Friday, April 18, 2008

Being taught proper English by an 8 year old.

I feel like I am getting behind now for some reason.

I wanted to share this story.
Today, while eating lunch as a family I said "we haven't 'ate' like this in a while" because we haven't been actually sitting down at the table and eating together lately. Marti (who will be 8 in July) said to me, "Mom, it's 'eaten' not 'ate'. This girl has been to 1/2 a year of preschool and 3 weeks of Kindergarten. We have never had success with a curriculum (I tried for 2 weeks in what would have been 1st grade and for 2 weeks at the beginning of this school year) and has *never* had an English lesson in her entire life!

Also, I wanted to thank all the patient people on the unschooling lists over the last 3 years. Today has been a "wow" day for me. I feel like Superman, "leaping tall buildings in a single bound" and stuff. Here are some of my random thoughts today.

About not having a car (a dilema we may be facing)...
DH and I have been back and forth on this issue. I think that maybe *not* having a car won't really be all that bad. He sees not having a car as a lack of freedom and independence.

Today I asked him what *not* having a car meant to him because I was tired of butting head with him. I wanted to know where he was coming from, not so I could change his mind, but so I could relate. He said things like "no freedom" and "no independance". He didn't want to have to rely on the others or the bus.

After he told me what it meant to him I told him that to me, not having a car *meant* freedom AND independence. Freedom from debt was of course the first thing I thought of. We have can save $140 per month not having a car, which at first can be partially used to pay off our debt. Since we only make $600-700 per month, that is a lot of money. Freedom from debt led to so much more. Freedom to be *able* to live on a part time job (currently reading How To Survive Without A Salary) and have the extra time to be with each other. The list goes on.

When I explained to him that in the past month we have been able to set back $110 (granted, it is to fix the car) he started to come over to the "dark side". I said, "Imagine what we could do with that money if we didn't have to spend it on fixing the car." I didn't set out to convince him. I set out to understand him.

Other kids
My girls have been playing with these other (public schooled) kids in the neighborhood. They aren't the most respectful kids in the world, but they are okay. Today, Lil and I made cookies shortly before the kids showed up (after school got out) so I thought I would send a few out to the kids. The kids scarfed them down and begged for more. I let them have another and told them we didn't have anymore (even though I really wanted to say we didn't have any more to share, dh would kill me if I gave them all away). They didn't say thank you. They asked for more. When I told them we had no more, they asked for milk. I told them we didn't have any (we have 1/2 a gallon and dh drinks *lots* of milk, especially with his cookies).

Finally they quit asking for things and I couldn't help but to grumble (to myself) about how ungrateful they had been. As I was grumbling, I got to thinking. Maybe they saw right through me. Maybe they knew we had more of this or that. Maybe they knew I wasn't sharing what I had with love. I was being stingy (because we don't have the extra money). Even now, when they are back and asking for more cookies, I am still being stingy. It's no wonder they weren't thankful.

On college (yes, I know my oldest is only 8-almost 8 I mean)
There was a post recently on a board I frequent (called Diaperswappers) about unschooling. Someone asked about how unschooling prepared kids for college. Here is my reply.

I provided a bunch of links, but then thought... Maybe she doesn't want to read all that so I pulled a few quotes out. I can't testify to the college question because my oldest is 8, but I trust her to do what is best for her. I can say that at this point, it doesn't look like she will follow a traditional college route. She wants to be a mom. She loves babies and she wants to be able to stay at home with them. That said, she has also expressed interest in being a homebirth midwife. We have a local midwife that teaches that outside the typical college setting. I do hear that most unschoolers who choose to go to college do great because that is in fact their choice and they haven't been stuffed full of curriculum for the past 13 years. I know that I had had plenty of curriculum by the time I graduated and chose to wait on college. I am 27 and still waiting because now I have kids. My kids won't be so full of "institutionalization" and curriculum that if they want to go to college they will succeed at a high level.

Then I quoted Joyce's website and found an article on and one on I am so glad that I have you all to fall back on.

On Bananas
My youngest DD *loves* bananas! I *hate* finding banana peels all over the house so yesterday before I gave her a banana I peeled it for her and threw it away. No mess to clean up or get annoyed with later. Simple, huh? It's the simple things that count.

I think that will be it for now. See you next time.

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