February Unschooling Thread - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 152 Old 02-02-2008, 12:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Is it OK if I start a new thread? And again, can I wish, er, outloud (so to speak), for an unschooling forum?
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#2 of 152 Old 02-02-2008, 12:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So what are you all up to?

DD is sick so I've been puttering around the bedroom, tidying up while she rests in our bed. We're on movie 3 today and it's only 4pm! DH and I are taking turns hanging with her cuz we are trying to clear bookshelves for someone to pick up tonight. Still getting rid of furniture, slowly but surely. Still can't bring myself to face the "Harry Potter room," which is what we call the storage closet underneath the stairs.

The cool thing is that I found all these books on DD's shelf that she forgot she had! It was like Christmas all over again
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#3 of 152 Old 02-02-2008, 02:47 PM
 
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Thanks for starting it this month!

We spent the morning at the mall. Olivia is almost 9, so the mall is way cool. She really wanted to do some shopping at Hot Topic but the little one was not having it. We decided we would go again soon- maybe when we get our tax return!

We're planning on going to the library this afternoon. We checked out a HUGE bag on Monday and we've went through them all already.

It's almost beach weather here, too! We're really looking forward to that!

Joyfully- Laura
radically unschooling 3 awesome kids
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#4 of 152 Old 02-02-2008, 03:11 PM
 
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My 9 week old ds, and probably now my 2 year old dd, have RSV. The baby and I spent Tuesday night in the hospital. Now we are homebound for a few weeks. I'm trying to arrange rides for my 7 yo dd to her activities, etc for the next few weeks.

I think that, if we didn't unschool, I would be beside myself. As it is, I'm already concerned about my dd1 feeling neglected and going stir-crazy...

Someday, things will get easier...right?
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#5 of 152 Old 02-02-2008, 03:15 PM
 
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Quote:
And again, can I wish, er, outloud (so to speak), for an unschooling forum?
ME TOO! It's been ONE YEAR since that request was made!

As much as I'd like to, I find it hard to keep up with these monthly threads because there are so many conversations going on at once. It would be so much easier if there was a sub-forum where we could separate the topics. I feel sometimes like this is a chat room and I don't know who is responding to whom, yk?

We've had sort of a quiet month, but things are starting to pick up a little. My current challenge is trying to juggle "the child who never wants to go anywhere" with the two teens who are always on the go.

I've been asked by a homeschool co-op group, to give a talk about unschooling. I'm alternately nervous and excited about it. (Hey, maybe this will be my new career, lol!) I'm not really sure what I'm going to say...maybe just focus on "this is our story" and hope they ask lots of questions after that!

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#6 of 152 Old 02-02-2008, 03:17 PM
 
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Well, DH has been away on business for the last week (for the first time ever), and my eldest has been going through major separation anxiety , so we've mostly just been trying to get by and wait for the time to pass. We've watched a lot of David Attenborough videos, read some stories, and played over at the neighbours' for a bit; anything more than that, DS1 hasn't been up for. And we've been having lots and lots of hugs.

But DH is coming home today, in a few hours! Yay! (happy dance)

So today I'm trying to get the house a wee bit tidy, so he doesn't come home to a complete disaster area.
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#7 of 152 Old 02-02-2008, 03:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by wwisdomskr View Post

I think that, if we didn't unschool, I would be beside myself....Someday, things will get easier...right?

Yes, it will. s

When we've had a crisis here, it's meant a lot to me to have the whole family together.

Hope your lo's are feeling better soon.

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#8 of 152 Old 02-02-2008, 03:51 PM
 
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Kara & wwisdom, I'm sorry your LOs are sick. I hope they're all feeling better again quickly!
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#9 of 152 Old 02-02-2008, 04:31 PM
 
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When we've had a crisis here, it's meant a lot to me to have the whole family together.
I agree! I spent 3 months in bed or at the hospital last fall and it was a relief not to have to worry that we were falling behind on lessons. School was the least of my worries right then.
Hooray for unschooling!

