Archive for May, 2012

A Week In The Life Of Unschoolers/ “Long Beautiful Hair”

May 29, 2012

So many “little” things going on last week I hope I don’t forget anything. One that seemed the most important to how the past week played out though was the temperature.

It got hot here in Indy with temps peaking in the 90s. So to a couple of kiddos this means filling up our little pool and stocking the freezer full of popsicles. To another certain kiddo it meant finding her independence and attempting to cut her own hair :).

I have to say that I wasn’t really surprised, I remember cutting my little sisters hair when I was about Miss Sky’s age. I also know several people whose children attempted to do the same. What *did* surprise me was the fact that Miss Sky didn’t think I would let her cut her own hair and she had to sneak to do it. She didn’t do too bad of a job with the exception of getting her bangs a little short (I will attempt to load a pictures soon).

She was in for a surprise too though when I didn’t get mad about her sneaking to cut her hair, instead I helped her even it out. While I was finishing up I asked her why she felt the need to sneak. She replied that she wanted to try it herself and didn’t think I would let her. Which I then replied that I not only would have let her but could have given her some helpful tips along the way.

Something that *I*, myself have learned along the way of my parenting journey is to NOT sweat the small stuff. Hair will grow back but the trust between a parent and child might not. To *me* trust is WAY more important than some cut hair.

Well with one child having a nice new short summer haircut, it wasn’t long before I had Little Sis in the chair too. Now both children are sporting new summer dos :).

Miss Sky’s new hairdo was inspired by her refound interest in Kingdom Hearts. She has been playing the game, watching YouTube video walkthroughs, watching videos and following the storyline of parts 2 and 3 and has been drawing up a storm.We watched the movies Iron Man, Iron Man2 and Thor together as a family. Miss Sky loved them and all of us agreed they’ve done a wonderful job picking actors to play the parts. I seriously could not imagine someone else but Robert Downey Jr being Tony Stark.

She also received postcards from her pen pals last week. After leaving Indiana, on their road trip, they have visited and hiked in the Smokey Mountains. This is something Papa and I have on our “bucket list” to do. How exciting for them!

Little Sis has been keeping busy too by finding some new things as well as doing some of the same things like reading her favorite Frances stories in bed together or playing *several* hands of Frog Juice, Monopoly Deal, Mario Party 8 and at Starfall. Then over Memorial Day weekend she decided we needed to have a Uno and Rummikub championship :).She has caught on quick to this game and enjoys playing it as much as Papa and I.

Sometimes Miss Sky will join in a round in between her Kingdom Hearts research and sometimes she doesn’t. There is never any pressure put on the girls to play any type of game. I see each of the girls as the individuals they are having their own likes and interests and it is Papa’s and my job to help them find ways to safely explore these interests.

Miss Sky likes Superheros, comic books and video games. So these are the things Papa and I explore with her. Little Sis likes the challenge of playing card and board games over video games (unless we are fortunate enough to find a video game that plays like a board game then it’s win, win 🙂 ) and snuggling in bed to read a story. Both girls are incredibly smart and unique in their own way. How wonderful they get the *choice* to truly learn the way that is best for them and not how someone else thinks they should be learning.

Last but not least our baby birds have outgrown their nest and flew the coop already! How fast it was, life passes us by in a blink of an eye. Today is our oldest, Big Sis’s, birthday. She turns 22. It seems like just yesterday I was meeting her for the first time. Now she is off living her own life’s journey.

Big Sis we are SO proud of you! We love and miss you very much! You have grown into such a lovely young lady and truly have blessed our lives. Happy Birthday!

A blink of an eye.  Love, hug, run your fingers through their hair, smell the tops of their sweaty heads now, everyday! Before long they too will have outgrown their nest, spread their wings and fly.

Little Comments

May 25, 2012

While watching the Disney animated movie Cinderella again, this time around the girls paid more attention to the credits. They have taken notice of how much work and people it takes to make a movie and now pay more attention to who the lead animators of a film are or set designers, voice actors, who wrote the musical score, those sorts of things.

Miss Sky: “Mom someones name who helped work on this movie is William Peed! How funny and how terrible to have that name.”

