Archive for May, 2013

Little Comments

May 29, 2013

One of our family movies recently was Disney’s Hunchback Of Notre Dame. Miss Sky took much interest in this time period and has been asking all kinds of questions. We watched this movie two months ago and our conversation is still ongoing.

Miss Sky: ” Mom do you think it fair just because the gypsies were different and didn’t want to follow the Catholic church’s rules that they were burned at the stake?¬† Mom has men always used their power to control women? Mom what time period did The Hunchback take place? How far after this time period was the Victorian time period?”

Okay she now has taken interest in the anime Black Butler which takes place during the Victorian time period.

Miss Sky: ” Mom when did burning at the stake end? Mom what types of punishments existed during the Victorian time period?”

Me searching my brain for connections, okay Victorian times, Charles Dickens, work houses, reformation, Martin Luther, men: ” Well why don’t we google and have us a look.” ūüôā

Oh and I am picking up a copy of The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo from the library to have me a read. (Our listen to it for free at LibriVox).

http://librivox.org/the-hunchback-of-notre-dame-by-victor-hugo/

http://vcp.e2bn.org/

http://www.learnnc.org/lp/pages/3490

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A Week In The Life (In Pictures, Flowers, Flowers, Tree)

May 28, 2013

More Indiana storms, the kind where it rains for a minute and then the sun comes out then the temps drop from the high 80s to the low 50s and you need to get the jackets back out after washing them 3 times already putting them up for summer, yeah gotta love Indiana weather.

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Gift of roses from a lady named Rose because she knows the girls are really into flowers right now.

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Trying our hand at potpourri making.

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Peonies retain their smell even after being dried, we still have some dried from last year that have their smell.

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Me organizing a weeks worth of meals adding chicken back on the menu thanks to our poultry farmer. We purchase 12 chickens twice a year cooking with 2 at a time once a month(and I didn’t forget about a pizza recipe ūüôā ).

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Game of the week, followed by the movie Clash Of The Titans, and finishing Princess Tutu.

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Scribblenauts from Miss Sky

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Scratch from Little Sis

and saying goodbye to a tree,

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your shady branches shall be missed.

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Peace for the journey.

“Real Learning”

May 24, 2013

What I write here I learned from others who have gone before me, from real radical unschoolers who not only walk the walk but whose children are now grown and adults themselves. To me in my opinion they have proven radical unschooling works, to me if you are seriously interested in¬†learning about radical unschooling they are “the” experts and there is no better place to learn.

I also know reading about it and actually trusting it works and doing it are two different things. Reading is easy, it’s safe. It’s “sure I believe it could work” but being afraid to take the plunge.

“How did you let go?” “How did you get over the hump?” I took the plunge!

I “read a little” from those experts who went before me, and I “tried a little” of what they mentioned, then I “waited a while” to see if they were right (which they were ūüôā ) and “watched”.¬† I watched and saw what “real learning” looked like.

This did not happen overnight. In fact my “deschooling” lasted a year. I blogged about it. Looking back at those posts I laugh but I know it was a process that could not be skipped and very much-needed to happen in order to get where we are now.

I also know I am still learning and will continue to do so before our journey ends.

I love unschooling! I love writing about our learning adventures and I love talking about it with those who are interested but something I learned along the way is in order for one to do it *you* need to do it.

There is no magic answer or guide to follow on how to do it, only the wonderful advice from those who know what worked¬†and what didn’t and what I could add to that comes nowhere close than¬†discovering them for yourself.

If you want to know what real learning looks like this is a great place to start.

http://sandradodd.com/reallearning

Peace for the journey.

A Week In The Life In Pictures (Ridin The Storms Out)

May 22, 2013

So the start of the week was beautiful! Papa finished our new project and the weather was perfect.

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There was pizza

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(the little one being mama’s gluten and dairy free pizza)

and games

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(with Little Sis kicking our butts with the railroads)

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and finally the arrival of Little Sis’s new manga, (that she has already asked for the next one because she loves it, and being it is made for her age I do too.) and new games,

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with Miss Sky finding her first M for mature game (besides Mortal Kombat) that she watched first on YouTube to make sure it would be okay, and a new family game.

Fluxx¬†is a must¬†for any game collection. I love that there¬†are many different types to fit your family, such as Zombie Fluxx, or Family Fluxx¬†but we of course settled for The Wizard of Oz Fluxx¬†(because we our huge Oz fans of the book series and can’t wait for the new movie to come to out on Dvd).

What I love about the game Fluxx is the game rules and goals are always changing so you never know who the winner could be. The game itself is played by following the directions on the cards you play thus always changing the outcome.

Then the storms came.

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At first it just rained and there was running around the yard getting soaked and lots of puddle jumping and laughter.

Then this happened

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which thankfully fell the opposite direction of the house only taking out part of our fence.

Then this happened,

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the other half of the first branch fell(yes the first picture is just half of the branch split in two I think by lightning).

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What’s ironic is while the other half of the branch was still up in the tree it looked like it would fall on our garage. So we pulled our van out and moved our grill and kept our fingers crossed it would stay up until the tree specialists came, but NO, nope not us. It fell the complete opposite way on our brand new lovely deck Papa just finished building 2 days before.

Our we the most unlucky? Little Sis doesn’t think so, “mom I don’t think we have lots of bad luck, I think we have lots of good luck. Two HUGE branches fell from our tree and nobody was hurt.¬†They didn’t fall¬†on our house and we didn’t lose power and know what we have lots and lots of wood for winter.”

Little Sis the optimist who always manages to find the best¬†in every situation, I sure¬†could learn a lot¬†from her. ūüôā

Peace for the journey.

 

 

Behind The Scenes

May 17, 2013

Something I have learned along the way during my journey into radical unschooling is how hard it is to step away from schoolish thoughts.

