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#61 of 147 Old 03-11-2008, 12:38 PM
 
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Pia, it sounds lovely there. My ds used to love burning paper with his magnifying glass. I've fantasized about moving to Barcelona for years. How is hsing there? From what I've read it's not very common. I'm a British citizen (my parents are from Northern Ireland), so I can live in Europe. I've been thinking about going when ds is about 16 or so, and maybe doing "high school" by back packing and working our way around Europe. I don't know, though, I may have left it too late, I feel like such an old lady lately

The arena where I work is currently hosting the Brier, the Canadian Men's Curling championship, one of the biggest sporting events, if not any event, in Canada (curling is HUGE here), so I've been working lots of hours. Ds is working today too, pretty well the entire staff of the arena (probably over a thousand people) are needed for this event. Watching the logistics of hosting something this big is pretty interesting.

The arena has rented virtually every table available for rent in Winnipeg, and still there is not nearly enough seating for meals here. We will have about 15,000 tickets holders passing through the building every day for 10 days, plus arena staff, brier staff, family, media, 1200 volunteers, etc. The company I work for is responsible for feeding probably 20,000 people daily, from 7am to midnight. It's pretty massive and chaotic, just how I love my work day

Ds bought Super Smash bros yesterday, and I fully expect him to stop playing and start talking to me again in, oh, 3 months Apparently it's very, very fun, if anyone is looking to buy a Wii game soon.

After the Brier, we have some back to back hockey games and concerts at the arena, so neither ds nor I will have much in the way of leisure time, though, for at least 2 weeks. Once the hockey season is over, though, I have plenty of free time, so I'm starting to plan some day trips and field trips now, looking forward to when there isn't 3 feet of snow on the ground, and I don't have to work 7 days a week.

Anna, have you dug out yet from your snowstorm? My boss was telling me yesterday about when he was snowed in at a restaurant he used to cook in for 3 days. Apparently table cloths don't make good towels after a shower .
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#62 of 147 Old 03-11-2008, 12:57 PM
 
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Anna, have you dug out yet from your snowstorm? My boss was telling me yesterday about when he was snowed in at a restaurant he used to cook in for 3 days. Apparently table cloths don't make good towels after a shower .
Yeah, we're out now. Dh went to the grocery yesterday and we have a whole fridge full of food now! The main thing is that our driveway didn't get plowed. The rest we can pretty well manage. I guess the plow guy's truck broke on the neighbor's driveway, so he came back yesterday with a rented bobcat. It was neat to watch and it got cleared pretty quickly. That was of course after DH got the car stuck in the driveway and I got it out all by myself.

I did go out dancing Sunday night with some friends at one of the bars up the street. So not totally stuck. Just without fresh groceries.

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#63 of 147 Old 03-11-2008, 07:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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our homeschoolers meeting is today, and I volunteered to do a cooking workshop :
we're making gingerbread cookies.

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#64 of 147 Old 03-11-2008, 09:53 PM
 
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Mmm cookies!

I've just been soaking up any good weather we've had. I love it so much, and it makes being outside so easy. We've been taking the dog out a lot and working in the yard (which still looks like crap, btw)

Tonight is AI!

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#65 of 147 Old 03-12-2008, 06:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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the cookies were a big success!
I actually managed to organise half-a-dozen unschooled 2-6yos in making ginger cookies!
I'll post pics later

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#66 of 147 Old 03-13-2008, 09:47 PM
 
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Wow, majikfaerie! That's a feat!

For some reason even though I posted on here before I haven't been getting email updates. MDC is funny like that sometimes.

We made rock candy last night. DS saw an episode of Camp Lazlo on CN where the scoutmaster's assistant took all the boys forbidden candy and one of the boys had a chemistry set so that he could make candy. So, ds wanted to make his own candy. It was very easy. I also got stuff to make fudge and no-cook fondant (I figure I can keep that around for whenever I need a sugar fix rather than eating frosting from a tub ). We've been having beautiful warm weather, too, so we've been outside a lot. I got a double stroller so I can start to get some exercise. DS told me I'm not allowed to do that, though, because he's waiting for my belly to get bigger so he can have a baby sister.