Yes poor William we spent several minutes in laughter at your names expense, do please forgive us :).

Free Unschooling Summit

May 21, 2012

http://unschoolingsummit.com/

Thought I would paste this for anyone interested in learning more about unschooling for free. You can see the list of speakers at the web page.

A Week In The Life Of Unschoolers/ Meet Me In St. Louis

May 21, 2012

Last week we had plans for a weekend trip to meet up with family and visit the city of St. Louis. I have mentioned previously my love of Indiana, not only is it a wonderful state to homeschool but you are just hours away from a new adventure.

There is SO much to see and do in the city of St. Louis but being our trip was more about family then sight-seeing visits to the zoo and Union Station was all we had time for.

Let us back up a few days though shall we.

Our mama robin’s eggs have all hatched. It has been such a blessing to see life unfold before our very eyes.We have spent many hours outside just watching the proud parents fly back and forth to the nest feeding hungry babies. Little Sis thought it would be a great idea for us to read Are You My Mother by P.D. Eastman (she was right 🙂 ).

There was lots of game play of Monopoly Deal and Frog Juice, Wizard 101 ,where Little Sis is now a level 15, and Miss Sky has found a new on-line game called Runescape that has caught her attention.

It seems I don’t ever post much of the girls playing as my focus has been more on capturing our learning but playing is just as important to learning. Now that I understand learning is everywhere I also want to remember our days spent outdoors racing Little Sis around the yard or playing babies right along with the girls.Yes I play with my children, not just card or video games but with toys too. This last weekend I hopped across our hotel beds right along with my girls gaining those deep belly laughs that only acting silly can cause. It is such a wonderful *free* way of healing your wounded inner child. You are never too old to play!

I listened to a wonderful sound bite from Sandra Dodd entitled A Loud Peaceful home. http://sandradodd.com/peace/noisy (scroll all the way to the bottom for a listen). I learned it is not the peace and quiet home that I seek but the joyous *sounds* of a peaceful home. Laughter is a sign of happiness, why would I want a quiet home?

For our trip my family decided we would meet in the middle (I am originally from Kansas City Missouri) at the Our Lady of the Snow shrine in Belleville Illinois. It  was the perfect spot outside of a very busy city to meet up. It is very child friendly and the girls enjoyed playing in the fountains on the playground in the 90 degree weather we were blessed to have.

The girls were really excited to visit the St. Louis zoo, as they had gorillas, and it is free!

The penguins were by far the girls most favorite part.

Next we headed to Union Station to grab a bite to eat at the Hard Rock Cafe to celebrate my dad’s birthday. I myself enjoyed the memorabilia scattered around the restaurant (as I *love* music) and the girls were able to make many connections of their own. Back to the hotel for more splashing around and game playing where I received one of my birthday gifts Rummikub.

http://www.amazon.com/Pressman-Toy-0400-06D-Rummikub/dp/B00000IZJB/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1337611597&sr=8-1

We have already played it several times once home and it is quickly being added to our list of favorites(thanks dad :)). My other present, besides spending the weekend with family, was one of my favorite memories forever sketched in time.I guess I know where my creative genes come from :). Dad you did an amazing job! Don’t you all think so?

Even though I miss seeing my family we are all glad to be home. You know the fable of the country and city mouse?  Well this family will take the country over the city any day.

Things are already beginning to get back to normal including the large piles of laundry.I love my life, I really do!And yes that beautiful, tall blue-eyed girl is really my sister :).

A Week In The Life Of Unschoolers/ “There’s More Than Meets The Eye”

May 14, 2012

Happy Mother’s Day!

It was a beautiful week here in Indy with the temperatures keeping at a perfect 70 degrees. Both girls have been in and out of the house all week.

Me, myself tried starting The Rescuers by Margery Sharp this week. I really wanted to like this series as I mentioned perviously it was one of my favorite childhood movies. Unfortunately I just couldn’t get past the first chapter and if it does not interest me in the first chapter I will not finish it. That is okay though because there was plenty else going on to help keep me busy.

Little Sis received 2 new Highlights Puzzle Buzz books, http://www.highlights.com/puzzle-book-clubs/puzzle-buzz, that we worked on together.She has already finished them both :).

