Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Little Fire & Ice

The rest of the week was just daily things kids do ~ computer time, Gameboy (Pokemon), PS2, playing outside, trying to figure out computer homework, and TV.

Wednesday they boys, as always, enjoyed PBS Nature, Nova, and Life of Fire.

On Thursday,
  the boys hung out with dad and built a fire in the pit.

 we had a dusting of ice and sleet.  
The boys made the most of it by sliding on a rubber mat out by the garden.

 Love those cold rosy cheeks!

Gameboying it.

Pumpkin's coral reef

Attempting computer homework

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Natural Learning, Chinlerest, Unschooling, Relaxed Learning, Lifelong Learning

Well ... this is one of those weeks where things are scarce, you wonder where time went and what went on.

 The boys have been having a great time with the neighbor kid ~ biking, his trampoline, in the woods, and just walking around the yards.

  was Pumpkin's computer class. While we were there, poor Fireball Coyote was drilled with three sheets of multiplication, double digit times a single digit,  by dad.  Fireball Coyote broke down and cried, twice.   I was told all this by dad, after I had just told him the other day he wasn't ready for that kind of stuff and prefers it all mentally.  (errrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Tuesday, we had a playdate at the park again with our new homeschooling friend and then on to Latin.  On the way home I asked Fireball Coyote how much was in two dozen.  He had asked "Max" to bring him two dozen of something, they were playing Pokemon at the park.  So, I was curious, after yesterdays evening 'disaster', how he'd respond to verbal math questions.  Fireball Coyote said that it would be 24 since there is 12 in a dozen and he asked for two.  I asked what other ways can we get 24?  He responded quickly with, "We could have 4 sets of 6."  "What else?" I ask.  He thought a moment and suggested eight, four times. I asked him if it worked and he realized it would be eight, three times to be 24.  I said, "You just did multiplication".  "Oh. Cool", was his reply.  There were no tears, no fighting, just talking and thinking. I have found the boys respond better and are more open to things/thoughts, if it is done casually, without pressure, out-of-the-blue, or if it is their idea that I build on.

This reminds me of one of my favorite sayings/quotes about gaps.

Do you worry about "gaps"?!

Things your children will miss? 
 All children have "gaps". 
 You have them too.
There is simply too much to learn; on one can master it all.
But if you love to learn and if you know how to
do research, you will want to fill those gaps when they 
come up - and you will know how to do so. 
You will be a lifelong learner.

I'm not sure where it came from or who said it, but I LOVE it! and have it on my frig.

This can be said of anyone.  The person who is changing jobs, not sure what to do with their life and tries everything, the person just laid-off and ready to move on and try something new, and the person who is just curious about anything and everything.  They love to learn and do so with many means; computer, friends, classes, experimenting and just "falling into it".  They are filling their "gaps" and making new ones, just like the "wrinkles" in our brain.

Everyone says, "Never stop learning".  For some this may be easier said than done, for multiple reasons: $$$, resources, self-esteem, pride, lack of information, transportation, etc.  However, if the desire and will are strong enough they will find away, at any age.

When you are learning a new skill would you prefer to do it at your pace, to take your time and mull thing over in your head?  Be able to experiment with the new information?  Repeat it several times until you are comfortable with it?  OR be told, "That's wrong. Do it this way."  "If you can't keep up we are moving on without you."  "You're falling behind."  "You're not smart enough."  "Try harder."  "You're not working up to you potential." and so on.

When you hear those negative things, you feel frustrated, belittled, you may feel 'dumb' and incompetent, you feel like you are trying, but need a bit more time/help. Are you more apt to move on and keep going or give up?

I had a American Sign Language teacher once say to the class, " If you are here to learn this because of a co-work is Deaf, a family member is Deaf, or need to for some for other reason, you will have a hard time. Because, you are putting pressure on yourself to learn it.  If you are here for the fun of it.  You will pick it up quickly, because you are relaxed."

When you are learning something on your own and you get frustrated, confused, or don't succeed, what do you do?  Do you quit and move on or try again?

If you went to school and failed at something were you willing to get back up and try again or walk away and never look back?  Ever go back and try again?  Did you fail or succeed?

When you tried something on your own, because you wanted to, and it failed. Did you try again, walk away and never look back OR walk away, have it roll around in your head, go back and try again?  Did you succeed or try & try & try again until you were satisfied or successful?

Henry Ford said, "Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently".

It is said that "quitters never win".  I saw somewhere (& believe) that quitters quit to step back, reevaluate the situation and make a new plan to succeed.

Many of us who were in school and failed, never tried again or looked back.  Many of us who tried things on our own and failed, have gone back and tried again at one time or another.  We are working to fill those gaps.  We have a desire to know and grow, because we want to.

Natural Learning = Chinlerest = Unschooling = Relaxed Learning = A Lifelong Learner  
You are free from stress, pressure to preform, and you remember it better from the great experience and fun you had learning it.  You are learning it because YOU want to, not because "it's what we are doing now" & "I say so".

What new information was the last thing you learned naturally?  A recipe by experimenting?  How something worked?  Something from a TV show?  A great conversation?  Tell me about it.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Rain, Computers, Rain, PBS, Rain, & Cooking

Sunday, the kids played and played and played outside ALL afternoon :-)  It was Great!!!!

