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#61 of 332 Old 01-04-2008, 04:45 PM
 
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I have a question. What do you all think about magazines for kids? I got a flyer in my Motherwear clothing shipment for the magazines Ladybug, Babybug, Click, Spider and ask. Each one is geared toward a certain age range and/or a specific goal like reading or arts and science without any ads. I'm not a big fan of magazines. They just don't interest me and I find the information in them to be too limited. I need more. We used to get National Geographic for Kids for my oldest ds but he never got into them. I'm thinking my middle ds might like the magazines because he loves to look at catalogs and we could use them as an introduction to lots of subjects to explore further. Has anyone tried these or other? Was it worth it?
My Mom buys these magazines for my kids. We get two of them- Appleseeds and Muse.

I think they're great- they help round out the curriculum with things I wouldn't have thought to talk about or DD wouldn't have thought to ask about, and they're just plain fun reading. In theory, we could do more research on a topic after the magazine sparks an interest, but so far we haven't done that.

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#62 of 332 Old 01-04-2008, 05:03 PM
 
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My Mom buys these magazines for my kids.
My mom is the one who always got the magazines for my oldest, too. We have a bunch of Highlights and, like I said, the Nat'l Geo mags that he never touched. He just wasn't interested.

I looked more closely at Click and Ladybug since those are the ones that cover ds2's age. I liked what I saw in Click (maybe because I'm a scientist) but am not sure about Ladybug. I like the fact that it has stories and poems and songs and activities but I'm not sure about the content of them. I do not want anything that's trying to teach manners or morals or "good" behavior. I'm weird that way.

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#63 of 332 Old 01-04-2008, 05:06 PM
 
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i ordered national goegraphic for kids, spider, and ranger rick for ds6, we haven't gotten any yet but ill let ya know how he likes them!

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#64 of 332 Old 01-04-2008, 05:11 PM
 
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Dd likes "New Moon" and some of the "Cricket" type ones for the older set. It's been awhile though.

I might attempt to write a bit for them later this year.

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#65 of 332 Old 01-04-2008, 05:14 PM
 
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Hi ladies! I am the so sad mama of ds, 4 who is in preK right now.

Really, we are homeschoolers...unschoolers though.

I miss him dearly but I am trying to enjoy and take this break before going "full speed" at homeshooling. (I also have the 2 yr old, and 1 week old baby at this point!!!)

I am going to be trying to manage depression while homeschooling, also. That will be my biggest challenge. It's under control right now, but with the baby just being born-I am watching myself VERY carefully.

I am just constantly making mental notes, right now, about my 2 older children and what makes them "tick" and how to go about helping them explore it. (S-L-O-W-L-Y)

Now that I am not pregnant (woot!) I plan on digging up a spot of land in the backyard soon and making it into a "garden" in the backyard. Have to decide what kinds of plants we wont kill. Probably marigolds (in Florida?) I think that will be fun for them as long as my 4 yr old doesnt make it into a "flood." Half of the backyard is demolished to his "flood" playing. (Where he fills up holes he has dug in the grass with water...and sinks stuff and God Knows what else.

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#66 of 332 Old 01-04-2008, 09:59 PM
 
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Ok, I'm going to try to get into this by posting some of the things we've been doing for "preschool". I find it funny that my friends and family are so concerned about what we're doing for preschool when the boys won't be going to school. There is no pre. We just live.

