Archive for October, 2012

“Candy Gets Dusty”

October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Todays “reading a little” was waiting for me in my e-mail this morning from Sandra Dodd’s inspirational blog Just Add Light And Stir. Perfect timing I would say.  🙂

“Since my kids were little they could have all the Halloween candy they wanted, and since they were little that has been no problem at all, because by the time they gave away what they didn’t like and traded for favorites, and saved it and shared it with kids who came over for the next few weeks, there was still candy left. I have very often found the sorting boxes (a Xerox box lid or cardboard Coke flat) months later, and one year when it was nearly Halloween again, Kirby threw out the last of the candy from the year before. (Ditto for Christmas and Easter candy, some years.)

We were confident that it was control, not access, that made kids eat, do and want “too much” before we ever considered unschooling. Others come to the idea the other way around—unschooling first and releasing other control-urges later. —Sandra Dodd”

I have always been one of those parents who allowed the girls to eat all the candy they wanted Halloween night and they have never ate so much where they got sick. In fact last year Miss Sky used some of her candy for experiments.

pictures 2143

Speaking of experiments, I love the experiment over at the blog Unbounded Ocean.

http://unboundedocean.wordpress.com/

She filled a bucket full of candy and left it out for her son to eat whenever he wanted. As of this week it still has candy 🙂

You can read more about how other unschoolers handle Halloween candy here.

http://sandradodd.com/eating/halloween

Wishing everyone a safe, yet fun night.

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A Week In The Life Of Unschoolers/ Peace For The Journey

October 25, 2012

These last few weeks I have been doing a lot of thinking, I know usually the thinking part is what gets me in trouble but hey there are lots to think about these days (too much actually).

Our family has been through quite a bit of changes here lately, some you are all aware of like radical unschooling and all the lessons we’ve learned from that. Some personal that I choose not to write about.

When making the switch to radical unschooling I decided to be as honest about our journey as possible without diving too deep into those personal matters, I mean we deserve some privacy.

I had many of the same fears about whether it would work or if I was doing the right thing. That is why we decided to work on our families relationship first, if learning happened during that time great but learning was not our first priority.

For our family one of those principles, I mentioned about last week, is our relationship with one another. Papa and my relationship, our girls and our relationship, and the relationship between the girls (which still is our first priority). During that time I began “reading a little, trying a little, waiting awhile, and watching” and have faced many(most) of those fears(as well as many other fears too). I changed my perspective of the world and looked for joy when sometimes there just didn’t seem any to be found. I began ending my posts with “life is good” because really it is.

This last week sadness found its way into our lives, not sadness that touched us personally with loved ones we know face to face but in the on-line community( and not just with one family). For me it was a big reminder that for some life may not look good right now. That right now life seems pretty harsh. Then I began thinking about our economy and how many people we do know face to face are out of work and hurting financially and how they might be having a much harder time seeing life as being good right now. Which reminded me that sometimes I myself can have a hard time finding the good too. So that got me thinking that maybe I shouldn’t end my blog that way.

Don’t get me wrong I know that life is full of sadness everyday and we can’t allow it take up residence in our hearts. I remember when Papa and I delivered newspapers and since I was the one rolling them I also was the one reading the front page daily and literally could feel the negativity taking hold of my body, which is why we do not watch the news or take the paper now. The more we focus on negativity the more negative we become and negativity does not help unschooling.

http://sandradodd.com/negativity

I have always wanted my blog to be a positive place to read. Life is a journey full of ups and downs and lessons to be learned and though I mostly want to remember our ups, if sharing some of our homeschooling struggles can help someone else to feel better about their own then I’m happy to share our downs too. Which brings me back to honesty. 🙂

So I think from now on I will end my posts with peace, peace for the journey because that is something I hope we all find in our hearts along the way.

SO what about unschooling you ask? This week takes us on a journey into myths and legends starting with the Michael Woods documentary Myths and Heros. This is one of those learning adventures that I have found myself on and asked if Miss Sky wanted to join me. She did and we had many, many conversations about the Bible and the Queen of Sheba this week because of it.

Then there was more 007 and Mario Party 8 as a family and we decided to play some bingo too.Miss Sky decided to read the Kingdom Hearts manga yet againand worked more on her own manga story.

It is a story of good versus evil with a little magic thrown in. I want to mention that Miss Sky uses notebooks as her rough draft to get a feel of how she wants her pictures to look, then she adds them into the more expensive art books. So actually the pictures above are flip-flopped.