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#67 of 147 Old 03-14-2008, 02:16 AM
 
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before I read the rest of this thread...4evermom where is this lego clearance you speak of???


WE LOVE LEGOS!@!
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#68 of 147 Old 03-14-2008, 09:32 AM
 
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Dd and I got the dragon fruit seeds planted a couple days ago, and also some giant sunflowers. They're in the kitchen window as it's too cold to plant outside yet.

Ds has agreed to give dd bass lessons, so they did the first one yesterday.

In the evening, dd helped dh put in a new doorbell, and then we played 2 rounds of Clue.

Right now ds is upstairs jamming on his guitar, dd is outside with the dog and I'm avoiding housework.
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#69 of 147 Old 03-14-2008, 10:53 AM
 
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before I read the rest of this thread...4evermom where is this lego clearance you speak of???


WE LOVE LEGOS!@!
Sorry to give you false hope.

I just meant that the local branch of Marshall's discount store had the toys on final clearance. Because of the type of neighborhood it is in, certain really great toys don't sell so I picked up a lego exo force kit for $7, knocked down from $30 with the claim that it's regular retail price was $50. I get the best stuff at this store. If I go to the one in the nicer neighborhood, the stuff sells before it goes on clearance.

We haven't been doing much. I'm trying to get the house ready for Easter company and ds is usually trying to get me or grandma to play with him. If he ropes her into something, I scurry around and try to get something accomplished. We'll probably go play with fire in the backyard in a bit.

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#70 of 147 Old 03-14-2008, 12:29 PM
 
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Poor ds wants to draw a picture of a tank but he doesn't want it to look wrong. He tried getting me to to draw it. I told him I didn't like being given drawing assignments. I suggested he trace his toy tank (he already had stencils out trying to figure out how to draw a super hero). I'm glad he is actually trying to draw but I wish he'd put less weight on the perfection of the results.

OK, he just brought me a picture of a smiley face with a star underneath and a speech bubble coming from the face, all done with stencils, and asked me to write the words! This is a serious big deal! This child does not try to write or draw ever!

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#71 of 147 Old 03-14-2008, 09:33 PM
 
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Poor ds wants to draw a picture of a tank but he doesn't want it to look wrong. He tried getting me to to draw it. I told him I didn't like being given drawing assignments. I suggested he trace his toy tank (he already had stencils out trying to figure out how to draw a super hero). I'm glad he is actually trying to draw but I wish he'd put less weight on the perfection of the results.
Aww, poor guy under such stress about his artistic works! Maybe you guys could look at a bunch of different tanks and then each draw one. Then he can see how they get to look a bunch of different ways.

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OK, he just brought me a picture of a smiley face with a star underneath and a speech bubble coming from the face, all done with stencils, and asked me to write the words! This is a serious big deal! This child does not try to write or draw ever!
Fun! I loved it when they started getting into words and writing.

Dh is home for the weekend, and it's a little : right now. Had to do errands, take the boy child practice driving, get some groceries, etc etc. Ds is upstairs now voice chatting/messaging with someone from a game I think, and Dd just left for a dance. Phew. I've got an hour before I need to think about dinner.

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#72 of 147 Old 03-15-2008, 03:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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4evermom, my dd is a lot like that. she tries to draw things, and gets hugely frustrated when her pictures don't come out with the perfection she wants. she ends up getting me to draw for her, and I'm not really good enough for her standards either
Its frustrating, and I don't really know what to do on that one.

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#73 of 147 Old 03-15-2008, 08:48 AM
 
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Holy DDDDCs Majikfaerie! I was scrolled so all I could see was "time is inappropriate" and was pondering how profound that was in the context of unschooling.

I read something recently about how boys draw using fewer colors and they tend to be more interested in drawing action. I remember how my brothers used to draw, making elaborate cross sections of landscapes. They would each work on the opposite side of the paper and make little guys with jet packs and such who would battle each other. It was a very interactive style of drawing. I think I should see if ds is interested in drawing with me since he is so interactive. I just don't want him standing over me telling me what to do!

