Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday, the 20th : Connect

oh, goodness-- where to start?

Our tea comes from the garden.

Well, today was "children's museum" day.
Aunt Robyn was coming into town with The Cousins to go to the museum before their membership expires (and ours, too), so of course we were gettin' in on that action.

To the museum!
After a (reasonably long) while, Megan and Trev were looking a little bored - this fabuloso place is pretty much geared toward those 0-8, I'd say.
Oof. Praying for a Science Museum!!!
"You guys gettin' bored?" asked Aunt Stephanie.
"Mmm, yeah - a bit."
"Wanna go over to the Planetarium for a change of scenery for a little while?" It's super close. We can walk.
"Kay - go ask Aunt Robyn if you can go over there for a few minutes with me."
Trev and Megan ran off - turns out, the whole crowd was up for the trip.

So off we were!
Museum shop tours and ogling.
Spending energy to turn lightbulbs on - experiencing firsthand wattage and what-age.
Walkin' on the moon.
An' Mars.
"Where are the footprints on Mars like the Moon?" asks Madd.
"No one has walked on Mars, yet," informs Natalee.
Note that, thinks Mama.
Weight comparisons on other planets in our solar system. Group and individual weights were checked.

After checking out our upside-down continents and the current surface temperatures (in celsius) of the world's oceans,
and a slushee
and a pretzel
and popcorn
we head back over to Discovery Gateway for a few more minutes. That's our other museum.

How to build a three-story tower of light-weight blocks?
So gonna try this at home. Just gotta figure out where. Genius!

"We've started School," says Aunt Robyn. My sister. Both my sisters are homeschoolers, if you can cotton that. "Things are sooooo much nicer." Smooth, is what she's trying to say. Quiet. Organized, I suspect. Reverent. Well behaved.
"I get up at six," says Megan. She doesn't care for that part. Well, I don't much like that part, either. If anyone gets up at six, it's me -and only me!- so that I can have some Mama Quiet Time. (I prefer mine in the a.m.)
They (Cousins) do school 'til one or so.
I'm pretty sure I looked at my sister cross-ways over that one. Even the official (as opposed to me and mine) homeschoolers I know call it good after three hours or so. I mean-- come on. Personal, one-on-one, quality edjy-kashun in an actual schoolhouse will only really get you an hour or so a day at best, right? Could be there are breaks, regular reading, and home ec things in there.
"Well," says I. The big sister. "I wouldn't know anything about any of that."
"It's nice." Says the baby of the family.


Of course she took off with her brood directly after this short conversation... and I was left to go hunt mine down.
Found one, then lost the other in the interim.
Back and forth that went, for a while.

' Course, me being Me, my head started Supposing 'bout all this stuff.
Not in an "I suck" way, you understand... too wise and rebellious and confident for that nonsense ; ).... more like a ...... Hmmmm.

It's the Hmmmm's of Life Everyday (or maybe not quite every day) that keep us on our toes, to my thinking.

Willing seven days a week, 24 (or, let's be honest, I'm not very willing 24, so let's say 16) hours a day... every minute, any topic, let's do it!..??
Can we call that "Good"?
I mean - I don't make A Lesson out of cutting every pizza pie.
My voice doesn't take on an authoritative, We Must Be Accurate tone when we're baking.
I don't walk or type or speak or dictate or do anything with precision, regularly, in a "Pay Attention, Hombres!!" sort of way.
Sheesh. Am I fooling myself?
Am I the worst Unschooler ever?
Could be.

To home we go, then.
Trev starts asking questions about Spain while making the short trip home.
Five minutes after we get home we are scheduled to pick up a couple of Little Friends for a sleep-over.

To that, then.

Babes and chaos and play.

Home designing.

Mama starts thinkin' again.

Wait. Maddie was asking about spiders. (She's making friends with them.)
We have a book on that.
Oooh - Yeah. Yesterday - Garbage Truck Day - Madd was asking questions. Where's that book?
And while I'm getting those out, as per "walking on Mars" today, Mars... Mars... Hey! - Mission To Mars - we have that book! Fetch that one, too.

The babes were asking about the Apollo space mission suit in the planetarium...... Yes.
Netflix. Time again for Fly Me To The Moon. Netflix has it in the instant queue.

When we (friends included) were reading "Where Does The Garbage Go?" tonight, accordingly, every couple of sentences were interrupted by inquiries. And gasps of disbelief.
And interjections of Recycle!.
And shouts from mine of "Compost!!"

Soon enough we came across paper matters,
and of course I remembered that "making paper" has been on my "medium" list - if not quite yet on the short list. (It's been moved, now.)

Pool time,
make believe,
Dragon Pep-Talks/Training for little grasshoppers,
reading stories to friends,
and finally,
getting tucked in with Fly Me To The Moon.

I don't share these happenings in the name of "extraordinary".
In fact, it's pretty much the way things go around here every day.
But once in a while one (a Mama, for instance) gets to think and suppose, instead of just Do. That's what all that hmmming does for us, I guess.

