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What do you do that is different, unique, out of the box, personalized to your kids or family?


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Are you talking about school specifically, or just life in general?

 

It's ironic - I'm rather conventional when it comes to school-ish type stuff. I'm rather UNconventional in things like home furnishings, though. The kids sit on 65 cm exercise balls instead of chairs to "do school" when they are at the school table to work.

 

Out of the box, personalized to my kids and family. We do not own couches or chairs for the living room. It is furnished with CordaRoy's "bean" bag chairs. (It's actually ripped up chunks of furniture foam). My kids can take flying leaps through the air, practice flips off the window sills and half walls, lay on, under, or INSIDE the furniture (great for hide-n-seek).

 

We have hammocks for sleeping, too. We still have a couple beds. I prefer the hammock 100% of the time. The rest of the family flops back and forth - some nights in hammock, some nights in bed.

 

ETA: DUH, I just realized this is in General Education, not Chat. Of course you were talking about school. I'm looking forward to seeing the replies that DO pertain to school. Maybe I can get ideas to continue my journey further in the unconventional so I can fly my Freak Flag really high. :D

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Mystie, we love our circle time here too! We call it Morning Meeting though.

 

Incognito, that is just plain cool!

 

fraidycat, you crack me up! I bet a million dollars visiting children adore your home! What fun! I do let my kids make forts and animal homes out of our living room furniture (and it bears the indications!).

 

I am actually at the park with only my phone, so I will have to add mine later.

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Mystie, we love our circle time here too! We call it Morning Meeting though.

 

Incognito, that is just plain cool!

 

fraidycat, you crack me up! I bet a million dollars visiting children adore your home! What fun! I do let my kids make forts and animal homes out of our living room furniture (and it bears the indications!).

 

I am actually at the park with only my phone, so I will have to add mine later.

 

 

The kids just accept it for what it is and jump right in to playing. It's the adult reactions that crack me up. The exclamations of "This is sooooooo cool/awesome/great (insert other similar words here)!" from the grown ups make me giggle every time.

 

When it comes to houses, I seem to be a square peg in a round hole. I was always rearranging furnture - like once a month, trying to "make it work". I finally let go of conventional standards and I now fit into my house a lot better. :)

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I'm a doctor. I work half time on the weekends. I talk to them a lot about my work. Not so much about individual people-that would not be Ok for many reasons, but more about illnesses. My 11 yo knows more about diseases than most well-informed adults. It's just a thing we do-debriefing after a long day-and they debrief me too.

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Anne, that's funny about singing at work. My kids love music. I think doing it for transitions is a great idea. We try to learn one new song a week as part of our Morning Meeting, which was incredibly fun during American history.

 

Catherine, I think it's really cool to be able to bring your work home like that. What a great treasure of knowledge you are for your kids.

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One thing I think is atypical here is that I flip-flop our day, doing group content work in the mornings and individual skill work with each kid in the afternoon. This works much better for our energy levels and the flow is terrific. For that content period, I take lots of stuff and do a mash-up. For our writing workshop in particular, I cycle between things, which keeps it fresh and fun. We also have a subject called FLoop on our morning schedule, which stands for Fun Loop. It includes little incidentals that it seemed we were never able to get to before. Now that a time is set aside, we're finally getting to them.

 

Our other big fun thing is our homemade family field guides for nature study. The kids divided up plant and animal types by interest and make entries for each their discoveries. They also keep science notebooks, each in their own style, and we do scaffolded interest-led inquiry science.

 

 

 

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Well, recently there was a marathon of Real Housewives on so I made them sit through some episodes. We paused and discussed, calling it psychology, sociology, and marketing. I'm glad my kids hated it and were abhorred by the display of behavior. I'm also glad I got to catch up on the episodes I had missed *blush*!

 

We also introduce stats by following our favorite pro baseball teams. Sometimes geography ties into this when we figure out where the players are from. We use baseball a lot in all of our studies, actually. I love baseball, and fortunately so do the kids.

 

We have a chef of the day. This student has a lighter load but is responsible for making lunch and a snack. It rotates.

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Our schedule is unique to us. Because dd practices a majority of the day, the school day is broken up into chunks. Whenever I see people posting on schedules, I almost sigh because we never have a set schedule though we usually do get everything done. When she is performing more, we do less school and then ramp up school when she has more time.

 

We have a lot of music in her schooling....theory and music history which aren't topics I went into when her brothers were 10yo and homeschooling but they interest her so we do them.

