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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One of my favourite homeschooling quotes to start off this spring month:

"When we started homeschooling, I felt as though I had tucked a child under each arm and jumped off a cliff. Imagine my surprise to discover we have wings." ~Maura Seger
What's up with you and yours? Where are your wings taking you?

Miranda
 

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Love that quote :nerd:

We are doing well. Right now D (7) is building a fort. Then, he is going to tell us a ghost story. :candle
L (9 days away from 4) is asking lots of questions.:nerd: What? Why? Where? When? WHY???
N (10) has discover the Vikings. We are all about the Vikings at the moment.

The weather is so great. We outside as much as we can.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am puttering. Spring puttering.

This morning I did a couple of hours of administration for the bursary fund for our music summer school. Emptied a bokashi bin into a garden trench. Rehabilitated another 4x4' raised bed. Moved some rocks and dirt. Painted some trim. Cleaned a couple of windows and screens. Removed years of paint and patched some plaster around the closet doors in preparation for a nice clean trim installation. Vacuumed. Cleaned the bathroom. Did some laundry.

Fiona made breakfast and went off to aerial silks class. She hasn't returned; I expect she is off at a café with friends, or at the library. Weather is wonderful, so it's a great day to wander and hang out downtown. Here's a picture her teacher took of her at aerial silks last week.

miranda
 

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What a sweet picture!

Happy April everyone.

I'm tired, but I'll post later on. Subbing for now.
 

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Love love LOVE the pic of Fiona...never seen that!

Today was the coldest day in weeks, starting with rain & and inch of snow at work some of which was still there when husband and I sneaked up to work (in Yana's car)...amazing drama of the sort that I have never seen ANYWHERE is going on there...there's a new twist in it every day. I think the superintendent of husband's facility is mentally unstable...but the strong hierarchical system makes him the toxic gatekeeper...from our perspective, he seems untouchable.

Deborah

p.s. I've been training for my weekend pet job...today I washed a largish dog, did a lot of cleaning, that sort of thing. Not glamorous, but useful. And I got asked to fill in for two weekdays that the usual pet attendant is going to be out, apr 29m, may 2...one is the 3rd to last performance of the musical, so I'll work 8-5, then go home and get ready for the drive to town (call probably at 7:30), then "kennels" at 8 & 4, then the musical (7:30), then kennels next morning at 8, musical (call @ 1?), kennels after I get home, then work the next day 8-5. And planning to probably go visit my mom sometime that week or the next; a sib will be there at the same time and I haven't seen her for years. So, a busy month. planned! And that is only the end of it...must go to bed now...tomorrow is my first "solo" pet work.
 

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unschooly or not i just finished both 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 fafsa for both myself and kiddo. Summer sessions should be covered as well as fall terms. kiddo has been registered, i need to track down my advisor next week and get some classes lined up.

we went on a quick field trip thursday- back in the good old days, how i liked things, pick up and go in the am, spur of the moment decision. we went up north to 'bearizona' for the day. couple hour drive each way and a couple hours there. kiddo enjoyed the trip, the change in weather, a new t-shirt and some postcards. yeah- unschooling how i liked it. field trips woohoo!!a
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
i need to track down my advisor next week and get some classes lined up.
That's cool! You didn't pipe up in the "what are you learning" thread, so I'm curious... what are you studying? What are your own educational plans?

Miranda
 

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N (10) asked me to read The Strange Case of DR. JERKYLL & MR HYDE to him awhile ago. We are only starting to really getting to the meat of the book. I wonder where the idea came from to read it??
 

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I have no idea what my kids are doing this month (with my husband), but I'm with my sister-in-law, touring our new kids' book in libraries and elementary schools until we get back home on the 8th. Hectic, but good.
 

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Oh my lord my oldest daughter is an unhappy child, by nature it seems. Life is a glass half empty, and others can't fill it fast enough for her. She needs to learn to take her life by its horns and realize her own strength. She wants the crazy big stuff. But she also just wants friends (though... her nature... I think friends wouldn't ultimately help her be happy because she is that kid, that person who will focus on what she lacks rather that what she has.) I get that this can be turned to good. Knowing what you don't have and what you want and need can be motivating. But at her age, she's looking to others to provide it for her, and she's not learning to take it herself.

So. I did some insisting yesterday to get her out of her funk. I was a bit of a hardass about her problems. I have heard her trouble with one so many times, and she won't accept any solutions. Every direction is a dead end except the one she isn't willing to take, which is plod through it. So I insisted (this is in reference to a particular rooster that is a point of contention with her sister, so I'm not being too mysterious, but the specifics are not the point.) Then, when her mood about it was going to destroy her day, I told her to come help me plant (I was prepping a garden bed all afternoon). When she dragged I said it was her homework, like she asked, and that she needed to help me start to finish. And she did! She had a decent afternoon as well.

