Typical Day at Pam L's

Last night Alyssa (just turned 9) decided she wanted to learn how to ride her bike. Previous summers she had made some attempts with her training wheels off, but got frustrated and scared and asked for them back. So last night out we went and Rocco tuned up the bike (which is now decidedly too small - oh well) and off she went. She asked me to help, and promptly got frustrated, but I soon managed to unobtrusively disappear so she could figure it out in peace. I went to the garage and practically cleared it out for an upcoming yard sale my Mom is having! During the next hour and a half she kept at it, up and down the sidewalk. When she finally came in she said she worked at it but didn't feel much further ahead, but it was said very matter-of-factly, not frustrated.

Anyway, this morning she got dressed and went back out to her bike. Michael (5) decided he wanted his training wheels off as well. In fact, as I was gazing over the situation, he had already pulled out the wrapped up wrench set and said "Here you go"! LOL Unfortunately one side was very tight and we had to leave the lubricating oil on to soak in. About an hour or so later, as I was quickly working my way through my backlog of emails from here, she came in and announced she could now ride a bike. I went out to see her ride ... I must say, she was pretty good!

During the afternoon she was searching ebay for stuff and found a big box of Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans which she bought with some of her birthday money. She asked me to spell a few words for her - since searching mis-spelled words wouldn't work very well! Joseph (11) was up and playing his gameboy, researching stuff on the internet, and hanging around.

I emailed Rocco back at work about a discussion we've been having. I had sent him a blurb a couple days ago about the discussion here on leading busy, interesting lives and he had replied about not really being interested in being "busy" in the goal-oriented, materialistic sense he felt many North-Americans pursued. I replied that I hadn't meant that at all and that the suggestions he had given were wonderful ways to keep "busy," as opposed to "fast-paced."

Rocco managed to get home relatively early and Michael accosted him to remove the second training wheel and then Alyssa asked to build the teeter-totter (seesaw) she and Rocco had designed on paper last night. Next time I stopped by the front door, Alyssa and Michael were seesawing! They added handles (so Michael didn't go flying), and stabilizers so it didn't roll off the buckets being used as the fulcrum.

Then Alyssa asked if we could order pizza and have a Mario Party night. We decided to go ahead so I put the steak back in the fridge for tomorrow and Rocco picked up a pizza. We all sat downstairs and munched pizza and Rocco and the kids played Mario Party 4. Joseph put his player on computer mode and was still researching on the computer downstairs and playing his gameboy but often came over to comment on the mini-games etc. I sat with them and was reading my copy of The Out-of-Sync Child book ... interesting.

When the game was over, Alyssa asked if I could read some more of the Harry Potter Goblet of Fire book (our 4th time through) and she added "to celebrate my being able to ride a bike". I just know she threw that in to try to keep me awake longer! LOL So I got Michael set up for bed in his room watching one of his Scooby Doo tapes (he's not interested in hearing the book again and again!) and I read a couple chapters to Alyssa and Joseph in her room - she also just bought a heated throw blanket with some of her birthday money - cozy! And Rocco had some alone time to pursue his interests.

All in all, a pretty cool unschooling day, I think.

And tomorrow we're going to Kortright, the local conservation centre, for the Four Winds Kite Festival.

Pam L.
May 2, 2003

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