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#121 of 153 Old 11-27-2007, 03:57 PM
 
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Wow Pia I am so glad you all are okay! How scary... and yeah, a little funny.

Hi Heather, nice to meet ya. My state doesn't require any grades or records to be kept or turned in outside of an end of the year test in grades 3, 5, 8, and 10. What state are you in, if you feel comfy sharing. (If not that's cool) In unschooling grades are so strange, ya know? What the heck are we grading- life? Just remember that discussing what to make for dinner can be educational...and so is everything else.

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#122 of 153 Old 11-27-2007, 08:36 PM
 
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I'm in Massachusetts and my city actually set the requirement...I don;t think the state itself did. Honestly I don't mind doing it and fudging together whatever I can, because I'd rather have an easy, smooth road for us. You never know what the future will bring so I don't want to make any waves with the superintendent.

My older boys started a conversation yesterday about medieval weaponry and battle techniques (a passion of theirs) so we rented the movie "300" to watch tonight AND the boys are researching which weapon we can all build together. Sounds like fun until I have to explain to the FBI why there is a catapult in my yard!
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#123 of 153 Old 11-27-2007, 09:06 PM
 
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I googled some more and found out you can make your own sodium acetate from baking soda and vinegar.
we're sooooo gonna do this today

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#124 of 153 Old 11-27-2007, 09:28 PM
 
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I googled some more and found out you can make your own sodium acetate from baking soda and vinegar.
we're sooooo gonna do this today
Really!?! Share! We've watched that video and discussed it a few times.
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#125 of 153 Old 11-27-2007, 09:36 PM
 
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I found this on yahoo answers:

Mix vinegar & baking soda, vinegar in excess till effervescence stops, warm the solution , add vinegar till effervescence stops. Evaporate solution You will get CH3COONa ( Sodium acetate ).

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#126 of 153 Old 11-27-2007, 10:27 PM
 
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Stinkerbell, build a trebuchet. : I remember doing it with my rennaissance faire friends as a teen and it seriously rocked. We used to lob watermelons and enormous over-ripe squash across the river. We built it so that it could be transported in a pick-up truck.
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#127 of 153 Old 11-27-2007, 10:57 PM
 
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Pia - shooting flames and kitchens are : but I can see how once it was all over the hysterical laughter set in. My dh loves setting fire to things but living in suburbia has calmed his country bumpkin urges a little. When we first met I had to convince him to take the garden waste to the council tip or compost it and not just set fire to it right there in the garden. We do have a metal dustbin which we use to burn things if we really *need* to:

Wow at the hot ice stuff. My boys will love that. I found a link showing how to make the sodium acetate http://www.instructables.com/id/Sodium-Acetate/ We love instructables; you can lose yourself there for a day or two.

Thanks for commiserating about the mess I complained about before. Unfortunately we live in a very tiny house (under 400sq ft) and with 6 of us there are no spare corners and only one table to do anything on. Dd's paper storage is a basket on the bookshelf and it is overflowing, the rest of her arty stuff is in baskets and boxes under the stairs which are prone to toddler-sister meddling. We need more space and more storage and I'm running out of cheap imaginative solutions now.

Anyhow, I think we might have to meet a home education officer at some point and I'm hoping that the prolific paper trail dd is producing will be useful evidence! That and digital photos she likes to take of things she sees and of things that she makes. She is really good with the camera and she has her own folder on the 'puter for storing them. I've been looking at lap books too for when the weather gets horrid and we end up inside for days on end which is bound to happen sooner or later.

Maybe photos would be useful for you Stinkerbelle especially if your boys are planning on major construction projects?

ITA with the comment about feeling free to experiment and not being afraid to make mistakes; dd has no fear at all with her drawing or writing not being 'right' or anything she does. It helps me to remember to let her keep thinking when she is talking and not tell her that something isn't right too. Invariably what she tells me is right within her own reasoning and it is just the world in my head which wouldn't consider it so.
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#128 of 153 Old 11-28-2007, 07:52 AM
 
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Damn you, orangefoot! I'm wasting my morning away on that site.

pia, fire makes me nervous but it is so nice to hear you encouraging him to experiment with what he's interested in. I think it speaks volumes that he knew when to call you in for help...he could recognize he needed outside assistance. Cool!

