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About nine years ago I made a radio show. It was one of a series of homeschooling-related shows called "Home Air," done by the home-learning community. We actually did three episodes, one about our community gardening club, one about our Suzuki music, and this one, our all-time favourite, about Imaginary Play.

Today my ds asked me to post it on-line because he wanted to share it with his college friends. Funnily enough my dd called me from the National Youth Orchestra tour bus two or three years ago asking me to put it in DropBox for her to be able to share it with her orchestra friends.

So I dug it up on SoundCloud and Fiona and I had a listen again. I don't know if it's as entrancing when there's no family nostalgia involved, but we really enjoyed listening to it again. If you're interested, here's the link: Euwy World.

Miranda
 

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Thanks moominmamma I will try to listen later.

This morning my 2yr ask me to read her a book. It was so sweet. By the end we had finished most of the book's short stories.
 

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Nice program, Moominmamma. I wish I'd recorded more of my kids' interactions when they were really little...have tons of photographs, and a few things, like Middle reciting a German poem, but not enough. When my eldest was in 6th grade I became determined to make movies, but the video camera I found didn't work with our Mac, so it fell through the cracks. We have a few small projects from about that time.

that reminds me...with a quadcopter and a gopro, amazing things are possible. We love this video of the Cumbres and Toltec narrow gauge railroad, which railroad we stumbled on by chance when we were car camping (in 1993?)...two of our kids have ridden the round trip of the eastern half of the line:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWedSayZ64A

I love the cheesy music too...

Deborah
 

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Sick kid. Crazy weather. It is either frozen or it's 52F/10C. In November. It's supposed to be "High of 42, low of 37" raining or cloudy, ad nauseum until April.

DH, bless his heart, is taking the girls (even the sick one) for a walk in the sunny, frosty forest this morning before heading to work. These days start around 20F make it hard for him to start his gardening work, especially if the freeze has extended and the ground gets really hard. So this morning he's doing me a favor and getting the girls out. I am not a morning person. I can wake up early enough, but I'm not good for much of anything, sometimes for hours. Lately I've been getting my yoga started by around 9:30 which is amazing for me, so it's improving.

I have a huge mental list of things needing to get done. Staring with my yoga.

Now.

I mean it, Sarah, get off this damn thing.

Sigh......... Drag...... Ass......... Zzzzzzzz.............
 

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Today for "unschooling" I'm leaving the kids with their much beloved babysitter and I'm going to a movie theatre by myself. I'm not sure I've ever done it before. I really want to see Mockingjay.

We will practice our Hindi before I go. We have been lagging a little in that department. We get solid study in two or three days a week and I kind of wish it were more like four or five but that would take more initiation by me. I'm so lazy. And tired. The tired is a bigger factor.

Minecraft is The Thing of the day. I am actually cutting off screen time after a while because she would play 8 hours a day and that's not good for a developing body. She's made great progress in the game. A week ago she spent more than half of her game time screaming for me to come help her find something. She noticed I didn't come at all and instead hid in other rooms while she was shouting so she has stopped. *phew* I've never played and I am not going to start playing in the position of having to be the one to answer all of your questions. Nope. Figure. It. Out.

Now she occasionally asks me how something is spelled so she can look it up in inventory on her own. I don't mind that at all. :D

Littlest one is still obsessed with her own butt. Poop talk is still full time. This phase can end. *sigh* I try to just ignore it. She's having so much fun. Oh man I'm sick of it.

Oh! My youngest and I got to go on a date last weekend. We went to the Great Dickens Christmas Fair, which is a historical reenactment event based on the books of Charles Dickens. There are Victorian dressed actors all over the set which is made to look like an amalgam of his books. Lots of characters run around acting out scenes from the stories. It's a lot of fun. I worked there as a dancer in Fezziwig's warehouse eleven years ago.

We stayed three hours until she turned and said, "I'm tired now and it is time to go home." As usual my response was, "Yes, ma'am! Thank you so much for telling me. I think the quickest way out is this way."

