Trailer Park Unschoolers

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


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Fort Warren and George’s Island

(Posted a week late because it got lost in draft limbo…but it’s up now, so that’s got to count for something, right?)

We had quite the adventure this past weekend. We ended up going on Monday due to weather, which worked out well because it was a beautiful day.

The trip in started with a train ride into the city. The kids always love a good train ride. Luca got to read a Cat in the Hat book about sharks, which was exciting because we were going to be taking the ferry in.

This was the kids first trip on a boat of any kind. Beekee was a little worried about being on a boat, but he got over it quickly when he realized how exciting it was. Luca loved watching the white waves coming off the side of the ferry. They all loved the ride out.

When we got to the island they wanted to do a couple things right off the bat. First they wanted to eat a quick lunch. Then they wanted to go touch the water, since we aren’t near the ocean much. After that they went to check out the playground that looked like a miniature version of the fort.

The trip into the fort was a lot of fun, once we got in there. It started with a walk around the fort, then we got in to investigate. The younger three loved getting to use flashlights to look around. I think that was the best part for them. Perhaps if we get a chance to go in the future we can take a ranger guided tour, but for now exploring without being bogged down with the history of the place was a lot of fun.

wp-image-145841421The kids have already said they want to go back again next summer, but I think first up on the list is a whale watch. The kids are super excited to get to do that in the future too. It seems this trip inspired a whole lot of excitement. It was a great way to end the summer!

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Upcoming Weekend Fun

It’s been a rather “unschooling” week around here.  We haven’t done much of the actual work we’ve decided to do, just so that it looks like we’re meeting standards.  Now that I’ve put some thought into it, I’ve realized that it’s important for Corde and Beekee (for reasons having to do with their biological father), so it’s worth making sure we toe that line for now at least.

This weekend we’ve got an incredible event coming up.  We’re going to explore a Civil War fort with my dad and my sister.  This is going to be extra fun because the kids will go on their first ever boat ride on the ferry out to the island.  They’re really looking forward to that.

I suppose (if we were that kind of family) I could have prepared them for this by talking about the Civil War and getting their heads set in the history before they showed up.  That’s just not who we are.  I think it’ll be far more fun to jump on in and explore, then worry about the history after the fact.  “Hey, this is cool!  I wonder why they did that…  Let’s find out.”

Hopefully we should have some good pictures from the weekend trip.  It’s going to be quite the adventure, by train, by ferry, and on foot.  It’s somewhere I went as a kid and I think the kids will really love it.  It’s going to be a great time!

 


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Tomorrow Is Zoo Day

Luca, Sander, and Beekee get to go to the zoo tomorrow with my aunt and uncle.  This is one of the experience oriented birthdays my aunt is starting to do for the kids, which I love.  They’re going to remember these sorts of trips so much better than they would some gifts they would get, which makes me happy.

Unfortunately, I’m not going to get to be there for their first zoo trip.  I really wish I could, and see their excitement over all the animals.  I missed everyone’s first trip to the aquarium except for Luca.  It’s sad for me, but at the same time, it’s good that they get to have these experiences with their extended family.  I just wish I could go with them.

Of course, that’s not going to happen until we can get wheels again, and I’m not exactly available to go on the weekends anymore.  My work has seen to that.  We need the extra income, but it feels like I’m losing so much time with the kids.

Even so, I know they’re going to have a great time at the zoo.  They’re going to want to see everything and will come home suitably tired.  It’s going to be a good experience for them.  I remember going to the zoo when I was younger and loving it.  I’ve never been to the zoo they’re going to, I don’t think, so this will be a whole new adventure for them.

I’m actually looking forward to them having this experience.  Field trips to places like the zoo can be such an educational thing.  It’s a part of unschooling done right.  It’s something I hope we can do more of once we’re able to swing back to more radical unschooling.  Field trips are such an important part of education.

