Geography happens every time we walk down the hallway to the bathroom. This map of the world is a political map, showing borders. We discussed the way place names change and so do borders.

I showed them where ice caps are and where the driest deserts are. We talked about deserts that are not just hot and sandy, but are deserts for different reasons, like it's so cold nothing can grow.

A map can be a very interesting thing--hiding secrets and information about people and places. My younger children are starting to be interested in what life is like for people in other places. Now they know our day-to-day reality is not anywhere near what I call the "Global Mean", and they wonder what we should do to make the world more fair. If there is such a thing.

We are soon entering into election season on Guam, so this year we will be paying attention to politics and elections.

Yesterday I had "class" with the younger kids for several hours if we count the 4 separate times we hung out together and I answered their questions. We covered more than a day's worth of interesting Q&A.
Eric and I had lunch at the SDA vegetarian restaurant.
We also bought some vegetarian staples, such as textured vegetable protein stuff, which looks and feels like ground meat for tacos and other recipes that involve ground beef. We also got veggie-based soup bouillon and some macadamia nut butter. We are really opening our minds to new foods. Eric ate an "egg" sandwich with no eggs. He really liked it!
We had a big ol' discussion about food and nutrition and related subjects. We bought a cookbook and looked at which recipes we could make with what we have at home. Our new vegetarian lifestyle is a major learning opportunity.

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Diving and Driving, He Said

Steph has a few projects on her plate. Right now she is going to the dive shop next door every day. She is learning how to run the dive shop and the spear-fishing store. Our family is attempting to buy this business so the owner can retire to his home in the States.
Whether the money happens or not, we are learning how to run this particular business. I (Dad) am going there to get training whenever I can, but I am so busy...
So Stephanie goes there every day. If we do buy the shop, she will be the one who knows how to sell the spear guns, how to sell the scuba equipment, how to deal with agents--everything.
She is also reading the PADI book (so am I) so we can both be divers. We really need to both be dive masters, but one step at a time. So we are going to take dive classes and lessons.
She was interested in a leadership conference for homeschool teens, but now she realizes that her dive shop adventure will bring the same results but with profit instead of expense.
In addition, Steph is about to learn to drive. She will be 15-1/2 very soon and her parents are both driving instructors, so this will be an opportunity to create a video series. Steph is interested in voice acting and singing, so this will test her ability to do her thing on camera. We have not cheated; she has never been behind the wheel. The videos will be an authentic record of a dad teaching his daughter to drive.
Anyone can see that these activities and priorities will keep her busy. But she is still writing and drawing every day. She is a busy girl and will be learning some valuable lessons as these weeks go by.

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Diving And Driving, She Said

(My DH and I both wrote about the same thing this week for our journal. So thought I’d post both with a “He said/She said” theme)

Well, Stephanie is officially 15 1/2 as of today. Which means she is finally eligible to get her learner's permit. I was teasing her this week that she would have to sit through my class this week in order for me to certify her. Teasing, because there are times when she teaches students who come through our door, tests them, etc. so she already knows all there is to know about the classroom material. She will probably be going in to schedule her written test soon. Her dad wants to take this opportunity to create a video series on how to teach your teen to drive, using Stephanie as a guinea pig. So all of her driving lessons (or most of them anyway) will be video taped. And then used for our website. Should be fun.

The other thing that she has been doing this week is learning how to run a Dive shop. Yes, that is Dive not Drive. In the same commercial complex as our driving school is a dive shop that is for sale. My entrepreneurial husband is very interested in partnering with a friend to purchase this shop. It still remains to be seen whether we can secure the finances to do so....but in the meantime the owner wants to train us to do the business. Since Stephanie is the one with the most time on her hands, she has been going over there for several hours a day learning to fill scuba tanks with air, learning about spear fishing and spear guns, learning about masks, fins, snorkels and other diving gear, and eventually she will also be taking dive classes and learning how to dive. And then learning how to teach someone how to dive. Les will be doing the same. We'd like Adam to learn too, but he is reluctant about the diving part. As am I.

