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#61 of 161 Old 10-10-2007, 01:20 PM
 
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Those skulls are cool!


Majikfaere - Welcome back!

 Mommy to Emily (16), Cal (12) and Claire Bear (3)
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#62 of 161 Old 10-10-2007, 05:31 PM
 
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UnschoolnMa....congrats on the new kitties!

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#63 of 161 Old 10-10-2007, 06:03 PM
 
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Hi! Jumping in late...haven't been around much lately. I have a poll over in Mindful Home Mngmnt...check it out. We are thinking about "Roadschooling" in an RV. We've been doing tons of research and have read up on some other families on the road. We aren't making a decision until April, so until then, it's life as usual.
We visited a farm this past weekend. Got some pumpkins and gourds. DS road a giant trike, we all sat in a very tall tipi, meandered through many, many rows of growing squash of all kinds. It was exhausting!
The kids have recently become interested in the ballet. DH plays The Nutcracker Suite for them pretty much nightly. Last night they did an entire performance for us...amazingly in unison! Check out my blog for pics. Pretty fun.
On a completely different note, MIL told me she had a dream that she and I bought her favorite house here in town and we opened an "unschool" on the first floor...hmmm, she's definitely supportive, but I'll have to do a bit more explaining, I think.
Happy Autumn!

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#64 of 161 Old 10-10-2007, 06:36 PM
 
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Subbing. Now going back to catch up!
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#65 of 161 Old 10-10-2007, 09:27 PM
 
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UnschoolnMa....congrats on the new kitties!
Thanks so much! They are so incredibly cute and snuggly. Mama is doing a great job and I hope to take a pic soon.

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#66 of 161 Old 10-10-2007, 10:04 PM
 
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<<They are so incredibly cute and snuggly>>

Aw, what color are they? How many did she have?

When I was 12 or so, I got to watch my cat give birth, it was so cool - I took a picture of Mama eating the placenta...lol...my mom was shocked when she saw that picture in the stack :

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#67 of 161 Old 10-10-2007, 10:07 PM
 
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LOVE IT!!!

speaking of
While driving along the highway, DD#2 asked me, "which is bigger, a mile or an acre?"
explanation of distance vs. area ensued and was left with the question we ALL had: How many acres are in a square mile?
"gosh Sagan, (dd) I don't know, and I can't look it up right now, but I bet Grandpa knows, he was raised on a farm."
End of conversation, the question was forgotten... well... by me anyway.
We just had this same conversation with the boys while driving and seeing land for sale signs then trying to visualise what an acre is in the first place! Unfortunately our minoe of all this knowledge was my dad and he isn't with us to ask anymore The internet is here though...

My boys are still in school and we collect ds2 at 3pm. Dd (4yo) comes with me full of zing and often dressed in whatever drama she has been acting out that day and usually feeling bouncy and happy. Too often lately when she sees the children that she used to be in nursery class with she gets upset that they are all cross and spiky at the end of school and in totally different mood to her and she is having trouble not blaming herself.

I don't want to stop collecting ds from school because I want to be ther efor him at the end of his school day but the situation with dd is becoming frustrating. I understand that the 4yos are tired out and need time to de-school at the end of the day and I've tried to explain their need for a sit down with a drink and a muffin when they get home to cheer them up again but she doesn't really get it. We had one friend over after school one day and it was a disaster; seeing her during holidays and at weekends is much better

Do any of you see young schoolchildren regularly? I am valuing the time dd spends at home with me even more now day by day and I'm so glad she can stay happy go lucky all day or most of it at least!

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wow kitties : our children would love a cat but at the mo I'm thinking babies are cheaper
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#68 of 161 Old 10-10-2007, 11:39 PM
 
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<<They are so incredibly cute and snuggly>>

Aw, what color are they? How many did she have?

When I was 12 or so, I got to watch my cat give birth, it was so cool - I took a picture of Mama eating the placenta...lol...my mom was shocked when she saw that picture in the stack :
She had 4 of them. Three are orange like her, but maybe a bit darker...we can't tell yet. Just one of them is a solid black. So sweet! We have no idea what the genders are yet, but I think I spotted some boy business on one of the orange ones while it was nursing.

Yeah, Dd was there with me and we watched the first one come right out after much pushing. Dd had never seen a cat give birth before so she was by turns amazed, concerned, grossed out, and totally happy LOL. The placenta eating was a suprise to her, and that led to me telling her that many human moms do the same...although not the same way exactly. She was wierded out, but that's okay - She's 13.

