Sunday, June 26, 2011

PTSS- Post Traumatic Snake Syndrome

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that there was a mouse in the house. I also had to open my big fat mouth and say that a mouse- while not a good thing- is not as bad a rat or a snake.

Well, I guess the enemy reads my blog, because now there is a snake in my house!

I saw it Thursday night. I'm pretty sure it is a rat snake.

It WAS a little comical how it all went down in a real-life-horror-flick kind of way, but I'll write more about that later.

I am sitting here at my parents house writing this blog while my Protector-from-all-things-that-freak-me-out  has been home tearing the house apart and trying to lure the sucker out of hiding for the last two days- so Padawan and I can go back home.

The good news is that the mouse was caught yesterday in the trap.

So, please pray that my husband catches the snake and that I won't need to take up donations to have therapy to be able to live in my house again.

I'm kidding about the therapy part- I think!

Monday, June 20, 2011

An Unschooling Epiphany

I "Get It" Now...

After months of reading just about everything I can find on the internet about Unschooling, talking to other Unschooling and Relaxed Homeschoolers online, and reading a ton of homeschooling blogs..I have had an epiphany.

Most people that have read anything on the subject of Unschooling will agree that there are two distinct groups of Unschoolers.

Radical Unschoolers and Unschoolers. 

But, from reading others comments and discussions on several blog articles in the past few days, it suddenly became clear to me that there may actually be three distinct groups.

What first brought my attention to this was something I read in a deschooling article.

It basically said "Unschooling is living life as if school doesn't exist".

I'm not there (yet?). For me school still exists. For Padawan school still exists. Although I have definitely de-stressed and de-compressed from all things that public school brought into our lives, this opened my eyes to the fact that niether one of us have de-schooled quite as much as I originally thought.  He still has a need to separate summer from school time, and schoolish things from from free time.

In my newbie opinion, in the world of people calling themselves Unschoolers there seems to be a definite distinction between Unschooling as a learning LIFESTYLE and Unschooling as an educational METHOD.

The meaning behind Unschooling as a LIFESTYLE becomes more clear if you use Unschooler as a noun.

Ex.: We ARE Unschoolers. Living is learning. Learning is living.

From this perspective, it is a state of being. You either are an Unschooler or you're not. There's no room for anything in between.  It is comparable to saying that you're a human being. Either you're a human being or you're something else. You can't be part human. (Well, I do wonder about some people, but you get the point.)

The meaning behind Unschooling as an educational METHOD is more like using it as a verb.

Ex.: We Unschool everything except math (or ____). (Math is the most popular example)

From this perspective there is no doubt that there is room in-betweens and combinations. You can Unschool some things and not others. This is how I have been looking at Unschooling til now.

Yeah, I know... I've read that Unschooling is a lifestyle numerous times, but now I "get it".

Will we cross over to the Unschooling Lifestyle? Only time will tell, but if that is where God is leading us, we will follow.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Encounters of The Math Kind

Padawan has spent part of the evening working out a complex math problem that involves multi-step problem solving, exchange rates, percentages, and algebra. He does stuff like this all the time with money- real or virtual, but I thought I would blog about one of today's encounters of the math kind. (Yeah, its Roblox math- what else is there?)

I was going to be cute and write it out as a word problem, but...well..its just too complicated. So, I wrote it out as his thought process instead....

A little background so this makes sense:  On Roblox you can buy and sell virtual items for your avatar with 2 different forms of virtual money. TIX and Robux. Also, we both have accounts.



I want to buy a helmet that costs 5000 TIX.

I have 410 Robux.

I can exchange 100 Robux to get 889 TIX.

How many more Robux or TIX do I need?

(Figures that out)

I can get more TIX by selling T-Shirts to Mom.

The market fee is 10%.

How many Robux and TIX does Mom have in her account?

How many Robux will Mom have after she exchanges her TIX for Robux?
For every 10 TIX that equals 1 Robux.

Now I will list a T-Shirt for that amount and ask Mom to buy it from me.

How much profit will I have after the market fee if she buys a T-Shirt from me for that amount?

I'm still X amount of TIX short to buy the helmet.

How can I get more TIX?

I need to ask Mom to create X amount of new accounts because they automatically get 10 TIX, then I will get 9 TIX profit from each account after they buy a T-Shirt from me.