We enjoyed many games together this week as a family including an old favorite that hasn’t been played in a while, Apples to Apples. Then we played more of the same ol same ol like Frog Juice, Wizard Junior, Monopoly Deal and Toss Up. Lots more Mario Party 8 and Kirby’s Dreamland as a family on the Wii.

Little Sis spent time at Wizard 101, Minecraft, Animal Jam, Jumpstart, and even, “Mom can I play that game where I can copy the story?”, at Starfall.She played at Disney Create finding and saving her favorite artwork. Then she experimented more with lines and motion.

Miss Sky has been keeping herself busy researching some old favoriteslike Kingdom Hearts and the Titanic. She even charted the Titanic’s course in her atlas.

Miss Sky’s most favorite book on the Titanic is Inside the Titanic by Hugh Brewster. http://www.amazon.com/Inside-Titanic-Giant-Cutaway-Book/dp/0316557161/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1336956486&sr=1-2

It is one of those coffee table books that always gets picked up. We even have a CD of music that was played aboard, http://www.amazon.com/Music-Aboard-Titanic-Carol-Wolfe/dp/B0000034DL/ref=sr_1_3?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1336957983&sr=1-3.

Something else Miss Sky took an interest in this week is the Disney movie Hercules, I forgot to photograph it with my Goodwill’s 50% off stash from last weekend. This influenced another trip to Barnes and Noble for a new book in the Ologies series, Mythology (she loves these books!).http://www.amazon.com/Mythology-Ologies-Lady-Hestia-Evans/dp/0763634034/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1336956977&sr=1-1

Last but not least we made homemade pizza, kicked back and watched the first Transformers movie together as a family. Little Sis got bored after a bit and went to play on the computer but Miss Sky loved it! The graphics were amazing and Miss Sky loved the reference to Wolverine :).

So much goodness happening around these parts, I am so truly blessed!

Wishing everyone a great week.

“Does Unschooling Mean Unworking?”

May 9, 2012

Oh I found myself chasing down my own rabbit trail this morning and somehow came to this video.

Oh my goodness I could not help but crack up at the women’s comments, or should I say her *fears*, of unschooling.

If anyone has ever met my girls, or knows them personally they know these descriptions could not be farther from the truth. I, not meaning to sound like I’m bragging but being honest, get comments literally *all* the time on how well-mannered our girls are. Actually it is kind of funny (in a sad way) that when people *do* find out that the girls are unschooled at how amazed they are that my kids are so smart.

Now saying all this I do want to mention that I do *not* think that everyone *should* unschool their children. I know a few people in my life that quite honestly school is not only the safest place for their children to be but the best place for their children period. I truly do believe schools *need* to exist.

I do however also believe that life is not a one way street. There IS more than one way to live and learn and homeschooling *should* be a parents choice.

Something that I think gets lost in parenthood is people get the idea that when having children the adults don’t need to be that involved in their child(rens) life. That the parent doesn’t need to change their lifestyle, they can just keep on doing what they did before.

Thing is, children do not ask to be born into this world, it was a choice *you* made one way or the other (if you know where babies come from then there is NO such thing as a surprise, not being *ready*? Yes). Life is no longer ALL about YOU.

Does the school system work? Yes for some children. Does the school system fail? Yes for lots of children (it’s set up for children to fail). Does unschooling work? Yes it does *but* for it to be successful you need to be a good parent first.

I laugh when people think that now because we unschool that I don’t need to *do* anything, or that it is SO much easier, or its for lazy parents, or what the lady quoted in the video its “abusive” (that one really made me laugh). Being a childs parent, facilitator, and partner 16 hours a day(and some days more) is not for LAZY people. Parenting alone is hard enough.

I am so over this homeschool debate. It’s going to be sticking around folks (in fact it grows bigger and bigger every year). It is time to accept it exists and it works.

It’s time for us to start putting our focus back onto our children and off of politics!

It’s time to realize children ARE people! They have rights too, they deserve to be loved and their opinions respected. They deserve to have a say in their own lives. It’s time to hear THEIR voices again. Don’t think being hit or spanked affects them? Ask them what they think about it. Hear their answers. Children are so much smarter than what we give them credit for.

