Ancora Imparo - I am still learning

Friday, October 31, 2008

Boy Stuff

We have had a fun two days! After being shut up in the house with sickness for over a week, we decided to go to the park down the street. It's a good-sized park, complete with small wooded areas to explore. Taliesin and Nathanael had a blast! It was total boy stuff for me. I am not one for outdoor exploring. LOL. I even ended up with an outdoor wound that resulted in a doctor's visit today. I think I poked my big toe on a stick in one of the wooded areas that caused an infection. Boy, does it hurt. Tomorrow I'm getting my prescription for the infection. For tonight, I'm soaking it in Epsom salt and warm water. I would not have thought a stick poking a part of the body could hurt so much. Last night after work, it honestly hurt all the way up to my knee. I was awake every two hours with it last night. (My sister thinks the wound looks more like a small snake bite, but I cannot feature a snake being out after the first frost).
Today, Taliesin and Nathanael enjoyed making orange sack pumpkins at the library, trick-or-treating and riding a Halloween train a the mall, eating at their favorite restaurant, and carving their new white pumpkins. Even though I do not, personally, celebrate Halloween; I admit it was lots of fun watching them enjoy themselves so much. Ironically, neither of them opted to wear their costumes today. Taliesin decided on the bone/skeleton shirt pictured below and Nathanael decided on a Halloween kitty shirt that says, "Got Candy?"
I do have pictures from both yesterday at the park and today's activities. I should be able to get them posted tomorrow. Tonight, since Taliesin and Nathanael are finally asleep after their sugar high from the candy from the mall; I have some reading to get caught up on for college.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Feeling Better...

We found this shirt at Wal-Mart. When Taliesin saw it, the first thing he said was, "Mom, this is what we look like on the inside!" He wanted to get it. LOL.

There are some fall art projects. This is Taliesin's fall box.

Yes, I know I got Nathanael's turkey upside down. :^)

These were taken at a Halloween party at Taliesin's art class before he got sick. Nathanael had to get in on the action, too. I, personally, do not celebrate Halloween, but Taliesin and Nathanael enjoy being creative. :^)

Well, Taliesin and Nathanael are both feeling better. Taliesin's antibiotic is almost empty. Both of them should be able to attend their dance class this week. We've been having some fun days. Today, we've been playing with their farm animal toys and barn. Now their watching an Elmo DVD about farms. As soon as they're done with their DVD, we're going to make some macaroni and cheese with Velveeta cheese. I LOVE cheese. We do not get Velveeta too often. It has so much salt in it. But I think it will be a fun project for them. Yestreday, we decorated some fall cut-outs I found out Dollar Tree with shape stickers. That's what some of the pictures above are of. Other than that, we've just been hanging around the house, playing, reading, waiting for everyone to get over being sick. :^)
College is going well for both Kelsey and me. Kelsey is enjoying his global business class (a big YUCK to me - I do not like business - lol). I think he's even getting into the theology class more than he thought he would. I love the education portfolio class I am taking and the youth ministry class as well. I had to take some inventories to see what kind of a "learner" and what kind of a "teacher" I am. I was surprised that the test showed I am an auditory learner. I always considered myself more of a visual learner, but I can see the auditory tendencies now that I think about it. I came up as being a progressive teachers - surprise! surprise! I kind of knew that is how that one would turn out. I also was pretty high on being an absolutist. That, also, was no surprise. I do believe in absolutes. My lowest score was in being a socialist and my second to the lowest score was in being a behaviorist. So that one turned out just the way I thought it would. I've been able to talk a lot about unschooling in this class, which is exciting. There are three to four others on there who either homeschool now or have homeschooled in the past. One of them, even though she uses a curriculum, implements progressive education into their days. It is a lot of fun conversing with her. But I do think these two classes were really good to take together. They complement each other well.
What I really need to do now is work on my book more! I have barely had time to with college classes and life. But I keep seeing these negative books about Heath Ledger coming out. I need to get this finished and published! I should have it finished by the first of the year at the latest if everything goes well. :^)


Friday, October 24, 2008

Interesting Days...

and not necessarily in the good way!
Since my last blog post, Taliesin has been diagnosed with walking pneumonia, someone again turned one of our dogs loose, and people that we care about have been having major issues.