Ok, I need to make 64 new accounts. I'll ask Mom to make make 30 and I'll make 34 .
Oh, wait Mom has a Limited Edition hat in her stuff. I'll get her to sell it for the going market rate.

(I list it for sale.)

Look, Mom got her daily stipend of TIX and Robux.  Now we can trade in her TIX for Robux and she can buy another shirt from me for X amount of Robux.

(Figures that out, and I buy the shirt).

(Padawan trades in Robux for TIX)

Oh, if we visit each other's games then I'll get 10 TIX each from that, then Mom can buy another shirt from me and I'll have X amount of TIX.

Ok, I'm still short 400 TIX.

So now we only need to make a little over 40 new accounts. K?

All this from the kid who would rather do anything than formal math lessons...
Unschooling Rocks!   

Just wind him up and watch him learn!




Pictures Courtesy of (c) 2005 ROBLOX, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Used With Permission

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I CU #3



Intensive Care for The Christian Unschooler

“This week we want to…” Play with some of the cool science stuff that the UPS guy will be dropping off later. (Hopefully today). I ordered some Geodes, a Molecular Model kit, the experiment kit to go with the Lifepacs I bought back in the spring, and a couple other things. We can't wait to see what's in the box.

“The kid is…” Right now, he's eating Twizzlers.  Ha! You thought I was going to say playing Roblox.
Oh, and he's quizzing me about 17th century helmets or something like that. Did I mention- history is not my "thing"? But I'm happy that he has always been so interested!

“I am learning….” hmmm...nothing in particular comes to mind right now. I'm sure I'll find something to obsessively research any moment though.

“I am struggling with…” Still struggling somewhat with not being physically able to do the things I would really like to do, or the things I used to do. BUT I had to come to terms with that a few years ago. I try to stay focused on what I can do instead of what I can't- otherwise I would become miserably depressed.

And I miss the beach! I looooong for the beach! I am much happier feeling bad at the beach than at home. haha. This is our third summer without a vacation. Maybe we'll be able to afford to go next year.

“This week is the first time….” is has rained in a while. The humidity is down today too. Its actually a nice day to sit on the screened in porch- that's rare in the summer here.

“I am grateful…” for having so much time to spend with my family. So many people are stuck in the rat race. That is the biggest blessing that has come from being disabled. I get to live life in the slow lane. I may not be able to do a lot of physical things or have a lot of money, but I have been given the gift of time AND that is priceless!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Unschooling Experiment #2

Here are some highlights of Unschooling Moments since my last post.


~ Padawan was in the pool where he seems to do a lot of his pondering. We had a lengthy discussion about computer memory, processors, processing speeds, and comparing each of our computers to the model of car that would it would be like. Then he asked about 12445656254 other questions about random topics.


~He made some instant pudding by HIMSELF. I know for some kids his age or even younger that may not be a big deal, but usually anytime he makes anything in the kitchen he asks begs cons uses his managerial skills to get me to get out all the supplies, tell him exactly what to do, and ends up handing the entire project over to me anyway- out of some irrational fear of doing it wrong, making a mess, or :gasp: something touching his hands, or general lack of interest. This time I told him where the bowl and the whisk was. He read the directions and did it all himself!


~ There is an animation club and contest online called the 11 Second Club. One night we watched some of the entries. Padawan was fascinated by the videos. He really was interested in learning to make his own. So, we downloaded some animation software called Blender. He took one look at Blender once it was installed and decided that it was too hard for him.- and me too! It does look overwhelming, so we'll figure this one out together til he gets the basics of how to use the program down. Then he's on his own.


We also looked up an online game called Minecraft. He wanted to know the difference between Minecraft and Roblox. I found a forum that said basically that in Roblox you could use Physics, but in Minecraft you can't. So, next we had to look up the definition of Physics. Then I told him the story about how I took Physics in High School, somehow managed to make an A in the class, and didn't really learn a thing. He thought that was great!


While all this was going on I mentioned that I needed to order the science experiment kit to go with the Lifepac Science that I got for him- because he LOVES science and that was the one subject that they neglected in his school.


Apparently- that was considered school, because he said "No school, til THEY start back."


So, I laughed and told him that we were doing school now. I asked him what did he think we were doing by downloading software, looking up definitions, and all that jazz. He said that was different because we were just doing that stuff for the sake of learning it.


hmmm...sounds like Unschooling, doesn't it?



