Archive for April, 2012

A Week In The Life Of Unschoolers/ Just Marvel(ous)

April 30, 2012

Another week gone by in a flash. I notice the older I get the faster time flies, why is that?

This weekend Miss Sky had the pleasure of meeting her 11-year-old twin pen pals from Sacramento California. They are traveling coast to coast on a road trip and decided to stop by Indiana for the afternoon. While the girls chatted with one another I had the pleasure of talking with their mother (and youngest son(13)). I learned so much about California, like not everything there is like Los Angeles or San Fransisco where our oldest currently is, and came away very inspired by their family (such a lovely family they are). They love the outdoors and hiking as much as we do.

We have met so many wonderful people since I started writing my blog, I am so glad I jumped in and decided to write one. 🙂

I previously mentioned how I’ve been having feelings of “doing” lately. Well our family loves to hike (yes all of us). Little Sis has been hiking along beside us since 2 years old. We never really used a stroller with her but instead while visiting museums or zoos let her walk until she needed a rest(which we then would find a place to sit and rest a while). I do believe because we took the time to do this with her that she is now able to walk for several miles at a time. Well this summer we marked the calendar (several times) of all the places in Indiana we would like to hike at. One in particular that I would like to do is at the dunes http://www.nps.gov/indu/planyourvisit/hiking.htm. Papa and I have been training ourselves all winter preparing. I truly am ready to get out there and do it!

The weather here this week has been a bit ugly. So the girls mostly stayed indoors which was great because Miss Sky received this months Nintendo Power magazine.We are collecting legos and dominoes for the girls. They have many building ideas running through their brains and are in need of more pieces. Well a friend stopped by and added some to our collection :).(Thank you Kathy, as you can see they were used right away)*Note to friends and family members we are still collecting, please help keep a look out 🙂 *

Yes more games of Mario Party 8 and finally we are on world 6 of Super Mario Brothers(as a family). More games of Memory, Toss Up, Blink, Animal Rummy, Sherlock, Wizard Junior and Frog Juice.More Wizard 101 and Minecraft? Yep. I mentioned Miss Sky and I watching Pretty in Pink, well Little Sis and I watched Disney’s Cinderella (another first). Oh the conversations that came about from these films. Both girls are really into Marvel comics and girl superheros so they had much to say about the movie Cinderella. My husband is a big Jerry Lewis fan and we actually have the movie Cinderfella http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinderfella, which the girls love that it’s a princess looking for her prince charming :).

Speaking of Marvel, have I mentioned there is a new movie coming out ? Miss Sky has been counting down the days. This week she has been reading at Marvel Wikia filling me in all the missing details about the characters http://marvel.wikia.com/Main_Page (So I can follow the plot 😉 ). They have been very busy this week creating their own superheros at mavel.com. http://marvel.com/games/play/31/create_your_own_superheroMarvelous indeed!

Little Comments

April 27, 2012

While watching the Guns and Roses video Welcome to the Jungle on Youtube.

Miss Sky: “I don’t like the reference of human beings living in “the jungle” or acting like “animals”, it gives all the innocent animals a bad name. Animals live how they were made to, humans can just be down right cruel.”

She has a way of seeing things that make my heart melt. 🙂

Little Comments

April 26, 2012

While Little Sis “played” Wizard 101 to her little hearts content, 🙂 Miss Sky and I watched the movie Pretty in Pink together. I love everything about this movie yes I do. The soundtrack, the fashion, the script (even though dated still transcends time. Though I do not agree with the ending, but that is my personal opinion.), the actors and I literally would *love* a job working at Tracks. This was such fun and I learned so much about my daughter’s likes.

She has such a keen eye for picking out things from movies that I don’t.

Miss Sky: ” Mom I love her”, Andie’s (Molly Ringwald) “pink phone, I love her room! Mom look at her pearls, I love the look of pearls and lace together. They did such a good job with the props and fashion in this movie, don’t you think? I love vintage things! Oh no she picked the wrong guy, what that’s how it ends!?”

