Monday, September 23, 2013

ZoKo's Accomplishments... with a full disclosure of household values

     My baby girl had a party yesterday. A celebration. One that can be described as just about anything but typical... She finished all of her 5th grade textbooks, and graduated from 5th grade to 6th grade. That means that as of today, I have a 6th grader, a 3rd grader, and an unschooler... We had several friends come over (old & new) and the kids played games and splashed in the kiddie pool, while my Mutt grilled out. Then, everyone took a break for lunch. There were balloons and squirt guns and floating rubber ducks. A swingset and a spinning wheel. Beach balls and bean bag toss... But, most importantly, there were smiles and hugs...

     And today she enters into 6th grade, she starts on new textbooks and builds more onto the foundation she's been working on since she was borne 9 years ago. We're still going with ABeka as a primary for textbooks, with just as heavy of an emphasis on classic literature and supplemental reading. This grade level, however, we're breaking away from "secondary" textbooks. As she finishes the ABeka 6th grade textbooks, we will pick up extra science and history readers to go through during family time, with verbal comprehension questions instead of anything in the written form. We're going with books from Christian Liberty Press for these reading books, as I like their format and viewpoints more than most of the other publishers available. They seem to be a good "fit" for our beliefs...

     She's continuing on the Young Person's School of Magic And Mystery series, currently on volume 5 (Spirits, Ghosts, and Guardians). She's picking back up the Moving Picture Girls series, which she had taken a break from for the last few months. She's also continuing with Arthur Scott Bailey's animal tales books. For history reading, she's on a few American Girls Mysteries that are historical fiction, and Stories From The Greek Tragedians. Then there's science, which is Animals We Will Never Forget and Fairyland Of Science...

     What that leaves is independent reading, which I'm sure most people would object to my philosophy on. She is always allowed to pick out her own reading books. ANY topic, ANY reading level. We want her to enjoy reading it. When she first came to us and asked us about starting a new series, I pawned the decision over to Mutt, who quickly bounced it back to me. Great. After about five seconds of indecisiveness, we both agreed to it, under the one condition that any questions about anything got brought directly to us. For anyone who knows ZoKo's history, she's being raised in a very liberal house that doesn't believe in censorship or "pushing things under the rug". It simply doesn't work in the long run, and creates a lot more issues. That being said, she is now on the 4th book of the Sookie Stackhouse series, Dead To The World. Yes, this is the series that True Blood is loosely based on. Yes, it is for mature audiences. No, we would not let B read this same series at this same age. Why not? She's not ready for it. For lots of reasons. Her reading and comprehension abilities aren't high enough yet, she's not ready for the content yet, and (most importantly) she's not that into vampires! She'd have no interest in reading them.

     For those of you reading this and just now getting to know my family, please don't let our differing perspectives deter you from getting to know my wonderful children. I promise they don't bite, and they won't "taint" your children. Too badly. Unless you consider their generosity and mostly self-less demeanors to be a bad thing. We believe in being honest and open, above and foremost, and that tends to get us into trouble. A lot. We don't believe in hiding things, but we do believe there's a time and a place for everything. My kids are allowed to swear and read and watch whatever they want to. But they also know how to keep their mouths clean in public (and when we have guests), how to ask their friends what they'd like to watch on TV (and double check with mommy that it's okay), and how to use some common sense about which books they take into the waiting room or to read under a tree at the park with friends. There's a difference between modesty in public and total exclusion of anything that doesn't fit in a pretty little box. We attempt to find a way to survive in society's box, without losing ourselves in the process.

     For those of that made it all the way to the end without fuming, kudos. I look forward to seeing you at the next party! For those of you rushing to "unfriend" me on Facebook, I probably won't miss you too much. For those of you with heads spinning in confusion and unanswered questions, ask away... As I tell my friends, we don't do normal. We also don't do boxes, labels, or stereotypes. We don't do typical. We don't do conformity... We do us. It's all we know. And we're not complaining.

1 comment:

  1. Keep up the GREAT work, Julia! I for one am PROUD to call you my friend. Differences in this world, make us WHO we are. I am happy to hear she had such a great party. Be proud of the person you are, and for get those who dont accept or respect :-) much luv<3 Trish