DS2, who will be 4 in a couple of weeks, got a medieval castle for Christmas that he's been playing with. He got an acoustic guitar that he makes songs up on, mostly about loving someone (so cute!). He got one of those tent and tube crawler thingies that he has a lot of fun with. He's always building forts with blankets and pillows and furniture and various obstacles to jump over and run around. We've planted an herb garden but lost the oregano while we gone for the holidays. The parsley and basil are still alive, though. I have videotape of ds filling and dumping his different sized cups while in the tub. He said he was "making a science." We went to Williamsburg, VA the week before Christmas and went to a music presentation using homemade instruments from the colonial time period, like a bucket attached to a piece of wood with a string tied to it. Ds danced and had a good time. We also wandered around the museum looking at period furniture, art, silver and porcelain. Ds stuffed a reindeer for himself. We read books every night at bedtime. Right now he's really into The Cat in the Hat Comes Back and Where is the Green Sheep? He likes to read the alphabet cats as they come up in The Cat in the Hat. I think he may be starting to read on his own. There's one page where the word VOOM is written across it and he reads it even though I've never read that part. Last night he spelled it as he pointed at each letter and then said the word. Right now we are watching home videos of him when he was a baby. He's fascinated by himself as baby and comparing that to his baby brother. He likes to take pictures with the digital camera and is quite good at it. My mom was surprised at how good some of the pictures he took with her camera are.

I'm sure there's a lot more but that's all I can think of right now. That seems like quite a bit. It's surprising how much we do once I've gotten it written down. Most days I feel like we haven't accomplished anything and I wonder what we've done all day and what I'm doing and how I'll possibly do this when the boys are 8 and 5.

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#67 of 332 Old 01-04-2008, 10:06 PM
 
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We just live.
Amen to that.

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He got an acoustic guitar that he makes songs up on, mostly about loving someone (so cute!).
Isn't that the cutest thing?! Ds's little sister, that we frequently babysit, is 8 years old now and she will make up songs that always have a lot of "Babbbyyy, I loveee you so much! I need you a lot babaayyy." Clearly, love is the big subject for song writers young and old alike lol.


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He's always building forts with blankets and pillows and furniture
That is so much fun! Dd recently did this in our dining room. It didn't stay up long, but it was fun anyway.

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#68 of 332 Old 01-05-2008, 08:08 AM
 
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I wanted to clarify since i made the post half asleep this morning I don't think the nick jr etc magazines are crap, ds loves the nick jr characters, i ment more that they are full of advertising. I refuse to pay their prices for over half the content being ads!
Yes the amount of ads are really ridiculous in some of those magazines. I leafed through a National Geo for Kids once and was surprised by how many there were. You would think NG at least wouldn't go that route.

Also, rereading my post I realize I should have been more careful with my wording. I think I made it look like I was really taking issue with your previous post but I didn't mean it that way. I think plenty of people would think Bugs Bunny magazine, fi, is crap or junk and that's what I was thinking of when I posted, not just your post. Of course now that you clarified I know you weren't trying to say that anyway!
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#69 of 332 Old 01-05-2008, 08:35 AM
 
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Last night my DS was using his toy bow and arrows to shoot at a cardboard target that came with it. I noticed he was writing down his scores. On one paper he wrote:
1. 40
2. 100
3. 60

Then he wrote 40+100+60= 200
I have no idea how he knew to put periods after the numbers but he must have noticed that somewhere! On another piece of paper he wrote
140+100+180 = 420

Then I remembered how a couple of weeks ago my FIL and his wife were visiting and DS was doing some neat stuff on paper to show them (writing Roman numerals, drawing our house, making a circle with 90/180/270/360° in their right spots, etc) and they told him several times that it wasn't very good to waste paper! I guess he should have squeezed more onto one sheet in their opinion or not ever started over when he felt he'd messed up. Maybe they should check out their local school sometime and see how much paper kids go through.

This is less academic but on New Year's Eve DS was going to be by himself for a very short time (we were next door) because it was almost midnight but he wanted to relax and watch a dvd at home so I showed him how to use my phone to call DH's phone. The next day he was calling DH's phone pretending to be his boss and telling him he needed to come in at 6 am then calling later to tell him he could have the next 10 days off. I guess I expected it would take more than 12 hours between learning to use a phone for the first time and making prank phone calls!

Anyway, just sharing! I always like reading through the unschooler support threads and see what everyone's up to.
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#70 of 332 Old 01-05-2008, 05:17 PM
 
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I guess I expected it would take more than 12 hours between learning to use a phone for the first time and making prank phone calls!

