Category: Home Learning

Homeschool “Hundred Acre Wood” style

You are a Tigger Homeschooler. Tiggers jump into
homeschooling with both feet, as a grand
adventure. Everything is about learning, and
their days (and houses) show it.

What kind of Hundred Acre Wood Homeschooler Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Sure, I knew that already. Woo! hoo! hoo!

Just a cute quiz to take, maybe someone will get a different answer and let me know who they are/what their result to the quiz is/let me know if it’s accurate to their model of life if I don’t know what their’s is like.

πŸ™‚

We are Tiggery, we have no schedule, bounce all over the place and have fun … but don’t always have something visibly going on, it’s not a “physical” Tigger Home Education we have, but a Visual-Spatial anything mind or body sort of thing. Kind of like how the Pixar movie “The Incredibles” can be viewed as an allegory about Gifted Education … and translates beautifully to the entire gamut of “gifted intellectually” or “gifted physically” or “gifted creative artsy” types. In the movie the “gifted” are the “natural super-heros” and the guy who has no “natural super-hero ablility” does have what would be considered “giftedness” in our world, but in the movie it’s “fake super-hero” stuff, creative, sure, but not what makes a “super-hero” in the movie. So to align the creative guy in the real world with what he’d be around the “natural-super-hero’s” which are “naturally gifted” would be to make him out to be a clever system to make regular folk appear to be as smart, creative, physical as gifted folk, but really aren’t aside from great tools that make them mediocrely successful.

In the real world, great tools work MAGIC with gifted folks using them, and only make mediocre stuff out of non-gifted.

Like take art, music.

Put a gifted singer in front of a mic and let her rip
Put a wanna-be-singer in front of a mic and let her sing and let the studio make her rip.

The real singer is good on her own
The other ain’t, but is marketed.

So what.

That’s me. I don’t record, sure, wish I could, but that’s beside the point. I haven’t not succeeded, so what. I wish to, but haven’t pursued it. The only point I’m making here is that the singers out there being played are mostly not good naturally, and there are some of us out here that are naturally good, so they [the recorded ones] should all be happy we live in a world that Cindro created. πŸ™‚

It’s just an example.

OK, so I am keeping my children with me, and it’s natural, and we are bouncy and plan to pursue all things that crop up. I’m not a bouncy person though. I’m as slow as molasses in person, quiet, reserved, crazy in my mind, racing around and having a million thoughts at once. To some I might be loud, but they don’t know the real me. I’m a nut in some cases, I can be really loud and forward, but normally I’m what I am: an introvert and glad to just watch and race around in my own head, that has rich worlds in deep layers inside.

This goes to me thinking then, how does a non-visual-spatial-introvert live in their heads, what’s it like? If they aren’t pictoral in thought, how do they introvertedly be reflective in the introvert-ish way. See there, now I have some new knowledge to pursue. That’s sort of what it’s like in our home educationally. One thing sparks a new idea and we or they or I or the one goes off and finds something else that brings them to that other thing, then sparks a revolutionary thought that opens up a whole new something else.

La dee da da day, normal day for us.

July sure went by fast

I know time goes fast when you are having fun, but what if it goes by fast when you are definitely NOT having fun? πŸ™‚

Time has flown for me the last few years, and this last month, July 2005, has been quite the fastest, by far, in my estimation of historical events in my life. It’s now officially August. Wow.

August is a month that has historical attachments to it for me. I guess I was ingrained with the “school year” calendar in my younger days, and I view July and August as pure Summer days of freedom, with it all beginning in early June at the latest, if not May.

In my own lifetime and school “career” I saw that idea taken and smacked up and torn apart. It’s hard to put into words, but it’s the idea of freedom from tyranny which I have, it’s a beautiful picture in my head that is connected to the idea of Summer and that is what this part of the year is.

We homeschool, and are not on any sort of schedule as the public school’s have. I felt horrid when I opened up the Ads in the paper around the last weekend in June or first weekend in July and saw all the “Back to School” ads … really I felt bad. I understand that most schools around here start this very week that we are just beginning on the calendar. That just messes with my internal summer clock.