So great unschooling opportunities for Steph right now. She really wanted to go to that Homeschooling conference in Oregon - but realizes that what she is doing right now is similar in that she is learning how to run a business and new skills too. And not as expensive either!

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I stopped by the annual GHSA curriculum fair today. This was the first year in well over 10 that I haven’t had some kind of display or table to tend to. Because this years’ fair was so early in the year, and interest seemed a little lacking, I didn’t want to put a lot of effort into manning a table this year. And it was very relaxing to be able to stop in and look around and just listen and talk to other homeschooling moms about what they use with their children.

Lots of talk on grammar and spelling. This seems to be a big concern with most homeschoolers. What is the best grammar program to use? What do you use for spelling? How do you get your child to write?

Coming home I pondered these questions and wondered what people would think about our methods or what curriculum we use.

When I arrived home I found Stephanie reading to Cassie and Eric from Eric’s DSi, where they were playing one of the Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney games. Eric is reading along with Stephanie and Cassie is watching and trying to follow along as best as she can. I count this as their “reading curriculum”.

Yesterday in the car, Eric was reading through a Flipnote he had downloaded and was pointing out to me all the spelling errors he found in it. He told me the misspelled word and then spelled the correct word for me. Cassie listened and soaked up this information too. I’m sure that if I ask her how to spell “stair” she will have the correct spelling. This I count as their “spelling curriculum”.

At the office, Cassie and Eric both have a thick stack of papers stapled together into a “book”. Both of them have been writing and drawing in their books throughout the week. Eric has several stick figure comics happening and Cassie draws pictures and then puts titles to her pages. This is their “writing curriculum”.

As for Stephanie, she writes an average of 2,000 words per day on various forums, fan fictions sites, and on her collaborative story she is working on. Included in this writing is a lot of reading and of course spelling and grammar just go hand in hand with this all. It is my firm belief that spelling and grammar should not be taught as separate subjects but are a part of the whole “language arts” subject that also includes reading and writing. To separate these essential tools of reading and writing out of the program and treat them as a separate subject does a disservice to the English language. It really is all one.

So back at the fair, I smiled and nodded and asked or answered the appropriate questions. Pretended interest in these curricula and kept my money in my pocket. Yes there are good programs out there. And yes they are valuable for homeschoolers to use. But necessary? Not really.

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Reading Time

One of my homeschool resource library patrons returned a book today along with a Language 1 book from Abeka. Now I’ve always liked Abeka workbooks as a great assessment tool for your kids. Every once in a while we’ll pick up one for our kids and have them go through and make sure they have learned what they need for the appropriate grade level.

Cassie technically should be in grade 2, based on my having had her go through a K5 program at ECA when I taught the elementary class 2 years ago. She was 4, turning 5 at the time. in Canada that would be old enough to enter kindergarten, but for Guam she would have had to wait another year because of her November birthday. And because of our schooling methods I don’t really do “grades”.

So anyway, I brought home the book and Cassie proceeded to go through the first 20 lessons in about 1/2 hr of study. She needs help remembering the phonics rules for long vowel sounds but is getting it. Stephanie helped at the end.

 photo(11) photo(16)

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Learning Games and more

For the past few days the “rude” flu has been passing through our family. Cassie had it first on Monday/Tuesday. Then Eric on Wednesday. I succumbed on Thursday. And it hit Dad and Adam on Friday. We suspect Steph may have felt it on Sunday/Monday. The girls seem to have gotten it less harshly than the boys. Anyway, here are a few observations of learning activities that took place while we all weren’t at 100%.

Take 4: This is a game I got from Discovery Toys when I used to be a distributor. There are letter tiles and individual  gridded game boards. And cards with 4 letter words on. The idea is you draw cards and try to make the word on the card with your tiles. The person who makes the most words wins. Cassie and Eric played a version of this, evidenced by the tiles strewn around.