There is SO much we can learn from them.

Little Comments

May 8, 2012

While playing Wizard Junior midgame my husband started to add our score to see who was winning.

Little Sis: ” No daddy, I want to add up our score at the end.”

 

A Week In The Life Of Unschoolers/ Run Run As Fast As You Can

May 7, 2012

Some weeks go by that sometimes feel as if nothing really happened much around these parts, or I feel like I am posting about the same ol things. Sometimes a week flies by where we have been so busy that it seems as if not much was going on, this is when I am very thankful to have my notes. This past week was another one of those fly by weeks.

There of course was my birthday, there was the matter of picking up our whole hog from farmer friends (finally we have bacon again), we met up with some new friends, http://attachlings.wordpress.com/, (such a lovely family they are 🙂 ), and Goodwill had their monthly 50% off sale( happy birthday to me!). If it wasn’t for me keeping track of all the in between there really wouldn’t be much of a post this week.

Well I had a great birthday, besides the huge scary thunderstorm that lasted all day long. Papa and I don’t really give each other gifts. We are the types that save our money to make big purchases for our home. We pretty much get what we want or need throughout the year so what we do instead is give each other a day off. I really do get treated like a queen as I get to eat my favorite meals (and don’t need to clean up afterwords) and do whatever it is that *I* want to do.

Besides being treated like royalty you ask? Well there were homemade chocolate chip cookies, and root beer floats (my birthday cake choice 🙂 ), more Minecraft, Wizard 101, and Animal Jam. Mario Party 8 and rounds of Monopoly on the Wii.

There was more games of Frog Juice, Wizard Junior, Sherlock, Monopoly Deal. There was more watchings of Monster High webisodes and a movie, Why Do Ghouls Fall In Love ( I really enjoy watching Monster High with the girls and wish the dolls were not so fragile to play with, I would have loved these as a child too).

Little Sis decided she needed a reading marathon, she picked out a new book while at Goodwill that started the whole thing.This led to reading a bunch more of her favorite books like Little Bear, Amelia Bedelia, Guess How Much I Love You, The Little Old Lady Who Wasn’t Afraid Of Anything and she read me Big Egg.

Oh and there was more Bo on the Go (I love this time with Little Sis) and Jumpstart.

Miss Sky found a new television series, Transformers Prime on Netflix to watch. We have already watched all of season 1 and she is ready to rent the movies.

Speaking of movies we watched Captain America as a family, which Miss Sky *loved*. What we didn’t line up at Midnight for the Avengers movie? I wish, I would love to do that with Miss Sky but she does not like watching movies at the theater, “The sound is always way too loud”. So we will wait until she is ready or it comes out on video(personally I think curiosity will get the best of her).

I mentioned Goodwill, 50% off? Yes! Funds are very tight right now and I can use all the “strewing” help I can get.The girls and I had fun figuring out our deals. “If this keyboard is $2.99 does that mean it will cost us $1.50? So that means I can get a phone too!” 🙂

I found  a Usborne First Embroidery book with a project the girls are really interested in making (I am seeing some Monster High creativity in our future) and we watched both The Rescuers( I am getting ready to read the series of books by Margery Sharp myself) and Bedknobs and Broomsticks movies over the weekend.

These both were childhood favorite movies of mine. Where I was scared of Madam Medusa from The Rescuers(she reminded me a little too much of my mother)as a child, the girls cracked up laughing so hard I thought they would pee their pants. “Oh my she is just a crazy women, look she is shooting a rifle in her HOUSE to kill a mouse.” I love these girls of mine!

Keyboards and phones you ask? Well to play office of course :).

I can’t wait to see what adventures await us around the corner.

Life really is good!

Little Comments

May 1, 2012

Today is my birthday, yes it is :). While Miss Sky was talking with my sister on the phone (I can only imagine that my sister mentioned if Sky knew it was my birthday today).

Miss Sky: “Yes, mom will be treated like a queen today, she has given us so much love that I have lots to give back.”

Folks this has to be one of the best birthday gifts I have ever received :). You can never give someone too much love.