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Old 11-09-2007, 08:32 PM
 
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My ds is 13 and loves xbox live....he plays it alot....some says i have to pull him away from it. But it's fun and he has friends from all over the world. It's cool to hear the kids talking back and forth with accents. Lots of different culture's going on. Sound educating to me.

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Old 11-09-2007, 08:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by doulajewla View Post
Yeah we have to show documentation...the state likes to get examples of their progress through the year. which is frustrating on its own. I want to just not get any services for my son, though its hard.

while I dont have to show anything to anyone, from what I've heard, its really not too hard to document what kids are doing.
Start with keeping a journal of what you do each day. I think it can be simple, just be creative with it. take photos of their artwork, museum trips,etc. everytime they write something, make copies, etc.
You dont need to spend money for a curriculum.

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Old 11-09-2007, 09:03 PM
 
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Just thought I would share with you something that drives us all nuts.... :
http://mazefrenzy.com/
oh wow, now that was just mean.

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Old 11-09-2007, 09:21 PM
 
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I would consider ourselves relaxed homeschoolers / unschoolers.

Our oldest just turned 6 and said he wants to be in first grade and he wants to learn math. I'm still puzzling over where he learned the word math.

I tried explaining to him that grades were a concept of the public school and that they didn't really mean anything. "Okay, Mom. Can I say I'm in first grade?"

We got into a conversation about how he does math all the time, but he wants a workbook type of deal. I've read through some of the math sticky and think I'm going to buy Singapore, because it's the cheapest and looks like a comic book. :

I'm feeling very wishy-washy about the whole thing. I don't want to squelch his desire to learn, but then again I need to honor his request. And if he doesn't like the book then there is always e-bay.
ITA about the ebay thing.

I dont believe that workbooks and even curriculums are anti-unschooling, as long as its the child's choice.
workbooks can be lots of fun why not start with a really cheap one that you can pick up in a stationers or newsagent? then if he's into it you can look at buying the fancy ones.

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Old 11-11-2007, 02:39 AM
 
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Today I worked at my pt job as an RN. Assigned the outpatient therapy room today...people who need antibiotics once a day or something but not needing admission. The kids and dh brought me a Tim Hortons coffee (all my fellow Canadians would understand!! ) and the supper I forgot. The kids were just fascinated with my grand tour showing them medications, dressings, needles (dd eyes got BIIIiiiiggg!) and the like.

Had a neat late night time with dd a few days ago but couldn't post until today. She wanted to make a comic strip for a new friend, so we divided a paper and started writing/drawing. It took her an hour but she was determined to do it. I think she wrote more in one sitting than she has in her whole life! The motivation came from her, and her wanting to do it, not being forced in school. She didn't get frustrated or anything! I helped her spell as needed, and we had a sweet peaceful time chatting about all sorts of things while we sat at her little table. Just when I worry (& I have a bit on occasion) about her small amount of writing output compared to her ps friends and if she will "ever" get interested in writing, she surprises me like this....that has happened over and over again, and I just need to learn to trust in my kid's own motivations. However, the difference I see between her and her ps friends is the difference when stuff like this comes from a place of not being coerced...already I see her little friends resentful because they are forced to write a few sentences everyday because "they" say they should (read: teachers, dept of education curriculum makers, etc)

Oh, and we went to bed at 11pm that night.

So what!!?!?

It was so nice to have the FREEDOM to do this, to not be tied to the school's schedule (and being able to sleep in next morning). I remember reading an essay by Sandra Dodd one time that discussed this "late night learning" and how when people have kids in school, their whole family life is dictated by the school system. How families have weekends and summers and evenings off because the SYSTEM dictates. The essay ended in these few lines and I quote:

"which days belong to the schooled family?
None of them.

"which days belong to the homeschooling family?"
ALL OF THEM!

Makes me shake my head when my friends/coworkers "pity" me for home schooling. Little do they know!

Here's to freedom, sweet peaceful days of learning and discovering and just "be-ing" for all of us!