For the past couple of months, we have had problems with people turning our dogs loose when they are outside. We have our theories as to who it is, but until we catch them in the action, there is nothing we can do. The first issue came when someone cut Riley's lead a couple of months ago. Then a couple of weeks ago, someone turned Princess loose from her chain. So we bought a brand new, heavy duty chain that there is no possibility of them getting loose from on their own. Low and behold, on Wednesday when I checked princess (who would not come in from outside) the first time, she was there. Five to ten minutes later, when I checked her the second time, she was gone. Thankfully, she had not gone too far. She came after a few minutes of yelling her name, and the neighbor girl across the street grabbed her collar.

Yesterday Taliesin, who has been sick for two nights with flu-like symptoms and a cough, was diagnosed with a mild case of pneumonia or walking pneumonia. So, needless to say, I called into work and stayed home with him last night. I'm off again tonight per the schedule. And Kelsey has someone on call for him at work should need be over the weekend. He was prescribed Zithromax and breathing treatments, so I hope he's better soon!

Then yesterday, I received an e-mail from our homeschooling group that one of the families had a new baby, but he has not been doing well. Apparently, he scored zero on the APGAR score, is not breathing on his own, and has been having seizures. Then, to top it off, we received a letter from Talieisin's and Nathanael's pediatrician yesterday (when Taliesin went to the doctor he saw a different doctor, his regular pediatrician was not there) letting her patients know that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer and will be undergoing treatments for the next few months. She is a wonderful, Christian lady - and she has even said so many times that she's glad we homeschool Taliesin and Nathanael. We are glad we found her as our sons' doctor.

So, if you would remember these issues in your prayers, I would appreciate it. :^)

God bless.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Yesterday was a nice, relaxing day. Believe it or not, when Taliesin woke up yesterday morning, the first thing he said was, "Mom, we need to do school." He was in a school mood. We had to do everything from the flag salute to checking the weather and putting it on a weather chart to saying poems to doing Bible with their Resurrection Eggs. We had art time. Taliesin and Nathanael both painted with tempera paint on poster board. Then they decided they were ready to play. So we played with Thomas trains. Nathanael had fun counting them. Then he surprised me by adding them. Taliesin has been adding a lot here lately, so I guess Nathanael has heard him and started doing it, too. By this time, it was off to deliver phone books on Taliesin's and Nathanael's Buyer's Guide route. Taliesin is pretty excited. He wants to buy a tree frog with his money next month. After work, we had more play - at the park. They explored an old train at part of the park; Taliesin discovered he is able to begin walking with his hands across the hand bars; Nathanael discovered he can now reach the hand bars and enjoyed swinging from one; and I discovered that when one wears slick pants down a tube slipper slide, one will fall flat on one's bottom. Of course, Kelsey said he wished he would have had is camera so I could post that picture on my blog. I told him it wasn't going to happen. LOL.

Anyway, Taliesin is wanting me to read a book to him. Will post more later. God bless.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Events, Personalities, and More Socialization "Lessons"

Hogsmoke Event

Taliesin next to his and Nathanael's pumpkins from the pumpkin carving at the art center. (Nathanael did not want to be in the picture).