Oh be still my beating heart! We have a mother daughter date to visit a local antique mall planned very soon. 🙂

I love these kiddos of mine, they are taking me on a journey I never could have imagined. I am SO truly blessed!

A Week In The Life Of Unschoolers/ “A Very Merry Unbirthday”

April 24, 2012

Where oh where has the week gone? I remember writing last weeks post then decided to commit 10 minutes a day to deep cleansing our home and before I knew it 10 minutes turned into a week :). So for the first part of our week (before the temperatures dropped) it was bare feet and ice cream out in the backyard for the kiddos. Then mother nature sent us a reminder that it was spring after all and back indoors the kiddos came. 🙂

More Wizard 101? Yes, particularly for a certain 6-year-old who loves the challenge of the missions and is now a level 11 wizard (surpassing her sister). So many connections in this game. Little Sis passed over the rainbow bridge into a new world (re)sparking the interest in Norse Mythology for Miss Sky.(Miss Sky reading Thor comic books ) Not that she really needed much coaxing, have I mentioned her excitement over the new Avengers movie coming out?

More Minecraft? Of course :). Miss Sky has found the Minecraft Wiki http://www.minecraftwiki.net/wiki/Minecraft_Wiki and has been doing lots of researching, learning. While researching she also found new sites to play, http://kizi.com/ and  http://www.adoptme.com/and there was more Animal Jam for Little Sis.

On the Wii more Mario Party 8, Super Mario Brothers, and the game Life. There was watching Super Smash Brothers on YouTube (Miss Sky likes the storyline), more Sims2 on the Playstation2, and yes more hands of the card game Frog Juice.

While Miss Sky busied herself with Minecraft Little Sis and I watched the Disney version of Alice in Wonderland (neither of the girls had seen it). She recognized much of the movie from us playing Kingdom Hearts on the playstation2(Where we are SO close to completing the game but are stuck in Hollow Bastion). Well you know we had to have us a “unbirthday” party too with cake and all :). Instead of shopping for a present for someone else we all picked out a little something for ourselves (while at the store). It was such fun and we vowed to do it more often.

I have noticed myself being drawn away from the computer a lot more lately. I don’t know maybe it’s because of Spring (or that the girls are playing on it a lot more) but I just feel more like “doing” then “searching”. I have really been getting in with cleaning up our home(really) and planning out our meals again. I have always enjoyed being in the kitchen and something else I have always enjoyed was reading (books).

While educating with Waldorf I felt that I always had to be on the computer researching what I “should” be doing (or not doing). I was planning out lesson after lesson. Unschooling isn’t like that. Once you understand what unschooling is by “reading a little, trying a little, waiting a while and watching” and you find great unschooling resources (like by Sandra Dodd) you kind of need to be more involved with your children and their interests for it to work (http://sandradodd.com/howto/precisely). Now that I know where to read I no longer *need* to be searching on the internet for hours at a time. This “naturally” has given me more time to do things that interest me and still be able to share in my children’s interests as well (like watching X-men episodes for the 100th time, really though I’m not keeping track :), or playing video games with them).

We have almost been unschooling now for a full year. We *all* are really happy with the changes that have taken place in our home. Has the girls learning increased from last year? Yes, yes, and oh heck yes. In fact I can honestly say that they have retained all the information they have picked up this year and surpassed my “school”expectations (because they are truly connecting their own pieces not just having someone relay the information to them, it really is a huge difference).

Oh yes and lets not forget new Ranger Rick magazines (uhem).I really do enjoy this life of mine.

Wishing everyone a very merry unbirthday (unless of course it is your birthday which I then shall wish you a very merry birthday)!

Little Comments

April 21, 2012

The girls have been playing a lot of The Sims2 on the Playstation2 this week.

Miss Sky: “Man everything is so expensive in this game just like in real life.”

“Learning cannot be turned off…..”

April 20, 2012

Just “reading a little” more :).