(and DH and I are considering a February visit to Barcelona to research neighborhoods!!!! We'd all love to meet you and your family!)

My FIL arrives tomorrow. I've been cleaning and baking like a crazy woman getting ready for his short visit. We're all taking the train to Berlin for three days as well so we're excited. Plus, I ordered some new books for DD and FIL is bringing them over to us. Woohoo!

DD and I have been obsessed with Nancy Drew games. We played three so far and are on our fourth (Blackmoor Manor). They are sooooo fun!!!

It has been snowing lightly intermittently for the past few days. DD is sad that it isn't sticking but man, it's been COLD outside. You think you're fine then the wind blows! Eeeeek!

We finally sold dd's bed. We moved her into the guest room and she liked that bed better. We're making her old room into a playroom. The cat is so disconcerted with the changes, though She had been sleeping on the guest bed and now she's so upset, she's puking and following me around, mewing her displeasure. She's a very sensitive cat.
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#129 of 153 Old 11-28-2007, 11:31 AM
 
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Hi All!

we have been super busy but i wanted to share a website i found that my kids love. My kids learn by playing. So i thought well if we make game boards and play them they will learn. Well, dd (7) decided to make her own game board about King Arthur. So i went to work making question cards about various things in King Arthur's life. She made the pieces, colored and put stickers on her board. she learned alot about King Arthur without even realizing. So, i found this site to print out game boards that are already done. there are some really great ones! Monkey Math is one that dd wants to play. Its pretty cool! http://www.teacherhelp.org/puzzles_a....htm#printable

We have just been so busy and I am just trying to stay calm and collected, which is so hard for me lately. I dont want to be busy anymore! thats why we unschool. but i find ourselves constantly doing something lol. We swim every week and play with other kids, do projects, read, play games, make our own slime or some other wacky science experiement of the day lol. dd came up with the idea of turning our house into a museum and having people come see their work. so in the next few weeks we will be slowly turning this house into a museum of fine art lol. today we dont need to be anywhere or do anything unless of course i want to run out and get more printer ink

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#130 of 153 Old 11-28-2007, 12:10 PM
 
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I would like to hear from the unschool mama's about how they deal with "lack of enthusiasm" from their dc's or "not giving it their all (or even a little)" on a project.

Maybe an example would be better:

DD#2 Decided to make "presents" for her friends. (and friends cat ) She asked to use the basket of yarn, of course, yes... she came back later with a wadded up ball of yarn with a string tied to it. One swipe by the cat and it would be one long peice of yarn again. No knots, ties, braids, NOTHING. It was as if she was "too lazy" to actually make even a SIMPLE cat toy. I just smiled and nodded and said, "I see! Well, if you think that will work! Make sure to clean up the yarn when you are finished". I didn't really know what else to say, kwim?
DD is nearly 10 and we have cats. She knows how to tie knots. I don't want to "stifle her process" but sometimes... this kind of thing makes me wonder what in the world...

I don't expect professional quality work, nor do I expect her art to be of adult abilities, but I guess I DO expect it to be more than a sticker taped to a tin can for a pencil holder.
WHY do I expect more than that? Well, because a month ago she put together a intricate Mindstorms Lego Robot from the instruction booklet that I couldn't make head nor tails out of. :

Someone scold and shame me please. However thoughts on this would be helpful.

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#131 of 153 Old 11-28-2007, 12:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think we might have to meet a home education officer at some point
You know you don't *have* to meet them, right?
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#132 of 153 Old 11-28-2007, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ITA with the comment about feeling free to experiment and not being afraid to make mistakes; dd has no fear at all with her drawing or writing not being 'right' or anything she does.
Yeah, that's one of the great things about unschooling. No pressure to be "right". Schools are so focused on the result, that the joy of the process often is lost.
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#133 of 153 Old 11-28-2007, 01:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think it speaks volumes that he knew when to call you in for help...he could recognize he needed outside assistance. Cool!
I thought the same thing -- very composed reaction from your ds, pia.