Monster Trucks
The past few days have been eventful. Thursday, we awoke early to view the military aircraft at Hogsmoke. Friday is always our running errands, busy day of the week. Then yesterday, we were off to see monster trucks at a local car lot and to decorate pumpkins at an art center event. These two events yesterday really showed the difference between Taliesin's personality and Nathanael's personality. At the monster trucks, Taliesin was content to stand beside a truck and sit in one's tires. Not Nathanael, he had to ride in one (bottom monster truck picture). As we were awaiting Nathanael and Kelsey to return from the ride, Taliesin stood with his hands over his ears. It was just too loud for him. Nathanael, on the other hand, proclaimed how much he enjoyed the ride; and he is thinking now that perhaps he will be a monster truck driver when he grows up. At the art center, Taliesin decorated his pumpkin three different ways. First, he stuck vegetables (pieces of cabbage, peppers, mushrooms, carrots, and cucumbers) to it to make a face. He then painted around the face. Then, last but not least, he carved a face on the opposite side. Nathanael stuck some vegetables to his. He says they're trains. Then he painted some more trains. (Can you see this boy loves anything that moves?) Then he sat down to have some popcorn and pop while waiting for Taliesin to finish decorating his. So there was something for both of them yesterday. They had a blast. Next week, we'll have another busy week. I will try to remember my camera for all of the events. LOL. The monster truck pictures were taken with my cell phone because I forgot the camera. That is why there is only a picture of Taliesin in the front yard with the pumpkins. I did not have time to go home and get the camera in between monster trucks and pumpkin carving.
But, this leads me to the third aspect of the title of this blog entry - more socialization lessons. We have two little neighbor kids that live next door to us - a five-year old boy who just entered public kindergarten this year and a four-year old girl. Taliesin and Nathanael love playing with them. I'm sad to hear they are going to be moving with the next month or so. We've really enjoyed having them as neighbors. But, anyway, this little boy has never really had too much to say in the negative about anyone or their projects. There have been several times that Taliesin and Nathanael have drawn on the sidewalks with them or drawn on paper with them. Well, yesterday (after two months in a public school, of course), when the little boy next door saw Taliesin's pumpkin, he pointed out to him that the eyes and nose were in the wrong place. I explained to him that when people make art, everyone does it differently. That seemed to satisfy him. But it's just amazing what lessons in socialization public schools teach. It's their way or no way.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

More on Socialization

Well, today was a busy day. We arose at 6:30 a.m. to get to a military airplane show - Hogsmoke - by 7:30. Taliesin and Nathanael enjoyed it. I should have some pictures posted by tomorrow (I hope). Then Taliesin had art class. My sister babysat Nathanael, who was deeply into a nap by the time of art class. But that was good. He was in a good mood for his dance class this evening. I think the dance classes are really good for both Taliesin and Nathanael. Their dance teachers are really good with them, encouraging them and doing fun things with them. They both enjoy the stretching exercises in which they pretend to put peanut butter and jelly on their feet. Being a little more tired from getting up early probably had a lot to do with it, but I did notice that at art class, Taliesin just did not seem to really enjoy it. He appeared to enjoy making a sculpture out of clay. But when it came time to interact with the dancing, he sat down and didn't want to dance. That is unusual from the boy who loves dance class. He was fine as long as they were dancing in a circle, but when it came time to pair off into partners, he simply refused to dance. He was not disrespectful at all. When the teacher asked him if he would like to dance, he just told her he did not want to. He didn't sit in the way of the others. He sat off to the side. He has two more art classes left in this session. In a way I'm glad they're almost over. He's been very frustrated since they started, but he still wants to go. I won't tell him he cannot. It is up to him. But I do think he needs a break to get back to himself.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Observations of Socialization

Most of you know Taliesin is enrolled in an art class through our local art center. This is probably his eighth or ninth class with them. And he usually loves them! They have some great art projects and really encourage creativity and imagination. For some reason, this one has been a little different. We've had a few issues with him feeling excluded. And his art teacher has really been paying attention here lately, so that helps out a lot. But today, I was really watching him and the other kids and seeing what was going on. The class that he is in right now is a combination of different types of arts. Today during a dance time (not to be confused with his ballet/tap class), the kids learned a cute little dance in which the moved their hands like they were talking, flapped their arms like wings, shook their bottoms, and then locked arms with a partner and did a little turn with locked arms. It was lots of fun. But I noticed that the little boy that Taliesin was partners with really did not want to lock arms with him. He did, but each time the locking arms part came, he seemed to need a little encouragement from the teacher to do so. Sometimes Taliesin would automatically go to one of the teachers to dance that part with. When they held hands to form a circle, some of the kids did not want to hold hands with him, instead calling someone else over to take their hands. But he enjoyed it, so that's all that really matters. But these and other episodes at his art class have really made me think about "socialization." Even in kids this young (this class is for four to six-year olds), there seems to be an "in group." Most of the kids appear to know each other. The moms know each other. And those kids congregate together rather than looking at kids that they do not know or who may be a little different than they are. Granted, Taliesin does have his own ideas. He's very social. Take him to a park or a play area, and he makes friends within a few minutes. He walks right up to new kids, introduces himself, and starts playing. Sometimes kids are taken back by his outgoing nature, and then warm up to him after a few minutes. Others take to him right away, and they begin playing together, not wanting to leave when the time comes. But, at the same time, I think in a more structured, "school-like setting," for lack of a better adjective; he stands out. He cares deeply about things. For instance, today in art class, the kids made an invetion out of all kinds of knick-knacks. Well, when they were finished, the teachers put all of the left-overs that were not chosen back into a box. Taliesin noticed a rubber shark, a rubber spider, and stuffed sheep. He asked to take them, because he didn't want them to be put away. He also does not think in terms of boy/girl. Last week, the teacher assigned the kids different colors for an activity. One of the boys got purple. Another little boy shouted, "That's a girl color." Taliesin doesn't think that way. He's just as comfortable wearing his pink Dora the Explorer snowboots as he is Starwars or Batman t-shirts. I don't think other kids understand that because they have force-fed the socialization myth from the time they are old enough to play with other kids. They only understand the norm. They don't understand differences. It really is a sad situation.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Gettin' Political