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#69 of 161 Old 10-11-2007, 09:09 AM
 
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So of course, we've just spent a month camping in a beautiful forest at the Australian Rainbow Gathering, which was fantastic. Such an amazing learning life experience.

and what was really amazing is that 2 different mothers came up to me (both of whom i've never met before) and introduced themselves, saying that they had seen my blog on the internet (I'd posted a link on the rainbow website) and reading it had inspired them to unschooling!!!!! I was so stoked!

Of course, I'll write a nice long post about our adventures, but it might take me a while. meantime, I wanted to share this story DD told around the campfire one night.

She just made it up by herself spontaneously, and I thought its worth repeating...

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#70 of 161 Old 10-11-2007, 04:44 PM
 
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So wonderful to read what everyone is up to -- it offers me so much mental support, knowing my family is not alone in unschooling.

Today was a trip to the garden center. So far this has resulted in an in depth discussion on magnets and polarity (ds bought himself a magnetic halloween light) and research on our new Venus Flytrap! Ds named him Bug, and has fed him his first meal! We also discussed the tropical rainforests, humidity, and countless other things! I love this life!
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#71 of 161 Old 10-11-2007, 08:38 PM
 
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UnSchoolnMa: Orange and Black kittens? HALLOWEEN KITTIES!!! HOW CUTE!!!!
It's just a shame they grow up.

Orangefoot: The only time we really ever see the school age kids are when we happen to be in town while school is letting out.
I often take the opportunity to ask dd if she's SURE she doesn't want to join them... Her answer?
"No way... we have been doing cool stuff all day, and they have to wear backpacks and stand in line for the bus."

She actually feels bad for them.

Different drummer dancing with 3 kids in 3 decades.
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#72 of 161 Old 10-12-2007, 03:40 AM
 
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nice, salt phoenix, I hope one day my DD will be happy not to go to school - lately she's been begging me to send her to boarding school! :

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#73 of 161 Old 10-12-2007, 09:39 AM
 
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i have always done child led learning to a degree(more so now that we unschool)....3 1/2 yrs ago we began homeschooling officially in our state. a year after that, i became pg with the 4th baby, kicked dh out and my oldest son wanted to go to school. he had been asking for months and i said no. well that wasnt really child led learning....so one day after kicking out dh, he said to me "mom you have taught me really really good so now im ready to go out into the big world, let me go to school." He was 7. I cried because i didnt want to do this...but i said, he is craving some new learning ways. let me give him that. I could do this because the school wasnt a big huge school where he'd get lost (100 kids in the entire school)and it was very comparable to a small private school. I didnt like the idea, but he wanted to go, then my 5 yr old wanted to go, so three days later, she enrolled. It was a hard time in my life....but they wanted to go. I never asked...they wanted. Then in January 07 my son had had enough. He had been asking to homeschool in Jan through June. My instinct was to pull him out right then and there. He had 2 years of crying and missing mom and dad....crying if he couldnt find me....he was a "good student" but he had some issues with missing me. the s chools answer? "we know whats best for him and you need to stop volunteering in his classroom and stop volunteering at the school otherwise he will never harden to leaving your side." thats NOT what we wanted. I didnt want to "harden" my son. I wanted to nurture him and let him know I understand and Im there for him. So we all (ds and dd)decided, lets finish what we started and then we will homeschool. School caught wind of this and had a "talk" with me lol MOre of I yessed them to death and im going to do whatever i want anyway. They knew that too because they said to me "You do what you want, but you know our stance on it, the kids NEED socialization, if you pull him out all he will learn is to be less social." i wish i could show them how social he is out of school! He has playdates every other day!!! in school, no one had the time to play after school there were too many activities. its better now we play alot more!!!

So I guess going to school sometimes IS child led learning....if they crave it so much and never stop talking about it like my ds did for months while i was pg....and hopefully, they come back home where I believe they belong lol....and mine came back home happily

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#74 of 161 Old 10-12-2007, 11:18 AM
 
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My daughter Rhiannon (6) rather out of the blue a week ago announced she is certain she wants to try school. The afternoon she first said it we talked quite a bit about it and later I cried and discussed it with my husband. Got some good advice from my homeschooling friends too.

My husband identifies with my daughter, saying they both have a "wanderlust" and that Rhiannon is craving adventure. So I resolved to make our life more exciting, as best as I can as someone who is more of a homebody. We have been sticking close to home for the last year and a half since I've been pregnant and had my son. I find it hard going out with three kids. But I'm learning.

Now, in the week since she announced she wants to go to school, she has barely mentioned it again. But the three or four times she has, she continues to firmly state she intends to go to school. My husband and I agreed to not take action, assuming it's a passing phase. But what if it's not? I'm wondering whether it would be better to try school in first grade or a later grade. I keep finding advantages both ways.