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#71 of 332 Old 01-05-2008, 06:19 PM
 
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I guess I expected it would take more than 12 hours between learning to use a phone for the first time and making prank phone calls!
Was your dp fooled?

We had bacon and eggs for breakfast this morning and ds asked why a yolk is called a yolk. So, I tried to look it up and I got all kinds of information about what a yolk is and what it contains, it's nutritional content, but nothing about where that word came from in the first place. Anyone know or know where I could look?

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#72 of 332 Old 01-05-2008, 06:26 PM
 
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Was your dp fooled?

We had bacon and eggs for breakfast this morning and ds asked why a yolk is called a yolk. So, I tried to look it up and I got all kinds of information about what a yolk is and what it contains, it's nutritional content, but nothing about where that word came from in the first place. Anyone know or know where I could look?
Well this site about eggs has a snippet about the word "yolk" meaning yellow. And this page about words is talking about color words and goes into the yolk meaning yellow too. Apparently it's old English? Cool.

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#73 of 332 Old 01-05-2008, 06:40 PM
 
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Very cool, UnschoolnMa. It would have to be that simple, wouldn't it? How did you find those sites?

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#74 of 332 Old 01-05-2008, 09:42 PM
 
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I'm falling behind!

Two-handed typing time is at a premium these days! Heading back to read through the thread and try to catch up...
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#75 of 332 Old 01-05-2008, 10:05 PM
 
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Very cool, UnschoolnMa. It would have to be that simple, wouldn't it? How did you find those sites?
I just searched google with the phrase "the word yolk comes from.." and "word yolk means"

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#76 of 332 Old 01-05-2008, 10:11 PM
 
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My mom is the one who always got the magazines for my oldest, too. We have a bunch of Highlights and, like I said, the Nat'l Geo mags that he never touched. He just wasn't interested.

I looked more closely at Click and Ladybug since those are the ones that cover ds2's age. I liked what I saw in Click (maybe because I'm a scientist) but am not sure about Ladybug. I like the fact that it has stories and poems and songs and activities but I'm not sure about the content of them. I do not want anything that's trying to teach manners or morals or "good" behavior. I'm weird that way.
I never liked ladybug either. I got it briefly when my oldest "outgrew" Babybug but she just wasn't interested- or she'd want me to read the ENTIRE magazine to her in one sitting and I just couldn't read that much at once!

I was very impressed with babybug, and I've been impressed with their nonfiction magazines for kids old enough to read independently- but Ladybug was simply not a hit in my house.

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#77 of 332 Old 01-05-2008, 11:20 PM
 
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[COLOR="DarkRed]That is so much fun! Dd recently did this in our dining room. It didn't stay up long, but it was fun anyway. [/COLOR]
I'd love to see the fort a teenager comes up with. That must've been lots of fun. My teenage ds is forever building new skateboarding obstacles. He told me once how cool it would be to teach a physics class using skateboarding as the context. He went on to explain to me how it would work. I was very impressed. He's done the same thing with geometry and playing pool. He explained to me how he can see the angles on the table so that he can get the shot. I used to play pool a lot but I could never do that. I never got geometry in school, either, although I could do the problems and pass the tests and was considered a bit of a math whiz. Thanks for the explanation of how you googled egg yolk. I never would've thought to put the whole phrase in like that.

Ruthla ~ Did you end up cancelling your subscription to Ladybug? If so, did you have any trouble with that? I was thinking I might like to try a few editions but don't want to get stuck with it if I don't like it. It is rather pricey. I thought the price was pretty good but then I realized I was looking at the introductory discount price. I think I will get Click once we finish paying for dp's new tires for his Jeep. I swear the tires cost more than the Jeep is worth.

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#78 of 332 Old 01-06-2008, 12:14 AM
 
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He woke up this morning asking me if I wanted to know which numbers have middles. He told me "3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 and many others have middles but if you count by twos starting with 2 those numbers don't have middles". Then he demonstrated this to me on his hands.
That is awesome! I love when they come up with stuff like this. Now imagine if you'd sat him down and taught him about even and odd numbers. It would have been boring and he may not have understood it, but he figured it out his way!

