Nomadic Dreamers
...our unschooling journey

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Location: Fairbanks, Alaska, United States

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Hub of Activity

School in Fairbanks has been out for less than two weeks, and I'm thinking that it is going to be a looonnnnnngggg summer! The neigborhood kids are already bored and getting on each other's nerves since they tend to hang around together all day long. "I feel like I'm back at school, Mom!" is what Tristan told me the other night. Tristan is about as social as one can get...always eager to play with friends...but even he is seeking refuge in the house and turning some kids away at our doorstep, even if only for a few hours. Several kids prowl from house to house looking for things to do and kids to play with, and because of our very long days this easily goes on until around 10PM every day.

Another unexpected result of school ending is our house becoming the hub of activity for some of the kids in the neighborhood, and I'm not sure how I feel about that. It's good in that I can keep an eye on Tristan (who can easily meltdown if kids get on his nerves or tease him), but it has been exhausting so far. Kids in and out all day, stuff everywhere, requests for foods/drinks, having to keep the basenjis wrangled, and just the general commotion and noise for hours on end. I view our home as our sanctuary, and I revel in the peace and quiet. I'm not taking too kindly to it being completely turned on its end. Tristan and I are trying to work on some control measures to keep his room and the house in general from becoming complete disaster areas; he certainly didn't like the state of his room last night once his friends left.

I've been working on a list of things that Tristan and I can do to keep us busy and out of the neighborhood. Hopefully we'll stay sane over the next few months. LOL

Monday, May 29, 2006

T's Green Thumb

Over the past few months Tristan has developed a real passion for plants. He's always been a great defender of nature but has now brought that love indoors. It started with a little pothos plant that we bought while Jody was at home for R&R. This little plant quickly doubled in size (I would have managed to kill the poor thing in a week if it had been under my care).

Tristan's plant inventory now includes the pothos, a mimosa plant (aka "sensitive plant"), lucky bamboo (which isn't really bamboo), two Venus Flytraps, a Butterwort, and a Cobra Lilly. The last four are all carnivorous plants. He's also trying his hand at sprouting an avocado seed. Our once foliage-barren home is beginning to look like a green house! :o)

Saturday, May 06, 2006

A Day in the Life...

In February I began keeping a daily journal of Tristan's activities. No recordkeeping is required to homeschool in Alaska, but I wanted to do it -- more than anything -- for my own well-being. I knew that I could easily slip into the mentality that Tristan "isn't doing anything," "isn't socializing," etc. By keeping my journal I clearly see how much he is doing each and everyday, on his own and without any coercion by me. I thought this blog would initially serve as my daily journal, however, I took to listing everything in a small composition notebook. Some days the lists are quite short, while other days nearly fill an entire page (like yesterday)...just the ebb and flow of unschooling, I'd wager. :o)

Here's what I wrote for May 5th (and I know I failed to write some items in!):

- Went on a 2+ mile bikeride and visited the post's sports shop
- Found the Leapfrog Turbo Twist Spelling contraption in a toy bin, played with it for a while
- Played outside with friends
- Created scapes with the Falling Sand program
- Walked 1+ miles (from our house to the service station to pick up the car)
- Observed a beaver on the Chena River
- Mixed peat moss and pearlite; repotted new Venus' Flytrap
- Visited Holm Town Nursery and Home Depot's garden center (on the hunt for another Venus' Flytrap)
- Drove through Birch Hill Cemetery
- Took a drive north of Fairbanks in the Goldstream Valley
- Listened to "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" audiobook while driving
- Read portions of Jody's history of the Army book
- Created new adventure and DM'ed D&D game
- Watched favorite scenes of "Labyrinth"
- Looked at M.C. Escher artwork on internet (inspired to see them after watching "Labyrinth")
- Read various items throughout the day, both orally and silently
- Created images with graphics game on Cartoon Network website