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Old 04-14-2007, 11:14 AM
 
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Joan, we talk about this all the time in our family. There is this universal idea that humans must be doing things constantly, producing something, interacting. I think sometimes that people want to be stimulated so it will distract them from looking inside themselves too much.

Now, this does not mean that a person can't enjoy activity and *doing* things and still be an aware person. I don't mean that...I'm not so good at explaining things, I guess LOL Anyone get what I'm talking about?
Yes. Being.

That is living and learning without an agenda of producing an "outcome" that is measurable in someone else's mind as "valuable". Being.

Living is its own reward! What a gift "to have time" for that.


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Old 04-14-2007, 11:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Anyone get what I'm talking about?
Oh, I certainly do! Joan & karaboo we're the same way. I can't tell you how often I hear the following:

"things are just CRAZY here"
"we've been SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO busy this week"
"first we went to soccer and then gymnastics and then dance and then swimming and then we ate a quick supper and went to baseball and football and then and then and then" Ok, maybe I'm exaggerating, but not much!

This subject is such a pet peeve of mine. I mean, if it's bothering you to be so freakin busy then don't be!

Now, if you really want to be ornery (and i'm not above that), when someone starts telling you how incredibly crazy & busy "things" are, you can say:

"why would you want that?"

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Old 04-14-2007, 11:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes. Being.

That is living and learning without an agenda of producing an "outcome" that is measurable in someone else's mind as "valuable". Being.

Living is its own reward! What a gift "to have time" for that.
Right on, Pat.

I love having our days so free. I'd probably have to be hospitalized if I made the kids have lives like typical families. I can't fathom what it would be like to drive 6 kids all over town and back with hoards of classes and activities. When would any of us think? When would we dream? When would we play?

The children thrive on the freedoms they have. Watching them explore and cherish every moment is such a joy for both them and myself. It is what truly makes life abundant...and I believe it is meant to be abundant and rich.

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Old 04-14-2007, 11:28 AM
 
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Now, this does not mean that a person can't enjoy activity and *doing* things and still be an aware person. I don't mean that...I'm not so good at explaining things, I guess
Oh, no, I get what you're saying. There are times when we're busy, but we talk about what we choose to do and make sure that the person involved is truely interested and not going to feel overbooked (and we all have different limits of course.) There's a difference between "happily busy" and overburdened.



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Now, if you really want to be ornery (and i'm not above that), when someone starts telling you how incredibly crazy & busy "things" are, you can say:

"why would you want that?"

Heh heh. I have said, with a smile, "Well, as long as it makes you happy."

People ususally look shocked, in a "What's happiness got to do with it?" sort of way. That's pretty sad, but I always hope it might make some people think.

Now, I should say that there have been times when I've lived a frenetic life. At the time, I thought I was productive, and important and that it was the way to be, but, things change.

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Old 04-14-2007, 11:29 AM
 
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Yep. Exactly. When people ask what we do, I say my child learns in freedom. And lives in freedom. They can't be spliced apart. Learning/living is all the same to us.

DD, 8, actually has two classes a week. One we paid for in advance (pottery, which she adores) but the other is a pay-as-you-go and she often says, "Hmm, I just don't want to go today" and we honor that.

People I've met have a hard time understanding why we would "allow" her to choose. They just do not get it.

ETA: when someone goes on and on about how busy they are, in a smug way as if they were better than I am because they've chosen to overbook themselves, I let them think what they want to think. I can't change what they feel. If they need to feel smug, let them. I do sometimes say, "life is full of choices about how we spend our time" when someone will backhandedly compliment me on a meal, saying, "I wish *I* had time to cook but I have to XYZ and ABC." And I don't usually invite them back either LOL (although I've heard that from family and it hurts more when they say it...)
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Old 04-14-2007, 12:10 PM
 
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Well, we've been really relaxed these past few weeks. Stephen's still making his way through Teenage Liberation Handbook (which he wants to recommend to all of his friends ), and waiting for his math curriculum to come in. He's psyched to learn about budgeting and balancing a checkbook, but says he'd rather learn it from a workbook than from his mom Silly boy.

