Trailer Park Unschoolers

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

The Drainage Adventure

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The play dare today was nothing short of awesome.  The kids got out during school hours and played until they were exhausted.  We all had a pretty decent time.

I have to admit, I missed the soccer playing.  I took advantage of Oz having all the kids and took a nice, relaxing shower.  I also read a little more of my book, which I hadn’t really planned on, but it kept calling me.  I was just intending to pop in the shower real quick, but it’s been a while since I’ve been at home with no kids, so I made the best of it.

When I finally arrived I heard about the dads playing soccer with the kids.  Luca was riding along with Oz and decided that soccer playing was too much work, so he fell asleep.  The other kids had a blast.  They were riding on a skateboard and scooters and generally having a great time.  It was pretty awesome.  The other family’s younger daughter decided she wanted to hang out with Luca for a while and he got his first experience with grass.  He didn’t like it, and I can’t blame him.  It’s Texas grass, which is generally dry and a little prickly.  It’s softer than the pavement, but not by much.

On the walk back the kids had their drainage pipe adventure.  There was a drainage pipe running under the road to allow water to flow from one side into the runoff river on the other side.  The kids thought it was cool and wanted to go through it.  In they went, all seven of them!  Beekee and Sander turned around and decided they didn’t want to go through.  The rest of them went through and told us all about what they saw.  It was full of spider webs.  They even found a hole in the top that was filled with spider egg sacs.  It was a pretty cool adventure!  The only down side was the mud on the other side.

When they all came out they decided to take off their shoes.  I was already walking barefoot and all of their shoes were muddy, so it seemed the logical thing.  That’s when the dads (who were both wearing shoes and didn’t even think about it) took a shortcut across the runoff stream and into the park.  The other kids didn’t seem sure if they wanted to brave it barefoot, but I did, baby on my back and bags in hand.  The other kids soon followed me, asking how I could walk on the rocks and prickly grass without my shoes on.  It was kind of funny.  They all seem to think I’ve got super-feet.

Looking back, I’m sure we must have looked a crazy lot.  Here we were, two moms, two dads, and eight kids, walking down the street with two scooters, a skateboard, and a soccer ball.  I had the baby on my back.  Half of us were barefoot.  We all were hoofing it back before school got out.  There was a cute comment made about how we were “those primitive homeschoolers, too primitive to wear shoes!”  I thought that was pretty awesome.  She was right.  We must have looked pretty odd in the eyes of a society that largely sends their kids to school, insists on wearing shoes, and isn’t really accustomed to “large families”, even though I don’t particularly find our family to be all that large.  Unfortunately, anything more than three is considered unusual unless the last was a set of twins.  It was honestly kind of nice to be around people who made our kids feel pretty normal for once.

However, we did learn something about our kids today.  Corde is still super-sensitive over everything.  She’d been getting so much better, but I think she misses her dad.  I pointed out that the whole thing that upset her was just a misunderstanding and it was amazing how quickly everything was fixed.  Sander’s a little daredevil!  He’ll take on almost any challenge!  He loved climbing things that he’d probably get hurt to fall off of, but he takes the risk anyway.  He scraped his elbow and arm, but didn’t care.  However, bonking his nose was the cause for all kinds of drama.  He’s a funny kid!

Sadly, I’m starting to worry about Beekee.  He’s always very much been a loner.  He doesn’t really seem to know how to play with other kids.  He never really has.  It’s not through lack of opportunity.  He’s spent tons of time with other kids.  He just prefers to spend all of his time alone.  It’s really concerning as a parent.  I’ve had several people ask me if he has Asperger’s.  At the time I didn’t know much about it having only met a couple of adult women who have been diagnosed.  I remember raking a couple of tests that suggested very strongly that I might fit into that category too.  However, I always resisted getting a diagnosis to see if maybe he was because I don’t want my child labeled like that.  I don’t want to have him use his label as an excuse, not that I think he would, or be somehow treated differently because of his label.  At the same time, I’m starting to think having him tested might help us better understand him, and if I can understand him better, maybe we can better meet his needs.  Maybe we can help him find a way to overcome his social challenges because we’ll have more tools and resources at our disposal.  If he’s not, well, that just releases a whole big concern I have for his future.  We’ll still have a lot of rough situations to work through, because even just being a loner isn’t easy, but we won’t have to worry about something that goes far deeper than simply being a bit of a quirky, weird, loner.

As for today, I think everyone’s favorite part was the drainage ditch adventure.  It’s something new and different that they don’t get to do every day.  It was a chance to explore and have a little fun.  Maybe with the encouragement of others my kids will become a little more adventurous than they were before.  It was one heck of a day and all three boys are asleep to prove it.  Hopefully we’ll get to do it again soon!

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Author: Fox

With four kids in the house, who has time for much? Well, we're trying to make it work, trying to get as close to our unschooling roots as we can while state restrictions and family pressures try to stand in our way. Every day is a new adventure.

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