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#10 of 152 Old 02-02-2008, 07:58 PM
 
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Hi ladies,

Is it OK if I pop my head in here? I don't have a "school age" child... mine is only 17 months but I have been lurking and wanted to introduce myself.

I have always wanted to homeschool. I'll admit when I first heard about unschooling (I was 13? 14?) I thought it was crazy. How could you possibly learn without a curriculum? I got pregnant with my son and I thought there would be no way for me to homeschool as a single parent...

After he was born I found MDC Doing reading here I realized that unschooling was totally something I was called to do. I was very concerned still about the single parenting/working aspect though. Then last Sunday I was talking to a friend who homeschools her 4 kids. She told me about homeschooling the three oldest even as she went to school herself outside the home (she was a single parent with them until he met/married her DH).

All of a sudden it clicked. It will all work out... I don't know how, but it will. He's *already* unschooling and I'm in school and WAH.

This week has been very cool because as we do the things we always do I have been really seeing him learning. Watching connections being made in his head. I even have found I have more patience... for instance when he was pulling out all the recycling instead of being upset I watched him as he stacked things and was instead in awe of him.

So that's us. We're in for the long haul. I look forward to getting to know you all better

Alison
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#11 of 152 Old 02-02-2008, 08:36 PM
 
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Hi everyone. I have been wondering why I wasn't getting email notifications about new posts on the unschooling thread and then I realized it was February!

We've been busy trying to get used to daddy being home. We're starting to hit the rough part of it. My 16yo came down this weekend for his brother's birthday party, which was today. He's staying for a week. I'm very happy about that. We decorated and made a cake for the party. 4yo ds has been helping daddy build things and work on the car. He's been skateboarding with his big brother and his friends. I so love having the teenagers hanging out at my house again. I had really missed all of them. We got an ice cream maker that I can't wait to use. I used to make ice cream when I was a kid and it was always so much better than the stuff from the store.

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#12 of 152 Old 02-02-2008, 08:54 PM
 
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I'd LOVE an unschooling forum! I don't have much time to check in here, and being able to go straight to what I most love, that would be awesome!

Today I'm nursing (literally and metaphorically) my sick 13 mo dd. Thank goodness for nursing!

Mostly we're just hanging out and waiting for winter to go away.

Because of the weather, they've been spending lots of time playing Pajama Sam and Spy Fox and Clue Finders and loads of other educational computer games. Now that they are BOTH readers, it's interesting to watch the 4.5yo read words to the 8.5yo!

Thank goodness, also, for public libraries. Ours is awesome. Nic (8.5yo) just finished watching a 4 hour long series about Africa produced by the PBS show Nature. It took him several days to watch all of it. It's cool that he craves these things. It's very interesting to be able to have a conversation with your child about Namibia, and have him teach you things!

Life is good. Cold. Busy. But good.

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#13 of 152 Old 02-02-2008, 10:25 PM
 
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Hey everyone! I'm keeping up with this thread and contributing this month instead of doing my usual lurking.

Buuut, dd just texted me to go pick her up... Mom's taxi service, open 24 hours a day you know... More later.
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#14 of 152 Old 02-02-2008, 11:53 PM
 
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It's so fun to read about what all of you are up to.

Dh had to fix the dryer vent today...so it didn't feel much like the weekend. The kids and I set up camp in the basement family room, complete with the baby's humidifier so he could breathe... We watched several episodes of Zoboomafoo and I helped them make a fort.

I told dh that I needed to hide-out in the bathtub for awhile, after dinner. He tucked ds in the sling while he and the girls made sweet-potato-chocolate-chip cupcakes.

I can't wait until they finish frosting them...with coffee flavored frosting...:
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#15 of 152 Old 02-03-2008, 01:01 AM
 
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Originally Posted by wwisdomskr View Post
My 9 week old ds, and probably now my 2 year old dd, have RSV. The baby and I spent Tuesday night in the hospital. Now we are homebound for a few weeks. I'm trying to arrange rides for my 7 yo dd to her activities, etc for the next few weeks.