But other than that he's been pretty busy, working on his truck and helping Dad out with house projects. Any free time he has he spends practicing his guitar. I cannot imagine he would be such an accomplished player if he didn't have the opportunity to really sit and work hard at it as much as he does. Hurrah for being self-guided.

And he's going to New Orleans for two weeks to help construct a house. I love this kid :

Hannah's birthday is coming up, so it's just impossible for her to think about anything else We're in a tough bind with these April snowstorms. She really wants to start that garden, and being the kinesthetic-tactile learner that she is, reading about gardening isn't anywhere near as engaging as actually getting her hands dirty. So we've been waiting the weather out with some good books. At the moment she's really enjoying Anne Frank's diary, which helps her feel slightly less whiny about being temporarily cooped up inside.
Maybe this is self evident but have you started some plants indoors in peat pots. We did this last week (which is necassary this far north, they won't go outside for another month or so), but ds is really enjoying watching them grow, watering them etc.
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Old 04-14-2007, 03:03 PM
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:::::::::"things are just CRAZY here"
"we've been SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO busy this week":::::::::::::::


I hear this regularly too. I expect to hear it when I ask, "How are you guys?"

When someone asks me how my family is and what we have been up to, I love speaking from my heart and saying things like:

"We are awesome! Just enjoying a relaxing, joyful life together every single day!"

I wonder what my friends are thinking when I reply with comments like this?

~Peace & Love, Dayna
www.UnschoolingAmerica.com
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Old 04-14-2007, 03:56 PM
 
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Ok Maybe I'm going to get tossed out for saying this hear but I'm reading John Holt's Teach Your Own and it's, um, really boring. I've heard how CL and how CF are really good, but are they like this? I agree with most of the theories but the research is anecdotal at best, the book isn't super well structured and this is the revised edition so it's so choppy between author/editor/quotes that no though is really complete......: Is it just me?
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Old 04-14-2007, 04:34 PM
 
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Ok Maybe I'm going to get tossed out for saying this hear but I'm reading John Holt's Teach Your Own and it's, um, really boring. I've heard how CL and how CF are really good, but are they like this? I agree with most of the theories but the research is anecdotal at best, the book isn't super well structured and this is the revised edition so it's so choppy between author/editor/quotes that no though is really complete......: Is it just me?
No, it's not just you. I have three of his books and although I agree with his philosopy and use him as a reference, I don't like his writing style. Nor do I like the way the editors chopped up the book in that revised edition. It was really annoying, wasn't it? LOL
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Old 04-14-2007, 04:36 PM
 
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The only thing we do regularly is go to the co-op indoor play park which dd will outgrow next year since she is kindergarten age. Sometimes we go to the park, or storytime, or other activities but nothing on a schedule.

Compare that to my friend who is a busy bee for sure! Her 3 yr old is taking a dance class, two sports, and does co-op preschool.

Whatever works for you! If we had more money I'd totally put my kids in one scheduled weekly activity. I'll actuallly be suggesting it for their birthdays if people ask what to get them.

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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Old 04-15-2007, 05:10 AM
 
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RE: John Holt...

Its not just you. I read teaching your own and was thinking 'Duh, I already knew that'. to me it was nice to see that the way I thought of children wasnt so... strange. But I agree with you that it must be his writing style. I can read a few chapters and get the gist of what he's saying. I checked out of the library 'How children learn' and How children fail and flipped thru the first one but couldnt bring myself to read the other one.

Are there any other unschooling books out there that are a better read? Its really hard to find these kinds of books at the library even if I order them and we cant always afford to buy new books so when I do I like to know its REALLY good. Are there any MUST HAVE unschooling books that you more experienced unschoolers can recommend?
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Old 04-15-2007, 07:26 AM
 
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First, I have to say that I read this thread at the perfect time. I was having one of those "we don't do as much as everyone else--am I just being lazy?--am I robbing my children of opportunities?"panic attacks. My dds (dd1 just turned 5 and will be of kindergarten age in the fall and dd2 is 2.5) are not taking any classes of any kind and other than fairly regular attendence at library story time, errands and other places we feel like going, they spend their time just doing whatever is fun. We are not busy.

