Poolside Crop

It’s been a long time since blogging here, and I hope to do so at least weekly. I’m thinking my Applestars blog will be about day-to-day learning with my kiddos while my The Right Side of Normal website will be for the philosophy. But, time will tell as it falls into place.

My hubby worked over a year…or two…to make a pergola in order to grow grapes. We thought it was a great place to add it to our log garage that’s next to our pool. It’s in its second year of growth and looks great.

Well, lo and behold, watermelon vines began to grow underneath the pergola/grapes, I assume from spit out seeds. We had a great crop of watermelon from this viral seed and reaped about 20 large, juicy specimens. The vines crept right up to the edge of the pool. To me, it was a great picture of country living, poolside!

6 responses to “Poolside Crop

  1. HI there,
    I was wondering if I may be able to pick your brain through email for a few moments sometime? I have been enjoying reading through your posts. I have a 5 yr old son who is pretty amazing in our eyes. He is very bright, and a visual-spatial learner like me. We’re trying to find our place on this homeschooling path, firstly right now we tried the online e-school public curriculum through K12.

    That’s not going so well. I purchased some books on unschooling and am reading all I can. Our son loves vacuums. I know. He has since he was 3 yrs old. He has 13 of them, he makes review videos for Youtube, Electrolux sent him one for free, and he builds his own prototypes out of boxes and whatever he can find. His fav bday gift was electrical tape. He loves legos too, but moreso just building out of anything he can find around the house. It’s tough. We dont know anyone with kids like him and theres not many resources locally for us.

    Thanks, Shauna

  2. Shauna,
    I’m new at this unschooling myself but thought I’d add a comment. Please try not to see your situation as tough. Your son has given you lots to work with! Don’t worry that you’ve never met another kid like him. You probably never will, and that’s not a bad thing. Any kid who can accumulate 13 vacuums by age 5 is obviously motivated by his interests and has parents who are willing to accommodate them. My hat’s off to all of you. Let him explore the history of the vacuum. The science of a vacuum must fascinate him. Take a family trip to one, or all, of the vacuum cleaner museums.
    I remember touring a Frank Lloyd Wright designed house, built 100 years ago, that had a central vacuum system.

    You couldn’t make most kids interested in vacuums if you tried. Please don’t try to prevent/change/redirect/normalize/whatever your son. You have no idea now where this interest may lead. He may be hooked on vacuums the rest of his life. James Dyson appears to have done alright for himself. Your son’s interest in vacuums, once satisfied, may lead to jet engines or space. You’ll never know until it happens.

    Celebrate his uniqueness and make parenting your son the adventure that it can, and was meant to, be. He’s lucky to have a mom like you.


  3. Shauna, I’d be happy to talk with you. I wrote you an e-mail a while back. I’m not sure if I have the right one. Anyway, like Steve said above, you never know where these interests can take your son. Did you ever read the post I wrote about my son’s love of ceiling fans? It’s here: I was able to help steer this interest with him and now he loves to collect, repair, and customize fans. He’s volunteering at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore now repairing the ceiling fans that come in. He also loves house designing from this interest. Good stuff!

  4. I have 5 children. If I had to let ceratin labels stick, then you would find these attached to them: autism high functioning, ADD, ADHD, bi-polar, unidentified learning disability, dislexia, disgraphia, gifted, and low functioning, possibly a few more. After seeing my oldest daughter go through 5 years of public education, with a special ed assistant to barely squeak into 1st grade and then be told she was failing after 3 short months along with the fact she was growing increasingly violent towards her peers, we decided she was better off at home. At the same time her older brother was bored in his class and was slacking off on paperwork but was acing all of the tests. We were continually denied our repeated requests to change his learning environment. It was then that we decided that the public system was leaving our children behind. For the past 8 years we have been what most would consider unschooling. It was not a decision made lightly and continues to cause me some worry. Then again can you can show me a parent who doesn’t worry over some choice they have made regarding their child? It’s when you lose the worry that the trouble comes in. I can say that this form of homeschooling is a viable option for special needs children. It’s my belief like flowers, children are best left to bloom on their own timing. It’s up to us as a parents to provide the nuturing. And the view here is beautiful!One thing I would like to add is unparenting, unstructured, and unschooling don’t automatically go hand in hand.

  5. It may work for some and not for others. I don’t think you can say for sure it will or will not work just based upon the fact that the child has a secpial need. I have read up on unschooling and know a family who practices it and they have very intelligent children. However, with my kiddo, it wouldn’t work so well. I mean we had to teach her to roll over, and crawl, things most kids do naturally. If I didn’t guide her studies she might not naturally catch on to that either! So while we do school and she enjoys it, I do not try to make it like traditional school. We make it as fun and as hands on as possible because that’s the way she learns best. I think each child is different and learns different. I can see different styles working for children of the same family too whether or not they have secpial needs.

  6. I wouldn’t call us uelnhooscrs exactly, more delight-directed. Though this is the first year (3rd grade) that I’ve used a math curriculum, and I just purchased our first Language Arts curriculum. I’ve tried lots of different curricula, and we always end up delight-directed. My son has ADHD and it’s nearly impossible for us to stick with any kind of structured schedule. What has worked wonderfully for us is a delight-directed unit study approach. He chooses the subject and off we go! We don’t always finish each unit before he’s ready to move on to something else, but that’s ok. He’s learning .a lot!Personally, I think unschooling or delight-directed learning are the only ways to successfully teach this child of mine.

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