Yes you know Little Sis got into the drawing action as well.There was more Minecraft and Miss Sky found yet another on-line game called Endless Forest to play.

http://tale-of-tales.com/TheEndlessForest/

Both girls played a bit more with the webcam and made their own silent movie using Scott Joplin’s The Entertainer from YouTube as background music.They also made their own talk-show called The Me and You Show. I would upload but they were a bit mad at me after finding out about uploading their last video and have forbid me to upload anymore.  So I guess you will just have to wait until they become rich and famous. 🙂

This weeks family movie was The Lion King 1 1/2. Even though the girls can watch television anytime they like we still like to have a family movie night to involve Papa in our learning adventures too.

I really do hope those suffering their own sadness this week will find peace,

peace for the journey.

Little Comments

October 23, 2012

While playing the video game Kingdom Hearts (yes again).

Little Sis: “Mom have you noticed Sora is the only one to wield (I love her vocabulary choices) his keyblade? It’s like Thor and his hammer.”

Connections, so many connections. 🙂

I also want to mention, though the connection was made awhile back, Miss Sky was very quick to point out the connection between The Lord of the Rings and Norse Mythology.

A Week In The Life Of Unschoolers/ It’s The Principle Of The Matter

October 18, 2012

Wow, I still can’t believe I am labeling these posts under 12 years old already. Then very soon to add 7 years old (ach, where has time gone?). I will say I am so glad I let go of keeping up with the girls “grades” and went instead with years, because the “grade” you’re in really doesn’t mean anything. Some kids in 6th grade shouldn’t be there, some maybe should have stayed in 5th and some should be taking college courses. If there is anything to romanticize from the past I think it should be the one room schoolhouse. Just one more thing to add to my ever-growing why I homeschool list I guess.

Anyway(ahem), Pinterest played a really big part in these last few weeks. I have mentioned previously how the girls have their own boards (that are growing more popular than my own 🙂 ) but they have added more boards to my account including one Miss Sky started called vintage fashions.

In my last post I wrote how Miss Sky enjoys learning about history, well I think learning about fashions from the past is one of the reasons why. She also likes to gather ideas from her pins for her own character’s outfits. I know I have said this before but this is a huge example of why we(parents) shouldn’t be negative of our children’s interests. We never know where they might lead.

*Warning, long detoured rant ahead*

I know I have been coming down hard on Waldorf education lately and really it is not up to me how someone wants to educate their children, I guess since we started unschooling I have been able to see first hand how one interest can connect to another. So many parents want to get rid of their televisions but it was television and video games that stirred my daughters biggest passion to learn right now.

I guess it is because we literally went from yelling and screaming and tears about why we needed to learn and do certain things, like cursive, to a child who *loves* to learn. I mean real passions, real interests and I know we are *not* the only ones. What a difference a year has made!

I think so many people are drawn to Waldorf education because it paints a picture of families reading aloud in front of a fire, knitting and smiling and loving each other. It instills a love of nature in a very technical world. It brings families closer together right? But what if you have a child that hates knitting or being outside because of bugs, those children are not happily learning. I mean they are learning but not what *you* think they are. They are learning that as soon as they turn 18 they are moving out and going to get a damn TV and play video games for however long they want and maybe not visit. That of course is over exaggerating but I will say that *I* did move out at 18 and I moved 500 miles away from my parents.

If it is the picture of a loving family you want why not join in with your *children’s* passions instead of forcing them to like *yours*. This is why it is important to live by principles and not rules, and who knows I never would have known I liked manga if not for watching Fruits Basket with the girls.

http://sandradodd.com/rules

Don’t know what your principles are? Now would be a great time to find out.

*End of rant* 🙂

Let’s see Pinterest, vintage fashions oh right. Minecraft? Yes as well as more girls games.com, and Animal Jam and more Putt-Putt for Little Sis.

There of course was a birthday and fires in the backyard.

Kingdom Hearts? Yep and 007 on the Wii as a family where the girls have come up with code names for us as well as fighting tactics like splitting up while the other sneaks up behind you. “Left cheek, I spotted left cheek.” At least I am the right cheek, oh and my favorite “We have a full moon, do you read a full moon.” 🙂

Miss Sky has been devouring her book of magic and we actually have plans to make our own spell books. Which brings me to Halloween

and more Pinterest inspiration.

Drawing? Yes and I love how Little Sis is learning( all on her own) how to draw backgrounds.She drew this while watching an episode of Roseanne of a pink squirrel from the “Lobo” lounge.

Last but not least renewed interest in The Lion King which inspired the girls to make their own prides.Yes, life is good!

Little Comments

October 17, 2012

While Papa and I were discussing who the first woman was to have her own television show (any guesses? ) and the year it was, Miss Sky stopped her Kingdom Hearts video for a listen in.

Miss Sky: ” Hey, isn’t history interesting?”

I couldn’t help but smile.

