Tuesday, April 19, 2005

My family

I just joined a new email group and had to send an introduction...thought I would post it here also to refresh any old visitors memories and to give new vistors an idea of who we are.....

Here's the long version of our intro.....

I am Laura, wife to Jay, unschooling mom to Brett (14 1/2), Hannah (13), Emily (10), Grant (9), Jacob (7), Cade (5), Sophie (2) and baby Will (9 1/2 months). We live outside of Cincinnati, Ohio. Needless to say, with this crew there is never a dull moment in this household!

We began homeschooling in early Sept.2001 (after trying to convince my husband for over 5 years) and I planned to "school at home".... like many hardheaded people who need a ton of bricks to fall on them to figure something out, my "ton of bricks" was the tumbling of the world trade centers in nyc on 9-11-01. In those hours as I cuddled my babies close and prayed with my older children, I realized that "living" was what was important and ironically never looked back. I don't know why it was so easy for me to give up my ideals of "schooling" and comfortably fall into unschooling but it was (OK, I know part of the reason, I knew I never retained any information I was taught if it didn't interest me). Strangly enough, my husband, son of a schoolteacher, embraced my decision to let the kids take the lead in their learning.

Almost 2 years ago, my older two decided to enroll in a local co-op run by a couple of moms. The effort they put into their classes is purely what they chose,my only rule is that they be respectful of the "teacher" and not disrupt to the other students. At co-op Brett takes Algebra, US Government, Conversational spanish, and Biology with lab. Hannah takes U.S. History, Spelling, and Conversational spanish. They are given assignments to complete each week and they determine how much effort they put into completing them. Grant (9) and Jacob (7) take a reading class for one hour one day a week because they both expressed a desire to learn to read and interest in taking the class. Outside of these activities we use no textbooks, no curriculum, no workbooks.

Brett (14 1/2) is an avid golfer and basketball player. Like many teens, he spends a lot of time on the computer, IM with friends, playing games, downloading music. He is addicted to PS2. He love MLB showdown cards (a game that you play with baseball cards) and spends time trading cards online. Brett was born 10 weeks early and is hydrocephalic and vp shunt dependent.

Hannah (13) dances competitively. She competes on a jazz, hiphop and tap team as well as performing a tap solo. She is a cadette girl scout and is involved in 4-H. She loves stamping and scrapbooking. She is ALL GIRL and loves make-up, music and her cell phone. She has a lot of male friends, but will not be permitted to date until she is 16. She earns extra money babysitting for a couple of families from the dance studio.

Emily (10) also dances competitively. She competes on a jazz, hiphop, tap and ballet team and performs a jazz duet. She is a junior girl scout and is involved in 4-H. She loves stamping and scrapbooking. She is a nature girl and loves to spend time outside. About a year ago Emily had a dream and decided that she needed to become a vegetarian. She is bordering on being a vegan but drinks milk/eats cheese and yogurt. She won't touch eggs or any meat.

Grant turned 9 today. He is a naturally gifted athlete who loves baseball, basketball and football and excels at all! He struggles with learning to read (I suspect some -lexia but haven't had him tested). He likes math and works numbers well in his head. He loves MLB showdown cards.

Jacob just turned 7 last week. Like his big brother he likes sports but isn't as natually gifted. He plays baseball and football and never complains about going to practice or playing time. He is learning to read and like his big brothers has an easy time with numbers. He loves riding his bike. He loves MLB showdown cards.

Cade turned 5 earlier this month. The kid is a born comedian and keeps us in stitches. He is playing t-ball this spring and is looking forward to playing football this fall. He LOVES math and anything number related! He just got a bike for his birthday and is loving learning to ride it. He loves MLB showdown cards. His special talent is that he knows the name and number of every Cincinnati Reds baseball player. People love to quiz him by saying a number and he tells them the player.

Sophie is 2 (will be 3 in June) and is the princess of the family. She loves to dress in her sisters outgrown dance costumes and usually goes everywhere in a tutu or some sequined costume. She LOVES books and must be read to at least 3 times a day. She is working on learning to use the potty.

Will is our baby. We have nicknamed him Harry Hudini (sp) because he can escape from any seatbelt and LOVES to climb. He crawls and pulls himself to standing and loves to cruise the furniture. His newest feats include learning to wave, learning to sign "milk" when he wants to nurse, and learning to clap.

Let me see, anything else? We have a family bed, believe in child led weaning, don't vaccinate, don't restrict tv/computer time/video games, are very liberal with viewing/listening content, don't have bedtimes. Favorite family tv shows include The Simpsons, Family Guy, Malcolm in the Middle, anything on Court TV and CSI. We eat as a family every night usually after everyone is home for the evening (so about 9 PM). And although you might not have guessed it, we are very conservative both religiously and politically. We love getting together with other homeschoolers/unschoolers and work daily at practicing tolerance towards everyone we met. By no means do I think because it works it us that it will work for anyone else.

We also play host to 4 aquatic turtles, one ornate box turtle, 2 cats, 4 toddler kittens, and 4 newborn kittens and a gerbil.


Penny in TX said...

Found the URL for your blog in the recent HEM magazine. I was interested and surprised to read your family description as it resembles my own: extended bf, family bed, no vaccines, more TV and video gaming than is probably quite good, unschoolers, tolerant, yet religious/political conservative. It seems a rare combination--and certainly makes me feel like a fish out of water in many settings. Anyway, good luck to you and I hope you all heal soon from your terrible accident.

Laura said...


It is so nice to find like minded families, unfortunately it usually seems to be that they are many states away! I have resigned myself to the fact that I will probably never find an entire support group of like minded people, but feel so fortunate to have close friends like Kas and my friend Valerie that share fairly similiar (although different) lifestyles! I am also fortunate that I have reached a point in my life that I am willing to look to what I have in common with other people, rather than letting our differences stand in our way, as long as the other people practice tolerance!