And yes, it isn't being child-led to deny them school if they ask for it. Plus, some kids (like mine) seem to want something more if it is denied them. So I have never said no. I've only talked about the schedule, how we'd no longer be able to participate in our homeschool group activities, and the many inconveniences of school. I actually visited my local school division's website, and that of the school my children would attend, and I was surprised I hadn't even been exaggerating when I told my daughter she'd be gone all day. Plus she'd spend an hour a day on the bus! Ugh! I did tell her she'd have to be on a very different schedule for school; currently her bedtime is around midnight and school has been in session for a couple of hours when she wakes up. She has made some effort to change that, but it's hard.

I think I'm going to continue trying to add more interesting things to our lives and hope that this desire to go to school was only a wake-up call to me, telling me that in my focus on baby care I was neglecting my older kids.

What do you all do when your kids are bored or asking for more to do? I need ideas because like I said I'm a homebody and would be happy reading all day. My daughter was drooling over her Dad's stories of cave exploration last night; she obviously takes after him!

Michele, mom of DD 5/01, DD 11/03, and DS 11/06

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#75 of 161 Old 10-12-2007, 11:20 AM
 
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nice, salt phoenix, I hope one day my DD will be happy not to go to school - lately she's been begging me to send her to boarding school! :
Well, I can't say the same for my first... she will swear to this DAY that she hated homeschooling...She was always a lot more structured. Unschooling did NOT suit her.

Nevermind the fact that when she DID return to public school (her choice), she never went and ended up finishing school on her own... at home... graduating early. :
But she HATED hsing...

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#76 of 161 Old 10-12-2007, 10:55 PM
 
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that's too funny.

I honestly cant imagine my DD being really happy in school. I know I should let her find that out for herself if she really wants to... but still.

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#77 of 161 Old 10-13-2007, 12:40 AM
 
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My Dd (almost 14) has talked about school a time or three, but it's always been in a "sometimes I wonder about it" kind of way. We talk about it and I share my experiences...good and bad. I tell her what I honestly feel: I think she'd be miserable, bored, and resentful of it. She agrees. Her best friend (and other friends) all attend school and she sees the situations and dramaaa that they have to deal with.

Ds hasn't considered school since the day he left!

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#78 of 161 Old 10-14-2007, 11:57 AM
 
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We're not quite unschooling, but I'm reading more about it and doing some experimentations. This is going to sound very structured to most, but please bear with me. On Monday afternoons, we do craft. I've mostly led craft - seasonal crafts like drying apples, ... (we use Enki and I've been using a lot of the craft ideas from there). Anyways, DD#1 has a real interest in making dolls. She's been collecting fabric scraps and would sit in her room making them for hours. So I thought, why lead her in craft? I looked up some doll making websites and found some clothes pin dolls that look very similar to her creations. (She's been rolling the fabric up and then putting on head pieces and clothes on). So I'll pick some clothes pins up today. We don't do computers or tv (she's 7 and she's at the toad and frog reading level). So what else would you have available to her (aside from the fabric, ribbons,..). Perhaps I'm just trying to spin this into something more than it is, but I'm curious what an unschooling mama would do to support a child like mine. Thanks for any suggestions or ideas.
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#79 of 161 Old 10-14-2007, 12:40 PM
 
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out of the 3 kids at home my dd-almost 10 would go to school in a minute. she begged to go and we let her for two years. I just couldn't see how I was allowing my child freedom to learn when I wouldn't allow her to try p.s. I had to bite my tongue more than not for many reasons. She loved it for the most part but I couldn't take the politics,testing,ungodly hours getting up to catch the bus,fundraisers,fundraisers,etc.
I had to prepare her the middle of this last year to be home. We talked/discussed alot over the summer and she could finally see that the *only* reason she liked school was the friends. Period. But,she would go right now if I told her she could.
Now the other two,15 and 8,both boys...you couldn't bribe them to go to school.
I feel I did the right thing letting her go on one hand,but the other side is she liked it more than I thought she would. She is a very traditional child,unlike her radical mama.
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#80 of 161 Old 10-14-2007, 10:52 PM
 
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my dd didnt want to be homeschooled when we made the decision to return to homeschooling. (rather, unschooling). She had a fit...then I told her we would give it a trial run over the summer---it wouldnt be what she was used to doing when we last homeschooled, it would be fun and she would get to pick what she likes to do. instantly, she loved it and if we mention PS, she gets very upset and never wants to return there. She wants to stay home! I am a tiny bit concerned for her though, she really would rather play with her dolls all day--so she does. and occasionally she will pick up a book. but mostly, its dolls. Some art, she does love to draw. i know shes learning through osmosis though lol because she used a big word correctly today: gullible. for a 7 y/o I think thats a darn good word she does pick up on what goes on around her, even though we cannot "see" it right away.

