Archive for June, 2013

A Week In The Life (“When The Moon Hits Your Eye”…)

June 30, 2013

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like a big 16 inch pizza pie it’s a “supermoon”. 🙂

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Yes lots of conversations about outer space this week as we wrapped up our moon phase gazing with the biggest full moon of the year (wish I could say that it was perfectly planned but nah it was purely coincidence) .

Miss Sky has always been interested in outer space and “science” in general with all the possibilities that could be out there in undiscovered space so some new materials found their way out in view for discovery.

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“Strewing” tip 101 (I am having a bit of fun with this post if you couldn’t already tell), but really a step that I think gets overlooked in radical unschooling, besides deschooling, is strewing. At least I know it gets overlooked in “interest” or “child-led learning”.

https://dkjsv05.wordpress.com/2012/06/07/strewing-or-feeding-an-interest/

“How will my child learn about things if they don’t even know they exist?”

I like to collect things that interest me or that could create some curiosity in our home. Sometimes I share my discoveries right away. Sometimes I store them away to be discovered at a later time. I have been collecting objects about outer space ever since I watched the HBO series From The Earth To The Moon when it came out years ago. I myself have always found it to be interesting so I couldn’t wait to “strew” a few of my items. Again these are items placed out and about to be discovered or not. Sometimes an item may not cause any interest, yet and that is okay too.

Something else I had put away from our “school at home” days was a United States puzzle that Little Sis found and wanted to put together.

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I was amazed at how many states she already knew by having a map out available to view when making purchases from EBay or seeing where family members have traveled.

Let’s see, Minecraft from both girls

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and more drawings.

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(Little Sis)

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More Summer reading

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and games.

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(We are now 2/3 of the way through Nicholas St. North)

More swimming and “I know what 20 plus 20 plus 20 is, 60. 3 plus 3 is 6 and 3 more is 9.” Which led to conversations with Little Sis about multiplication.

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Little Sis adding to the leftovers board

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and smoothie requests.

Another small tangent, television or “screens” and food are *the* most asked topics in radical unschooling. Trusting one with their own decisions to learn what interests them “I get”. Trusting one to make their own decisions about evil “screens” and food, not so much.

People seem to only hear “give your child all the sugar they want” and not the ” be your child’s partner and help them make their own choices”. Children don’t like being sick but when you put restrictions on certain foods those foods naturally become more desirable (unless of course like myself your child has been diagnosed with an allergy). Since the girls are being raised with no food restrictions they get to choose which foods they want to eat.

Both of the girls love fruit. Right now I have a basket that sits out on our island that is filled with apples, oranges, and peaches they asked for. There is also 1/4 of a watermelon left in the refrigerator and bananas too. Little Sis loves smoothies and they have become my new favorite treat since eliminating dairy from my diet (I use coconut milk yogurt or coconut milk). I also have a shelf in our kitchen that holds 6 large mason jars filled with different types of candy they asked for too. I don’t keep tabs of what gets eaten the most but I will say I need to by fruit weekly, the candy about every other month.

Which brings me to our garden,

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very soon we will have tomatoes too (fried green tomatoes are my most favorite food ever!) 🙂

Peace for the journey.

Little Comments

June 24, 2013

Two Wii Ware games that get played a lot by all around here are 2 Fast 4 Gnomz and Gnomz.

http://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/-3DvFvpyQhaUCkpDMBk4wQbaHEkW53YM

http://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/5WJsiPjXj01TEbtbaIpvdrKrUycDQeGO

While Little Sis was playing 2 Fast For Gnomz, Little Sis: “So I guess the g in the word gnomes is silent because we say it like nomes.”

Papa: “Yes it is, and gnomes doesn’t have a z either it is spelled g-n-o-m-e-s.”

Little Comments

June 24, 2013

So I’ve mentioned how Miss Sky is really into the Anime and the Manga Black Butler and the Victorian Times in which the story takes place.

(Parent rating 🙂 , this series is rated TV-14 and I do not recommend it for little ones as it can get bloody. Both girls know their limits and I trust them. Little Sis chooses not to watch. I just wanted to mention this series is a bit more mature than others we have watched like Fruits Basket.)

Miss Sky: “So there really was a Jack the Ripper? Did they ever solve the case? Did he really kill prostitutes?”

Me:” I know a crime writer, Patricia Cornwell, wrote a book recently of who she thinks he was but don’t know if the case has been solved or not. Let’s take a look.”

Yes I am thankful for the internet. 🙂

A Week In The Life ( Sweet Summertime)

June 23, 2013

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Welcome Summer!

We celebrated summer solstice with a fire in the back yard and busting out the kiddie pool.

We have also been paying closer attention to the different phases of the moon this week and both girls are beginning to recognize a few constellations.

