Tag Archives: friends

Avoiding childism at social gatherings

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In a world that is filled with unrealistic expectation of children at its best and downright prejudice against children at its worst, sometimes it is hard to explain to my kids why adults say or do certain things in response to them. Many adults were raised in a way that expected children to be seen and not heard, to only participate in conversations they were invited too, and above all do not say or do anything that is bothersome to adults without expecting immediate discipline.

When you are a child that is raised in a way that you are treated with respect, treated in a way that values what you have to say, and seeks your contribution to the family choices, it can be quite a shock to be abruptly cut off, ignored, or talked down to. I try to only take the kids to outings that I know the adults parent similarly enough, or at least will mind their own business and not butt in with my kids. Out in the real world, sometimes it is possible to avoid, but I am very thankful to be able to have friendship groups where children are valued and respected by all.

I was reminded of all this recently. We were invited to a friends house for a graduation party she was throwing her oldest daughter. This friend is a wonderful example of someone who values individuality and cultivates respect for all types of people. She has raised her kids in that vein, and it truly shows with her teenagers. There were many people of all ages at this party. Everyone was having a good time.

 

My oldest, Hailey (7)  is my extrovert. She loves being in social settings, making new friends, and being the entertainment of the room. Many times throughout the night, I seen her sharing jokes, stories, recipes, or ideas with other people. The adults listened to her, interacted, told jokes back, and overall treated her the same as they would any other guest. It was then, a large feeling of thankfulness for these type of people in our life flooded over me. She wasn’t seen as an annoying kid who talked too much or a kid who didn’t realize social expectations (things I remember feeling as a child). Actually, the opposite was the case. My friends shared with me how they noticed her creative side, and they took joy in her. I felt very much the same way about their children. It was so special to me to share that.

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This sense of respecting and admiring all people was present in the teenagers of the house as well. I was outside and Hailey went inside. After a few minutes, I went to go check in on her. She was telling jokes to the group of older kids hanging around. They were listening and laughing. They made her feel heard.

I want my children to feel just as welcomed as I do in social gatherings. That means sometimes we leave when that isn’t happening. That means sometimes people get put into the acquaintance relationship category, instead of friend. That means sometimes, the kids and I have hard talks about why things happen and children are treated differently. I am so thankful to have found people in my life who share similar values.

Our unschooling day 10/12/16

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Trying to keep up the momentum of write all the things so here is what our today looked like. We took it slow and easy this morning. When we were ready we got dressed and headed out the door. Papa needed some quiet time at the house to study for a test he needs to take for a technical certificate, so I made plans to meet up with friends at a park with the kids.

The kids played for hours. The park is one of our favorites and they all had a great time. They played with fresh walnuts that were fallen (and some fell right before our eyes and luckily didn’t hit anyone). Elijah and his best friend pretended to cook with them and have a restaurant. They also used them as balls, and rolled them down the slide. His hands are now walnut stained color despite washing them a few times.

The kids played in the creek a bit. They all enjoyed wading in the water, but got more wet than we had originally planned for.

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Hailey said they found a frog or two. Her best friend caught a little fish in a bucket. We all took a look and she let it go.

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Winter and his best baby friend threw rocks into the creek.

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We all bring snacks and share them so there is always that. Lots of the normal park type play as well. After about 3.5 hours we headed home to change wet shoes and clothes, have another quick snack, pick up Papa, and run out to the store to grab some things on sale.

Back at home was dinner. Then the kids took a long bath and played in the bath water. We read books before Elijah went to bed, and Hailey is still up hanging with me. That about sums up our day. Feel free to share about your day in the comments!

Unschooling doesn’t stop on Saturday

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Once you realize that learning happens every day, and let go of the idea that it has to look like school, then you comprehend that unschooling doesn’t stop just because it is the weekend. There are not set days of the week that learning has to happen. We play and do our normal things that work for us every day.

Saturday we went to a program that I registered the kids for. It was Minecraft themed, and I just knew Hailey would love it. The first activity was making bow and arrows out of hangars. This was such a neat activity; one I never would have thought of. They spent a lot of time on that, and even more time with it a home.

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Then we inflated balloons with baking soda and vinegar. It was interesting experiment, but Hailey and myself talked about ways we could recreate it at home. Hopefully, sometime this week we are going to see if we can get the balloon so big that it pops.