I've got this "thing". I talk to my kids how I want them to talk to me. "Yes ma'am" just rolls off the tongue in this house. It's funny when they say it to their dad. :thumb
 

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Still waiting for snow! Only plus side is that I have a little more time to gather money and get ski gear together. I learned backcountry skiing last year on borrowed gear, so it's time to shell out now.

Almost 6 yr old is still all chemistry all the time. I feel, as a former molecular biologist, that I should surely know enough chemistry to satisfy a kindergartener, but his questions are getting rather more baffling. How do different molecules absorb different wavelengths of light? (complete with his own long complicated theory). Why do electrons like to be in pairs? Why is beryllium toxic? What makes a chain of oxygen so reactive?
He was incredibly excited to get his new molecular model kit in the mail, adding new kinds of atoms. I wonder why we usually save those for college students. They're awesome for kids.

Almost 4 yr old is very interested in reading words lately, sounding a few out in her books or watching the adults play bananagrams. She's quickly catching up to big brother (who also figured out sounding out words at 3, but never went further from there). She's also in a happy energetic phase, rather than the super grumpy phase of a month or two ago, so she's much more fun to hang out with.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Still waiting for snow!

How do different molecules absorb different wavelengths of light? (complete with his own long complicated theory). Why do electrons like to be in pairs
Too bad about the snow! We had a fair sized dump last week on top of our couple of inches that we still had from early November, so people are skiing here. We still don't have (XC) gear for Fiona, so we haven't been out yet. Downhill is pricey, so we don't do that very often.

re: chemistry questions. I think that at this age my explanations would be mostly in the form of metaphors. Like, for the photochemistry question (if I'm understanding it correctly and that's what it is), if you have a violin or a guitar, you sing the note D above middle C, and with a good instrument you can actually see and hear the D-string vibrate sympathetically. If you sing a D#, nothing. My kids are pretty familiar with this phenomenon. So I'd explain that molecular bonds are a little like strings: they have certain frequencies that they are sympathetic to.

But there's no harm in not being able to give an explanation. Just "I don't know all the answers. I'm not even sure scientists know why. But that's the great thing about science: it's driven by questions, and by the search for answers. If we knew everything, scientists would have nothing to do!"
 

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So today, 2 p.m., town time...I find daughter in the passenger seat. "I'm tired of driving." Well, she has added 10K miles plus to the car since she started driving (most of this with an adult passenger, of course)...but I had to laugh.

One of her horse exercise opportunities came to an abrupt end again today, which has happened before with this mentor. I never know quite what to think when I get something like this (my knee jerk reaction is that I've done something wrong):

"Please let J know that C will no longer be available for her to ride. I need to work with her. She has done a fine job with C, has been a big help, and I've enjoyed having her around...I will let you know if the situation changes but it probably will not for at least 4-6 months. Have a wonderful holiday and a happy new year."Anyway, the horse she has been invited to show is still available, and likely to be. There's always a risk when you don't own the horse! At least this is a good time of year for this to happen...it starts getting very cold in town about this time, often ten or so degrees F colder than where we live, because it's in a valley at the mouth of a canyon and the cold air drains down the watercourse all night.

Time to feed Old Cat, who has felt her way to my side...

Deborah
 

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if you have a violin or a guitar, you sing the note D above middle C, and with a good instrument you can actually see and hear the D-string vibrate sympathetically. If you sing a D#, nothing.
So funny how different everyone's building blocks of the world are. I was just today reading him a book that compared the periods of the periodic table to groups of instruments in an orchestra. He understands the periodic table just fine, but didn't really know what an orchestra was!

He knows that absorption of photons is linked to electrons jumping up in energy. Mostly, with the light, he was trying to make sense of things like why ethene is transparent, but absorbs UV light, which he knew had something to do with it being a small molecule. And then diamond is clear, despite being large, which has something to do with its arrangement of electrons and bonds--because graphite is opaque--and of course both contain only C-C bonds, which ethene has as well. And then color sometimes has to do with unpaired electrons, which makes liquid O2 blue, or with metals. I found an explanation of hybridized p orbitals online, which he couldn't really understand (nor could my husband), but I think at least the part about how alternating single and double bonds can lead to visible light absorption satisfied him a little. I understand it somewhat better myself now, anyway. Somehow, I must have never gotten around to thinking all of this through in my own 35 yrs...

