Trailer Park Unschoolers

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


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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.


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A Three Mile Hike and then to the Park

What a day! Today we were busy. There’s been a lot on our list of things to do. I can’t imagine how things would be if we could affording do it all.

Our first order on the list was feeding chickens. One of Oz’s coworkers asked us to feed her chickens while she was away. This was mostly fine, until we were cornered by a rooster. This wasn’t just any rooster. He was a mean rooster! He decided to attack Oz. Who knew a chicken could be so aggressive?

Then we went to our new hiking group. Of course, the rooster made us late. We tried to catch up to the group, but Sander and Luca slowed us up. Life hasn’t been the same since we lost the BabyHawk. Luca managed to go almost a full mile on foot! Minket had to come along for the hike. It was a long three miles, but it was worth it. We saw deer and coyote tracks. The kids got to see the wetlands. We had a nice, quiet walk in the woods. By the end of it all the kids were ready for a nap.

After a short nap in the car we went to a park day with one of the local groups. It was fun. The kids had a blast. It looks like the kids will have a whole bunch of new friends soon. They’re really our type of people. It’s not that I don’t like the moms from co-op, but the moms in this group are more my speed, relaxed, fun, and very chill about what their kids are learning. The older kids are fun, unique, and incredibly talented. It makes me miss my old co-op.

Then it was back to the chickens. We had a nice chat with the chicken’s neighbor. He’s a nice guy. It was fun to be out in the country where the only sounds were cows, chickens, the rooster, and a couple of dogs. They apparently have a bobcat out that way that sneaks in at night and messes with the chickens. It was kind if nice. I think Oz is a bit more sold on the idea of living in the country.

The kids had a good day. I hope we can do it again soon. We had so much fun and made some new friends. It’s definitely a good change.


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Mother’s Day Off the Cuff

Mother’s Day came with actual plans this year. Corde was supposed to sing me some song at church. We would come home to dinner. Everything would be easy and relaxing.

Well, Im sure you know how this family does with plans. We have an inspection this week, so all our plans went right out the window. We were supposed to pace ourselves with cleaning for this inspection, but that never happens. Too much fun gets in the way.

Friday, for example, we went to see a movie in the park. Saturday we met Oz’s mom. She’s cleaning up her life and he’s trying to give her a second chance. The kids all really like her. Yesterday the plan was to go to church, but some psycho in front of us kept slamming on her breaks, cutting in front of us every time we tried to change lanes to get away from her, and went creeping through an intersection to annoy us with a line of cars honking behind her. If Oz wasn’t such a good driver and our car didn’t handle so well, we surely would have hit her. It seemed like she was trying. What’s worse is we found out later that her car is well known for that kind of wreckless driving. She even uses her car to herd cattle. She could care less what happens to it because she’s rich by inheritance and has never had to work a day in her life.

Anyhow, I’m getting sidetracked. After getting away from that psycho, we needed to stop so Oz could calm down. Having the kids in the car meant he was even more shaken than he normally would be. However we met someone who grew up in Mass like I did, so it was kind of nice.

Being super late, we missed church. We decided to grab some snacks and pack up for a walk instead. We went to this lovely park that’s going to have to be a regular part of our journies. The cottonwood trees made it look like some enchanted fairy woods. There were painted lady butterflues everywhere. We saw wolf spiders, two kinds of caterpillars, beetles, and hoards of baby grasshoppers. It was one of the most beautiful things we’ve done since we got to Texas.

Unfortunately, the path was gravel. Normally this wouldn’t phase me, but the kids dumped the diaper bag and my shoes with it. I had no option but braving it in bare feet. It wasn’t that bad, thankfully. Even with the added weight of Luca it was pretty tolerable. However, I bet I looked pretty out of place being barefoot in a dress with a baby on my back!

We’d only made it a quarter mile or maybe a half mile down the path when Oz’s shoes started hurting him. I jokingly told him he should take his shoes off and hack it barefoot like I was. We were planning to head back anyway since Sander isn’t really ready for long hikes yet. We want to slowly work up to it, especially since there are no bathrooms on the trail. Much to my surprise, knowing we didn’t have too far to go, Oz chucked his shoes too!

While we were waiting for Oz to deal with his shoes, the kids poked around at the edge of the trail. With wolf spiders at the least, and copperheads and water mocassins at the worst, we told them not to actually venture off the trail, but there was more than enough to interest them. They looked at the cottony seeds that fell from the trees. They checked out the tree bark and any leaves they could see. They looked for bugs and chased the grasshoppers. It was great to see them just enjoying nature.