Tina, RN, wife-y to J, mom to dd (10) and ds (7)
"Beware the lollipop of mediocracy...one lick and you suck forever!"
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Old 11-11-2007, 03:06 AM
 
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Here's to freedom, sweet peaceful days of learning and discovering and just "be-ing" for all of us!
amen to that!

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Old 11-11-2007, 04:14 AM
 
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"which days belong to the homeschooling family?"
ALL OF THEM!

Here's to freedom, sweet peaceful days of learning and discovering and just "be-ing" for all of us!
I'll third that!

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Old 11-11-2007, 05:32 PM
 
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I need some encouragement here. We are living with my mother and step father until our move to MX in 3 weeks...i have 2 younger siblings 13 y/o boy and a 15 y/o girl. These are my half bro and sis. My step father works 3rd shift and my mom is a middle school math teacher. So we are a unschooling family and my 13y/o ds is here at home all day with me. He plays X box live all day and night. He does go and do things with my half bro, they are the same age and have the same friends. However my son does nothing more than xbox when he's not out with my bro/friends. This is fine with me....he has been interested in Runescape for about 6 months and then he ventured over to the playstation for about 2 months and now he is on a x box live venture as he has friends all over the world that he plays with. My mother mentioned to me yesterday that her and her husband are concerend about my son. They are concerend that he does nothing except plays xbox all day. It took all i had to not flip my lid. I gently explained that we are unschooling and if they would like to have a unschooling conversation with me that they read John Holt's Book and the Teenage Liberation Handbook and then i would be more than willing to talk to them about my son. She didnt say anything else after that and she changed the conversation. So i'm hoping that she will either inform herself more or leave my choices to me. But since yesterday and our conversation about this, I have started to get a little worried that my son doesnt do much more than xbox. Is he ever going to be interested in anything else. I know that i have to trust in him. But we've been unschooling sice Feb 07 and my son still has shown no signs of wanting to learn or be interested in anything other than gaming. I know that he is picking up alot in what he does do, but now i'm a little concerened. Should i be worried?

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Old 11-11-2007, 10:36 PM
 
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Don't 'they' say that it takes one month for every year the young one was in school to deschool. If he started school at 5 then that's almost 8 years of schooling. So, he seems to be right on target.

I haven't read the Teenage Liberation Handbook - but do you think you could talk with your son about the conversation? 13 is old enough to know that your parents get on your case and can make you doubt yourself. Talking with DS and telling him that you trust him but sometimes you second-guess yourself when you hear outsiders wag their tongues. And

I think I amtrying to say to touch base with DS. You can share your concerns. And connecting with him will help the trust.

I made myself very :. I hope I made some sense. Our oldeest is 6 and whenever I start second-guessing myself my DS will do something that gives me a thumbs up to our choice.
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Old 11-11-2007, 11:58 PM
 
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mamato3wildponnie, first of all, your son is fine. you know that
Its normal for him to have a long period of deschooling. like tsume said a month per year is a standard average benchmark, so he's right on track.

you said yourself that he's playing, talking to kids from all over the world. dont forget that he is actually learning.

here you are, right now, "wasting time" on the internet. You're learning something from it.
I spend about 6 hours a day on MDC the past 2 weeks : but I'm learning a LOT. I'm becoming a better parent. I'm lurking on the birth professionals forum a lot, because I'm a lay midwife. I'm chatting on TAO a lot because I live in a very remote place, and that's my social outlet.
some casual observers might commet that I'm wasting all my time, on the computer all day (I'm actually on my computer about 10 hours/day, because I work from home).

But my time is NOT wasted. time can NOT be wasted.

If your son were reading science textbooks ALL day, would that be a bad thing? (probably cause for concern ).

I'd say to you; I think its wonderful that you honour your son's desire to play xbox, or whatever it is to he wants to do. otherwise, it sends him the message that his desires/ interests aren't good, and therefore, he isn't good.

Ita with tsume's suggestion of talking about it with him. give the books to your mom, and let it rest unless she brings it up again.

