Posts Tagged ‘home education’

Awesome things you should get right now!

February 13, 2013


I have a lovelie bestie who lives too far away. She regularly sends me postcards of herself in various silly hats, and they adorn my kitchen cupboards so thickly it looks like a shrine…or like I am a stalker. Thank you, Cookie!

Our most recent joy was a package full of finger lights (which you should also get. They fall into the cheap but AWESOME! category for sure!) and water beads. We requested the finger lights as my mother previously sent us four (ha) and they were used every single day till they died, but the water beads were a total surprise. Water beads have been on my list to get for about a year, so I was overjoyed to get them.

We dumped some in bowls of water. They are supposed to soak for five or six hours before they obtain their water beady shape/squish, but the kids played immediately. For AN HOUR AMD A HALF. They watched them change, counted them, made them dance and swirl in the water, used spoons to pretend bake, mixed colours, and Snort did some crazy ass game where they were being attacked by a spoon and had to run away.

These things come in all colours and are very cheap. They are awesome for sensory play and learning, though of course I believe a child’s work IS playing.

I have a feeling these things may be able to dry out, shrink, and be saved for future play….but even if they can’t, they are totally worth experimenting with. Completely Snort and Coconut recommended!

A serious question.

October 3, 2012

When it looks like it is going to be a cold, rainy day, what do those of you who are at home with kids DO? I don’t think I can stay in all day today, especially as I’m feeling back to normal post egg collection.

I had the perfect thought of us going swimming, then realised if the embryo transfer is tomorrow, the last thing I should do today is get covered in chlorine.

I have this odd objection to going out, even when I really want to. At our old house I was Adventure Lady. Now I’m See The Inherent Problems In Everything Lady.

For instance, we have an amazing science museum we want to join. But I dread going there alone because it is underground, very tight, parking spaces and our car is huge. I’m the person who managed to scrape off the side of TMD’s little car the last time I parked in a similar place.

There is also a great activity with home ed people we could go to, but it is an outdoor thing. While rain does not scare me off, it’s also a real inconvenience and it promises to be chilly today.

I guess the solution is soft play, though it makes my soul shrivel up at the idea of going alone.

Tell me. Where do you go and what do you do on rainy days? And feel free to tell me how creative and awesome you are, even though it will make my inner pinterest hater weep juicy tears.

Adventures in football.

September 10, 2012

Today is Snort’s second football session. It’s giving me diarrhoea. No kidding. Why, you ask? Well, today we have to commit if we are going to commit. Pay a shitload of money and have twelve more weeks. Or we decide to not pay and go back.

I don’t really know how to describe last week’s session. He liked it more than he didn’t like it, I think, but also spent much of the time running around in giant loops and ignoring most of what the coach said. None of that bothers me, but it does bother me that he had a huge crying jag, screaming, ‘I don’t like football anymore! Nana’s house! Nana’s house please!’

Admittedly he was coming off a major asthma incident and his breakdown came after a half hour of solid running. I just want the kid to enjoy himself, you know? I think he’s exceptionally bright (I know all parents think these things), and I see a lot of parallels between school and these football sessions. I don’t want his individuality or approach to life to begin the slow grinding down to make him conform.

But I think he is okay with being him. I chatted with the coach afterwards to suss him out, and he said he was fine with Snort being Snort and running around, it was no problem. So I guess I just need to be okay with it, too! I mean, I am, but …I don’t know. Football made me uncomfortable. Probably didn’t help that the other two boys played football with their dads all the time and watched it on tv a lot. Snort has never seen football on tv!

I’m torn between thinking this will be ‘good for him’ in some way, and thinking that that’s a shitty way to think. He’s only three and I want the focus to be on him exploring the world and experiencing joy when he can. Not learning to run endless drills. It did make me laugh because the torturous running back and forth obviously featured moving footballs from one end of the gym to the other. He quickly grasped the end objective and grabbed as many balls as possible, trying to get the job done quickly. This completely bypassed the whole point the coach was trying to put across.