Eye to Eye: This game I purchased as a consultant for Simply Fun, a great direct sales game company. I love the games from there, but alas, am not a good salesperson. Anyway, the premise of the game is you read a card with a subject line like “things that are green” and you are to write down three things that are green. The idea is to think alike or “eye to eye” in order to avoid points. Of course when my kids play it they score based on how unique their answers are. Eric and Cassie played this with Eric picking cards that interested him and then they would draw their answers, rather than write the words. Appealed to both of their artistic nature and got Cassie off the hook of having to know how to read. (she won’t be able to fool us for long as we keep catching her reading…).

Cooking: Cassie now eagerly pulls up a chair to the stove to watch whatever I am cooking for dinner. If I can give her a task to do to help it totally thrills her. We’ve been trying to eat less meat and more vegetables, so tonight I made vegetable soup. I used a can of tomato basil soup as my base, with added onions, celery, garlic, red, yellow and green pepper, carrots (which Cassie helped peel) and frozen corn. I also added in a box of wild rice mix and a can of stewed tomatoes. Lots of salt and pepper and chili powder for flavor and spice. Well, maybe not lots of salt.I do try to be modest with that. photo(3) Art. Tonight while dinner was simmering. Cassie started working on an art project. She found some construction paper that Les had cleverly “strewn” in her path (he put it on a new shelf we have in our living room). She decided to make a picture of a night sky with moon, stars and a lone tree Most kids would have started with a black piece of paper and then added the cutout shapes to the picture. But Cassie did a silhouette cutout of the tree and grass on the black and then placed a green piece of paper behind. She than added in the brown tree trunk for added dimension. And glued on the moon and stars to the black night sky.

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What Our Kids are Learning

So many days I just work all day and then take the kids home and spend our evening together. I don’t always know what they did during the day and I seldom ask what they learned. I also do not remember what we talked about and what books were read.

This idea of keeping records is a change and it will take a while to get the habit. It also won’t be long until I can stop explaining our philosophy and methodology and just write down what was done.

Cassie: Does not read but she does read. She says she can’t read, and is intimidated by books paragraphs and sentences, but she knows the basics. I have said before that when she does get it and starts to read, she will be reading at a college level within a couple of years. What does college level mean? I always wondered what it said about college, that I was reading at that level in 5th grade. I think it means you understand what you are reading rather than reading the words and having no clue what it all means, Not a real big endorsement for college I guess.

Anyway, Cassie’s job is to learn to read and we give her stuff to read all day. Meantime, she is sharp and pays attention to what is going on around her. She picks stuff up and in the evening she usually comes to me and says, “Dad, is it true that …..” and she might fill in the blank with what she learned:

…Infections are caused by bacteria? …That Soy Sauce (our kitten) is old enough to have babies?…that doctors didn’t use to wash their hands and people died because of it? …That you can grow different fruit on the same tree?..That plants make their own food from sunshine?…And on and on.

Cassie also does math. She figured out something riding in my truck looking at the clock. It was 9:20 and she figured out that she didn’t look at the clock for 3 minutes because it was 9:17 when she last looked. So she figured it out on her own. I asked her what is 20 minus 17. She says she does not know how to subtract big numbers!

Eric reads. We have a huge variety of books and he takes advantage of it. He picks up random books and reads them. I used to do that in my high school class—put books out and hope kids pick them up. About 1 in 4 kids were interested in my eclectic collection. 3 of 4 sat down and started talking the instant they got to class.

Eric wants a friend. We talk about friendship and I teach him etiquette for friendship. Like don’t insult your friend even for fun. Like let the other guy talk. Be willing to play a game you don’t want to play so you can have your turn later. He has some friends but they always move away. He has a good friend and this boy likes playing with Eric and Cassie, but when the neighborhood kids are there or school buddies, they have more to talk about, so my kids get left out. Devin likes it when my kids are alone with him. They are special friends to him but only for times when the loud loud school friends are not in attendance.

