Archive for November, 2011

“Don’t Bother Me Mom I’m Learning”

November 29, 2011

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Ugg the great TV debate has reared its ugly head again. Someone on a yahoo list asked the question “We are moving more into unschooling  and I am still having trouble with how TV fits into this.” I should mention she was also questioning whether to only allow “educational” programing.

I read the whole e-mail to Miss Sky and asked her thoughts about it. Together we came up with a reply, in the words of Miss Sky “to save children everywhere from going through the same thing I did.”

Of course someone else, who recommended getting rid of the television all together, took offense to what I said and had to explain herself( who I was not even replying to in the first place) and another piped in how they read something somewhere about your brain going into a dreamlike state while watching television.

Okay first and foremost I want to say every family is entitled to do what works best for them. I am not saying I am right and only right, I am not saying I’m wrong either my whole point is that everything doesn’t have to be black or white and as someone who has learned the hard way you don’t have to believe everything you hear as fact, try it for yourself first.

My brain has never been in a dreamlike state while watching television, unless it was one of those very boring documentaries from high school we were all made to watch. It has always been the opposite, our family can not watch an entire show of anything without stopping to discuss or look something up on the computer.

So I just want to recommend a few resources of my own,including a book entitled the same as my post,Don’t Bother Me Mom I’m Learning by Marc Prensky and a TED talk about children and video games to show there are “other” view points to learning as well. My hope is that parents will truly decide what “they” think is best for their family after seeing both sides :).

The world is changing whether we want it to or not, “The days of Sunday afternoons sipping herbal tea by the window reading a book are over.”

Gabe Zichermann

Blessings for the journey.


More Little Comments

November 29, 2011

Miss Sky: “So we have 3 weeks and 4 days until Christmas.”

Me going to look on the calendar:” Let me see, Yup.”

Miss Sky:” Well I guess you could do it that way but I counted the stars” referring to our Advent table.

I am so proud of the math connections she is making all on her own. Remember this is coming from a child that “hates” math.

Little Comments

November 29, 2011

Learning happens all the time right?

Well even for me as I learned there is a difference between stables and  mangers yesterday.

We made stables over the weekend not mangers.

The sad thing though is my sweet husband ever so politely pointed out to me that I was the one who told him Jesus slept in a manger in the stable. So I am either losing IQ points or my memory and I don’t really know which one is worse.

So I am either losing IQ points or my memory and I don’t really know which one is worse. 🙂

Wishing everyone a great week!

The First Light Of Advent

November 27, 2011

Tonight kicks off our Counting To Christmas.

” The first light of Advent is the light of stone, stones that live in crystals, seashells, and bones”.

Today is the first Sunday of Advent, even though we don’t start the count down until December 1. We also picked out our Jessie Tree branch while at the park Friday which we also will start reading on the 1st.

The girls and I have been busily scoping ideas from Family and tomorrow plan on a visit to our most favorite craft store to gather supplies.

The only disappointment that’s come so far this year is notice that there will be no Christmas card swap this year from Kids Craft Weekly. Oh well that won’t stop our homemade Christmas card making anyway.

Here’s to happy safe  holiday celebrations!

A Week In The Life Of Unschoolers Continued

November 27, 2011

Have I mentioned I love unschooling ? I love that learning happens all the time. I love that friends , homeschooling or not, are on a “school break ” and we are not.

In previous years I have always stressed around the holidays. Right now we might have been in the middle of a block with me trying to hurry to finish it. Or I would be trying to figure out how in the world I was going to fit school in around the holidays. Well no more I tell you.

This year Thanksgiving came and our learning did not even skip a beat. This time while Mama was busy in the kitchen preparing for our mighty feast the girls kept busy playing at Animal Jam and Fantage. There was baby animal video searches on  youtube, Miss Sky is 65% into the video game Scooby Doo and the Night of 100 Frights with the help of youtube walkthroughs, and Little Sis has been playing around with Tux Paint .

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Being inspired by Monster High Little Sis made her own cell phone and laptop.

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Thanksgiving tradition in our family starts with homemade cinnamon rolls and watching The Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade on television followed by The National Dog Show (sorry Papa you are outnumbered with females in this household, but he did get to catch the Cowboys game later on :)). This always leads to the girls having an “animal” show of their own.

