New Blog Site
I'm moving the blog to the Live Free Learn Free site. See you there!
Shana's musings on Kenzie, the magazine, and life in general.
I'm moving the blog to the Live Free Learn Free site. See you there!
There are more and more unschooling blogs out there. Maybe because there are more and more unschoolers. I don't know this for a fact - nobody keeps a log of the number of unschoolers - but it certainly seems that way to me. The e-lists are growing. The number of books on unschooling is increasing. More and more people seem to be coming into discussions with an already fairly clear idea of what unschooling entails. This is wonderful!
We're gearing up for the Rethinking Education conference Labor Day weekend. It will be my first unschooling conference, and I'll be hosting a workshop/roundtable discussion on entrepreneuring unschoolers. I'll be the first to admit, I don't have a heck of a lot of know-how about most of the businesses homeschooling families enter into. I know the magazine - what it took to get here, the ins and outs of publishing, etc. - but that's about it. But, I'm researching. And, since I'm mearly a facilitator, I don't need to be an expert in all areas of entrepreneurship. I'll bring my own experiences into the discussion, as well as what I've found out in my reasearch. I'll most likely bring in a handout or two, as well. Should be an interesting afternoon.
VH1Classic has been playing a Woodstock marathon all weekend. This, I think, is my fifth time watching it in two days. Well, mostly, it's been on in the background, though I take a break from whatever I'm doing to watch my favorites (and I have lots of favorites).
Kenzie was stung this evening by a yellow jacket. Twice. He and his friend were going from house to house asking neighbors if they'd like the newspapers in their yard to be recycled when he ran into the little sucker on someone's porch. He sprinted home screaming . Luckily, we had insect sting wipes in the first aid kit, Neosporin with pain relief, bandaids and children's ibuprofen. He was very brave - much braver than I would have been.
Oscar the Happy Dog has a tendency to fixate on things. If he loses a toy under a piece of furniture, he will spend hours trying to retrieve it. He also has irrational fears. For a few years now, he's been afraid of his water bowl. He knows he has to drink, so he gathers his courage, stands as far away as possible, and cautiously drinks as quickly as he can. And even then, his legs tremble, and he often has to jerk away several times and start over. Changing the bowl doesn't work. Changing the bowl's location doesn't work. Nobody knows why he's so afraid of drinking water.
I guess I've just needed lots of projects recently in order to stay sane. I go through phases like that from time to time. And, since Kenzie got a Gameboy this week (for the most part, he's been playing Pokemon: "I may be a mere child," I just heard him say to the screen, "but my Pokemon are pretty strong"), I've spent most of my time working on the LFLF website. The subscription page is finally what I want it to be, and there are sample articles for each of the back issues. Instead of "Buy Now" buttons, there are "Add to Cart" buttons and such. Much more user-friendly.
Well, the group is off to a strong start! Over 100 members and 30 messages in just a few days. Though the resources pages at the website have taken a lot of work, it's so thrilling to see it all come together.
I have just created a Yahoo group for the discussion of cool unschooling resources. After searching and searching, I was unable to find a place that gathered together all the most interesting games, books, websites, toys, movies, manipulatives, and whatnots for unschoolers. Every resource group I found (and there were only a few) were for general homeschoolers - not unschoolers. And, most of those lists had been dead for quite a while, taken over by His Royal Spamminess.
Found a great board game? Know when a cool show will be on? How about that awesome book your son just finished reading? Here's a place to share what you've found and to discover even more ways to feed your children's passions! Games (of all sorts), books, science equipment, websites, television shows, art supplies, toys, movies, math manipulatives, magazines, etc.... LOTS of etc!
Has your family developed a cool game using spoons, strawberry baskets and beanbags? Tell us about it! Found a great touring exhibit? Fallen in love with a comic book? Found the perfect crayon? Discovered a new science fiction series your daughter just can't get enough of? This is the place to post about it!
Also, if your child suddenly develops a passion for dinosaurs, astronomy, 1950s musicals, calculus, interior decorating, King Tut, Kiwi birds, dragons, or the Union army, this is the place to ask for resource suggestions!
What this group is NOT about: worksheets/workbooks, links to attendance sheets, gradebooks or planners, curriculum of any sort, discussions of home/unschooling theory, discussions of home/unschooling in general, advertising businesses, etc. There are many other lists devoted to these things.
A week or so ago, I bought a Newton's Apple science kit (put out by Wild Goose) at a thrift store for a few dollars. I brought it out today, and Kenzie was intrigued. He was especially fond of mixing acetic acid (vinegar) and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) as many times as he could. Amazingly, we'd never done that experiment before.
Garage saling today, Kenzie bought a few rubber bats, a pack of plastic spiders, some "spider web" stringy stuff, and a scary skeleton puppet. When he got it all home, he set it up, dressed himself in a witch costume, and sang Halloweeny songs for hours. And in bed tonight, he read several spooky books about ghosts and UFOs and haunted houses. He's counting down the days until Halloween, choosing his costume, and planning a party (that will end early so everyone can go Trick or Treating, of course).
Nope. None. After being surrounded for several hours by wonderful storms, we stayed totally dry. Oh, well.
This is strange, but not overly surprising, somehow. For the past few hours, there have been storms - real storms - on every side of us - North, South, East and West. But here? Nothing. Not a drop. And, I don't mean these storms are miles and miles away. The dry area is a circle between five and ten miles in diameter. It's been this way all afternoon. Gray skies, crushing humidity, lightning all around us, and no rain. Sigh.... I have to go work on my dance, again.
We've finally had a few short showers this week. It seems we've gone months without rain. Monday, Kenzie played in an evening shower. He put on his bathing suit and danced around the yard, calling to me every few minutes where I stood on the porch.
Last year, I lost a friend. Things just broke between us. I'm not someone who loses friends, really, and I've never quite made my peace with it. Probably, I never will. A big part of our six-or-so-year friendship was based on music, and when I hear something that this person would love, I feel guilty as all hell. Today, I discovered an amazing and utterly beautiful Graham Nash song from his first solo album. How I lived my life up to this point without this song astounds me. Music has a way of affecting me like few things can. A set of lyrics can bring tears again and again and again. Good harmonies cause a physical feeling like being on a roller coaster. Singing along often creates a ripple of shudders down my body, complete with goosebumps. Ask my mother, and she'd tell you this means I need to focus more on my guitar playing and songwriting. I should, I know. But, when I hear songs like this one - this simple, short song - I can't imagine being able to write anything even remotely comparable. Ever. It keeps me stagnant. Paul Simon, Suzanne Vega, Jonatha Brooke - I could never write like these people (and so, so many others). The weight of their incredible talent is crushing when I'm sitting with a guitar in my lap and a pad of paper on the table.