:Evil Grin:


I'm not playing my full hand yet. He thought we were slackers on "school work" this past year. I wonder what he'll think this fall. This is the first time EVER I've been close to being a step ahead of him!!!! I haven't mentioned to him that he wasn't actually going to be filling out the Lifepac workbooks, but I got them to make sure he would have plenty of science on hand (that is somewhat systematic - that part - for my sake.)



~ Then there was the night when a commercial came on for a power inverter that changes 12v D/C to 120v A/C. He asked me how that works. I never could wrap my head around how you can get 120v from 12v. I told him that he would have to ask his Dad some other time. After all, he used to work on power lines, he understands that stuff. Well, Dad explained it to him last night. Padawan said he understands it- I still don't.


~ A couple nights ago when my husband came home from work, Padawan and I were watching a documentary about the states on the History Channel and playing with a Gyroscope.


He accused us of doing school!


I said, "No, we're not doing school. Duh, this is summer break. Padawan wanted to watch this documentary, in fact its our second episode. Padawan can't help it that his Mom is a nerd."


~ Then there was today when I logged into the Currclick Summer Language Club on the kitchen computer to see what it was all about, while Padawan was playing Roblox on his computer in the living room. What else is there when he has computer time- right?

He tried so hard to act disinterested to what I was doing just around the corner from him, but the topic was Russian. He is very interested in most things Russian and German. So, he kept getting up to see what was going on on my computer.


~ Then of course there's Roblox. He's been learning a lot more about adding and modifying scripts and adding other elements to the games he makes. - stuff he was trying to get me to help him with a few months ago, that was mostly over my head but I muddled my way through it.


I've noticed that every time I help him get over his "stuck points" with anything that overwhelms him, he quickly takes off and leaves me behind in the dust!



Anyway, these are a few of the Unschoolish things that I remembered to take notes about.

Monday, June 13, 2011

God and Logic

OUT OF THE MOUTH OF BABES

Padawan had attended church almost every Sunday and Wednesday since the day he was born until he was almost 6. We have always taught him everything from the Biblical point of view.

I wanted to make sure that he looks at the world from God's perspective. I want him see that the Bible and science can agree, and that faith in God can be logical. Because, after all, he is a very logical person.

I especially enjoy taking the opportunity to point out God's truth anytime we encounter the opposite in documetaries, books etc.

One night this brought up a discussion about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. I could see my attempt at explaining the Holy Trinity to him was an epic fail by the puzzled look on his face. It was late, so I told him nevermind for now, its complicated.

He quickly replied, "And people think that Christianity is made up! That just crazy! Who would make up something that confusing on PURPOSE."

Oh, how I love his sense of logic!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Chicken Math

My husband raised chickens when he was a kid. When we got married, we constantly talked about having chickens one day. We never lived anywhere where we could have chickens until we moved in this house.

Someone was kind enough to give us 3 chickens shortly after we moved here. Padawan was around 3 years old then, and he just LOVED his chickens. After a few months a terrible thing happened..two dogs dug under the fence of our coop and murdered our chickens! We were all devastated.

Well, two springs ago, our nephew got some chicks for his two little girls from Tractor Supply. My husband really wanted to get some too. I didn't want to go through the pain of possibly losing more chickens, so I was against it, but I was out voted 2 to1. The next day he brought home 6 precious little chicks. One look and I was hooked!

This time around while the tiny chicks were being raised inside by me, my husband spent his leisure time building a very secure coop for them to move into once they were feathered out. He buried the fence in the ground and reinforced it with concrete. I even asked him to use rabbit wire so that snakes could not get in there. He thought it was overkill, but I am terrified of snakes- so this time I won. :)

The six chicks grew and the whole time we weren't sure if we had males or females, but they turned out to be all girls!  We had 3 White Leghorns and 3 Red Sex Links.

About the time the girls started laying, a buddy of my husband's gave us an Easter Egger hen and rooster that he had rescued from a neglectful owner.

That began my obsession of learning everything there was to know about chickens. I found many other chicken obsessed people at Backyardchickens.com. They have a theory called Chicken Math. You can start out with just a few chickens and before you know it , your chicken population just begins multiplying exponentially- if you're not careful.

So, here's my experience with Chicken Math.