Eric hates math so we try to do it in little bits. He asked me to help him with a video game he is designing. “I need to take advantage of your math skills,” he told me. Uh..OK, such as they are. I think I know where he gets his math weakness. Yesterday Colleen gave him math workbooks to do ‘cause he was bored his little sister was ill and slept all day.

He likes his world atlas. He is learning about lifestyles and standards of living in other parts of the world. He also continues to learn about the justice system via Phoenix Wright. Yesterday there was a murder in the news. He asked me a LOT of questions about police and investigations and …oh, everything. Drove me crazy. Cassie listened and learned.

Stephanie continues to work on her novel. She typed furiously for hours and hours and then lamented that she is so far behind in her novel project. I mentioned she wrote all day and all night. She replied that she was writing something else! So she has these projects going on. If she is writing, she is learning. Just ask a writer. How do you get to be a good writer? Write. And that’s what she does.

She continues to read to her siblings and explains things to them. It’s so cute—she holds Eric, who is huge. He is roly-poly as we put it. But very cuddly. So Steph sits on a chair with Eric in her lap and Cassie leaning on both of them. And they watch videos and listen to music and she reads stories on the screen. She also takes her turn in the answer seat so I don’t have to answer every single question.

I don’t remember what we did yesterday. What books they read, what they talked about, what each kid learned. But I know they continue to learn because they have a natural interest in the world around them. This generation has more access to more information and knowledge than anyone in history and I am happy that my children know and appreciate this. So many kids take it for granted and don’t even recognize that fact.

We found a tick on the dog’s head and Eric and I looked up a method for taking it out without leaving bits of tick-head in the dog. There was an explanation and a video. I followed instructions and the tick came right out. The little kids learned several lessons from this.

1. Every question has an answer and it’s probably on the internet.

2. Look it up.

3. Read the comments if applicable, which it was and comments were glowing.

4. Follow instructions—follow the recipe if you want good results.

Valuable lessons. Plus they learned about ticks and of course the conversation went to other kinds of parasites and what is a parasite and what is a host and what is the difference between a parasite and a symbiotic relationship. Come to think of it, had I attempted to teach this stuff to my high school class, they would have resisted and would have refused to learn it. Eric and Cassie learned a LOT.

Now it’s today and the world awaits their eager eyes and ears. Let’s see what they can learn.

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March 9th

Well, today was an interesting day. We took one of our many cats, Soysauce, to the vets. She had boils on her belly that had burst – typical Guam cat sores. Eric and Cassie came into the exam room and we looked at pictures of skeletons of a cat, a dog and a bird and compared the three. We also examined a model of a heart with heart worms in it and examined the worm pictures on the wall. Eric left the room when the actual exam and drainage of the cat’s boils occurred, but Cassie was grossly fascinated by it all.

Later Cassie wasn’t feeling that great (night before she was acting ill) and ended up sleeping on the couch at the office for most of the afternoon. This of course resulted in Eric losing his primary playmate and he began declaring he was bored all afternoon. In his boredom he took two walks on the beach and examined various sea creatures he found; he spent about 20 minutes with me working through a 1/2 chapter of as Saxon Math book (54); drew several pictures and looked through a few wildlife magazines; He also watched the office for an hour while I napped. Which basically meant letting me know if someone came in.

I asked Les what the latest car lecture had been about so that I could blog about that, After careful consideration he said they had a laugh fest in the car the last few trips. So I assume they talked about silly things. Very typical.

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The Renaissance

So as mentioned before Stephanie is writing this story that is set during the Italian Renaissance. I knew we had a book about this somewhere in our library so finally tracked it down this weekend and brought it home for her. It is a Millken Press workbook on the Renaissance that I picked up a few years ago, along with ones on Reformation, Industrial Revolution, Civil War, etc.

