Thursday, February 28, 2008
Issue #13: What do you do, as an unschooling parent, when your child expresses an interest in a particular topic, and you don't know how to help them in a way that doesn't involve lesson plans and curriculum?
Lesson plans and curriculum would be a last resort for me. I'm pretty sure that my kids don't even know what a lesson plan is and therefore they do not seek it out.
We would talk about whatever we knew about the topic, then we would get online and look it up. We use the internet the most at this point, there is a wealth of information at our fingertips. We also have encyclopedias and atlases and maps and other resources in the house.
It really depends on what the interest is and how much the child wants to know. Sometimes it's just a question and we find the answer, sometimes it's an interest that lasts months or even years.
If someone we know has knowledge in this area we could talk to them, it's great to have mentors and to pick people's brains. We could see if there is a physical exhibit that we could go to. We can get on Netflix and look for movies, we can go to the library and find books.
We could make crafts or foods or play games if possible. We can print up charts, graphs, pictures, outlines, maps, etc.
A simple example, about a year and a half ago Jared was interested in sign language. I knew some as a child but I have long forgotten it, I printed up the alphabet and number charts for him, he learned all of the letters and numbers fairly quickly.
My oldest son has been into history and wars and weapons for several years now. He has a wide range of knowledge on weaponry and mostly WWII and the Civil War. He has watched movies, played video games, looked at books, researched online and talked to people who have the same interest. He used to make drawings of guns he designed and real guns, of tanks and other weapons, he also makes up battle plans and plays army with his friends and brothers.
I could have never *taught* him what he learned himself about the history and the people and the weapons.
It's kind of hard to answer this question without sounding generic because it truly depends on what the interest is. We just do whatever it takes and use whatever resource is available to find the answer and to further the learning process.
There is a wealth of information and learning outside of classrooms and textbooks. There is more to life than a boxed curriculum with scopes and sequences. There are as many ways to learn as there are topics to learn about and people to learn with and from.
Just open your mind and look for the possibilities and you will find them. Sometimes they find you when you least expect it.
Don't go gung ho and scare your child with too much information either. Observe them and find out how interested they are and how much they really want to know. It's easy to get caught up with something and over do it and lose the interest of the child. There is a balance, sometimes they just want a quick answer and sometimes they want to know everything they can about a topic.
My role is that of a facilitator, I answer questions, I provide the environment and access to the resources.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
"An education isn't how much you have commited to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don't. It's knowing where to go to find out what you need to know; and it's knowing how to use the information you get."
Sunday, February 24, 2008
We have all heard parents say "If I don't make them_____, how will they learn?"
Left intentionally blank because there are so many phrases I have heard and read online.
This is inspired by my little girl who usually is up until 3-4am and sleeps until 3pm. She is a night owl like me, if only I got to sleep that long...
Friday night she made plans to go to her friend's house on Saturday, we decided on 2pm. She has a hard time going to bed until she is good and ready otherwise she can't sleep, gee that's vaguely familiar. She knew she had to get up before her usual time, the issue with that is that she anticipates it and can't sleep. I am the same way, if I know I have to get up before my usual time, I can't sleep, it's really frustrating and causes exhaustion for me. She is 8 though so she bounces back much faster than I can.
So last night she went to bed around 3:30 am, I read her a story every night and tuck her in. I got online and was reading all your blogs :)
She came out at 4:30am, just when I was getting ready to go to bed and told me she couldn't sleep. It was obvious to me that she was asleep and woke up so I just told her she should just go back to bed.
Apparantly she woke up at 10am, she got herself dressed, she packed a bag of things she was taking, she fed herself and brushed her teeth. She did wake me up a few times but hey with the dogs barking since 8 am I wasn't really sleeping.
What's sleep? I forgot what it's like...
My point is that this child got herself up and ready to go without being told to do it. WHY? Well all her life whenever we go somewhere we get dressed, eat and brush our teeth, so she knows what to do before leaving the house. Simple? Yes! Model, live, this is real life ya know.