Why is it sometimes so hard for me to accept that we are really happy this way? Why do I let some parents I know whose kids are scheduled constantly make me doubt myself? My children are happy, learning, and thriving. I am happier than I've ever been. Does it get easier to live inside that peace?

People keep asking me what my kids are going to DO this summer (meaning camps, etc). I've started answering, "well, the same things they usually do, but probably with fewer clothes."

By the way, I hear you about Holt. I agree with him, but his writing style doesn't thrill me.
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Old 04-15-2007, 09:11 AM
 
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People keep asking me what my kids are going to DO this summer (meaning camps, etc). I've started answering, "well, the same things they usually do, but probably with fewer clothes."
Lol! Two of my kids tried a ymca day camp one year, but they didn't finish it--they told me they could do all the same stuff at home without the crowds of kids or the pushing.

My oldest did a robotics day camp one year that he really enjoyed, but besides that, our summers are spent at the pool or the beach mostly.

RE: Holt. I can definately see how Holt would be old hat for anyone who's done any reading about unschooling. I first read one of his books when I was in high school--it wasn't about hsing, but about "kids' lack of place in society." At the time, I thought it was cool that someone had put into a book how I was feeling, and there was also new information for me, so I really liked it. The other Holt books were all written before the internet as well, so I think that, for most people, the ideas were new --even if they rang true to them, I think Holt opened the door for a lot of people. I know he was my introduction to home/unschooling. I don't necessarily think his ideas are dated, but they're no longer shocking, yk?

An interesting read is Homeschooling Our Children, Unschooling Ourselves which is about one family's hsing in the early 1980's.

Two recent books that I keep recommending are Parenting a Free Child: An Unschooled Life It's written in question and answer form and is a quick read. I think it's perfect for anyone new to the idea, but also good for those already unschooling, if you want to hear stories of how someone else is living unschooling. The second book is with consent: parenting for all to win A short book, I've gotten a mixed response from people I've loaned it out to. Personally, I loved it, ymmv.

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Old 04-15-2007, 10:42 AM
 
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First, I have to say that I read this thread at the perfect time. I was having one of those "we don't do as much as everyone else--am I just being lazy?--am I robbing my children of opportunities?"panic attacks. My dds (dd1 just turned 5 and will be of kindergarten age in the fall and dd2 is 2.5) are not taking any classes of any kind and other than fairly regular attendence at library story time, errands and other places we feel like going, they spend their time just doing whatever is fun. We are not busy.

Why is it sometimes so hard for me to accept that we are really happy this way? Why do I let some parents I know whose kids are scheduled constantly make me doubt myself? My children are happy, learning, and thriving. I am happier than I've ever been. Does it get easier to live inside that peace?

This is us too, and I feel the same way about it. It is just so so nice to know others are working on this too!! On almost all levels I'm so fine with our lack of schedueling, but there are times when those thoughts creep in....that I am denying my children opportunities, or options, or whatever I'm trying to remind myself what I really believe in, and how much I *know* I'm giving my children, simply by letting them just be......hoping my confidence grows with time and experience!!
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Old 04-15-2007, 11:47 AM
 
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Personally, I love Jan Fortune Wood. She advocates autonomous learning and has four children, nearly grown. Her web site has many academic articles regarding intrinsic learning. http://www.autonomouschild.co.uk/

There is a new web site Organic Learning. I believe it is done by Danielle Conger, the owner of Always Unschooled. She is articulate and passionate about radical unschooling. http://www.organiclearning.org/index.html
It appears to be quite comprehensive with many links to other resources and web sites, e-lists, and many local/state unschooling groups!


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Old 04-15-2007, 01:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, Pat, thanks! The organic learning site looks like it has some amazing unschooling blogs on their links page! I'm going to have to link to that!

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Old 04-15-2007, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You guys have to read this blog:

http://www.fuhkauifamily.blogspot.com/ It's fantastic! They are an unschooling family traveling the country in an old school bus.

Life just doesn't get any better than unschooling.

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Old 04-15-2007, 01:35 PM
 
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It's fantastic! They are an unschooling family traveling the country in an old school bus.