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They played with Lego’s and made some crafts. After the program, we walked around a bit looking at the nearby river and the fountains. We were starving, and had the rest of the day to kill, so I messaged some friends and made a plan to meet up at Chick-fil-a to eat and let the kids play. They play for a few hours and had a lot of fun.

Back at home, Elijah was watching TV and Hailey brought me a library comic book over and had me read some with her.

She then wanted to take a bath and see if she could float in the bath water with her life jacket like she did in the big pool.

Elijah found a book that had a picture of stamps. He asked me if I would help him make a letter. So he drew a picture for his Papa, I helped him get an envelope and stamp, and write the address down. Hailey wanted to join and wrote one for a friend.

They wanted a before bed snack, and asked if they could experiment making one. They ended up tearing pieces of bread, spreading them with peanut butter, and placing a chocolate chip on each one. A tasty treat for sure!

Since Papa had to work on Father’s day they elected to give him his presents when he got home from work. The kids worked on cards for their Papa and my Dad.

Sunday, we took it easy in the morning. While I was laying the baby down for a nap, Hailey took it upon herself to find a sturdy butter knife and cut up an entire watermelon. I was shocked, but she was so happy with herself. Even Elijah told sissy “I so proud of you”.

We then headed to see me Dad for a few minutes. They don’t get to spend much time with him, so they were happy to see him, even if only for a short while.

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Then we met up with my Mom to head to see their great grandparents for a bit. It was nice to visit and chat, and of course have ice cream sandwiches.

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Back at home we made homemade Chinese food and read some animal facts in a book we borrowed. We ended the day with some audiobooks and cuddles.

We had a really fun weekend filled with friends and family, and of course plenty of opportunities for learning.

 

Unschooling this week.

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Back again for another peek inside our lives. We have been out and about so much recently, I have not been able to keep up in documenting it for you. Here is what we have been up to.

Monday we took the morning very slow and relaxed. In the afternoon we headed to a library program with some friends. The listened to a story, made crafts, had snack, and played dress up.

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We played outside for a bit before headed home.

Tuesday we went strawberry picking. This was a lot of fun.The farm was so beautiful.

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The place we were at was very family friendly and told the kids to feel free to snack while they picked. They all didn’t hesitate on that, especially the baby.

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Yummy! After that, we had a few errands to run and we stopped for some lunch as well. We headed home and relaxed for the rest of the night.

Wednesday started off by Hailey finding a workbook we bought a while back. She loves those and sat at the table for a bit with it that day, as well as almost every day that week. We met a bunch of friends at a park for a surprise party and playdate for a friend. We ate snacks, played all day, and had cake. Fun day all around.

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Thursday I had an eye doctor appointment. The kids walked over with Papa to get ice cream while I got checked out. Then we headed home in a hurry for an unexpected vehicle repair.We headed back out to our very last nature class that is taught by my friend. It was just us and her kids so we mostly just played. The kids made bird feeders.

Then we took a hike. A toad was found along the way and they took turns holding and petting it.

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The kids threw rocks in the pond and gathered the biggest ones they could find. Some of the grownups had a headstand contest.

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Today was grocery store day. The kids have their own little bags of money that they wanted to bring so they could pick out something and pay for it with their own money. At the first store Hailey picked out a croissant with chocolate in it. Elijah picked a nitrate free beef stick. At the second store, Hailey and Elijah both went for a chocolate coin and a tiny little dollar container of ice cream. They both helped count out the money and hand it to the cashier. I loved their faces, beaming with excitement. Hailey was so thrilled that she had her own receipt.

Share your unschooling adventures in the comments!

 

Our unschooling today 5/20/16

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We are not morning people in general. I try to find us activities and playdates that are scheduled a bit later. There are some field trips however, that are just too cool sounding to pass up, especially if we get to go with friends. A good friend set up a field trip to an ecological center and apiary. So we got up super early and made the 90-minute drive.

The first portion of the class was the Apiarist explaining why bees are important, how they do what they do, sharing some pictures, and explaining to the kids how to keep the bee’s and themselves safe. Some of this was a bit too complicated for my 6-year-old, and most of it was too much for the 3-year-old. But they made it through.

We headed to the hives. I will be honest; I was a bit nervous. The kids put on their hats and nets and were fearless.

We watched as Apiary Dave handled the bees.

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We got an up close look ourselves. We were even able to taste fresh honey.