Now I was made to get up and go to school and I am 36 years old and I finally go to bed when I want. Don't call me before 1pm, don't make plans with me before at least 2pm, I haven't found anything important enough to get me up.
See the difference? When you force a child to go to bed, get up, go to school so that they learn how to go to work as an adult is really asinine. Force and coerision are counterproductive to real life, just set them up to be miserable and resent life, yep that works...
Saturday, February 23, 2008
- Protocol :: government red tape
- Girlfriends :: Some of my new favorite people
- Shoulders :: Jason
- Coming home :: wonderful
- Let it in :: Sunshine
- Honor :: Integrity
- Tyler :: Mary Tyler Moore
- Thriller :: Michael Jackson
- Angela :: a girl I knew in jr high
- The winner is :: Little Miss Sunshine
Friday, February 22, 2008
There are no rules and punishments in my house, there is not top down authoritarian parenting. We advocate respect and safety, we talk, we model, we live, one person's freedom ends where another begins, we must have respect in the house. This is something that takes time and effort from parents to model for their kids, you can't expect what you don't give. You also need to realize that it is a process just like everything else, modeling and discussing are high on the list.
I am a Christian because I believe in God, I believe that Jesus is his son who walked on this earth as a perfect man. I do not believe in churchianity, I do not believe in obedience out of fear, I do not believe in arbitrary rules and thou shalt nots and punishment. I choose to believe, I choose to have faith, I choose to be responsible because it's the right thing to do. I do not do it out of fear of eternal damnation.
I want my kids to act out of the sheer fact that it's kind and right and respectful not because they are afraid of what I will do to them if they don't, or worse what God will do.
Parenting based on fear and punishment is flawed at best and it sets up an adversarial relationship with our kids.
There is no *getting in trouble* if anyone does something *wrong* we talk about it, we work out the problem. We talk about so many things all of the time, we do not parent out of fear and we do not instill fear in our kids. I do not train my children either they are not animals they are people, I guide,model, respect, discuss, and facilitate and pray a lot. Heck even our dogs are unschooled... They are free in the boundaries of our property, they aren't beaten or punished, they are animals, how could I treat my child less...
Society is full of laws and rules, why do we need them in our homes? We sure don't, we should be free in our own homes. Naysayers might say how could someone raised without rules obey the laws of the land?
Well it is called modeling and discussing and learning about our world. My kids know about laws and rules they just don't have extra ones at home. For what it's worth sometimes laws are stupid and I do break them, am I some bad influence? NO! I am a person with a brain that does not mindlessly follow anyone. If I drive fast and get caught I pay the consequence, it's really that simple. Although ya'll know I am against speed limits and drinking ages and homeschool laws and anything that takes away civil liberty and personal freedom and responsibility for one's actions.
As unschoolers who live and learn in freedom without the confines of school we parent the same way, we live and breathe freedom. We advocate responsibility and respect for each other and for this world that God gave us.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Jewls is hosting another contest, you can submit two quotes, tomorrow is the deadline sorry I didn't mention it sooner.
They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security. Benjamin Franklin
My dear husband advised me to talk about unschooling to get back to it and I am trying but my thoughts keep turning political. I know that I have some readers from other countries who surely are not interested in American politics and I have some readers who completely disagree with my take on politics.
I've been thinking lately how apparantly *different* I must be to think the way I do. I was born kicking and screaming, I was born free and made in God's image, questioning authority, testing boundaries, going beyond limits. A dear friend of mine from high school called me a *rebel without a pause* I did almost everything I was told not to do. I have always thought for myself and not taken crap from anyone including my parents. Do not go around asserting your so called authority over me because I am not interested,you want my respect then be someone of integrity.
