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About AuntPol

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  1. Forgive me if this has been mentioned as I am cooking and not reading each post At this age, my daughter hit a wall and we watched Cyberchase for about a month. The website had games and printables
  2. I started off with Ambleside and my son flourished. My daughter didn't like it. Her personality is wired that she seems to detest whatever I like and it's been that way since birth. It's not that she hates me as we are extremely close and can stay up all hours talking or spend an entire day shopping and lunching, etc. However, she's had a need to be independent. So around middle school age, I gave up and said we would unschool. My son liked it for first month or so because he loved video games. However, he felt he wanted a challenging curriculum and he didn't know what he didn't know and said he needed me to tell him what he needs to know and he wants it to be challenging and he wanted to be pushed. So I went back to a rigorous curriculum with him. Now some days, he would do math all day long and some days he would read the history books we picked out all day long. Sometimes it was Latin all day long. For my daughter, I just sat down with her and asked her what she wanted to do and if she wanted to keep college as an option or not. I had her look up what she needed to get in to college and how to backtrack to where she is now. She pursued her interests (dance, video making, and creating dolls and dollhouse furniture) and she read some, wrote some and did a lot scout badges. She loved Percy Jackson and Greek Mythology so she read a lot of Greek Mythology, history and even did about half the Hey Andrew books. She would occasionally pick up MCT or look at Latin because my son was doing it. She did some math but was easily frustrated with it and I believe a lot of that was because her younger brother was so far ahead of her and she couldn't perceive the notion that it wasn't her, he was ahead of most people. We were in 2 different homeschool groups but she really never felt like she fit in. The Christian group at our church was her favorite because she had known everyone longer but she always felt judged. The secular group that mostly unschoolers was too uncivilized for her liking though she made one of her closest friends there. She did join a book club to hang out with that friend. Anyway, a new school opened up and a lot of her friends were thinking about going. We signed her up with the caveat that she try it until Christmas. Her friends ended up not going for various reasons and I gave her option not to before school opened (and even a few weeks into school because I was missing her). She apparently learned enough Latin to place into Latin 2 and get credit for Latin I. She apparently wrote well enough on placement test to get into Honors English -and she is rising sophomore this year to be allowed into a class that requires English 2. She did not place into Math 2 as she hoped though and is now sitting in Math 1 and not liking it (not as well behaved kids and her friends are in higher math) -she should have passed but her anxiety got the best of her. So she is working with a teacher and tutor after school to learn Math 2 so she can skip Math 2 and go to Math 3. The school is amazing. The teachers are amazing. Math has had a hiccup because the school can't afford books yet and the teacher quit midyear and the new teacher is not a math teacher but our only concern is passing the EOC. English hasn't been what I wanted as it 's more of a philosophy class than an English class but other teachers have made up some of the academic writing and she's worked around it. She still has a lot of control over her education by working to skip a level in math, deciding whether to take the highest levels or not, getting permission to take Spanish 2 next year online afterschool so she can take a more rigorous class in that time slot (small schools make schedules difficult). She's formed study groups, got a Spanish conversational partner (a very cute guy whose a native speaker lol), handles issues as they come up, and her teachers are really mentors to her. She loves all of them except one (always got to have that one! -and this is only a mild dislike because the of the subjective component of the class). She's learning a lot and loving it -even in classes like Honors Biology -the one class that she thought she was going to hate and was only taking it for that hoop. It's one of her favorite classes and she has a 100 in it on her report card yesterday. She makes straight A's, is top 5% student, student ambassador, Vice-President of the Student Government, founder of two student clubs (Film Critics and Fiber Arts) and is the freshman choreographer of the Dance Team. She is also on the Green Team that does recycling and school grounds beautification projects. She is trying to get a service club and photography club going for next year. She knows every student in the school and every teacher -even the ones that she doesn't have classes with (actually there was one who had not met her yet because the teacher is part time and that teacher subbed in one of her classes this week. The first thing that teacher did was say "Which student is _____. " My daughter raised her hand and the teacher said "I finally get to put a face to the name." She still pursues dance. She had to cut back on classes but that was because the studio had the classes scheduled so that she was dancing from 5:30-9:30 with only a 15 minute break and she dropped two classes because she was just plain worn out. She did join company though and is winning competitions and loving it. She has decided to not do dance at school next year and do chorus instead and