Monday,  we were bums most of the day.  It was rainy, drab, and blah.  In the late afternoon we went to the chiropractor, then on to a computer programming class. It is 6 weeks of FREE, hour and a half long every Monday, hands on, programming!!! (YEAH BABY!!!)  That night, we got off to a rough start, Pumpkins computer wouldn't connect to the web, but it would connect to the server they had.  Not sure why, but we're goin' in early Monday to work the kinks out, we hope!  Meanwhile, Fireball Coyote used the teachers computer and was getting the hang of  it, till he was overwhelmed.  So, Pumpkin took over and got a 30 minute "crash course" from a helper there. Now, if we can only get the programs to run at home, we'll be fine.

Tuesday, was more drenching rains, more blah, and Pumpkin's Latin.

Wednesday, rain, blah, blah, blah, aaagain ( I HaTe the winter Jan. & Feb. in the south!!! GIVE ME MY SNOW!!!)  So, as with the boys daily computer time (AJ, blogging, and other computer games), the usual morning PBS kid shows as the past two days,  we add the movie The Lorax in to the mix.  Ending the evening PBS line-up ~ we normally watch Nature, but there was a State Address from the governor on  & we watched Newsline - NHK World TV, and since  Nova was a repeat we decided to watch TinTin and switch to Life of Fire at 10pm. ( each has their own link)
The boys have also been more apt to do chores around the house, since dad said they need to do them to get more computer time.  It's been not too bad, I get things done without asking and begging, they get extra time to use now or later.  There is a bit of whining, but they find something to get time with.

Thursday, rain, rain, rain, changing to snow flurries later ( :-) YEAH! ~ we'll see!)  So the day was filled with tickle bugs, computer time, PBS Kids, more computer time, more PBS Kids, and talking about the Valentines to work on for a Valentine exchange via mail with 30 kids.

Friday, no snow :0(    BUT it was a cool, sunny day!  Perfect for a homeschool field trip to Earth Fare with a store tour, mini- smoothie cooking class, playdate at Cleveland Park, and star gazing at Walhalla, SC at an up an coming observatory.  What a great way to end the day! 

Saturday, the kids did some "dad assigned chores" then went to a neighbors house and played for 3 hours there with his daughter.  Fireball Coyote was in the mood to watch the Lorax again.  Then he noticed Market Warriors was on and we watched that after the Lorax and History Detectives.  Pumpkin and I watched while Fireball Coyote and dad searched for parts on the internet and watched YouTube videos. 

Since the breaks on the car are "ruined" the week will be limited ~ We have pre-planned the computer class Monday, a picnic playdate & Latin on Tuesday, and for me a night out with my friend on Friday.  Time for me to play with clay! It will be fun to see what things we get into here.

Have a Great week!

Monday, January 14, 2013

New Friends, Etiquette & Second Saturday

One of the things that Santa brought was the pop and Mentos Geyser set.

That's COOL!

How the Mentos look after the chemical reaction
Lately the boys have made friends with the neighbor next door.  So far their friendship seems to be going well.   We also made another new friend on Tuesday and had a playdate at the park.  We were hoping they would make it to Second Saturday, but didn't.

The boys have been playing outside a lot now that the weather is getting nicer, still playing Animal Jam (with a Christmas present membership), watching our usual morning and evening shows, including Nature, Nova & Life of Fire and Fireball Coyote has been chasing dragons.

 Upstate Field Trip Friends ~
Homeschool field trip on etiquette

Introducing others in the group

Second Saturday @ RMSC  H2Oceans
Pumpkin would LOVE to have a tree frog!
Aren't they cute ;-)
Fireball Coyote was surprised at how it felt after refusing 2x's
In the rain-forest area Fireball Coyote found a dragon hiding spot and snapped this.  (He is SO into dragons right now!)

Ball python in the rain-forest

Bearded Dragon

They really enjoyed making Cyber Squids!  You can even track it when you go back in.

Fireball Coyote built a coral reef fish while Pumpkin made more squids and then ...

Worked with buoyancy.  The goal was to get the film canister to float in the middle,  not rise/float or sink.

Coloring some fish and turtles

Fireball Coyote made a buoyancy canister too while Pumpkin & I played "The Travels of Trash" (he won).  Then Fireball & I played a game (he won too).

We also checked out the effects waves have in the ocean
Later this week ~ a new computer programming class (6 weeks FREE!!!), Latin, PBS lineup, a cooking class at Earth Fare w/ the Field Trip Group, and maybe a playdate (weather permitting).

Sunday, January 13, 2013

I'mmmm Baaackkkk! :-)

Not sure if Blogger upped their loading capacity or if since it's the new year I get more again. (I'm going with the latter.)

SO ..... so far we have ~
Been hanging out with Star Wars characters.

Doing Latin until Christmas, then started again Jan. 8th.


Measuring out dad's shop

Box scrapping it

A roller skating birthday party

Hanging out at the library

Bicks 4 Kidz

(camera was set wrong) Putting up Christmas decorations

Upcountry History Museum and learning about local Indians.

Pumpkin had the idea to decorate the freezer with ice-icicles.   (LOL ... LOVE IT!)

Fireball Coyote made Kiss cookies

I made Ice Cream cone trees and Yellow snow popcorn for a fiends Christmas party.

Went to the towns parade

Helped dad with tractors

Cut down our tree

Pumpkin made Friend a Christmas gift with Hershey Kiss wrappers.

Went to the zoo

Watched Kiko, the baby we watched being born

Field trip tour

The weather girls job and what she does

Trying out the green screen

Where all the news is "prepped" for the reporter

That was just the highlights of the end of the year and the beginning of the New Year.