(If you're keeping track, we just went from 0 to 6 to 8)
Two of the Leghorns, one Red Sex Link and the Easter Egger hen.



Our First Rooster (Notice I said first)


Well, now that we had a rooster, I bet you can guess what happened next. All my cool new friend were hatching their own eggs and posting pictures of the cute little babies. (Chick envy started setting in.)

So last spring, the girls were all grown up and laying nice sized eggs. The "Teacher Mom" in me thought it would be way cool for Padawan (and me) to try to incubate and hatch our own eggs. So, I learned EVERYTHING there was to know about incubating and hatching eggs.

Only I didn't have an incubator, but that was NO problem.  All my friends at BYC were making incubators out of everything imaginable. I quickly realized I had an aquarium and Google!

My husband thought I was crazy for even thinking this would work, but he went along with my plan and helped me get it all set up.

Chicken eggs take 21 days to hatch. I calculated the hatch date to happen over spring break. (Padawan was still in public school then.) Then I started collecting the eggs that I was going to hatch. We got the temperature and humidity regulated in the incubator, and started incubating. I started out with 8 eggs.

My homemade incubator

Shortly after I put the eggs in the incubator, Tractor Supply got their chicks in! Well, you can guess what happened next... My husband was still not so sure that my plan would work, and he was worried that the chicks would be gone by the time we found out. And my friends at BYC certainly weren't going to discourage me. So,we went to pick up some chicken feed for the girls one morning while Padawan was at school and came home with these:

These little guys and gals ended up being 2 Rhode Island Red Roosters, 1 Rhode Island Red Hen, 1 Easter Egger Hen, and a Barred Rock Rooster and Hen.

If you're keeping track, we just went from 8 to14!

Chicken eggs have to be turned several times a day for the first 18 days. So, I was a good mother hen. I turned the eggs religiously. After day 3 we candled the eggs to see if anything was developing. Now that was cool! I candled them again a few days later, and noticed that the 2 green eggs from our Easter Egger were not developing, so I tossed them out. I quickly became obsessed with candling the eggs, but I was careful not to leave them out of the incubator for too long. This was just too exciting to pass up.

Well, day 21 came around and NOTHING! I thought I saw a couple of the eggs move a little though. Day 22.. Still Nothing! That night I could hear peeping from inside the incubator! Well, the morning of Day 23, we got our first pip!

(A pip is the hole the chick makes when it is just starting to hatch)


And then it started to zip. (The chick uses its egg-tooth to break the shell all the way around.)





Before we knew it we had 4 chicks!
One egg ended up being rotten. (Gross!) The other one didn't make it. :(

Now the chicken count has gone from 6 to 18 in a very short time!

This caused a housing dilemma because the little ones were not big enough to be with the big ones. So my dear husband made them their own temporary house.


Here's the part where the math gets a little fuzzy.

After all the new chicks were grown enough to determine their sex, three of the young roosters were re-homed. Our little Easter Egger hen also had died of natural causes. Two of the other young chickens met a tragic death during our attempt to let them free range part of the day.

Our chicken count was now 12.

By now, my sister-in-law had also been bitten by the chicken bug. She had ordered 25 chicks from a mail order company. She ended up giving us a Speckled Hamburg since we had given her a rooster.

Today our chicken count is holding steady at 13.

We were really tempted this spring to get more chicks, but we seriously don't need any more chick-ENS or EGGS!!! We're not making any promises about next spring, though!


Have you had experience with Chicken Math?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I CU #2


Intensive Care for The Christian Unschooler


“This week we want to…” Hmmm...maybe we should set some goals? But it is "officially" summer break around here.

I specifically want to organize my educational links to have them on hand for teachable moments. At some point, I want to go through the activity books that I bought and make a list of supplies. You know.. for when we start doing our Unschoolish schooly thing again this fall. I also want to finish my saga, and maybe add some pictures to the blog.


“The kid is….” Yep, still playing Roblox. My new friend, Danielle (over at Yeah, I Said It)  may be right...he could be the first kid to get a degree in Roblox.. I don't guess that would be a bad thing. haha

This week he has been designing uniforms for one of his online friends. He has also been testing out theories and concepts on different vehicle designs and trying to get them to move the way he wants.

