Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fun For All!

You may know that the Lizard King is in Afghanistan and has been for the last year. Being a 24/7 mama with no breaks started to take its toll on me and on Princess, too. It took me a while, but I realized that we both needed a little bit of a break every so often. Enter the greatest babysitter to ever walk the Earth. Oh, she needs a name...hmmmm.How about Magical Faerie?! Sound good? Okay!

Magical Faerie comes to babysit every other Monday. She spends 4-5 hours with Princess and she plays with her the entire time. She completely immerses herself in the many imaginative games Princess has designed in anticipation of this special play day.

Let's play office! One of the many games Princess set up.

Yesterday, in addition to my monthly massage, I scheduled dinner with a friend. Magical Faerie was more than happy to spend the extra time with Princess. These two young ladies spent NINE HOURS playing! At the end of the nine hours, Princess was still sad that their time was over. I feel very blessed to have found such an amazing girl to spend time with my Princess. I know that Princess feels the same.

Remember mamas, it is so important to take time for yourself. You must fill your cup so that you can be the best mama you can be. Go! Do something for yourself...your cup is looking a little empty.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Unschooling Posts

When I read posts like this, sometimes I wonder why I blog. It is such a good post and so well written, I am truly humbled. Please click the link and give it a read.

Friday, August 27, 2010


I'm no expert. In fact, I've only been at this unschooling thing a short time, relatively speaking. So really, what do I know? I know what I've seen and who I've seen. Many of those things and people are amazing. But really, I'm flying by the seat of my pants, closing my eyes and jumping or simply doing my best to have faith that this will work.

For me it takes less faith to believe that this will work than having faith that school would work. I hear all the time about the school system failing. I hear about bullying in schools and the sometimes fatal outcomes. I hear about second graders who think they're fat or their hair color isn't right or they don't have the right clothes. Is this the best I can give my daughter?

I'm going to put myself out there just a little bit more with this next statement. We homeschoolers/unschoolers hear all the time "Oh, I could never do that!" with a tone of disapproval. We are expected to listen, take it in and not be at all offended. So many times I have wanted to turn it around when someone tells me that they send their kids to school.

Okay, this post has taken a whole different direction than I originally intended. The bottom line is that to live this life you have to have faith and you have to have trust. Believe me, there are days that I don't. That hasn't happened for a while. You see, I'm riding this comfortable little wave now. Princess can read and has been reading since she was 5. I have been able to see the value in everything she does. I am amazed by the things she learns everyday and from everything. I know that I will likely have days where I panic and wonder what the hell we're doing. But for today, I know this works. Maybe on a panic day I will look back at this post and find my way through the fear. Yes, even this Jewish Atheist can have faith.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

It's Roman

Numerals that is. Princess, lover of all things pink and princessy...or fairy, or mermaid, is also a huge Star Wars fan. Well, there is a Princess in it after all. We have watched the DVDs from Netflix and played Lego Star Wars on the Wii and Nintendo DSi XL. Princess owns her very own light saber that she received for Hanukkah last year. Recently, we acquired Star Wars Lightsaber Battle Game which is super cool! Princess is learning to be a Jedi!!

A few weeks ago we bought the original Star Wars trilogy. What does all this have to do with Roman numerals? Princess selected one of the movies to watch, walked over, showed it to me and explained that it was episode 4 because IV means 4. Huh...that rocks.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

When Given the Choice

In our home Princess has total freedom in choosing what she does. We have no limits on TV or video games. Many who oppose radical unschooling argue that, if given a choice, children will choose video games or TV over more "educational" options.

I was laying in bed reading. Princess was watching a show on TV. After a while, I noticed that it was now quiet in the bedroom. The TV was off and I found Princess doing this and it made me smile.

I am reminded all the time how right this choice is. Princess is learning in freedom, in so many ways, everyday.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Spelling Lessons

Princess: How do you spell now?
Me: N. O. W.
P: How do you spell no?
Me: N. O.
P: No. Know like, now I know my ABCs.
Me: Oh! Wow. That is different. And you knew that. Cool. K.N.O.W.

