Trailer Park Unschoolers

Because you don't need to be rich to unschool!


Look Who Got New Glasses 

It’s been a while since I updated. I would like to say we’ve been busy, but we had a week off and that makes everyone lazy. The kids are all kind of burnt out on school, which makes it harder, but that’s all off track from what I wanted to write about.

A couple weeks ago I took Corde to the eye doctor. She was complaining about headaches at school, though I suspected fluorescent lights were more the problem. They give me headaches too. As it turns out, she barely needs glasses, only for driving, video games, and to see the board in school, much like I do. We picked out some glasses, and waited for them to come in.

I really like the glasses she picked out. There weren’t a lot of options that fit her there, but we found a couple she liked and these ones won out. She was told not to wear them all the time, but peer pressure from her friends means she does. They all say she needs glasses so she can look smart. I suppose there are worse things she could be getting peer pressure on, but I wish she didn’t feel she needed glasses to be smart. Glasses don’t change a person’s intelligence.

Still, the glasses look good and they suit her. She’s picked ones with personality. These have cute flowers on the side, so they aren’t plain. They’re cute on her.

The only down side is next year Corde wants to try passing for a boy in school, and that’s not going to happen with flowers on her glasses. I’m hoping this is just a phase brought on by more peer pressure because her friends think she can pass as a boy. We will see.

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Sorry, We’re Not Home Right Now

Actually, that’s kind of not true. We’ve either been in our yard or at the neighbor’s house. Well, all but today. Today it looks like it could rain any minute. We may stay in today.

The weather has been fantastic. After what seemed like the cold that would not die it was nice to get out in the sun. It was nice for me to get a chance to hang out with the neighbor too. It’s good for the kids too. They have a chance to be social with other kids and get some exercise.

The signs of spring are everywhere too. The early spring flowers are starting to come up. Leaf buds are starting to show on bushes and trees. It won’t be long before our back yard is shaded again, making it a nice place to play in the summer sun.

All the kids are enjoying it too. Even Corde is coming out to play with everyone. Yesterday she played horse and carriage, taking the rest of the kids to various locations in the backyard. It was good to see them all playing together.

Summer is right around the corner. Soon we’ll have all day to play in the sun. We’ll go on nature walks and maybe try to find a local geocash. We can start walking to the store and observing the local changes as we go. We should be able to get out to the local swimming hole. It should be a good summer, but for now we’ll be enjoying what we have.

It’s going to be a busy week. We have jujitsu, of course. We should be going all three days this week. Beekee has the Future Leaders Program, which has been picked up through April as well. Then there’s Easter which will be spent with the Neighbors as well. After that Corde has the week off, so we’ll be taking a break from formal schooling. We’ll be in unschooling mode! It’s going to be good! Yay for spring weather!

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It’s A Beautiful Day

You see what They’re wearing? That’s right, tees. Short sleeves outside is the look of the day. It was 60° out today! This really made everyone’s day. We almost skipped jujitsu so the kids could play outside instead. We probably should have gone out earlier in the day but I had no idea it would be so nice!

The walk was wonderful. It was tempting to just find an excuse to sidetrack off somewhere to keep walking in this warm weather, but we were on a mission. Still, we had a guy call out his car window to us, commenting on the lovely weather.

Of course, the walk was met with Luca being all kinds of corny. This is Luca being a robot, a running robot. Luca created this elaborate world where Luca was the villain and was trying to destroy the world, which never works as fate would have it for most villains. It was a fun walk.

Beekee and Sander were all kinds of things on their walk. They were adventurers, heroes, and in this case, carrying laser cannons to stop the villain. I think they were just happy not to have to wear jackets. It’s finally starting to be the kind of weather I like again, the weather we all like.

Soon we’re going to be doing a lot of stuff outside. We’re going to be observing the leaf buds on all the plants. We’ll start watching things grow and change. Hopefully the snow we got on Beekee’s birthday will be the last of the cold and we’ll be seeing some beautiful weather take hold.


I’m Not Doing School Today

That’s how the day started. I was so not motivated. I pulled the blanket back over my head, determined to do nothing, even if it meant sending the kids back to the public school system. I would not do school today, or perhaps ever again.

That’s how the day started…

The next revision of this plan involved computer school and nothing else. We were going to do that since we’re paying for it, and that’s about it. We didn’t need to do anything else, right?

What is the reality? Luca has done everything today except computer time. Sander finished his computer time. Beekee is through his math and is on to his other subjects. We’re cooking through the work today, even though I said we wouldn’t. All we haven’t tackled is history, something we’re going to be skipping out on some because there’s a good on Story of the World so it can’t be renewed. We were two thirds of the way through it anyway. We may end up buying it in the long run, but we may just start with Volume 2. We’ll lose some content, but I’m not so worried about that. Most kids their age don’t even cover history in school. If we skip over the rest of Greece and Rome It’s no big deal.

This is how it’s gone the past week too. I get up, determined to do nothing, then we always end up doing more than I planned. Last week we did have two cheat days, one for my birthday and the other for Beekee’s. This week we have no excuses, and April Vacation starts in two weeks, so we’ll probably take the week off since Corde will be home. Of course, I say that now, but it will come time for break and they’ll all be working through the week.

