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Showing posts from July, 2019

Designing a Writing Group

“What do you think our writing group should look like?” I asked 8 y.o. No. Two as we headed into town on BART.  I’d heard, every unschooling parent has heard, that things will work best when the kids are put in charge of their own learning.  I knew Two wanted a writing group.  That’s why we were headed into the library presentation on writing groups, but I’d never though to ask her what she wanted in a writing group.  Not until now.

“I’d like us to meet outside.”

This should have come as no surprise to me.  The kid loves being outdoors.  She loves nature.  Her favorite superhero is Poison Ivy.



“Cool, what if we met at different playgrounds or other places around town, what if we moved the meeting around?  That way members that live in different neighborhoods can attend meetings when they swing nearby.”

“Sounds good.  We could have it at libraries too!”  She chimed in.

“All right.”

“When we have it at libraries, we could write about a book in the library.”

“Like use the book for a writ…

Six Year-Old Deigns to Read for Programming

Today, an interesting thing happened today in the reading career of six year-old No. Two.  First, I should point out that Two doesn’t read yet.  He’s not really interested in it.  At least, he’s not passionate about it, (to say the least).  While he did express a desire to learn to read several months ago, since then, he’s worked at it only haltingly.  He’ll memorize a letter or two here and there, but really?  It’s just not his thing yet.

So, getting back to today’s surprise.  I’m working on a programming project with the kids using the REST API to Google mail.  There’s been a call in our homeschooling group for parents to submit lists of playgrounds they’d like the group to attend for park days in the coming year.  The kids and I have frankly enjoyed almost every playground we’ve visited in the city, (there are dozens of them), so we didn't feel the need to be original, but we do need a list of all the playgrounds we have visit.  We were in luck since the playground of the week …

Real-World Socialization

Socialization in the Real World
I say we’re an unschooling family with no curriculum, and to an extent that’s true.  To an extent though, it’s not.  I do have goals for the kids.  I’d like them to move more fluidly through the world than I did as a kid.  I was shy.  Sometimes I couldn't’ think of the right things to say.  Sometimes, I didn’t want to speak at all.  To this day, new experiences jar me.  I’ve developed coping techniques, and yet.  If I get a chance to visit a place by myself and take it in, I’m fine.  If I get dropped into a place out of the blue with other people, I’m just a little bit disoriented.  Things are just a little bit harder to do.  I’d like for the gang here to not have these experiences.  I’d like for them to feel okay talking to whoever, wherever, and whenever.  To that end, the gang and I spend a lot of time in places where the kids can practice communicating, where they can see new things, take in new sights, and meet new people. 



Sometimes this is ea…

The Question

A few days ago, 6 y.o. No. Two reminded me that to assume I knowhow someone listens, much less how they learn is rather superemrly arrogoant of me.  Two, of course, didn’t remind me by telling mei. He’d never do anything so crass—he’s far too decent of a person for that. He reminded me by showing me. 

Two and I attended an AlienCon panel featuring Joel and Paul Hynek. If you’re not a huge AlienCon fan, the Hyneks’ dad, Dr. Allen Hynek, was the a scientific consultant for three the Air Force's UFO investigations, Project Sign, Project Grudge, and Project Blue Book.  A new TV series dramatizes their family’s life along with some of the UFO cases their dad investigated. Paul Hynek serves as a technical advisor for the show while his brother Joel, is actually portrayed on the show. Joel has other props in show business as well: he won an Academy Award for Visual Effects.
The brothers held my rapt atention with their stories, accompanied by family photos displayed on a huge screen…