Life just doesn't get any better than unschooling.
Hey, check out this new yahoogroup started yesterday by a radical unschooler: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/untraveler/

(home page)
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This group was created to bring unschoolers and eclectic homeschoolers together from around the world! It should be a way to find people with similar interests to be your "tour guides", in a sense, in your world travels.

There will be host families, and traveling families. The job of the host family will be to help the traveling family plan their trip. They will help them figure out where to stay (near the host family), what type of activities to do, where to eat, how much money to bring, etc. Then, when the traveling family arrives, the host family will help show them how "the locals" live! The parties involved will decide how much, or how little vacation time will be spent together.

If you are interested in being a host family, just fill out the database. Then, the traveling families can browse the database, and find a host family with similar interests, in a location that they want to visit.

If you are going to be a traveling family, it is preferred that you also offer to be a host family. You don't have to have a lot of money, a fancy house, or live in an exotic place to do it. You just have to be willing to open yourself up to another's way of life!

It is not recommended to make plans to stay in someone's home when you are traveling, especially if you have never met. That way, if things don't go as well as hoped, the travelers won't have to rely on the host family, and the host family won't get "stuck" with the travelers. If need be, each can go their separate ways!

The group is just here to help families hook up. All travel plans should be made offline. This is a private group, so messages and other features will be visible to only the group members, and new members will be heavily moderated. (Spammers will be excommunicated!) Though just to be on the safe side, phone numbers and addresses especially should be shared offline.

This should be fun! Go see the world!!!!!

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Old 04-15-2007, 01:40 PM
 
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You guys have to read this blog:

http://www.fuhkauifamily.blogspot.com/ It's fantastic! They are an unschooling family traveling the country in an old school bus.

Life just doesn't get any better than unschooling.
Nice! Great pix!

We have friends with 4 children who are doing this. I love reading their blogs!!
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Old 04-15-2007, 05:03 PM
 
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that's a neat site! thanks for sharing!

I have to say though, after having made a 2000+mile trip from ID to MO in October, then taking the long (3000+mile) way back in Feb.. I'd go INSANE from being on the road fulltime. Long-term driving is NOT for me.

(though it was very fascinating to all of us to see the various different cultures, historical sites, geography, etc in the different states)
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Old 04-15-2007, 05:46 PM
 
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thanks mamas ~

I find the notion of forced learning so interesting. As though the child is going to actually learn it and retain it just because you say so. :

WOW! This REALLY struck me. Thank You. I need to digest this.

Lola , loving my DH, Mama to & we &
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Old 04-15-2007, 06:34 PM
 
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Wow, some of those books and blogs are amazing. How can a thread be such a soothing place?

I always laugh at people who tell me that I need to force my children to learn certain things. I'd like to see anyone force my children do much of anything. They would be in for quite a surprise. lol
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Old 04-15-2007, 07:01 PM
 
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Hello!
I've been lurking on these unschooling support threads whenever I think about them, and finally just subscribed to this one. My kids have always unschooled, although dh and I are still deschooling ourselves. I am fascinated by the traveling families, and my husband and I agree we'd like to do at least 6 months or a year on the road someday. We wonder how the other families are supporting themselves financially. Anybody know?

Michele, mom of DD 5/01, DD 11/03, and DS 11/06

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Old 04-15-2007, 07:25 PM
 
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well, we're not on the road, but have been pretty mobile (moved 3 long distance moves in the last 1.5 years and live in a 20-foot mobile home presently).

At first we were living off savings, now DH is training into a programming job that he can do anywhere.
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Old 04-15-2007, 10:31 PM
 
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You guys have to read this blog:

http://www.fuhkauifamily.blogspot.com/ It's fantastic! They are an unschooling family traveling the country in an old school bus.

Life just doesn't get any better than unschooling.
Oh...so obsessed with this idea.

