Trailer Park Unschoolers

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


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Gaming Days Are Here Again

So, for those of you who have been following along, we’ve started our D&D gaming again. This time we’re playing with another homeschool family, our friends from fairy fest.  It’s nice because the group is much more kid-friendly and kid-filled than our last. This makes it a game most of us can be involved in. Luca and Sander are the only ones that don’t play in any sort of way.

For the second game now I’ve chosen a character that isn’t exactly what I want to play. I love playing bards and rogues. Druids are one of my favorites too. However, this promised to be a rogue-heavy party, so that was out. I decided we needed a little back-up. Last time I played a fighter for this very reason. We needed some brutal hand-to-hand. Effectively, we needed a meat shield. This time I decided to go a different direction. We have a fighter. One rogue seems more close combat. We have one ranged fighter and two magic users. I decided to play a ranger. I’ll have the choice of two-weapon fighting as a specialization, or to focus on archery. Plus, rangers get an animal companion at fourth level, so maybe I can talk Oz into a bear or a wolf, something that can aid in the protection of the new gamers. Only three of our group really have any experience. So, therefore, I get to be the elfin ranger. Originally I pictured my character as male, but I figured the kids would get too confused, so my current thought is more of a female Legolas in skill set, capable of incredible feats of archery. (Yes, D&D wasn’t geeky enough, yes, I had to include LotR, and if you don’t know what that is, congrats, you’re not a geek!)

Oz is running the game this time. That meant he didn’t have to make a character, which is good. He got to catch up on his sleep. Gaming on a work day is hard for him. I was a little frustrated that he didn’t help create the characters, but he needed the sleep.

The character creation was pretty quick, all considering. Tink and I flew through finishing the kids’ characters as well as our own while they played. She helped finish her husband’s character after Oz fell asleep. We all started with no money or equipment, so that made finishing up pretty quick. We put the books on all the devices we could, so we had plenty of books to pass around and no one had to wait.

Aside from my ranger, we’ve got a pretty good mix of characters. Tink and her daughter are both playing sorcerers, a gnome and a halfling. Her husband is playing a rogue, also a hafling. Her son is playing a human fighter, and because Beekee wanted to be a dragon, he’s now the fighter’s mount. Corde is playing an assassin inspired rogue, an elf again.

I think it could be a fun game. Playing with the kids has been funny, but it reminds me just how grown-up Corde really is. She plays her character pretty well. She doesn’t think things out as well as the adults do, but she’s really getting into it. I have a feeling she’s going to hit a few points of frustration. Her friend wants everything they do to be the same. She wanted to play the same class as Corde, but her mom said no. She wanted to play the same race as Corde, but Corde picked her race after her friend so she didn’t have to be the same thing. It’s kind of cute to watch her trying to assert her independence while trying not to hurt her friend’s feelings. It will be interesting to see the dynamic that develops between the two of them. It should be interesting.

This is going to turn into a regular Sunday routine, at least as long as we can keep ourselves out of a shelter. We have no idea where our next step from here is, but we’ll figure it out. If all goes well we can stay here until we can get our own place again. We could really use some good stuff sent our way.


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What Does the Fox Say?

Certainly not any of that jumbo from the song… Clearly, today it’s, “Enough of that stupid fox song! You’re driving me insane!”

To which the response is, “If it’s a stupid fox song, then you’re saying foxes are stupid. You’re saying you’re stupid, Mom!”

Gee, thanks Beekee. I had to explain why the song about the fox was stupid, not the fox, but that didn’t go well. This is going to haunt me for a good, long while.

I’m sure you can imagine, being known as Fox comes with it’s challenges. Being a pretty, young woman when the name started really didn’t help. I’d get a lot of things like, “Uh-uh-ah! Uh-uh-ah! Foxy!” I can’t count the times I’ve heard a friend call, “Hey! Foxy lady!” Of course, let’s not forget the introductions. “This is my friend, Fox.” “Why, yes, she is!” Really, people? Can we please be original? Think I haven’t heard that a thousand times? Hate to burst your bubble, but it’s getting old, and it’s not the way to win me over.

