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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Inching Our Way In to Unschooling

I've been trying to unschool, as opposed to homeschool, for the last year and a half.   I've had times we did nothing but play.  Times when we did workbooks.   And times I honestly didn't know WHAT we were doing.

I purchased (finally) Sandra Dodd's "Big Book of Unschooling".   (which is totally awesome, and I cannot recommend it enough.  It is worth every penny)   So, I'm reading it, and I've watched some of her videos on YouTube.. and I've even watched some of Dayna Martin, and read up on her.    I'm sad to say I've read some not-so-nice things about Dayna Martin... I don't know if they're true or not, but I did glean some inspiration from both these ladies, (more-so from Sandra Dodd), so there it is. :)

Strewing.  I started this out by telling my family, "Let's go buy toys!"   We went out to some thrift stores and we did buy things... a funky cute vintage blouse for my eldest, some baking sets, a scientific game, and books of course.   This was a good start.   I'm now trying to see through different eyes...  I had bought a bag of mixed nuts at the grocery store (Robyn was begging for these), and we ended up making a candy and nut display on the table, shelling and tasting some, and reading all about what everything is called, where it is from, and how they grow.  Freaking, Cool!   Mom is learning right along with her is the funny part. :)

Last night she pipes up out of the blue, asking me about the Boston Tea Party, which led to Minute Men, which leads to today we're going to watch a 3 and a half hour movie on the Revolution.   This morning she wanted to know about Congress.   I don't know what made her ask, but as she is asking me, I'm googling.

Two weeks ago she used a word I didn't know.  "Prefigurement".  I had to ask her what it meant, and she explained. :)   I don't know where this kid picks this stuff up.  Actually, that's not true.  Yes, I do know.  She gets it from everywhere.  She's like a little sponge, and she's soaking up info from everywhere like she's soaking up sunshine.  And she's having FUN.  

Last week she started cutting up cardboard and started construction on a stable in her bedroom for her toy horses.  I know constructing something from cardboard sounds like no big deal to anyone else, but since Robyn is autistic, she has NEVER done this before in her life.  I am tickled to death that she is creating, on her own.   Using her imagination, and growing and learning. :)

Saturday we went to the Midnight Sun.  (coolest store in the entire city)  Robyn checked out different rocks and crystals and pillows and blankets.... and drums!!   ...and I bought tea.   It amazed her to learn that tea is medicinal.  That it can come from leaves and petals and flowers and roots and bark.  Whereas NyQuil helps with the flu but not cramps, and how aspirin is good for headache but not for hay-fever, she is learning there too.  Honey for allergies, elderberries for colds, and the list goes on.  

Living and learning.  Did we finally catch on?   We've got all kinds of fun things planned.  A trip.  A ride on a carousel.  Thanksgiving and Christmas cooking and baking.  Gift making.  And a million other things that will be unplanned, every day things that just present themselves.. more opportunities to grow.   

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Choosing to Live

I blogged over two months ago that I was feeling "off".   I've blogged time and time again how I was going to change my eating, change my lifestyle, do things different... and still... I've not stuck to it.   Those stupid old patterns keep replaying.  I hate it.   I want to break free from those lousy, life-draining habits.

I feeling I'm drowning.  Screaming for help, but no one can help me, but me.

I've missed another 5K with my family, because Momma can barely walk to the mailbox and back I'm so fat and out of shape.   They went, and had a wonderful time.  I stayed home, alone, and cried.   Hating myself.  

My kid is going to miss out on a camping trip because of me.  I am literally taking away from my children with being so out of shape.  It's not just about me.  I'M HURTING MY OWN KIDS!  And it makes me feel like the most worthless piece of garbage on the planet.

So I've made the decision to LIVE.   Not to get skinny or this or that... but to LIVE.  I've flipflopped back and forth between unschooling and relaxed homeschooing.. and finally I've decided WHO decided I had to even have a label for what I do or don't do with my own kids?   If you've met my kids, you know they're friendly and funny and smart as whips and they're happy and well grounded and by golly I think I've managed not to mess them up too terribly in that regard.  But yeah.  Sorry, we're not doing that label anymore.  I don't care two hoots what anyone thinks.  I will educate my kids in the way I believe in my heart is best.  Period.

Back to my decision to LIVE... more plants.  Opening the windows more and breathing some fresh air.   I'm going to get back into buying my produce organic again.   I need to move more.  Buy for all of us with thought and care.     Buying/cooking less wheat.  Less meat.   I have GOT to kick this sugar habit.  It's KILLING ME. :(  

I'm sitting here feeling the breezes, and hearing my windchimes, listening to my daughter chatter ... and feeling like I have a game plan, no matter how unfancy or simple it may be..... I feel like there's a light at the end of the tunnel.   I'm watching time, pass.. time passing right by... my kids growing up (one is already grown) right before my very eyes.   I've already missed too much!
Lord, help me to be the mother I need to be.  Help me in my struggle.   My "bubble" is green and gorgeous and filled with love and beauty... but Lord, please assist me in being able to tend it, explore it, and have the strength to be able to follow my babies through it.  Help me Lord.. as I choose to live.