I think that, if we didn't unschool, I would be beside myself. As it is, I'm already concerned about my dd1 feeling neglected and going stir-crazy...

Someday, things will get easier...right?
Oh, no! We just did this in December, the RSV/hospital thing. I am so sorry to hear your little ones are down with it. Hope you get some rest and respite soon It will get better!!

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#16 of 152 Old 02-03-2008, 01:47 AM
 
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Hi, everyone

Today: There was a children's store in town having their big grand opening today, so we went at about 11 a.m. for free hotdogs, cupcakes, face painting, balloons and photos with "Mr. Incredible". The kids enjoyed it all. They really enjoyed sitting in the little pink Barbie Jeep the most, I believe.

We did some worksheets, for fun, as ds #1 likes connect the dots right now, and ds#2 got a kick out of drawing a line from the pictures of mommy animals to the matching baby animals.

Ds #2 played on pbskids.org for a while.

Boys dug in the dirt outside--they seem to enjoy being outside when it is cloudy.

We all ate dinner in the van, courtesy of that fine restaurant, Wendy's, and then bought the kids a toy at the Dollar store.

The library has been great this week. The boys chose their own movies, and I'll tell ya, nothing teaches a person to add better than knowing that the total amount we are allowed to check out of DVDs in one go is 7, and if little brother chooses 3, then he gets to choose 4!!

Getting over our boredom and "doldrums" and looking forward to V Day and, then, Easter!! Really excited for that...

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#17 of 152 Old 02-03-2008, 04:54 AM
 
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Hi everyone

I've been busy cleaning and decluttering a bit. We just found out that one of my oldest and dearest friends is coming for 10 day visit, and we are so excited. We've been friends since I was 9, and I haven't seen her since summer 06. We are getting a make shift guest room set up for her in the garage, and we only have 4 days to get it ready.

Both kids have been online a lot as usual. Ds is starting to study for his GED, and he hopes to be done by his birthday. He was reading about exponents the other night. Dd has found a recent interest in the presidential candidates and she's been reading up on that.

We made a cake for Imbolc tonight, and it was fantastic.

Currently they are watching a SNL rerun and throwing legos at each other. :

Our doggy is still gone, and we miss her so much. Her picture is on the altar and we pray she is safe.

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#18 of 152 Old 02-03-2008, 04:58 AM
 
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Originally Posted by wwisdomskr View Post
My 9 week old ds, and probably now my 2 year old dd, have RSV. The baby and I spent Tuesday night in the hospital. Now we are homebound for a few weeks. I'm trying to arrange rides for my 7 yo dd to her activities, etc for the next few weeks.

I think that, if we didn't unschool, I would be beside myself. As it is, I'm already concerned about my dd1 feeling neglected and going stir-crazy...

Someday, things will get easier...right?
They will get easier, and then not, and then easier again. Cycles and all.

Unschooling is such a blessing in the hard times. Wishing your family well rested get better asap vibes! :

"The true measure of a man is how he treats a man who can do him absolutely no good."
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#19 of 152 Old 02-03-2008, 10:42 AM
 
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Went to see a cousin of my husband's yesterday to visit and hang out. The kids enjoyed playing with theirs for the most part, but dd was getting frustrated with their dd that she wasn't able to play in certain ways with her...complex pretend games, etc. The cousin's dd is 3, and ds will be 5 in June. However, he is short for his age, although stocky, and has a pretty major expressive speech delay ( in enunciation...only has 4-5 consanant sounds he uses for all his words although has a great volcabulary/complex sentence structure, lol), this gives the impression that he is MUCH youinger than he is, but he is obviously waaaay ahead of the cousin's dd cognitively, so S could just not understand why she couldn't play with Sarah like she does Jonathan. She was also tired, and came close to blowing her top a few times, so needed lots of removal from the situation/gentle suggestions from me/go to another room with me and read a book, etc for a while. Sigh...those INTENSE redheads!!!