I'll get off my soapbox bow

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Old 11-12-2007, 11:45 PM
 
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Stay on your soap box all day....i love when other mama's chime in and offer advice. I dont know what i'd do with out PTO. I would love to have a UC and your right...i have spent hours reading posts on UC births. So i learned alot about it here on Mothering. I also learned about vax's, from this site and we have become a vax free family. Yipee whooohooo. So i know that my son will be fine, however it helps me to know that i have other mama's who can pick me up and help me stay on track. Thanks yall. I have had several conversations with my son and since then he has been going going going. Friday night spent the night with a friend...saturday night went to a sleep over. He stayed gone all day today..out with his friends..went to the mall...ate lunch out with his buds. He will be fine. I have to keep telling myself this will pass and we will move on. This is the first time in a long time that he actually wants to get out and go somewhere. Things are coming together.

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Old 11-13-2007, 01:59 AM
 
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Stay on your soap box all day....i love when other mama's chime in and offer advice. I dont know what i'd do with out PTO. I would love to have a UC and your right...i have spent hours reading posts on UC births. So i learned alot about it here on Mothering. I also learned about vax's, from this site and we have become a vax free family. Yipee whooohooo. So i know that my son will be fine, however it helps me to know that i have other mama's who can pick me up and help me stay on track. Thanks yall. I have had several conversations with my son and since then he has been going going going. Friday night spent the night with a friend...saturday night went to a sleep over. He stayed gone all day today..out with his friends..went to the mall...ate lunch out with his buds. He will be fine. I have to keep telling myself this will pass and we will move on. This is the first time in a long time that he actually wants to get out and go somewhere. Things are coming together.
glad you got clear with it

and I'll remember you said that next time someone tells me to get of my soapbox!

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Old 11-14-2007, 11:26 AM
 
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while I dont have to show anything to anyone, from what I've heard, its really not too hard to document what kids are doing.
Start with keeping a journal of what you do each day. I think it can be simple, just be creative with it. take photos of their artwork, museum trips,etc. everytime they write something, make copies, etc.
You dont need to spend money for a curriculum.
Ive been doing exactly this. I think my "schooling" mind gets confused sometimes I second guess myself alot lately--while I want my kids to be kids and learn naturally, I worry about the state requirements. I know what I am doing is the best for us--really it is. I wish I lived where you do lol so I didnt have to report! The only thing we dont have alot of is history so far...but we are planning a trip to the Boston museum in January so theres going to be some history there.

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Old 11-14-2007, 03:58 PM
 
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Hey mamas! I haven't been around much this month!
We are taking off for a camping trip tomorrow, which is just about our favorite thing to do!
Zion, Bryce Canyon and Grand Staircase area in southern Utah.
I LOVE HAVING DAYS AND DAYS ALONE IN NATIONAL PARKS THAT ARE CROWDED ALL SUMMER!!!
We get to walk around all sorts of millions of years of geology for the next few days.
Just one more reason I give thanks to this way of life...Now if I could just keep dh home all week too!

Different drummer dancing with 3 kids in 3 decades.
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Old 11-15-2007, 12:29 AM
 
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I've been working with DP on translating Ivan Illich's Deschooling Society into Hebrew.
the hard part is first translating it into an english that is immediately understandable

actually, a major problem is that in hebrew there isn't a differnt word for 'learn' and 'study'. or 'schooling' and 'education'

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Old 11-15-2007, 12:52 AM
 
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I am slowly starting to feel a bit better...of course, still on lots of drugs and not jumping around full of energy, but better than constant puking...YAY!!

My mom was in town last week, and the kids had fun with her--she brought a few "family heirloom"-type recipes (at the kids' requests), and she taught them how to cook baked custard and bread pudding, and my daughter taught her how to cook my daughter's famous peanut butter cookies...it was adorable! My son drew her pictures to send home for her refrigerator, and she got to watch them be created, which was fun for a change. She and my daughter and I got to sit around and watch our "shows" that we watch usually in our own homes and discuss on the phone, except we got to do it in the same room for a change It was a lovely week.

