Unschooling: Living Without School; Living Free Range-Freedom to Learn What One Wants When One Wants

Friday, April 10, 2015

I really was in need of a vent yesterday, more so than today, but...I didn't have time.  Which makes sense since that is exactly what my vent was about.


One reason we homeschool is so that we have the time to do things other people might not have the time to do. And we get things done during the day so we have time to spend at home with Daddy at night.

BUT, lately it seems we never have time to be at home! We literally come home to cook dinner. Then we leave. And come back to sleep. (It has been a real dedication to come home and cook instead of going out to eat.)

Some of it is errands. Most of it is learning opportunities. Sunday after Easter we went and bought a truck. We left my grandparents house around 5 PM (after getting there at 11) and didn't get home until 2 AM. Monday S spent with my Mother In Law. And instead of getting the romantic date we planned-canoeing, walking around downtown, eating at a local brewhouse....we spent 6-1/2 hours getting the new truck tagged and titled. I assume it will all be worth it once we get out and get to play on the mountain this Spring! But right now I am still frustrated.

The rest is all interest based, learning. Fishing. S has learned a lot this year about that since she is older now. Birding everywhere we go. Going to birding classes at Audubon Acres, gotta get the most out of the experience...Winding down gym and swim for the year as well as all the end of year support group activities. It seems like all her friends want to get together in the same week. And gosh she has so many friends! Since she doesn't see them at school, I am semi obligated to take her around to see them at their houses or the playground or whatever.

Not to mention I think I dedicated myself to too much this year. I helped out in my brother's classroom one time and the teacher made me basically Room Mom. Um...he isn't my kid. So next year I won't be doing that. I have been asked to be group President this coming up school year. Preparing for that. I'm wondering if it is too much to take on. This year I was secretary, Christmas party coordinator, field trip coordinator....This coming up year, we as a board decided that it will be mandatory for each member to volunteer for something. This is a volunteer organization. We as board members shouldn't have to do it all. You should not have the same 6 people organizing everything. Oh yea. And Bible Study starts Tuesday. However, that will be nice to slow Tuesdays down since we won't be going to the Center during the day.

I always have so much rolling through my mind. In fact, I am all over the place while typing this post.  We have projects to complete. Birding. (Made decent progress on that.) Geography Fair. (Almost zero progress and it is due in a few weeks. We have read one book on England and have a pile of them left. Nothing printed. No board started. Last year we had it all done and sitting out on the table  a month early!) And her gallery....don't get me started. We have done virtually nothing with it in weeks. She still works on her art, but nothing gallery worthy. We are going to see what we can do today.

It feels like even though we are always learning, we aren't getting anything done. Even though we are.

Looking back I can't believe how much we have completed this year and how much progress has been made. Even without the down time, S has somehow learned to read! Read. All on her own. The Boxcar Children series! She is totally engrossed in that. And American Girl. But I read all of those to her. Boxcar Children she reads aloud.
She has learned money.
I waited.
I wanted to make sure she was ready. And she started showing readiness signs last week. Without any effort she learned how many quarters in a dollar. We did a rhyme  for her to say so she knows how much each quarter is worth together. She learned to make change with quarters. She learned how to count by 5s and 10s for nickels and dimes. The only thing she doesn't grasp yet is that it is totally even if we trade two 5 dollar bills for a 10. She understands two 5s make a 10 dollar bill. But she doesn't understand that it is exactly the same. I'll give it some time to sink in.
Yea. We did 80% of that in the car while looking for yardsales! We also talked about marrying a guy who doesn't just want her for her body. That was an interesting conversation. But that's beside the point.

Next Day: I feel better today.  Although we were supposed to get a home day yesterday and didn't, we still got time to relax. No specific plans.

We went grocery shopping early (will early for us) in the morning so there was hardly anybody there.  We practiced reading prices and adding. She read my list off to me.  Scanned. And bagged.  Then we went to the playground.  I forgot they had water (like a little Spring there) so it is a good I always keep her bathing suit in the car.  She played in the water.  She saw fish jumping out for food.  And she sat in a tiny "waterfall" and experimented with the water. She damned it up and it reminded her off all the beaver damns we have been seeing lately.  Once she was done there she got out her paints. I read a book on Impressionism  (cute story book series I found about different time periods of art). And she was inspired to paint her own Impressionist painting. I looked online and found out that Hunter Art Museum has an Impressionism class for Homeschoolers coming up in May! AND an Impressionism exhibit starting in June!!! How perfect!  Sam is stoked to go. So we are for sure.  (Unschooling Rocks!) After she got tired of painting we played together on the playground then,  worn out,  decided to watch for birds quickly.  We found 2 birds that we had never seen before so we went to Steak N Shake for half price milkshakes while we used it guide to identify them.  (She has been using that thing non stop to look up flowers and bugs, general info on snakes.  It had become second nature to her, which will come in handy this Summer.) We got everything in our last worked on and more. We even got a post board for the Geography Fair and made plans for what to do with it. Ah. The wonders a "day off" will do for you!

Today will be a somewhat busy day again.  We are attending a Seder for Passover. S has been very anxious to learn how her friends celebrate holidays. (They are not Jewish. They just practice Jewish Feasts and Festivals instead of regular holidays.  I can't say I blame them.  They have much more-less commercialized meaning-and they aren't all about gifts.) That's okay though. We are both feeling refreshed now and at least we are always learning.

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