Friday, December 30, 2011

New books and thoughts on unschooling

a few new books i ordered
A friend posted a link to this blog post from the woman who wrote the book Radical Homemakers. In the post she discusses her change of mind in regards to unschooling her two daughters. It really gave me something to mull over. With in the unschooling community it is almost against the rules to even question whether or not it is an effective way to help your children learn. For awhile now I have been wondering what on earth I am doing with this whole homeschooling business. I am not sure what to do, which path is the "right one". It seems there is no right way for everyone, but just like with eating, every single person thinks their way is the very best way for everyone.
I have used curriculum, unschooled, did some sort of combo (which I guess isn't really unschooling, but I like to think it is in some way), we have had tears, we have had laughs, we have struggled, we have sailed through... but we just haven't figured it out. Maybe there isn't a "figuring it all out", maybe you just muddle through it all and pick and choose. Maybe the best thing you can do is work with each child and help them the best way you can.
I don't think there is one right way to help children learn. I have my own life experience to go from here at our house. Two of my children have started school this year, both for similar reasons... they wanted to be around more peers and they wanted to be pushed in a way that I was not pushing them. I do think that although there are some households that do great with the "no pressure" educational model, that most kids (or maybe just my household) need a push. It doesn't have to be hard core meanness, but something. And you know, I am not even sure what that something is for every child. But the parents do. And I think that maybe I have been neglectful in that area, trying to stick to the dogma of something instead of really really focusing on my kids and their needs. And since there are six of them, it can be more of a challenge... but that is ok. What isn't ok is sticking with something that isn't working just to be part of a group.
So I guess I am not an unschooler. I'm ok with that. I'm ok with putting limits on TV and computer time and having the kids play outside, do a math worksheet, practice handwriting, and reading everyday. I think I also encourage them to follow their passions, give them loads of time to wallow in their own learning, and give them all the resources I can for them to grow and flower. I think that maybe, that is the best I can do for them.

This Moment

Joining Soulemama in a weekly ritual: One photograph from the week, one monet I wish to pause, savor and remember.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Yarn Along

sweater in progress and nook
Well, I am still working on the rainbow sweater for Fiona, but I am about 1/2 done with the front panel and all finished with the back, so it is getting closer to being done.
For yule I got a nook. Now normally I am all about real live, yummy, books but my dear husband thought it would be nice for me to have a nook. I have actually already borrowed a book from the library on it! Which is way cool for me. I tend to not get alot of time at the library to browse the grown-up books, this way I can get something for me and not worry about it being late! LOL I am reading Circle of Simplicity which is a real nice and easy read. It always seems a bit funny to me to be reading books on simplifying, but hey, I have to start some place.
As always check out Ginny's Yarn Along to get some great ideas for knitting and reading!


building a farm

crafting peg people

fairy hunting box made by papa jim

new easel 

loving the new art area

fiona with her new cup and bowls

decorating cookies on yule

playing one of the 6 new games we got this year

yule log fire

hanging with big sister


discussing food with fiona

hoop circus

cae hooping

the circus finale 

sidewalk chalk

playing with the fake snow

more fake snow

christmas eve party

the ipods have taken over!

snack time

my beautiful audrey

Oh what fun the last week has been. I was wondering if I should do multiple posts, but then I decided that maybe just picking the things we all did together would be best. I have to say having all my people home and spending time together has been the best gift I could ever get for yule.
It seems as if time is just speeding ahead and if we don't stop for just a moment and spend time together the years will have passed and there will be just an empty house. I know our life isn't for many people, how we choose to live it, having a whole mess of kids and homeschooling on top of that. But it is so, so worth it to me, every moment I get with these amazing people (the good and the bad) is well, you know I can't even explain it well enough for it to make any sense what so ever. I love these people, but you know what, I like them too. I like being with them, talking to them, reading books, doing crafts, watching movies, eating, playing, etc.
I hope everyone, no matter how they choose to live, are just as happy, blessed and full of love as we are.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Yarn Along

I am still trudging along with this sweater for Fiona, although I love working with this yarn, so much is going on here that this lovely project just keeps getting put on the back burner. I have been reading Fireside Stories    to the boys in the evenings, it is such a fun book with wintery stories from around the world.
I am hoping to get the sweater done for Fiona by Thursday... I think that means doing not much of anything but knitting tonight and tomorrow. We shall see, we shall see... still so much baking, candy making and holiday goodness to do in the next 24 hours so we can be all set to relax on Yule morning.
A friend post a link to this on Facebook today, I think I should have asked for time to knit also. I wonder if it is to late to add that to my list.
I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Wonderful Sunday

We had such a lovely Sunday. I finished up the holiday bannery thing that I had everyone make something for. I think it turned out really nicely. The boys and I made those Rolo/pretzel/pecan candy treats, which is super easy and way fun and also really yummy if you are into that sweet salty combo (which we are). Then this evening Mike suggested a trip down to Mill Avenue to see the lights and the artificial tree. It was really nice taking a walk together, people watching and checking out the shops and peaking in the windows. What a lovely way to end the weekend.

Friday, December 16, 2011

This Moment

Inspired by Soulemama, a single photograph from the week. A moment I wish to pause, savor and remember.

This week I am grateful for:

* rain, lots and lots of rain
* tree trimming
* finals week being over
* Fiona's smile
* black sticky gingerbread

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Knitting a rainbow

Oh, I just have to write about this yarn. It is heavenly, it really is. So soft and beautiful to work with. I can hardly wait to get this sweater all done for Fiona so I can try it on her. There is just something about working with a nice product to get you in the mood to create something wonderful.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tree Trimming

Well, apparently blogger has changed the way you post pictures, so they are all last to first instead of the other way round. LOL so start at the bottom and work your way up.
We had a great evening decorating the Yule tree. Rowan was the funnest to watch this year, he is finally at an age to really get into the whole thing, he is so excited. When he ran across the Wizard of Oz witches, well that was just too hilarious.