I think I'm going to learn A LOT in this whole unschooling process.

Deborah--If it's happened before with the same mentor, I suspect it's nothing to do with you or your daughter--just a person with a brusque style not giving a lot of thought to how what's best for her will come off to you guys.

Skiing--I live in a rare place where downhill skiing is cheap (aside from gear). For the adults, it's back country only. For the littler kids, it includes back-road skiing and towing via truck, and a home-made rope tow. All made possible by my friend, our town's amazing volunteer ski instructor, that spends all fall chainsaw-clearing the runs, has a stable full of gear to loan out for every age, and will spend multiple days per week all winter teaching anyone he can get his hands on for free. I learned from him last year. Get a free ride to the trail, borrow skis and gear, get a free lesson on the mountain, and maybe a beer afterwards. Cannot get a deal like that anywhere! So it better stop raining!
 

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Deborah--If it's happened before with the same mentor, I suspect it's nothing to do with you or your daughter--just a person with a brusque style not giving a lot of thought to how what's best for her will come off to you guys.
It is the septuagenarian's free spirited style (she started out as a "fat chemist", then made a career change, mucking out stalls at a racetrack or some such, and is also a well known conservator of 18th century textiles)...but disquieting to my "schooled" self. And it does kick me in the pants with the realization that daughter likely needs her own land and her own horse. How that's gonna happen...let's leave it up in the air for now!

Deborah
 

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Tonight we had our annual employer/neighborhood holiday party. Youngest showed up looking very tall: dressed in heeled Mary Janes, a long swirly black skirt, red tailored shirt, tinkling ornament jewelry assembled from various sources (including pilfered from her sister's room): bracelets, rings, earrings, a straw cowboy hat. She's 5'7 but the extra stuff added six or more inches to her height. After the potluck/catered meal, I found I'd won a door prize, out of 4 stars taped to the bottoms of the folding chairs. It was a meat and cheese box...maybe I will have a party and invite the neighbors, to get rid of it. Then the employees all got stainless steel water bottles with the employer logo on them...I started laughing when I saw that everyone (science/engineering/technical geeks all) was figuring out how the spout worked, reading off the specs (BPA free!), unscrewing the lids and sniffing the insides. I had to take a snapshot...

I'm having trouble writing this because White Paws is helping. (BTW, found out that someone has been sharpening claws in my violin case. Not. Happy. At. All. About. This.) Anyhow, when we got home, and I was thinking how to get something productive done without having to exert myself much, Youngest shows up with a violin and asks to play. For the first time ever, I think. Not play play, but lesson play. Sooo...gave up my idea for a nice quiet stress free evening, and we had a fairly intense practice.

Time to feed cats!

Deborah
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Beethoven, baking and Ballet. This is what is consuming her.

Holiday baking. Thus far pfeffernusse, almond crescents, rum balls, chocolate-peppermint spiral cookies, penuche. This weekend, plans for marbled chocolate almond bark, cashew brittle, cranberry spice biscotti and gingerbread. Her sister has been part of some of this. It's been great for me! I used to try to lead all of this stuff myself, and get the kids to help. Now I do a couple of my favourites (cranberry white chocolate truffles and fruitcake) but other than that I'm just the person charged with driving to the store to buy ingredients. Butter. So much butter.

Beethoven's Spring Sonata. Unlike most of the pieces she's learned in the past, she's never heard any of her older siblings play this one and wasn't familiar with it by ear. She fell in love with it herself as she came to know it, and asked her teacher if she could learn it. The business of discovering it from scratch was a new experience for her. I think it's helped her take complete ownership over the learning. She's been at it for a couple of weeks and the first movement is well under her fingers. If we're lucky we'll be able to twist her oldest sister's arm over the holidays and have her play the piano part. If Fiona gets comfortable playing it with piano by her first lesson in January, she might be able to convince her teacher that she can do it on the end-of-January recital. Because it's a proper and very conversational-style sonata, there's a lot of intricate togetherness stuff that has to happen with the pianist. This will be something new for her.