She has always focused on what comes easily, and set aside the difficult. And as a very young child, I saw no problem with this. In the early years, skills are about 90% development, and 10% practice. Having trouble with writing or reading? Fine, wait if it seems better. It will improve without trying-- and it does! Kids get older-- say, 8, 9, 10-- and those percentages move closer to 50/50 (I hope you see this is just my assessment). Development is still important, but kids are ready to pick up a lot of skills at that age, and practice is what is required. Move on to my daughter's age group, and we are seeing that practice becomes the larger factor in learning a skill. Repetition, self-evaluation, success, mistakes, trials and errors, witnessing the whole process. This becomes at this age the prime generator of skill, and not development, though it still plays a part.

And I told her that at one point. I said that she is at that age where to get where she wants to go, she needs to DO it and not wait. And the doing can be hard, but I am there to help. With a lifetime of choosing to wait a little longer, she has gotten into the habit of sliding by. Add that to her perfectionist tendencies, and this girl is paralyzed. She needs, and is starting to accept, some pushing.


I know that adding to her skills will help her feel more capable in all areas, but I'm no longer under the illusion that this will make her happy. She is just that kid, and I wish I would have accepted that when she was an infant, when nothing I did made her happy. So much of the weight of my life has been trying to fix things for her. Only recently have I recognized that I have been feeling this and what it meant and how it was affecting both of us.

I have to hope that waiting to this point to really push her has its benefits. I wonder if I shouldn't have pushed ages ago. But maybe, perhaps,--and I'm going to have to believe this because what alternative is there?-- that waiting until now to get serious about pushing her will make the change in our process more transparent. She will remember the struggle, and remember the steps to get out of it and hopefully remember (when we arrive there) the changes that it produces. I have to believe that this is an advantage. I have to believe that being conscious of this process will help her down the road. She is an incredible kid with some amazing talent. I have to believe that waiting this long will only help that.
 

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Today was a weird day. It was very very cold for April. It was bright and sunny but cold. :cold
Our Chinese teacher is away. But it did not stop my kids from signing If You are Happy and You Know it in Chinese about 2000X. :2whistle:2whistle:2whistle LOL
 

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Today has been all about making up silly poems. We also finish some books.

I am looking forward to some quiet time to myself later. I have been running all day do kids things. :nerd:
 

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My youngest has discovered the google voice search function on her tablet. HOURS of entertainment. :)
 
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My husband & his supervisor have now both been the target of false accusations & given absolutely delusional letters of reprimand from the superintendent of the facility (husband's boss's boss). It is absolutely the most surreal thing I have ever seen. Boss was targeted for his anti-pipeline activism (husband and the other person Psycho tried to fire are involved to a lesser extent); husband, because he launched a GoFundMe campaign for doing his job, science and engineering. Not only has his project been stalled, but a witch hunt has been instituted for people who supported his project financially, and he has been forced to withdraw a paper he submitted for a professional conference. (People in academia are SUPPOSED to publish papers, aren't they...it looks GOOD for their institution, doesn't it?) Anyhow, husband has not yet got his letter of reprimand...that's next week. But he has the two sent to his boss, who is only still employed because he hired a lawyer. Husband just wants out, but he loves what his job used to be (3 months ago), and he also doesn't want to leave his boss to fight the insanity himself.

Unfortunately we don't have the money to hire a lawyer. I have just seen the bank account start creeping in to the black again since I took my weekend job (6 hours today, 9 dogs, 3 cats, including a psycho elderly one with white eyes who ripped off the end of the "pill popper" I was trying to administer her Felimazole with). So, left that for the vet. This afternoon I was able to pill the recalcitrant dog, although one of its pills fell apart in its mouth; not sure how much good it will do. Oh, and I gave a cat Gas-X by mistake. So now I have a new protocol...all the pet medications are supposed to be in paper bags with the pet's name on it. But they all weren't, so I mistook one for another. So, I found out where the paper bags are and installed all of the meds in them, and wrote on the board which meds were in the fridge. My biggest challenge is (oddly) fitting all the dishes in the sink...they all have to be bleached for ten minutes and the really big dogs have really big water bowls. So they don't fit. Also I found I had put hand soap instead of dish soap in the wash water (they're not marked!), but with that much bleach...probably won't make any difference, just this once. (The first weekend I did almost everything perfectly. So NOW I start getting tripped up, by the smallest things.) And NOW I'm hoping I left the kennel door locked...need to have a "leaving" checklist, I guess.