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#81 of 161 Old 10-15-2007, 02:14 AM
 
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Holy cow did we have a busy day here! Apparently today was the day for lots of friends and family to show up. I think in total we had 11 people here in overlapping shifts lol. Dd's aunt showed up and then Dh's brother and his family, and then some out of town friends we hadn't seen in forever, and then some of my family showed up and we went for pizza. Phew! We had fun but we are pooped.

We got an interesting look into public high school life via our friends' girls. They are in 11th and 9th grades. The older girl really enjoys the school environment but she says there is a lot of pressure at her grade to pass the state tests and get excellent grades as well as to participate in extracurricular clubs and groups. She likes it, but she seems stretched a bit thin. The other girl cannot stand school and is pondering getting out. They think my kids have it so good. And they are right!

Tonight it's munchies (had the late dinner), new Simpsons and King of the Hill etc, and some downnnn time.

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#82 of 161 Old 10-15-2007, 03:37 AM
 
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Holy cow did we have a busy day here! Apparently today was the day for lots of friends and family to show up. I think in total we had 11 people here in overlapping shifts lol. Dd's aunt showed up and then Dh's brother and his family, and then some out of town friends we hadn't seen in forever, and then some of my family showed up and we went for pizza. Phew! We had fun but we are pooped.

We got an interesting look into public high school life via our friends' girls. They are in 11th and 9th grades. The older girl really enjoys the school environment but she says there is a lot of pressure at her grade to pass the state tests and get excellent grades as well as to participate in extracurricular clubs and groups. She likes it, but she seems stretched a bit thin. The other girl cannot stand school and is pondering getting out. They think my kids have it so good. And they are right!

Tonight it's munchies (had the late dinner), new Simpsons and King of the Hill etc, and some downnnn time.
wow, we're lucky if we get one visitor in 11 days, let alone 11 in one day!!!

DP is overseas on business for 2 weeks, so its just me and DD :
we did a big clean up of the house today and a lot of work in the garden.
DD started our first flower patch; so far we only have veggies. and I did a lot of weeding and tidying.

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#83 of 161 Old 10-15-2007, 04:06 AM
 
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oh I just posted and the post monster gobbled it

anyway, I was just saying that I finally blogged about our rainbow adventures

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#84 of 161 Old 10-15-2007, 04:35 PM
 
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Yeah, that many visitors usually comes only with a party or something. This was just random and odd lol. Great to see some faces we hadn't seen in awhile though. Right now I am hoping to see no faces for at least 24 hours! (Well, other than the kids' that is...) We are pretty homebody-ish. Especially Ds and I. Dd is the more social one, but she's trying to get over a cold so she's even been a little turned in lately.

I loved your pictures of the gathering! How fun. I love camping, but I admit to liking having a shower nearby. That creek you had looked amazing though.

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#85 of 161 Old 10-15-2007, 10:30 PM
 
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Take a long roll of poly-pipe. put one end with a scoop into the creek, upstream (you need to be far enough upstream to get a gravity feed). Alternatively you can fill a tank at a higher level.
run the polypipe down to your shower area.
cut off about 10-20 metres of the end of the pipe, and attatch the end to a copper coil. attatch the cut-off end onto the other end of the copper coil. (copper coil is a coil of copper plumbing pipe). Attatch a shower fitting on the end of the pipe and hang over a branch or construct something to hang it from.

at this point, if its all connected properly, water should run through the length of the pipe and come out of the shower.

Build a fire under the copper coil. this should really quickly heat the water so you get piping hot showers.
(make sure the ends of the copper coil with the polypipe fitted on arent in the fire.)
it might take a little practice to get the heat of the fire just right, but in general, it works really well

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#86 of 161 Old 10-16-2007, 11:52 AM
 
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haha that's a pretty sweet shower setup! We use solar showers when we go out... a lot of time in the desert, and no running water... solar tanks it is! one NEEDS a shower!!!

We are off to a corn maze for "homeschool day" today... Sagan is pretty excited. I am not so excited.
I've prepared her for the worst: not fitting in or being accepted by local hsers. But also told her it would be fun to check out the corn maze with her, no matter who was there.