I felt sort of proud of him. He’s a quick thinker, a problem solver, a free spirit, a gentle and loving boy with heaps of energy and imagination. I just hope he likes today. And that I’m wise enough to trust my own intuition as I stumble along this endlessly responsible path of motherhood.

Which body parts, exactly, make milk?

August 1, 2012

The first time TMD held a crying Coconut, a drop of milk came out of her breast. That is pretty incredible, is it not?

Now, we didn’t choose to have TMD feed the babies because it was an impossible situation. I was completely crippled and she was my full time carer, as well as us being first time parents with two tiny infants we were trying to not accidentally kill in some way.

I hope this third baby speeds to us quickly, and I can’t wait for TMD to feed him/her. I also think we may invest in a pump, or rather beg people to get us one, so that Snort and Coconut can share in the milky goodness. Snort has big problems with dairy, though not technically allergic. And Coconut?

Sister is obsessed with breastfeeding. The other day we were having a quick cuddle before bed, and she latched on to me. Ah, the sweet memories of unexpected nipple stinging. I was in two minds – creeped out because, well, it is a long time since someone sucked my boob and expected nutrition to flow out, but also thinking that if breastfeeding had worked, there was no reason to think she might not still be feeding even now. And it was kind of sweet.

At playgroups and toddler clubs we went to in the past, I was by far the most out there parent. Slings, cosleeping, no crying it out, and very enthusiastically supportive of breastfeeding and cloth nappies. I was the hippy. My kids wore amber necklaces and had their various dolls in little slings. We walked everywhere, them with their own little backpacks like mine, and no pushchairs in our lives since they were around 15 months old. I did not support physical violence as a form of discipline. I was very laid back, but also very responsive to my children’s needs.

But at the home education group we go to on Thursdays? Girl, most everyone there is doing attachment parenting. Amber necklaces are not a signal to hunt for the parent of the other child in hopes of finding a like minded friend, because every fucking kid has them. And you know what else?

I am probably the most mainstream person there. I didn’t do elimination communication. One of my kids is in disposable nappies. And some of these people are exclusively into homeopathy. Or make their own probiotic food. And all the kids appear to be breastfed, including the little three year old who has a mother I love.

So Coconut is seeing a lot of boobs. A lot. They are flying and flapping free everywhere you turn. I guess it is natural she wants to do what her friends do – though it should also be said she has tried to feed from both of us, through our clothes, many times over the years. So does she remember breastfeeding? Or is it a natural impulse? I don’t know.

On a related note, we saw a magic show last November where the guy made milk come out of his elbow. Since that point she occasionally tries to suck her own elbow.

That’s my girl.

Adventures in navigating.

June 21, 2012

A couple of weeks ago we went to our first home education group for this area. It was ten steps beyond awesome and I keep meaning to write about it.

But for now, let me say that when my satnav said, ‘You have reached your destination’ I was on a country lane with nothing but hedges on either side of the car. I kept driving and pulled over when we hit the nearby village.

I stopped opposite a church and tried not to lose my mind after driving 40 minutes in the pouring rain to not find the place.
I rang one of the organizers, who apparently is more shit at directions than even me. She said she was losing reception and would go outside and stand in the absolute monsoon just to make sure we’d get there.

She had a friend ring, who actually used to live in the village. She was all gung ho and, ‘I’ll fly you in!’ And she did. Telling me to take a sharp right turn, drive past the blue shop, hang a left at ye olde rusty sign.

You’d better believe that I set the carpark of this place as a favourite on the satnav. And, in fact, the satnav wants to set every new favourite location as this place. So….it’s been annoying.

Imagine my pure joy today when the satnav led us, not to the group, but the fucking church in the village where I’d admitted I was lost beyond belief. I believe I snarl-laughed, ‘You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.’

Luckily some insane hidden memory kicked in and I remembered how to get there. And it was even better than last time….and I set it as a favourite again.

