Archive for October, 2013

Week(s) In The Life (“You Can’t Reason With A Headless (Wo)Man”)

October 29, 2013

Busy, busy we have been. As you already know there was a birthday then a doctor’s appointment, costume preparations, and a visit to our local history museum for the annual headless horseman hayride.

DSCF6438

DSCF6439

Yes there you have it folks, it seems I have lost my head (of course some of you already knew that huh? 🙂 ).

Anyhow besides all that there has been lots of reading.

DSCF6429

Miss Sky has decided to take turns with me between Ramona books by reading the Junie B. Jones series. Little Sis finished Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus. Small tangent? Yeah.

I see SO many negative reviews of Junie B. Of course every parent is entitled to do what they think best but as someone who has sold several of our books due to “twaddle” and regrets it (thankfully could not get rid of Junie, way too many wonderful memories as this was the first series Miss Sky learned to read) don’t judge a book by it’s cover (or negative reviews). I see many blog posts about “no Dr. Seuss in this house”, or “no Disney”, or “no abridgements”, yeah only the girls like these stories and that is the whole point about books right? For our children to enjoy reading? Trust me it won’t be long before they have moved on to more mature literature.

I said a small one. The ironic thing about all this is Little Sis really doesn’t care for Junie B (night and day I’m telling you which makes finding books to read aloud very challenging). Miss Sky received a Junie B. journal for Christmas one year and wore that thing out SO much we needed to purchase another. Well Little Sis, being a Ramona fan instead, asked if there was a Ramona journal like Sky’s Junie B one. Well I looked and looked and explained that Ramona was an older series and not to get her hopes up but finally while at the store guess what I found?

DSCF6430

Yep, I guess the movie release , which was very cute by the way, has made the series popular again (though it has always been popular around this house). Speaking of which I finished reading aloud Ramona and Her Mother. Last but not least Miss Sky and fan fiction? Yes and yes.

Moving on to Minecraft, always lots of Minecraft from both girls.

DSCF6425

(Little Sis who is getting really good at windows)

DSCF6432

Miss Sky with a new Minecraft companion magazine. Yeah this could have been filed under reading I know but I kind of wanted to make a point how one interest can connect with so many others, I am very sneaky that way. 🙂

Games? Always.

DSCF6428

(Forgot to add Connect 4 to the pile.)

Writing? Yes and Miss Sky is catching up in mathematics. Honestly I do believe it is because she wants too. Little Sis? She is constantly coming up with her own problems and ready for multiplication,

DSCF6423

DSCF6442

and a new poem for this week.

DSCF6441

Updated to add that I can’t believe I forgot about us watching BBC’s Human Planet series. SO many ongoing conversations around the breakfast table. Another wonderful BBC documentary. Also our family movie, beside our usual Halloween round ups, Iron Man 3.

From the kitchen, Cinnamon rolls

DSCF6419

with the little pan being gluten and dairy free

http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/gluten-free-cinnamon-rolls/0ca833dd-7919-4a14-90e3-f40a9648b414

and Little Sis’s most favorite meal (besides chicken) quiche.

DSCF6426

Again the small one is gluten and dairy free. I used ground sausage, added minced garlic and mushrooms, and halved the recipe.

http://www.keyingredient.com/recipes/11267120/bacon-and-hash-brown-egg-bake/

Peace for the journey.

Advertisements

Happy Birthday My Not So Little Anymore Angel

October 19, 2013

I can’t believe it has already been thirteen years since you came into this world.

DSCF6418

If there ever was a reason it was to challenge my every thought and idea of what parenting should look like. I can honestly say I have learned more from you than you could ever learn from me. Thank you so much for sharing the journey with me.

DSCF6417

Week In The Life (“Sunrise Doesn’t Last All Morning…”)

October 17, 2013

I kind of made a pack with myself when first starting this blog 1. to always be honest and 2. to never sacrifice my true feelings in order to gain readers.

When first starting out with Waldorf education I gained a good amount of readers but knew it was no longer a good fit when I started getting worried about whether our choices were “Waldorf” enough.

I am a true believer one should not sacrifice who they are in order to fit into some kind of “group”. I never was one to fit any kind of mold myself. I was never one to really agree with labels either. I think this is because of being raised around mentally and physically disabled people as a child. Or maybe it is just apart of who I am or both. I saw people who were physically and mentally challenged find their place into this world and make their mark.