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#74 of 147 Old 03-15-2008, 04:27 PM
 
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dd and I do a lot of interactive drawing. We made up some games to play on paper. Example: one of us draws a creature or pet or Pokemon. the other draws choices for food, clothing, home, toys, etc. We sometimes price the items (hey, Math! LOL) and see how much we can "buy" with the amount we set for each other.

well, we're here in ABQ! It's nice and the people are quite friendly. However, it is sooooooo dry that our noses actually hurt. We are thirsty and feel exhausted with any kind of activity. Plus, we have jet lag still. UGH! But, we are happy to be here. When we get settled, we plan to meet the unschooling group.
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#75 of 147 Old 03-15-2008, 05:15 PM
 
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I remember going through that everything has to be perfect stage with my oldest. Nothing I did at his request to help was good enough, either. I don't think I handled it particularly well at the time. Maybe it's just an ages/stages thing as they work it all out. My 4yo ds isn't much into to drawing. He likes to paint. A couple of days ago he made a painting of just yellow. That's his fave color.

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#76 of 147 Old 03-15-2008, 07:43 PM
 
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On the drawing front, I can tell you what I do. My dd1 is a little delayed in fine motor skills so her drawings do not measure up to her imagination. Two things have worked to give her a feeling a success (and build up those skills a bit). First, tracing paper is a wonderful thing. That way she can copy the exact picture and have it turn out pretty well. The second thing is to find a picture of what she wants and to let her mess around with it in Photoshop. Playing with some of the effects is very fun and the undo command helps her to feel more free to experiment.
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#77 of 147 Old 03-15-2008, 08:10 PM
 
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Chalk is a good medium for ds for the "undo" factor, too. lol.

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#78 of 147 Old 03-15-2008, 08:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Holy DDDDCs Majikfaerie! I was scrolled so all I could see was "time is inappropriate" and was pondering how profound that was in the context of unschooling.

I read something recently about how boys draw using fewer colors and they tend to be more interested in drawing action. I remember how my brothers used to draw, making elaborate cross sections of landscapes. They would each work on the opposite side of the paper and make little guys with jet packs and such who would battle each other. It was a very interactive style of drawing. I think I should see if ds is interested in drawing with me since he is so interactive. I just don't want him standing over me telling me what to do!
wow, time is totally inappropriate.
I never looked at my DDDDC like that; good point! I know, I seem to have a surfeit of DDDDCs. not that there's anything wrong with that

I've tried drawing together with DD, but she just gets into "do it how I want. no, not like that, like THIS!!" etc.
i'm sure it will pass.

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#79 of 147 Old 03-16-2008, 12:10 AM
 
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I've been working 11 days straight, and ds is on his 6th day, so this week we are learning how to cook very, very simple meals

Ds went out and did some grocery shopping while I was at work today (he worked 8am-noon, and I was on noon to 6pm), paying for it with his own money Sometimes I just love that kid (ok, all the time, but sometimes he just makes me want to squeeze him with joy, something I am no longer allowed to do, at least in public ) He made frozen pizza for dinner, and we read today's Boing Boing listings. My personal favorite was this fabulous 107 second remake of the original Star Wars movie

Ds and I are both working again tomorrow (the last day of curling, thankfully!) and then I hope we can do some shopping together, pay off his bass and pick it up, and do some window shopping for a new bike (ds rode his last one into twisted oblivion in about 4 months, so we're going to find something a little sturdier this year.)
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#80 of 147 Old 03-16-2008, 02:17 PM
 
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Dd and I did the toad rescuing last night. It was 38 degrees, plus rain and wind, but it was awesome.

Our group collected 60 toads. We learned how to tell the difference between males and females (females are bigger, and males have black pads on their toes to help them grip onto the females), and lots of cool toad facts (did you know that frogs hop, but toads walk? I didn't!).

All the other kids left immediately after the collecting session ('cause their parents needed to get out of the cold, lol, the kids were fine), so dd got to go with the 2 guides to count (we had 55 males and 5 females!) and release the toads. It was amazing to see them all instinctively walking toward the pond that is their breeding place. Dd was begging to take one home with her.