 

I have included sewing and cooking in what she is learning...my boys did learn to cook and do laundry so it isn't only because she's a girl. I want all the kids to be able to be independent. We just ordered material today to make her a couple tunics.

 

We are learning a little conversational (actually just enough to survive) French because dd is performing in Quebec this summer. We want to be able to order food and find the restrooms. We do a little geography and history study on wherever we end up traveling and when traveling for performances or competitions we try to see historic sites and anything else interesting. For example, the place we are going in Quebec was a quarantine island for immigrants coming into Canada so we read about the history of the island and when we have visited Ireland, we have seen as many historical sites as we can find and learn all we can about them (like Knowth and Newgrange, certain castles, monasteries, etc...).

 

We like to visit museums...even off the wall tiny museums in little towns because we may find little gems of knowledge in them. We traveled for 5 weeks around the western US and hit everything we came across. We also did an earth science study before visiting places like Yellowstone.

 

I love to do dissection so we've gotten cow hearts and other parts from the local butcher or ordered specimens to dissect.

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Tita, I love your idea for doing geography lessons around the theme of baseball. Sheer genius! My boys (all three :tongue_smilie:) would love that! I do something similar for food, but not for the whole day. Each kid picks one dinner per week and helps me make it. They are steadily gaining a repertoire and I anticipate that when they hit their late tweens I can be almost entirely out of the picture four nights a week, as each other person takes a turn making dinner themselves.

 

Donna, what wonderful opportunities for travel! I am jealous of your fiddling DD too. When DD was learning violin, I so wanted her to fiddle instead. I think it would be a better match for her personality. Couldn't find a teacher willing to start with anything fiddly though... I might look here now, as I am in a major metro area since our move.

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I think everything is personalized to our family. :) There's not a single piece of curric we use that we don't modify in some way, but I thought that was normal. (whatever 'normal' is!) A lot of that is so I can combine my kids for almost everything. I usually work at home and time management is super important to me. Sometimes the kids get to tag along to some of my out-of-the-house work tasks like site visits and visiting government agencies to review public records and archived documents, and they love that!

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Well, most of the things we do that are unique to us IRL aren't that unique on a WTM board. We are active in church. We study Latin together, working towards the ELE in a couple of months. We are active in girl scouting, and my odd is 10. Most people don't stick it out that long, and she plans to stay in through high school like a few other families we know. We love history. We focus a lot on it and study it chronologically. Oh yeah, we homeschool :)

 

Not that unique to you all... But IRL we are quite unusual.

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Hmmmmm.....I don't think we do anything that odd. I am an acupuncturist, so my kids get needled whenever they need it :) They like it. They have also learned a fair amount about the history of medicine, alternative healing, diet, meridians, etc.

 

I also give my son a daily massage as he tends to be incredibly sore all the time, whether from growing pains or sports I don't know. My kids go to afterschool with public school kids, and they're the only homeschoolers there--it's an interesting situation in that they have learned some not-so-great things from other kids, but at the same time, I think the exposure, as long as it's not a lot, is good.

 

My husband travels a LOT in Europe and we have gone with him a couple of times. We hope to go more as the kids get older and traveling becomes easier. I really want to go back to Rome (we went 2 years ago with the kids) now that we;ve been spending a lot of time on Roman history. I don't think I fully appreciated the sites and history when I went two years ago. He restores paintings, mostly impressionist and Old Masters, so my kids have had a lot of exposure to art and spend a fair amount of time leafing through books in his MASSIVE art library. My DH (I say this modestly) knows just about everything about art history, while I know nothing, and I think they have learned a ton from just hanging out with him and watching him work. Not to mention what they have learned about patience, the amount of work it takes to run your own business, etc.

 

That's all I got. :gnorsi:

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Well, most of the things we do that are unique to us IRL aren't that unique on a WTM board.

 

I agree, I don't think we are that unique on the WTM board but we are IRL even within our homeschool group. My oldest hopes to be an author one day, so he participated in National Novel Writing Month, my middle wants to design video games so he is learning Scratch Programming, my youngest is enthralled by maps and is working on memorizing where all the states are and currently many of the countries in Asia. When we do projects they appear to be big and over the top but are well remembered by my boys and their learning shines through. My DH is of the mindset if you are going to do something do it right and make it memorable. We are also very involved in Cub Scouting. I do to really try to play off of my kids interests while helping them to build a wide and solid foundation.