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Let’s see more drawings from Miss Sky (as well as more Black Butler with her already finishing the first book)

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Some drawings from Little Sis too

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(I love the cracked glasses 🙂 )

and playing at Disney Create.

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I want to go off on a small tangent and use this picture to mention how the girls learn spelling and grammar in our home since there are no worksheets or spelling tests.

Part of my job as an unschooling parent is to help make sure opportunities present themselves. The more opportunities the girls have to spell and write the more they learn how to spell and write (real reasons from the real world).

Right now Little Sis is playing around with the tools she has already accumulated (and pieces she has connected)sounding out how words are spelled, like the word because up above.

As her partner I mentioned what a great job she did sounding out her words and told her that “because” is tricky as it does sound like there is a z but then told her how it was really spelled. She got it.

I also explained how “don’t” is what we call a contraction and means combining 2 words together to make one and so it needs an apostrophe. That’s it. Little reminders not lectures. When another piece of the puzzle connects for her she will understand and get that too just like Miss Sky did.

Games, and we are 1/3 of the way through Nick St. North.

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I have finally made my way around to starting the last book in the Inheritance Cycle. I know this series isn’t the best ever written (tough to beat King’s Gunslinger series in my own opinion) but for his first time I am pretty impressed and have slowly worked my way through picking out my favorite characters.

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Yeah, summer I think we are really going to enjoy you this year.

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Peace for the journey.

A Week In The Life (“I’ll See You In Oz Folks”)

June 16, 2013

Famous movie quote. 🙂

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Sky gazing while waiting for more storms

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and a new family read-aloud.

(Book 1 of The Guardian Series, Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King)

“Mom wouldn’t it be neat to hear how Pitch became the Nightmare King?” “Yeah and I would like to hear the Tooth Fairy’s story.” When both children are interested in a story it’s time to find the book. Review?, Once we finish.

Speaking of books Miss Sky found a series she has been really getting in with, Anime and Manga.

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(Black Butler by Yana Toboso)

Let’s see, more drawings from Miss Sky,

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(If Princess Tutu was a demon)

and Kingdom Hearts 3D Dream Drop Distance from both girls.

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Animal Jam from Little Sis, and more Animal Jam (it was her game of the week, she has found a new friend to play with)

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and the outdoors.

Besides a family read-aloud there was family games and a movie too.

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Our opinion of the new OZ? We are OZ fans of the book series. The Return to Oz movie is more a favorite than the original with Judy Garland (This is our opinion please understand, it’s okay if you disagree). Actually we are not big Garland fans for Dorothy.

I want to mention all this because our opinion of this movie is not based on our love of the original, except though not huge Garland fans we all agree that no one else could have played the Wicked Witch in the original film. So “the actress”, in case you do not know yet, had huge shoes to fill and it is majority house opinion her role felt like she was trying to hard. We think they could have found a better actress to play the part (and we do like her TV work 🙂 ).

Even one of our most favorite musicians writing the soundtrack seemed to be holding back. This probably was what Disney wanted though and the song at the end did feel more like the Danny Elfman we all love.

So are we glad to have added it to our movie collection? Well in the words of our computer graphic critic, “I love the graphics! I like when the artists balance darkness of evil with color. I don’t like when a movie’s graphics are too dark, THAT is what makes a movie scary in my opinion. Take the Polar Express movie (she had nightmares of the puppets for weeks) the graphics are WAY too dark, why I think the movie is scary. This movie for sure is being added to my Good Graphic Movies board on Pinterest……………….”

I guess the answer all depends on what you enjoy about movies. 🙂

Peace for the journey.

Little Comments

June 11, 2013

When our tree fell across our fence into our neighbor’s yard and us cleaning up the mess afterwards has made us available more for conversations with them.

One conversation turned to school, they do know we homeschool, and testing.

Neighbor: “Don’t the girls need to be tested like the school kids?”

Me explaining the homeschooling laws in our state, Indiana, and that homeschoolers here do not need to have their kids tested.

The look she gave me ,being honest, made me feel like a criminal. Like how on earth is that legal?

I have learned though ,and having gained tremendous amounts of confidence in homeschooling ( I don’t mention unschooling to anyone except close family and friends who are truly curious), that it may not be the other person’s intention to make me feel bad.

I have learned that their idea of what they think homeschooling is, is not the same as what we actually do. If they have no examples of homeschooling to make connections they can only use what they know and that is what they remember school to be like which includes testing.

I also know that they are clueless to any of the homeschooling laws or what goes on inside our home so instead of letting their questions bother me I try to figure out what they really are wanting to know.

I think they really want reassurance that the girls won’t grow up uneducated (because test scores= educated 😉 ), which in reality is impossible to give anyone reassurance of what will happen with another person’s future homeschooled or not. The best “educated” person can still make very costly mistakes, that is life.

Me: “You know, you would have to be a pretty crappy parent to not want your children educated.”