When we took her back to the airport, we stopped at the giant Asian supermarket and bought about $50 worth of things we had no idea what they were, and enjoyed opening the boxes and bags and being surprised and what we found My daughter loves hot and spicey dried squid, and my son got a few old favorites as well as some candy he hadn't tried (but he stays out of the dried fish isle).

We watched "Akeela and the Bee" with grandma, and since my daughter had already been interested in learning greek and roman roots, this encouraged her all the more. She has never been good at spelling, but told me today, out of the blue, "Greek words use ph because they don't have an "f" in their alphabet. So if you know it's greek, you will know how to spell it!" It blew me away that she noticed this on her own, as *I* never had, even as a college English major! A real "DUH" moment for mom, and a YAY moment for unschooling

Anyway, that's our week in a nutshell

Dana
Unschooling mom to Lauren, 15, Otto, 9.5, and new little one due in May!
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Old 11-15-2007, 03:12 AM
 
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Ooh we keep meaning to watch Akelah and the Bee! I'll have to write it somewhere so I remember it. We did watch Ratatouille though, and it was so fun.

So today Dd and Ds played some Guitar Hero 3. Dd was trying to beat a song on there that was giving her a hard time. I have no idea if she beat it finally, but there was a lot of cheering and swearing going on. Ds wants me to tell you all that he "totally owned". So there, now you all now and you can carry on with your day.

Dd saw a reference to Challah bread on "Sex and the City" and then again on "Reading Rainbow" so she decided to try and make some. She found a recipe online and wrote it down (took her forever but she really wanted it). She messed up a bit here and there, and we won't know for sure how it's going to be until tomorrow, but she really worked at it. It's neat to see the interests they get and the suprising places they can come from.

Off for now- the banana bread is done!

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Old 11-15-2007, 06:19 AM
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So nice to read what everyone is up to!

We´ve just got up, but ds went straight to watching the second disc of "Around the world in 80 days" with David Niven. Wonderful movie!
He´s really into US Civil War and anything "western", and later he wants us to go find "Glory" the movie.

I think we may have to see Gone with the wind too some day soon!

I´m not sure where the interest came from, but he makes all these "setups" with his Playmobil figures. The other day we built a balsawood house for them....called "Camp Eagle". My brown pashmina from India is the sandy ground under the houses!

He´s also into US dollars - BIG time! Every time he manages to get 3.60 euros -- off we head to the exchange shop to get dollars. He says they are sooooo beautiful!!

Oh - off to shower it seems.
Have a lovely day everyone! : More later...
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Old 11-15-2007, 08:23 AM
 
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Pia, we also like the documentary Around the World in 80 Days with Michael Palin. (I have some of his travel books and LOVE them!). Your son might enjoy that.

DD is still sick. She has lived in her pajamas for days, just putting on clean ones before bed. She's okay really but still coughing and battling a runny nose.

We've been watching a lot of movies (Princess Diaries, Tomb Raider), documentaries (on mummies found frozen in ice and about Antarctica), and old television shows which DH downloaded. DD is very much still into mysteries and such. She and I watch Murder, She Wrote and Columbo often. She is still reading her Encylopedia Brown books and I'm making my way through the Nancy Drew books, which I read aloud to her during the afternoon. She's also been playing a few BigFish games with me. We love the hidden object ones and she loves games like Pet Salon and NannyMania.

Her reading and spelling continue to amaze me. And without ever being taught punctuation, she is using ellipses and making parenthetical comments in her stories and poems. It's lovely to see her mind working.

My husband's father is coming for a short visit in a few weeks. I've ordered some more books for DD, which he'll bring in his suitcase. We all plan to take a train to Berlin for a few days but mostly we'll just hang out with FIL, walk in the park and enjoy being with him. It's been a year since dd and I have seen him.
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Old 11-15-2007, 09:09 AM
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Kara, sorry to hear your dd is sick. :: is no fun at all! :

Ds is also really into mysteries and when he was passionately interested in swissknives we watche MacGyver. We also watch Murder she wrote. Maybe I should find som Columbo too!

Have you seen the old Nancy Drew movies with Pamela Sue Martin?
Ds loves them!