We “officially” begin a new year of homeschooling in September, but that’s only in the eyes of the school board. We do our thing year round, but nothing formal. This coming year I’ll be doing more with our eldest. He’s 9 and reads well, can write, needs more practice there, he has an electrical experiement set that we can get an upgrade for. There are other things in that realm of electrical and computer that we’ll be looking at. He likes Bionicles and is collecting them all. Also into K’nex. The other two children love the K’nex too. They follow directions to build things, and also make things on their own. (I would have loved K’nex when I was a child!)

The two younger are 6 and 4. I’m working slowly to get them reading. That’s all they need, it’s the code to open up learning in any way they want to. If I push them, they won’t get it any faster than they could by doing it slowly. I do it slowly and punch up whatever they seem ready for.

All the children draw and color. Eldest draws intricate scenes: boats, houses, cross-sections with all kinds of things going on. Sometimes people are in the scenes, often robots, bionicle-like things, dinosaurs, etc. He’s not fastidious, but fastly draws things in, and spends time filling in with lots of things. His “coloring” is hurried too, and it’s sloppy.

His younger brother is 4 years younger. His coloring is really good. His drawing is simplistic. He’s opposite of his brother in that way. He’s also an extrovert, whereas his older brother is an introvert.

The middle child is our girl. She’s into drawing faces. She has some neat things she’s done lately, on a regular sheet of paper, plain 8.5×1, she has faces started landscape at the top left edge and uses up a couple of square inches for each face, one after the other, then down a line and continuing.

She’s had an interesting way of drawing people, usually going for frontal format. Her elder brother is the one that does cross-sections, and makes people/things from different angles. She herself does make people from the side, but likes the faces so much I think, she prefers to make them so that their faces can be shown. πŸ™‚

I’m a doodler, I draw things that flow from my pen. I have never stretched my abilities and done much more. In school I did have “instruction”, in 6th grade more so than not, that I recall best. My teacher there was very strict. She was art and English teacher. My homeroom teacher in 5th grade too. Most people didn’t like her much. She’s one teacher I was sort of afraid of in my lower grades, but when I ended up in her class, I started to see something, and I am thinking of it now, and think she saw something in me that others did not. I think she’s the one who got me to be tested for the gifted program. I didn’t get in, my math stuff was all too low. I felt a softness of lovelyness in that teacher though, when everyone else saw her as hard as nails. Hmm.

So anyhow, I did drawing there in her classes, more formally in 6th grade. She insisted that all English things, like stories and poems, have art included with them. πŸ™‚ You must know that I hadn’t considered her in a long time. She was an older woman (probably only in her 50’s back then πŸ˜‰ ).

I never had considered myself good at replicating actual life. I am able to draw things I see, but I don’t LIKE doing it. I see it too nicely to reproduce it with my poor hand to my own perfections faulting.

So I doodle. I doodle graphical-like. Just shapes of meaning or nonsensical creation. I’ve done a particular type since childhood, mostly then on bookcovers for certain. I still do it today and realized not too long ago it really is like tattoos I’ve seen on people IRL, TV, Print, etc. I’ve not copied it from anything, it’s only natural doodling. Nothing new under the sun, you know. πŸ™‚

One of my most favorite simplistic graphics is what I have on this site in use as my “gravatar”, which is “globally recognized avatar”, something I’ve enabled for comments on this site … you sign up for a free account on the gravatar site, and upload your avatar, and it’s associated with one email address. So anytime you comment on a site that uses the gravatar service, if you use an email address that is registered with gravatar.com then your avatar will load on that comment. You can see mine on any thread of recent time here I’ve commented on. I don’t always comment with that email address on other sites, so I do have a colored version of that graphic I’ll associate at a later time with my other email I use.

