Trailer Park Unschoolers

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

Our Family

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Penny

I’m Penny.  The best description I’ve ever gotten of me is an “alternative” kind of mom.  Yes, I’ve got dyed hair and piercings, but I’m also an earthy-crunchy sort.  I still cosleep with my littlest.  I try to eat as healthy as possible, but it’s hard when you live on a very limited budget.  I’m supposed to be gluten free, but that’s expensive.  As I’m sure you can imagine, I cheat.  I cheat a lot, probably way more than I should. That’s largely a factor of the cost of eating gluten free.

When it comes to hobbies, I’ve got a few.  I like to  knit and occasionally do cross-stitch.  I’m learning to crochet  Obviously, I love to write.  I’m even starting to learn how to play guitar, something I’ve been interested in for years and never really had much opportunity to try.

Much has changed since I started this blog, including the kids spending a couple years in school (ick).  It’s now been two and a half years, and we no longer live in the trailer park, but we’re going back to unschooling.  We may be in an apartment now, but I’m once again keeping to the fact that you don’t need to be rich to unschool!

img_20161225_104536_534Oz

Meet Oz.  He’s my partner in crime in all of this and father to our two youngest children, though he lays claim to all of them.  He wasn’t here when they were small, but he’s kind of taken to them as though he had been.

He’s also a military veteran.  He served three years in the U.S. Army.  Life after serving in the military isn’t always stellar, especially since he’s only got a general discharge, but he’s making his way through.

What he wants most in life right now is a good job that will support the family.  We moved up north to be closer to my family, but the cost of living is extremely higher here.  It’s been challenging to make ends meet, but he’s been working his tail off to make sure the kids have everything they need.  What more could we ask for?

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Corde

Corde is our oldest at 13, and the only girl.  She’s got a passion for art in any kind.  Her favorite artist is Pablo Picasso.  More often than not you’ll find her with her headphones in, drawing or sketching, possibly reading, off in her own little world.  In spite of that, her interests are expanding.  More than anything she wants to be a chef when she gets older.  I think that’s a great choice for her because she loves to cook.  With a family as large as ours she’s got plenty of opportunity to learn.

 

What else is Corde interested in these days?  She’s definitely a gamer.  She plays tabletop games and video games alike.  She’s even taken to playing with the adults.  She loves anime, manga, and graphic novels.  One of her favorite shows is My Little Pony, particularly for Pinkie Pie.  On top of that, she’s a major Doctor Who fan.  On top of that, she’s also becoming a fan fiction writer.  You can check her out at Jolteon Fan Fic.  Her loves are quite varied.

img_20161225_104135_036A.J. (Beekee)

The oldest boy is A.J., formerly Beekee.  He’s 9 and he’s definitely a character.  He loves to make up crazy, wild stories.  More than anything he likes to build with LEGO blocks.  He’s also a fan of My Little Pony, particularly Rainbow Dash.  He wears Rainbow Dash stuff even though it’s “girl clothes” because he just doesn’t see it as an issue.  There’s very little “boy” or “girl” assignments in A.J.’s world.  It’s all down to what he likes and what he doesn’t.

At one point A.J. was our little nature lover and scientist.  He still is incredibly interested in science, bugs, and animals, though he’s gotten more into building and Minecraft these days.  He’s also been majorly into Pokemon and My Little Pony trading card games.  It’s best if the science has to do with physics, or really gross stuff about nature.

 

img_20161211_121053Sander

Oz’s oldest is Sander.  He’s now 7 and quite the wild one.  He loves just about everything he’s introduced to.  He’s not much of a reader, but he loves science and is pretty good with math.

Sander was the only one to experience school from the beginning.  He never had “the homeschooling experience” like the other kids did.  He didn’t get to see what it was like to stay home while all his peers went to school.

Sander is into a lot of things, but above all, Minecraft.  He plays Minecraft everything.  He also likes to build and create in the real world.  He’s a huge fan of anything science, though he isn’t such a fan of books and gets bored easily by art, unless it’s crafts.  He totally digs crafts.