Ballet. Last class before Christmas was today and the only thing that's helping her face the 4-week gap is the excitement of shopping for pointe shoes. I shot some video for my mom during this week's classes. The tutus were just for a bit of pre-Christmas fun: the teacher decided to teach the girls a bit of Nutcracker choreography so she let them throw on tutus. Not a very polished thing since they only spent about 20 minutes learning it, but they looked pretty cute in their dresses. The other class, where Fiona is wearing the blue wrap skirt, is ballet technique class. They learn a few sequences like these from scratch every class. At 1:30 you can see her with a couple of seniors doing a pretty impressive first try at a complicated sequence. She picks this kind of thing up really quickly. I'm in awe: she certainly didn't get that from me!

That is what has been keeping her busy. There's no room in the Enthusiasm Centre of her brain for anything else.

Miranda
 

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Beethoven's Spring Sonata. Unlike most of the pieces she's learned in the past, she's never heard any of her older siblings play this one and wasn't familiar with it by ear. She fell in love with it herself as she came to know it, and asked her teacher if she could learn it. The business of discovering it from scratch was a new experience for her. I think it's helped her take complete ownership over the learning. She's been at it for a couple of weeks and the first movement is well under her fingers...If Fiona gets comfortable playing it with piano by her first lesson in January, she might be able to convince her teacher that she can do it on the end-of-January recital.
The last kid I knew that did that was a bit older (16)...he picked a Mozart sonata, the Spring...I forget what else, a couple of pieces (maybe Kreisler P&A & a Sarasate piece?) for his first real solo recital...he's now a professor of violin at a small liberal arts college. So, you never know where that may lead...at the time I thought he might be a wilderness outfitter or something some day.

And so nice that your daughter has the ballet opportunity. My youngest was in a modern dance troupe for a while when very small, then took ballet lessons in a town about an hour away (37 miles is an hour where we live)...was committed, worked very hard...but just not enough students to support a dance studio. The teacher fled to a Big City. And daughter switched to horses...even that has been difficult to keep going.

This morning my daughter was supposed to take one of the foster kittens for eye surgery; I drove husband to work because he has a cold & then got hung up helping a colleague with failmerge...I mean, mailmerge (I don't know anything about it either, but have to pretend I do)...came back to find the power to the (piano) keyboard still on, and daughter returning my violin to its case. My violin, notice, not hers. (I've told her she could play it. I don't think she could do any more damage than I have...I have an unpleasant habit of putting little nicks in my varnish, whether with my fingernails, bow, or whatever. My viola scroll/back have taken a direct blow from a cello bow more than once. My husband has put possibly one tiny ding in his violin in ten years, and he still broods on it. Here's hoping I get the varnish repaired on the viola we share before he sees what happened to it...out in the dry boonies we don't have any repair service, so I glue a lot of seams. Only somehow when I did the only one that really counts, on an expensive instrument, the glue ran in a stream down the back of an instrument and left a long discolored trail.)

So, back to the office for a while...this afternoon is lessons (me) & Ultimate (daughter) in town. And for her, horse work and vet job for the weekend.

Deborah
 

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Hello
I am Anna
I have been lurking for a while and have worked up the 'courage' (found enough uninterrupted time) to introduce myself.
I live in Toronto, I have 4 kids: 23, 16, 12, and 9. The 9 year old is at home, the 16 and 12 are voluntarily at school, the 23 year old lives on her own.
And now uninterrupted time has come to an end.
Have a great day.
Anna
 

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My girls have been sooooo grouchy recently. DD9 can be very single minded, and her sister won't play a particular game and the battle has simmered for days. I am so done with it, but they are no getting the picture.

Yesterday was the annual Waldorf Winter Faire. Always fun, they put the Treasure Hunt back in (they did something different last year thinking that kids would want a change, but there were complaints and even some tears on the part of my girls. I spoke to one of the Waldrf moms I knew from gym and she helped pass my message on, and said that many parents commented on how much they missed it.) The treasure at the end was the tiniest gnome I've ever seen. We made gnome houses and some earrings for family gifts and a "pocket baby". DD9 was disappointed that there were no wand crafts (I swear between this event and another we have about 50 of them!) I also think she is starting to outgrow the event just a wee bit. The puppet play was as beautiful as ever, but last year's shadow play was the show to beat, and this one didn't quite pull it off. But Waldorf does everything beautifully and this was no exception.