As far as non-acceptance w/local hsers: It's a high possibility. We moved to an EXTREMELY rural area, where in my limited experience, the local hsers are VERY religious (local predominant religion) which I am NOT of the same religion... This matters little to ME, as I like to look to the things we have IN COMMON, unfortunately, this isn't usually the case for others, in the smaller towns. They aren't usually of the unschool persuasion either, so we don't fit in hardly at all.
Oh well...
The UP SIDE is... there will be a Halloween Carnival in the city an hour away from us for the hsers on halloween, which will be MUCH more diverse. She will enjoy that very much.

Different drummer dancing with 3 kids in 3 decades.
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#87 of 161 Old 10-16-2007, 03:16 PM
 
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We run into that occasionally with local hsers....alot of them dont understand what unschooling is or what we do/dont do. they are not giving us a hard time at all, but they kindly suggest resources that we arent going to use. Which is totally fine...but I thought when I saId unschooling they'd get it lol. but they dont, I guess they think its just like homeschooling. Some of them dont understand my son, which is why we are not doing the PS thing (among MANY other reasons)...they want him to join these groups of many kids, he just doesnt fare well in large groups. He cries and hangs onto me, and kids his age (9) call him a baby and say "Why are you being such a baby?" he doesnt get bothered by it, but I do. One of his best friends said this a while ago, and I didnt know what to say so I just said that Jared is just sensitive thats all. We much rather be on our own adventures....of course we love the homeschool swim time in our recreation center....but many other things, we just dont do, they either arent interested, or it just doesnt fit into our life (lol i was going to say plan, but we have no plan! )

So today we baked a pumpkin pie from scratch, ilke we do every year to kick off the 'new year' for us. We celebrate the harvest as our new year and what a great way to start with yummy pumpkin pie baking in the oven! they had alot of fun...they were so excited to see a regular sugar pumpkin turn into a pie step by step. when we had baked and scraped our pumpkin clean, I grabbed the handful of pumpkin skin and said "say thanks to the pumpkin kids" lol...they grabbed it and said, lets give it back to the Earth to say thanks because Earth gave us a pumpkin! so both my older kids grabbed handfuls and chucked them outside! they looked at the pumpkin before they did that and declared it deflated. So the pie was done, we ate it and it was good!

Now they are listening to books on tape. They like the Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe. Then my older dd will teach my youngest dds some sign language. Hope all is well with everyone here!

Mamma to my four wonderful, amazing and unique children~~Wife to my true soulmate who sees things the way I do, together we are truly a team!
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#88 of 161 Old 10-16-2007, 04:00 PM
 
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We met our local-ish group today at the outdoor adventure playground and ended up getting very wet! They are mostly un-schoolers too which is a real relief.

When I first went to the group I asked them what they did every day (only because I wanted to find places to take a 4yo when everyone else is in nursery class) and they all said er...nothing really. I have yet to hear anyone there mention the words curriculum or resource or worksheet.

I'm hoping to find a pumpkin or squash in my veg box delivery this week but I have no idea how to make pumpkn pie so we will be making spicy chunky soup or the orangest cake my children have ever seen which we have been waiting to eat again since last pumkin season.
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#89 of 161 Old 10-16-2007, 04:52 PM
 
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Not fitting in can be so tough. Maybe more on the mamas than the kids sometimes. I hope the pumpkin patch is fun though!

Pumpkin pie is really easy actually... if you google something like "easy pumpkin pie recipe" you should get some really good ones that are yummy. It's generally, pumpkin eggs sugar evaporated milk and cinnamon or something like that.

The rain has found us this week I think. I woke up to it pouring and I love that sound! Dd ran downstairs and turned on the coffee and space heater, and now it's finally getting warmer in here.

"The true measure of a man is how he treats a man who can do him absolutely no good."
peace.gif  Embrace the learning that is happening within the things that are actually happening!    
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#90 of 161 Old 10-16-2007, 05:16 PM
 
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The vet visited today. Our vet does only house calls! Very cool when you have many pets!

He let the kids look into the ear scope to see the ear mites in our new kittens ear. He also let them use the stethescope. He's a great vet and is so patient with the kids asking him questions, he even examined my dd's racoon skull and labled some of the parts for her And he gave us info on a dog's heat cycle, the genetics of our calico cat and much more! It was wonderful.

Re: Living rural and fitting in: Just wanted to add this. I live very rurally also and have found there to be alot of unschoolers and relaxed homeschoolers in 4H. A couple of my friends unschool too and they are both superintendents of clubs and also on the 4H board. It's been a great way for me to hook up with other unschoolers.

 Mommy to Emily (16), Cal (12) and Claire Bear (3)
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