Thursday, July 8, 2010

Garden Photos

Here is the next installment of photos taken by my son Dallen, and me. We decided this time to go up into the garden and take some shots.

Dallen's photo:

My Photo, the tomato snowman or should it be a tomatoman:



Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I *Am* an Organized Unschooler

I know the two terms seem to be mutually exclusive, but I am here to say it *is* possible to be an organized, list maker, planner of a person and also follow your passions and interests facilitating your children's interests as well. The two can go hand in hand.


I am an organizer, a planner, a list maker. That is me. I make lists of things that I want to accomplish throughout the day, week and month. I actively search out homeschool activities and community events, field trip ideas for our family, my boys and our homeschool group. I feel secure having lists although as I am maturing I appreciate the ability to sway from my plan and continue to have fun in the spontaneous joy-filled moments.

Our family has been built on strong relationships, each individual feels safe in the family and knows that his ideas and thoughts are important. I say this because I think it is key to being an organizer and living an unschooling life. I talk with my boys about what they are interested in, find intriguing, might want to try, what is available. I do the research to find things that are interesting to me and might be interesting to them. They in turn, feel secure and know that these are options, and being options they can say "yes I would like to try that" or "no, I don't think I want to go see that".


So I organize things that work for our family. I organize an art day that both of my boys enjoy, I organize an explore science day that my youngest helps plan. I organize a hiking day that we all LOVE. And I am working with my oldest to plan a game day for the future. I also organize a statewide homeschool conference.


These things fill that need in me to be organized. While at the same time allow my children space to be their own unique individuals. I don't try to "organize" my children. But organizing their options seems to help us all see what is available from which to choose. Do we participate in everything, absolutely not, do we enjoy knowing there are wonderful things out there available, should the mood strike, yes.


So if you feel that need to organize, plan a garden, search for field trip ideas, make your own lists for yourself, get into the cupboards and organize the dishes, get involved with your local homeschool group, they are always looking for people who enjoy organization. Fulfill that need for yourself and you will find yourself happier and better able to be present for your children. You will be centered and better able to help them in ways in which they want, rather than in ways you feel are best for them. Are you an Organized Unschooler?!

Growth

I was just looking at my boys today and thinking how they have grown. I guess moving through life with them I don't see the changes on a daily basis. They are now almost 16 and 13, two teenagers, amazing, as I still feel like a teen sometimes myself.


The other day I heard mention of "the rebellious teens" on TV. I can't even remember to what it was in reference, but I had not really thought of that. I remember hearing, some years ago, about the "terrible twos". I guess we have all heard that phrase. But that never happened. We never went through that "phase" through which so many toddlers seem to pass. My boys are each very different, and have had their own challenges they have had to navigate. Jackson and I have been there every step of the way to help in any way we could, and we still are and still do. But it is more a progression of life, ever evolving as they explore the world around them experiencing new and different things, as they grow and mature. But the "terrible twos" was never a phase in our lives. Is it just that we look at things so differently, parent differently? I have no idea as this is all we have ever known, I have no point of comparison.


So I think about the rebellious teen idea and sit with the thought. Can you rebel if there is nothing to rebel against? Is there always something to rebel against? I don't know the answers to these questions. We have seen nothing of the "rebellious teen" phase so far. I think we will just keep on doing what we are doing...living, loving, laughing, connecting, and exploring together as a family and as individuals within a family. If anything, as the boys get older, I think our relationships have deepened. We talk about all sorts of topics, they come to me (us) with thoughts, idea, problems, concerns. We have always been open with the boys, talked with them, acknowledging that they thoughts, ideas and concerns are important and have an important place within our circle. So my gut feeling is that our relationships will continue on this same path and we will move through this world in peace, trusting in the love and connection we have. For today the idea of "rebellious teens" is a thought, one that is quickly leaving my consciousness. Maybe someday I will sit back and think about it again, as I have the "terrible twos". But for now it is life.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Knitting

I am involved with an online knitting group and am participating in monthly challenges. This month was something to keep your neck warm, so I made two cowls and three scarves. I am hoping this will end in Christmas presents. My goal is to not buy any more new yarn until I have used some of my stash. So here are a few pics of things I have made this month, well last month...it was the June Challenge.