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They were much happier when we were able to get outside. We checked out the pond and some of the farmland. The kids found some tadpoles and Papa helped them all take a closer look. It was such a beautiful place.

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We had a picnic lunch with our friends. Then we checked out the animals and let the kids run, play, and feed the chickens.

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This is actually a picture from yesterday, but isn’t he cute?

We also checked out the children’s garden next. They had an area where the kids could dig up dirt and plant seeds. They had a well water tap and watering buckets to fill and water the garden. Hailey really loved that.

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We packed up for our drive back. Unfortunately, we got stuck in a traffic jam on the highway and used up all of our baby is sleeping instead of crying in the car time. When he woke up and we still had over an hour to go, we decided to make a stop. The kids were asking for ice cream. A quick search led us to a locally owned ice cream shop. The ice cream was homemade and the people were friendly. It was a great find. We let the kids run and play in a grassy area and then headed back to the road.

Back at home we read some new library books and settled down to relax. A long, fun day.

What we have been up to lately

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This whole week or so has kind of been a blur. A mix of relaxing days around the house where we didn’t do much to write about and days we played all day.

Last Thursday we all decided to take a quick hike. The kids had some energy they needed to use and me and Papa wanted to get some sun. The baby fell asleep on me. I really love babywearing. I am not sure what my life would be like without it. Oh wait, yes I am sure. It would be a lot more frustrating.

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A nearby zoo was having a free admission after 5pm because of a concert. We headed up to play. There were not many animals out, but we enjoyed this up close and personal look at the snow leopard.

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The lack of animals didn’t really put a damper on the kid’s fun. They enjoyed walking around, listening to the music, and playing on the animal statues.

Friday was a sit around the house day. Papa worked on the van and Elijah loved “helping” with that with his tools.

Saturday I took the kids to a free gymnastics event. The kids love gymnastics. Both had fun and conquered some fears.

Sunday was church. After church we headed to visit with a friend who was visiting from out of state. It was so nice to catch up and let the kids play.

Monday was another take it easy kind of day. The only thing we did was go to the grocery. The kids were not exactly having an easy day. Everyone has off days. So we took lowered our expectations and took the cue to relax.

Tuesday we were also around the house. Papa and the kids had a lot of fun testing out our new virtual reality goggles that I got in to review. Me and Winter got a mommy baby date by headed out to run a few errands on our own. It was nice to spend some time with just him. He loved all the attention he was getting out and about too.

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Wednesday the kids chose to go to our local science museum. There is a lot to do there. Winter really enjoyed the water table.

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The kids all worked together building with atoms to make structures.

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Thursday We hung around in the morning and early afternoon. After a while we headed to a park to meet up with some friends at a super fun, relaxed nature program. My friend is an amazing teacher, if we couldn’t homeschool, I would want her to be there teacher. She set up some really cool activities.

We sang songs, played games, and got dirty. Elijah wasn’t so sure at first, so he participated for a while on my lap. I love that there was no pressure to participate.

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Of course, he warmed up quickly. When it came to the adventure hike portion of the program, he had no problem getting dirty with his friends.

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“I am a princess queen dragon king!”

Friday we had a picnic with a local group to celebrate mother’s day. Food, fun, friends. A whole day at the park and playing!

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We took a walk to the pond next to the park.

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We even saw say goslings! They were so cute and fun.

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We stopped by Hailey’s art studio to make some art with our city’s new semi pro soccer team. They had lots of fun stations, including an area to dip soccer balls into paint and throw them.

Hailey loves art. Very rarely does a day go by that she isn’t doing some form of art. It really is not my forte, so I am always looking for opportunities for her to do art in ways she might love.

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This week was a good mix of home and out. We did a bunch of playing. I love that in a generation of busied rushed over scheduled lives, my kids can play play play. I am thankful to give that to them.

Homeschooling this past week

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We have been busy trying to get through the winter and I have not updated the homeschooling section much. We have been out of the house quite a bit and spending a ton of time with friends.

We met up with our homeschool friends at the local science museum.

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We practiced climbing skills at a local nature park.

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We learned about Groundhog’s day at a program at our favorite farm.

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And we played on tractors and pretended to know how to operate one.

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We also found a new website that Hailey is loving called Teach Your Monster to Read.

Add to that plenty of connect four games, dress up, reading stacks of library books, taking walks on the sunny days, and plenty of TV in our down time, and I would say we learned plenty this past week!