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Black Friday was spent at the park bike riding while enjoying beautiful 60 degree weather and lots of sunshine. Small Business Saturday was spent in the garage filling a bulk order of our mangers, which we will have more listed in our Esty shop.

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I received a comment from Loralee at Candy explaining why she thinks Pez left a foamy residue during Miss Sky’s experiment. You must check out her website, Miss Sky has many future experiments planned.

Lets see we played Uno and Animal Rummy and there was homemade carmel corn.

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and last but not least let us not forget all the preparations for the next upcoming holiday.

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Oh yeah life sure is good!


A Week In The Life Of Unschoolers

November 22, 2011

I know it hasn’t exactly been a week yet but with the rest of the week being filled with baking, feasting, celebrating, decorating,and sharing I decided today would be best to post our adventures.

Lets see we’ve been watching webisodes of Monster High,episodes of Pocoyo, I love that little blue guy I tell ya, and Ruby Gloom. This show has inspired more hand sewing goodness with doll creations

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and more feltie friends.

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There has been playing of the games Toss Up, Old Maid, and Animal Rummy and us finally beating Ursula in the video game Kingdom Hearts (WOOHOO!). Miss Sky defeated Ursula in her lair and I defeated her when she became total ocean conquering big (Thank you game guide!). It was teamwork at it’s best.

Oh, there was water play, I mean water examining 😉

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and new Ranger Rick and My Big Backyard issues.

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(And more secret diary stuff going on with extra giggles, hmm)

We visited our local home DIY store Menards to view their usually really nice Christmas area.

The girls have been very excited about Christmas this year and not just the gift getting. This year we are celebrating Christmas with all it commercial splendor. Of course it’s became a marketing holiday and why not stores depend on that money to stay in business. Commercialism only can effect you if you allow it to. Our family knows “the truth” behind the holiday.

Last but not least the girls and I spent yesterday at a playdate catching up with good friends.

Wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Discoveries of a Radical Unschooler/ Relationship Building

November 22, 2011

So in last weeks post I celebrated the success of our deschooling. Even though school is no longer a dirty word for Miss Sky and I now see learning is in everything, that doesn’t mean our relationship has been completely healed. It just means Miss Sky has been “schooled” less than Papa and I have been her parents. In other words even though we may have the unschooling part down we still need to work on the radical part.

I have been posting about my discoveries of becoming a radical unschooler and have to be honest and say the hardest part for me has not been the deschooling, I think because I have always felt in my heart the principles of unschooling, but instead it’s been the journey of standing back and looking at myself as a parent. It’s taking responsibility that I’ve made some bad choices in the past that I am not proud of and realizing I can’t just erase them away and act as if they never happened. Nope there is still healing and trust issues that needs to be worked out and honestly who can blame them. One day I am a complete control freak and the next day I’m allowing them to make more of their own choices. Who wouldn’t be leery of that.

Are we making progress though? Oh yes indeed  :).

While getting ready to read the next chapters of The Sea Fairies by L. Frank Baum, Miss Sky asks “do we have to read today?”. I said no of course not but was curious as to why (I mean sometimes I am just not in a reading mood myself). She replied that she really was not getting in with the story and thought it boring.

Okay here we are more than halfway through the book, do I say well maybe if we continue the story it might get better and still finish the book (I mean what does one learn by giving up something because they may find it boring ?) or do I listen to what my child is saying and trust in her reason for it knowing that she can always finish the story at another time whenever “she” wants to? Then I really started thinking about what she could learn by me making her finish the story.

She could learn not to trust in herself when making decisions, that I am “the only one” who knows what is best for her. She could learn that I don’t respect her opinions and maybe lose self-confidence. She could learn to lie to me and tell me what she thinks “I” want to hear. She could learn to stop expressing herself because she knows I wont agree with her anyway. She could learn to dislike reading literature. (Do you know anyone who dislikes reading because they were forced to read something ?)

I decided that not only would it be a lot easier, all the way round, to just stop reading the book but that our relationship was much more important to me than teaching her a lesson.