I have graphics from very recent years in books and on a few pages of things, and have scanned a few into the computer, and want to get them all in. I don’t really have many that are that good, but some have potential for working on further, and some are standalone pretty good, IMO. Some I have to take into a graphics program and remove lines behind them, seeing as I do often doodle on lined paper. Something I truly want to get away from doing. I want to take my doodling more seriously. It’s actual an art form that I didn’t consider art. It is art. Bowl me over with a feather when I realized that finally. πŸ™‚

Along these lines I’ve been encouraging the children to draw what they want to and to be as careful doing it as they can, making it as nice as possible, without pressuring them to make it perfect. There is a book I have, but haven’t really read it. It met with the Green Incident and I need to replace it. The Green Incident is an Asa Event. He found something that I had under the sink and poured it over a bunch of my stuff, back when I had my old laptop in the kitchen, and had just put a new pile of books that I was going to do stuff with, out. A bunch of good books. The stuff he poured was thick green pungent smelling concentrate to kill worms on tomato plants, etc. “BTKiller”. I was not happy, to say the least. So anyhow, that book I referred to is Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, or something similar. It’s about learning to really use your right-brain to draw, whether you are left-brain dominant or right-brain dominant. Some of it I gleaned, and it’s what made me realized that I do draw with the right-side of my brain. My designs come from my hand, straight from the right-brain, as I don’t design things I think of, I just let it flow. So my thoughts are that someday I can better myself through drawing if I get that book in good form again, and use it with the children and see what can develop.

I often make things with hearts in them, as my gravatar is. I use gel pens, I have a large set of colors, and many of my designs are full of color, and it’s my choice as to what they look like, but I turn my left-brain off entirely and just do it. If you aren’t “right-brain”-ish, you might’nt know what I mean, it’s just automatic for me, not something I have to turn off. It’s particular of me that my left-brain is able to be turned off and on, but my right brain is always on. My left-brain functioning isn’t 100% useful either, just part of it. Well this is part of the whole thing about my family, we are all VS, that’s Visual Spatial, that’s “right-brain dominant”. So I know that my kind of learning is theirs, and we just “do it”. We learn through many things, and I think that reading and artisticness and nature are the best things to learn via. πŸ™‚

So Summer is freedom to me. I hate the thought of formal school in August. (It was hard enough to think it right in September back in my youth! The lure of new supplies is what drew me usually.) It’s stifling of breath to me. It’s stifling to think of learning being something to go to school for. I learned in school a bit, but learned much more outside of school. I learned on my own from the start and never stopped. Summer was the best learning time, reading, reading, reading, no interference from school work; and climing trees, running, exploring the hills, and woods and cemetaries and … ah, just really living and learning from everything around. Drinking it in.

That’s the idea I have of freedom in the first place, real freedom, freedom from tyranny. The Summertime ideal is written of in literature, like The Penrdragon series (King Arthur) by Stephen Lawhead.

Homeschooling, what we are

HASH(0x8a9ca14)
Salvador Dali Melting clocks are not a problem in
your reality. You are an unschooler. You will
tolerate a textbook, but only as a last resort.
Mud is your friend. You prefer hands-on
everything. If your school had an anthem, it
would be Dont Worry, Be Happy.

What Type of Homeschooler Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Ha ha ha! How right! We aren’t unschoolers, though we don’t do “formal school” at all either. Make sense? I don’t like “unschool” as a term for us, for we on purpose don’t do “school” but learn on purpose at the same time. Floating time to time, but not exactly that either. πŸ™‚

Movies for Family

Elizabeth G. asked me about movie suggestions in the comments under Updates and Rambling Talk. So here goes: For Elizabeth G. and anyone else who may care about this!

In our home we have several Disney movies, mostly the “older” ones, Toy Story, The Little Mermaid, and the ones before that. I’ve been alright with it, but mostly do not consider them the BEST to do, since many of them are built on Classic Stories that are far superior to the Disney-ized versions.

That said, I love “Sleeping Beauty” of all the Disney versions of fairytales, it has a sweeping musical score and good triumphs over evil most definitely in a battle of evil vs truth.

