Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Not back to school

So today was back to school for a lot of youth here in Houston. Glad that we are part of the growing movement of families choosing to take education power back from the institution and empower the individual!

We bought a cake and had it for breakfast on Saturday morning to celebrate our new unschool year. W8 and D7 want to focus on science, math and reading while E6 also wants to include history. J4 just reminds us all that he does NOT want to go to school.

Tonight, all 4 boys began working on building a boat out of cardboard/chipboard boxes using staples. Pretty creative buch of pirates! The oldest 2 and I also played Yatzee in between building and they are getting really fast at adding, multiplying and counting in multiples.

I am looking forward to all the learning ahead for them and myself. Hopefully husband and the boys can check out the Not Back to School party on Friday. Enjoy the journey...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Guerilla art show

Guerrilla art show

Tonight I tried to engage the youth at the playground with some painting time. There was one color and paint brushes, chopsticks and plastic caps (and dirt) to create a full fledged art show on the playground. All the kids participated and posed next to their art. Even if it is torn down by morning, it will be something they can remember.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Building community

SO the complex we live in is looking like it's seen better days. But what has me disappointed and ticked off is that the playground where the younger kids play is under siege. The PVC pipe that surrounds the area is kept in place by rebar and the pipe can be easily removed from said rebar. It is a hazard as teens have chosen to move the pipes around with no thought that a small person might get hurt.

Today the someone that gpt hurt was my 6 year old. Needless to say, I was angry and went down to that playground with my husband and we put the pipes back where they belong. Then I noticed how trash was mixed in with the leaves and upon closer inspection saw glass was mixed in as well. So my 4 boys and 3 neighbor children started cleaning up. Between us, we collected 7 bags of trash (including nails, odd bits of metal, glass of all colors). The kids took ownership and I hope that sense of community becomes instilled with them and it's something that they will practice. I also hope I don't catch anyone messing up all that hard work. It was a joy to know that the kids had a safer space to play in this afternoon!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Enjoying the day...

What a beautiful day in Houston! Took the boys swimming for a good 3 hours and had a blast while dear husband got a chance to work on some music. After arriving back home, I finished the mashup shirt for my 4 year old. He had a 2T shirt that he refused to give up, so I cut around the zebras, found a piece of contrasting fabric and sewed it to a tshirt like it was a patch. Good times...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Summer Education

As a youth, summer was my favorite time of year when my days were my own. Being a parent now, summer is such a different animal especially as an unschooling homeschooler. We moved into a large apartment complex (new experience) in May before public school let out and were used to being the only family of school aged children roaming the neighborhood. Since the school year ended, it has been a non-stop onslaught of having every conversation I didn't think I was going to have to have with my boys until they were at least a few years older.

There is such a negative culture being instilled in our youth and it is a bit frightening to witness. I have heard some very uniformed conversations by teens and tweens and it is unfortunate that they do not have adults that they can talk with about serious issues. The younger children are enamoured by the teens and are taking what they say as gospel. So there have been lots of questions from my crew and I have had to tell the truth...a lot. And I have had conversations with neighboring youth about certain words they use and their origin. It hasn't stopped the words, but hopefully it will sink in. One day.

I do not look forward to sending bright eyed youth back to their public school fate, but I do look forward to the quiet the Fall brings.