Life is good friends!

A Week In The Life Of Unschoolers/ Strewing

November 17, 2011

According to the dictionary strewing means “Scatter or spread (things) untidily over a surface or area”. This is a word Sandra Dodd uses in unschooling to mean” leaving material of interest around for our children to discover.” I have posted previously about this before.

While out and about I am always on the look out to find things that might catch my children’s attention. Actually this has become a fun game for me. However there is a catch to strewing, you never know if or when an object you pick up will become a point of interest for your child (this is what makes it fun for me but could be disappointing to someone else). Also there is no hidden motive to strewing (no pressure to ever use it),there may be times when an object  never strikes an interest but I sure love when it does :).

While at Goodwill and Half Price Books I found a few books that reminded me of the Ology books Miss Sky’s been interested in lately. One was Fairies A Magical Guide to the Enchanted Realm, and seeing the interest The Little Mermaid caused, I picked up The Mermaid’s Treasure and The Secret History of Mermaids.

Each girl has their own “strewing basket”, since we have no room for a coffee table,

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(You can see them behind the girls in this photo.)

this is where I place objects for the girls to discover. Well at first the books lay still awhile but this week the interest piqued.

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Miss Sky has taken interest in The Snow queen, which we plan on reading Andersen’s story after we finish The Sea Fairies, and the frost giants of Niflheim, which she remembers from Norse Mythology.

For those who have been reading my blog awhile you know how stories trigger many drawings or projects from the girls. Well while drawing Miss Sky also loves to make up stories to go along with her creations. This time was no different, meet Miss Sky’s Sun child.

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Here is Little Sis’s mermaid named Merika.

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Other adventures this week? Well the girls have been watching Disney’s Little Mermaid in Spanish with subtitles because they wanted to. You will not believe all the words they are learning from doing this.

There have been more games of Clue, it happens to be the game of choice right now, Animal Rummy, and The Tea Party game.

We observed a grasshopper, at least I think that’s what it is,

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and wondered if it was the same one we might have let go over the summer.

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Still reading The Sea Fairies which inspired internet searches on seals, sea lions, and sea spiders (Oh my).

The video game Spyro was this weeks video game of choice. (Miss Sky seems to play 1 game non stop for a week then rotate to another game for a while).

The girls and I found a new series to watch while waiting for new seasons of our favorite marvel ones to come out (yay!) The girls love The Monster High plush dolls, they just think they are cute, so when I found the cartoon series Ruby Gloom I knew it would be right up their ally. “See the bright side of the dark side” (Yes another theme song stuck in my head). (Have I mentioned Miss Sky’s favorite movies are Nightmare Before Christmas and Corpse Bride).

Well Miss Sky had to make her a Mr. Buns to go along with her Monster dolls.

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She is making her sister one now as I type.

Then there has been lots of secret diary writing stuff going on too.

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We have been following along with Ingi, at Defying Gravity and her families marvelous cruise adventures to New Zealand. You must take a peek.

Last but not least the girls have playing at Fantage, where they enjoy being human for once.

Yep just another boring week of school.

Wishing everyone a great weekend!

Little Comments

November 16, 2011

While reading The Sea Fairies by L. Frank Baum we came to a part where the character Trot says” What do the seals eat.” The explanation given was “seagulls and their eggs are favorites”.

Miss Sky: “I thought seals eat fish.”

Me: “Me too.”

Miss Sky walks to the computer to look it up. I put the book down making sure not to lose my spot.

We found a video of “sea lions” catching and eating seagulls on Youtube.

Me: “I guess they do eat seagulls.”

Miss Sky: “Mom that says sea-lion not seal.”

Me :”But they are the same.”

Miss Sky: “Same family yes, same animal no. Sea lions have little ears sticking out.”

Me searching for pictures of sea lions and asking myself where does she get this stuff from.

Little Comments

November 13, 2011

While at Martinstag Miss Sky purchased 4 bendable bracelets pens. One Little girl there became quick friends with Miss Sky and joined us on our lantern walk.

Miss Sky:”Would you like to have one of my bracelets?”

On the way home Miss Sky: “I felt bad that Little Sis and I had something and she was left out.”