Thursday, August 30, 2007

Being 12

I've been thinking a lot lately since Kieran turned 12 how different our lives are.

When I was 12 my parents were divorced, we moved to Arizona, my mom worked 2 jobs to support us.
I took care of my brother and sister, I ran the house, I cooked, cleaned, got the kids bathed, to bed, to school etc. I was a surrogate mother at the age of 12.
I was responsible enough to do this, my mom hired a babysitter but I ran her off. I was doing everything anyway, I told my mom why waste the money when we need it to take care of us.

Of course the downside to this is that I rebelled hard later on because I felt cheated out of childhood. As I look back though maybe it was part of preparation for my role as a mother now.

There were several years where I did not want kids, I wanted a career and growing up the way I did I know first hand you can't have both at the same time because one will suffer, it's usually the kids.
I am very strong in my values that mothers should raise their own kids but that's not what this is about.

I look at my 12 year old son who is growing up so fast, he is intelligent and responsible but at the same time he is still a kid. I want him to be a kid as long as he can because the responsibilities of adulthood aren't too far off.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

No place like home

These thoughts are spawned from http://jewlsntexas.blogspot.com/2007/08/when-it-comes-to-school-theres-no-place.html

You already know I fly my freak flag the non-conformist radical unschooler that I am.

I have to admit that I do not agree with a parents decision to send their kids to school with out any choice on the part of the child. I know there are those kids that are neglected or abused at home and school is a safe place for them, I'm not addressing that here. If more people questioned and examined the system instead of complained while their kids were there things would be better. I know more and more people pull their kids out of school every day it's an awesome phenomenon.

I remember back in PA listening to all those moms talk at the baseball games, just complaining away about this teacher, that subject, this homework etc... I didn't say anything at the time, I did speak up when I was asked though. It was made well aware that we homeschool everytime some school related thing came up. People used to say well I just can't do that, I could never do THAT!!! I'm like do what? spend time with your kids????

I think to myself I could never do what you do, I could never send my kids away every day to be raised by the government, no sirree bob!!! They can't have my kids, they can't conform and brainwash my offspring, no way no how.

So how long have you been public schooling? Are you interested in alternatives? Do you really like what school does to your family life? Do you like living by their schedule? Do you like being away from your kids all day? Then by all means send them away but don't complain about it!!!!!

I believe that if all of these kids had a choice only a minority would actually CHOOSE to spend 12 years in kiddie prison. Why do you think it's COMPULSARY, because otherwise no one would go!!!!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

My acrobat














There you go, he puts on his supersuit and does stunts. Brennan took these and his timing is awesome.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Path to reading

One thing that people question about unschooling is reading, I suppose math is the other biggie. This post will focus mostly on learning to read as a natural part of living.

The latest feat is Jared, he has been sight reading many words for awhile now, mostly from video games, computer, and store logos.

He is always asking me how to spell something and what does this word say and he makes up his own words too. He does very well with sounds and also sight so he has learned from both.

He gets on the computer and types in words to hear the music he wants, we have iTunes so he plays that alot. He just loves music and Weird Al and from that he wants to see the videos then he wants to hear the real songs.

Yesterday he called me over to tell me someting, he pointed to a sentence and read it to me. I said that is cool Jare you are reading. He then proceeded to get mad and tell me he isn't. Those of you who have an intense child know what I mean.

The natural progression is awesome, watching the learning process unfold before my eyes. Learning is natural, reading is natural, learning how to read by living with words is a natural extension.

Brennan turned 9 in May, he would be considered a late reader by society but he is starting to read in his time. He is finally getting it and putting it together. A big help for him is playing Runescape, he is reading more each day and typing and spelling and learning. He reads a lot of words and learns more each day, just like Jared is and Cassie too.

Cass has lots of sight word recognition, she knows how to spell many words and she also sounds them out. All of my kids read at various ages and stages, all from living, all from unschooling, no lessons, no tests, no curriculum. Real life learning!!

I didn't mention Kieran but he has been reading since 5 and reads any word that comes before him.

Confession

This was brought on by Julie, http://jewlsntexas.blogspot.com/2007/08/guilty-pleasure.html
I wouldn't really call it a guilty pleasure cause I don't feel guilty, LOL!

Confession: I watch The Young and the Restless, I have since I was 12. I taped it through school years and watched it later.

There were a few years in the early 90's where I didn't see it. We joined Amway and it was all about garbage in garbage out, no TV , Show the Plan! So we did not watch TV for 2 years, we rented an occasional movie but that was it, especially no News.