When first deciding to homeschool it can get scary. People seem to automatically come at you challenging your decision, which looking back now I am kind of glad. I am also the type of person who likes to prove people wrong too.

I have since learned though that really none of us have all the answers. We are all on a learning journey, some of us may be a little further along than others and some think they are a lot further than what they are. I also believe everyone should grow and evolve.

When first coming out at Waldorf I was upset with myself, I was upset that I allowed myself to conform and my earlier posts show this. However now I find myself thankful for Waldorf education, I learned *a lot* from it good and bad, some things we still use, and it has helped me along on my homeschooling journey.

Just like Radical Unschooling has. I am very thankful for all those who share a part of themselves and their time that helped me build our family’s relationship. Radical unschooling helped me step outside the learning box and be able to see it for what it is. It helped me truly see my children and get to know who they are. It challenged and opened my mind to see all the world and its many connections and for this I am so thankful but I can feel the pull of a new growth spurt coming on. It’s time to shed yet another label.

While reviewing mathematics with Miss Sky I began to remember why we struggled in this area so. She needs lots and lots of review in order to retain information. Little Sis you can explain carrying and borrowing once and she has it down, with Miss Sky it is not so easy.

These last few weeks Miss Sky and I have had many conversations about her future and her interests. She realizes what is expected of her if she wants to see these goals through, though that doesn’t mean she agrees with all of them. She questions “why” about things too. 🙂

So I kept going back to what she did remember and we have started there with me writing 2 problems on the board everyday. She is also working through a workbook and when I see her having trouble we stop and practice until she has it mastered.

She also needed a quick review of cursive writing and has been practicing with a new poem I write on the board each Monday.

DSCF6415

I am not worried about her writing as much as her typing but feel she should be able to do it if ever the need be.

Little Sis has been practicing her cursive too. She likes “school” time and always has. She thinks it is fun, for now anyway.

DSCF6407

Both girls have been practicing with some math games I found on-line.

DSCF6413

(Little Sis)

http://www.free-training-tutorial.com/math-games.html

Games, yes

DSCF6412

and we read The Witch Family.

Little Sis has been reading, reading

DSCF6414

DSCF6409

starting the Junie B. Jones series.

She is also learning how to look words up in the dictionary.

DSCF6403

Current events brought our globe out

DSCF6406

and Miss Sky has been busy drawing.

DSCF6405

(Baby Luna)

DSCF6408

(Mature Luna)

We watched 2 more episodes of the Dear America series on Netflix and this weeks family movie was The Goonies.

From the kitchen this week? Apple pie oatmeal.

DSCF6410

Made with gluten free oats, brown sugar and cinnamon glazed apples, and maple glazed nuts with a little vanilla Silk poured over the top. Delicious.

Peace for the journey.

Little Comments

October 10, 2013

Miss Sky has had her face in her 3ds pretty much any spare minute she can. Addicted? Maybe, but not how you may think. 😉 She has been reading, reading, and reading fan fiction stories.

“Mom there are some really good ones. Some I have a bit of trouble with but have been looking up words as I go. For instance once I understood what flailing meant I was good.”

Flailing was not our word of the week but it should have been. Since her mentioning it I have found it twice. Once in the book I’m reading and once in an article a friend shared on Facebook. I paused both times to show her and am pretty sure she won’t have any more problems knowing what it means. 🙂

Week In The Life (The Omnipresent Sebastian Michaelis)

October 7, 2013

I have seen on a couple of my favorite blogs mention a word of the day. I thought instead of a new word everyday we could handle a word of the week. So this week our word was omnipresent. Why, because I read it in my book and thought to myself “that would make a good word of the week”. 🙂

Naturally after learning the definition Miss Sky says “Oh like Sebastian from Black Butler. He seems to be everywhere at the same time. So he is simply one hell of an omnipresent butler. 🙂 ”

Speaking of Black Butler we have finished the second season and while Miss Sky is waiting for the third she has been reading fan fiction stories on her 3ds (Kingdom Hearts too).

DSCF6400

“Mom I am catching lots of misspelled words and typing errors.” She has been using her 3ds to look up words she doesn’t know the meaning of too.

