Archive for August, 2013

Little Comments

August 27, 2013

While leaving a comment on Facebook with Little Sis looking over my shoulder waiting for the computer, Little Sis: ” Mom you spelled know wrong.”

Me looking back over my comment instead of know I had spelled now. It is something I find myself doing all the time. Not only was she able to tell me of my misspelled word but she was able to read my sentence and knew which word I was trying to spell.

A Week In The Life (“Out Of Our Ears” )

August 25, 2013

These past two weeks can pretty much be summed up with two pictures.

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Okay maybe three.

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Yes our tomatoes are really coming in now and I have been able to make several jars of sauce already. Big Sis and Papa stocked our freezer with corn for the winter and we have been enjoying the beautiful weather before this week’s heat wave.

Of course there was some of the same too (in fact so much that we played the same exact games 2 weeks in a row).

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Drawing (like you need to ask)?

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( http://www.dolldivine.com/chibi-maker.php)

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(Disney Create.com)

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(Little Sis)

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(Doodle by Miss Sky while at the park)

Ramona,

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tic-tac-toe made by Papa game,

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and puzzles in the park.

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Oh and no park visit is complete without some of this too.

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Peace for the journey.

Week In The Life (Gotta Keep Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin’)

August 12, 2013

Let’s see if last year was all about Kingdom Hearts, Disney and Fruits Basket then I guess this year will be known for Black Butler and Princess Tutu.

Little Sis (and Miss Sky, okay myself included too) love Princess Tutu. The anime itself is SO entertaining but then add in all it’s mini connections and all I can say is here we go again. πŸ™‚

Fairytales, Ballet, Degas, Germany, Classical music, Tchaikovsky, Swan Lake…..

yes I will stop at Swan Lake for now. This has been by far Miss Sky’s most favorite ballet ever. Nutcracker? “Pretty cool, great music but Swan lake was his best for sure.” I knew it wouldn’t take much for Little Sis to be drawn in too. See even though these girls are as different as night and day they are still related. They still have Mama and Papa’s genetic makeup and what can I say we are HUGE nerds.

Okay one may prefer Ramona over Junie B Jones and one needs to have her space clutter free and one, without naming any names, does not like Lord Of The Rings (I know!) but when it comes to the Arts our family’s tastes are pretty broad so there is bound to be some similarities.

I’ve mentioned our taste in movies and music here before how in our home Mozart could follow Green Day. Billie Holiday could follow Janis Joplin and Hank Williams Sr. could follow Lady Gaga. That’s just how we roll and why I think unschooling suits *our* family perfectly. My point? Oh yeah all this to say Princess Tutu has played a really big influence in these past weeks.

Starting with Little Sis’s first real sewing project

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a Princess Kraehe doll.

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Oh and some painting

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and drawing too.

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So I guess I need to add pattern making, sewing, and painting to the connection list above as well.

More puzzles

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and lavender play dough.

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Miss Sky has been creating her own stories around the Black Swan (so also add creative writing and illustration ideas),

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Minecraft, Minecraft, Minecraft,

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(A prison in one of Miss Sky’s worlds)

and drawings.

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(These are doodles that I find everywhere)

Our resources from the week

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where Little Sis and I are halfway through Beezus and Ramona.

I myself have been busy with summers bounty

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(the potatoes are from one of Papa’s friends gardens, tomatoes are ours)

making the first batch of tomato sauce

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which will probably be used in homemade sloppy joes by the end of the week. πŸ™‚

Yes lots of goodness this week, our eldest has finally come home! I know it will take some time for us all to find our new groove after her being away on her own for several years but I know we will find it. We are after all family and that’s how we roll too.

Peace for the journey.

More Little Comments

August 6, 2013

All I can say right now is OMGoodness!!

I feel like I am being dragged into to someone’s crazy nightmare. As someone who doesn’t read the news (or tries really hard not to) or tries not to seek out drama (life brings plenty of that without needing to go looking for it) I figured it was only a matter of time before it would come my way (*way* sooner than what I was wanting really).

It’s all rather sad actually and my heart is feeling very sorry for all the homeschooling pioneers who have worked really hard to make homeschooling legal.

Big Sis (aka 23 years old) while taking a test for a part time job at Family Video:” I can’t believe some of the questions, I mean algebra?”

Yes for a part time cashier job!

“Why do I need to know algebra?” To get a job!

