Saturday, August 30, 2014

Unschooling Rules

This is a short read, but it points out a lot of reasons people logically educate their own children in lieu of allowing the government to do it.  So much of it makes you think (whether you're the educator or the parent) about what kids need to flourish and develop their own thinking.  This one was under $3 on the kindle--very worthwhile.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Body Pod

We have a hammock chair on the front porch, and when the girls remember it, they find it very soothing.  They swing, all snuggled in there and muffle themselves from all the things pressing in on them any given day.  Both girls (very different girls) use it this way.  I was looking at Yogapeutics' site, blogs and aerial yoga hammocks in terms of similar thought (future Christmas gift?).  I like the idea of aerial yoga for more movement in our lives in general.  The only place I can imagine it going would be right in the middle of our reading room where we can easily shuffle rocking chairs to the side.

A more affordable and different item that we currently await through the mail is called a body pod.  I think it could be just plain fun, but it's soothing.  So are some of the other things we like to keep around like the chair on the porch, a bean bag in the reading room, rocking chairs and the curvy board which is soothing in it's rocking motion.

Kids are so overstimulated these days, and if our kids have any "extra" sensitivity, we really need to find ways to help them process and to find calm.  Some people even use a weighted blanket for sleep.  I think Eric and I have a similar desire given our down comforter and down blanket on top of us when we sleep.  It does cocoon us in many ways.

So we ordered a blue body pod.  It'll be like swaddling our bigger kids in a way, but it could also be a really fun rollicking time.

Body Pod Sensory Sock (7-Sizes) Medium Royal Blue
Update: now we have to order another one.  They both like to just be in it whether they're moving around or just chilling.


Things have been rather disjointed, but I've still enjoyed some books here and there.

Two Thousand Kisses a Day from LR Knost was fabulous.  I know I have referenced this book in some parenting entries.  I'll definitely be reading her other material.  It comes from a common-sense place, and I found it much more approachable than another very compelling book that made me think of the same questions called Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves.  Along the same vein of good/deep, I never finished Parenting from the Inside Out.  I felt like I had already reveled in much of that information in similarly connected books and quit after just a couple of chapters.

I re-read Hold On to Your Kids by Gordon Neufeld to review much of what I learned from his Neufeld Institute and found the read so different this time around.  It felt so bleak the first time, and I wondered if I'd make it through since it seems like such a downer.  I don't think I read it as carefully the first time because on the second reading there was plenty of information about how children "work" and about generally supporting them in a variety of ways.  The "hold on" of it felt a lot more to me this time like the responsibility we have as parents to do for them what they cannot do (and should not be expected to do) for themselves.

For my teacher life, I recently read the very popular Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess.  It validated a lot of what I've experienced for myself.  He goes farther than I'm willing to go to say I'm creative and engaging, but he reminded me of a lot things I can do, I used to do and forgot or that I currently do that are engaging.  It was a quick and worthwhile read.

On another front, I heard from another Simplicity Parenting leader about The 4-Hour Work Week.  It seemed interesting enough, but I can't find myself applying all that much because my goals are quite different from the author's.  I will say that he has clever approaches to many problems that business people or any working person might face.  I really appreciated his no-holds-bar approach to simplifying his day and media consumption etc.  I'm not sure I can really imagine working for myself, but if I did, I'd probably take him a bit more seriously?  Most things that seem to good to be true are such for me in that the process and motivation are intense for me.  He feels he enables himself to pursue his "real" passions with these strategies, but I see a lot of it as taking advantage of people and markets.  I quit reading this one about half-way in.