It reminds me of Mr God, This Is Anna, by Fynn I love that book. Anna is so totally unschooled.

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#79 of 332 Old 01-06-2008, 05:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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we've been spending the last few days doing activities that dont involve electricity or leaving our 550 sq ft cottage (since there's a cyclone blowing outside and our power was out for 4 days!)

I started teaching DD to play guitar and we did a lot of reading and art

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#80 of 332 Old 01-06-2008, 05:44 AM
 
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we've been spending the last few days doing activities that dont involve electricity or leaving our 550 sq ft cottage (since there's a cyclone blowing outside and our power was out for 4 days!)

I started teaching DD to play guitar and we did a lot of reading and art
That's a long time to be without power! How did you cook food for those 4 days? I'm just realizing that we would be in trouble if we lost power for more than a few hours. The guitar, reading and art sound fun though!

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Was your dp fooled?
After pranking DH he called me from DH's phone and said "This is Papa's boss, I mean, (DH's name)'s boss"
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#81 of 332 Old 01-06-2008, 05:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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That's a long time to be without power! How did you cook food for those 4 days? I'm just realizing that we would be in trouble if we lost power for more than a few hours. The guitar, reading and art sound fun though!



After pranking DH he called me from DH's phone and said "This is Papa's boss, I mean, (DH's name)'s boss"
I'm still laughting about your ds pranking! that's just so classic!

and luckily, we have a gas camp stove!!

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#82 of 332 Old 01-06-2008, 11:40 AM
 
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After pranking DH he called me from DH's phone and said "This is Papa's boss, I mean, (DH's name)'s boss"
Gotta love it!

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#83 of 332 Old 01-06-2008, 01:36 PM
 
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we've been spending the last few days doing activities that dont involve electricity or leaving our 550 sq ft cottage (since there's a cyclone blowing outside and our power was out for 4 days!)

I started teaching DD to play guitar and we did a lot of reading and art
awesome, glad to hear you guys were alright.
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#84 of 332 Old 01-06-2008, 07:12 PM
 
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That is awesome! I love when they come up with stuff like this. Now imagine if you'd sat him down and taught him about even and odd numbers. It would have been boring and he may not have understood it, but he figured it out his way!

It reminds me of Mr God, This Is Anna, by Fynn I love that book. Anna is so totally unschooled.
I've not heard of that book but I'll check it out.
It's funny how many things I used to just assume had to be taught in exactly the way you described above! Luckily I learned better before my DS was old enough for me to think of doing any now-sit-down-and-learn moments.
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#85 of 332 Old 01-06-2008, 11:16 PM
 
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So, I've been thinking. And I'm thinking that some of you may have, at some point, thought what I've been thinking now and I'm hoping to hear those thoughts and then give some thought to them!

I am unshooling a 5.5 year old boy and a 2.5 year old girl. A big part of unschooling, in my opinion of the day, is the desire and ability to follow your interests and have self-directed learning and exploration. Yes? And, another big part of unschooling, in my opinion of today, is that children learn by being a part of the world, the family, etc. and a lot of learning happens through modeling, though not necessarily intentional modeling. Still with me? SO, I don't think I'm doing a very good job of modeling this as I find myself without many interests to pursue. I used to have interests... but then I had kids. I'm not really sure what my interests are anymore. I mean, I like to read, I like to cook, sort of, I like to eat chocolate. But my kids aren't seeing me "pursuing an interest" or actively seeking to learn about something that I am interested in.