The conversation ended soon after that because either I’m a crappy parent who doesn’t want my children educated (and that is a whole other topic)or I’m not.

I don’t hide my kids away from the world, actually I am pretty proud of them. I don’t need test scores to prove how smart they are. Conversations with them prove that and there is one in particular who loves conversations. 🙂

A Week In The Life (Bread And Jam)

June 9, 2013

One of Little Sis’s favorite books to read was Bread and Jam for Frances. Over and over we would read it, now she can read it to me.

🙂

Let’s see a new chalkboard drawing for a new month.

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(It’s from one of our favorite author’s Elsa Beskow and favorite stories The Sun Egg.)

Completing Scribblenauts from Little Sis

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and her finding a new favorite series after reading all the Elephant and Piggie books (and earning lots of summer reading points).

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Miss Sky finding a new favorite movie review guy on YouTube

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(I love hearing her laugh out loud while she is watching)

and new drawings.

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Games

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and the family movie Spaceballs.

Some of this

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and some of that.

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(Recipe from Feeding the Whole Family. I don’t usually turn the oven on during summer, cook stove top or grill, but this summer has been beautiful so far , yet to turn on our air, and I have been taking advantage of the weather to get in some baking.)

Which brings me to this

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jam, frozen, dried, chocolate covered, and pancakes (not to mention all the nibbles in between) done.

Peace for the journey.

“Pizza, Pizza”

June 5, 2013

My sister asked me months ago for my pizza recipe and with another recent request I thought I would post it here instead of writing it a bunch of times.

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I have several steps to making our pizza but I think the most important is the sauce, it has to be homemade. I like to make it fresh with tomato sauce I get from the Roma tomatoes out of our garden but when it runs out any tomato sauce will do.

Pizza Sauce

1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce

1 (6 oz) tomato paste

1 clove minced garlic

2 Tbsp light brown sugar

2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp dried basil

1/4 tsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp cumin

2 Tbsp olive oil

I like to add the olive oil first in a bowl with the minced garlic and let it sit together while I get the dough made then add the rest of the ingredients together. Refrigerate while the pizza dough rises. You can make ahead, the longer it sits the better it tastes. You can freeze it too. I can make 4 medium pizzas with this recipe.

The dough

I got this recipe years and years ago while watching my most favorite cooking show ever called Cooking Live with Sara Moulton on the food network. Now she is on PBS.

http://saramoulton.com/

(Love her! I learned how to cook SO much from watching her show.)

The dough, right.

1/4 cup lukewarm water

1 Tbsp yeast

Mix them together in a bowl and let sit 5-10 minutes

3 cups flour plus extra for kneading the dough

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 Tbsp sugar

1/ 4 cup parmesan cheese

1 cup lukewarm water

1 Tbsp olive oil

Mix the rest of the dry ingredients together then add the cup lukewarm water along with the 1/4 cup yeast mixture.

Mix together in bowl until dough becomes sticky and starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.

I like to knead the dough right inside the bowl (I use a really big glass bowl to knead all my doughs which saves from cleaning up all the floury mess)with my hands adding flour until the dough is smooth to the touch and no longer sticky.

Add the 1 Tbsp olive oil and turn the dough around to coat all sides and let rise 1 hour.

This will make 2 medium size pizzas, add what ever toppings you like. Heat oven 425 and bake 15 minutes.

I like to bake the crust first for 5 minutes before adding any toppings then finish baking for 10 minutes.

Bon appetit!

A Week In The Life (Bustin’ Out )

June 2, 2013

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Learning that fresh wood is much easier to split than waiting until after it dries ( and being thankful for another warm winter).

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Our favorite way to make popcorn (popped in coconut oil and salt) and a favorite park snack.

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New discovery bag items, ( a small bag filled with items I bring along on outings stored in my backpack)

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and the game where one person starts a sentence and everyone adds on a word  (Sky “The”, Sis” fat”, me “cat”, Sky” sat”, Sis “by”, me “a”…….., finished “The fat cat sat by a big fat mouse.”  🙂 , they can get very silly).

A hike, nature scavenger hunt, creek stomping, swings, slides, rocks.

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Big rocks,

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little rocks,

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meditative rocks,

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and kindness rocks (to take back with us and drop to plant a little kindness).

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Library summer reading,

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and late night fires.

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Me discovering a new favorite gluten-free treat

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or Johnny cakes as they are called here in the states(cornmeal pancakes). You can add corn inside for dinner or maple syrup for breakfast. I love them with homemade blueberry jam.

http://www.superhealthykids.com/recipes-blog/timmy-cakes.php

At least getting our tomato plants planted,

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we’ve had lots of rainy days making it hard to till our garden.

On an end note (to self) we had enough frozen corn on the cob from last summers farmers market to last us all winter and spring. We did about 50 ears. This year I will be freezing berries along with making jam to use in smoothies.

Peace for the journey.