Me: ” Well a lot of people wouldn’t think this much of a history lesson. Some people think other things are more important to know, like who sewed the American flag.” (not that it wasn’t important)

Miss Sky: “Yeah well that is why a lot of people don’t think history is interesting like I do.”

🙂

Happy Birthday My Little Angel

October 15, 2012

12 years ago you came into the world and my life has never been the same. Of course I wouldn’t want to change a thing. 🙂 We spent “her” day watching all the Marvel, Avenger, movies with The Avengers being the big finale. ( She also decided to save up for a Nintendo 3DS.)

A Week In The Life Of Unschoolers/ Iceberg Straight Ahead!

October 5, 2012

Oh another busy, busy week. Not just busy as in no time, which seems to be any week these days, but SO much learning, learning this week. So grab a hold and hang on tight.

Those of you outside of the US (My blog is international, how about that. Hi from my small corner of the world! ) may not know we have our presidential elections next month, so that means October is debate time. *Updated to add* It has been brought to my attention that you indeed are aware of our presidential debates. 🙂

Don’t worry I try my best to bite my tongue when it comes to my opinion of politics on my blog(you can read about that plenty elsewhere) however in this case they played a really big part in our learning adventures this week. So I want to mention them for that reason.

Oh and I do not force my children to watch the debates, they have plenty of time before they need to be concerned with such matters but Miss Sky truly takes interest in them and pops her head in once in a while to share her opinions. It was not just the debates that got the political ship rowing though. (hehe)

Miss Sky has had a fascination with the Titanic for as long as I can remember, one I think she takes after her mama on. When I saw Netflix had a new BBC mini series available I asked if she would be interested in watching it with me, and she was.

Why make yet another movie, miniseries, documentary you ask when so many have successfully been done? I don’t know but I really, really liked this one for *many* reasons. Most importantly it finally gave a voice to the second and third class as well as the many first class servants and employees of White Star. Yes the first class had to bring their servants along don’t you know.

http://www.amazon.com/Titanic-Toby-Jones/dp/B0074JODXU/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1349469498&sr=1-1&keywords=titanic+bbc

Add this *with* the presidential debates and Miss Sky’s questions, opinions, comments were on a roll! Whew, watch out future generation. “Why does the world need to be divided by class? Who gave the rich the right to say ones life is better than another? So they needed men to row the lifeboats, oh come on. Why were women deemed useless? Why did women allow themselves to be useless?”

Oh my sweet child one question at a time. Learning, learning about her world she is. “Now I understand why they didn’t like Margaret Brown.”

Miss Sky’s been playing in the 3D world of Kaneva lately and really likes the different worlds they have, one which includes the Titanic and so she played a lot there this week as well as Minecraft creating her own civilization where a woman was elected president :).

We played more 007 as well as Mario Party 8 as a family and this weeks family movie was none other than The Avengers(finally). We loved everything about this movie from the special effects to the acting to the script. It is obvious anyone who ever put comic books down never read one themselves because the vocabulary and storylines (at least in Marvel) are not dumbed down in any way. Remember Iron Man was created by Stan Lee in 1963.

After finishing reading all the Kingdom Hearts manga yet again, Miss Sky started reading the DC comic series Catwoman. “I like that she in on her own side.”

Speaking of Kingdom Hearts. 🙂 Still more drawing, drawing, drawing by both girls

and Miss Sky has matched all the characters up with the Chinese zodiac.Little Sis? She played on Minecraft too and played Putt Putt, Peps Surprise Birthday Party again and more Animal Jam.

The girls also found and downloaded the game Paint Splash on the Wii which they both really like.

http://www.ign.com/games/paint-splash/wii-117441

Let’s see there was a visit to our chicken farmer putting our order in for the Thanksgiving day turkey(turkeys are such funny creatures to watch). Last but not least Miss Sky found herself with yet more new reading material this week.The Sorcerer’s Companion to Harry Potter.

http://www.amazon.com/Sorcerers-Companion-Guide-Magical-Potter/dp/0307885135/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1349474520&sr=1-2&keywords=harry+potters+handbook+to+magic

The girls have not shown much interest in Harry Potter as of yet but much interest in magic and this book is *the* encyclopedia on magic. Miss Sky highly recommends it to anyone interested in the history of magic and you do not need to know anything about Harry Potter to read it.

Whew, all that is left to say is life sure is good!

“You Don’t Have To Go To School To Become Educated”

October 5, 2012

Yep, time for “reading a little” or again in this case watching a little.  🙂 This video was shared in our local unschooling group and I wanted to share it here. He is an unschooled/homeschooled kid who experimented with going to high school. This is one of his video logs.

So grap a cuppa tea and enjoy.