” as author and unschooling advocate Sandra Dodd explains, “Learning cannot be turned off…Given a rich environment, learning becomes like the air—it’s in and around us.”3

http://mothering.com/education/unschooling

A Week In The Life Of Unschoolers/ “This Magic Moment”

April 16, 2012

Oh magic eight ball what does my future hold? Answer: outcome uncertain, I’m glad :).

As you can guess Wizard 101 is still all the rage around here these days. Each child is learning more and more about the game leveling themselves higher and higher to complete the missions. They were so happy to receive pets that needed trained to grow bigger so they can help out in wizard battle along their side. It really is a very cool game and I can see why they enjoy it so much. I completely forgot to mention the connection to Wizard of Oz. Miss Sky has met Dorothy Gale, Toto, and the Tin man so far in the game.

Papa and I have been converting our old “schoolroom” into a game room for the girls. We did an exorcism over the weekend to rid it of any negative energy that might be left over. 🙂 The girls are really excited to have a place to have friends over to play video games or to just hang out.

I had to enlist Papa’s help because I was feeling so overwhelmed by all the school things I had accumulated. It’s not that I want to hang on to “school” stuff but I have a hard time getting rid of things and he doesn’t. It is coming along very nicely. We plan on having a garage sale very soon to help pay for the conversion, so this means a busy spring cleaning Mama this week.

Speaking about games we found a new card game that has quickly moved its way onto our favorites list. Frog Juice (I ordered ours from Ebay) http://www.amazon.com/Gamewright-202-Frog-Juice/dp/B00001TQ0J/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1334591094&sr=8-1

We love it! You need to match ingredient cards with your hand and the cards in the middle. You can match number to number (an 11 with another 11) or use 2 or more cards from you hand to add up to a number on a center card or vice versa (so there is “math” involved). You can also make a spell by collecting the right ingredient cards to complete the spell on the spell card. Once we all caught on we played this game several times all weekend long. If you have a child interested in magic or wizards I highly recommend it.

Besides Frog Juice we also played Wizard Junior(surprise), Go Fish, Old Maid, and Papa and Little Sis played several rounds of Connect 4.

Miss Sky has also been busy playing Minecraft and built a phoenix Island of fire. She even built the phoenix itself. I really need to take a picture, she did such a wonderful job and really has been working hard on it. I took a minute to explain griefing to her. She was shocked that people would destroy someone elses hard work. She has only played on the lava survival server with other people and it is okay to build and destroy there, hence the survival part.

Papa brought home a Canadian quarter the other day after all our talk about the penny. We noticed the picture of Queen Elizabeth the second was different and compared dates. The Penny has the date 1965 compared to the quarters date of 2004.

On the Wii there was more Mario Party 8 (earning up Gamefly rewards to get a $5 dollar off coupon to use towards purchases to buy (keep) this game, Little Sis really loves it) and a game Miss Sky found a demo to that we downloaded because we all love it so much called Gnomz. http://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/5WJsiPjXj01TEbtbaIpvdrKrUycDQeGO It is SO simple but SO much fun.

Last but not least Little Sis and I have taken to the bedroom for a new Elephant and Piggie story.(She picked the page she wanted in the picture 🙂 )Then this of course led to me listening to all the other Elephant and Piggie books  (which I didn’t mind a bit) and we read this months new High 5 magazine too.

It really is a good life, happy Monday!

Little Discoveries

April 11, 2012

By mom :).

So just like the time when I realized what it was about music that I love so much (really what is there not to like in my opinion), the lyrics and connecting another piece of my puzzle, it just dawned on me(insert lightbulb above my head, from her previous “little comment”)what it is about video games that Miss Sky enjoys.

She doesn’t just like to play video games. She likes to watch YouTube videos of them, she likes to discuss and write about them, she likes to read about them and she likes to break down and analyze the story behind them.

She likes video games for the story (This all ties back into my unschooling tools post about “reading”). Video games are just another tool to help her gather the information she will use later in her own life’s journey.