I'm interested in your thoughts on this. What have you done to model this self-directed exploration for your children? How did you rediscover your interests post babyhood?
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#86 of 332 Old 01-06-2008, 11:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think John Holt said something like "children dont need us to force them to learn and show them how to do it, they already want to and know how"
paraphrasing because I dont have the exact quote, but that sums it up for me.

if your life right now is motherhood, then that is a valid interest to pursue. your kids will find their own ways, as long as you're there to support them in it

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#87 of 332 Old 01-07-2008, 12:15 AM
 
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I agree that motherhood and parenting are valid interests to model for your children. Taking care of children and a home and running a family are all tough jobs and can be very interesting and rewarding. There is so much children can learn from doing those "mundane" household jobs. Just today my 3yo ds went into my 16yo ds' room, who recently went to live with his dad, and "cleaned" it up to make it look nice and cool. He organized everything the way he thought it should be. That must've been sparked by me going in there yesterday and cleaning up, vacuuming the floor and moving the bed. I'm new to this unschooling so I can't put in words all of the "subjects" he covered or learned doing that. Maybe someone with more experience can do that.

I find it difficult now that I have young children, 3 and 6 months, to pursue my own interests. I used to love to read but am not really interested right now, mostly because I just don't have time to immerse myself in a book the way I like to. I use to love to workout, even did a bodybuilding competition once, but have no time for that right now because my children are not ready to be left with someone else. I do knit because that's something that can be interrupted several times and I can go back to it and easily pick up where I left off. There's a lot of math involved in that that my ds is picking up on. I keep a calculator next to me to use when I need to determine gauge and size. DS likes to play with the calculator. His latest thing is to ask what number someone is (age) and then punch it into the calculator. I like to watch science shows on TV. That exposes my ds to an interest of mine that I am pursuing in the one way I can right now. I try to consciously remind myself that as my children get older I will have more time for my own interests.

Now that I've typed all of that out it looks like I do a lot more than I thought I did. I wonder if you wrote down all the things you do every day, you might discover you model a lot more than you think.

DS asked me today what a meteor is and then said he didn't want to get in the way of one. I can't remember where that came from now. He was looking at something, holding a piece of paper or a book. Aargh! I wish I could remember what it was.

knit.gifSAHM to 3 boys and 1 man; 22 jammin.gif, 9REPlaySkateboard04HL.gif, 5 FIREdevil.gifand now 1 year oldtoddler.gif!

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#88 of 332 Old 01-07-2008, 10:45 AM
 
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Greetings mammas and pappas! Finally found time to come check in here Lots of fun things going on with everyone. I love seeing what everyone is up to. We've been winding down from the holidays, which are extended for us since Dh's birthday is on the 3rd. We had fun decorating for him and making a cake, and when he came home he was very surprised to see balloons and signs....I don't think he's had that since....well.....for a long time The Holidays were fun, crazy as always, but fun. We took a trip to PA to visit family and were glad when we finally made it home. Since then we've been staying home a lot, and Ds (7) hasn't really wanted to play with friends or do too much outside of our little "home base". Its been cold and snowy here and I've been feeling a need to hibernate also! We're getting back to our old routines though this week of going to chess club, homeschool group and Ds is going to check out Karate and possibly fencing. He's not sure so wants to check out both. I wish we were made of money so that if he liked both we could afford to pay for both. I'm worrying about that though before it even comes to pass.....what if he doesn't like either?? Anyway, been feeling the constraints of $$ lately I guess.

Oldest Ds is still really into Legos, and just told me this am how awesome legos are! He noticed that they are coming out with a new set of kits for Indiana Jones, so that led to discussions of 1) George Lucas and how he also wrote Star Wars (Ds's beloved Star Wars....he knows soooo much about Star Wars, and we have been enjoying watching the movies together recently, and playing lego star wars, and star wars coloring, and he is writing his own star wars comic book........) and also how Harrison Ford is in both Star Wars and Indiana Jones....which was very interesting to Ds because he is just beginning to understand the difference between the actors and the characters they play. 2) The locations (or supposed locations) for the movies, complete with getting out the globe! (which led to other discussions about mountains, rain shadows, etc) and also how often in movies the locations they show aren't always accurate and 3) The Holy Grail, what the story says it is, what people believe, and Ds talking to Dh about "but I can believe what I think is right". I never in my wildest imagination would have thought that Indiana Jones could be so "educational"