Sorry about my mutiple posts. I had forgotten how to use the multi-quote feature. Just spent a couple minutes messing around and re-figured it out. See, I'm learning not to be scared of my pc.

I'm looking forward to hearing about anyone's "hot ice" experiments. I know when I show dd (and probably ds as well) that youtube video, they'll want to try it.

Yesterday we visited the National Coal Mining Museum with a bunch of home ed'ers we'd never met before. Our tour guide, a miner himself with an awesome sense of humor, took us hundreds of feet underground to a real mine that was in use from 1791-1984. We got to see and hear how mining has changed over the years. What a horrible, grim life it was until fairly recently. Ds doesn't come on many group outings with us any more, but he was interested in this one partly because he knows that dh's dad used to work in the mines (starting at age 12 until he had enough and joined the Navy).

This morning, dd decided to make a frozen pizza for breakfast (well, it was actually nearly noon). If there's anything on the table with print on it, she HAS to read it. She's always reading food labels. So, she was reading the pizza box and asked me what calcium sulphate is. I wasn't sure, so while she was watching the pizza, I looked it up. We learned about gypsum, coagulation, the origin of the term "plaster of Paris", etc., and how amazing it is that one substance can have so many uses -- same with coal!

When ds first started writing songs, I told him that a lot of musicians look to poetry and other literature for inspiration. He was interested in dark themes at the time, so last Christmas I bought him a book of tales and poems of E.A. Poe. Several months ago, we read The Raven together, and he thoroughly enjoyed it. He hasn't picked up the book since, but today he read the poem Annabel Lee. Shortly after, he left for band practice, but I'm curious to know what he thought of it.

Our weather is miserable today -- grey, wet, blah. I don't mind because it's cozy in the house and I'm getting caught up on some chores. Dd is happily tucked up in bed with a book.
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#134 of 153 Old 11-28-2007, 02:22 PM
 
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Yeah, that's one of the great things about unschooling. No pressure to be "right". Schools are so focused on the result, that the joy of the process often is lost.
So true.

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#135 of 153 Old 11-28-2007, 02:59 PM
 
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Nomadmom, I have a Poe fan, too. And he's also a budding musician! My Dev is almost 14 and plays bass and guitar (as does my DH) and is into the darker side of the arts. I tell him, "use your powers for good, not evil!".

He loves Tim Burton and Ed Gorey, too.

And I am jealous of your coal mining visit. That sounds very cool. I'm trying to get the family on board for a visit to the crystal caves (Kentucky?).
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Stinkerbell, build a trebuchet. : I remember doing it with my rennaissance faire friends as a teen and it seriously rocked. We used to lob watermelons and enormous over-ripe squash across the river. We built it so that it could be transported in a pick-up truck.
Oh THAT'S the thing I couldn't think of this morning! That sounds like a ton of fun and our yard abuts the woods so we have a workable area to launch unwanted fruit into oblivion for the deer. Yesssssss. Thanks!

I am going through that predictable phase of feeling antsy. I am very energetic and inquisitive so my kids sitting around and not "doing" much is getting me all antsy inside. But I am trying to keep reminding myself that they spent 6 and 8 years in the school system and need TIME to decompress from that.

Instructables! Oh I have a new bookmark. Thanks.
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#136 of 153 Old 11-28-2007, 04:29 PM
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Thanks for the compliments and thoughtful words after our experiment! We had to keep talking about it for a while yesterday -- it really was a bit shocking! : After telling dh about the whole thing on the phone, he called me back later and "attempted" to sing this Firestarter song! At night in bed we were all talking...and exaggerating...mummy poured petrol on the flame...like 10 liters!
Oh, just doing some morning experiments. It´s what happens when you don´t go to school!

Firestarter!



....planning for the hot ice next!
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#137 of 153 Old 11-28-2007, 04:40 PM
 
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...AND the boys are researching which weapon we can all build together. Sounds like fun until I have to explain to the FBI why there is a catapult in my yard!
My son has done this. Whenever he and his friends drag the thing down to the lake, a crowd forms. I'm always a little surprised no one gives us a hard time about it!

