We are lagging a bit on our posts, already, and I have some guilt about that (I have so much mama guilt in general though, so let’s ignore it), but the kids are doing a lot of stuff and that’s partially why we haven’t coordinated a new post. Here’s what our typical unschooling life is looking like this week:
Big Boys Suggest: Badier and Zak finally looked over our lil blog here, thanks guys! Zak says it looks very professional, thanks WordPress! And then they proceeded to bemoan why we suggested that butt video from Vsauce especially after mentioning the cooler one about everyone jumping on the earth at the same time. Then the Big Boys did this thing they occasionally do, they proceeded to check in with their little sisters to see what they are watching these days. We could call this interest of theirs control-freakishness or we could call it peer-to-peer learning. You can guess which one I, mostly, go with.
Sometimes the girls find some pretty exciting things on Youtube (filters on!), but being non-readers they also find a lot of blech, so I appreciate when their big brothers try to help them out. Feeling a touch of nostalgia, their brothers reached back in time and revisited PBS Kids shows, which they watched a lot of when they were younger. Zak was completely unimpressed, which I was too back when they used to watch it, but they refound WordGirl and that is now what the girls are binge watching. Zaynab is taking great pride in her frequent and intentional misuse of “handsome” and how she is able to make people groan and @@ with it. That’s my girl.
Little Girls Art: Occasionally the girls are breaking away from the Wordgirl marathon and doing some arting with the new supplies they got for Eid. The way these kids whip through drawing materials – once they are gone, lost and destroyed I won’t replace them for a few months, so I can’t tell if the frantic pace they are working at is the fear or losing the coloring-tools or the thing that makes them disappear so fast! One of the girls has been accused of somehow cheating by going through all the pages in a new (shared) coloring book and coloring in just one limb. I’m proud of that move too.
Socialization! I am pretty excited about this new thing happening. One of my children has joined a forum! I have been suggesting this for years that they find truly like-minded people via the internet since they haven’t found many in person. And for whatever reason – wallflower, too lazy to type, no interest – this kid has resisted this suggestion of mine to find some like-minded people and talk about stuff, but today (yesterday?) he finally… commented!!!
Chores: This right here is the unschooling struggle, for me. I have heard of other families who are able to do some kind of democratic process or just have really considerate kids who don’t want other people living in their filth, but that has yet to be the reality for my family. I have tried a lot of different schemes to get these kids to regularly do chores, but none have lasted very long. Except the dishes thing. My three eldest rotate turns on doing the dishes, but one of them gets very resentful about being forced to do anything at a specific time or on someone else’s specific terms, so he will prolong his day for up to a few days and so then there are no clean dishes for about half the time and this all gets very old and grumpy-making… but right now their father is in charge of this process as well as most of the other domestic-keeping, so really I have no idea how he is managing the chores, but I do know that he breaks down time to time and just does all the dishes himself rather than try to negotiate with these people. Really. I mostly look the other way with the chores. Except.
I hate having dirty bathrooms and aside from the sink full of dirty dishes, which I do not like much at all, I also hate having a dirty fridge- that’s where we store our food, which we put in our mouths, so I don’t like seeing it all eww. Then there are odd projects that need to be tackled time to time, like our laundry room has become some other kind of room. I have been kicking around the idea of hiring someone to come in once a week and do the what I wish I could call the heavy lifting, but really it’s more of the gross work, and the kids are always asking what kind of work they can do for money but rarely want to do these jobs, but somehow suddenly the two needs have collided. Sort of. One child has been hired to do this dirty work for about the same rate I would have to pay some strange (though probably very nice) adult to come in and do it. I didn’t expect this to happen smoothly and our first day on the job this week was not smooth at all. The work didn’t all get done and it took three days for all the tasks to be finished in what I estimated to be a six-hour job without constant back-breaking labor, but still- urgh! The only good thing is that another kid wants this job too, so if the current cleaning-dude doesn’t get into the groove soon enough we can try out the runner up but at least my bathrooms and fridge are clean right now.
Amine Cooks: I love this kid so much. Not only can he make lattes and cappuccinos with a stove top espresso maker, but yesterday he made from-scratch chicken strips w/fries. Today: “Mom, can I have money to go swimming today?” “Well of course you can sweety.” Amine and I are in negotiations for him to do all the meals one-day a week for cash, which he will no doubt then spend on junk food… ok, maybe not he’s a savvy little dude.
Mamastuff: I been sick. It’s been gross. Going to a doc this week. And hopefully I will have my energy up enough to crank out a couple more posts this week. Thanks for reading, it feels like a lot of chaos on this end, but when I type it out I can better see the way it works.