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I think everything is personalized to our family. :) There's not a single piece of curric we use that we don't modify in some way, but I thought that was normal. (whatever 'normal' is!) A lot of that is so I can combine my kids for almost everything. I usually work at home and time management is super important to me. Sometimes the kids get to tag along to some of my out-of-the-house work tasks like site visits and visiting government agencies to review public records and archived documents, and they love that!

 

I tweak to combine too. It makes my life so much easier! How cool that your kids are able to get real world learning like that.

 

Well, most of the things we do that are unique to us IRL aren't that unique on a WTM board. We are active in church. We study Latin together, working towards the ELE in a couple of months. We are active in girl scouting, and my odd is 10. Most people don't stick it out that long, and she plans to stay in through high school like a few other families we know. We love history. We focus a lot on it and study it chronologically. Oh yeah, we homeschool :)

Not that unique to you all... But IRL we are quite unusual.

 

That's a really good point about the difference between local normal and WTM normal. That is awesome about sticking with Girl Scouts!

 

Hmmmmm.....I don't think we do anything that odd. I am an acupuncturist, so my kids get needled whenever they need it :) They like it. They have also learned a fair amount about the history of medicine, alternative healing, diet, meridians, etc.

I also give my son a daily massage as he tends to be incredibly sore all the time, whether from growing pains or sports I don't know. My kids go to afterschool with public school kids, and they're the only homeschoolers there--it's an interesting situation in that they have learned some not-so-great things from other kids, but at the same time, I think the exposure, as long as it's not a lot, is good.

My husband travels a LOT in Europe and we have gone with him a couple of times. We hope to go more as the kids get older and traveling becomes easier. I really want to go back to Rome (we went 2 years ago with the kids) now that we;ve been spending a lot of time on Roman history. I don't think I fully appreciated the sites and history when I went two years ago. He restores paintings, mostly impressionist and Old Masters, so my kids have had a lot of exposure to art and spend a fair amount of time leafing through books in his MASSIVE art library. My DH (I say this modestly) knows just about everything about art history, while I know nothing, and I think they have learned a ton from just hanging out with him and watching him work. Not to mention what they have learned about patience, the amount of work it takes to run your own business, etc.

That's all I got. :gnorsi:

 

What incredible opportunities for your kids! That kind of knowledge seeping into their learning day by day is probably more effective than any bookwork they could ever do. The traveling sounds incredible too. We might have a choice to move to Germany next year instead of WA and I'm having a hard time deciding. The kids will be at great ages to travel and see Europe and it will be our last opportunity to go there since my DH will be so very close to retirement. I am incredibly jealous of your son's daily massage! :lol:

 

I agree, I don't think we are that unique on the WTM board but we are IRL even within our homeschool group. My oldest hopes to be an author one day, so he participated in National Novel Writing Month, my middle wants to design video games so he is learning Scratch Programming, my youngest is enthralled by maps and is working on memorizing where all the states are and currently many of the countries in Asia. When we do projects they appear to be big and over the top but are well remembered by my boys and their learning shines through. My DH is of the mindset if you are going to do something do it right and make it memorable. We are also very involved in Cub Scouting. I do to really try to play off of my kids interests while helping them to build a wide and solid foundation.

 

Oh, thanks for reminding me of NaNoWriMo! I think next year would be a great time to try it with my two oldest. It's really cool how you personalize their big projects. I love when learning turns into hobbies for the kids.

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I only teach twice a week. The other three days are covered by me acting in character. I used to have 4 characters, but we're down to 3. The UPS guy used to think it was weird when a nun answered the door one day, then a 60s hippie chick the next day, then me, then me decked out in Doc Hudson gear...now he doesn't even flinch. ;)

 

I originally did this to entertain myself as the K and 1st grade subject matter and my intense personal style were not a good mesh. It's continued, because my kids love it, esp. when Doc Hudson or Sister Mary May I speaks humorously about their Mother. :o

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I only teach twice a week. The other three days are covered by me acting in character. I used to have 4 characters, but we're down to 3. The UPS guy used to think it was weird when a nun answered the door one day, then a 60s hippie chick the next day, then me, then me decked out in Doc Hudson gear...now he doesn't even flinch. ;)

 

I originally did this to entertain myself as the K and 1st grade subject matter and my intense personal style were not a good mesh. It's continued, because my kids love it, esp. when Doc Hudson or Sister Mary May I speaks humorously about their Mother. :o

 

 