Check this out: http://sports.espn.go.com/outdoors/g...ory?id=3107378 We haven't done this, personally, but it's held every fall, in Delaware. Maybe your guys would be interested. They have a website, but it seems to be down just now. Go to YouTube and search for "punkin chunkin" for some cool video.

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#138 of 153 Old 11-28-2007, 05:48 PM
 
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AngelBee---I wanted to respond to you because we are in a crisis here seems almost everyday.

you arent alone! we cant have one single damn good day it seems. Everyone is always fighting, ds is always hitting one of the girls, stealing toys etc. i cant seem to keep the house clean, the dishwasher decided to overflow because i bought detergent that was for dishWASHING not disWASHER. slight discrepancy because it was with the other disWASHER detergent and it was all natural and new so i thought hmm lets try it! yeah lets try it...heh it was all over the floor. At the same time i go to take the garbage out in the freezing rain and it explodes all over the lawn. I cry and pick it all up, turkey carcasses and all, slimy mashed potatoes and spinach...ugh. i was crying and drenched. that was just ONE day. i freak out alot too and yell...today i yelled once because i just couldnt understand why we all couldnt get along...i try to do things that are fun for them and they still argue. they are kids. the other day we made homemade chocolate chip cookies..they still argued. today i printed out 10 board games,...they loved it yes, but afterwards went back to fighting. I even gave out prizes! mercury must be in retrograde.

now since last night ive noticed flies. Lots of flies IN MY HOUSE!: There must be something dead somewhere, but i dont smell it or see it. I told dh to please please figure this out im so sick and damn tired of this crap....we had his mom and brother (16 y/o) live with us from january to august when i had to kick them out because they didtn realize they couldt live on our couch forever.....they were super mad but oh well they knew they couldnt live here forever! sheesh! but anyway, the brother was always taking food into ds's bedroom. id always tell him to please stop doing this---lo and behold, I found bugs in the carpet by a candy bar, whcih i dont allow my children to even have. i freaked many a time on this boy. His mother secretly told him to just deal with me, it will be ok. well it got to the point i had to move his stuff to the basement, he was filling up my son's room with filth. id leave notes and ask him to stop and hed give me an attitude. finally i moved him downstairs but he'd still put things in ds's room. Finally when they left, we were trying to pack their stuff(They wouldnt pack it !!!)and found we had rats who were eating the food brother in law dear had shoved into corners in the basement and had chewed a hole in ds's room! i lost my mind completely. im still losing it because we have rid ourselves of the rats as of november 1st, but there must be a dead one up in the ceiling in ds's room. we had totally gutted ds's room and cleaned it up and couldtn find the source of the flies. We looked up and saw a hole a rat or something had chewed in the ceiling in a little corner. its a little hole. so ds's room is quarantined once again. So I am still not only dealing with 4 kids, but still having to deal with the remnants of having the inlaws here! thats the punishment i get for trying to be nice to my inlaws...try to get them back on their feet and healthy. didnt work.

Talk about frustrating.

so angelbee, you are totally not alone. dh yelled at me last night too and i told him i wanted a divorce too. those words should not be thrown around lightly...but maybe he would be happier without me because i freak alot. Mostly i freak because the inlaws talk crap about me, my own mother does too, and my brother apparently hates me too. those are the sources of my anger and frustration. they say becasue i homeschool(they dont even know about unschooling) i am a bad parent. not my mom though. shes ok with it and she knows about unschooling. but all this negative stuff and stuff from when i grew up making me second guess myself---unschooling is a daunting task at times because i second guess myself. i had wonderful self esteem after the birth of my last child...lately with everyone pounding into me how bad i am...ive lost that. im trying desperately to get it back so i can be a good mom again. we do lots of things together, the kids and I. But somehow ive managed to believe the lies and believe i am not a good parent....i have to believe in myself. maybe that will help you too---believing that the decisions you are making are the best for your children and that you are not perfect, because nothing is ever perfect.

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#139 of 153 Old 11-28-2007, 08:40 PM
 
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doulajewla,

honestly having dead rats in your crawlspace is a very rational thing to be freaking about. heck, I'm freaking by proxy!

I wonder if it would be possible for you to detach a bit when the kids fight. if they're not fighting with you, can you try just stepping back and not getting emotionally involved? I know that's a hugely difficult task, but it might help.

