Archive for October, 2011

Yellow the Bracken, Golden the Sheaves

October 30, 2011

Rosy the apples

pictures 2127

pictures 2132

crimson the leaves

pictures 2121

Mist on the hillside, clouds grey and white,

pictures 2124

Autumn good morning, summer good night.

pictures 2138

A Week In The Life Of Unschoolers

October 28, 2011

Whew what a week it has been !

It’s funny how some weeks pass and seem like nothing was accomplished then boom a week comes that you can’t believe all that was done.

I mentioned how our week started by watching a non Disney version of The Little Mermaid, then we read the story by Hans Christian Anderson which led us on many learning adventures and ended with a viewing of the Disney version of The Little Mermaid.

Well this has brought the sketch books back out and the girls have been busy drawing up a storm this week.

pictures 2117

pictures 2116

(The girls making their “sea gardens” from the story.)

We also listened to Oscar Wilde’s The Fisherman and His Soul from LibriVox comparing the two stories.

Then we finally watched the movie Tangled which led to a reading of Rapunzel where Miss Sky said “Man they really added a lot to the movie”.

We noticed this was Disney’s 50th animated motion picture and thought how cool it would be to watch all the Disney animated movies in chronological order to see how much they’ve evolved. I mean who knows what adventures this will lead to.

Other learning adventures this week included Miss Sky continuing her mythical creature search reading the Handbook to her Monsterology book

pictures 2118

and starting a journal to write about her discoveries. She even noticed on Animal Jam “look mom they have Yeti masks, it says in my book they are related to Big Foot”.

Little Sis worked on some Halloween word searches

pictures 2114

and this time could read the words she was looking for.

She also wanted to see how much change she had

pictures 2113

and learned how to count by 5 and 10.

She read the books Biscuit by Alyssa Satin Capucilli and her new favorite Bears in the Night by Stan and Jan Berenstain.

I have come to the part in The Tudors where all the beheading has started (I am SO thankful not to be living during Medieval times). I have been explaining to Miss Sky what’s been happening in the show,since the show is not appropriate for her to watch, and we got in a long conversation about Thomas More. Well I found him in our Book of Saints by Amy Welborn and read the passage to the girls. This also led to us watching A Man for All Seasons.(Which is appropriate for her to watch.)

I am sure I’ve forgotten something again but that pretty much sums up our week.

Wishing everyone a great weekend!

Little Comments

October 26, 2011

While watching Disney’s version of The Little Mermaid.

Miss Sky:” You know if King Triton would have just excepted his daughter for who she was and helped her understand her interests more instead of working SO hard to control her, the whole problem could have been avoided.”

Who said Disney movies were just for kids :).

Connections

October 25, 2011

One of the many things I love about unschooling is that you never know exactly where you might end up at the end of a learning adventure.

Take last night for example. Little Sis wanted to watch a non Disney version of The Little Mermaid. It was said at the beginning of the movie the story was adapted from the story by Hans Christian Anderson. I thought how fun to see how much of this was true by actually reading the true story of The Little Mermaid after we watched the movie.

I myself love collecting fairy tales, and not because of my Waldorf days, I always think about the knowledge of a time period when a story was written. It amazes me the descriptions of the ocean Anderson uses in The Little Mermaid that was published in 1837.

Well surprisingly enough most of the movie held true except of course the ending ,who many find sad. Miss Sky however disagrees saying “besides not marring the prince she gets the eternal soul she was wanting”. It was the comparisons however that took us on our learning adventure.

All through the movie references were being made by the girls. “Dolphins can’t live deep in the ocean, they are mammals who need to breathe air.” “I recognize this piece of music from the movie Fantasia.” “Was this movie made before or after Disney’s Little Mermaid because the princes look a lot like each other.” I doubt our movie watching days will ever be the same :).

Well this led us on a search, the computer must never be off while watching movies, that indeed Disney’s version was first but this was just the beginning.

“We” learned that the piece from Fantasia was Night on Bald Mountain written by Modest (what an awesome name for a musician during the 1800s) Musorgskiy in fact they used two of his pieces in the movie. The girls also recognized the Ride of the Valkyries by Richard Wagner.

This led us to learning the Sorcerer’s Apprentice was written as a symphonic poem based on Goethe’s poem and music by Paul Dukas in 1897.

Which led us here.

Man how talented is he !

Which led us to watching more of his videos, all because a five-year old wanted to watch a movie.

Life is good friends!

Peace

How could I forget.  Do you think it possible that The Little Mermaid could be tied to The Beatles? In our home yes :). With all the underwater talk of course a certain Little couldn’t resist the chance to mention Mr. Paul McCartney’s(have I mentioned this is Little Sis’s favorite Beatle lately?) new ballet Ocean Kingdom.

Indeed Life is very good!

Cynicism

October 24, 2011

Once in a while I come across a really great quote that I wish I had read years ago and not only do I want to share it but I also want to keep it in a safe place to serve as a reminder whenever needed.

“When people are very cynical, they seem to think that if all the things they think are stupid are eliminated, what’s left will be non-stupid. Smartness. Cleverness. Art. Good music. But once so many things are eliminated, what’s left is a cynical person who has rejected half the world, and has the memories of all the details of that negativity.” ~ Sandra Dodd

You can find this quote and more here.

“Plugged In”

October 24, 2011

I was going to post this under Little Comments but I wanted to add more of my opinions to the post :).