Again another reason to not place negative judgement on children’s interests. We may never “see” what information was gained from an interest but any negativity shown towards them could hinder a child from connecting their own puzzle pieces.

Little Comments

April 11, 2012

Little Sis is a doodler. She has always loved to color and draw and did(does) so for hours as a toddler.

While Miss Sky was playing Minecraft, Little Sis (patiently waiting for a turn on the laptop) was doodling. 🙂

(I love this drawing so!)

Miss Sky: “When we get bigger, I am going to be the author of graphic novels and Little Sis is going to be the illustrator. We will be like a sister superhero team!”

Who said unschoolers have no ambitions except for playing video games all day?

A Week In The Life Of Unschoolers/ “A “Change” Is Gonna Come”

April 10, 2012

Oh how I love Sam Cooke!

I have been doing a lot of thinking about how I wanted to write this weeks post. See I write Week In The Life posts when I notice my notes filling up (I try to keep notes to help *me* keep track of what happens throughout our days so I can spend more time with the girls and less time on the computer). Then I try to find a common theme from my notes to write about. It is really hard to “document” everything that takes place in our home. I would seriously need to give a minute by minute update.

Unschooling to us means no separation from living and learning, or to live as if school doesn’t exist. No separating learning into “subjects” of okay lets learn some history today or we really need to work more on math. Everything ties into everything :). Sitting down together to eat a meal *someone* is going to learn something new (and a lot of times its Papa or I) and that is how I want this weeks post to flow.

Let’s take Easter Sunday.The girls set out to hunt for eggs(once Miss Sky heard they were filled with money she decided she wasn’t too old to join in). The girls have been saving their allowance to buy crowns (or money) in Wizard 101 so Little Sis was anxious to see if she had enough money saved to get the animal she wanted. While counting her change we came across a Canadian penny. We stopped to observe the difference between our penny and a Canadian one. Little Sis noticed right away their penny had a women on the front and not a man(the girls have really taken notice of female roles in history).

Well to the internet we went to find out who the women was on the front of the penny. Queen of Canada, Elizabeth the second. “Queen, you mean Canada has even had a women leader?”, “How long has a women ruled?”, “Why isn’t Canada part of the US?” “They speak French?” These questions can last for days.

What subject would I list this under? Math, Geography, History, Reading (had to read the internet), Spelling (had to know how to type and spell to search),Foreign langauge? Not to mention it was Easter Sunday(we shouldn’t even be having “school” in the first place)!

Then there is the question of what the girls even took away from it. Everyone processes information differently. It’s like a huge gigantic puzzle and each time a piece connects, the puzzle is one piece closer to being completed and by the time our puzzles are done none of them will look the same (your puzzle might not even look the same as when you first started). Why, in my opinion, testing is pointless.

The girls received the Monster High DS game in the mail this week each taking turns while the other “plays” on the computer. Minecraft and Minecraft and Wizard 101 for Miss Sky. Animal Jam and Wizard 101 for Little Sis.Little Sis did have enough money saved to purchase her animal and has made it to level 7.

There has been outdoor bonfires and casting of spells and coming up with new spells in their own “books of magic”.There has been games of Wizard Junior, Go Fish, Animal Linkology, and Nacho Loco.

Miss Sky found the BBC documentary Being Chased by Dinosaurs on Netflix. http://walkingwithdinos.wikia.com/wiki/Chased_By_Dinosaurs

Little Sis found the PBS show Dinosaur Train. http://pbskids.org/dinosaurtrain/

More Mario Party 8 on the Wii and Papa helped me finish our “art wall”.This has cleared up our refrigerator to be the home of more alphabet and number magnets where Mama is known to leave a quote or two. 🙂

Last year I printed off a map of our state and we decided since we don’t have tons of money for long out-of-state travel right now, to be a “tourist” in our own state. Each new city we visit we highlight and mark off the map. We have all learned so much about our state this way.

Indeed I truly love this life of mine!

Ps right now as I type this post the girls are answering a questionnaire on the everybody votes channel on the Wii(it really is a never-ending learning journey).