30087618584_c085ce04a0_oLuca

The baby of the house is Luca, though not so much a baby anymore.  Luca has recently decided to be called a Luca.  Sometimes Luca identifies as a boy.  Most times Luca identifies as a girl.  We’ve decided we’re just going to roll with it and let Luca figure out just what kind of kid Luca wants to be.

Luca has been the only one that’s been homeschooled the whole way through.  We’ve recently started adding a computer program, Time 4 Learning, into the learning we do.  Starfall is another great resource.  Luca really enjoys learning.  Luca’s homeschooling includes the two online programs, workbooks, and knitting.

Luca’s loves include bears, La-La (the baby doll), tea parties, makeup, and “doing homeschool.”  Luca is very proud of doing work at home and likes to tell everyone about all the work we do.  Because Luca has so many girl interests, it’s hard to imagine Luca going to school and having to choose a gender, and with that possibly having to stop wearing dresses and tutus.  Rather than deal with that, our vote is to homeschool.

14424079_10154680321421055_993334180_oService K-9 Nika

This is the latest addition to our family.  Nika works for me, though the kids seem to love her.  Luca, in particular, attaches to her like nothing else.  Nika puts up with Luca climbing all over her and cuddling like crazy.  She’s such a patient dog, which she should be as a service dog!

Nika is also a full bred German Shepherd Dog (GSD).  Her mom was bred in Germany and Nika was born here, then trained as a service k-9.  She came from a wonderful local place, which means she’s used to being out in the weather we’re about to come into.  It’s just too bad we don’t have a big back yard so she can run and play with the kids.  She’d love to be able to get out and run around with them.  In the mean time she’s content to take up a patch of floor and linger nearby, watching them like her little flock.

 

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13 thoughts on “Our Family

  1. Sweet kids. I am sure glad you don’t have to be rich to homeschool or we never would have been able to do it!

  2. Greetings from a fellow trailer homeschooler! I’m inspired that you’re educating your children on principle despite limited resources. We follow a more classical style, but I can relate to the limited resources. It’s kind of fun to watch other blogs and see these gorgeous school rooms with the perfectly organized shelves full of books. But then I look at my little table pushed up under the ledge of the counter overhang between the living room and kitchen…and I get a twinge of envy. I just try to remember, I have a lot of reasons why I homeschool, but none of them was because I wanted to spend a ton of money on curricula.

    I’m looking forward to following your blog.

    • I love seeing all the fancy school rooms too, but it’s not for me and not for my family. I’ve also seen a lot of unschool families that go on great adventures that we can’t afford. Sometimes I really wish I could afford to give my kids that, and wonder how much different things would be if I could.

      Good to know I’m not the only person in a trailer that’s crazy enough to homeschool! It’s encouraging to know that I’m really not that crazy and that other people can and will make the same choice I do!

  3. Hey there Fox! It’s great to meet you! I’m JUST starting Homeschooling, as you read on my blog, this coming Monday, and I’m..oh..can you say…NERVOUS!!! I KNOW in my heart of hearts that I’m doing what is best for our son…but I know it’ll be a challenge! I have read your intro and I JUST love this blog! I am really looking forward to following your blog. I must say tho, even though I’m not “technically” new to WordPress, I’ve not quite figured out how to put the Blogs I Follow on the front page yet! Oh bugger! It’s frustrated me but I’ll get it eventually!!! LOL! I’m proud of you for standing up for what you BELIEVE in your heart is right and true…no matter what anyone, even family, thinks! Quite frankly, I called my SIL the other day to reveal to her about our son, and she honestly thought I was talking about our decision of taking him out of school to homeschool him, which dh told her the night before, um, no, I was going to reveal that our son, adopted 4 years ago, has RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder) & SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder) cuz my DH never wanted to tell his family all those years…it’s all in the blog….AND…she started to HONEST TO GOD, give me her blessing..UH…really? Do you think I’d ask anyone other than myself and DH what to do concerning something so close to our hearts for their “blessing?” I almost laughed but bit my tongue! Honey…..family can be “funny & strange”…..when it comes to OUR children….but take them as they are….listen and let it go. We will do what we KNOW in our hearts we’re going to do anyways, right?! Again….I’m really really looking forward to following your blog! Thanks SO MUCH for following mine, too! Keeping you and your family in thoughts and prayers, k.

