Thursday, August 31, 2006

Bridge Week

Okay my blog got mentioned in the VaHomeschoolers latest e-newsletter (

Or join via email:

so I guess I better get a new post or two up!

I am writing quickly as I am on my way to the dentist in a few minutes (gotta get that out of the way!). And I am trying to focus on wrapping up all the loose ends from the amazing, way morethanfine VaHomeschoolers Conference in Richmond last week (fun, fun, fun) and preparing for school to get really underway next week. So I guess this is our bridge week! I am looking at the schedule for next week which includes co-op classes (for the family that once was the "we don't do no stinkin' co-ops" family...ahh the irony), music lessons and tumbling class; and I wistfully see the long lazy summer ending and an energizing new school year beginning! One last long weekend and the checkered flag will be waving and we're off!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Fringe of the Fringe

I forget sometimes when I use the term 'unschooling' that it is a weird, unknown term to many people outside the homeschooling circles I run in most of the time. Of course, it is weird and unknown to some of the people *inside* the homeschool circles I run in too! At a recent board meeting of VaHomeschoolers--the statewide homeschool group I work with--we were discussing how homeschoolers are on the fringe and since most (all?) of us on the board are unschoolers, I pointed out that we are the on the fringe of most homeschoolers--we are the fringe of the fringe. Academic rebels who have purposely placed ourselves outside the mainstream. It's funny because I was never outside the mainstream growing up. And even though I went to a radical college (Berkeley) I stayed pretty much in the mainstream (except for becoming a born again Christian :o) until I had kids. But as a mom, I began to slip out of the mainstream! I didn't have any interest in working anymore, I wanted to stay at home, breast feed, eventually homeschool and finally, I fell completely out of the mainstream altogether and began to unschool. lol So here I am in my own little eddy on the side of the river surrounding myself with morethanfine fringe-fringers like myself. Come on in the water's fine!

Unschooling continues

While my oldest DS may be gearing up to go academic (he is now wondering what he's gotten himself into lol) , my youngest continues innocently and obliviously unschooling, which is morethanfine with me! His most recent project is using a spiral notebook to copy 3 words or phrases from the morning paper and then reading them back. He is still a beginning reader and is using this activity (although he doesn't realize it) to expand his vocabulary. It is so gratifying to watch kids teach themselves the stuff they want and need to know! Middle DS has started voluntarily reading the comics, in response to his little brother messing with the newspaper I think. As a very reluctant, not very fluid reader, this is a big step for him. So while the biggest brother will be off exploring new educational philosophies, the unschooling continues (but please don't tell them that is what they are doing! ;o)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

3 Months Neglected!

How could 3 months have gone by! I can't believe it. I guess that's what a morethanfine summer will do to you! It has been a new kind of summer for us with oldest buy, 14yo, away from home for 4 weeks altogether. A week of Mountain Expedition camp, a week of Surf Camp and 2 weeks of his first real job working in the kitchen at Triple R Ranch. 4 weeks out from under his parents thumb, a 14 year old's dream come true! lol

The other change has been his desire to try a tough, academically rigorous class schedule twice a week in a local homeschool co-op. Haha, after my reckless declaration "we don't do no stinkin' co-ops", now we are doing the very stinkin' co-op that riled me in the first place. I am learning the #1 law of teenager hood, what mom and dad provide, the teenager will want the opposite. In addition, I am teaching teh high school World History class at same said co-op. I know it will be fun, even though it will take a little effort to get into a 'real school' mindset---assigning homework and papers and projects and giving quizzes, midterms and finals! But I have refused to use the textbook (lol) that has been used in previous years! I may have climbed back into the box but I've got my toe hanging out the edge!