Thursday, July 29, 2010

I lost our 4yo son today. Time inched by as I searched for him.
We went to homeschool park day so we had plenty of friends around. I started to watch for him on the equipment and noticed he wasn't there. It is a large play area. I wasn't worried for the first minute because there is a smaller park area next to the large one. I went there and he wasn't there. I went to the large pavilion picking up speed. There was a daycare eating lunch there. Cohen could have easily slipped in there and started eating someones lunch. Not there. There is a fenced in swimming pool that I looked over :( and then alerted my friends that he was missing. This is when I started crying. It had been at least 8 minutes. I started yelling his name and moving quick. He isn't fully aware to not run in traffic and the pool was right there. Did someone take him? Is he crying alone for me? I had to push those thoughts from my mind and keep searching. All this time I have no idea if someone else is watching my other children (I was guessing they were) because my mind was solely on finding my little boy. I remember crying and saying I can't find him. Then another mom I didn't know said he was in the girls washroom. She said he was telling her his life story as he went poop. That sounded like my Cohen. I rushed in and there he was pooping away without a worry. You know how parents get mad at their children for taking off? That didn't even cross my mind. The only thing I wanted to do was scoop him up in my arms and kiss him and hug him and be as close to him as possible and never let go. I did have to wait for him to finish because he takes FOREVER but I got my chance. This was a reminder for me to not stress about the insignificant things in life. AND to hug them more than I already do.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A day in the life of us

When I was considering unschooling I wanted an idea of what our days would be like. It took a lot of research before I became comfortable with this lifestyle. From time to time I panic. Cohen doesn't know all of his letters! Ricky isn't reading fluently yet! Look at what THAT family is doing! On occasion, the doubts sneak in on me. One day I decided to watch my children closely and see what they are learning throughout the day. I was shocked at how much they learned while playing and following their own interests.
Yesterday I decided to take pictures of our natural day. I say natural because I didn't coerce activity just for a picture for the blog. I went about my day and grabbed the camera when I chose. This is our everyday life.
I challenge you. All of you unschooling bloggers. Put a camera in hand for the day and capture your everyday moments. You will be surprised at how much your children are doing! Or maybe you have already come to this conclusion. When you record your day, please let me know so I can read about your daily life caught on camera. :)

This is at about 8am. When my eyes are only slightly open, my children are rolling themselves up in blankets. I wouldn't mind a bit of TV time at this moment because it takes me a while to wake up. I do enjoy their laughter with coffee in the morning though!

Here is breakfast. Apples with granola. Ok ok, granola bars. ;) Did you know one of my pet peeves is sugar cereal? I can't stand it! Really, what is the point of it? I like to start their day with something nutritious.

Reagan, Cohen and Callum are playing on the windowsill with cars. It looks nice and sweet here but all.morning.long Callum and Cohen fought over the big transport truck. Still waiting for them to notice the TV ;)

Amelie is looking for a snack in the fridge (SHE JUST HAD BREAKFAST!! lol) and found and onion sprouting. She just HAD to put it in water to see if it will grow more. I can't wait for the lovely aroma this experiment will bring!

Cohen noticed two paper towel rolls and uses them as binoculars. He realizes it doesn't make objects closer like the ones camping did. This didn't last long. They ended up being used as a megaphone by Ricky.

Ricky got this awesome fashion dummy from my mom. You have a bunch of different squares of fabric and place it around the dummy. Ricky has formed many a cute outfit. Here, Reagan is trying her hand at fashion.

I look over and see Ricky, Cohen and Reagan piled on the couch reading. Ricky is improvising with a French book.

Callum is oblivious while he plays with his bus.

Amelie is writing a song to perform for her family. I wish I had a video camera for the song. :( She is so serious while performing.

Reagan decides to perform her own song up on the windowsill while we all smile and give praise.

The kids can't resist a moment like this! They all jump up on the windowsill and sing "I love you" while they rock back and forth. Yup, the best moment of my day!

And the day ends with the kids in costume. Did they sleep like this? Maybe. ;)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Valedictorian Speech - WOW

Monday, July 26, 2010


Sometimes posts don't need words. I am tired from watching the kids around water and I am tired from unpacking twice in one week. Our dryer is dead so we have mountains of laundry! Ya, sometimes posts don't need words.

Friday, July 23, 2010

What would society think?

Do you ever feel the need to go? Head on out into the woods into seclusion? Growing up I have always wanted to fit in. I wouldn't wear an article of clothing if it was not in fashion. Even if I liked it. Don't get me wrong. I wasn't into brand names either but I did worry about what others thought. Since having children I have found a whole new idea of what is important in life and clothes doesn't even make it on the radar. Sure we need clothing for protection from weather and to feel comfortable. Clothing is also a way of segregating people. People that shop at high end stores are better. They can afford the clothing. High end clothing means high end people. People are judged by what they wear. Plain and simple.

Why can't we be judged on how kind we are? By how much we volunteer? By who opens doors and who pays for the next person in line at Tim Hortons, just because. I have 5 creative children who often choose what they want to wear, how they wear their hair and what they wear on their feet. They have been seen in the supermarket with rubber boots on a sunny day, winter sweaters during spring and holding umbrellas in the snow. Does it really matter? Is it really that important to follow society? I enjoy seeing the stripes and spots together and the pink and red and yellow and green and purple and brown strewn across my children in creative twists and creative places. Do I really want to squash their individuality? I believe the pictures here show you my answer.

