Trailer Park Unschoolers

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


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A New Family Day?

The down side is I quit my job.  The up side?  It meant I could have some much needed quality time with the family.  I’d been missing having a day when no one worked, which now I have again, and it felt really, really good.

We decided to go to the park down by Beekee’s old school.  He always loved that park but was never allowed to play there.  Apparently that was the park the little kids got to go to, which I didn’t understand because it was awesome.  The kids really loved it.

IMG_20170729_153831_024The biggest hit were the tractor tires.  It was the first thing the kids played with when they got there and the last thing they played with before they left.  They absolutely loved them, just as much as I remember loving them when I was a kid.  Those were the secret reason I wanted to go to that park.  The kids asked several times to play there, so the tires won out this week.

Sander had a ton of fun at the park.  It seemed perfectly suited to him, with plenty of spots to climb on.  If ever a park could suit a personality, this one would be it.  He was able to sail like a pirate, climb on everything, and even found a wonderful little spot to lounge.  He didn’t want to come home!

Everyone had a really good time, mostly because there was so much to do.  There were a ton of other kids there, which definitely helped.  There were so many people to play with.  I think the kids really needed this social outlet with a new cast of characters.  They’ve been seeing the same faces all the time, so new scenery and new kids to play with was definitely a win.

 

I think one of the biggest hits was the number of things there were to walk and climb across that moved.  Luca nearly took a spill on this thing a couple of times, and Oz didn’t do much better.  It was fun enough that they kept going over it until Luca, at least, seemed to pick up the skill for it.

We were down one family member because Corde had left to go to Rainbow Camp, which is fantastic for her.  It’s her first week at an overnight camp, so she was thrilled about that, but maybe next time she can come with.  This park definitely has one of her favorite things (most parks do), swings!

So, it kind of stinks that my job really wasn’t working out, but I think in the end something fantastic came out of it.  We’re back to feeling whole as a family, something that definitely wasn’t the case when we weren’t ever all home together.  Sometimes the sacrifice is well worth the outcome.

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Two Days of Sun

Can I just tell you how amazing the past two days have been?  It’s been amazingly warm outside.  Who knew we’d have the windows open in February?  We took advantage of the nice weather and spent two days outdoors.  It was great!

Yesterday we wanted to go to the park, but we ended up playing at the neighbor’s house instead.  The kids had a blast.  They even busted out the water table to play on, that’s how warm it was.  They ended up coming home wet and happy.  Who can beat that?

The park day got pushed off for today instead.  The weather was even nicer, if you can believe that.  It was 68 out yesterday.  Today it peaked at 73!  From what the weather reports told us today was supposed to be cooler than yesterday.  I guess that tells you how accurate weather reports are!

The kids had a lot of fun at the park today.  They ran around for a good long while, longer than I’d anticipated.  We’d planned to stay for an hour but we ended up staying for almost two hours.  Now they’re eating a quick snack before it’s time to get dressed and ready for jujitsu.  (No, I really can’t go a post without mentioning it!)

img_20170224_142056_957I even got a couple of good pictures of the kids.  For some reason Beekee always looks so serious and intense in pictures.  As I’ve gone back through old pictures I’ve found this to be a regular thing throughout his life.  Funny how he’s so intense!

img_20170224_142205_769Corde, on the other hand, was hard to grab a picture of.  She was running from the camera like it would kill her.  She finally settled to let me take a picture of her when I told her I just wanted one good one.  Her personality really shines through!

img_20170224_142728_672Then there was Luca and the snow.  Luca was so excited to be standing in snow in sandals, shorts, and a t-shirt.  After being bundled up in the snow, it was a lot of fun to be able to stand in what little was left without having to wear layers.  As the kids said, “If only it was always like this in the snow!”

img_20170224_142854_424Speaking of standing in the snow…  Corde wanted to show what she was made of.  She said she wanted to be barefoot in the snow, see what it felt like.  Her answer to this?  “It felt mostly wet, like stepping on ice someone dropped on the floor.  It wasn’t really cold.”  I’ll take your word for it, Corde.  I certainly wasn’t going to find out!

img_20170224_151015_503Even Oz got into the fun.  He was playing zombies with the kids, then wanted to lay down with Sander on the double slides.  They were just laying there, looking so chill.  He really had a great time with the kids, though.  It was pretty awesome to see him playing with the kids again.  He hasn’t had much opportunity to play with the kids outdoors because of the weather, but today happened to be a perfect day for it.

Then, of course, there’s all the other observations we got to make.  Since Nika came with us, she observed how fun it was to chase shadows on the swings.  I couldn’t get a picture of it, but I wish I had.  Then there was the kids making footprints in the sand.  I managed to get my boots slogged in the wet sand when I was going to take pictures.  I started to feel like I would be stuck there forever!

I kept an eye out on the way home to see if we could spot any other signs of spring.  We didn’t see any, but I hear the crocuses are starting to come up.  I saw some of what looked like leaf buds beginning to form on some trees on my walk earlier.  I just didn’t see any when I was out with the kids.  I have a feeling we’re going to see other signs of spring coming up here soon.

It seems like Mr. Groundhog was wrong this year.  We’re not going to have six more weeks of winter at all.  Granted, we did get one more storm, so maybe that’s what the groundhog was predicting, that winter wasn’t quite over yet.  Either way, it looks like spring is finally here now and I’m glad for it.  We’ve got the windows open and are letting in the warm, fresh air.  It’s beautiful out.  Best of all, it’s not quite going to be dark by the time the kids have to go off to jujitsu.  They’re still going to get to enjoy some of the nice weather for just a little bit longer.  That’s definitely going to be a nice walk to class!


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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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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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Park Days, Hiking Trips, Co-op, Festivals!

Our weeks are getting all booked up. How does this happen? Why are homeschooling so much busier than regular families? Never fail, we always run into more events than we can have.

For example, the park days have started up again. Every Monday they have park days with the secular homeschool Yahoo group. We have to start making these. The kids had so much fun at the last one we made it to. They kind of put it on hold for the summer because it was too hot, but now it’s back again. We can’t wait.

There’s also a nature and hiking group starting, sprung off that same secular group. They’re going to be doing hikes around the area on Wednesdays. The kids are looking forward to that, but not as much as I am. I miss going on nature hikes. They were always so much fun. Now we just need the plant and wildlife guides the kids want. This should be both fun and educational.

Sadly, we’ll miss the fall celebration. They’re doing a Pagan inspired fall festival the same weekend as the fairy festival. However, I’m betting they’ll celebrate some of the other festivals. No matter what religion Rushmore choose, it’s good for them to be exposed to a wide variety of religious practices. Nothing builds tolerance like understanding!

Of course, there’s the fairy festival. We can’t wait to go. The kids are very excited. They love faires and festivals. I can’t wait to see how it goes. It should be interesting, to say the least.

As always, co-op takes up our Fridays. The kids love it and they get plenty of time to play and learn together. It’s been a lot of fun. The whole thing has really been great for them.

If this keeps up we’ll have to start telling people we’ll never be home! In attempting to get through the CPS chaos, we’re going to have a much harder time scheduling home visits. It’s hard to have her visit when we’re never home. At least she can’t say the kids don’socialize.

It feels good to have a busy schedule again. I can’t wait until we can start posting about all the extra fun stuff we do. It’s going to be a great school year!