We started back slowly into TV when Kieran was a toddler, he watched PBS we only got a few channels so started to buy videos, you know Blues Clues and Thomas :)

I have since been taping my show, I love it, it's my escape so to speak. It's kind of funny, Jason hates soaps, he doesn't forbid me to watch, LOL! He has voiced his opinion and respects my decision to watch.

I love that it is made up, I know all to well about real people and real situations. There were many times, situations, people, things that happened in PA, that I wish were made up. I mean some examples from Jay's work, I would tell him and you think my soap is bad. HA!!! To protect privacy I can't say things but my gosh the things people do.

So that is my confession I love Y&R and I hate to miss it :)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Summer colds

What an oxymoron, it all started with Tina http://www.caffeinefreedom.blogspot.com
Her family had colds a few weeks ago, I thought it was odd.

It's been over 100 degrees all month you would think that viruses would be dead.

So earlier this week Cassie has a sore throat and stuffy nose, then Kieran, then Brennan, now me and Jared too. I have a sore throat!!!!

Kieran also has three internet friends with it too. This gives new meaning to *computer virus*

No sleep last night because Jared was wimpering because he didn't feel good, then the dogs barked all morning.

Some days I think I would be better off just staying up, sleep is overrated, of course I don't get any.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Ticks...again

I know I wrote about this before but now it's just ridiculous. First of all it's been over 100 all month, reminds me of Sacramento. My dogs are just miserable with fleas and ticks, of course my labs are allergic to fleas. I don't use chemicals and we are working on treating them holistically. Jason gave them baths tonight and while he was standing outside had ticks crawling up his socks, brennan was out there for a few minutes and had 2 crawling on him. Cassie had one on her last night and tonight I saw one on Jared's arm.

Come on!!!! This is getting crazy and these are tiny suckers now I haven't seen the big ones since spring. You all know I'm just freaking out!!! Do not come near me you hear, LOL!!!
Crazy south, hey no tornadoes this year :)

Monday, August 20, 2007

Coffee

I love coffee :)

I didn't drink coffee for a whole year, last July until this July. I started seeing a homeopath and went on a remedy for my chronic issues. Some homeopaths believe that coffee antidotes and some don't. Anyway I was advised to not drink coffee, I could drink tea, I didn't have to give up caffeine.

Anyway last month I was having issues and she told me to stop the remedy and come in for an office visit. So I said to myself, damn I'm making coffee!!!

I drank it for that week and I had my visit and it was time for a new remedy, we are working on the layers of cure due to years of chronic crap.

I was ready to stop drinking it but man it is so good I haven't stopped, guess what??? It doesn't antidote me, some people it does but not me, yippeee!!!!

Tonight we were at Wild Oats getting some groceries and I had a cafe mocha, oh yummy, my favorite!!!

So I'm just here to say that I went without but life is much better with it :)

I only drink fair trade organic coffee, no I'm not snooty, LOL! Organic is better because they don't use pesticides, it tastes better and I support the farmers but non-organic causes me um intestinal distress... TMI :)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

First sleepover

Brennan is staying the night at his friends house 2 doors down, it is his birthday and he asked for a sleepover.

I admit that I have mixed feelings about the whole sleepover thing but you all know I am open for discussion :)

When his mom called to ask I actually told her that I wasn't sure if Brenny was ready for that. Honestly I wasn't, he is my child who never left my side at all of those homeschool group meetings. He is the observer and is very introspective. I told him what I had said and he looked sad but wouldn't talk, pretty typical. So I told him if he really wanted to try this that I would let him and that if he changed his mind all he had to do was call and he could come home. Well it's 1:33am and he hasn't called, although he is usually awake until 2:00 and they probably will try to stay up all night.

Wow it's hard to cut that cord...snip by snip they keep growing up on me.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Unschooling Voice

Are you a voice for unschooling? I try to be every day to anybody who will listen.

I have some influence on real life friends and I hope some on my cyber friends. Sometimes I think that NOBODY is listening but then I get a little email or a few words that tell me otherwise. Keep those coming I haven't gotten one in awhile.

I try so hard to help people understand the effects of public school but also of school at home. Some people want us all to rally together as homeschoolers, support each other for doing something different. While I can see the point of this I personally believe that school at home can be just as damaging. If a child is in an authoritarian parenting school with no choice but to sit and do Abeka, what do they do for themselves? At least if they go to school they can come home but if school IS home then they are stuck.