    • Putting the blogs you follow up should be in the widgets you add to your sidebar…I think… I’m funny about doing things and forgetting how I did them. It makes it really hard to go back and change things later! Of course, it always seems like SUCH a good idea at the time, until I need to change it. I should totally take notes or something.

      Thanks for following. You’re totally right. Family is interesting, to say the least, at least those outside the home. Everyone else always seems to think they’ve got the answers, or that they feel the need to offer sympathy or condolences for things that really have become just another part of life! All children come with their challenges. Your challenges are ones most people won’t face, but you’ve got a special, sensitive child, and he will some day grow up to be something very different than he would have been had he not been gifted with such a wonderful family. I’m looking forward to reading more about your family too!

      Blogging has been wonderful for me because it allows me to connect with so many moms of kids that society would deem “not normal” in some fashion or another. There’s you and your wonderful boy. I’ve connected with a fantastic mom whose youngest is a brain cancer survivor. There’s another mom with her two youngest kids that have a distaste for shoes. Yet another posts about all the quirky things her kids do and say. It’s not that these kids are different or unusual in a bad or unacceptable way. It just makes me happy to see so many wonderful, diverse kids that are free to grow and live in their own way, and are loved for being exactly who they are, in whatever form that may be. It’s absolutely beautiful!

  4. Pingback: My “Tiny Peek through a Window of What it’s Like” « For the Love of Food

  5. great blog. You peaked my curiosity. I was homeschooled (not unschooled, there IS a difference), and I hated schooling in college. So I wouldn’t put my kids through school. But I do see the disadvantages to homeschooling too. You definitely don’t need money to homeschoool, I agree. For everything else, though, you do. Different people are different on what they want.

    • I wouldn’t say that you necessarily do for everything else. It’s all about living within your means. It’s all a matter of what you want in life. Do you want the big fancy house with two cars in the garage, or are you happy walking everywhere and living in a small apartment? Do you need to have expensive clothes, or is shopping thrift a better choice for you? There are all kinds of options ranging between the expensive high-life and living in the poor house. It’s a matter of figuring out what you’re willing to live with and what you need to live the life you like.

  6. I just stumbled upon your blog today! I too am a trailer park unschooler to 4 babes in TX! We are big time gamers as well. I sort of geeked out to read all about your family. 🙂 I have been a little down in the dumps lately about not having the money to buy all the cool projects {LittleBits is high on our wants list right now} and gadgets I want to, or go on those grand adventures I read about other unschoolers doing. My 4 yr old son is Celiac and I am fairly certain he has a lactose allergry {though he does fine with raw milk.}

    Anywho I could write I novel, just wanted to say thanks for the encouragement.

  7. I’m another one who is glad that you don’t have to be well off to homeschool. I consider us to be hillbilly homeschoolers. We live in the middle of nowhere on RAW LAND. No electricity (though we do have a generator), no running water (unless you count running out of a jug to be “running water”, no TV / Cable (other than the occasional DVD). While I do have a tablet, most of my internet time comes from when I can make a trip to town and get on a computer at the library (occasionally on my tablet at a wifi hotspot). We survive, and we thrive. In some ways I think it makes homeschooling my daughter (kindergarten) easier because there’s less distraction, in other ways it’s harder because I have to find time to teach lessons when life is much more work than people who can simply flip a switch and have light, or turn a knob and have water come out the sink.

  8. It’s so true. You do not need to be rich to homeschool/Unschool. Some people don’t get that though! Love your story! Thanks for finding me. Looking forward to reading more about your journey 😜

    • A lot of people don’t get it. So many people have asked me over the years if I have enough money to homeschool. It’s been a journey, but we’re working our way through.

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