Sunday, March 18, 2012

a post a day

well Im gonna try anyway :). My goal is to write a unschool moment a day. Today...Sunday....bricks by the bay lego convention. a fun all around morning with my boys. Dad, Jonah and Isaiah. we checked out all the exhibits, bought some legos...thats where I say my boy in action!! He was bargain hunting with the best of them! he was offering a solid 30% less than asking...and getting it! It does a mama's heart GOOD to see her child take up the cheap gene! I was also happy to see Isaiah counting all the way past 10 by himself....I can thank TV for that one :)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

busy unschool week

I have been letting go ever so lightly to more of our "structured" stuff now that we arent in a charter. I started "strewing" books around from the library that wernt getting picked up. This is a BIG deal for me because I am kinda anal about stuff all over the house. But I wanted to see what would happen with thse books everywhere. No surprise at all, they are being READ! Also Tami is reading chapter books now! do I think she is actually READING them? eh probably not, but this is what she said to me this morning when I asked her about the junie b jones books she was checking out from the library. I asked her, "are these books for YOU to read yourself?" and she said "well YEAH mom...at least Im gonna try!" this is from the girl who last year couldnt remember all her letter sounds!! I let go and let God with her. and in her own time and in her own way she joyfully in reading. I still think there is "something" with that girl. But what benefit would there be in testing her or labeling her special ed? She isnt going to be tested in a classroom, so she doesnt need "special attention: for that. Her first experiences with that kind of stuff will be in highschool and by that time the labels wont matter. I cant believe we spent a whole year with the special ed services drudging through red tape for nothing! they wouldnt even test her for LD's!

Friday, January 27, 2012

UNSCHOOL FIELD TRIP!!!

how cool is THAT??!! that right we went on a field trip with only other USers!! that has never happened before for us, it was SO nice to be with other families who view education the same way we do. We went to the Hilmar Cheese Factory for a tour and ice cream making. Then after we had some time to chat and hang out and the kids played outside. What a wonderful afternoon just being with other people who think like you do, a place where you can be totally honest and upfront. Now not get me wrong, I hang out all the time with "regular" homeschooers and even PSers. But you always have to be careful what you say/dont say so as to not start "the conversation" unless you REALLY like getting into it with others. Me...Im not always a fan. We got to excahnge thoughts and ideas, lift each other up and support each other. I walked away on cloud nine

Thursday, January 26, 2012

unschool reading

My 2 youngest girls are learning to read together. They are almost 3 years apart but probably only 1 "grade" apart in skill. My middle girl learns at her own pace, which is much slower than the "standards based learning" I really had to learn to pull back and let go of the strings and let her learn at a pace that felt comfortable to her. This was all new to me. My first children were ready to read at around 5 or before. We took it slow and steady and they learned at a quick pace. Tami on the other hand just stalled and it always turned into a crying tantrum. I KNEW this was BAD. The last thing I wanted her to feel about reading was that it wasnt fun or interesting. So I backed off and let her do her own thing. I left fun books out everywhere and read to her whenever she wanted. She is now 8 1/2 and reading at a solid 1st grade level. Yes that is "behind" but that just seems to be how God made her. She is our turtle! I know when she is 30 it wont matter that she was 2 grades behind in school. AND I succeeded in keeping her love of reading in tack. Hannie her baby sister is "normal" in her development and will probably lap her sister in a few subjects is she keeps going. My prayer for Tami is that the Lord protects her spirit from outside attacks. Other children, sunday school teachers, parents and even my frustration at times. Thank you LORD that she is special and unique. The most fantastic child!

Monday, January 23, 2012

what do you do with anti-unschoolers?

How do you deal with the nay-sayers? the frienemies and the friends who just do things differently? I am working though a few of these right now. Loving friends and "neighbors" who are "concerned" that my children aren't "doing" school. I try to be pretty gauge with outsiders on what my kids do every day until I can figure out why they are asking. If the REALLY want to know, then I REALLY tell em! I don't feel weird talking about our families lack of curriculum styles or need to paperwork each day. The workbox system gives me a rash and I am repelled by most boxed sets. And I don't have problem telling people! non-homeschoolers don't have a clue so we are gentle with them, but since I run a co-op and a curriculum lending library from my garage I come into contact with traditional homeschoolers on a daily bases. I have been getting a lot of questions about our style as of late...more than usual actually. I am seeing a lot of stressed, dejected, overwhelmed and anxious homeschoolers coming through my doors. And here I stand in sweats with a BIG smile on my face and no new wrinkles from worrying over my curriculum syllabus etc. Now mind you I do not hit others over the head with MY way of homeschooling or how MY way is the best , most awesome way to live...its just OBVIOUS! So questions always arise..questions like " why is your 13 yr old in the back yard with the 3 yr old playing ball instead of doing his homework" Or why are all your kids at the park...its during school!" etc etc. I usually use it as an excuse to plug unschooling, but lately I have been getting looks of horror from other moms...kids like I am ruining them for life or something! its very strange, and I am pretty sure I have lost a few friends over our choices. I didn't realize it at first, but I have noticed a few charlotte masoners in my area that have been very absent from our homeschool activities. I guess the classes aren't structured enough! lol! But on the flip side, being honest with our choices has brought more interested and desperate homeschoolers closer to peace with relaxing their schedules or curriculum or even taking the plunge into unschooling so I say keep sticking your nose out there...yeah it might get chopped off, OR you might just make a new friend for life!!

Friday, January 20, 2012

manic fridays

Every good intention....right? I always wake up thinking that all will go well, it will run smoothly. All will be completed! Wellllll it does not always happen. My ds had a neck ache. He need a trip to the chiropractor, so off we go. math for him?? no way. and he thinks I have forgotten! HA! my dad who lives with us part time was irritated that his room was used for house guests with out him knowing ( guess in hindsight I should have asked first) I banned mine craft for the afternoon, you would have thought Jonah was going to DIE! he survived, and so did his braincells. the kids played a few board games nicely together instend. Micah is still on restriction so she has basically been in the house all the time, but she is making fairly good use of her time. I note she behaves so much better when she isn't around all her friends all the time. The pleasant nice girl I remember comes out for a visit! I am really starting to see that too much socialization for her is NOT a good thing. Tami is enjoying her Bernstein bears book we got for the lending library, and speeding through the teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons. Hannie is learning to count by 2's and more addition. she is also learning to read but at her own pace. We read from "window on the world" today, I LOVE that book!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

nature walk

The girls decided this afternoon to go on a nature walk! Its freezing outside! One of the coldest days of the season so far. and CLEAR out side. I think the only nature they will find is starlings and dead trees! But they went and made a list of everything they saw. Micah wanted to practice her cursive writing. they filled a few pages with stuff! Can I read it...no, but they can! lol! Jonah is still on his minecraft thing, BUT today was the first day of his online astronomy course. He was SO excited! He spent 2 hours on the computer talking to the other students and the teacher. I dont really know what they were doing but it sounded educational! The girls spent some time giving each other mani-pedis. We created something entirely new for dinner with about 3 or 4 leftovers. Leftover casserole! The kids said they liked it! You cant go wrong with cheesy topping I always say!