We won’t be back for a long three weeks due to a trip to see my family, so let’s hope Debbie (my satnav) redeems herself next time because my memory doesn’t stretch that long.

How the hell did this happen?

June 5, 2012

Potty training. Potty learning. Blah blah blah.

It’s been on my mind for about a year and a half. We have gone through a phase of bribing with chocolate and constant pestering from me to just try peeing and see if they need to go. None of this has worked. It has been extremely difficult, but I pulled back from the whole thing.

Dear friends (ah, you probably know who you are) started potty training, maybe before the kid was ‘ready’ (whatever the fuck that means!!), and are still doing it months later. I admire that. I have neither the persistence or motivation to do that. Especially with two at the same time.

So I was like, ‘Eh, some other people seem to think kids will do this themselves if you just leave them alone. I’ll try it, and let’s hope those other people aren’t full of shit.’ This idea meshes with the way we live our lives – why we won’t be sending them to school, for example. Our kids have known their ABCs and numbers for about a year. Both recognize and name letters and numbers. They can add and are great with patterns, colours, and other math-related skills. They have ‘paper’ on my laptop – a document saved for each of them where they can ‘write letters.’ We live in a house of books, of a mama who likes to write, of magnetic letters and numbers. None of this needed to be taught, at least in the traditional way. Kids are like sponges and just sort of soak things up.

But speaking of soaking – though I was so convinced of our choices to home educate, to baby led wean, to free wheel and deal and just go with the flow – potty learning was the one thing I had a really hard time with. I just didn’t trust it.

Yesterday – and I’m still not sure what happened here, I need to ask TMD – Coconut just decided that she was going to pee on the potty. We knew she was probably ‘ready’, aside from a nasty hatred of the potty and toilet. But out of nowehere, all her pees yesterday and today were on the potty. She had one accident today. And, get this, girlfriend even POOPED on the potty.

She has bad poop problems. I’m sure that you are all like, ‘Tell us about the poop! How do you like that book on withholding and constipation you treated yourself to?’ and I’ll get to that in another entry. But, suffice to say, poop doesn’t come easy. I think her second dose of laxatives made it pretty impossible for her to NOT poop tonight, so it was easy to grab a potty and she just did it. No asking for a nappy.

(Please, Coconut, if you read this one day forgive me for telling people these things. But I tell them these things about me, too, so maybe I’m an equal opportunity oversharer.)

I don’t say any of this to brag. I say it to show you how perplexed I am. Because while I was holding back, I had sort of also decided that if neither of them got themselves out of nappies this summer, maybe I would hold Naked Week 2012 in late August to help them along. But, ya’ll, it works. Leave your kid alone and they will probably get out of nappies sometime before they get their first job. And we don’t use cloth ones (sad face goes here), but I’ve heard that cloth nappies help speed things up even more.

But really, what is the race?

This is their childhood. And so much of ‘modern’ parenting seems to be about parental convenience or, possibly, insecurity. Snort and Coconut will get things right, in their own time and way. If they are reading Shakespeare next year, great. If they aren’t, who cares? They will get there in the end. Our kids learn to sit, stand, speak. How to communicate and interact with the world. If they are capable of these grand feats, why shouldn’t they be able to undertake other things?

I guess my job is getting out of their way and letting them do it. Trusting the process.

For the time being, I don’t know what to do next. Go on with our ordinary life (given this will be the first week with a car!)? Stay home to better support her? Whatever I do, I’m going to not offer nappies again. She is in pull-ups for the night, though she has been dry through the nights for a long ass time now. But I guess I just keep subtley reinforcing the idea that it’s Underwear Time, without somehow making Snort feel bad that he is in nappies. He doesn’t seem to care yet.

From my point of view, I’d MUCH rather support one kid at a time in this. And I think once she is really good to go, he’ll probably follow soon after. But see, here I go again – arranging, scheduling, anticipating.

No. Stand back, Mama. Stand back and let your children amaze you.