I am learning….” about personality types. I'm an INfj and I'm pretty sure my husband fits the ESTp profile. From that I've learned that we are truly opposites and should be incompatible..Yeah, well, I kind of figured that one out on my own a long time ago...but after over 20 yrs of marriage, I think we've pretty much learned to accept deal with each other's differences - although we do tend to "fight" like brother and sister over the silliest things.

  This week I decided not to engage in his little attempts to provoke me (well, I learned that they probably aren't meant to provoke me- and I may just be a little sensitive in some areas- its possible). So I this week, I attributed his "picking" to his obvious personality flaws personality traits. He can't help it- God made him that way!

I also learned that what I have always considered some of my most valuable qualities, can be looked at in a negative way by someone with his less valuable character traits. (Honey, if you're reading this...which I know you're not...you know I love you!)

    I also learned that Padawan is most likely a combination of an ISTP and (I forgot the other one)- but it explains A LOT!

    I'm a female feeler in a house with two male thinkers! I'm outnumbered any way you look at it. I'm a borderline feeler/thinker though- so when dealing with these two guys in my life I need to remember err on the thinking side.

“I am struggling with…”
being a good girl and being good to my neck by not "sitting" at the computer so much...which means its back to standing at the laptop (with it sitting on my dresser)- because we all know I'm not giving up the computer. Which in reality, is not a very relaxing way to blog.
   
“This week is the first time….”  we have had a mouse in this house. We have lived here on our wooded lot a little over 7 years and Praise God! we have never had a mouse in the house...until now.

Padawn was in the bathroom (on the toilet) the other night and suddenly, and rather nonchalantly says, "Mom, Dad come here."

So we head that way, and he calmly says, "A rat just ran past me and went in the corner by the tub."

Ummm..Rat??

I ask, "Just how big was this rat?"

He held his hands up about the size of a regular size mouse.

"Whew!" I thought, "A mouse- while not a good thing is not nearly as scary and freaky and creepy as a rat or worse a snake!"

Then hubby who has the 40-year-old-eye syndrome...had the nerve to ask me to look in the corner (as I am trying to climb onto the bathrrom counter.)

Ummm...Excuse me..NO!!!!..There is a mouse in there somewhere.

Well, my husband being the (now farsighted) fearless man that I love, checked it all out. But he could not find the mouse. I was certain that Padawan must have been hallucinating from playing too much Roblox. He says he not only saw it, but he heard it too, so I must believe him.

Later, I found two mouse traps and handed them to my protector-from-all-things-that-freak-me-out. "What are these for?", he asks.  

Obviously I said, "They are generally used for catching mice."


That got a "Way to go Mom!" from Padawan and set us both into one of our giggling fits.

Well, dear husband set out the trap with no bait. But..Hey! Who am I to criticize his valiant mouse catching methods? (See, I'm learning...)

So now we have a mouse....and Padawn is serious about using the pool for his personal hygiene needs until either the mouse is caught or he goes to his Nanny's this weekend. I, on the other hand, was quite brave and took my shower knowing that there could be a mouse in the bathroom with me.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Going Back To Work For Peanuts

Well, Not Exactly Peanuts...But Close

Sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures.

A few years ago my sister found a legitimate work at home "job" as an independent contractor with a Company called ChaCha. You get paid to answer questions! At the time I started they were paying 20 cents a question. If a person was really quick at finding answers and typing, and traffic was steady they could earn up to $14 bucks an hour. I was just getting the hang of things and earning on average $7/hr, which was less than I had made at my real job- before disability- when they hired a lot more "Guides", changed a lot of policies and started paying 10-18 cents per question depending on the category. Due to the new payout, too many Guides, and especially the lack of traffic - I was suddenly lucky to average $2-3/hr.-- so I gradually quit doing it. Besides- FarmTown was way more relaxing!

Before the changes, I actuality earned enough money in just a few months to buy my laptop.

Well, financially speaking things are tight right now. Hubby's new job doesn't pay as much as his old one did, so I'm seriously considering going back to ChaCha.

Hopefully after all this time they have the kinks worked out and traffic will be steady so I can get a rhythm going again. I figure if I can even earn a few bucks a day that's better than the NOTHING that I'm financially contributing right now. :)

If anyone reading this is also desperate and wants to join me working for peanuts, you can sign up at ChaCha.com. And if you don't mind entering my email ranjen(at)bellsouth(dot)net as the person who referred you, I can earn a small percent as a bonus for all the peanuts you earn too!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Unschooling Experiment

We finished our required days for homeschool last month. I feel like I am almost completely deschooled, (YAY!) and as far as Padawan is concerned he's on summer break.