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I'm interested in your thoughts on this. What have you done to model this self-directed exploration for your children? How did you rediscover your interests post babyhood?
Well, my kids are 3 1/12 and 7, and I am just now beginning to find the time to explore my own interests. I took a long break from really doing anything but mothering and working (I'm also new to staying at home....been about 2 yrs now) because that is what I had time for. Now the boys are much more independent, and I'm learning to knit (there are some wonderful knitters in our homeschool group) and my friend taught me to felt and I've been exploring that for awhile now. Both of these things I can do while the kids are playing around me. And recently I'm teaching myself the guitar. My dad ( a musician) has been teaching himself for about a year, and we've both always wanted to learn to play this beautiful instrument. Seeing him progress has been really eye opening....especially since one of my hurdles has been that I"m not instantly good at this instrument, whereas I can already play the piano and flute, but they just don't turn me on like the guitar can. So, I've been practicing regularly for about a week now!!! Hopefully it will stick. I've had to be a bit more conscious in making sure that I make the time for these things I enjoy, for example, we are in a quite mode and I make the time to practice the guitar (or knit or felt) instead of jumping up to do the dishes. And while I do agree that kids will follow their interestes because that is what they naturally do, I think, especially for my oldest (who is a lot like me, wanting instant success), it has been nice for him to see me learning something....not just being good at something I learned when I was younger, but he has always seen be be able to do.....but actually practicing at something, struggling with it at times, and enjoying my successes during others.

I'd better move on with our day. I should write more often here, so my posts don't turn into books!!
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#89 of 332 Old 01-07-2008, 11:18 AM
 
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Oh, I have one more thing....it just happened this morning when we were eating breakfast....You know those packets or silica or other pebbled something or other, that they often put in powered drink mixes and other things, ours was in our Nano Greens 10,000 (a powered drink the boys drink each am, like liquid vitamins). I've always wondered what was in those things but never opened one....but my son wondered what was inside one and said "lets open it and find out". It was very interesting to see, then we read it was for controlling humidity and odor, so, we figured we'd pour some water on the pellets and see what happened. A pretty neat popping sound and some absorbtion of water which turned the pellets into a bit of a gel, but still pellets.

I was left wondering though, why I never thought to open this thing when I had been curious about them all this time too.
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#90 of 332 Old 01-07-2008, 12:01 PM
 
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Cool! I love it when kids help bring back that curiosity for us adults.

DD had her b-day party on Saturday. The kids had so much fun. Slight brag here but everyone loves our parties I like it when my friends, who don't know each other, meet for the first time and they really get along. Yah!

Then yesterday it snowed so we all avoided housework and post-party cleaning to go romp in the park. We had a blast. We came home drenched and cold and tired but it was so much fun. Then I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening lounging in bed, folding laundry and watching The Tudors. DD spend her remaining afternoon and evening playing My Sims downstairs. DH hung out downstairs reading and playing on the computer. It was a really cool day.

Last night, DD and I watched Clash of the Titans and the end of the PBS special on Helen of Troy. I was still hungry for more distraction so I watched some Black Adder til I fell asleep.

Today, it's raining and DD has a sore throat so we stayed in. I had more laundry and moving prep to do upstairs so after lunch, I watched Atonement while doing all that stuff in my bedroom. I'm getting ready to go out and run some errands before dinner. DD is still happy with My Sims

So, we've been heavy on the movies/TV/vid games in the past two days but we all sort of feel we need to decompress after the party. It was fun but very active and stimulating. We have less energy and need to recharge for the NEXT big thing here which is DH's birthday on Thursday. Then on Sat, we have guests coming for the day and staying for dinner.

DH went to the Spanish embassy today and needs to go back to talk to the one person who can give him the answers we need before moving. That won't be til the 16th (the person is on holiday) so we're just focusing on dwindling down possessions and selling furniture.
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