We warmed up with popcorn and hot chocolate when we got home.
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#81 of 147 Old 03-17-2008, 11:14 AM
 
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Ok, once again I am never going to post if I try to catch up every day (before they find me!). Things here are OK, I have been sick with a cold this week adn combined with my increasing belly have been having trouble dragging my butt around. Fortunatly DS2 is finally getting into imaginary play so they are spending more time playing real games together instead of just torturing each other (though there is still plenty of that). The weather has improved and it is regularily hovering around freezing now, so at least we can go outside, I have started a make work project of moving all the snow out of our yard while the kids play so that our yard will melt faster. SO thinks I'm insane , it's a lot of snow, but now we have a 1x3 patch of dead grass that no one else on the street has .......

We have also been going out to the lot where we are building our new house a few times a week, we watched them jack up and move the old house, which was crazy and DS1 and my dad have been stripping the garage of usefull materials befor eit gets demolished ina few weeks. We also found alittle tiny birds nest in a branch the workers had cut down, so we brough it home to add to our nature shelf.

DS1 has been asking and complaining that he wants to go to school next year, so we re wrestling with that. He went to daycare for a year in the basement of a local elementary school, so he thinks that is what school will be, also SO teaches high school so DS really wants to be in his class.......*sigh* We are trying to explain the difference to him and why we don't want him to go right now, and what it would actually be like if he went, but he just doesen't really get it. He's also very extroverted and I have trouble keeping up with his social needs. So we have been doing some more structured activities which seems to make him happy, I asked him what he thought hey were doing at school and we could do it at home, so we built a volcano this weekend which was pretty cool, and also have been doing some letter themed crafts.......

Anyway, time to pull the plug on scoobie doo and move our day along...........

Alima~I wish you had little kids .........
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#82 of 147 Old 03-17-2008, 01:10 PM
 
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The weather has improved and it is regularily hovering around freezing now, so at least we can go outside,
I was wondering if it would be warmer enough for me to go out today since the temp is only supposed to get up to about 60 F. :

Last night ds asked me to do "patty cake" with him. When we get to the part to "mark it with a [letter]" I usually mark it with an E for his name and draw that on his belly with my finger. So, last night when we got to that part he marked it with an M on me for Mommy. I asked him how he knew mommy started with M and he just shrugged and said it does cuz it sounds like mmmmmm. So cool! He's been doing a lot of things like that with letters lately, figuring out the written symbol that goes with the sound.

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#83 of 147 Old 03-17-2008, 01:14 PM
 
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Alima~I wish you had little kids .........
And I wish you'd had little kids when ds was begging me for friends and play time when we first started hsing

It does get better. I didn't start out hsing, so I've never gone through this particular period, but I have noticed there is a bit of a struggle with most families when their kids first reach hsing age, when most of dc's friends go off to school and you have to re-network with hsing families. It can be hard and time consuming to find families with similar aged kids, with whom you also jive in terms of philosophy, children's personalities, etc.

We never did find another family we really clicked with who hsed. Ds did have a good relationship with a girl his age, but they lived up near Gimli and we rarely got to see each other We're so not like many of the other hsing families who were around back then (somehow an anarchist, tattooed, working as a bartender, swears like a stevedore, unschooling single mother didn't fit in with the Christian, married, sahm )

There is so much more of a mix of families in town, now, who are hsing. So many more unschoolers and non-traditional families (ie: not Xtian, conservative and hsing to protect their children from undesirable influences.) I know it seems pretty crappy right now, but when you move to your new place, can mingle with your new neighbors, and when you're no longer pregnant and the kids are old enough to go out a little more often, this will seem like a distant memory. (I know that doesn't help now, but time does fly )

Maybe next year you could get out to some of the potlucks, they are a great time, especially for the little kids, the space they use is a single-mother drop-in center, so there is a full playroom for little kids and plenty of younger kids who attend. Unfortunately, I'm working on the date of every... single... potluck until June , so haven't been able to get out to any all year long. Maybe next year!
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#84 of 147 Old 03-17-2008, 03:34 PM
 
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Dd (and myself, via her) got into a really interesting conversation with her friend online lastnight. He's 16, public schooled and part of a very mainstream family. Parents are really authoritarian, there's lots of typical punitive punishments etc.

Anyway, he said something about having to go to school tomorrow and Dd said "Yeah, you're going to be tired if you don't crash soon. I'm really thankful I can sleep in."