When I had kids that dynamic started to change. I got less flirtatious and more curiosity about the name. I attribute that to the change in friends more than anything. It was kind of nice to hear an unfortunate nickname become something a little more cute and quirky. I grew to love my old nickname again.

That’s when everything changed. This new song comes out of nowhere. It’s catchy. It’s annoying. No matter how much I tried to keep it out of my life, the kids somehow managed to latch on to it. Now I hear it a million times a day. The kids call it my song, which makes it even worse. It’s destined to haunt me forever!

I have to admit, it’s fun being the cool mom. It’s fun having the kids see me as unique. I’m happy that my kids enjoy the song because it’s about a fox, and I’m Fox. I just wish they’d chosen a different annoying song, any annoying song but that one! I’d even take the Song that Doesn’t End. Someone, please, if you’re reading this, save me from that stupid song!


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Early Morning…but Worth It for D&D

Tomorrow I get up at the crack of dawn. Actually, I get up before dawn. I get to drive Oz to work. Then I get to come home to kids who will probably be awake, wishing I were asleep too.

Why the early morning? Tomorrow is game night. Our friends don’t live terribly nearby, so the brilliant conclusion is to pick Oz up from work and head straight out from there. It would give us the maximum play time. It’s going to be a long day, but it will be worth it.

This is going to be fun. We get to see our friends from fairy fest, and that will be wonderful. The kids are excited. I’m excited! It’s good to feel like I have someone who gets me, or at least someone other than Oz.

Anyhow, I’m keeping this short. I need to get crawling off to bed, whether the kids are ready to sleep or not. Hopefully we’ll have some fun gaming stories for you soon!


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Meeting Goals Already?

I totally wasn’t planning on this! The kids are already meeting their November goals. I’m not sure what the plan is if they complete their goals early. Next year we would have to try something more ambitious.

Beekee is almost done with his reading challenge. I know he’s mostly just memorized it. Still, he’s well on his way and is already thinking about what book he should read next. He’s working like crazy on his copy work and will likely be on his way on that too. He’ll be done in no time!

Corde has been making slow progress on her reading, but her writing is almost done. She’s not doing so bad on her math either. We’re going to be slowed on the reading and will be going crazy towards the end, but the rest is cruising by.

I’m thrilled that we’re making such progress. I just wish I was doing the same. My goals are completely turned on their heads.

So, the CPS thing, they’re still treading on our personal freedoms. They’re making it difficult to comply. I’m now shifting from looking for work to trying to clean the house top to bottom. In two days I’ve made massive progress. I just hope I can pass inspection. We have to spray for bugs again soon too. It’s a hassle, especially with the weather being bad. It’s not as simple as spraying and keeping the kids outside for a few hours. They need a place to go. But it is what it is. We’ll shake CPS soon enough because they’ve already said on countless occasions that we’re doing nothing wrong. The problem is controlling the bugs.

Well, my goal has become to try for a job and get the house in shape and ready for inspection. I have complete confidence. What kind of message would it send if the kids made their goals and I couldn’t? Bottom keep trying!


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Setting Goals

Today is the first day of a new month. In the Pagan tradition, it’s a day of meaning. For some the day after Samhain (sow-EEN or sah-WAIN for those not familiar) is the first day of the new year. For others, like myself when I was Pagan, the old year ends on Samhain, but the new year doesn’t start until Yule. I always believed this was the time to do the most serious work, to make the changes needed to start the new year off right.

My goal is to find a job and get my family back to stability. I have a lead on a job that I used to do back in Boston. I’m going to apply on Monday.

Corde and Beekee decided to set their own goals too. Corde is going to read one book a week and to work on her spelling. Beekee wants to learn to read one of Luca’s books. Sure, it will probably be mostly memorization, but you have to start somewhere. He also wants to learn to write his full name, the days of the week, and the months of the year without help. It’s an ambitious goal, but I think he can do it. Sander’s goal this month is to be silly, but he always is, so I know he’s got that one covered!

It’s looking to be a challenging month, but it should be a good one. Things should be looking up by Yule if we can keep this level of intensity up, and the month has just begun!