Saturday, June 19, 2010

Learning to Read

As someone who is new to unschooling and a veteran of the public school system, and I use 'veteran' rather than 'alumni' because it could be paralleled to warfare on some level, I am finding it difficult to just sit back and let the process of reading "just happen". I read to my children daily. My children are exposed to the written and spoken word a lot. We are well-known at the library. There are books strewn across every floor in our home.
I watch my oldest carefully. He has great letter and sound recognition. He can spell a few words and can guess how to spell others by sounding them out. I know he's "right there" and it's really difficult to just sit back. The teacher in me, the veteran in me and the "enough already" mother in me wants to sit him down at the table and teach that boy to read! Plus, he has really good penmanship for a four-year-old. It's actually a little unnerving that he takes that much care in his penmanship...

Then I look at my middle child. He's almost three. He can also sound out the letters in words, although not always in the correct order. He can write some letters, too. He writes the letter M like a sideways E. It really is terribly cute. I have not done any formal instruction with him. I did with Eli a bit before I knew what unschooling was. But, Odin...he's completely unschooled...and thriving in it. It's really amazing to see.

I feel like I'm holding my breath when it comes to my children reading. I know they are learning...and yes, they are still very young. On this unschooling path I am still unsure and waiting I am waiting for a concrete sign that Yes! this is what I am supposed to be doing. I have done my research and talked to those who unschool and have unschooled for the life of their children. I know it is the path for me and my family. And still, I waiver...

Friday, June 11, 2010

Things I Have Learned Recently...

Our camera is broken. Until I get a new one, my posts will be few and far between... I feel like I need photographic evidence in order to productively post.

I have obtained some very cool bits of knowledge as of late. Cool to me, that is.

1. Caffeine leaves the tea bag after about 20 seconds of steeping. If you dump out the steeped tea and then re-steep in new water, you'll have virtually caffeine free tea.
2. Gluten is my enemy.

3. Goats sleep on their own feces for warmth.

4. My boys really are best friends.

5. Veggies from the Brassica family are iron-depleting raw. They should also not be given to goats.

6. Sauteed Arugula with olive oil and garlic, plus a dash of salt, pepper and tsp of brown sugar plus sauteed avocado is delicious.

7. I am a terrible belly dancer. Or maybe it's just that my confidence in myself has waned.

8. The jingly wrap with the coins I wear during belly dancing is fun. *shimmy, shimmy*

9. It should be that all homeschoolers are united, but they are not. Even school-at-homer's don't understand unschooling.

10. Tax issues in the town are very confusing to me. (I've never cared about such things until's mind-boggling)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

"I won't be your best friend anymore!"

...screams my oldest to the middle child. Then he proceeds to yell, "And if you try to make me play with you, I won't!" Seven minutes later they were best friends again.
My sons love one another. They truly are each other's best friend. I can honestly say that and believe it. Having three boys, I'm curious to find out what will happen once the youngest becomes in the mix. Right now he's simply "the baby". I wonder if the bond between Eli and Odin will be replaced by a bond between Silas and Eli, or Odin and Silas, or if Silas is doomed to be the loner child...

I remember how Eli changed when we brought Odin home. We saw sides of the beautifully gentle child we once knew change into someone we had to remind to have "gentle hands" with his brother. We had to remind him that the infant reclining seat was NOT a catapult. I remember when Eli began slapping me in the face and growling. His little world changed. Now he is best friends with the baby that interrupted his peace. Silas's arrival didn't interrupt their peace so much...they have one another. They, as a team, have had to share attention.

I hope they somehow find a way to meld together and form an unique bond between the three of them.

Maybe we'll just have to have another baby...

Friday, June 4, 2010

Herbal Infusions and Vinegars

How fun! I went back to Deb Fate-Mental today. I had the chance to consume a variety of herbal infusions: Red Clover, Stinging Nettle, Rosehip and Oatstraw. The Rosehip infusion was sweeter than the rest, and a bit thicker. The Oatstraw was nice and light. The Red Clover was a nice unsweetened tea. The Stinging Nettle sat with me weird, that is until Deb said it would go well in a Miso. Yup, that's it. I immediately thought, "Salt and the beach."

We went out into the garden and cut some Comfrey. We brought it back inside and made a nice vinegar with it. The vinegar needs to sit for 6 weeks before use. Fresh herbs can be used in the vinegars while dried ones are used for the infusions. I'll be heading outside to pick some sage to start on my sage vinegar. I see gifting herbal vinegars in my future...