And it’s the zoo!  The kids love animals.  They’ve been watching a lot of animal shows on Netflix, so having a chance to get up close enough to these animals to see them with their own eyes will be pretty awesome for them.  I know they’re going to love it.


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Because It’s Unseasonably Warm

Today we decided would be a good day to go to the library.  We knew it was going to be warm, and I had to go to the pharmacy already, so it seemed like a logical thing to do.  The library is on the way to the pharmacy.  So we set out, taking advantage of the nice day.

img_20170121_105455_335Since Corde was on an overnight, we only had three.  They got along better than I’ve ever seen them get along before.  Luca wanted to hold hands with both big brothers, which was the cutest thing to watch.  We brought the stroller just in case (and it was a good thing too), but for much of the way Luca walked.

img_20170121_122309_919For once we didn’t get any books at the library.  I didn’t feel much like enforcing the book hunt, so I decided to let it go this time.  They were too busy playing with trains.  I didn’t feel much like looking for books on my own, so it was just a day of returning the old books and playing.  I think an all-fun library day every once in a while isn’t a bad thing.  Besides, I don’t want to make the library less fun because it’s all about books for my kids that aren’t as into reading.  Besides, we have almost too many books at home as is.

After going to the library we decided the weather was nice, so we took a trip to the park.  The sun had come out and it was starting to feel really nice out.  It was 57 out, which is unusually warm for this time of year.  For me it was still jacket weather, but the kids were plenty warm with running around in the cool, fresh air.  It was wonderful to get out in the warm weather with the sun finally shining after what seemed like days of clouds.  We really needed the change to our routine.  I hate to say it, but I’d be happy if I there was no more snow for the rest of the season.

img_20170121_133020_499The kids weren’t the only ones to get a good bit of exercise today.  Nika, as always, was along for the journey.  I’m finding I like having someone to hold her while I go take pictures of the kids.  She wasn’t a fan of me walking away from her.  She was rather confused.  With a few exceptions, she’s been glued to my side.  She didn’t know what to make of being left with someone else, even though she knows Oz quite well.  He takes he for walks sometimes.  Life with a service dog isn’t always the easiest, but we’re adjusting.

Right now the Beekee and Sander are sucking up the last of the sunlight for the day.  They’re playing outside, enjoying the nice weather while they still can.  It’s supposed to be decently warm for the rest of the week.  I’m hoping it’s going to be warm enough next weekend that we can get in another trip to the library.  That would be a great way to celebrate their first day of freedom from school!


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Help Us Make Our New Life!

Hey happy followers!

Do you want to help fund our next adventure?  Here’s your chance. We’re asking for help to buy an RV. This would allow us to stay where we’re at until our house is built, or to go where the wind takes us. It’s a time to start our next adventure.

The past year has been rough. The kids and I had to put up with trouble from Corde and Beekee’s dad. Their first and only visit to their dad ended in a crazy drive to Georgia to get them home. There was a crazy problem with CPS. Then Oz left, and I had nothing. He took the car, leaving me with no means of transportation. There was a problem with his father making advances on me, so the kids and I packed up and left.

I know in many ways we seemed happy. The truth was we weren’t doing all that great. I was trapped and isolated, as we’re the kids. There were some other problems too. To make a long story short, we are trying to pick our lives back up after a situation I now recognize as abusive.

Because I had to get out in a hurry, and shelters don’t offer much help, we’ve been bouncing from place to place. It’s time to stop bouncing and get our lives back.

Since the shelters and the government weren’t much help, I’m doing this on my own. We’re trying to start a campaign to help fund our dream. This is the first big step.

So, come on down and check it out.  We’re taking donations. No contribution is too small. You can find us at https://www.gofundme.com/amr1ag if you would like to help. Share the link around!

Why am I asking for funding instead of saving myself? I’m facing the prospect of no income, no home, no transportation, and no help from either dad. Since both my exes are doing the deadbeat thing, I have to do this all on my own. I need to get my life back together from scratch, and it’s not easy.  The kids deserve better.