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Hello!
I've been lurking on these unschooling support threads whenever I think about them, and finally just subscribed to this one. My kids have always unschooled, although dh and I are still deschooling ourselves. I am fascinated by the traveling families, and my husband and I agree we'd like to do at least 6 months or a year on the road someday. We wonder how the other families are supporting themselves financially. Anybody know?
We wonder the same thing. There's this couple who are expecting and live life on the road. (She's on Mothering.) She makes these really cool felted creatures and sells them at craft fairs. I think her husband makes stuff too, but I don't remember what exactly. They seem to be really knowledgeable about specific craft fairs and shows and are regular vendors, I think. If you get a chance, check out their bus. It's beautiful. They've converted it to run on biodiesel. Some jerk recently put sugar in their gas tank and wrecked the whole system, but they are working to fix it up again.

I was thinking maybe if you owned a house, you could rent it out and try to live on that money as a source of income.

On the John Holt books, I too find his writing to be boring, although I love the guy's theories. I really like John Taylor Gatto's books a lot more.

On the being too busy, I have been feeling too busy. My 8yo is super social, and I am out of the house with her quite a bit. I feel like I need a week to just breathe.
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Old 04-15-2007, 10:39 PM
 
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I showed my husband that website (travelling family) and he said, "hmmmm, that sounds fun." Seed planted.

Today, we hung out this morning, just loafing and taking care of our Virtual Villagers. Then after lunch, we met some friends at the park. The kids spent a lot of time burying their Pokemon figurines in the sand box and digging them back up again. We almost lost Jirachi and Totodile in the end but one of the kids' dads was very patient and carefully raked the whole box and found the two figurines. Then we went for ice cream!

At home, dd played in the bath and cleaned up her figurines while I made dinner. Then I went over to a friend's house cuz I haven't talked to her in weeks. Every once in a while, I go over with wine and movies and snacks and we have a long long chat to make up for the time we don't get to see each other.

I have no idea what dd and dh did while I was gone cuz they were asleep when I got home at around midnight. I can see evidence of a game of UNO (or two...who knows?), chocolate cake leavings, some books are on the table, and it looks like dd started a craft at some point and abandoned it. It's two thirty here and I just can't sleep so I'm up listening to music through the headphones and surfin'.
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Old 04-16-2007, 12:21 AM
 
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I love the idea of renting out the house and travelling. I have put the word out that if any one hears of a family looking for a furnished house to rent to give them my number. So I guess when it's susposed to happen it will. I think we'll go to Mexico and maybe Belize. I want to do it in the next couple of years because I have this feeling ds(now 12) may get to a point where he wouldn't come. It would be the best education in the world for all of us.
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Old 04-16-2007, 12:46 AM
 
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I love the idea of renting out the house and traveling. I have put the word out that if any one hears of a family looking for a furnished house to rent to give them my number. So I guess when it's supposed to happen it will. I think we'll go to Mexico and maybe Belize. I want to do it in the next couple of years because I have this feeling ds(now 12) may get to a point where he wouldn't come. It would be the best education in the world for all of us.
Post to the Un-traveler site. Perhaps someone will want to do a trade or rent your home while you all travel. There are some house trader businesses, iirc. You trade for a designated period, perhaps not with the same family directly. Kinda like timeshare exchange, I believe. I don't know more about it, though...yet.

Have you been following the Secret thread in Spirituality? We're discussing an LoA gathering/vacation in Costa Rica or Belize for an extended period of time. It is just in the budding stages. Unschooling the world.

Pat

I have a blog.
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Old 04-16-2007, 02:24 PM
 
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Just have to share what my dd, 8, said today as we were all walking to lunch. DH and I were chatting about whether Angelina Jolie will adopt a Roma child when she comes to Prague to film a movie. DD piped up, "maybe she's trying to create her own Hecatoncheries."

(To protect myself, I must add a caveat here. For the record: I got NOTHING against adoption. DD has said for years she wants to adopt children, two in fact, when she grows up. I do, however, love to snark on celebrities.)
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Old 04-16-2007, 02:34 PM
 
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[QUOTE=KaraBoo;7865247]Just have to share what my dd, 8, said today as we were all walking to lunch. DH and I were chatting about whether Angelina Jolie will adopt a Roma child when she comes to Prague to film a movie. DD piped up, "maybe she's trying to create her own Hecatoncheries."

Hekatoncheires? lol Cute. Let's hope not for, Angelina's sake. Kronos came to a bad end.
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