Tonight Stephanie read about the Black Death – the Bubonic Plague- out loud  to the family and we all discussed this disease and how it was spread. We also had a good laugh about how some of the dead bodies were used. Catapulted into their enemies forts. Lovely way to spread the germs. Eric got a big kick out of that concept and said “I gotta make a flip note about this!”

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March 5

The last few days have been pretty busy with activities and work. I let the little kids play at the office all day long and they help out at night at home. Monday and Tuesday Colleen teaches class at the driving school, so I get the 3 school-age kids for the evening.

Part of what the kids are learning is when we prepare our evening meal. Eric asked me if there are any "shocking secrets" about eating eggs or cheese. They are concerned with what I am teaching them about factory farming methods. They are starting to understand that big companies that provide food products for supermarkets are not interested in feeding humans; they are interested in increasing profits. And they will do anything to increase profits. Including abusing animals and selling stuff that they would never dream of putting in their own mouths. I am not going to belabor it right now, but this investigation into our food supply and figuring out what we can do as a family to protect ourselves is something that is ongoing and involves all members of our family.

Here is our working assumption: Big companies will do anything to make money and more money. We cannot trust food suppliers to do "what is right". They do not care what is right and what is wrong. CEO's have the goal of increasing shareholder's profits and that is where their loyalties start and end. The government is a joke as far as protecting us from harm. The pertinent oversight organizations are infected with industry insiders. The laws that govern the treatment of animals and the quality of the food they can sell in stores are ridiculous. Here is one example: If a practice becomes "industry standard", then it is lawful and the actions are actually protected by law. So if they agreed to break the legs of all living chickens 24 hours before slaughter, and let the chickens lay there with broken legs, that practice is actually protected by the law! Just because the profit-mongers want to do it.

Believe me; we are responsible to ourselves to protect ourselves from these entities who are vastly powerful and completely amoral. They will poison us with food if we allow it.

So a major part of our collective family education is finding ways to protect ourselves. This includes our plan to raise chickens for eggs, growing a garden with local veggies and fruits, and shopping very carefully.

Yesterday morning, Eric opened up a 10th grade Abeka Biology textbook. He started asking questions and I am still trying to answer them.

How do they photograph a fetus? Fiber optics (that led to 45 minutes of discussion about fiber optics, light bending, reflection and also the use of light in photography.)
How big is human heart? It looks bigger in the picture because it is not necessarily to scale; it is not proportionate. So for 10 minutes we talked about proportions and scale, referring back to the maps in his Atlas for the basic concept.
How big is a fetus? and embryo? What is the difference? Well, as soon as a sperm joins with an egg, it is the beginning of life. The size depends on how long it has been growing, just like a baby.
I asked if they remember what is the biggest single cell in the human body. And they remembered. At least one kid got it right. Do you know? It is the egg. The egg is the only cell in the human body that is visible to the naked eye! Now you know.

Oh, I cannot remember all we talked about. That book is terribly boring to read, but it really gets Eric's brain going. We talked for hours and of course Cassie just eats it all up and remembers an alarming amount of the information I share. I placed that book on the couch 4 days ago and it finally got picked up. Colleen calls that the "strewing" method of education. She can straighten me out if I am wrong about that.

So later in the day we went for a hike and it was too hot. We went to Gun Beach and took some pictures, revitalizing our discussion about photography and light.
They also asked some questions about WWII, but mostly they know not to ask too many questions or I will hold forth for hours. Besides, they know quite a bit about Guam and WWII. We talked and learned and observed for hours and also greatly enjoyed each other's company. I thought of those poor parents who don't get to spend the day with their kids and gave up a quick prayer of thanks. (We do know a lady who says she would rather pull out her fingernails than spend a day with her kids, but that's what happens when something so unnatural becomes the norm.)

Stephanie declared that she sleeps until 2 pm because she writes better at night. I have to insist that she gets up without a fuss when we need her to. So she has been really good about that, so I allow her to keep her own hours. She has been writing and drawing and researching world history. She also asks random questions during the day, and also can be caught reading to her siblings and telling them stories. Again, I am reassured that while they are on a completely different schedule (scope & sequence) than their schooled counterparts, they are certainly getting an education. I am reminded of a Holt quote something to the effect of "Don't let schooling interfere with your education." You can educate without schooling, and unfortunately, it is also entirely possible to school without educating.