I freak out a lot too. little things that happen and I have an incredible overreaction. like if the garbage bags break, that's normal to cuss and be pissed off, but just go about picking it up, wash your hands and move on. But me, no I'd be having a nervous breakdown. and not just over things that really are awful. over little stuff too: if I can't find something, or i burn the toast, or a spilled glass of water; I can be in instant melt-down.
for me, this is a major symptom of PTSD. I can have the same emotional reaction to dropping my keys as to (hypothetical) witnessing my daughter being brutally beaten. So that becomes an aspect in many parts of my life. Its hard to recognise that a situation isn't so bad, especially when my emotional self is screaming in terror.

But I'm learning to step back, and breathe, and remain calm. to have "normal" emotional reactions to every day things. Loud noise and fast movement triggers me more, so children fighting would be a big trigger. but still, see if you can just go into a different room and breathe a bit. find something that can calm you.

and know you;re not alone!

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#140 of 153 Old 11-28-2007, 08:42 PM
 
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about the hot ice, we started to make the sodium acetate, all was going well... BUT I guess my pot wasn't the most scrubbed and shiny it could be, coz after a while, the liquid started getting brown, and little scrapings of previously burned on I dont know what came off into it. so it didn't work, but I plan to try again with cleaner equipment

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#141 of 153 Old 11-28-2007, 09:55 PM
 
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I had no idea that the flipping out over little stuff was a symptom of PTSD!!!! i knew years ago they said i had it...but that was when i was 18-19. I wonder if i still have it--every day seems to be a catastrophe for me. Sometimes though thigns that will cause a meltdown in me one day wont cause it another day. I freak out over the floor not being swept ALL the time. I freak, cry, start to maniacally sweep. Its like a big huge deal. This morning i couldnt find the wipes for the baby....dh is out of town for 2 days as usual...and he was the last person to use the wipes last night. i start looking for them everywhere. i always leave the wipes in basket so i can find them...nope. I look under over in between everywhere. i figured ok ferrets must have dragged them somewhere, they do that, rascally lil buggers. nope, not in their hidey hole. i start to freak and cry because dd said baby has a poopie diaper. i start to cry hysterically....i call and leave dh 5 messages please help me i cant find the wipes omg...please help me you had them lasst. on and on. I just felt so helpless and i cant use the rough washcloths I have on her...never once did i think to use the recycled wipes i have but are dry, so what wet them. finally i found the wipes and all was well. but man if i never found them, i would have been wailing on the couch. im going to ask my counselor about PTSD. thanks!

PS--we tried to make our own acetate, and it worked fine....we mixed it with the boiling water...cooled it--and it didnt work. Its still in the fridge, dont know what went wrong, i assume we had too much water. off to try again tomorrow!

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#142 of 153 Old 11-28-2007, 09:59 PM
 
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doulajewla, you just described one of my days perfectly.
not being able to find something is one of my worst triggers. and I just cant let it go. I cant say "well, okay, I cant find X so I'll just go on with Y and see if it turns up" I'm just fixated on finding X till I'm a blubbering barely human mess. its typical for pstd.
actually, realising that it's a part of pstd made things easier for me. I'm not a freak, I have an illness.

anyway, we're gonna try the sodium acetate again today, just as soon as I find some clean kitchen supplies

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#143 of 153 Old 11-28-2007, 10:36 PM
 
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this realization actually does make me feel a bit better, though wondering what to do about it if I have PTSD. Theres been so much I could have developed it from...so many traumatic events. Ive been doing some herbal stuff and want to continue that or homeopathy. I just cant afford everything that insurance doesnt cover. But at least realizing this can help--and ill be more likely now to talk to my counselor about it. i have not really told her about my meltdowns. a little bit here and there, but never the whole shebang.

good luck with the acetate! we are pretty sure we just added too much water. it was not thick at all. we made acetate with vinegar and baking soda....i wonder if this was not right?

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#144 of 153 Old 11-28-2007, 11:13 PM
 
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I re-made the acetate, and now waiting for it to cool.....

you should definately tal to your councillor about all your meltdowns - the whole shebang.