I have never been compliant, obedient or respecting of the elders kind of girl. I was born free and I demand freedom, I am responsible for my actions, I am conscious of my decisions, it doesn't mean they are always right and it doesn't mean that God doesn't correct me. It means that God gave me life and gave me common sense, it oozes out of my orifaces, LOL lets just say I am overflowing with common sense :)
Why aren't there more people out there that think for themselves, that take responsibility for their own actions, that aren't DUMBED down beyond belief? WHY, WHY WHY?
Public school has ripped the love of learning out of so many kids that they grow up to be stupid adults. I see it, do you see it? People blatantly admit that they aren't good enough or smart enough or they don't know how, so they don't even try to do better, they don't try to change.
Schooling is damaging, top down teaching to the test, you do and think what I say because I'm smarter and I know better... UGH!@!!! This just rips me up, those poor kids who are being labeled and ridiculed and told what to do and what to think... Many of them grow up to be clueless, dumbed down adults that repeat the process to their own children. I see it everywhere, don't you?
More people need to stand up, make changes, think, do and act responsibly and just plain get out of the system.
There is a full, rich life that has nothing to do with government influence and testing and political correctness.
I'm tired and apparantly can't think beyond the government crap at the moment.
I'll be back with some unschooling posts, TRUST ME!
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
1. What If I could meet anyone in the world to chat with:
There are several cyber friends that I want to meet, I won't name them but they know who they are :)
I've always wanted to meet Elizabeth Dole and Sandra Bullock.
2. What If I could travel anywhere in the world: Tuscany, Italy
3. What If I could have one wish granted to benefit all of mankind: Abolish public school.
4. What If I could live in a period other than the present for just 24 hours:
That's a tough one, I have always been thankful that I live in the technological age.
5. What If I had to become an animal for 24 hours: An elephant, of course.
7. What If I could bring anyone back to life for 24 hours: My sister, she died almost 12 years ago at the age of 21.
Tag your it tell us about your what if's.
Monday, February 18, 2008
86% Mitt Romney
83% Fred Thompson
78% Tom Tancredo
70% John McCain
69% Mike Huckabee
56% Rudy Giuliani
36% Bill Richardson
27% Chris Dodd
26% Joe Biden
25% Barack Obama
25% John Edwards
25% Hillary Clinton
20% Mike Gravel
17% Dennis Kucinich
2008 Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz
There are so many of these out there I actually found this one from someone who is the complete opposite of me :)
I am surprised at some of the percentages but with any online quiz sometimes *my* answer just isn't there.
This same person has an unschooling blog which is how I found her and she has an excellent post here Check it out, it's worth reading :)
I am proving to myself over and over again that unschooling is awesome and it permeates any lifestyle and belief system.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
I only ever in my entire life get 1 at a time!!!! This is Stephanie damnit, queen of something, 2 zits is unacceptable...
I get no sympathy from my husband who gets them daily...
I get no sympathy about anything... HMMM could be a good reason for that cause I don't give it...
Hey Jenny you are in my age group and never heard of Great White?????
Google them my dear, they are a blues rock band and they ROCK. Some songs you may have heard would be, Rock Me (It's their Stairway to Heaven) Some others are Save all your love, House of broken love, Lady red light, Once bitten twice shy, Sail away,Face the Day,Love is a Lie,Desert Moon, Babe I'm Gonna Leave You, Old Rose Motel, Call it Rock and Roll, Big Goodbye and so many more :)
So my cd is from 1993 so maybe that is why it doesn't play... BWHAAAA! That is the year we got married is it so long ago?
He even stayed home from work because I couldn't get out of bed.
He worked on the dishes and laundry and feeding the kids and taking care of me, he brought me soup and tea in bed.
You ladies will appreciate this, do you like ladies, what do I call you or me? I don't like ma'am,I'm not a Miss, I think I'll just stick with girlfriend, LOL.
Years ago I had a dear friend(male of course) that called me *female* he and only he was and is the only person allowed to call me such a thing. Sometimes Jason will call me *woman* usually when I have said or done something so completely characteristic that he doesn't know what else to say :)
Ok, back track, focus...