I just feel bad for all the kids who are sent away or who are stuck without any choice. I wish I could educate the parents so that they could open their eyes to their own dumbing down and see what they are doing to their kids.

Real, natural learning was around long before compulsary schooling. What the hell does the government know about learning anyway. Too many people have given up their rights and are being taken over by government interference . It is apparant that we can't think for ourselves and need someone else to think for us...NOT! Sorry this wasn't meant to be an attack on the government, LOL that is a separate issue :)

I love, live and breathe unschooling, it is what it is, it is freedom in learning, it is choice, it is life long living and learning, it is awesome. So tell someone about it!!!!


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Philosophy

I have lots of thoughts that would probably be better broken up into several entries but who knows where this one will go...

Homeopathy is a lot like unschooling, what I mean is in order to unschool you must deschool and unlearn everything that you have been taught about learning. In order to get and practice and understand Homeopathy you must unlearn everything that you have been taught about modern medicine, you must DE medicalize yourself.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am studying Homeopathy and I plan to pursue it maybe even become certified to treat others. At this point I know enough to treat basic first aid and acute illness in my family and friends who will let me.

I have been under the care of a CCH(certified classical homeopath) for a year now. It took awhile but I am seeing marked improvement in my overall condition. I have several chronic issues that I have had for years. I have been treated with so many drugs that I didn't know what was worse the ailment or the side effects from the next drug that was thrown at me.

De medicalizing is a process that I have been in for a few years now. You start questioning practices and mainstream ideas like vaccines and flouride to start. I won't elaborate much but we stopped vaccinating over 3 years ago and I have been on the learning curve ever since.

I stopped all drugs a few years ago and started looking into alternatives like herbs and anything natural.

Just to give you an idea of my *medical diagnosis* I have/had several. Asthma, allergies, IBS, anxiety,severe hormonal imbalance/PMS, endometriosis, gastroparesis to name a few.
A big difference between allopathy and homeopathy is that H takes all symptoms into account including emotional/ mental, physical and general, what makes it better/ worse when it started , stress, changes, anything and everything about you goes into prescribing a remedy it is a science and an art. With A they just treat physical symptoms without looking for underlying cause. A is very anti, anti-biotic, anti-histamine, anti-bacterial, anti-viral anti anti anti. With H the basis is that like cures like and that the body given the right jump start will heal itself.

That's enough for now. My main point is always to question everything and then question it again.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I met an UNSCHOOLER

A real live one ! My friend K has an old friend C that she hasn't seen in like 4 or 5 years and she came over today.

It was so cool to sit in my living room and just chat with someone who really gets what I am talking about. We really didn't talk about unschooling per say.

Those on RCU know that Kieran cleaned up this morning, he did the dishes and swept the floor and cleared off the dining room table.

I mentioned this while K&C were here, I also said that we don't have chores and I don't make my kids do anything so it was a genuine act on his part. She didn't bat an eyelash or make some big to do about it, I loved it. Of course it doesn't happen often but when the kids do something like that from their heart it is really special.

Anyway C is really cool, she lives over an hour away but plans on coming again soon. We briefly touched on being off the radar, she has never registered and doesn't plan on it.

They were only here a short time but she was like an old friend, I was very comfortable and it was easy to talk to her. Sometimes I meet people and have to work really hard at keeping a conversation going, I hate that, it shouldn't be a chore to talk to someone. So you know it's good when you just flow with it from one thing to the next even with my crazy dogs barking and 8 kids in the house :)

I can't wait to meet R in a couple weeks, she knows who she is and she will definitely meet K and probably C as well.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Another reason to homeschool

Bulletproof backpacks! No I'm not kidding!

http://www.citynews.ca/news/news_13653.aspx

These were developed by a couple Boston fathers to protect their kids, read it it's short.

Can you imagine the morning, good bye kids have a great day at school and please remember to wear your backpack and watch out for the bad man with a gun, bye bye...

Oh my gosh, have you ever heard of homeschooling? You do not have to send your child off each day and wonder if they will return alive!

I told Kieran about the backpacks and he said why can't they just keep the kids at home? Yes my dear unschooled child you are right on the money.

Oh at a mere $175 no less, I can think of many things to buy with that amount of money that would not leave me thinking in the back of my mind, oh I hope nothing happens at school today.

Please realize I am not an alarmist and I do not unschool out of fear!!!

Come on folks wake up and smell the gun powder.

I never planned to send my kids away so that is not where I'm coming from.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Random Unschooly Thoughts

Random because I have lots of thoughts going through my head from this week and I probably won't do any of them justice. Unschooly because, well I'm an unschooler and that's how I think.