I am : right now from living in a house that is turning into a money pit. I am starting to paint the whole thing which is OK because I enjoy it and the previous owners did a sh&^*ty job, but lo an behold what am I finding behind the paint that flakes off so easily under my kids (old, old) windows....MOLD! Aaaagh! The drywall especially in J's room is crumbling underneath, at least the outer paper layer of it, and has a sheen of some purpl-ey stuff that smells musty. This was totally not detectable to us or our inspector when we bought and was covered up. We have been told it would basically be very difficult to prove the owners had known about this, thier word against ours sort of thing. We knew there was a bit on one of the walls in the basement, but thought it was from boxes stored too close to the wall (surface mold is very common here when people do stuff like that) and wiped it up although it looks like it is coming back, and now we have put 2 and 2 together and realize these basement walls are on a side of the house that has an improper grade in the soil (sloped to the house, which we corrected) and no eavestroughs (also corrected)...gulp! Now we are finding crumbling panelling in another room in the basement in a corner, again not detectable previously. We are calling a specialist in to get an approximate cost, but I am sick about this as we cannot afford to rip out walls (and god knows what is behind them!), put in new windows, etc and will have to BEG the bank to up our credit line AGAIN...we had just "consolidated" 3 debts onto this and arranged an auto withdrawal to make those debts more manageable. We were going to save/use tax returns and be patient and wait for cosmetic things like carpet, and stuff but we will have to go into more debt for this. Before we bought we didn't expect dh to get so sick this past fall, and still be barely able to work either (and does not get sick benefits)....that is what is going to make this financially unbearable but we do have to take care of it. :


Ok, sorry ladies, I have got to stop whining. I understand what a previous poster said about being thankful they unschooled. I am trying to keep postitive about all this stuff. Even when dh got so sick this last summer/fall and we were starting to work on ds speech and gross motor issues, etc there were people who just suggested to us to put them in school and me work more, but of course that is not the cure all for everything. I think the kids need to see how we handle struggle too, and I know dd especially would be very stressed in school.

We have some plans to cheer ourselves up. Sledding if it gets warmer in the next day or two, and I am going to the library to get out the Planet Earth series as dd and I have been talking geography alot lately.

Tina, RN, wife-y to J, mom to dd (10) and ds (7)
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#20 of 152 Old 02-03-2008, 10:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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ugh. My sympathies on the money pit issues.

DD is still ill. I spent the morning updating my blog (see signature, if you want) while we watched a movie (Stargate). Right now, she is coloring and waiting for me to finish typing this so I can color with her
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#21 of 152 Old 02-03-2008, 12:19 PM
 
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wwisdom, I well remember the days of four sick kids under the age of six. I definitely thought it was going to be like that for so long it might as well be the rest of my life. But recently I'm shocked to see that it really does get easier! Take it from a skeptic and a big whiny baby! I seriously struggled with having many babies to care for.

Lets see, my oldest, 9yo dd, is into plays now. Unfortunately, she can't get her siblings or friends to act in her plays! Last night at about 12:30 am (yeah, am) she discovered puppets and built herself a paper puppet theater. She continues to bravely write everything she needs written, asking for help with spelling.

DS #1, 6.5, is into wildlife (for a couple of years now) and can reel off facts like you wouldn't believe! I know almost as much as he does, cause he can't read yet.

DS 2 and dd2, 5 and 3 respectively, have been raiding the dress up together for the past few days and running around as koala/walrus/chicken/knights. Something like that.

We hit our *fabulous* library yesterday. We had 87 overdue items! We don't have any fines, or I'd be in trouble! The kids got a dose of social intelligence at bedtime with a book on Susan B Anthony (they've already heard of Sojourner Truth, so a continuation). DD 3yo wanted to pelt those bad men in Congress with rotten eggs, tomatoes, carrots, celery, and cucumbers!:

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#22 of 152 Old 02-03-2008, 01:24 PM
 
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we are watching a huge amount of TV due to the fact that the baby has been fussy. So basicaly, I can sit here and type. LOL.