Other than that, most of the Disney movies I really think are better suited to adults, really, who have the actual tales in their minds, and can understand them a bit better as Disney versions. I think children should be grounded in the truer versions before seeing adaptations on screen. FWIW

I love watching movies, but have always, since I can remember nearly, have loved to read. Reading filled my childhood and teen years, with little TV compared to most peers. This is something that I’ve failed at to some degree with my family so far, letting them see way too much movie-ism. But I’ve tried to be sure it was certain things only. In the past we had the Dish (satelite) and we watched alot of Babies being born, houses being built, houses being decorated, and food being prepared or talked about. Since September 2001 we’ve been without that, and so it’s these movies mostly, in this post, we’ve spent time with as a family. Russell is reading, but not super duper yet, not devouring, and I’ve not been diligent enough in reading aloud. I read aloud “The Velveteen Rabbit” a few months ago. I’d never read it, nor had it read to me. Oh, I got to the end and started bawling. My children looked at me, like “What’s wrong with YOU?!!!” and Russell asked, “Daddy, why is Mama crying?” \0/ Certain emotional issues are certainly not meant for THEM yet. I must do more reading. πŸ™‚ Joel Chandler Harris is some of my favorite stuff, and it’s kind of over their heads right now too. πŸ™ I do firmly believe that stories are grand for chlildren and adults alike, but that children NEED classic tales and fairy tales. True stuff, the Bible for one, is dry and exciting and firmly on level with any human to read and understand, with the grace of God. But if a child grows with it, it sinks in, the beauty of the drama, and fairytales properly approached add to the wonder.

Other than that, then there are classics that can be read, and films of them viewed:

National Velvet -rated G, 124 minutes 1944 Mickey Rooney and Elizabeth Taylor. It’s a classic that can be viewed as a family and discussed. Rights, wrongs, and what drives one and what should drive someone …

To Kill a Mockingbird – not rated, 2 hrs. 10 mins., 1962 Gregory Peck (Oscar winning performance) Not for the very young, but for maturing children with parental guidance, it’s a classic tale of a sleep southern town, Peck defending a black man accused of rape, and Boo Radley … it’s a sweet story, grippingly told, but not for children to watch alone.

Both of the above movies you may or may not want your boys to see at their ages, we have both on DVD, and you are welcome to borrow them and preview them, Elizabeth, if you’d like to.

Then there’s the classic “Quiet Man” John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara, 1952, not rated.

I guess what I’m getting at with the movies so far is that fluffy childrens’ stuff is pure candy, and that’s a bad diet. So a good movie to chew on is more in order, IMO.

Then there is a movie that is different, it’s a western type, but really different … “The Rare Breed” is about an Englishwoman (Maureen O’Hara) who brings over a prized English Hereford bull, to America in 1880, he is sold to a wild Scotman, and [O’Hara] hires [James Stewart] to help her and her daughter transport the bull to the new owner. It’s an interesting tale of what one family did to change the fate of the Texas Longhorn. So it’s sort of dry, yet not, very educational, and worth a peek to take a leap into learning about the history of what happened, if one would like to in their home or homeschool.

Then lastly, there’s a sweeping epic with many lessons to learn in it. “Big Country” starring Gregory Peck, Jean Simmons, Carroll Baker, Charleton Heston, and Burl Ives. 1958 2 hours, 47 minutes, not rated. It’s about a western ranch and water rights and a sort of feud over them with another ranch. The first rancher, his daughter brings an Easterner home, to marry him. That’s Gregory Peck. He is a different character than the rest, and branded eventually a fool and discarded … but the story is about being honest. And seeing what happens to old men in their folly of feudism. It’s a gripping story … hard, honest work is applauded in this movie. It’s a good tale for boys, IMO.

I like all the above movies particularly. They are for adults, and children with supervision.

Other things then, for children, we have some Pooh Bear stories on DVD, which I like too. And Beatrix Potter “Peter Rabbit” which are classic tales brought to animated life very real like her own drawings. Perhaps your boys are “too old” for this kind of stuff, but maybe not. This is stuff that I really like to watch myself, and if your boys every have read Peter Rabbit or Pooh Bear, they might really like to see these.

As I said before, all these movies we have on DVD and you are more than welcome to preview them.

There’s rather a derth of “decent films out there”. Oh, well one new one “Finding Nemo” by pixar studios, an arm of Disney, is actually sort of cute, and very pretty to see. We have that. The children enjoy it.