Zela got an A- on her research paper...apparently the beginning and end were a bit iffy and the footnotes (which she did herself) weren't perfect, but her argument was really cool & the theory went above and beyond and there was a lot of information. (I had been thinking it was a B paper, Zela expected a C. So, a pleasant surprise.) Son says he had a job interview and got paid $15 for it and "fixed two cars". I don't know what that means, maybe will find out some time. Youngest has not been seen nor heard from for days.

Yesterday I had lessons in town (3 of 5, two cancellations for a) grandma fell and has to go to ER and b) kid sick; I don't teach sick people!) and I took my viola along, to let my two students try it, and my first student, who is just finishing Twinkle, hear it. The first kid I had in mind is 14 and has been playing just a few months, but she practices a lot and is working hard at learning to read music. She is just the right size for the viola (it's a 16 3/8" body length, too big for me actually), large and strong, with big hands. The other student (from the whole family that takes a lesson together) did okay with it too...did not ask for her violin-sized viola back during the whole lesson, although she had some trouble reaching the notes.) So today I get a call from the first one, H: "Um...how much does a viola like yours cost?" "Um...a lot. But I have one that you could borrow, not quite as good, but almost...If you'd take very good care of it, I'll lend it to you...would you like to do that?" "Yes, MA'AM!" "I'll bring it on Friday". etc. Husband, looking at me after I hang up: "You're the kind of person they need to run work!" I laughed, but I know what he means: science at its best is a collaborative endeavor, with a lot of autonomy for those who think up cool stuff. The facility super SHOULD have been helping husband when he needed a piece of specialized equipment, not making up impossible rules and punishing people for doing their jobs.

Biggest Dog has joined me on the bed, White Paws the cat has settled on my chest, husband has sneaked off to work (the new regime says you can only work when your supervisor says so, and if his boss says so, the boss gets to go explain why he authorized work on the weekend.

Well, rambling on as usual.

Hope everyone is having a great April. Because we're past the equinox and in the southern part of the US, the sun room that runs along the southern part of the house gets sun on only about the three feet nearest the windows now...a good thing its' getting warmer, because it's collecting very little warmth. (As it gets warmer, we will start lowering the blinds in the east facing living room, but no need yet. Four of our agaves are flowering, and half a dozen or so did last year, so we need to replant the "agave yard"...there will be half a dozen only left.

Deborah
 

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Sweetsilver -- I hope you're feeling better about working with your oldest. That sounds hard.

Got home just in time for a minus 5 tide and a pouring rainstorm. So we went out anyway, and had great fun with another family (much older kids) hiking on a beach we'd never low-tided at. 7yo decided to count the legs of the sunflower stars and take data on the commonality of different numbers of legs, 5yo was excited by the "biggest clamshell ever" and I was thrilled to find a crab of a species I didn't know. As a dedicated low-tider, I know most of what we run across, so it's super exciting to "collect" a new species. Think it's some kind of decorator crab -- now to look it up.

Deborah -- that sounds crazy. Science vs. industry runs into the same problems in AK, which is why my husband is happy not to be employed by any institution. Now, publishing a paper when you're outside the system is proving hard as well. Can't win.

Having just gotten back from touring my new kids' book, I'm now all fired up to write a new one. Nice to finally be at the beginning stage of projects, instead of all tied down.
 

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Yikes...after 4 kennel sessions this weekend I am glad that I don't have a 5 day per week job at the vet! Today I organized some more music...this is mostly loose sheets, fiddle tunes, music arranged by husband, old old stuff from imslp (sheet music out of copyright site), etc. And things like the backs of sheet music books, and random pages. I'm writing down all the titles of mariachi tunes I've played and am tossing the music itself; it's mostly single parts (1st, 2nd, 3rd violin, vocal) so not very interesting. But I can use the tune list to look up the music I might want for my students. I also managed to find my last year's taxes, after several false starts; a lot of work needs to be done on shrinking nonessential paperwork, and organizing what I do keep.

Zela has decided to come home for a few weeks...needs to go to doc and eye doc & stuff, so this is good...just waiting for her to come up with the dates. She'd like to to lifeguard training here, but probably even if it is offered, it will be before she gets back. (She's required to renew it for her summer camp job.) Also we have a date for sometime soon to edit her most recent paper for "seminar".

Husband and I have decided that if his boss's termination process actually reaches the final stage, we will organize a demonstration. They can't fire everyone. We think. (If this guy's job is not safe, no one's is. He is one of the most amazing people I have ever met...brilliant, high ethics, tenacious, brave (willing to stand up for what is right), the whole package. Because logic has failed to move the super at all...in fact, it has cemented his purpose more strongly, the strategy for husband's letter of rebuttal twofold a) I did wrong and b) this is my job description (written to deliberately give him a high degree of autonomy in choice of projects and the way he implements them) and it needs to be respected. The witch hunt for the GoFundMe supporters continues. Unbelievable.

