Trailer Park Unschoolers

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

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My Weekend in the City

Though it happens rarely enough, I actually spent the weekend without the kids.  I went to an event in Boston called Nerd Con: Nerdfighteria.  This was an event a friend of mine was going to and really wanted to bring me along to, so I went.

The whole experience was wild.  We stayed in a really swank hotel, REALLY high above the city.  We were on the 32nd floor.  It was terrifying.  What I learned from this?  I can stay in a really high off the ground hotel room, but I would much rather not.

However, even without the kids, I do have something to write about my weekend.  The weekend was a learning experience for me, which really embodies the whole thing about whole life learning.  How can I be an example to my kids if I don’t learn on my own?

Being a con, there were events and there were panels.  On Saturday I pretty much palled around with my friend and went to what she went to.  There really weren’t many things that day that screamed out to me, so I was mostly a shadow.  I saw some really awesome stuff, including the recording of two podcasts.  Still, it was a pretty fun day.  If I listened to podcasts more I might have checked them out.

However, I did get to go to a couple of panels on education on Sunday.  One was about a new science program for middle school students (though they define this as being between 4th and 8th grades) called Through My Window.  I’d just like to point out that the stuff they offer it for free (all except for the book).  While it’s only a single book and two online adventures to start, it’s bound to grow as interest in the program grows.  It might be worth checking into.

The other panel I went to see is bound to end up with things being featured on the blog.  They talked about YouTube channels, particularly those dedicated to science.  I have a whole bunch of new stuff to watch with the kids (and as I watch it with them, I’ll be sharing it with all of you too), so that’s bound to be featured soon enough.

At the end of it all I also got a Team Awesome pin for my bag, something that reminds me of when (way back) the kids called us Team Awesome.  Well, apparently there’s a charity called This Star Won’t Go Out and they’ve got a fitness team for walks and things called Team Awesome.  It’s worth going over to check it out.  They help support families with children suffering life threatening cancer.  They’re also really good people.

All in all, I learned a lot this weekend.  I don’t think I’ve really joined the number of people who consider themselves Nerdfighters, though I’ve been told I’m definitely one because I was that kind of person before Nerdfighters were Nerdfighters.  The general premise is “to decrease world suck.”  In other words, they do what the kids and I always strive to do, make the world a better place.  I can get behind that sentiment.



Project Awesome, by Team Awesome

Today I decided we’ve been stuck in too much negative.  It’s been too much of a struggle to get everything done.  The house seems a disaster half the time.  We’re having a hard time keeping on top of everything.  We really just need something to motivate us.  When times are hard we can’t just let everything all apart.  If we do it all goes cascading out from under us.

Instead of fighting with the kids to get the house clean, I decided to try something new.  We’re calling ourselves “Team Awesome”.  We have a mission, to make everyone around us feel totally awesome.  Our first target?  Oz.  He hasn’t been feeling very awesome lately.  Everything with his son has gotten him down, especially since it seems like his ex-wife just wants him to pay the child support check and stay out of their son’s life.  It’s hard because I understand being a parent means sometimes putting yourself out there.  It sometimes means letting your kids get hurt because they need to know the truth, no matter how bad it is.  My kids have to struggle with their father being in and out of their lives, but it’s not my job to prevent Corde and Beekee from knowing their dad.  My job is being there to support them when he does the same thing all over again.  Oz’s ex-wife doesn’t seem to understand that, by sheltering their child from the truth, it’s only going to hurt him that much more when he finds out.  When he’s older and finds out that his dad has tried to be a part of his life and she refused, how will he look at her?  He’s probably not going to be grateful and thank her for preventing him from suffering.  He’s probably going to be angry with her, possibly to the point of damaging their relationship in a way she might never know how to repair.  I don’t want to see that happen, but all I can do is support Oz in trying to work things out and hope that some day she realizes that holding her son back from knowing his biological father isn’t doing anyone any favors.

The kids don’t really know what’s going on with all of that.  They have a little bit of an idea because we don’t exactly hide it from them, but they don’t ask questions so we don’t volunteer information.  If they want to know, they’ll ask.  Instead we’re focusing on the important part.  Oz is feeling really down lately and he needs a little bit of positive in his life.  He needs a little bit of awesome.

Today Team Awesome has an incredibly important project, so big we’ve called it “Project Awesome”.  Our goal is to get the house clean again and organized.  I’ve been slacking on the cleaning department because I’ve been feeling down and the weather change has had my arthritis acting up.  That’s been helping Oz stay down.  However, we all know how good he feels to come home to a clean house.

I’d planned all of this ahead of time.  I knew what I was going to be doing later today, so I made a deliberate effort to sound completely drained and worn out.  I told him I didn’t think I’d be able to get much done today, as I’ve been feeling the past couple of days.  It’s true.  I don’t feel great today.  I have a sore throat from the heat being on.  My joints hurt.  The truth is, I don’t care!  I’d rather work through it.  Of course, he didn’t have to know that.

Sander, Blinket (red), Minket (brown) and Cuppy

The kids and I have been spending the day getting the house to look pretty darn good.  We even went so far as to put in a new scent in our Scentsy warmer.  (Click the link and any purchases will go towards yours truly!  Yup, I’m a consultant, and supporting my business is a great way to help us out!)  Then we started cleaning, doing laundry, and everything we can.  Sander even handed over Blinket and Minket to be washed without a fuss!  You have no idea how impossible that is.  He never wants to give those guys up!

We’re really trying to turn over a new leaf here.  Instead of fighting about getting things done, Team Awesome has become our greatest asset.  Team Awesome is about everyone realizing that we’ve all got to work together to make everyone around us feel awesome.  It’s good to know you’re awesome, loved, and important.  The kids will get a chance to help other people feel awesome, who will turn around to make sure they feel awesome too, at least I know Oz will in appreciation.

I think this is the best idea we’ve ever had.  Now I’ll return you to your regularly scheduled programming.  Team Awesome needs to get back to their important work of being awesome!