After a long day of getting kids up, preparing breakfast, cleaning up breakfast, dressing the 2 year old, packing extra sets of clothes, prepping picnic lunches, loading up kids, unloading, playing in the creek, ensuring kids don’t drown/hit other playmate with rocks/don’t slip down the steep bank, eat lunch, wrangle back into car, come home, prep snacks, prep dinner, prep dinner, prep dinner, pick up living room, clear off playdo/toys/books from the dining table, eat dinner, get kids ready for bed, go for a quick run, get kids into bed nothing much, I love to kick back, relax and put away food, clean up from dinner, pick up toys and do the work I get paid for  just take it easy.


8.27: Observations on a day



The 2 year old thinks its  a good idea to nurse all day.  And in between times to use his toolbox toys on your legs and ankles.


I get frustrated by all the clutter that amasses on the 5 year old’s side of the table and slowly creeps over the rest. And then I look at the stack of books at my own place (the apple….as they say….)


The pace of my evening run is to the mental accompaniment of Where Is Thumbkin?


There are pint-sized chair on top of the train table  Who knows why?


The two year old is eating butter straight.  He may need a butter intervention.


Every single outing requires water, snacks, adequate clothing, sweaters for super-chilled retail environments, multiple adjurations for using the potty and getting shoes on




A brief comment online caught my attention yesterday.


One of the tenets of home learning that is tailored to the child’s interests (whether it is self-motivated or arises from conversations or topics you yourself find important, think they need to know, introduce to them) is that children up until school age are constantly soaking up information and constantly learning and that this quest To Know doesn’t change when they hit school but rather can be squelched through a system that dictates what should be learned when.


(I myself am a product of the public school system and i would consider myself a life-long learner so clearly, there is not necessarily a correlation between the industrial school system and the diminishment of interest in learning, with the provision being that I was in the school system 25 years ago and much has changed since then)


However. The point on this thread that I was following was that these days, most children are placed in pre-school at a very young age, whether for daycare purposes or because everybody else’s kids are in preschool so they are going to put their kids in as well.  (To be honest, it seems like a pretty good scam to part parents from their money, particularly if there is not a financial impetus such as 2 full-time employed parents).  The point here is that: most people’s kids go to preschool at least part-time, so, no, there’s not the realization that kids will learn on their own.  They might assume that it is the preschool that is prompting the learning; in actuality, the child is learning because that is what children do.


To bring it home:


The 5 year old has been reading for quite some time and now he has turned his attention to the world of numbers.  When he was decoding reading, he would sit for long periods of time playing with plastic alphabet letters. I don’t know what games he was creating in his head but it was meaningful and he taught himself to read at 3.5.  He, like me, is a compulsive reader and is amassing a stunning amount of information from his eclectic reading materials, not only reading but REMEMBERING because he is reading what is interesting to him: physics, anatomy, natural sciences, stories, astronomy; it’s all fair game.


Now, suddenly, in the past few weeks, he has turned his attention to math.  I had tried in the past to introduce it but with little interest in his part. Now that he is ready, he is absorbing the world of numbers with just as much focus as when he was absorbing letters:  Addition, subtraction, fractions–today he was reading about binary code and told me how interested he was in it (Note: do they make chapter books about binary code that a 5 year old could understand?  :S)–greater than/less than, geometry, you name it.


The unfolding of his learning is incredible to watch and it is probably the biggest key to why I have been open to pursuing the world of the Unschooling/Relaxed Home Learning spectrum.




You know how when your 2 year old is being charming and winsome when you are out in public?  And people come up to you and tell you some variation of:


I miss those days!


Enjoy it! They grow so quickly!


Those are the best years!


And you look at them with a pained smile because:


Clearly they have FORGOTTEN.


The intensity, the mercurial emotion, moving from smiling happiness to screaming Hulk-out rages in 3.7 nanoseconds


The physicality, bearing the brunt of a child who decides he needs to be picked up and held right about the time when you are actually involved in actual work that goes best with 2 actual hands and, if you don’t pick him up, hearing the ear-splitting cries of rage and tragedy, getting the lash-out with hands or feet or the attempts with teeth.


The constant reaching and grabbing for things that should not be reached or grabbed and the following rage when you dare to move it out of reach or grab range or even wrestle it from victorious fists.


I’m not actually sure HOW you can forget this, but apparently most people do, or at least the ones that tell me how much I will miss it do.


Five,  yes, I’m having fun with five but 2? not so much….

Making Hay



8.20: Homeschool, Pt I



Head in the clouds 5 year old doesn’t notice you, playing Keep Away from him, trying to snub him because he wouldn’t go down the Ridiculously Tall Slide (listen, kiddo, I wouldn’ta done it either).


He walks by you and calmly says, “No, I’m not the monster”.  He thinks you’re playing your own game, like he plays his own games; intent as he is on showing me how he can go down the Normal Size slides, he doesn’t realize you are teasing him.


Curly-headed with such clear blue eyes, such a powerful inner life, such a stunning mind. He’s protected from you by his own alive world.


How would it be if he were in school? He’d be the one at the edges of the playground, kicking rocks, not noticing you playing Keep Away. He wouldn’t notice, not at first. But years and years of other kids playing Keep Away, how would that affect him?  How could my quiet voice and support, my love however strong, how could that offset the hours and hours of his day spent being teased for not going down the Ridiculous Slide, for making up his own games and rules, for holding back from you and you don’t like that. For being told to stop talking, to obey the class rules, to stop getting up from his chair, to keep his mind on his work, no you have to do THIS now and if you finish early, just put your head down on your desk and you can only ask a question, we don’t really care about what’s going on in your head, what you are thinking. If you can’t ask a question, then please keep your hand down.


Hours of his day, day after day, for years.


How could I possibly offset that?  What happens to fragile little psyches that have to deal with that torment.


So I will keep him home here with me to learn, to “homeschool” if by “homeschool”, you  mean “world school”, where the whole world is his learning resource and the breeze comes through the window and the encyclopedias clutter the floor and table and he is free to do his half-skip/half-gallop with his head cocked to the side for all the world like a frisky young colt dancing in a field for sheer joy of being alive whenever he needs to rush out and feel the sun on his face, where art can occur at the drop of a hat and every day is Music Day and Dancing Day and Gym Class without the awkward lining up and being picked last for the team.  And he can join other young friends for a creek stomp and pick up baby crawdads and see the inside of a river mussel or go to the museum, and learn, learn, learn, all the time constantly learning, driven to learn with his insatiable need to know Everything.


And he’s free to be in his inner world and dream dreams and think huge, big, enormous thoughts. And nobody taunts him with Keep Away because of it.

Stealth Mama Skillz #39875



Secret Slinky-fixing powers.



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