Well, that is just plain awesome! I might need to go back off the coffee wagon if I ever hope to be that much fun! :lol:

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I only teach twice a week. The other three days are covered by me acting in character. I used to have 4 characters, but we're down to 3. The UPS guy used to think it was weird when a nun answered the door one day, then a 60s hippie chick the next day, then me, then me decked out in Doc Hudson gear...now he doesn't even flinch. ;)

 

I originally did this to entertain myself as the K and 1st grade subject matter and my intense personal style were not a good mesh. It's continued, because my kids love it, esp. when Doc Hudson or Sister Mary May I speaks humorously about their Mother. :o

 

 

 

That's awesome. My kids love for me to pretend to be their chef and the like but I never thought about this, very cool.

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We walk (and well use to bike)

 

It's not unusual for us to not get in a car for a week or two. We walk to the

Grocery Store

Library

Swimming Pool

Parks

Restaurants

Music store

Piano lessons

well pretty much everywhere

 

We also bike not so much just past summer, but the summer before we could do 20Km a day.

 

You know the saying, "Stop and smell the roses" well we not only smell them we stop and play in them.

 

I'm just thinking of the past year or two. Now keep in mind we live in what I consider a typical city. Not a major one. We do have a university. I also keep up with "What's happening" in your neighbourhood stuff. But I find they often don't mention things.

 

Once we biked to a park and ended up watching hot air balloons go up. We got a piece of the balloon material and ended up making a parachute for a teddy when we got home.

 

We walked to the library and saw elephants. The circus was in town at the rec. center we walk through twice a week and they never advertised it? We ended up getting free tickets and the chance to ride an elephant.

 

We biked to a provincial park (Over 10KM away) and ended up watching university students test out a new type of watercraft they made themselves. Remot control and about the size of a kitchen table.

 

We have seen and talked to artists painting the in the park.

 

We bumped into people practicing sword fighting for a fair.

 

We have seen police officers on horse back.

 

and... Oh my Gosh my Eldest is being so annoying. He just walked into the room and is waiting for me to finish well being annoying.

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I only teach twice a week. The other three days are covered by me acting in character. I used to have 4 characters, but we're down to 3. The UPS guy used to think it was weird when a nun answered the door one day, then a 60s hippie chick the next day, then me, then me decked out in Doc Hudson gear...now he doesn't even flinch. ;) I originally did this to entertain myself as the K and 1st grade subject matter and my intense personal style were not a good mesh. It's continued, because my kids love it, esp. when Doc Hudson or Sister Mary May I speaks humorously about their Mother. :o

 

You are my hero.

 

I love this thread! I think we're unique compared to a lot of people we know, but I can't think of anything really out there that we do. We spend a good deal of our time talking about biomechanics and doing exercises & stretches. We do most of our lessons on the floor. We also are known to take time off to go on impromptu hikes through state parks or take weeks off to sew historical costumes for reenactments we like to go to.

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We travel a TON, own a small business, and so far we're year-rounders.

 

I tend to actually school them MORE on vacation and the summer because that way I don't worry so much when our lives have busy weeks during school registration, summer travel times, etc. (We just got back from a week in Florida tonight and I plan to lay low, catching up on other things for at least a couple of days.)

 

We plan to have them help with the business when they are old enough as lessons in responsibility, economics, etc. They get to travel for my work at times, too, because I want them to see musicians at work and know the great pieces in a living, rehearsing, performing context. I don't care at all whether they become musicians themselves, in fact I kind of hope they do not.

 

We're weird in lots of other ways but I think those would be the most unusual or idiomatic to our school/family.

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I only teach twice a week. The other three days are covered by me acting in character. I used to have 4 characters, but we're down to 3. The UPS guy used to think it was weird when a nun answered the door one day, then a 60s hippie chick the next day, then me, then me decked out in Doc Hudson gear...now he doesn't even flinch. ;)

 

I originally did this to entertain myself as the K and 1st grade subject matter and my intense personal style were not a good mesh. It's continued, because my kids love it, esp. when Doc Hudson or Sister Mary May I speaks humorously about their Mother. :o

 

Are you serious? You must explain how this works. Pictures, or it didn't happen. ;)

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Unique to us? Hmmm...while we are odd to others, here we are normal, as many have indicated. We actually bought a rental property for the sole purpose of teaching the kids and making it a 2 month long homeschool project. We do school until 4:30 usually, and start at 9:00, which I suppose is different than some here. I have taught "Naughty Words 101" so my kids won't be THAT naive around others as they grow older. Nothing really all that weird though.