I was seriously impressed…
It's nice to be reminded how beautifully unschooling works.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The "S" Word

No, it's not that "s" word. There is a word that people use when they talk about homeschoolers. Socialization. If we homeschoolers/unschoolers didn't know any better, we would think that they were referring to the overabundance of activities, outings, playdates and ventures out into the real world, with people of all ages, almost every day. (We do need to spend some time at home, ya know...especially for the introverted moms.)

What does this look like to you?

The truth is, most of those people think that our children's lives lack socialization. Really?! I know my fair share of home/unschoolers and I can say for certain that none of them are lacking socialization. If fact, if we were to compare the amount of time per day (on average) that home/unschoolers spend socializing to the amount of time kids in school get to socialize there would be no comparison.

In fact, we spend so much time on activities, outings, playdates and ventures out into the real world that we reach a point that we say to each other, "let's just have a day at home alone". We try to do that at least one day a week.

I decided to forgo posting the definitions of the word, because those who use the word have their own definition. I'm just not sure how home/unschoolers don't meet the criteria. Thoughts?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Unschooling Curriculum

A bit of an oxymoron? Perhaps...perhaps not. I recently read this article that dispels the myth that homeschoolers never use anything "educational". While we are not using a curriculum, we do some more traditional learning.

Here in the Portland metropolitan area we have an amazing resource called Village Home. It is a "Home Education Resource Center" and our second home. Those of you who have read my other blog, My World Behind Big Shades, have read about VH. Village Home is best described as community college for kids. There are more than 200 classes on a wide variety of topics.

This year I was amazed at the offerings that are open to Princess. I am even more amazed at the number of classes she has chosen.

Latin I
Music for Me
Dance Sampler
Science Explorations
Math Projects
Kids' Drama
Folk Tales Around the World
Computer Art   I looked at the Computer Art class again and again and I kept getting in the way, trying to make the decision for her...thinking she might be too young for the class. When will I learn?! I had signed Princess up for a Lego activity in the same time slot, but she kept telling me that she can play with Legos anytime. Finally I listened. She really wasn't interested in the Lego activity at all. Then I told her about this class and her eyes lit up! That was it. I signed her up. I then told her that her friend was signed up for the class as well. That was the cherry on top for her.

So yes, Princess chose all of her classes. To me this shows that when children are given the choice, true power to make their own decisions, they know how to listen to their hearts and choose what works best for them. We just have to remember to stay out of the way.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Get Out of the Way

You've probably figured out that I'm a Law of Attraction gal. I've posted a couple quotes from Abraham here and here. No matter the messenger, the message is a good one. I recently listened to an exerpt from an Abraham-Hicks talk that spoke to me and reminded me how beautifully this life works.

Please, give it a listen...and tell me what you think!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Super Early Bird

We're never super early for anything. Ask anyone. We're almost always late. If we're on time it's a big surprise. This is the one exception.

Yesterday, an email popped in that had me jumping up and down with excitement. Conference organizer, Mary Gold, announced that Super Early Bird Registration was open for the  LIFE is Good Unschooling Conference and the hotel room block had been set up. And yes, I registered right away AND reserved our hotel. I know the conference/hotel is just across the bridge, but we missed so much last time by having to drive home each day. This time the Lizard King will join us. We are super excited!! To make things easier, Sophia Rose (the royal dog) is going too! This promises to be another amazing time!!! It's true, life IS good!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Unschooling Rocks! Roundtable

Back in May, Princess and I attended the LIFE is Good Unschooling Conference. It was, in a word, AMAZING! The energy was incredible and I cannot wait until next year. We drove across the bridge to Vancouver each day. Next time we're staying at the hotel. Neither of us wants to miss a minute of it. And next time the Lizard King will join us.

I was amazed at how many Village Home members we ran into that weekend. I had no idea there were so many unschoolers at Village! At the end of the weekend I was on such a high. I didn't want it to end. After talking with a few VH unschoolers I knew that we needed a support group. I immediately called my board member friend and asked her if it was too late to submit a proposal. It wasn't and I did!

It's official! My unschooling support group is scheduled on Thursdays at 1:15pm at Village Home. If you are a local unschooler look for Unschooling Rocks! Roundtable and be sure to register. I can't wait to see you there!