My dear husband played Mr. Mom for 3 days and he did things like walk in circles in the hallway muttering things like coffee, celery, dishes, oh yeah I was going to make coffee but then the piggies squealed and I remembered I was supposed to feed them... He also forgot he was cooking and burned his lunch, once he did this he told me that he can see how I do it now. Do it as in get totally sidetracked and have something triggered, oh yeah I was doing THAT!
I told him he better go back to work because he has been assimilated, then he told me to speak English :)
He is a good guy, I'm blessed to have him, he ROCKS!
- Passport :: Italy
- Small world :: meeting someone in a new town that is from where you used to live
- Radio :: internet
- Marine :: tough
- Wall :: brick
- Wanna be :: poser
- Pigtails :: cute little girls
- Hyphen :: dash
- 9.99 :: 10 bucks
- Unrated :: life
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Last week my husband said we are 16 in 30 something bodies, and he is right, young at heart, yes we are :)
So enjoy life, do what you love, have fun and ROCK ON!!!
Friday, February 15, 2008
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Brag About Your Husband:
What is his name: Jason
How long have you been married: 15 years in April
How long did you date: 4 years (engaged for 3 years)
How old is he: 38
How old are you: 36
Who eats more sweets: he does
Whose parents do you see most? Neither since we moved
Who said I love you first: I did
Who is taller: he is
Who can sing better: we both have average voices
Who is smarter: we are both smart, we know different things
Who does the laundry: I do (he helps if I can't like when I had the FLU)
Who does the dishes: I do but he helps when I can't
Who pays the bills: both of us
His guilty pleasure: video games (I hate that term guilty because it implies that it's wrong to do :)
Who sleeps on the right side of the bed: he does
Who mows the lawn: the neighbor
Who has more friends: not sure
Besides you, who is his best friend: Jim and Dave
Who cooks dinner: both of us, he is an awesome cook
Who is more stubborn: DUH!
Who kissed who first: I kissed him, when you know what you want you go for it.
Who asked who out first: Not sure we were best friends and out a lot.
What was your first date: No clue, probably a party.
Who proposed: He did
Who has more siblings: same except I have stepsiblings too
What is your favorite thing about him: he makes me laugh
I won't tag anyone but please participate if you want to.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
- Score :: Touchdown
- Luxurious :: hot bath, wine, dark chocolate
- Party :: fun
- Limited edition :: Disney movies
- Security :: I'll cover your ass if you cover mine (Anyone know where that is from)
- Betty :: White (Golden Girls)
- Under construction :: My house
- Pest :: mouse
- director :: movies
- Express :: train, freight train, flu
Luna Nina If you want to play.
Gee I did better when I was unconscious :)
Thank you my friends for the well wishes and prayers.
A few minutes after I posted that I was sick I went to bed for about 45 hours.
The FLU hit me like a freight train and I was delirious with fever, talk about unconscious mutterings, wow. The pain was excruciating and I would not wish the flu on anyone.
Jason brought it home from work, gotta love that.
I think this is the longest internet hiatus since we moved.
I am still really weak and dizzy and sore but at least I am out of that damn bed...
Kieran had it and now Brennan has it and Jared, Cassie has just had a low grade fever and a cough but no freight train.
The last time I had this was almost 4 years ago and before that Kieran was a toddler so thank God this doesn't happen often.
Jason and I were both in bed(sick) on Saturday, we have never both been sick at the same time.
The kids managed pretty well except Jared because only mom can do anything for him. Mom could not get out of bed and he had a hard time dealing with that. I felt bad for him but I could hardly get up to pee and Jason had to help me walk to the bathroom.
So I'll spare you the John Madden version.
We still have a lot of healing to do but thank God we are healing.