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#145 of 153 Old 11-28-2007, 11:56 PM
 
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I will, I am promising myself I will tell her.

We SO cannot wait until we succesfully do the acetate project!

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#146 of 153 Old 11-30-2007, 09:41 PM
 
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Our sodium acetate project... well, the second try we got the sodim acetate right... well, we ended up with a white powder


we didn't manage to to the spontaneous crystalisation thing, but it did turn solid when we weren't looking. then we did the sculpture thing; some liquid was still left in the pot so when we poured drops of it onto the solidified na acetate, it did sculpt. and we could feel how it got hot.

I dissolved it again in water, and it formed beautiful crystals; long shards in the glass as it cooled.

we shall keep experimenting with it.

I'm wondering if we could add colouring to it.

ahhh, I love unschooling!

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#147 of 153 Old 11-30-2007, 10:08 PM
 
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lucky ducks laughup Our THIRD try stunk too! lmao. its cooling in the fridge (The liquid dissolved acetate) Does is get like a gel? ours is still very watery. It didnt work we shall be researching this more...majikfaerie did you buy acetate or make it? we are making the acetate itself and i think thats the problem. i still love unschooling trial and error rocks! ds is learning greatly from this and hes not getting discouraged he wants tto try more!

So we have that fly problem...ds came up with a solution all on his own. He handed me his home made business card "Xterminators Inc." and it says "contact info: Yell HEY JARED!" my kid is too funny. His weapon against bugs: a flyswatter. The kid spent 2 hours swatting 50 flies. And he vacuumed them up. ( I told him a good exterminator always cleans up and leaves no bugs behind hehe) He handed me a bill!!! looked like this: living room..............50 cents

and on and on. The total upstairs cost was $1 though haha. The kid earned $3. He has wanted this snake in a peanut brittle can joke...and he wanted to take out a "loan" from me. I said to approve such a loan, the loan amount must not exceed $2. (Thats his chore money per week) and it needed to be paid within the week. he called the toy store this morning on his own and asked how much it was. Its 4 bucks. So he said well i guess ill have to earn it over 2 weeks. i was so proud that he learned this important fact. Well he made the $3 so next week with his chore money he will have enough for the snake. He wants to market himself for exterminating flies to his friends' parents what an entrepreneur!

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#148 of 153 Old 12-01-2007, 01:04 AM
 
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I love reading about the projects you all are experimenting with!

Today was a bit busy and found us running errands, grocery shopping, and dropping off some donations at Goodwill. Then Dd needed some hair dye and she finished rinsing it out just in time to go pick up her best friend. After a quick stop for some sodas at the corner store they are out in the garage playing "SingStar" that Dd just got for her bday.

Ds is upstairs chilling out a bit too, and here I sit after finishing a homemade candle for my yule altar.

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#149 of 153 Old 12-01-2007, 10:02 AM
 
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I havent gotten as far as yule for our altar.....: we have been so lazy. We do have a "tree" for our altar though...started with thanksgiving and we hung paper leaves with what we were thankful for on each leaf. now its bare with one cool ornament i found at the store that i liked lol. we will be doing yule stuff to it haha but we havent figured out what yet. All it is are bare branches we found outside, put them in a flowerpot with like 5-6 bags of marbles. Instant "tree".

Today is my first 4-H meeting. I have never lead a group really before. I am not very good at public speaking, but hopefully it will go nicely. I am not afraid to speak in public, but I tend to forget what the heck im talking about and stutter sometimes. I dont feel nervous, but I guess it comes out in the way I speak. I am just going to go with the flow--its just an informational meeting. I think it will be lots of fun After that we have my nephew's 2nd bday party and after that i work for 3 hours. It will be a day!

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#150 of 153 Old 12-01-2007, 06:39 PM
 
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we made our own sodium acetate, using the instructables link from the last page.
only we dont have a microwave so we did it on the stovetop.

doulajewla, your son's exterminator biz sounds so awesome

I remember when I was a kid I had a similar idea, and washed our dog and her new puppies, and gave my folks a bill for it. mum replied by writing up a bill for water usage, electricity, dog food and kennelling :

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