Tomorrow I think Spain.
And Mission To Mars.
And quite possibly paper making.

Somehow, I think we'll be alright.
I mean... Yeah.


  1. Better than alright. You do a brilliant job. People do stuff different ways...there's over nine different main ways to home educate children so you go for what works for you and yours I say.

  2. Absolutely yeah, right!

    I wonder if your sister was hmmm-ing similarly - and isn't it all about what's right for each of us and balance and respect and joy (and comfort level and confidence too, to be sure)? My guess is that she's got that too, in her own way, for her own family. I think it's what we all strive for, and it's hard sometimes (for any of us) to keep an open mind about how others homeschool when we sooo need to believe our way is the "right" one - when of course *every* way is the right one! As long as the kids are smiling and learning and mama isn't a bundle of nerves trying to make it all happen, it's all good!

    One of my best homeschooling friends will NOT discuss her family's homeschooling with anyone - she understands all too well that comparison is the enemy of contentment, and she wants the way her family learns to be purely based on what her children and family need and want, not on what anyone else says or perceives as "important". She trusts herself to figure that out. It also frees her brain space to focus on that, and not all the stuff "other people" think she should do. I'm guessing you would be pretty good friends with her! :)

    It's also ok to adapt as time goes by, either by needing more structure, or needing less. If there is *one* thing I have figured out about this homeschool gig, it's that it's always changing, sometimes year to year, sometimes minute to minute - that's what keeps me on my toes!

    (sorry about the long-windedness, all of it to say - You do good work! Be not afraid! lol)


    What a wonderful day of cousin connect though! You are so lucky that you have sisters who homeschool! Not only do you all get to have *instant field trip groups*, but you get to build spectacular day-to-day family memories, not just the birthday party kind (which are good too, of course!).

    Off to check out that movie, and sending you a hug for all your hmm-ing.

  3. A teacher in a public school once said that the actual instruction time that she clocked was about 47 minutes a day, between crowd control and transition and discipline (and she worked in a homogeneous middle class suburb).

    Yes those sun kissed wooden toys are beautiful but the structure that comes with them isn't for everyone. The magic they hold are for those who can "be" that way. You, and I, seem to live in a world too filled with interests and joy and yes attraction to shiny things as well. Oh well it's the happiness and the sincerity that counts. (hope this makes sense)

  4. Echolage - perfect sense!

    It's truly not that our days are chaotic - it's just that we are really good an honoring what we need in every moment, and of each day.
    Some days we just drift, and some days we have a desire to cram it so full of goodness that it spills over joyously and continually for days and days.

    Personally, I figure we're actively (which could easily be considered Official) "learning" - ie creating, exploring, discovering, reading, playing math games, learning about new words and new places for at least ten hours out of every day. :) Not bad!

    Penny- 'checking in' is a great tool for a Mama, to be sure! The best tool, I say.
    And no such thing as a Too Long comment.
    Or a too long post. [grin]

  5. It is kind of wonderful to not be able to exactly figure the hours your children spend learning because it co-exists so seamlessly with living.....

    Your busy, full, interesting, fun, adventurous days inspire me!!

  6. I was going to say pretty much what Penny said. But since she already said it so well I won't repeat! I will add, however:
    Keep on chugging on according to your own heart. Don't be afraid to do things just the way you do, but also don't be afraid to change it up a bit if you feel the pull.

  7. Goodness Stephanie. You pack more into a "school day" than anyone I know.

    I am a... hmmm... what to call it?.. I stick to textbooks in our homeschool, so whatever you want to call that. :) and I *do* stick to the 6 hour "rule". But for 3 or 4 it is the bookwork stuff us and the rest of the time is "educational" movies, tv, play, art, music, etc. etc. etc.

    I can tell you that I homeschool *differently* than you, but not *more* than you.

    You pack "learning" activities into your day like no one I've ever seen. You are amazing. So unless you are hmmmming to see if there is something different that you and your children *want* to do, I'd tell you to stop it! In a respectful and nice way. :)

  8. Tara and Melody -
    Thanks so much for the nice words. And the encouragement!

    All - I don't doubt the way we do things. The way we learn and live is more than a practical or default choice, it is who we are and what we believe in.

    I think it probably begins in freedom, and a desire for liberty, but as this particular philosophy extends to all of our lives - spirituality included, I think that also a large part of this quest is self discovery.

    I think maybe that I want to keep the garbage to a minimum, (there are so many things that we learn in time, naturally, without the need to fuss over, and I refuse to get freaky about other things that Others say are important in the name of Busywork) so that I can provide an environment for these two little souls to flourish and go about their business of Beingness.
    Self Discovery - doing what I'm here to do in Grand Fashion is a huge part of my life, and I want to give my children a head start on the road to personal evolution, I guess.

    That accounts for a large part of the Whys of things.


Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!