I love radical unschooling! I am the mother of a child who would fail school. How do I know this, because I am her mother. My job, as a parent (homeschooler or not), is to make sure my children can survive in THIS world (not some imaginary world that does not exist)! It is not the school’s job to make sure they will survive but MINE. Schools are set up to educate children, if you choose not to send your children to school it then becomes *our* (parents) job to educate them. Sounds like a no brainer right? Well unfortunately for some it is not.

As someone who has been surrounded by very irresponsible parents (2 members of my husband’s family alone don’t even have their children, the state took them away) I have *never* agreed that “just anyone” could homeschool.

Radical unschooling has been a life saver, truly, for my daughter. Before when we schooled at home she fought me every step of the way. It’s who she is. Do I wish she could learn more like how the school system is set up? I will not lie and will say yes sometimes I do. It has not been an easy journey and I have shed many tears for an imaginary daughter I never had. We don’t get to pick our children though.

So we tried Waldorf in the beginning it worked great. She tends to be on the “later” side of learning. Without being too negative about everything that I think is wrong with Waldorf education I will just say cutting out “screens” was a huge mistake in how she learned. Cutting out “twaddle” did NOT help my daughter learn to read. She has learned by me following HER way. This is why I love radical unschooling SO much. It helped ME find HER way. Not Charlotte Mason’s or Montessori’s, or Steiner’s but MY daughter’s way.

However this still leaves ME responsible for her education. Just because we are radical unschoolers does not give us an excuse to not be a part of our current society and in our current society my children need to know algebra! The difference is changing your point of view of *how* one can learn these things, not them never learning them. The girls still need to follow our state’s common core standards to get a diploma. There are several ways for them to get a diploma one is getting their GED but they still need to pass the test!

As radical unschoolers I question arbitrary rules. I ask why? Why does one need to eat 3 times a day? Why can’t I trust my child to make her own choices? Why can’t I have a good relationship with my children without being their “boss”? If any of my answers are because that’s how the world works then those are REAL reasons not arbitrary. Do I agree with all of them? NO, can I change them? No, I can show other ways to learn and write all I want but if someone comes along and passes a law where I live that all homeschoolers need to be tested then I *must* follow those laws.

There are some wonderful examples scattered through out the web of homeschoolers whatever their method and there are some really, really (really) bad ones too. As someone whose life and child’s life has been changed because of homeschooling and radical unschooling I would hate to see it fail because some couldn’t get their act together.

Remember we can have a lot of impact on a person’s choice to homeschool positive or negative (whether we want it or not). I am not perfect and my children are not perfect ( that’s life) but let’s at least strive for positive.

Wishing peace for the journey (and I hope I never feel the need to write a post like this again).

Little Comments (From Mom)

August 5, 2013

Enjoying my Zen tea this morning (thanks Shelley πŸ™‚ ) with the windows open and the feel of the cool breeze listening to the quiet before the girls wake( and the children here are back to school).

It is during this quiet time my mind begins to wonder, wonder what will become of our day. When Miss Sky wakes will she go for her music like most mornings. I can’t complain how many days I spent behind closed doors escaping my world through music. I love that the girls feel they can share their interests with Papa and I. Closed doors don’t happen often around here unless one of us introverts need time to replenish.

Then my mind drifts to other common places homeschooling, life’s limitations, money, economy. Homeschooling, yes I would much rather think upon that.

I have always had a mix of comments when people learn we homeschool. Some, like our neighbor, don’t really understand why we would want to (even though they are elderly and have not stepped foot inside of school for several years). Others question my abilities, but I will say the majority have been rather supportive.

While at the doctor’s office getting prepped for my endoscopy the nurses asked about my little family. One was *very* impressed how polite and well mannered (and cute with their little flowers in their hair) the girls were behaving in the office while waiting for me to recover. She asked what school they attended? I usually don’t advertise “hey we are homeschoolers” unless asked. After she learned we homeschooled her response was rather positive. “One of our nurses left to homeschool her children.”

I am beginning to hear more comments from people who know homeschoolers. Like when I went to visit with my ex boss and she learned we homeschooled. “Yes my daughter wants to homeschool.
Our neighbor homeschooled their 5 children.” I like it. πŸ™‚

Anyway my nurse started mentioning that she was really surprised at how much there was available for homeschoolers today.

The comments I hear most though are from parents who have children that just don’t “fit” into school. Seriously the negative comments mostly come from elderly people or people in the “school” system itself and don’t really come up as often anymore.

Like when the air conditioner repair man serviced ours he noticed the chalkboard, games, and books and asked “do you guys homeschool?” When we said yeah he shook Papa’s hand and started telling us how they would like to homeschool their son. He went on to tell us all the troubles his son was having in school.
The same happens with people at Papa’s work.