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Mystie, we love our circle time here too! We call it Morning Meeting though.

 

Incognito, that is just plain cool!

 

fraidycat, you crack me up! I bet a million dollars visiting children adore your home! What fun! I do let my kids make forts and animal homes out of our living room furniture (and it bears the indications!).

 

I am actually at the park with only my phone, so I will have to add mine later.

 

We just started a Morning Stand Up. The dc love it, feel just like they are in a business meeting. :) My husband conducts it and they act very serious about what they say they must accomplish and what they got done the day before. It's cute (and productive!).

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We walk (and well use to bike)

It's not unusual for us to not get in a car for a week or two. We walk to the

Grocery Store

Library

Swimming Pool

Parks

Restaurants

Music store

Piano lessons

well pretty much everywhere

We also bike not so much just past summer, but the summer before we could do 20Km a day.

You know the saying, "Stop and smell the roses" well we not only smell them we stop and play in them.

I'm just thinking of the past year or two. Now keep in mind we live in what I consider a typical city. Not a major one. We do have a university. I also keep up with "What's happening" in your neighbourhood stuff. But I find they often don't mention things.

Once we biked to a park and ended up watching hot air balloons go up. We got a piece of the balloon material and ended up making a parachute for a teddy when we got home.

We walked to the library and saw elephants. The circus was in town at the rec. center we walk through twice a week and they never advertised it? We ended up getting free tickets and the chance to ride an elephant.

We biked to a provincial park (Over 10KM away) and ended up watching university students test out a new type of watercraft they made themselves. Remot control and about the size of a kitchen table.

We have seen and talked to artists painting the in the park.

We bumped into people practicing sword fighting for a fair.

We have seen police officers on horse back.

and... Oh my Gosh my Eldest is being so annoying. He just walked into the room and is waiting for me to finish well being annoying.

 

 

That is so cool! I feel...not brave. We are actually close enough to the grocery store that we could probably bike there but I feel like I would be herding cats. Oldest DS and probably DD would be fine. I think DS6 needs more time for bigger roads. I so admire this lifestyle though.

 

Unique to us? Hmmm...while we are odd to others, here we are normal, as many have indicated. We actually bought a rental property for the sole purpose of teaching the kids and making it a 2 month long homeschool project. We do school until 4:30 usually, and start at 9:00, which I suppose is different than some here. I have taught "Naughty Words 101" so my kids won't be THAT naive around others as they grow older. Nothing really all that weird though.

 

 

:lol: Naughty Words 101 :lol:

 

Nothing can top teaching in character, so anything I might have thought of has left my mind.

 

 

Don't your kids do Shakespeare!? Nuthin' to sneeze at... ;)

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I only teach twice a week. The other three days are covered by me acting in character. I used to have 4 characters, but we're down to 3. The UPS guy used to think it was weird when a nun answered the door one day, then a 60s hippie chick the next day, then me, then me decked out in Doc Hudson gear...now he doesn't even flinch. ;)

 

I originally did this to entertain myself as the K and 1st grade subject matter and my intense personal style were not a good mesh. It's continued, because my kids love it, esp. when Doc Hudson or Sister Mary May I speaks humorously about their Mother. :o

 

I Love this! I don't know that I'm creative or "fun" enough to pull this off. But if I were - Oh My Goodness! It'd be so much fun. Hippie Chick = super relaxed and "go with the flow" unschooly kind of day all zen and carefree. Nun = very rigorous, rigid day complete with a foam ruler to rap the knuckles with :). Saying snarky or humorous things about the "regular teacher". My kids would LOVE it. LOL

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We also start with content first.

 

My children know a lot about phonics, sight words, obscure spelling rules and old Spellers, and allergies. I have a lot of allergies: pollen, mold, cats, food, polyester, latex, just to name a few. My food and poly/latex allergies are fairly recent. My son has known what poly was since he was 4. On a recent trip he explained to his aunt patiently over her objections that he really did need to wash his hands, that her hand sanitizer was just spreading the allergens around and killing germs but not getting rid of the allergens. He talks very fast when he is excited and empathetic about things, so I ended up having to translate for him.

 

My husband pauses movies anytime they do not understand something or when he thinks it is something they need to know. If they know, he moves on. During tonight's movie, he paused it about 5 times to explain how discipline used to be in earlier years in schools, what a Centenial meant, and a few other times that they knew what various terms/concepts were.