I thank you all for standing by me and listening. I hope some of you are in a position to help me meet my goal. When I am able I will pass the gift along by helping someone else in need. We really all appreciate it!


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And We’re Back

Fairy Fest was so much fun. The whole weekend was small and pretty intimate, not at all like it was hoped to be. However, we all had a lot of fun.

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The first day was quiet. We got to know a few of the vendors. There was another homeschool mom with her kids, though her son didn’t stay for the weekend. The kids, of course, didn’t want to sleep. Sander kept taking his shoes off and got cactus spines in his feet, poor kid, but I warned him!

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The next day the kids had a blast. They explored the fairy garden. They ran wild through the whole festival area. There were plenty of events, but their favorite thing to do was play in the dirt by the fire pit. They were all filthy by the end of the weekend, but they were happy!

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There were a bunch of activities for the weekend. I won the baking contest by default because I was the only one to bring baked goods. My cookies were apparently fantastic. No one could get enough of them. The kids enjoyed tea while coloring. Oz did tarot readings. It was such a relaxing time.

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After the tea party was the talent contest. The kids were the only group entry. They had a skit called The Pirate Who Saved the Fairies. It was completely improvised and very silly. The pirate kept forgetting to save the fairies! Then Luca decided he wanted to play, so they had to be rescued from a rampaging bear, or so the story goes. The whole thing was pretty funny. I think they want to put together something in advance next time.

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They had a costume contest, but neither of the kids won. Beekee still had the best story. He was the Bunny Pirate of Doom. He had a magic sword so he can destroy all the evil on Earth. His ears give him the power to make good things happen after the evil has been destroyed. He’s too funny!

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There was plenty to do, see, and explore. The whole place was full of new and interesting things. The place was completely off the grid, which meant there was limited electricity and everything else. There were huge solar panels around the place. They even used compost toilets. The shower is designed to use with your own solar shower bag. It was so strange and different for them. The new environment was made all the more unique by all the decorations up in the trees. It was so beautiful, and so inspiring for our own future hopes.

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Thankfully, the weather held. We were supposed to have rain, but it was sunny and beautiful. It got a little warm, but that was better than cold and wet. Camping in the rain can be fun, but it’s much better than bad weather.

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The night ended with fire performance. I didn’t get to join in because my knee was in rough shape. Walking was enough of a challenge. However, I did drum for them. Oz got to do the fire thing, something he always enjoys. The kids didn’t watch, but I guess that’s what happens when you grow up with it. It’s so normal you don’t stop to notice anymore. They were too busy playing with their friends. Who can blame them?

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By the end of the weekend we all were ready to say our sad goodbyes. We were all exhausted, but we had fun. Plans are in the works to see our fairy fest friends again soon. We all live close enough that it seems silly not to! We’re also planning ahead to the next festival, this time in the spring. Hopefully we’ll all be decked out in fairy style by then!

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All photos on this entry are by Ronald the Bald. He was our fantastic weekend photographer. We can’t wait to see him again at other fairs and events!

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Tomorrow We Leave for the Fairy Fest!

There’s so much to do when getting kids ready for camping. It’s so much more than just packing. You have to prepare them just as much as you have to prepare your gear.

Maybe it wouldn’t be such a big deal if we camped more. The kids would be used to it. I always wanted to get to that point, but that means time, money for gear, and someplace we would like to camp, none of which we really have right now.

When I was a kid camping was a big deal. We would pack everything up the night before. The next morning we would start out bright and early. Along the way we would hit some entertainment. We went to all kinds of places, from Six Gun City (a wild west history park) to the Polar Caves. We would play while my patents set up the tent. The next two days were usually spent camping while my dad played his summer volleyball tournament. The last day was another early morning. We packed up and went somewhere like Story Land or Mount Washington. We always came home completely exhausted, but felt it was worth it.

My kids are getting a little taste of that. They’re excited. They’re ready to go. I have a feeling they’ll barely sleep all weekend. It’ll be fun.