You can find quite a few on YouTube.

If you do a google video search for "nancy drew pamela sue martin"
you get this page...

http://video.google.com/videosearch?...=1&sa=N&tab=wv


Kara, hope your dd feels better soon!

More later....
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Old 11-15-2007, 06:05 PM
 
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Those look great! I also downloaded a Nancy Drew game on BigFish and we hope to get to it tomorrow.

I've been laughing so hard with (at?) my child today. In a good way, honest. She's just so darn cute. She's been going around putting her kneepads and elbow pads on her feet and hands. The first day, she kept falling so I joked that she should tie a pillow to her butt. So she did! She used a belt and secured a couch pillow to her butt! Now, she's mastered walking around with kneepads on her feet. She says she likes the way they sound on the wooden floor...sort of like Japanese sandals, so she says. "It's officially perfect!" she declared.

Just had to share.
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Old 11-17-2007, 12:41 AM
 
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Unschooling begins on Tuesday for us....eeeeek!!

I'm very excited but very apprehensive about telling my very critical ILs, whoa re all public school educators. I am going to present it as "honmeschooling" to lessen the blow. And I know it is not their decision but they are family and they love my kids.

Any ideas about easy-to-digest material or convos to help??
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Old 11-17-2007, 06:04 AM
 
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Welcome to unschooling! It's awesome.

One piece of advice I have when dealing with people that you'd like to stay pleasant with (otherwise you can just tell folks to bug off LOL) is to stay positive/upbeat. You may notice that some people will come at you with the "what if's" a lot.

"But they won't be around kids..."
Yeah, we're really happy about the idea of the kids having more control over who they hang out with and when, so yeah... it's good stuff.

"What if they don't keep up..."
It's going to be such a breath of fresh air/relief to not have to worry about that. We can feel free to really get into the things that have meaning to us finally!

"Going to college might be hard.."
I've been pleasantly suprised at what a non-issue that is these days. Things have really opened up for homeschoolers now. I'm glad it's not as difficult as I had imagined.

"What will you actually "do" though..."
There are so many resources out there between the library and the computer that it's really going to be fun, and should allow for them to get into any number of subjects.

Anyway, just me thinking out loud a bit there. The more confident you are the faster they may figure out that they can't shake ya.

Today Dd was interested in some human body stuff so she spent time looking at a college anatomy text. In many places it was all Greek to me, but it was also pretty darn cool. The body is a strange and wonderful machine! We also:

Made banana bread
Ate it immedietly
Watched Shrek 3 again
Played with kittens
Made dinner
Talked a lot

Good mellow day.

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Old 11-17-2007, 08:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just got caught up on this thread. Wow, you all have been busy!

Doulajewla, I don't have to document anything for the "authorities", but I have a simple idea that I use to keep track of our outings/projects just in case anyone ever questions if our approach meets the requirements of UK home ed law. I keep a calendar on the computer desk -- the kind with big boxes for each day. It only takes a minute to make a couple notes of the day's activities, and I don't have to remember to do it because it's right there in front of me whenever I sit down at the computer.
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Old 11-17-2007, 10:32 PM
 
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cool thanks! I may try the calendar. Right now I write daily in a journal about what we do. Sometimes its hard to do that though because alot of our learning is on the go out of the house....and i forget lol. Whatever things they do be it a comic strip, coloring, painting etc i have folders and stick things in them as we go. I am not worried about things like math and english and spelling art, gym, etc....we do those things on our own everyday. dd always is writing something and ill casually walk by and say oh add an e here dear...so im not worried about those areas. History is the big one that we dont do alot with. ds was interested in the Aztecs because i had mentioned our curriculum and what the state wants to see us do and he wanted to know more about them so he read up on it, wrote some things down and made a kind of tiny Aztec city complete with conquistadors lol. So that was history. We went to many museums so far but not alot of history there. Not what is in the state curriculum anyway. So in January we will go to Boston and see what kind of history is there---and ill be taking pictures to send in June. I dont like that we have to report...but it is good to see that we are doing what the state requires on our own and not in any type of formal schooling I only know of one other unschooler in VT but shes not reporting yet as her little one is still little...so I dont know what other unschoolers in VT do really to meet the curriculum requirements. we dont want to feel that we HAVE to do whats in the curriculum....but i guess we just have to do our thing and make sure in the end that we have it. So far so good, the kids know we need to submit to the state in June and they will help put together their portfolios....so they know that i am not MAKING them do these things, but some of it we dont naturally have an interest in so we have to come up with something lol. They are pretty good about it though