We have also been known to get wet, fully clothed. Not only do we like to get wet but we like mud and sand and dirt and bugs and leaves and muck and and and... And guess what we love even more than that! Getting naked after! They strip down and we toss them into the van. This makes for some fun memories and pictures. :)
Run, play, get dirty, be yourselves and thrive.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

If you fill up a container with water and dish soap, you can occupy your children for hours!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The answer to my prayer

I prayed that while we were gone on our mini vacation we wouldn't get negative comments about our parenting style. I can handle a negative comment from people who don't understand from time to time. I can handle a frown or a puzzled look from time to time. I can handle judgmental questions from time to time. I am confident in how we parent and it gives me a feeling of relief when I look at my children and how they flourish. What I was dreading was a constant stream of negative comments from family. Within any family there will be members that disagree with something...anything...everything. As long as we follow our instincts we can't go wrong.
We have to be confident in our decisions. I am not speaking only of ourselves here. I am speaking of all parents. Parents who vaccinate. Parents who don't circumcise. Parents who unschool and parents who work and send their children to daycare. We have to stand up and say, "This is our decision and we are happy with it." That's it. This weekend a relative was trying (in vain) to start a debate about homeschooling with my husband. *I* would have gotten frustrated and probably would have shown it. He was being judgmental and condescending. My husband was quiet and shrugged his shoulders. He doesn't feel the need to defend our choices because he is confident. I hope to fully achieve what he has. Calm. Silence. Confidence.
Anyways, the answer to my prayer was Mr. Bill. We were given the privilege of staying at his house for the weekend. What made this visit so special wasn't the size of his house. It wasn't the cool microwave or the vacuum that could suck up the chair if it wanted! It wasn't even the wonderful hospitality we received. It was how he was with my children. He made eye contact. He got down to their level. He greeted them with a smile every.single.time and he answered their unending questions. This man was very busy getting ready to give his daughter away and was surrounded by children who wanted candy and wanted conversation. He made them feel IMPORTANT. I could go on and on and on about how adults need to treat their children with more respect (because this is how I feel) but I am going to leave off with a comment from Mr. Bill. This comment was the answer to my prayer and helped me through the rest of the weekend. My children were strewn across his floor with puzzles and toys. He was stepping over them trying to get by and I said, " Sorry about the maze!" He replied while walking away...""

Yes Bill, that about sums up our weekend at your house.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Only in my house

This is what I get to see every night when I rock Reagan to sleep. I lay her in my arms in the rocking chair and look down at her. When I start to sing she looks up at me with awe. She watches me until her eyes will no longer allow her. They start to roll and she rubs her eyes. Soon her eyes will remain closed and a few minutes from now her body will start to switch and then relax into sleep. For about 5 minutes she is sleeping but not yet deep sleeping. When I look down at this beautiful, peaceful face I wait for her mouth to fall open. Then I know she has completely let go. I will still hold her for a few more minutes though. Special moments like these makes me fall even more in love (if that is even possible) with her. Nothing else matters in the world than that vulnerable little face. Her head relaxed on my arm, her hand placed gently on my chest, her perfect little mouth open and her eyes seeing only what she can see. I am allowing myself more of these moments instead of dirty laundry moments. The moments where my heart quickens and my blood pressure rises. The moments where I am frustrated and yelling because it can only be MY house that looks like chaos. It is only my house with half eaten apples behind the couch, cheerios strewn across the floor and fingerprints on the windows. It is only MY house that the beds aren't made and dirty laundry has a mind of its own. BUT it is only MY house that I have a perfect little Reagan become a part of me again as we rock.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Rambled thoughts on Unschooling

I wholeheartedly believe in unschooling. I believe in the philosophy. When I researched this topic it gave me that aha moment that I was searching for. You know that feeling of "this is right." There is a myth or misunderstanding among non-unschoolers as well as people that don't do public school. Unschooling is a parent not wanting to put the time and effort in to properly teach their child. This couldn't be more untrue or opposite. I find with unschooling there is a 24 hour rule. I do not sit at the table and teach for two, three, four hours and then feel finished for the day. I do not have a list that I put tiny check marks to appease myself. I do not have a stack of book reports or marked tests. I am however, always on. I cannot tell you how many questions my children ask. Why is the sky blue? How long would it take to travel around the world? What does about mean? Would a feather sink in water? ALL DAY I am answering questions, looking up info on the computer, helping them find books for their answers, reading to them, discussing with them and so much more. People ask, "Do you homeschool in the summer?" How could we not? Learning is a natural extention of our daily lives. I shouldn't even say extention, should I? It is who we are. Life is learning. It happens naturally in our lives. We don't close a book and say, "Well, done learning! Go play." Every little aspect of our lives involve learning. From gathering leaves, jumping in leaves, catching bugs, watching TV, laughing, interacting, being alone... Unschooling is LIFE. I find it interesting yet confusing how people think school helps with socializing and learning. Not only does it help but it is a necessity in aiding that. That couldn't be further from the truth. Why do we need to send our children, 5 days a wk to a group of 100 children to learn socialization and facts? We are so brainwashed as a society. Ok, going off on a tangent. lol..
Even among homeschooling/unschooling families there is an uppity attitude. Some homeschoolers think that unschooling families couldn't possibly learn the way we do. Some unschooling families are very picky about the term unschooling. If you coerce your child in any way you are not unschooling. Almost like you can't earn the name unless you do it exactly the way it says. You would think homeschooling families would be more open considering we hear it from all sides and we would stick together. Most times, yes. BUT there is politics in this circle as well. It makes me want to head up North, seclude ourselves and explore nature to its fullest. Hmm..but then we wouldn't be socializing and we would end up abnormal. ha