because she'll have gymnastics only once a week, she plans to keep up a program of stretching and conditioning at home.


We pulled together these ideas based on her interests and the loose headings ("Wellness," "Language arts and communication") that our umbrella program asks us to use for our learning plan. She's not naive to what school subjects are and how they're organized being well-versed in her older siblings' school courses, and she is an organizer and categorizer by nature, so she does naturally tend to break things down by subject area. So if it all sounds fairly schoolish written down like this, that's partly the result of being the youngest sibling of a bunch of kids who go to school and partly the result of her temperament and academically-inclined nature. At any rate, I doubt I'll have to do much tweaking before submitting it and getting the okay from this year's liaison teacher.

And if for some reason we don't get the okay, we'll leave the program :)


happyhats 08-18-2014 09:19 PM

Well. Dd would be a kindergartener. Instead Im officially an unschooling mom. I do strew occasionally, but mostly our days are full of computer games, questions, lots of drawings on our chalkboard table, and of course lots of playtime with her younger brother. We do some kind of outing at least twice a month just because its fun to explore our world. Last week it was free day at a childrens museum, this weekend were picking apples. Im always questioning myself, lol, and working on the patience needed in the day to day stuff of being a sahm of two young kids. Overall though this feels natural and right.

SweetSilver 08-21-2014 10:56 AM

Reminding me that I need to file dd9's declaration and order her checklist. She's choosing a checklist (in lieu of an evaluation) over the test like last year, and I'm eager to see what it's like as well. One more thing in a long list of Things to Do.

This morning we finished watching Apple Dumpling Gang, which they thoroughly enjoyed, and they indulged me in watching A Hard Day's Night, an interesting cultural introduction, as well as a glimpse of some very dry British-style humor. "Coppers are villains--the lot of 'em!" "Care for a cup of tea?" "See?" I enjoyed seeing this movie for the 3rd time and catching some bits that slipped by me, like John Lennon "snorting Coke" on the train behind the action. The girls caught the later connections to some of their favorite videos from the '60s-- the vultures in Jungle Book speaking in Liverpuddlian accents and sporting mop tops, and Gilligan singing "Yeah, yeah, yeah!" and otherwise the entire episode with the band that lands on the island. I simply enjoyed the movie: not exactly a documentary, but in some ways very much so. The extras with the kids were staged, but not the raw emotion they expressed. All in all, a very stylish film. Crazy to look back on that as a window to 50 years ago, and yet, being *The Beatles*, still very much relevant today. But they loved Paul's grandfather the best and all the ruckus he creates in the film.

mckittre 08-21-2014 11:22 PM

Miranda -- It's interesting to read about the distance learning program. We have something similar here, but reading through the handbook sent me running in fear of bureaucracy. Nice to know it's at least possible for that sort of supervision to work smoothly, if we were ever to need the cash.

This is our first week of officially doing nothing at all different from last week. As in, not showing up for kindergarten. And it is completely unremarkable for the 5yo, who doesn't much care that other kids are in school and has only a vague concept of what that would even mean. Much bigger deal for us parents--forcing us to have homeschooling conversations with what seems like half the town, since it's hard to escape that "so, he's starting kindergarten this year.." or the obvious fact that he's still out and about in the middle of the day.

I feel perfectly satisfied (except for a bit annoyed at the more vehement homeschool-bashers in town). The weather's beautiful, our days are awesome and full of learning, and I can't imagine what problem we even have that we'd solve by sending him to the school. My husband is feeling a bit more jittery. I had to talk him down last night from the idea that maybe we need to have some sort of structured learning time, or sit down with the kid and have a long conversation about what the kids are doing in school and how that connects to what he's doing... We don't need to give the kid our own baggage. Or solve all possible issues that may come up between now and high school graduation in the first month of kindergarten. (seriously, why do so many people start off by asking me about college admissions?) I hated to do this, since I don't think it's important, but I did reassure my husband that the kid's probably got many of the public kinder requirements covered. And they probably don't even have astrophysics on the kindergarten standards list.

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