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Old 11-18-2007, 12:26 AM
 
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DD asked for a spear yesterday.
she wants to try hunting... well, ok. we're gonna get her a spear (I think I'll carve one) and hunt a bush turkey; there's wild turkeys on our property and they get into my veg patch anyways...

maybe she's gonna become vegetarian after this, but I think its actually a good thing to show kids where our food comes from, especially meat.

updates as they come

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Old 11-18-2007, 09:59 PM
 
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Just dropping by to say hi. I've been on here before, but not for a while. I miss reading what everyone's doing! We live in a very school-y place, and sometimes it's tiring not having anyone around that 'gets it'.

Today we didn't do much. The kids stayed at their dad's house last night and didn't get back until mid afternoon. They were totally wound because they watched about 10 hours of tv in a 24 hour period, and my oldest just doesn't cope well with that. He can't stop moving and bumps into everything, and trips and falls over, and is loud and can't focus...makes me want to pull my hair out : Normally, he's great though. So we spent the afternoon/evening trying to reinforce quiet, calm activities. We made bread and dinner and picked up a bit and just hung out. Then they went outside for a bit to play (I acutally sent him out because he was crashing into everything ) then they came in and we danced to some christmas music. Now they're playing happily and I'm avoiding the laundry pile
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Old 11-18-2007, 10:43 PM
 
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Our last few days have been a bit claustrophobic and we haven't been out much because dd2 has been poorly.

We have made a lot of cakes and biscuits done lots of sticking and drawing and taking temperatures.

I found a digital thermometer and took dd2's temp. The digits keep rising until they stay the same for 3 secs and the thing beeps so we had to listen hard! Hers was 38.16. then Amelia wanted to see how hot she was so we did her - 37.1 then she wanted to do me - 36.8 even though she doesn't count reliably to more than 10 yet she could tell me that she was hotter than me and Frida was hotter than her becuase 38 was the biggest number!

Then we boiled an egg for lunch and looked at the bubbles in the pan, the numbers on the dial for the oven the termomenter outside - and then when we finally got outdoors there was a huge frozen puddle on the path so that fitted perfectly with our temperature day.

Lots of learning but I am seriously fighting the urge not to throw away all the pieces of paper with things stuck on them or folded up into parcels which are overflowing frm every surface: Dd has discovered that she can 'paint' with coloured tissue paper by drawing a picture on white paper then putting the tissue paper on top and wetting it until the colour comes through onto the white paper. Very cool but very messy when she does it all day.

My struggle is that I want to let her do what she wants creatively without barriers and direction otherwise it would be like school!!! BUT I am hoping that she will start wanting to do something else soon because in an already busy and untidy-ish house the glue, paint and paper is getting a bit much. Do you ever feel like this or am I a mean mummy?
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Old 11-19-2007, 04:53 PM
 
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Maybe you and Dd can create a spot just for messy crafts and experiments? Like a little corner in the kitchen or somewhere protected in the living room? That way it's still fun and messy, but at least it's contained a little bit. We tend to do that stuff on the linoleum in our dining room. We toss an old sheet or towel or newspaper down and do it there. Her painting sounds neat!

Dd has been doing some math and writing practice in some workbooks she found. We have several but they tend to migrate all over the house and then get shoved somewhere hidden. She uncovers them from time to time and enjoys them for awhile. She'll be 14 less than a week!

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Old 11-19-2007, 04:55 PM
 
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DO any of you ever struggle with unschooling? :

We have had a rough 3 weeks. I am just so overwhelmed and frustrated. I do not know what the answer is.

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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