Even though I do have a general map for us to follow this fall, in addition to the things that he wants to learn and whatever else pops up, I thought it would be interesting I continued my observation over the next two months by keeping track of what he learns and what we do together (educationally speaking) without one of us saying "let's do school". That way I'll have a general picture of what unschooling looks like for OUR FAMILY without adding any of the extras that he would consider "doing school".

So, I will start at the beginning and list what I can remember that we have done so far since summer break started. Then I will try to keep it updated as we go along.

There were a couple of days before we filled up our (little) pool that it was finally warm enough for Padawan to play with the water hose.  The first day, he filled up a Rubbermaid storage container with water, and was filling up water balloons. He figured out that he could fill them REALLY full if he held them under the water when he filled them up. He thought that air pressure may have something to do with the reason the balloons would hold more water that way.  He tried the experiment where you fill a cup of water, put paper over the top, and turn it upside down - But we couldn't get it to work. He also experimented with some other things that I can't specifically remember.

The next day he played in the water again. I took my Kindle out there, and thought instead of reading something to myself I would read to him while he played. Well, I read tried to read The Hobbit aloud. After the first 3 paragraphs, he said he didn't like the Hobbit. So, I switched to The Storybook of Science, and read for a few minutes. He had gotten sunburned the day before, so I told him that he needed to wear sunscreen or a t shirt so he wouldn't get sun poisoning. He asked me to look up sun poisoning, so I did and read the definition. Then he asked more questions about it, so I jokingly asked "What do you want me to read- symptoms, treatment, or prevention?" He said,"All of it!" So I read the entire article to him. Then he asked me to look up spiders, and after that ants.

He has asked me to read more of The Storybook of Science to him at bedtime on several occasions. (He hasn't wanted a bedtime story in a few years).

He is still playing Roblox, chatting with his friends, building games, and designing uniforms using Photoshop, MS Paint, and Paint.net. Paint.net is a new program that he wanted needed to learn to use so he could make uniforms with transparent backgrounds. He learned how to do this by looking up "How To" videos on YouTube. I helped him download and install the program, and he figured the rest out himself. His designs are getting more creative and detailed all the time.

He has also learned how to make models in Roblox, save them and upload them to public domain, and has been finding and modifying scripts for extras that he wants to add to his games. He is still asking me how to spell words, and I have noticed his spelling is continuing to improve without us doing any formal lessons.

His multiplication skills are improving because he needs to calculate how many days it will take him to earn "X" amount of Robux. He also is using percentages to calculate profit and seller fees for things that he buys and sells on Roblox. He is learning about ratio and proportion because he has to resize graphics that he incorporates into his uniform designs. (All this in his head)

One night, we watched a documentary about the recent tornado outbreak while doing a craft that I found through a homeschooling blog. (paper Angry Birds) After that we experimented with his electronic tornado maker and two coke bottles connected with a tornado tube. He also has plans to make a video with the Angry Birds that we made.

We have gone out to the pool and talked about all kind of things from tadpoles and mosquito larvae to really deep subjects. One thing we discussed was about everyone having a purpose in life - even his 8 year old cousin who recently passed away who was blind, and well..basically (for lack of a better word)..a vegetable since birth. He could only laugh and smile.

His friend came over the other day. They played in the pool, and made plans for him to spend the night. They wanted McDonald's, but I told him that it wasn't in the budget for this week. So, Padawan paid for their food out of his own money. I was impressed with his generosity! By the way, (as it usually happens) his friend got homesick and left around 10 o'clock that night, so we had to deal with the disappointment from that.

We have still been watching documentaries and shows like Mythbusters, PawnStars, Swamp Brothers among many others that are full of science, history, and geography. As always, he asks tons of questions and learns several new vocabulary words each time we watch anything together.

Last night we watched Dual Survival which was full of geography and science. He chose to watch part of a documentary about Abraham Lincoln instead of a movie that I found while we were surfing through the channels. We also watched a show about Ancient Egypt, which included information about architecture and religion. He even came up with ideas of how the Egyptians and other architects could have done things differently.

That is just what I can remember worth mentioning off the top of my head. I know there is much, much, more, AND learning and teaching didn't stop just because I declared summer break.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Scene From The Answer Man

I watched the movie The Answer Man tonight.