I ran into some friends at the the faire's craft market. One makes amazing, artistic, upcycled clothing. Perfect timing. I'm cornering her into making me a coat for next winter.

On our way home we stopped by the local Christmas tree farm to cut a tree. Living where we do, we have our pick of no less than a dozen on the direct route from the Waldorf school near Olympia to our house. They tied the tree on the top of our car with twine. The taut string on the inside proved an irresistible instrument for plunking out Jingle Bells (or something that sounded like it when you really thought about making it sound like that) when suddenly it went slack and my heart fairly leaped out of my chest. Thankfully it didn't really come untied and we were only on the highway for 2 miles before hitting the back roads for the last 4 miles.

Nobody warns you about that! Why don't they warn you about that?? Am I the only person in the world who has thought about playing Christmas carols on the twine?? "We've never lost a tree" said the guy tying it on to our roof. Well, because you never tied one on the top of MY car. I will have my fun... :p

I've been playing my guitar every day now, playing around with songs I know, pushing myself to step out of my comfort zone. I started making myself slog through transposing chords to fit my voice and I've been encouraged by my success. I've started playing the full chords for F and B instead of the abbreviated ones that fit my small hands better. I've had to relearn some songs and that was hard to accept but the improved sound will be worth it. Ever since a bad cold this summer, my voice craps out in about an hour. First, I'll get that nice rock'n'roll cracking (there's a term for it that I don't remember) but that winds up with me straining to sing a song that is in the perfect register for my voice by the end. This truly pisses me off.

But it's been so joyful on the whole. I've been able to work out most of the music in the acoustic video of Here Is the House, though there are still gaps, and it's retraining my ear nicely. I've peeked shyly at the chords for Walking In My Shoes and Cole Porter's Night and Day. I remember a lovely version by Everything But the Girl in the mid-80's and we did a little exploration of the different versions of the song including from the Delovely soundtrack I am so fond of. Alas, some songs are still beyond my skill to play, but if I listen to the EBTG version, the guitar arrangement is relatively simple so perhaps it's just the chord names that are fancy. I still play with my Sing Out songbook for the girls.

We've also been singing a lot of Christmas carols in the car. I am so glad that we can do this alone because my girls do not have the early pitch control that I had and they can still sing joyously despite sounding a "wee bit" off. I occasionally encourage dd9 to sing a little lower, closer to her speaking range, and as natural as she can, because the higher she gets the more she loses her ability to hear where her voice should be. When we sing together I let them start and I try to match their pitch as difficult as it can be to maintain it. Luckily the car rides end before my voice does. They take turns making up songs.

Oh JFHC* my cat threw up all over dd9's dragon flyers and now the house is filled with screaming. Gotta go. Bloody hell.... good morning, I guess.
 

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Logging in after a very long time - for the past month or longer I haven't been able to access this site at all! I think the non-neutral internet has already started because I am finding around half of the sites I want to see slow to load or not at all loading. Big sites like youtube and google load but many newspapers, university sites, etc are quite unreliable. It has wrought havoc with my MOOC work - and dd and I just got excited about joining the Berkeley book club at edx. This months book is A Christmas Carol. Well, by a miracle the site loaded long enough for me to complete the assignment just in time today. I have taken several MOOCs but this is the first time I have completed the homework, owing to the fact that dd is interested in trying out a MOOC - I suggested that she watch one course and then consider signing up on her own next time.


>I've got this "thing". I talk to my kids how I want them to talk to me.

Same here!

> "Yes ma'am" just rolls off the tongue in this house. It's funny when they say it to their dad.

Funny! That hasn't happened here ;-)


nice to be able to log in again! Let me quit before the server does:smile:
 

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Went to the Dr. to catch up on how DS was doing ( she was off on maternity leave) she finished up by saying she was concerned about socialization!
I had to laugh, TBH I thought that was a myth that people thought that way, surprise surprise they really do! I told her that, that is a big joke in the HS community, but she just looked confused.
Good grief is all I can say

Anna
 
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