He'd apparently forgotten that we unschool and it started a whole thing about "Unschooling isn't real" and "How will you go to college?" and "You can't learn algebra without a teacher" Holy moly. What was really interesting is that for at least half of the conversation I am pretty sure it was his mother talking. If she wasn't typing I suspect she was at least telling him what to type because his language changed dramatically from "Huh? Y would u want do do that. Schools important" to "The learning process is very important and teachers are needed." Riiight.

Anyway, we kept our part of the debate polite and low key, but firm. We gave info on laws, personal experiences, news bits, college info from our area, and so on. Eventually Dd tired of it and said "Making a sandwich and then I'm going to bed. Have fun at school tomorrow." She's so bad. LOL

Today it's rainy out so I suspect we'll be hibernating a bit. I like days like that sometimes. We hope the sun will be back this week though.

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#85 of 147 Old 03-17-2008, 05:15 PM
 
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UnschoolnMa ~ That's the same reaction I got from my 17yo ds' friends when we talked about unschooling. It really surprised me from these kids. One is a drop out. The other considers himself an anarchist. Niether of them is going to college.

I also got into a few discussions about that with my mom when we visited her a couple of weeks ago. She was a public school teacher for 12 years so she thinks compulsory school is absolutely necessary. She thinks school provides a very important service and is good for children. Of course, she taught high school chemistry so I suspect most of her students were at least slightly interested in her class since it was an elective. She's not opposed to homeschooling but only for certain people. She seems to think most kids would end up neglected and ignorant if they weren't required to go to school because most parents don't even interact with their kids on a very basic level. I was surprised at how elitist she sounded considering the way she raised me to think. Her birthday is tomorrow so I got her the book, Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto. I haven't read it but I have seen some of his interviews on YouTube and the book was recommended by several people on another unschooling group. I would've liked to get The Underground History of American Education (or something like that) but it cost too much.

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#86 of 147 Old 03-17-2008, 08:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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MarineWife, if you want to read Gatto's Underground History, http://johntaylorgatto.com/chapters/index.htm
he has it online for free.

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#87 of 147 Old 03-17-2008, 09:29 PM
 
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Marinewife, I don't know how much your mom is going to enjoy Dumbing Us Down, it's whole thesis is a criticism of compulsory education, but you should definitely read it! It's a great book, and a very quick read. Just the first essay, The Seven Lesson Schoolteacher should be required reading in all teacher education programs, imho.
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#88 of 147 Old 03-17-2008, 10:00 PM
 
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Marinewife, I don't know how much your mom is going to enjoy Dumbing Us Down, it's whole thesis is a criticism of compulsory education,
I know. That's why I got it for her. She challenged me to provide her with something other than my opinion that compulsory education was bad for everyone. I'm not expecting the book to change her mind completely. Since I haven't read it I don't know if it has references to back up what is said, which was one of her things. There was my opinion and there was her opinion and anything else I said was just opinion.

Thanks, majikfaerie. I have been to that website several times and saw that link but never looked at it.

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#89 of 147 Old 03-17-2008, 10:08 PM
 
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I know. That's why I got it for her. She challenged me to provide her with something other than my opinion that compulsory education was bad for everyone. I'm not expecting the book to change her mind completely. Since I haven't read it I don't know if it has references to back up what is said, which was one of her things. There was my opinion and there was her opinion and anything else I said was just opinion.

Thanks, majikfaerie. I have been to that website several times and saw that link but never looked at it.
Not a lot of references in it, but it's written entirely from his experience of teaching in public schools for 20-odd years, so maybe that will be enough for her. It's more of a book of personal essays. Family Matters: Why Homeschooling Makes Sense is written specifically to give to family and friends to help explain why you are doing this crazy thing, so that might be something to suggest to her as well?

My ds had such a bad time in ps no one has ever questioned my decision , so I haven't had to find books and material to back up my opinions much, but I'll try to think of some of the books I read in the past that might be useful to you.
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#90 of 147 Old 03-17-2008, 10:31 PM
 
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Thanks, alima. She's not giving me a hard time about homeschooling. She was even trying to figure out a way that we could split the cost so we could go to the Live and Learn conference this year. She thinks I'm well suited to homeschool. I am her child, after all. I have been very pleasantly surprised that both my parents support my choice to homeschool. My dad is a college professor.

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