auditioned into the middle level She still makes videos for her youtube channel though not as often and she's on the video announcement team at school and working on a video yearbook project and has done quite a few videos for group projects. She does a lot of nature photography and spends a lot of her free time learning how to use the camera, etc. She know longer is interested in creating her own line of Monster High Dolls but she is using those skills on the Costume team that is designing and making costumes for upcoming performance at school. She still reads the books she wants and it's still determined by what her friends are reading. She still writes in a journal, goes to museum, art galleries, and the zoo (actually now she WANTS to go and makes the arrangements herself). She still watches Once Upon a Time religiously and still runs a Disney blog. She still babysits and does ebay selling and does writing contests to make money (now saving for Europe instead of Disney). She also teaches dance to help offset her dance tuition. I would still consider her an unschooler because she wants to be at her school. We missed 16 days this year due to the weather and an incident where a pipe burst and boiler broke. She contacted the admins to see if she could come in and do some volunteer work and they let her! She goes to the PTSO meetings, the board of directors meetings, does every lick of extra credit that is offered. She can't get enough. She's even going in to help with the summer camps . I also think that it helps that her particular school is the perfect fit for her. The focus is on creativity and philosophy and it's almost like a bunch of unschoolers teaching a school at times. Even the classes that I don't think are up to snuff, I can't totally criticize because they excel in other areas so I have to tell myself to look at the good and balance out the bad and it will work out in the end. I also consider her an unschooler because she makes most of the choices in her life -where to take dance, who she is going to socialize with this week and how. She has no issues walking around downtown in our city or taking the city bus. I say most choices because I'm still a parent and think there needs to be boundaries -your boyfriend isn't going into your room for example. *** Where I differ from some factions of unschoolers is I sat her down and discussed goals. I then helped her figure out to break down goals into manageable bits. Then I reminded her of her goals. She is driven but she is also a child. She wants to be in Math 3 badly next year but she also likes to text her friends and waste time on Instagram (my view of time waste not hers lol). When I notice that she is slipping into the habits. I simply ask her if she still has "math 3" as a goal and how is her progress going? She sighs and usually either do her work or write into her schedule for the week. She also knows that I am fine if she stops the goal and stays in math 2. I also differ in that I took the viewpoint that I am not a maid or a short order cook. I don't hand out money just because you want something. You want it, you do chores for it. You don't want to do the chores, then you don't want the money. It's your choice. I am never going to stop what I am doing to make you a sandwich because you are on World of WarCraft (which is what I saw suggested on a unschooling yahoo group. That group felt that the mom was supposed to give up her life to cater to child. I didn't get it. Then "I" am not doing what I want and not modeling the way life works. I also felt that certain people on these groups seem to put video-addicted child ahead of the other children. For example, I remember a mom who wanted to go on a hike and her other kids wanted to go on a hike but the one kid wanted to play video games w/ her. It was all about putting this child first- she should take a wireless on a hike to continue playing the game with her son while hiking or not go on the hike, etc. I have not been impressed with the homeschoolers/unschoolers that I have met who are "hands off" or don't actively strew, suggest, and/or give consequences for behavior. This is where I draw the line between unschooling and Not educating. I am talking the ones who don't even help their child pursue their interests when they ask and the ones who only interest is video games to the point it is an addiction and they don't see it as an addiction. I also think that by high school age, you should be able to read, write coherently (including spelling), and do basic math and if you can't do that, then you were not even minimally educated. I will also those that don't help their child work through the hard stuff and just let them move on because "he's no longer interested in that and it's his choice." and never inquiring why he's no longer interested. To me these types of unschoolers (NOTE FOR THE READING IMPAIRED: NOT ALL UNSCHOOLERS) are the LEAST curious and least motivated and often the worst behaved children I know. I am sure there are exceptions out there but I am not seeing it. The kids I know who "graduated" from this style are not doing well at all -two are homeless, one can't even pass the remedial classes at Community College, none can get/keep a job. They are aimless.
  3. I am reading the series to my son right now and he loves it.

  4. I KNEW IT!!!! That is one of my all time favorite too! My dd is reading them for the first time and I envy her. I must read those every other year or so. David Eddings is a master at making his characters come alive. Cheers!!

  5. It is from one of my favorite book series -The Belgariad by David Eddings

  6. Ok, I just have to ask, where did you get the AuntPol from? Because it immdiately brings to mind my favorite book series!

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