Trailer Park Unschoolers

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

The Last Minute Scramble

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As if previous weeks of getting ready for co-op wasn’t enough of a mad dash, this week seems to take the cake. Sadly, this is one of the reasons I didn’t want to do a co-op again. I just figured it was too good for the kids not to do.

I don’t remember how much I went through about my crazy summer. The older two went to visit their dad. Aside from the questionable stories I hear from Corde, which have me worried about what really went on, I also had expenses of my own in handling it all. I had to make two road trips, three hours away, all to handle a consultation with a lawyer and getting documents in order. Those trips weren’t cheap. I had to drive out to Georgia, which was a nightmare with poor Luca and Sanders along for the ride. There was no money in the budget for a hotel, so we arrived ragged and run-down. CPS got involved again and this time will be involved for a much longer duration thanks to repeated calls about the bug problem our landlord did nothing about. They made us eat the cost of treating for the bugs ourselves, which wasn’t cheap. My phone was stolen, which meant the cost of replacing it. While I love the benefit of being on a real plan, not a pay-as-you-go kind of deal, it was an expense we really didn’t need. If it could have waited a few months, it would have been better. All of this just happened to match up with my ex no longer paying child support because he doesn’t think he should have to.

So, all in all, we had a lot of unexpected expenses all at once. This has always seemed to coincide with co-ops we’ve been a part of in the past, so I had to admit that I was a little worried about what would stand in our way this time. I knew signing up for the co-op there was a chance we wouldn’t be able to swing the finances, but I was optimistic, since CPS was supposed to help us get back some of what we had spent on the bug problem at least.

Of course, things never work out that way. We were barely holding on to our trailer by a thread. We had just gotten every else under control, or so we thought, when water started leaking into the passenger’s side foot well in the car. Oz brought it in to be looked at and they gave him a loaner, which isn’t nearly as fuel efficient. This is cutting into our budget. Not only that, but the playpen for Luca’s naps at co-op, Beekee’s school bag, and the book I need for the lit class are all in our car, which was taken an hour away to be repaired. The very next day the electricity was shut off again. For those of you who were with us last November, you may remember the electric company has some issues, namely not sending out bills, notices, or other important documents. In this case they failed to let us know that on our one year anniversary of service with them we needed to pay an additional deposit, and our old deposit could not be refunded. This on top of our bill made the amount we owed astronomically high for our budget, and because our balance was higher than our original deposit, even though we received no notification, we were shut off one day after the bill was supposedly due. Having no electricity, we packed it all up and went running back to Oz’s dad’s house. Where we go from here or how long we can stay is still unknown.

As that was our week, I’m sure you can imagine we’re behind in our schedule. Corde has to do her outline and rough draft for writing. She has to finish her history assignment. She needs to work on her next poem to memorize as well as the character trait. We need to read the last five chapters of Heidi, three of which we already cleared this morning. Beekee needs to review his poem and character trait too. I’ve pretty much given up on the Civil War project. Maybe we’ll turn it into a poem with the facts so they can still have it in on time. We can save the travel guide idea for the World War II project. I feel bad, but we can always write up the travel guide as an independent project at home.

In a way, I feel really good about this change, even though it’s been a painful week. The co-op is having a positive effect on Corde. Next month is the fairy festival where I get to tell stories. In our preparations, Corde is going to get some pretty elf ear cuffs. I’m going to be making them for Aunt Misti, Corde, and myself. If they’re easy to do, that might be a craft I can make to sell at faires. Corde excitedly picked out her beads to use. She has decided she’s going to work on an earth fairy costume when she gets a chance. I’m going the water fairy route with shells instead of beads. I won’t have wings and my costume will be barely thrown together with what I have on hand, but it’s something. I’m more worried about getting my stories right. Corde has decided to memorize a fairy poem from her aunt’s book to recite at faire, even though she’s going to have to memorize another at the same time for co-op. I never imagined she would choose to tackle a poem memorization on her own before. She’s also starting to think about writing her own stories. Writing is still slow for her, but she’s getting the hang of it. In time she’ll be cranking out her own fairy tales, myth, legends, and even books.

Sadly, Georgia did have a lasting impact on her. My little artist now believes she can’t draw. The kids she stayed with told her she drew like a baby, and she took it to heart. Her style no longer makes her happy and she considers herself a horrible artist, not taking into account she’s inspired by Picasso, nor that her art made her happy. Now it’s all about doing things the way her step-sister says she should.

It’s strange, but I have a good feeling about this, in spite of all the doubt and worry. Things will be alright. We have something to gain in all of this. We will come out wiser, more prepared, and maybe even a little more organized.

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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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