I just took a hot bath with a glass of wine, I always have good thoughts in the tub and it's hard to put them down afterwards. Not to mention Jared keeps saying *mom look* he is building with Legos and acting out his scenes.

So... school is no place for children yet they are all heading back there, they went back Aug. 1st here. Let's just herd em up and move em out. Oh those poor kids... last week our neighbor boy, he's almost 8, asked Kieran if he knows cursive. Kieran said well...not much really, he can write his name, he hasn't had a need to pursue it. I told William, you are like 8 years old what do you need cursive for? He said that the kids in class asked the teacher if they were learning cursive in 2nd grade or 3rd grade. The teacher said that they will start this year but that will be later. I told William that if he wants to learn it he can learn it he doesn't have to wait for the teacher. Then I had to shut up because I can't unload on a child who has no choice but to go to school. I always just love it when they say don't look ahead, don't get ahead of the class, we'll learn that later or next year or whatever. Gotta keep everyone dumbed down at the same rate can't let anyone get ahead of the class, UGH!!!! Poor kids don't realize it and I could just slap the parents, these kids are at my house ALL the time and the parents give me lots to rant about I have only blogged a couple times about their illogical ways and dumb rules.

A local girl posted to several home/un groups this week, she is obviously struggling and having doubts, I never did get around to replying but some people said what I would have said anyway. My point here is what someone on TN Home Ed said it was pretty bad I couldn't get through it all, one part stood out, she said that *you have your education now it's time for your son to get his* WHAT??? So when we magically turn 18 we are educated?? We don't learn a damn thing in life after that we are equipped for the real world after living in a fake one and being fed BS for 12 years and worse what if we go on to college and get fed more??? But we are educated we are done, how sad. She also said at the end that *maybe homeschooling isn't right for you* This is on a homeschooling list, yikes, did you ever hear of Gatto? Do you want to send your kids to prison? Do you want to continue in the mindless drones of society? Then by all means put your kids in school, they will only know what they are told and will regurgitate for a test and promptly forget it, you go Guido!!! Read Gatto http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/
Don't be stupid!!!!

I'm not knocking college, I went, LOL! I guess I'm a college drop out because I never graduated, lots of things contributed to that, that's another post.

I wish I could save all the children and help educate the parents in what real learning is about I guess I'll settle for planting seeds cause thats about all I can do.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Weird Al

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-gi4Nt_xxg

My kids love Weird Al, they play his songs everday and watch the videos on you tube. I have to admit that the man is talented, I can't even sing the original songs without mixing it up with the parody. Funny stuff.
Jared absolutely loves music, last night he was playing the guitar and singing The Saga Begins, a parody of American Pie, *bye bye Mr. Anakin guy maybe vader some day later now your just a small fry*

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Too much stuff

We have too much stuff to fit in this 1500 sq ft house!!! When we moved last year we got rid of a ton of stuff, it's amazing how much we gave away and threw away. We lived in a 1000 sq. ft house but it had a full basement, not finished but dry and in great condition(rare in PA) so we actually had 2000 sq ft of space.

We are in a 3 bedroom now but we have 4 kids and way too many toys, nobody wants to get rid of anything. I have been trying to find a way to make it fit, to make it workable in the kids rooms.

Tonight Cassie wanted to rearrange her room, what a job that was! Last night we(I ) cleaned out her closet but it's still so full. Our biggest problem is storage for toys and dolls, and well this house isn't big enough but it's where we are right now. Jared still sleeps with us but his clothes and toys are in Cassie's room.

The older boys room is another story, yikes, I need solutions, of course I need more money and lots of shelves too :)

We do have an attic here although it's not as convenient as a basement. We just put boxes up there when we moved in, I have no idea when I will go through them. I would really like to have a place for everything and to get rid of what we don't need.

I will not make the kids get rid of things though, it's their choice I sure don't want anyone getting rid of my things. I just don't have anywhere to put stuff, I still live out of a box, yes I do what isn't hanging up is in a box. Oh it's so fun to dig for socks and underwear! We actually have a walk in closet and we will install shelves someday.

This whole house has to be redone, we bought a foreclosure that was neglected and abused if you can abuse an inanimate object. Lots of work for dh and me but he has all the major stuff, he has done a lot, it's liveable but unfinished. I am waiting for my bathroom though, we have 2 baths but only one is in use, our toilet is on the back deck, LOL!!! I did say COMPLETELY remodel didn't I?