I really don’t do well at taking days off. We end up working through all of the stuff anyway. It’s right up there with taking time off of jujitsu or missing appointments. Even if I feel like I’m dying I still get off my butt and go. It’s about commitment, and I think I’m teaching my kids a valuable lesson about commitment and dedication. It’s good that they see I have trouble getting motivated, but I still manage to get things done.

So maybe I start the day thinking we should take a day off, but at least I still get stuff done. It doesn’t make for much unschooling, but we’ll get there. For now I think just getting through stuff to keep the state happy makes me feel more secure about what we’re doing. Until I’m feeling more confident, I guess we just don’t have many days without school.

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The Last Day of Future Leaders Program

It’s finally here, the last day of the Future Leaders Program. I think Beekee is a little relieved. He didn’t even want to go today. I think the only reason he agreed was knowing it would be the last day. It’s been tough on him having so much commitment. I have to wonder how he ever made it in school. He must have been so burnt out all the time.

In honor of his last day of his program we did almost no homeschooling today. We really got nothing done. I half watched Tree House Builders while Luca napped on my lap and that was about as educational as we got. That and Luca did one more row of knitting. Beyond that we’ve been all on the unschooling train.

So while we wait for the last class to end, Luca and Sander are playing with the iPads the library has. Usually they’re pretty hopping places, but today they can both play with no one waiting. It’s good for them to have a chance to play, especially for Luca, who never gets a chance to play on them.

Even Nina is having a chill day. She’s normally swarmed with children. Today She’s tucked up under my chair and out of the way. She’s napping while the kids play. Every once in a while a grumble let’s me know she’s still with us.

All of this is happening on a reasonably nice spring day. The walk wasn’t too bad, which is a nice change from the earlier days of the program. Even so, rumor has it we should be getting snow this weekend. We are not excited. At least warmer days have been the trend lately and it shouldn’t be long before we can sign up for these programs knowing it will be good weather to walk there and back. Hopefully that will motivate us.

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Today our “school” was rounded out with LEGO kits and Bubble Guppies. The bots remembered we had LEGO kits in the basement that hadn’t been built yet, so what better time to build them than now? They even have Luca out of their hair because Luca is busy with Bubble Guppies.

I know these kits don’t stay together long. They never do. They fall apart when getting moves around or get demolished. That’s just the life of LEGO builds around here, but when they’re done they still get used to build other things.

To be honest, these LEGO kits are pretty cool. There’s a mix of pirate and Star Wars. The kids are going to have fun with these while they last. At least that’s something. Beekee just built a pirate cove with a sneaky skull door hiding the treasure chest. That was pretty awesome. I think I would have liked these kits as a kid.

Though, the one thing I think I’ve realized at this point is how the boxes of LEGO blocks are probably the better way to go. They offer the boys the most generic building stuff. The specialty blocks almost never get used for any new builds, aside from car wheels. They tend to stick to basic builds. It’s just how it works around here.

I have to say, I feel like we have (dare I say) too many LEGO blocks. There’s a whole big bin but most of the builds the boys make are fairly small. They don’t go for the elaborate builds I see other kids go for. They just like making people and aliens and things, sometimes a few cars, or a phone or a building now and again. It feels like this is an area, like many, where less stuff actually does us better than more stuff. After all, these LEGO kits have been in the basement for a year, completely forgotten about. If Oz hadn’t been down there, finally putting the Christmas stuff away, we probably would have continued on without anyone being the wiser.

LEGO building has me thinking maybe I would be better to get rid of some of the extra toy clutter. The boys would have more room to build if we got rid of some of the toys that are hardly ever used or have gone for months without being touched. We may even have more room to put the LEGO stuff up where it will survive a bit longer if we had less toys taking up storage space. Can you tell I’ve been in a spring cleaning mood?

Well, it’s time to make dinner while the kids enjoy their time. Corde and Oz should be on their way home from Corded Minecraft event. It’s been a totally creative day for everyone but Luca. I look forward to more days like this and a cleaner house!


Because We Have to Go

We went to jujitsu today, even though I didn’t want to go. We need to be going at least twice a week. We’re paying for it so we should go.  (And since the video works fine from my phone, but not from the computer, I’m adding it in YouTube format too.  Please tell me if the WordPress video works for you.)

So why didn’t I want to go? Well, Luca and I aren’t just matching for fun. Luca wanted to match me because it’s my birthday. We took the day off from homeschooling. I played Animal Crossing New Leaf with Sander and Beekee. We watched Yard Crashers and Cupcake Wars. We saw someone I met at con last month on Cupcake Wars, which was pretty awesome. We did almost nothing productive, so I had to do jujitsu.

I’m not sure how the video of Beekee will turn out, but you can see Luca and Sander are having fun waiting. They usually have a pretty good time of it. I’m doing exactly what you can imagine I’m doing, typing away on my phone.

Tomorrow everything goes back to normal. Course goes to Teen Tech Time at the library for Minecraft Design. She had her hair done on Saturday. They straightened it and everything. Today she asked me to buy her a straightener, and forgot it was my birthday. Teenagers…

But for today I will try and enjoy the rest of the day. We can’t afford to do much, but I get to order sushi for dinner when we get home. It’s the small way I get to be spoiled, and sushi for my birthday is becoming a tradition. We will see. I may go with fried ravioli and a salad, just because I’m craving a salad. But one way or another, I get my special dinner. Then we do another special dinner for Beekee this week. Let the birthday marathon begin!