I am not "schooling" but I am really struggling with activitys we can do as a family with the 2, 4, and infant. The 2 and 4 yr olds are at such different levels and I am out of ideas of what to do with them all day. (We dont venture out much, I am not so good with 3 kids in public alone yet.)

I try coloring, painting, playdoh---the 2 yr old just eats all of those materials.



What do you do with little ones? They wont stay outside and free play for long, and they are often fighting.

:
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#23 of 152 Old 02-03-2008, 02:06 PM
 
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OMG Transformed, do I know where you are at right now! This was me, to a T, after my fourth was born. The fighting just drove me nuts. Things never seemed to be calm, and even now I don't think there's much I could have done to make it more calm. I learned I could handle the chaos if I took it moment by moment- that's all you can do. Siblings without Rivalry is a good book for a step by step on what to do when the fights crop up. I'm here to tell you that if you can stay calm and look at the fighting as a learning experience for everyone, it will affect how your dc play together when they get older. Eventually they will be buddies and do stuff together, and if you teach them conflict resolution now, they will even handle their disagreements on their own. They won't learn for YEARS, but they will learn. As for things they can all do, the only thing that worked for me was reading. Things would be relatively calm while I was reading. Walks worked ok, too. But seriously, this is a hard time, hard ages, and you will see the benefits of all your hard work in later years. Peace to you, mama!

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#24 of 152 Old 02-03-2008, 02:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, we colored and I read a few chapters of the next Nancy drew in our list. DD is feeling a little better but still ill. I have to think of something fun to do tomorrow because I'm sick of sitting in the bed watching movies. (Never thought I'd think THAT! LOL)
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#25 of 152 Old 02-03-2008, 03:30 PM
 
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Hi Everyone,

I have to agree, an Unschooling forum would make things so much easier. I have a hard time keeping up with the thread as the month gets longer.

We've been extremely busy here and it's only going to get busier now that DS2 has started Art lessons. We've also joined the homeschool ski day at our local hill. It's so great that the kids get an hour lesson for so cheap. It also helps that DD gets a free season pass because she's under 5 and DS2 gets a free season pass this year because of the "grade 2" program to get kids skiing. Last week was our first week and they told me that DD probably wouldn't get a lesson because the hill is being strict about the kids being 'school age' and she's only 4. So, I told her to tell them she's 5 (5 in March) and in K. She loved that and when she remembered that she is working in K books it was even better. She got her lesson and is doing great.

So DD is loving her workbooks. She was asking for some of her own when her brothers work in their books so I went out and got her some pre-school books and she devoured them in 2 days. So we went out together and she picked out 2 more books to work in. This time K books that require her to write so a bit more challenging but loving every minute of it.

DS1 is still working on earning Cub badges and has managed to earn his family helper badge on his own and is almost done his cooking badge. He's getting frustrated with his math. He wanted to be done his first book by the end of January but is still working on it. He's asked me to remind him more often to work in his book so he can get it done.

DS2 has become my busy child, which was so unexpected. He's in Jazz and Tap and will be in competition this year. He's working hard to learn to ski and is looking forward to trying snowboarding this Wed. He's excited to have learned how to skate this year. He's learning quickly in his French lessons and pulls out his practice work all on his own. He's doing Art lessons now and loves it and really hates that it's only once a week,lol. He's working quickly through his Math books, especially now that he is starting to read on his own.

I live in an area that does not understand unschooling at all, even amoung other homeschoolers. The amount of comments we get about how can I 'teach' my kids everything they need to know and run a daycare at the same time. I tell them that children are born to learn and will learn anything if you just let them do it. They then look at me like I have a third eye or something.

Oh well, all in unschoolers life I guess.
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#26 of 152 Old 02-03-2008, 06:36 PM
 
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ugh. My sympathies on the money pit issues.

