May 28, 2006

New update on other blog!

Rather than duplicating my blog entry here, which doesn't talk about what the kids are up to, if you want to see what I'm up to, go to my other blog!

Micah has been hard at work making jewelry for his jewelry business... we'll post a website URL when it is ready! He is making some very pretty necklaces & such and today he wants to experiment with bead weaving!

Evan is working on a new version of Wesnoth... not sure if he will have it available for uploading or if it will just be for us... Wesnoth is GNU licensed so if Evan does decide to make it available, it'll be free...

Harrison is having fun making bows & arrows...yesterday he picked up a pair of knitting needles and asked me to cast on for him... he didn't know what to make, suggested a sweater, but he still needs to get more comfortable with knitting!

Reuven knows how to type his name and a couple of other words... he's on his way to learning how to read!

The public schools are out for the summer, but we'll just continue as we have been, working on projects that we're interested in!

Because of problems with spam, I've decided to close the comments until I get something like Typekey installed, so I can approve comments first... meanwhile, you can email me at patchworkgirl_at_weavingrainbow_dot_com...

Posted by Jessica at 01:31 PM | Comments (0)

May 14, 2006

It's been an interesting process for sure!

We've been free of the public school system for almost a whole year now... the end of this month marks 1 year... (which is before our impatient youngest's birthday...)

And I wouldn't trade in the frustration, aggravation, confusion, etc., because it led to learning what works best for our family...and we're still learning & I'm still confused, frustrated, aggravated, etc...

One of the boys, MIcah THRIVES on unschooling... before this, we had to play schoolwork patrol & when he was in public school, we had to struggle with him to do his homework and so did his teacher... he did well regardless & would have still passed all his tests with flying colors even if he did not do all his schoolwork/homework. This one is a self-starter... motivated, etc... glad we pulled him out of PS before they ruined his interest in learning.. however, I don't think that keeping him in school would have accomplished ruining his interests because he would always prefer to pursue what he was interested in after school... problem was...there wasn't enough TIME for his interests then! (Especially with the fights we had with him over getting stuff done... even saying "get your work done now and you'll be able to do ___" did not work...hindsight...wish we'd have just told the teachers "look, if he passes his tests, leave him alone about his work." That was then, this is now... hindsight and all that!

Saturday was his day on the kids' computer & from the look of it, he was doing some research all day... the next 3 days will probably be filled with interesting projects, perhaps a shopping trip or two for supplies and what not... (I think one of the things he wants to do would be to build a model of a molecule with dowels and wooden balls...he could use styrofoam, but I think wood would be more durable...)

I spoke with Micah a couple of days ago a little about this past year (a sort of overview/evalutation if you will) and I think he is happy with how things turned out for him. He told me he USED to like writing (as in handwriting) but he felt that they overdid it in 4th grade... and doesn't now...also they did a little too much "creative" writing... best way to stamp something out of someone's system is to force more of it on them than they are ready to deal with... perhaps 1/4th of the writing they did would have sufficed.I also asked him if he liked social studies/history & he said he wasn't sure. I have The Story of the World (volume 1) and the accompanying activity book by Susan Wise Bauer... it's a little young/easy for him at this point (the language the book is written is geared at 1st to 4th graders), but the information would still be interesting & some of the activities might still be suitable. I also have a few volumes of Cornerstones of History & we'll see how that goes.

Now as far as the other 2, I'm not sure where they are going or what they are interested in. I know that Evan is interested in computers & did rather well installing a version of Linux called Slackware...and knows how to compile & do other stuff with the operating system... he also knows how to take a computer apart & put it together... I asked him if he would like to learn to play piano (more on the piano later or another time) and he said "nahh"... he claims to not like music! Nevermind that he likes listening to it, though I'm not sure if he meant he doesn't care for classical music. Of course that's not all that piano is about, but classical sure gives a good foundation for other types of music. Evan does love to read & has spent many a late night reading until 2 or 3 in the morning... (he's reading now as I type at 2am!)

Harrison likes animals & is very interested in things like swords & bows & arrows & he has spent a fair bit of time with a stone (pumice, I believe) which he used to smooth the wood to make sword points... when he & his brothers duel, they are always gentle, they practice the motions, not to "win" but for form...Harrison has also made a few bows & used the waxed linen that is found in the bead section of Walmart & in craft stores... I have a large spool of thicker waxed linen (which I bought thinking it would be good to make inkle loom heddles, but it wasn't) but it's packed away & I'm not sure where.. it'll turn up eventually!

Reuven just plays...but has made some progress "writing his name" both on paper and on the computer... he loves doing it... also knows how to type and write a couple of words. Loves to draw, loves to play with the computer's paint program & loves to play games... and loves to be read to.

Now about the piano (which I will write more about another time):

I got a used 1942 Mason Hamlin upright... console I believe. It is small but has a very nice sound...needs tuning, but we need to wait a couple months before doing that until it has been here for 2 or 3 months.. plus I believe that Gary wants to do some refinish/restore work on it, perhaps change the felts & replace the keytops and finish the outside... we looked under the panels & the sound board looks good... the only thing is that the keys need to be fixed...

And I need either a new (digital?) hearing aid or a cochlear implant, I don't know whether or not I would be eligible for one or not...more about that another time.

I have been practicing almost every day since we brought the piano back, but more about that & more about my philosophy of teaching the boys another time... the moving process was rather interesting. Unfortunately we didn't take pictures of the unload, but I can describe it... Gary proved that you don't need 3 or 4 big burly men to move a piano... at least not this one...

Have a nice rest of the weekend!

NOTE! I have turned comments off until I solve the spam problem... if you want to email me, you can by emailing info_at_weavingrainbow_dot_com, and if it's applicable, I will add the entry to the comments for the relevant day.

Posted by Jessica at 02:13 AM | Comments (0)