That’s a start. Let me know if this is the kind of thing you are looking for, or is there another angle you’d like? I am not recalling the exact ages of your boys Elizabeth, but know they are older than Russell, so … πŸ™‚

Oh, some other reading that has good movie adaptions is Jane Austen. Sense and Sensability, Pride and Prejudice in particular. Good reading for the whole family, read it then see the movies together, yes, we have them. Emma, Persuasion, too. I admit to not have read them before these past months. I love the movies, I love the books so much more. These are written by a woman in the early 19th century, but that’s not stuff just for women. My husband likes S&S, and P&P, the last one the more, the movie that is. Our pastor likes S&S the movie and the book … for one. Really nice character portrayals in word, and in the acting.

πŸ™‚

A New Pledge, and other ideas on learning at home

I’ve been reading different things about education lately … hence these ideas:

I haven’t liked the term “Home School” or the answer to the question: “What grade are you in?” or “Are you ready to go back to school” and the myriad of others that abound.

It didn’t bother me always to use the term “home school”. But it has since our children were born. What is “school”? Well, we don’t do that. We don’t do the opposite either, what’s known as “un-schooling”.

I’ve determined things like “home educate” were better. Recently I saw someone’s license plate that changed my mind … it was a state educator license plate, one of the specialties you can get from the DMV. They hold the word “educator” differently that I do. I can’t use it in any way to make sense then.

Here’s what I’ve thought up today:

Family.

Family Learners.

Well that proves it, there’s no way to say it. It’s a long thing.

“We don’t do school. We stay home and learn things in life as we live. We learn how to read and read books. We write. We learn lots of things.”

What about those books you can buy, “What Your Child Needs to Know in Second Grade” or something like that. Our eldest is 7. He’s not in the school system. He’s not in a grading system. Some people talk to me about it and say “Well he’d be in ‘such-n-such’ grade IF …”

Nope. That doesn’t work. Can’t put that structure on our family. We don’ t fit it.

We are a family first and foremost. The children come along and learn as they grow up, and learn how to do everything they need to, and to know everything they should. It’s not the job for the State to do anything about it. It’s not the job for anyone else to do something about it. It’s OUR job, as a Family, to do something about it.

I know that most families are happy to utilize other things to educate their children. I won’t say they should think on things as I do. My problem is with the intolerance out there for our way.

Connected to this is the idea that people are afraid for the children of lesser families, that they’ll drown if the State isn’t involved.

Well, it’ll take many years for people to lose their dependence on “Big Mama, the Educatin’ Arm of the Great Leviathan”. So meanwhile, how about just making an allowance for many modes of education, including Family Education. I’m not saying most people should do what we do. I’m not saying our way is the only way. It’s right for us. That’s what I’m saying. And it’s the right way for some others. Just not the masses of “homeschoolers”, not to even think of the government civilian training centers inductees and instructors of all opposite truth.

Prussian models of education are not what a Biblical family should seek to place around their child. I can recall when I was in “school”. I saw the main thing was “Patriotism”. Learn to automatically stand in lines, raise your hand. “Turn your books to page … “. “Stand and salute the flag:

‘I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, under God indivisible, with liberty, and justice for all’ … sit down now.”

Ugh.

That’s one thing I can’t wipe out of my brain.

How about changing it.

“I pledge allegiance to God Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, to His Son, Jesus Christ, who came to earth as a man, died for our sins, and purchased eternal life for all chosen before the foundation of the earth, and to the Holy Spirit who leads us, our God, the Holy God, three persons in one. I thank God for giving us a Holy Nation, a land devoted to You, under Your Law and Guidance. We humbly ask you to make us righteous, raise up leaders who will do your Will. Keep us in constant love, and care. And thank you for the States Rights that our leaders believe in to be true and good for a Godly Union of Land, and a Union that IS divisible and bound to no one but God, as States each have soverign duty to apply law under Him.”

That’s a rough draft, written on the spot here this morn. Too bad the last part isn’t exactly how it is, but only how it should be.

States Rights aren’t the same as when I say The State, either. Limited Government doesn’t have a structure called “The State” in my book.