Man there sure is a lot of stuff going around in the homeschooling arena that being “plugged in” is a big terrible thing. The efforts being made are so strong that those who do “allow” television or computer play for their children either come off as bad parents or the parents themselves are left with feelings of tremendous guilt. (Me, well I was one of those who caved under the pressure.)

Anyway while watching the episode of The Simpsons, together as a family, where Bart and Homer want to go to a monster truck show the same night as Lisa has a recital then figuring with Lisa’s recital starting at 5 and the monster truck show starting at 8 they could do both, Miss Sky blurts out “That means the concert can’t last more than 3 hours.”

Now I know this isn’t exactly the best example for me to showcase Miss Sky’s brilliance and honestly it is something that probably would have been overlooked if it wasn’t for me ” Reading a little, trying a little, waiting awhile and watching” but what I saw was Miss Sky using her brain while being “plugged in”. Not just using her brain but calculating a math problem while watching The Simpsons of all shows.

This makes me wonder how much of this “stuff” is truly researched and how much of it is opinion, or how many are just using this “stuff” as another form of control over their children.

Wishing everyone a great week!

Little Comments

October 22, 2011

The girls found the Beatles radio station on the Roku. While listening the song Because came on.

Little Sis:” This song sounds like Queen.”

That’s my girl :).

Week In The Life Of Unschoolers

October 21, 2011

This week we were more distracted then normal and not just because of the headlines. We were anxiously awaiting a visit from our oldest daughter. We did manage to find ways to kill time though.

The girls found a make-up/style game that was all the rage this week.

pictures 2108

Also Miss Sky’s been playing the game Baby Blimp at kidzui. You create babies and care for them before you deliver them to their homes.

We of course had a movie day filled with the classics and with Halloween being just around the corner we started watching The Addams Family to temporary replace our marvel series. The first episode was about the superintendent informing the Addams they needed to send their kids to school. I found this episode funny considering how we are homeschoolers that the Addams Family could possibly have been the first homeschoolers ever televised. I loved what Gomez Addams tells the superintendent “Why have children just to send them away”. 🙂

Anyway what goes best with movies?

pictures 2109

Cookies of course.

While doing a bit of searching the other day on the phoenix, Miss Sky also took an interest in learning about other mythical creatures and found a series of books that caught her attention and requested a trip to Barnes and Noble (You don’t have to ask me twice).

pictures 2111

The book is Monsterology.

Finally the day had arrived and you know the girls wasted no time sharing with their big sister everything they had been up to :).

pictures 2110

Wishing everyone a great weekend!

Discoveries of a Radical Unschooler

October 21, 2011

I was meaning to write about this after Miss Sky’s birthday but Monday I was feeling a bit melancholy if you couldn’t tell. Well after a day of kicking back with my girls and getting my priorities all in check, now I am ready to spill the beans :).

Something that has become tradition in our household for birthdays is for the birthday person to get their own day. A whole day to spend however you want and to get whatever you want for meals.

Usually if it happens to be one of the girls birthdays you can pretty much  expect to hear the words “it is MY day” coming from their mouths. I mean after all it isn’t everyday you can watch whatever you want to on T.V. This year though I noticed a difference in Miss Sky and how she wanted to celebrate her day.

For starters she wanted to go to Toys R Us to spend birthday money and was listing everything she wanted to buy. One gift she wanted was a set of puffles from Club Penguin. Little Sis, whose birthday is right around the corner, began to express her feelings of  how she wished she could get a puffle too. We explained to her that she had her allowance she could spend but she would have to wait to buy the puffles until her birthday. Well to a certain 5-year-old the word “wait” didn’t settle to well  and before Papa and I could step in and intervene Miss Sky said “I’ll buy you one with my money”. Miss Sky didn’t hesitate in the least to share with her little sister. Of course once there we bought the puffle for Little Sis but we were so proud that Miss Sky offered to share without asking for anything in return.

Once home Miss Sky was all about her new purchases and new codes to play Club Penguin and Little Sis did understand that Miss Sky got first dibs on the computer or T.V. After playing on the computer awhile she said Little Sis could have a turn and Miss Sky went outside to play with her new presents.

Okay here was a day that Miss Sky could choose to do whatever she wanted and she chose to play outside and know what else not one time did we hear the words “it is MY day”.

Miss Sky had a great birthday. She expressed her happiness over and over. We talked about her playing outside and being over generous with her little sister and her reply was ” well since we started unschooling it feels like everyday is our day, we can play on the computer when we want, watch television whenever we want and we get an allowance to buy whatever we want so if I couldn’t get everything today I wanted for my birthday in order to make my little sister happy I knew I could save and get it later”.

In other words some might think we are spoiling our kids by letting them make decisions for themselves or letting them get whatever they want with their allowance that’s not tied to chores but I’ve noticed the complete opposite. Maybe spoiling children doesn’t produce a spoiled child after all.

By the way I’m not talking about parents who buy their children everything to compensate for them not being around and I’m not talking about spoiling only with material possessions either.

Wishing everyone a great day!

You Can’t Take It With You

October 18, 2011

I have two favorite movies that if I had to choose  between all the movies in the world I would not want to ever be without(and there are a lot of great movies out there). In fact these particular movies are part of a very small selection that *must* be viewed at least once a year in our household.

The lessons I’ve taken from these movies have been life changing in such a great way and they are always a wonderful reminder of helping get my priorities back in check.

The first one is It’s a Wonderful Life, the second is You Can’t take it with you. I think today is the perfect rainy day for a reminder.

Thank you Frank Capra.

Wishing everyone a great week!