DD is still ill. I spent the morning updating my blog (see signature, if you want) while we watched a movie (Stargate). Right now, she is coloring and waiting for me to finish typing this so I can color with her

Hey, we love Stargate. Have you guys seen the Stargate TV series or Stargate Atlantis? We're Stargate nerds here. They're very interesting!!!

Mama to DS (10), DS (8), DS (5), DD (3), & DD (6 months).
Lucky Wife to My Techy DH for 11 years.
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#27 of 152 Old 02-03-2008, 06:47 PM
 
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we are watching a huge amount of TV due to the fact that the baby has been fussy. So basicaly, I can sit here and type. LOL.

I am not "schooling" but I am really struggling with activitys we can do as a family with the 2, 4, and infant. The 2 and 4 yr olds are at such different levels and I am out of ideas of what to do with them all day. (We dont venture out much, I am not so good with 3 kids in public alone yet.)

I try coloring, painting, playdoh---the 2 yr old just eats all of those materials.



What do you do with little ones? They wont stay outside and free play for long, and they are often fighting.

:
Oooh, wow, I could have written this! We go out to the park, occasionally when the sun is shining and the wind is down, and the library sometimes (I used to buckle the toddler in the stroller, but now that he is 3, he holds me hand and doesn't run away as often). The children's museum has been great, and we splurged and bought a family pass so we could go often. It's still tricky keeping an eye on both boys, but it's worked well so far. I also have a few friends with kids around the ages of mine and we "trade" playdates with each other.

Something we did yesterday that both boys could do was graphing.

I had a number graph, 1 to 10, and had chocolate chips, Cheerios, raisins and marshmallows. The kids each had a graph sheet. I asked my 5 year old to count how many buttons were on his shirt and then show me how many that would look like on the graph with chocolate chips on the graph. (I asked more questions, like how many boys are in our family, how old he was, etc) Then, I'd ask him to take two away (eat them!) and then tell me how many are left. He would count them with his finger, and then I showed him he could look on the side to see the number the food corresponded to. When little bro started "bugging us", I threw some more marshmallows his way.

Fingerpainting is the great denominator of life Bathtub fingerpainting is even better, for mom mostly (easier to clean up).
Maybe that would be fun for y'all?? Good luck, some days I feel so trapped, I can relate to you!!

We also play video games: me and big bro play Star Wars Legos while little bro sits on my lap and baby naps or plays nearby with toys. Maybe 20 minutes??

They both liked having attention. I am just beginning to find ways to give them attention simultaneously. It's been a challenge! I try for one or two moments like this during the day.

Mama to DS (10), DS (8), DS (5), DD (3), & DD (6 months).
Lucky Wife to My Techy DH for 11 years.
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#28 of 152 Old 02-03-2008, 09:58 PM
 
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Hey, we love Stargate. Have you guys seen the Stargate TV series or Stargate Atlantis? We're Stargate nerds here. They're very interesting!!!
Us, too! Still trying to find a way to name a baby Teal'c. Don't think it's going to happen, though! :LOL

: mama to 4 boys
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#29 of 152 Old 02-03-2008, 10:04 PM
 
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Us, too! Still trying to find a way to name a baby Teal'c. Don't think it's going to happen, though! :LOL
Mmmm Teal'c.

LOL! Ds is the Stargate lover around here (as was my mom), but I just like the eye candy.

Today is all for Dh. The Superbowl! He loves it, and the kids and I just like the halftime show and commercials. We do have some yummy snacks too.


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#30 of 152 Old 02-03-2008, 11:49 PM
 
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It's all football, all day long here too. Most of the Superbowl commercials don't get played in Canada, so ds has been watching them on You Tube for the last week. He's especially fond of this one from last year.

I learned today that green tomatilla salsa makes amazing nachos. I bought a can months ago and haven't figured out what to do with it until now.

Go Giants!
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