I miss you guys :)
Saturday, February 09, 2008
I have so many thoughts, I am not an ADD I am just a person with a whole lot going on and it's hard to narrow things down to one thought or one post. I'm not sure where this is going but if you follow then you are at least a hyper-threader like me. They used to call it multi-tasking before the computer age took over :)
First of all my husband came home from work with the flu, I am not thrilled, I am coughing but you all know me I refuse to get sick. I just wish my will was as strong as I think it is :)
I am very concerned about my family at this moment...
I am very concerned about this country at the moment. I was going to post about Liberalism, it's true form is what I am a classic liberal not a social liberal, I will elaborate later.
I want freedom, I do not want the government in my kool-aid and telling me the flavor. I do not want big brother dictating my kid's education, I do not want any intervention in my private life.
I do not understand people who want the government to tell them what to do and how to live. I do not want my taxes raised it's bad enough that we have no say where our money goes. They just take it!!!
This country was founded on FREEDOM and DAMNIT I do NOT want my freedom taken away. If you want a socialist government then would you just please MOVE, there are plenty of socialist countries to choose from. We have too many people in congress who are socialists I can not handle a socialist president.
I am so sick of intervention, I am so sick of people waiting for handouts!!! UGH!!!
I need freedom, my kids deserve freedom, as unschoolers we live and learn and breathe freedom.
We learn so much everyday, you can not stop the learning, you need to embrace it. Let your kids live, let them be who they are, you need to live and learn and be true to who you are also. We need to be the example, we need to learn, we need to follow our interests.
So many have been dumbed down, I see it, I hear about it, my husband lives it with his co-workers. They are TOO stupid to think for themselves, they prove it daily with their actions and comments. What a sad state our public school system has left people in, how sad that they know they are dumb and don't want to change it.
I am sorry for those who are not in the U.S. but I can't hide my political feelings.
School is school and dumbed down is dumbed down and the government has no right to regulate our private lives period.
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Sarcasm aside we made it through the first round without getting hit but there is another strong front coming in the next few hours that is heading right toward us.
Yikes! I pray for safety and possibly some sleep, I have a migraine as it is.
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
I have no idea how to turn us around a little. I do not do mornings and really have no desire to but I admit it was nice when the kids were asleep by 1am. I won't impose any bedtime on them because... well I won't. They still fall asleep when they are ready to fall asleep. Sometimes I go to bed before them but I don't sleep anyway so what's the point?
What is my point? At this point I have no point, LOL! I just need a few moments of quiet and well if I want it I wait for it :)
We have no reason to keep different hours, I never do anything before noon, I suppose it is what it is. If we have a good reason to change then we will. I'm just glad that stores are open at night and that life doesn't stop because it's dark :) I love the night, I come alive after midnight, it's just natural for me.
Monday, February 04, 2008
There are candidates running for office that literally scare the *pick a colorful word* right out of me.
I believe that they are socialists:
**so·cial·ism /ˈsoʊʃəˌlɪzəm/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[soh-shuh-liz-uhm] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.
procedure or practice in accordance with this theory.
(in Marxist theory) the stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism, characterized by the imperfect implementation of collectivist principles.
I also believe that if we elect a socialist that we are one step closer to a Marxist society.
**Marx·ism /ˈmɑrksɪzəm/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[mahrk-siz-uhm] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
the system of economic and political thought developed by Karl Marx, along with Friedrich Engels, esp. the doctrine that the state throughout history has been a device for the exploitation of the masses by a dominant class, that class struggle has been the main agency of historical change, and that the capitalist system, containing from the first the seeds of its own decay, will inevitably, after the period of the dictatorship of the proletariat, be superseded by a socialist order and a classless society.
I do not believe in this crap I believe in FREEDOM, I believe in limited government intervention in our private lives. I believe in a Capitalist society.
**cap·i·tal·ism /ˈkæpɪtlˌɪzəm/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[kap-i-tl-iz-uhm] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
an economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations, esp. as contrasted to cooperatively or state-owned means of wealth.
So we could just do what the socialists want, how about the working class stop working, let's all quit our jobs and have the government take care of us. I figure there is enough money between Hollywood and the Clinton's that we would be well taken care of for a very long time.