It is SO hard to separate school from “the real world” these days. School has been a part of¬† our society for so long it itself has somehow become part of “the real world” and when someone steps outside the box they¬†become the ones no longer living in “the real world.”

It then can become very, very challenging¬†when trying to¬†explain that really *we* are the ones living in “the real world” and not the other way around.

This is when all the questions start rolling in ,which I can understand when you choose to do something different you are going to get questions.

“How are they going to learn math?”, ” How are they going to learn responsibility?”, How are they going to be able to¬†make it¬†in the real world?”

I have been getting pretty good at steering away from negative articles or posts about unschooling. I myself know unschooling works and no longer have doubts.

In these past few years I have seen a child learn how to read and learn all kinds of mathematics, some she wouldn’t even have learned yet if she was in school. That’s been easy for me to document. Being that she was 5 when we started unschooling and she was just learning her letters being able to see her progress has been easy.

What about the other one though, you know the one who will be a teenager this year, what is she learning? What is she learning by playing video games or drawing all day?

This is when taking pictures and documenting becomes a little harder.

Take this picture for instance,

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what doesn’t get photographed is the time she spent on-line researching Native American, Asian, and Indian artisans. What doesn’t get photographed is the influence Fruits Basket and Final Fantasy played into her researching Eastern cultures. What doesn’t get photographed is all the research she did into geometric shapes and angles that help influence her designs. What doesn’t get photographed is all the time she spends working on the tiniest details over and over until she feels she has mastered it enough to add it in her drawings. Like feathers, from collecting them to finding pictures of them, or drops, or flowers.¬† Then there is the research of¬†ancient civilizations armor, weaponry and the documentaries oh and the movie research, like trying to¬†hunt down¬†a copy of¬†Taiwan’s Legend of the Sacred Stone, I couldn’t possibly leave those out.

There is SO much more knowledge she is soaking up behind the scenes than what I could ever capture. These are the things that I also get to see that helped me overcome my doubts too.

If I was to measure her learning with other children in school her age she could be behind in some things but way ahead in others( like way ahead). One of the great joys of homeschooling is we don’t need to use school to measure our children’s knowledge. We don’t need to hold to someone else’s standards of what children ages 12 or 7 should be learning. We can individualize our children’s¬†learning around them.

Like mathematics or grammar. Do you know how much time teachers spend reviewing the same concepts year to year hoping those behind will catch on? Do you know how long it took me to explain to Little Sis sentences start with a capital letter? Sometimes she still forgets but I guarantee it will not be a problem when she is Miss Sky’s age. The more she types and writes the¬†more she will catch on and she¬†won’t need to spend days filling out worksheets to remember. It will happen by doing real things in “the real world.”

Peace for the journey.

A Week In The Life In Pictures (Peonies)

May 16, 2013

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Indiana’s state flower.

Miss Sky

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Finished drawings

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some on herself

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and watching her favorite video game walkthrough guy pass Batman.

Little Sis

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Kingdom Hearts

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more Princess Tutu anime, reading the manga online while waiting for new manga to arrive, Germany

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and her most favorite Putt-Putt game.

Peace for the journey.

A Week In The Life / A Picture Says What?

May 14, 2013

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A new poem from Hi Five Magazine (April 2013)

Miss Sky

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Netflix

Little Sis

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Minecraft

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Manga reading plus shopping for more (and Princess Tutu anime with Mama hooked again)

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Animal Jam and a summer carnival

Peace for the journey.

Little Comments

May 2, 2013

While playing Animal Jam.

Little Sis:” Mom come here and look at what I made.”

She had created an image from Animal Jam using the Scratch progam.

http://scratch.mit.edu/

Little Sis:” I read how to do it from the news on Animal Jam.”

Going With The Flow

May 2, 2013

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(Little Sis’s note to me)

I love Sandra Dodd’s ,mostly, daily Just Add Light and Stir e-mails. I love getting her inspirational nuggets delivered and usually always start my day reading them before anything else.

Sometimes a post will come, and even though I know to my knowledge at least¬†she probably doesn’t have super powers, that feels like it was meant just for me. Like today’s post about “Clarity In Motion” which she talks about the flow in unschooling. (You can find a link to her post and sign up¬†to get¬†her emails over on the right under my Blogroll links)

I am realizing I have come to that place in our journey into radical unschooling that I no longer feel the need to keep notes. I have come to that place where I can see learning happening everyday in everything we do. When we sit down and flip the TV on to watch a sitcom (I have really been getting into the George Burns and Gracie Allen Show of late) I know we are going to learn something new.

For instance I am discovering the wonderfully talented Gracie Allen and seeing a different side of George Burns I had never known. The girls are discovering fashion and design and what it might have looked like to live back in that time period.

So it is only natural that my blog change as we do and this is where I have found myself stuck. It just doesn’t feel natural for me to take pictures and list everything we might have watched or done anymore. Like we played Apples to Apples this day and read Corduroy that day. For me now it is just a part of our life, it is how we live.

Tomorrow we meet our hog farmer and pick up our order and we may run and get supplies for a Papa project that may keep us busy for a while. Then we probably will play a game or watch a movie. Who knows? One thing I do know is the girls will be learning something from it.

I guess what I am taking the long way around to say is that’s why I don’t feel like writing much these days. I am not really sure what I want to write about. I do like my blog. In a way it is like a baby book. I know I enjoy looking back and seeing how much the girls have grown since I’ve started writing. I know I enjoy reliving memories of Miss Sky in drama class or a trip to a new place we had¬†never been before.¬† I enjoy¬†seeing¬† the girls art work evolve. I know it is just a matter of me finding my¬†new groove. ūüôā

Until I do , peace for the journey.