It is a Romantic Comedy about "A reclusive author of spiritual books, who is pursued for advice by a single mother and a man fresh out of rehab."

It was a touching and funny movie, but loaded with the F bomb- which is probably the only reason it was rated R. (I never understand why they have to use bad language in movies- the story is just as good if they would clean it up. So- I don't recommend it if you are convicted by watching movies with bad language- especially the F Bomb.)

Anyway, there was a school scene that I wanted to share. The last part is so true!

I'll set up the scene for you: The main character (Arlen) was asked by his (girl)friend to pick up her son (Alex) at school and to tell them he was her brother if there was any question as to who he was..and he was NOT to talk to anyone about anything. It just so happened there was a conference scheduled for that afternoon to talk about Alex being placed in the gifted program at this private school- so Arlen stepped in for the Mom. Here's how the conference went:

(Teacher)
Well, Alexander... First let me say what a joy he is to have in class. He's a very creative child and he makes friends with everyone. If one of the other students is hurt or upset, Alexander's always the first one to show them comfort. He's quite empathetic.

(Arlen- pretending to be Alex's Uncle Zebulon)
And empathetic is good.
 
(Teacher)
- Great.
- But in some of the other areas...
 
(Arlen)
Empathy, reading, friendship... what else is there?
 
(Teacher)
Well, math. He's far behind the other students. He still struggles with arithmetic
while the other students have moved on to multiplication.
 
(Arlen)
Well, you're the teacher. Aren't you supposed to be able to find a way to teach it to him?
 
(Teacher)
I have 26 students. I can't devote all of my time to one student. And Alexander still needs to learn our very first lesson. And he's also... oh, how do I say this? Well, immature.
 
(Arlen)
He's seven.
 
(Teacher)
Yes, but he still jokes with his seatmates during a lesson and sometimes while we're trying to have peaceful time. The other students still have to learn all the same lessons, and Alexander often makes this difficult. I think if Alexander's really going to thrive...
 
(Arlen)
Let me stop you right there. I'm gonna tell you a couple of things. All kids develop in different ways at different times and in different directions. Now I am confident that Alex at some point will be able to tell time and make change, which, let's face it, just about covers it.
 
(Teacher)
I don't think you're hearing me.
 
(Arlen)
What I am hearing is that Alex is not a good candidate to be a robot in your clone army.
 
(Teacher)
Zebulon...
 
(Arlen)
We're gonna work on the math, okay? In the meantime, why don't you try not making him feel like being who he is is the problem?
 
That's what happened to you and me, remember?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I CU


Intensive Care for The Christian Unschooler



This week we want to…”
  • spend some time in the pool. 
  • finish reading The Story Book of Science.
  • listen to some audio books. 
  • catch up on our TV shows. 
  • be spontaneous.
  • find answers to questions.
  • figure out how things work.
  • laugh. Giggle. Be silly.
“The kid is….”
  • learning more about building and scripting on Roblox. (What else is there?) 
  • realizing that he needs to learn to manage his money better.
  • asking tons of questions.
  • becoming more cooperative.
  • growing up too fast.
“I am learning….”
  • more about myself and what I believe about education.
  • more about being a Godly mother. I'm on week 3 of The Ministry of Motherhood with some awesome girls in my GoodMorningGirls summer book club.
  • more about God's grace.
  • more about Unschooling. The book, Christian Unschooling: Growing Your Children in the Freedom of Christ by Terri J Brown is waiting at the library for me.
“I am struggling with…”
  • finding the balance between doing too little and doing too much because of my neck problems.
  • letting my husband know how much I appreciate him taking up my slack and working a full time job.
  • getting my house clean. I'm not talking about REALLY SUPER clean, but clean enough to be presentable. 
  • I'm constantly struggling with the frustration of not being able to do the things that I used to do and guilt over everything that I feel like a mother should be able to do that I can't do.
  • consistently getting enough sleep. Hubby has a strange work schedule, Padawan has a circadian rhythm from another planet, and I have a tendency to be a night owl. 3 people..3 different sleep patterns. It would be so nice to have some kind of rhythm in the house ?again? - if there ever was one.
  • Spending too much time researching and socializing on the internet.
“This week is the first time….”  I have linked up with the I CU meme!