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Music is a big part of our homeschooling. Our oldest son, Adam, who has already graduated from our homeschool has taught himself to play guitar and piano and has written and composed over 100 songs. Our style of homeschooling has allowed him to pursue this love for music and develop this talent.

We encourage all our children to play instruments. Eric is interested in wind instruments and asked for an Ocarina for his birthday. We bought both Eric and Cassie a simple plastic ocarina for them to play with and I'm amazed at the sounds that they both can make from this instrument. Eric is extremely interested in someday getting a piccolo or clarinet.

Cassie, however, decided she wants to learn to play guitar, so I was looking into buying one of those child's sized guitars. However we do have three guitars - an electric, a steel string acoustic and a nylon string acoustic. I pulled out the nylon string acoustic guitar the other day to see if that would fit her and she has been having a great time "fooling" around with it.Right now she is just exploring the sounds the different strings make, and what happens when you press your fingers down on the strings. It will be a while before she has enough strength to make a clear sound, but for now she is enjoying "playing son's". Last night she told us "I played a son' for Effy, Pilly, Applesauce, Pineapple, Phoenix and Miles and they enjoyed it!" (these are a few of our cats).

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March 1st

My boss gave us a small acoustic guitar. Cassie has decided to learn to play. So another project we will be following is her efforts to learn guitar.

I am continually amazed at how musical our 4 youngest kids are. Kevin, who is now 25 years old, described music as boring and repetitive. He really did not listen to music very much. When he started hanging out with high school friends and work buddies, he went to a few concerts and happy hours, but I don't think he buys record albums.

Now Adam plays piano and guitar, self taught. And he also is taking professional guitar lessons now. Adam writes his own music and he plays it track by track and produces the songs on his computer. Some of the tracks are electronic, from his computer, and others are played by him into a microphone. He listens to a bizarre variety of music and styles, an interest he passes to his younger siblings.

Steph listens to music whenever she can. She likes songs with singing, especially female vocalists. The little kids are enthralled with all kinds of music. When we first listened to Supper"s Ready, (a 25-minute song by Genesis from their 70's era with Peter Gabriel) Eric said, "This band could wreck any song!". But now they listen to it again and again and enjoy its weirdness. Listening to music brings up such far-reaching discussions in the car.

Today Colleen will spend some time with Eric and Cassie, going over a science workbook with some doo-dads for experiments or demonstrations. Too tired to get into it last night. Last night's lesson was about mamma cat who is supposed to have kittens, but is holding on to them, refusing to give birth. The kids think they will wake to kittens, but the cat canceled the labor. This has been a handy way to teach about the obvious biological implications. Animals are a big part of our family life and our children really love and are fascinated with animals. So birthing is a big deal. Stepanie explained the process to them last night. She said she watched when Connie had her kittens, and she felt sick all day. She encouraged them to give her space and quiet. So they were content to let big sis describe the ordeal.

We agree with research that shows kids who have pets score higher in certain areas of responsibility, compassion, oh I can't remember all the research, but you get the point. Having pets is educational.

Research also shows that music makes the brain grow. Pets and music. These themes run rampant in our homeschool.

Academics: I was working so I do not know what books the children read yesterday or what worksheets or exercises they did. I spent 15 minutes helping Eric practice adding and subtracting in his head and using a trick to round the numbers to nearest ten so he can get a ballpark figure to ensure the answer makes some sense. It also helps get the answer.

Example: 23 - 11 = ?