Miss Sky finished Junie B. Jones Boo… and I mean it. I had forgotten how much that Junie B. made us laugh. Seriously Junie B. could have been titled Miss Sky, a handful she was (is) I tell you. How boring life would have been without her. 🙂

Little Sis read another one of our favorite autumn stories.

DSCF6399

Let’s see there is always Minecraft with the girls building Ponyville, new drawings

DSCF6394

(Little Sis)

DSCF6395

(Miss Sky)

and watching the show together.

There was a Germany Globe Trekker documentary as well.

http://www.pilotguides.com/tv-shows/globe-trekker/

A new poem courtesy of October’s High 5 magazine

DSCF6396

and learning to play Rummy. Oh and there was others too.

DSCF6401

Miss Sky and I have been working together on her cursive and math. She copies the poem in cursive and we do a few problems every day. I am going to need dusting up on my algebra I see, thank goodness for Kahn Academy (Whew).

Cooler temps have brought good smells from the oven including Maple Glazed Walnuts

DSCF6402

which I love chopped and added to oatmeal with a little applesauce and maple syrup, yum yum. Recipe from Feeding the Whole family. Of course they are great by themselves and I don’t think will be around very long.

Peace for the journey.

Week In The Life (” Now What?”)

October 1, 2013

Okay think of Brad Garrett’s voice from Finding Nemo while reading the title above. 🙂

Now that I have deschooled and am able to see learning in everything we do from watching Black Butler with Miss Sky or My Little Pony with the girls before bed and see connections everywhere and know how to feed an interest and set up our environment conducive to learning and realize learning always happens, now what?

Now it’s time for me to focus on the fact Miss Sky will be 13 years old in 15 days and almost ready for high school. It’s time for me to focus on my goal of learning how to write a transcript for her diploma myself because she would like to attend art school at our local community college. “Mom I am ready now.”

These last few days I have been very busy, busy in the kitchen and busy having conversations with Miss Sky about her future goals (that I know can change at any given moment). It has made me realize there are a few things she needs to work on if she really does plan on seeing these goals through. This is why I love being my children’s partner instead of holding onto a label calling ourselves this or that.

If Little Sis came to me and asked to try school as her partners Papa and I would do what was needed to see that through. I wouldn’t worry that we could no longer call ourselves “unschoolers”. If both girls decided to go to school we wouldn’t even be homeschoolers anymore. My focus is on following *my* children’s interests and making them happy not in what we label ourselves. SO… things might start looking a bit different around here. The difference is *she* wants too.

I am not worried though, not at all. Even though she might be behind in mathematics, in reading, vocabulary, science, and even history she is very advanced for her age. I say getting caught up in mathematics will take maybe a few months.

If there is anything I want to add in this post it is these last 3 years of radical unschooling have been the best thing to ever happen to us. The relationship we have built, me letting go of what I thought learning should look like have really paid off. The girls learning really flourished once I realized this *beyond* what I ever could have imagined. Why stress and have tears for years over something once they are really ready to learn will only take a few months? Maybe it’s not mathematics for you, maybe it’s learning to read. When a child is ready it will happen. 🙂

Kitchen, yes let’s start there.

So besides apples

DSCF6376

and applesauce

DSCF6386

and gluten and dairy free apple crisp

http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/gluten-free-apple-crisp/21e94198-f4e3-456a-8af6-00d5781c791f

(Used Cherrybrook yellow cake mix and Earth Balance and poured a little vanilla Silk in my bowl instead of ice cream)

what do you do when your neighbor brings you a whole bag full of peppers and with the last big batch of Roma tomatoes from your garden?

Why make freezer salsa

DSCF6380

and breakfast burritos of course.

DSCF6383

I tried my hand at making gluten free crepe like tortillas for mine and used the leftovers to make gluten and dairy free burritos for the freezer.

DSCF6391

I like Amy’s brand but they are $$ so thought, I could do that.

http://www.againstallgrain.com/2013/01/26/crepes-grainfree-paleo/
(crepe recipe)

The girls?

DSCF6374
(Miss Sky)

Lots and lots and lots of Minecraft from both girls!

DSCF6381

Games,

DSCF6385

reading,

DSCF6388

DSCF6389
(Brambly Hedge Autumn from Little Sis)

enjoying beautiful weather,

DSCF6392

story making,

DSCF6387

new beginnings,

DSCF6393

and the Dear America series on Netflix.

Peace for the journey.