 

I usually add something new in January to keep us all on our toes and to stave off February doldrums. (A new subject or book and/or a new level of work required in a current subject or book.) They have spring birthdays and are usually ready for a new level of difficulty around January each year.

 

We start our school day with Bible, stretching, and swinging on a pull-up bar. Then, we do content subjects and our current read-aloud.

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I could never top teaching in character, but I am an L&D nurse & teach childbirth classes. My kids know an unusual amount of information about pregnancy, labor, birth & breastfeeding. They watch birth videos without flinching--they even shout "Look! That baby has a nuchal cord!" They know more about the anatomy & physiology of birth than my adult students. (Proud mamma moment)

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I originally did this to entertain myself as the K and 1st grade subject matter and my intense personal style were not a good mesh.

 

 

This is an interesting point. We've had various characters and storylines woven throughout our schooldays for a few years now. I've never really given thought to why, just that it works well for us. I can definitely relate to what you're saying here. Thanks for mentioning it.

 

I used to worry that I was making studies too fun. But as my dd has gotten older I've seen it's helped her maintain a relatively rigorous 9-5:30 studies schedule. It serves as a counter-weight of sorts. Her brain needs the in-depth materials, but the child still needs to play. It also tempts co-operation in a way nothing else has.

 

Imagination is vital in solving problems and in life in general. So in some ways, the "play" is just a day-long subject. :)

 

That, or having multiple personalities runs in the family. ;)

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Don't your kids do Shakespeare!? Nuthin' to sneeze at... ;)

 

 

Or bite your thumb at. :D Yes, my kids have acted major roles in a shortened (but with Shakespeare's own words) Shakespeare production every year - we're starting again in a few weeks and this will be their third, with a certain possibly cursed play. I direct twentyish kids in this endeavor every time.

 

We used to start the day Quaker style with silence and handshakes... but we've fallen away from that.

 

Here's something that's probably relatively unique. At our co-op, the kids plan the units and sometimes are the teachers. We make major decisions by consensus and the kids are a central part of that process. The kids pick really neat topics and the adults are there to facilitate their choices and create a working environment. After the kids pick the topics, they also choose the order and each family plans and teaches one class for the topic. This year, we've been moving toward the kids helping plan the family's class as well as choosing the topics. It's a really good group.

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Let's see, I'm not a morning person so when the kids get up btwn 5:30 and 6 my partner starts the day. She begins with pop songs of the 50-80s. My 5yo's favorite song is Delta Dawn. Recently they chose topics out of Billy Joel's We Didn't Start the Fire to learn about some cultural events and history. Then she has them study different types of dance via the internet. Currently that's merringue. Three of our four kids are latino and we are not so then she reads latino picture books and discusses their heritage. Gary Soto is a current favorite (if you have any good rec.s let us know). I take over at 8. I do the more traditional hsing. We cover language arts, math, art, fine motor, etc. Although traditional subjects and curric are used, transitions are a bit unusual. After they complete each activity they exercise. They run to the barn three times, lately each time they run out there they sled down the small hill. Then they come in and do ten situps. My kids NEED this activity! We are about to add jumping jacks to the routine. We teach most of our Science through life on our hobby farm. After lunch and nap I do read alouds. I need to keep fluent with my sign language so I sign as I read the books. Since my partner teaches cultural studies and we are two moms, we do a lot of informal teaching about social justice issues, culture, etc. My kids could identify and sing most songs by the Indigo Girls by the time they were three or four. Family structure and gender identity are frequent topics of discussion. Since I also teach motor and language development they get a strong dose of anatomy instruction throughout daily life. We h year round. My kids need high structure and consistency so we hs every.single.day.

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That is so cool! I feel...not brave. We are actually close enough to the grocery store that we could probably bike there but I feel like I would be herding cats. Oldest DS and probably DD would be fine. I think DS6 needs more time for bigger roads

 

Being able to having a walking / biking lifestyle really depends on the area you live in. But if you can do so I highly recommend it. It can turn a 1 hour outing into a 3 or 4 hour outing. But the fun you have. Also the kids get lots of fresh air and exercise.

 

Yesterday we were going to the library and had bags if we stopped at the grocery store. But instead of the grocery store we played on the lake that was frozen. Someone had shoveled paths into the ice so it was like a giant maze or sorts. Perfect for playing tag/chase.