Please don’t get me wrong I have friends whose children are doing *great* in the school system too. I mean really focused and doing really good. I am not here to defend the school system though (they have enough people doing that).

I love that we chose homeschooling. I know the girls are too (and they will tell you so πŸ™‚ ). The relationship it has built between us is priceless.

I try my best to listen, answer their questions and direct them to our local homeschooling laws. Really that is all I can do. In a way it kind of feels good hearing their stories. I can relate. I guess that is what drives me to write, to share our story here. I think it is helpful when we can honestly share our struggles. To let others know you are not alone and to say I know another way.

Peace for the journey.

Week In The Life (Roma, roma, ma, Ramona ooh la la and A Few Thoughts)

August 4, 2013

Our roma and grape tomatoes are Β coming in and salads have been a plenty around here.

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This week I have been doing a lot of thinking (too much actually) about some “things” going around in the unschooling on-line “community”. I am not a drama seeker and try to stay as clear as possible from negativity. So my original intent was to say nothing and in a way that is what I’m going to do (if you have no idea what I am talking about count yourself blessed and turn your attention back to your kiddies :)). However there is a bit too much swirling taking place in my brain not to address a few things.

One, this is my blog. What I write here is for me. It is, as my dad calls it, my homeschooling journal. It helps me to stay focused and on track of what the girls are learning. It helps out of state family see what we have been up to and what the girls interests are since they are not in school or close by. It also serves as proof *we* are indeed homeschooling for if ever I need it.

I have always wrote open and honestly about our homeschooling journey without digging too deep into our families privacy. Being this blog is for me I respect the other family members choice not to share any and everything. I choose not to bring negativity here because it makes me happy to read back over posts. I don’t want to remember the tears BUT I have shared some of those here too and those posts are not hard to find if that is what you need.

I could have chosen to keep my blog from the public but I have learned SO much from others sharing their homeschooling journey I wanted to do the same. I have met some really nice people and have made friends thanks to my blog too. πŸ™‚

Now for the point, please don’t ever take what I say here as golden truth. I am NOT an expert but learning the same as most of you. I share what products or games that have worked for us because they *really* did work for us not because I am trying to make money (I have never received anything not even free coins for mentioning Animal Jam, Minecraft or Disney). In fact I have chosen to take pictures of our products instead of sharing links because I realized I am giving people free advertisements. I would much prefer *you* the reader to choose where you might want to purchase something if at all.

Please if you read something here that has worked for our family and you don’t understand it DON”T DO IT until you do. This is why I try to always post links or videos to where I learned it from. I question my thinking as to why I do or did what I’ve done and gradually make a change. Like why didn’t I like television? Or why can’t the girls read picture books? Why can’t they make their own choices?

Know *your* homeschooling laws and follow them not mine. I am truly blessed to live in a state where I don’t need to test or have to check in with the school system but if I did or ever do I know unschooling enough to explain it and have the proof to back it.

One last thing not all radical unschoolers are overweight!! I am back to the above photo now. πŸ™‚ I have been seeing a lot of negative bull shit, sorry folks but really, about radical unschooling. Just because there are some terrible, terrible examples of radical unschooling does not mean all of us are that way. This would be like me saying ALL schools are bad, or ALL teachers are bad, or ALL religious people are bad because of a few bad seeds. Come on people just because a person might have gotten their feelings hurt and wants to tell the world does not mean it is *always* truth. Think for yourself! See for yourself!

My children choose to eat salad or fruit, they like it. My children can also choose to eat cookies and cakes and do. My children prefer a home cooked meal over *any* restaurant but once in a while they choose to eat out. The “proof” is in having a *choice* but don’t just take my word on it, gradually try it for yourself if you want and if you don’t, don’t.

Still with me? It does feel good to finally get all that out. πŸ™‚

Working around the house we sill are. Our wood pile is overflowing and now we are working on next years stash.

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The girls have been helping out too.

Minecraft from both girls

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as well as Club Penguin (both girls love the Star Wars addition).

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Which brings me to this weeks games

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(Disney Pictionary)

and a family watching of my favorite Laurel and Hardy movie Sons Of The Desert.

There was haircuts, given by me, and Little Sis requested rereading one of her favorite chapter books Beezus and Ramona (so guess how she wanted her hair?)

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and if you didn’t already know, lots of drawing.

Wishing everyone peace for the journey.