Well, I got through school believing in States Rights, how come? I read books. I read what would be called today, Living Books. Biographies, history … that was what I loved. Did I get through school? Not really, I got my GED. Simple little test that was. πŸ™‚

Life isn’t about what kind of school certificates and degrees one can obtain. Nor to be a Statist Dem or ‘Publican. It’s about learning to Love God and to do His Will. To live righteous lives. To truly live well.

Part of that is eating. It’s a big deal to think food comes from a supermarket. We want to counter that notion. Food should come from regional producers, and most should come from farms direct. So our children are home with me, we read and do stuff, and part of that stuff is farming stuff. It’s a good education.

The children are still young. 7, 4, and 3 [on Saturday]. From what I know about me and my husband, and what I see in each of them … we are a family that seeks after knowledge with a vengeance. Fear not for us. We are learning about farming, but will be able to converse on a myriad of topics. Proficient in what we are talented in, and knowledgeable of what other things we need to encounter. It’s not up to a curriculum company to tell us what to learn. Nor the State, nor the Nation, nor a book at Costco.

We don’t believe in Big Government. Different governing entities for the last few centuries have wanted to control their populations with education. That’s scary.

Read the Bible, and good books. Learn foreign languages. Know how to do math that you need to use, and learn how to learn on your own, so that you can pursue higher information about anything if you desire to do so. In our home, we all learn together. So I am 37, and still learning. I love it. I’ll be learning in this life until I can’t see or hear or feel or smell. That’s what we instill in our children. To pursue knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.

Fireflies

We are expecting it to rain anytime, accoring to the radar it should be raining πŸ˜‰

At any rate, it’s after dusk and I was outside and noticed a few lights flashing here and there around the fence in the back yard, under the Locust Tree. Sure enough, it was Fireflies!

Sounds like a silly thing to be excited about. Right? Well, it’s the first time we’ve ever seen Fireflies on our property. Exciting!

I called Russell out of bed to see them. Asa and he share a room, so since Asa was still awake, out he came too. Victoria was already asleep.

I showed the boys the Fireflies from the deck, then we went into the yard. We “chased” the Fireflies, trying to follow them, then I encouraged Russell to catch one.

Oops! I told him to catch it in his hands.

I should have done that differently. One dead Firefly.

It was interesting to look at it though. It was dead alright, but still rather intact in it’s body shape. It’s luminous rear end was lit up in a 3/4 power glow … poor little beatle. That’s right, not fly, beatle. Fireflies are beatles. Learn about them here.

This is an example of home education. It happens when you least expect it. It’s fun too!

Russell successfully caught two or three Fireflies after the first dud of a catch.

As we were going inside, Asa was waving so sweetly at the sky, looking for Fireflies and saying “Bye Firefwies!”. It was really nice.

As we were going in, I could smell the scent of Fireflies in my hands. It was a memory, not an actual real-time scent. It was the memory from when I was a little girl, chasing “Lightening Bugs” [as we then called them] and catching them in my hands, in jars, letting them go. They left a particular smell, earthy, and it’s burned in my memory. It’s one of those kinds of reminders that refreshes your outlook for how to communicate with the children. Fun, sweet times, and good memories will last forever.

Three New Items Added

Yesterday I had Russell and Victoria make new pictures to scan for the web.

Here you’ll find: Our House by Russell, and the flip side of that page: A Train Named Choo-Choo-Chug-A-Chug, also by Russell.

Here you’ll find: “Paperdoll” by Victoria.

Victoria’s Art: A Scene, front and back

Page 1 There’s a link to page two on page one.

School-time

School is beginning in many places very soon. We homeschool, so nothing much is changing for us. We don’t do anything formal yet, in the way of education. Our oldest is Russell, and he’s 6. He’s learning to read, count, and how to learn. He’s exploring and expanding in knowledge. Well, the same goes for Victoria, who’s 3, and Asa who will be 2 soon.

Check out http://www.triviumpursuit.com

This is information we’ve recently stumbled upon, but it’s pretty much what we’ve planned to do in our home all along. It’s really nice to find information published that validates your educational philosophy!

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