 

For me it's not like herding cats. It varies between being followed by slow meandering dogs or wild pack rats that have to pick up every stick.

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We also walk and bike everywhere as often as we can. Except for violin lessons and big grocery shopping or when it's icy out. I've been more into walking than biking since my bike accident last summer. My knee is still not all healed. I used to go with a little one in front and trailer of kids in the back.

 

Sillymommy- very cool. I had one UC and one mw attended birth that my kids were there for. They love birth and will watch animal and human birth videos for hours. They still talk almost daily about my LO being born in the caul.

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My husband pauses movies anytime they do not understand something or when he thinks it is something they need to know. If they know, he moves on. During tonight's movie, he paused it about 5 times to explain how discipline used to be in earlier years in schools, what a Centenial meant, and a few other times that they knew what various terms/concepts were.

 

I usually add something new in January to keep us all on our toes and to stave off February doldrums. (A new subject or book and/or a new level of work required in a current subject or book.) They have spring birthdays and are usually ready for a new level of difficulty around January each year.

 

Your whole post was great but the thing about pausing to chat during movies caught my attention. I will admit to being frustrated many times when they ask questions during movies (because you miss stuff if you talk :tongue_smilie:) but I'm starting to think of it as a great opportunity for discussion and trying hard to be patient. For movie night on Friday we watched Won't Back Down and it required lots of pausing and explanation. But they understood so much more than they would otherwise and ended up loving the movie.

 

Love the idea of adding in fresh stuff. I try to do that over the summer, have fun little units, geography lately.

 

Or bite your thumb at. :D Yes, my kids have acted major roles in a shortened (but with Shakespeare's own words) Shakespeare production every year - we're starting again in a few weeks and this will be their third, with a certain possibly cursed play. I direct twentyish kids in this endeavor every time.

We used to start the day Quaker style with silence and handshakes... but we've fallen away from that.

Here's something that's probably relatively unique. At our co-op, the kids plan the units and sometimes are the teachers. We make major decisions by consensus and the kids are a central part of that process. The kids pick really neat topics and the adults are there to facilitate their choices and create a working environment. After the kids pick the topics, they also choose the order and each family plans and teaches one class for the topic. This year, we've been moving toward the kids helping plan the family's class as well as choosing the topics. It's a really good group.

 

See, I think all of that is very different...and incredible!

 

Let's see, I'm not a morning person so when the kids get up btwn 5:30 and 6 my partner starts the day. She begins with pop songs of the 50-80s. My 5yo's favorite song is Delta Dawn. Recently they chose topics out of Billy Joel's We Didn't Start the Fire to learn about some cultural events and history. Then she has them study different types of dance via the internet. Currently that's merringue. Three of our four kids are latino and we are not so then she reads latino picture books and discusses their heritage. Gary Soto is a current favorite (if you have any good rec.s let us know). I take over at 8. I do the more traditional hsing. We cover language arts, math, art, fine motor, etc. Although traditional subjects and curric are used, transitions are a bit unusual. After they complete each activity they exercise. They run to the barn three times, lately each time they run out there they sled down the small hill. Then they come in and do ten situps. My kids NEED this activity! We are about to add jumping jacks to the routine. We teach most of our Science through life on our hobby farm. After lunch and nap I do read alouds. I need to keep fluent with my sign language so I sign as I read the books. Since my partner teaches cultural studies and we are two moms, we do a lot of informal teaching about social justice issues, culture, etc. My kids could identify and sing most songs by the Indigo Girls by the time they were three or four. Family structure and gender identity are frequent topics of discussion. Since I also teach motor and language development they get a strong dose of anatomy instruction throughout daily life. We h year round. My kids need high structure and consistency so we hs every.single.day.

 

Very cool! Love the periodic exercise and I have dreamed of a hobby farm one day. What a great opportunity for your kids.

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I Love this! I don't know that I'm creative or "fun" enough to pull this off. But if I were - Oh My Goodness! It'd be so much fun. Hippie Chick = super relaxed and "go with the flow" unschooly kind of day all zen and carefree. Nun = very rigorous, rigid day complete with a foam ruler to rap the knuckles with :). Saying snarky or humorous things about the "regular teacher". My kids would LOVE it. LOL

 

 

You pretty much nailed it. Ms. Mellow has to be nice and accepting of dawdling, etc. SOOOO not my natural tendency, but it is fun. I wear hip huggers, a qiana top and frizz out my hair. I usually wear a headband too. (If you don't know what qiana is, you are young!) Sr. Mary May I is a stickler for a lot of things, including good posture, but she's kind. Doc Hudson throws around a lot of rookie zingers, and is challenging, but patient. Basically, all three are more kind and patient than I!

