Saturday, September 15, 2012

Angient Egypt meets lego

Last night Spike was inspired to build a lego pyramid so we did just that! He insisted we have a picture of a pyramid to base out building on which wasn't too hard since I've been stockpiling books about Ancient Egypt since before the pyramids were built. 

We built our pyramid and then decided we needed a Pharaoh and a burial party and a selection of goodies for the Pharaoh to take into the afterlife with him. 

Here you can see the Pharaoh's Eye of Horus Amulets, his precious jewels, his statues of Anubis, his throne, his canonic jars containing all his organs (they're the lego heads) and his torch.

The pyramid, burial party (complete with slaves who are ready to drink poison and serve the Pharaoh in the afterlife) and all the afterlife necessities. 

The Pyramid

So a fun time was had by all, and today we're going to print out some colouring in and prepare a paper pharaoh for burial since you just don't get tired of this stuff ....

A long awaited update!

I've been so slack updating blogs this year! In my defence it has been a big year for writing other things, including some unschooley articles amongst other stuff. 

So life has been continuing as it does even when you don't update your blog. The kids have really found their feet in our new house, they've met friends, explored the neighbourhood, helped grow food (some of them even help eat it) and I feel like they're really growing into themselves, it's a joy to behold! 

This weekend Stylish is away on a youth group camp with a bunch of local kids. She's been going to the youth group every friday night and she seems to have a great time despite all the religious talk which she seems rather resistant to. 

A month or so ago her and a friend were browsing in a local second hand shop when they were asked if they could do some modelling in a fashion show that evening. I nearly choked on bile but figured it wasn't about me and if she want to do it I'd trust her judgement. She had a great night modelling some very nice clothing and since then she's been doing some work in the shop tagging clothes and doing other general jobs. She's only 14 so seeing her get all dressed up in work clothes and head off to the shop has come as a shock for me, but I can't help but feel a sense of pride at how responsible she's becoming. 

We took Spike to see the local production of The Wind in the Willows yesterday and despite grumbling about it beforehand he had the time of his life. He thought Toad was hilarious and he clapped along to all the songs with a big grin on his face. 

A few weeks ago we were in a department store when we found mini frying pans that were all different colours. Of course Spike wanted a blue one. That night he very proudly made his own scrambled eggs with corn and peas (as illustrated above). He's also made crumpets (below) and small pancakes in it and at some point I'll help him make some fried rice. He also loves cooking in the thermomix and often asks me if we can make something in it so we whip up a cake. We're hoping his love of cooking will at some stage morph itself into a love of eating!

Angus has grown so much! He's two now and walking and talking up a storm. He's still a climber and a chucker much to our "delight" and he has a horrible penchant for thumping people at the moment - which we assume he will grow out of some time before he's 15. His current obsession is the movie Cars and all the characters. Most nights he goes to sleep while he plays racing tracks on the boob with Lightening McQueen or Mater. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The School Year Begins, Unschooling Goes on as Usual

Spike would be heading off to school this year if we were a schooling family. Instead he's teaching himself to read and write, playing cricket, and gardening. We just got home from a holiday with fishing, canoeing, much sight seeing, wildlife everywhere, swimming, and lots of precious family time. Seeing him doing the stuff he does just makes me so certain that unschooling is the way forward. There's no way I could take him somewhere full of strangers, wearing strange clothes, wave him goodbye and leave him there. It wouldn't feel right.

I remember when Stylish started school I felt wretched. It felt wrong on so many levels but I couldn't have begun to understand why. I wasn't an attachment parent - although I tried hard to be gentle and thoughtful I didn't understand attachment - and everyone I knew sent their kids to school. My parents were teachers my partner's parents were teachers, school was normal and expected. It was a new stage in life to be embraced. But I never really embraced it, I just kept forcing myself to keep sending her, denying the rumblings from every fibre in myself.

Now I've been unschooling for over three years I just squirm when I hear about children crying on their first days at school and mothers with broken hearts waving bravely from the gate. How have we come to deny our feelings to such an extent that we ignore primal instincts to protect our small children? Why do we believe that forcing children so small and helpless to be independent of us is the only way they will ever learn independence? I understand that children adjust to schooling and it becomes their way of life, but that still doesn't make it right.

My heart really goes out to those mamas and babies who have no choice but to school. I am painfully aware that I'm extremely lucky to own my own house and have no debt that would require me to seek employment for money. I work from home and earn a small amount of money that I hope will one day be a little more generous but I've chosen to go without financial glory because being rich doesn't mean my life is enriched whereas unschooling, vegetable gardening, living slowly, does make me richer!

I really hope that all the children who have just started school will enjoy their years within the institution, and I hope that the mothers of unhappy schooled children will find their way home ... to unschooling.