What is 20 minus 10? Uh, ten. I didn't tell him add the ones because that makes too much sense and he learned that in books already. He is still terrible at math, so I will encourage him with success. So yeah, 20 - 10 = 10. And 23 -11 is 12.
A harder one. 33 minus 24.
30 - 20 = 10. It took a couple of tries, but Eric got that it is 9. Eventually it will click. Then he will be OK and he will be able to figure out what he needs to know. I give him little pop quizzes with easy math questions to build his confidence. At this point, a mental block is in the way and if you give him too much hard stuff, he will give up in despair. So I take it slow and look for opportunities to let him figure out easy things. He is smart, so when the block goes, his math will improve.

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Over the Weekend, by Dad

On Friday, Stephanie announced that she is beginning her 1-month novel project with her writing group. She has several parts, one of them being a character from the Italian renaissance. So she is now (voluntarily, and totally self directed and self motivated) studying and researching this era and associated historical and geographical issues.

She started with our home library, but we have limited books on the subject. She did read the chapter in my Western Civilization college textbook. Her next request was to go to library, but google is faster and cheaper and has more resources!

I will take her to RFK library at University of Guam and get her a friends of the library card, which last time I checked costs $60. This gives you access to the entire library, including computers and internet.

I am excited to see her studying diligently, knowing she will retain close to 100% of what she reads and learns.

She has been working on this for 4 days now. Last night she stayed in the (house) library and read and wrote until 5am. Then she got up with me at 7am to go to office and open up for our customers and to disburse paychecks for the wedding company. She works at an adult job/business in between her child/student activities.

Eric drew cartoons all day Sat and Sunday. Sunday evening he read a magazine for bird enthusiasts. He got bored pretty quickly, though, so he went back to creating and recording sound effects for his animated cartoons that he makes on his DSi.

Cassie made a few animated cartoons as well. Hers are incomprehensible as they are so artsy that they make no sense to me, but the artwork is astounding. Her drawing style is very anime, but not entirely borrowed. Much of it is hers alone. Her pics are very dramatic with emotion and action vividly portrayed. I guess we need to post some here. This blog can be our family portfolio as well as a record of their academic pursuits.

And on another note, we got some feedback on the questions I asked about the grass fire and the subsequent science lesson. One person said she would indeed go look, because that's the kind of thing that family would do, but they would not call it "school". I appreciate the response; it was not supposed to be a rhetorical question. So I don't want to sound defensive or aggressive, but the whole point is that we also do not call it school; it is what we do instead of school. In cases of schooled children, they could associate the adventure and observations with what they learned in class at school. Or they could learn it later in school and then realize it is just like what dad showed us. Either way, it is reinforced if you do an actual book study of the concepts we discussed. Or you could just do book only or just field trip only. Either way is legit as long as they learn something about the world.

In fact the word academic means having no practical value, so I am happy if most of their education is hands-on instead of academic.

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Sunday, February 28th

Eric spent some time reading a book about birds. The other book we were going to study was too boring, so we played catch instead.


Cassie had a home economics lesson on Saturday night as I made “fish and chips” for dinner – battered cod and homemade French  fries. She learned about stove safety and why the handles of pots need to be turned in towards the stove. We discussed hot oil and why it splatters when you add something that has water on it (the potatoes splattered). She heard our reminiscing of cooking classes with Miss Cho in Junior High and the story about before meeting Les how I already knew all about him because he used to have cooking class before me and was part of a team of mischief makers that would rig our “kitchen” for all kinds of trouble. Little did he know he was rigging his future wife’s kitchen…..She also learned about why French fries are called French fries. Eric provided the book with those details. I love that the kids can find anything in a book from our personal library. And remember where they read it!

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We have decided to start this journal to keep track of our children's life lessons learned in our homeschool journey. We believe that as parents we are accountable for our own children's education. It is up to us to make sure we prepare them to be active and responsible citizens, not a drain on society. So this blog will be a place where we can share our daily lessons and activities that we incorporate into our homeschool.

About Me

Mother to 9 children, 5 on earth and 4 in heaven.
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Christian Unschoolers
Unschooling is learning as you live life. All of life involves learning. This is what we "teach" our children.


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