Well, the Presidential race will be drawing to a close soon. Who shall we choose? As an unschooler, I have to choose the candidate that I feel will be the best for homeschooling. I have often been accused to being selfish for such reasoning. But I don't think I am. People who will be voting differently have accused me of not being sensitive to other issues - what about the issue of children who are being abused by parents who will turn to their federally-established early education center for help? What about those who have been fired from a job because of sexual preference? What about the economy? Do I not care about others? In response to these questions, I have to reply that the answer is not socialism.

For example, is it right that the government have control over children younger than three? Today, children ages five (or oftentimes younger) through eighteen are under the control of the government. They are being "socialized." Well, let me tell you, I know all about socialization. I have seen teachers try to take control away from parents. I have seen attitudes of children change toward their parents once they enter a "public classroom." Respect for parents goes away along with the child's own creativity and imagination - you know, the stuff that all of us possess unless it is stolen by conformity. Therefore, perhaps the better question would be does the end justify the means? Of course, I care about abused children! There are few issues that are closer to my heart. But does the answer lie in earlier education? I do not think it does. Perhaps there are some people that need help. They truly do not know how to care for their children, resulting in neglect. What they need is someone to be a friend to them - to help them learn how to care for their children. Of course, there are other parents who did not deserve to have children. They are abusive, uncaring people. Those are the parents that should not be allowed to care for their children. Sending a child to school during the day is not providing a safe place for them, it's a cover-up. What about the night? Early education is not the answer to neglect or abuse. Early education advocates are using it as an excuse for the government to have earlier control over children. And it is a small step from "optional" to "mandatory." The early education that is an "option" for parents today could be a "requirement" for parents ten or twenty years from now.

So, back to the issue of homeschooling. Is the candidate who is promoting zero to three federally-funded education programs the candidate that is also for homeschooling? I cannot judge someone else's motives, but I do not see how the two issues can go hand-in-hand. As a homeschooler, I feel much safer voting for one that I know is supportive of homeschooling - so much so that he posts it on his political website. I, personally, will be voting for McCain/Palin this November.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

What we've been up to...

Taliesin's Joker "tattoo." He drew this on his arm this evening with my eye liner.

And decorated his face, too.
Nathanael's "Why So Serious?" It's kind of a dark picuture, but he drew a Joker mouth on with my lipstick.
Princess relaxing in Nathanael's stroller.
Taliesin holding the kitten. You can see how big the kitten's getting.
Fun art projects.
Well, now that this eight weeks of college is over, I can share some of the pictures I've taken of the past week or so. As you can tell, we've been having lots of fun. :^)


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Busy Days

I have some more pictures to share, but things have been pretty busy around here. We have been planning upcoming events for the unschooling group, have Taliesin's art class, Taliesin's and Nathanael's dance classes, and this is the last week of this eight weeks in college for both Kelsey and me. I did receive my copy of Homeschooling Horizons in the mail a few days ago - the one containing my article "The Second Generation." It's very exciting, and Taliesin and Nathanael are excited to have their pictures in the magazine along with the article. I will try to post in more detail tonight.

God bless.