Of course, not to be outdone by Oz, they all decided to ditch their shoes. We got odd looks as Oz carefully picked his way along. At one point he was asked if he lost his shoes, then the family came around the bend to see we were all doing it. The kids thought it was interesting to see our varying degrees of tolerance for it. Oz kept having to stop to rest his feet. Corde and Beekee could hack it better than Oz. I was able to walk in the rocky middle without much notice, which impressed the kids. However, they decided that toddler feet are meant to be without shoes as Sander ran to the front of the line or ofc ahead with more grace and speed than when he has shoes on! He didn’t trip once, which is a big change from his usual of tripping two or three times on every walk.

With unschooling, everything can be a lesson, from studying cottonwood seeds and chasing grasshoppers to walking barefoot on a gravel path. We got to watch a kayak ready and launch down the river. We met some lovely horses and some very friendly dogs. The whole day was quite an adventure. This is why I love unschooling. Learning shouldn’t be about facts and memorization. Knowledge isn’t a destination. Learning is a journey, following one path to the next. If you just rush to the end, you miss all the beauty, all the opportunity, and all the experiences along the way.


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Mother’s Day Off the Cuff

Mother’s Day came with actual plans this year. Corde was supposed to sing me some song at church. We would come home to dinner. Everything would be easy and relaxing.

Well, Im sure you know how this family does with plans. We have an inspection this week, so all our plans went right out the window. We were supposed to pace ourselves with cleaning for this inspection, but that never happens. Too much fun gets in the way.

Friday, for example, we went to see a movie in the park. Saturday we met Oz’s mom. She’s cleaning up her life and he’s trying to give her a second chance. The kids all really like her. Yesterday the plan was to go to church, but some psycho in front of us kept slamming on her breaks, cutting in front of us every time we tried to change lanes to get away from her, and went creeping through an intersection to annoy us with a line of cars honking behind her. If Oz wasn’t such a good driver and our car didn’t handle so well, we surely would have hit her. It seemed like she was trying. What’s worse is we found out later that her car is well known for that kind of wreckless driving. She even uses her car to herd cattle. She could care less what happens to it because she’s rich by inheritance and has never had to work a day in her life.

Anyhow, I’m getting sidetracked. After getting away from that psycho, we needed to stop so Oz could calm down. Having the kids in the car meant he was even more shaken than he normally would be. However we met someone who grew up in Mass like I did, so it was kind of nice.

Being super late, we missed church. We decided to grab some snacks and pack up for a walk instead. We went to this lovely park that’s going to have to be a regular part of our journies. The cottonwood trees made it look like some enchanted fairy woods. There were painted lady butterflues everywhere. We saw wolf spiders, two kinds of caterpillars, beetles, and hoards of baby grasshoppers. It was one of the most beautiful things we’ve done since we got to Texas.

Unfortunately, the path was gravel. Normally this wouldn’t phase me, but the kids dumped the diaper bag and my shoes with it. I had no option but braving it in bare feet. It wasn’t that bad, thankfully. Even with the added weight of Luca it was pretty tolerable. However, I bet I looked pretty out of place being barefoot in a dress with a baby on my back!

We’d only made it a quarter mile or maybe a half mile down the path when Oz’s shoes started hurting him. I jokingly told him he should take his shoes off and hack it barefoot like I was. We were planning to head back anyway since Sander isn’t really ready for long hikes yet. We want to slowly work up to it, especially since there are no bathrooms on the trail. Much to my surprise, knowing we didn’t have too far to go, Oz chucked his shoes too!

While we were waiting for Oz to deal with his shoes, the kids poked around at the edge of the trail. With wolf spiders at the least, and copperheads and water mocassins at the worst, we told them not to actually venture off the trail, but there was more than enough to interest them. They looked at the cottony seeds that fell from the trees. They checked out the tree bark and any leaves they could see. They looked for bugs and chased the grasshoppers. It was great to see them just enjoying nature.

Of course, not to be outdone by Oz, they all decided to ditch their shoes. We got odd looks as Oz carefully picked his way along. At one point he was asked if he lost his shoes, then the family came around the bend to see we were all doing it. The kids thought it was interesting to see our varying degrees of tolerance for it. Oz kept having to stop to rest his feet. Corde and Beekee could hack it better than Oz. I was able to walk in the rocky middle without much notice, which impressed the kids. However, they decided that toddler feet are meant to be without shoes as Sander ran to the front of the line or ofc ahead with more grace and speed than when he has shoes on! He didn’t trip once, which is a big change from his usual of tripping two or three times on every walk.

With unschooling, everything can be a lesson, from studying cottonwood seeds and chasing grasshoppers to walking barefoot on a gravel path. We got to watch a kayak ready and launch down the river. We met some lovely horses and some very friendly dogs. The whole day was quite an adventure. This is why I love unschooling. Learning shouldn’t be about facts and memorization. Knowledge isn’t a destination. Learning is a journey, following one path to the next. If you just rush to the end, you miss all the beauty, all the opportunity, and all the experiences along the way.