 

I think I Dup asked for pics -- NO! I have this nightmare of being hauled into court and having to make this sound somewhat "normal" - without pictures on the internet, there's plausible deniability! ;)

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You pretty much nailed it. Ms. Mellow has to be nice and accepting of dawdling, etc. SOOOO not my natural tendency, but it is fun. I wear hip huggers, a qiana top and frizz out my hair. I usually wear a headband too. (If you don't know what qiana is, you are young!) Sr. Mary May I is a stickler for a lot of things, including good posture, but she's kind. Doc Hudson throws around a lot of rookie zingers, and is challenging, but patient. Basically, all three are more kind and patient than I!

 

I think I Dup asked for pics -- NO! I have this nightmare of being hauled into court and having to make this sound somewhat "normal" - without pictures on the internet, there's plausible deniability! ;)

 

So you really do go all out in full costume every week? You are awesome!!

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The one time I tried to be a different "character" while teaching, my daughter was in tears within five minutes. Didn't work so well!

 

I might have to try it again though because i love doing voices and acting.

 

ETA: I didn't answer the original OP....to kind of go along with what I said about voices above. When my oldest was in first grade, she had the hardest time remembering to put the larger number on top when doing subtraction.

 

I explained to her that when doing addition, number order doesn't matter. I would use this really relaxed almost drugged out voice for Mr. Addition and say, "Hey, girl, it's all good. When you do addition you put the numbers in whatever order you want to. We just go with the flow around here."

 

Then Colonel Subtraction would come along with this over the top German sounding accent, "You must always have de numberz in the correct order! You cannot take five thingz from one thing! That is ridiculous! Bigger number goes on top! On top, I say!"

 

(I did tell her that later she would learn that you can do subtraction with the smaller number first and have a negative number as the answer, but that was down the road a bit.)

 

She could set up subtraction problems within a few days of Colonel Subtraction taking over math class! He was a brute. ;)

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The one time I tried to be a different "character" while teaching, my daughter was in tears within five minutes. Didn't work so well!

 

I might have to try it again though because i love doing voices and acting.

 

Whenever I've tried to be awesome like that, my boys think I'm teasing them or am too silly to be taken seriously at all. My people have a thick taking-ourselves-too-seriously streak, apparently. But I looove the idea.

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So you really do go all out in full costume every week? You are awesome!!

 

 

Thank you for the compliment! I went to Catholic school, so really, donning a "uniform" is routine for me for school. Well they are all pretty easy too. Doc Hudson -- a tee shirt (my husband had two made awhile back) and a tattoo that I put on my cheek. The nun habit I've had forever from I have no idea where, and, yeah, I really do have the old qiana shirt from when I was about 12 or 13. Dupont should have sold that stuff as "forever" wear....it is a front button with a BIG collar and splashy pattern. I am 48 now...so that shirt is 35 yrs. old minimum!

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You pretty much nailed it. Ms. Mellow has to be nice and accepting of dawdling, etc. SOOOO not my natural tendency, but it is fun. I wear hip huggers, a qiana top and frizz out my hair. I usually wear a headband too. (If you don't know what qiana is, you are young!) Sr. Mary May I is a stickler for a lot of things, including good posture, but she's kind. Doc Hudson throws around a lot of rookie zingers, and is challenging, but patient. Basically, all three are more kind and patient than I!

 

I think I Dup asked for pics -- NO! I have this nightmare of being hauled into court and having to make this sound somewhat "normal" - without pictures on the internet, there's plausible deniability! ;)

 

LOL This has crossed my mind more than once, especially when I slip up and forget we're in public! :smilielol5: (I use some strange voices.)

 

Continuing with the different personalities of the teacher, the same holds true for the student as well. It is a way to blow off steam and be allowed to be the class clown for a bit. :biggrinjester:

 

ETA: It also can be a way to encourage the student to take a risk, try an extra challenging problem, take a different approach to a subject etc. Because after all, that's the kind of personality ____ has. :coolgleamA:

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We have a global focus. Geography has been important and we started studying multiple languages early in our schooling. My kids are citizens of 2 countries. They have lived in 2 countries so far and are about to move to a country in Asia. As missionaries there we will be living in one country and going to other nearby countries periodically.

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