Deborah
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
I spent the weekend away; left Fiona and Sophie in Nelson. Sophie had (I think) seven performances with her two choirs (college aged choir), three on Saturday and four on Sunday (high school aged choir). She had friends stay over, so the house was busy.

Fiona has been practicing, because music festival starts tomorrow. And she went to a (pro) dance performance last night. I'm impressed that she is keen and confident with attending ticketed events on her own. She's done this a few times. She'll see a notice about a performance, ask me to buy her a ticket online and go off and attend by herself. I always offer to pay for two tickets if she has a friend she wants to bring, but she likes going on her own. She usually sees at least a few people she knows, but she just enjoys being in the audience.

I was playing with the symphony; the concert repertoire was too challenging for Fiona to do the same week as all her solo performances at the Festival, which is why she stayed home. I stayed at the (empty for the weekend) house rented by my friend in the Symphony town, which was lovely. Ran on the rail-trail both mornings, total 30k. Sunny, cool-to-warm, scenic. The weekend felt like a sort of retreat, really. Feeling refreshed.

A couple of videos:

a (not final)
edit of a promo video
for the summer arts program I help run, with the soundtrack provided by the Suzuki violin group from last summer (including Fiona). You'll need the password <short>

some of Fiona's rehearsal last week, bookmarked at the last movement of Smetena's Aus der Heimat (From the Homeland). Bit of a mess near the end but it's fun...

Now I'm going to celebrate being back in town by having a glass of wine while I try to figure out the logistics of the upcoming week. :)

Miranda
 

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Friends come over. Chatting in the garden with the other mom. Come back to a storm of red glitter in the house. Tell the kids to clean it up. They grump, but do it. My 7yo even helps a little. We eat dinner. Find the kids -- all 3 now -- sprinkling glitter down the vent into the room below. Tell them to clean up again. Even more reluctance, but the girls settle down to do it. We're all eating dessert. Except my 7yo, who is spending an HOUR screaming because he CAN'T clean up because he has to hold the dustpan but his sister sweeps wrong or that the other two are in his way or something, and he has to eat his pie right now, and can't clean up at all, and tells me that I am so mean and ruining everything and that something bad has to happen to me and therefore I won't get any dessert the next three times or I need to get put outside, or... It's funny, kind of, but exhausting. He's great until he gets it into his head that something HAS to be a certain way and then he does not give an inch.

Sigh... I start thinking they're getting easier as they get older, but maybe not. Toddler tantrums at least don't last so long.
 

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It looks like everyone is moving into spring levels of activity. Except me, today I decided to stay home and work on taxes. At some point I probably will work with Zela, but it's one of those touchy feely what is my artistic process type papers, so probably just spelling help. (She starts a Google document and puts the most incredible hash of misspelled words in it, then I go through and fix what I can, and then she has Google read it to her and fixes the rest. It starts out too horrible for Google to be able to guess, although there is stuff that for most people would be typos (teh for the, wnat for want, etc.) that is actually her dyslexic spelling of these words; Google can figure those out.

Son dropped by this morning to pick up stuff. Husband always makes him coffee. Both of his cars have bald tires and his old battered Honda needs a new battery. (He let the Nissan go out of registration, pending employment.) But aside from the fact that the Honda sounds like a single engine plane (guessing one shouldn't inquire too deeply into the configuration of the exhaust system), it runs beautifully. And I was noticing the other day that our old car has a perfect alignment (he did); I was trying to get the wretched seat belt loose so I could put it on, while driving down the road, and the car can drive itself perfectly while I get the seat belt out. So.

I have three jobs today:

a) taxes. I could be passive and hold this off, or I could start. I did find all of the paperwork needed.
b) first of four Tech Week rehearsals, 6:30 to whenever...
c) something to eat for husband when he gets back from work at 5:20ish; it's a 35 minute drive to the rehearsal. We always THINK it will be less because it's 24 miles, and the speed limit for most of the way is 70 mph and only a couple of miles are in town, but it always takes 35. They will of course start late...this director is fantastic, but Time Management is not one of her skills.

So, I think I'll start out with some Basic House Maintenance! After I read a little! (Nothing like a good dose of procrastination to really set the tone!) ;)

After husband saw the horrid multipage reprimand letters that his boss got from the super, he's decided that his short term plan to get away from workplace stress is NOT a career change...we have to get this bastard OUT. So a stealth project (resurrected from a long time ago, so censure will be difficult) and publishing the paper he was forced to withdraw (in a peer reviewed journal) are his immediate goals. If they try to reprimand him for THAT...it would be absurd; his job has "research" written into it, and researchers at academic institutions publish papers.

Deborah
 

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Benjamin Franklin - Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn. :nerd:

As I read about Franklin I'm seeing the doing part of life. :love
 
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