Happy Birthday ( let the days of Christmas movies begin)!
Thanksgiving came and went and so did my waistline ,okay my waistline went a long time ago :), but it was a great weekend of giving thanks none the less. I truly do have so much to be thankful for. The weather even dropped low enough for the first fire of the season.
Well for us the day after Thanksgiving means pulling out those decorations and starting the countdown to Christmas. The girls couldn’t wait
in fact this year both girls asked if they could get trees for their room,
and I said “okay”. They have also put in a request for a visit to Hobby Lobby with a few decoration “ideas”. Little Sis was so excited about her tree she didn’t want to come out of her room. However let’s back up a minute so I can “set the scene” of our learning journey shall we.
Miss Sky took a sudden interest in wanting to watch Disney’s Alice in Wonderland. This has never been one of her favorite Disney movies because she says “everyone is always so mean to Alice” which of course again I had never noticed.
What started the whole thing was she found the Dover story coloring book on the art shelf. She said what caught her attention was the vintage illustrations and just wanted to take a peek, which led to coloring the pages, which led her to read the story, which led to her creating her own illustrations.
(These are when Alice shrinks.)
This led Little Sis to create her some too,
(I have always loved their paper doll creations.)
which then led me to bring out the storybook from my childhood.
Unschooling is full of leads isn’t it?
Add this along with more Kingdom Hearts play and Miss Sky finding the soundtrack for the video game on YouTube, which I now know all the characters themes songs thank you very much.
What a shame it would have been if I had been negative of her video game playing. Or if I had kept all my negativity about how many hours she has “wasted” playing this game. As I think back to all she has learned from playing just this one video game alone I shake my head in disbelief at how one time I would have never allowed video games in our home, let alone play for however long she wanted.
I can’t help but feel so sad when I read all the negativity parents have to say about video games, yuck. I now cringe when I hear a parent put their child down in front of people because they like to play video games. Please if you can’t say anything nice about your child then do them the favor of not saying anything at all!!
Not me I am proud of the girls! I love walking into Gamestop with them and listening to Miss Sky talk to the sales clerks about the new games being released. I love standing in the middle of Half Price Books with my daughter digging through *boxes* of comic books to find the Dark Phoenix Saga. I am thankful to be able to see all that the girls are learning instead of being SO focused on the TOOL they are learning from!
Anyway games? Yes. We played the board game Sorry as well as playing Mario Party 8, the board game from Wii Party, and more Family Game Night together as a family on the Wii.
Both girls played Minecraft and at girl games.com. Miss Sky even found Super Smash Brothers to play on-line.
Little Sis played Jumpstart on the computer and more Paint Splash on the Wii.
Miss Sky has mastered scrambled eggs all on her own. She even is grating her own cheese. What a help it has been that she is finding her way in the kitchen.
It is mainstream opinion that unless I “teach” the girls responsiblity they will never learn it. It is also mainstream opinion that I needed to punish, shame and spank the girls or they will grow up to be unruly and disrespectful. Children need a more experienced *partner* to help guide them so they can learn more about the world they were born into *not* a warden. Yes children will make mistakes we all do, the difference is the girls are gathering the tools needed now to keep them from repeating.
Homeschooling is not for everyone, schools need to exist and I am thankful there are people who dedicate their lives to teaching (I never know if I may need to send the girls to school).
Unschooling is not for everyone either, it is not the easier way to homeschool. It takes dedication to be your childs(ren) partner. It takes dedication to keep your family’s relationship top priority, and it takes trust. Trust in your child(ren) and trust in yourself to know who they are now, not some “dream image” of who you want them to be in the future (I don’t know what *my* future holds).
I want to end this post after a weekend of Thanksgiving with a picture I took yesterday. When I first journeyed down this path of radical unschooling the hardest thing for me to “let go” was the thought that the girls, especially Miss Sky, didn’t like books. See I love books!
In the beginning I tried many times to set up “read aloud” times but they always ended up feeling forced or with me disappointed because 1 child would get bored with the story. I finally stopped pushing the issue and then dropped it all together. During that time not only was I “reading a little” I also began “watching”. Little by little my eyes started to see everything they were doing. I started to see how much reading they were doing daily without “books”. I faced what it was *I* feared so much about them not liking books and realized how many ways there are today for the girls to enjoy a great story.
I started to see that books were just one of *many* tools out there for the girls to learn from. I started to enjoy some of those other tools *with* the girls instead of forcing them to like mine. Today I still love books and snuggling up on a rainy day with a hot cuppa tea and a good book but I don’t see it being any better than watching a movie or playing a video game.
At one time I was looking to take photographs like the one above, waiting, hoping, wishing for the day. Now when I take pictures I look for joy. I don’t wonder what or even if she might be reading. I don’t even wonder what she might be learning from it, because I see she is always learning. I *know* learning happens all the time and I no longer need to look for it.
Wishing everyone peace for the journey!