Oh, but this wouldn't work now would it? Who would pay taxes? Who would foot the bill? We can't have the wealthy people take care of the whole damn country now can we? Hell no! We need those people to work, we need to keep them down barely surviving, living paycheck to paycheck, take their money and give it away without their consent.
Yes this is reality, they take our money, if we decline, we go to jail, we have no say where our tax dollars go, we have no control.
We are too stupid to live without BIG BROTHER to tell us what to do, what to think, what to eat, what lightbulbs to use. We can't possibly survive without their knowledge, we need them to educate us, take our children away from birth, we are not worthy.
Now what was my point?
THINK BEFORE YOU VOTE
Sunday, February 03, 2008
I firmly believe that forced schooling inhibits the natural process and causes problems. Those problems could be labeled as learning disabilities. When a child is forced to try to read before their brains are able to connect the dots it can cause learning difficulties. I believe this can happen with anything forced.
My kids have always been unschooled so I have watched this process, it's not some mysterious thing that only certain people can unlock. Kids do not need to be schooled, they just need to be in an environment conducive to learning.
I could only imagine my little boy in school, first off he wouldn't sit still or be quiet. He is in constant motion, it's how he learns, it's who he is. He would be bored to tears in K while they are teaching the alphabet because he can read and write, in cursive too. Could you imagine this...I'm sorry Jared we aren't learning cursive until 3rd grade, WTF? Well he already learned it. WHY? Because he wanted to that's why. He knows SO much I could never write it down, I witness the learning, I answer a TON of questions each day, his brain does the rest.
All of my kids are at different stages of development and learning and I would never want to interfere with their internal clock. They know when they are ready to grasp a concept, they know HOW to learn. They do not need some teacher giving them tidbits of information to memorize and regurgitate. They do not need to be tested or graded, they know what they know and will learn what they need when they need it.
I am so blessed to live and learn along side these beautiful children.
I stand by my belief that school is no place for children, it is government babysitting at best.
**Disclaimer** My oldest was briefly forced curriculum for an hour a day for 6 weeks when he was 6 years old. I just would like to say always unschooled except for 6 weeks out of his 12 1/2 year life :)
Saturday, February 02, 2008
- What women want :: Chocolate
- Epidemic :: The Ron Paul Revolution
- Taxes :: way too high
- Hello :: good bye
- Confidential :: The Pelican Brief
- Lights :: Christmas
- Summation :: total
- Hard feelings :: sadness
- Electric :: lightning
- Fresh start :: new day
Want to play? Luna Nina
He fixed my bathroom this week and now my washer. I am so excited, I don't know if any of you have ever had to wring out your laundry.
Our washer broke 6 months ago and we fixed one part but it still didn't spin, so it washed but did not spin.
I have been wringing out laundry for a family of six, I have the muscles to prove it!
I am going on a washing escapade, see ya later :)
Friday, February 01, 2008
If it is supposed to make you rested and refreshed then it's pointless for me. I do not ever feel rested or refreshed after sleeping. As a matter of fact on the nights I really sleep, I dream and I remember many dreams and I wake up totally wiped out like I got hit by a truck or something.
When I am tired I try to go to bed, like last night, I couldn't fall asleep for a few hours. I think it is just best for me to stay up until 4am before I try to sleep because I'm awake until then anyway.
Today I am really wiped out, it's obvious that I lost my spunk for a few days, you know it happens every month :)
I layed down just to take a break and you know I'm in pain... I literally relaxed and almost fell asleep before the kids came in. I felt 10x worse and more like a zombie after lying down.
I will probably keep trying to figure this stuff out ya know. I am my best late at night, it's like I come alive after midnight, it's just so bizarre.
I think it's just part of me and I need to stop trying to figure myself out. If I can't I don't expect anyone else to.
I had a hard time not bursting out laughing because he wrote *Holy Shit* and I thought it was pretty funny.