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Learning in Freedom

Welcome to Learning in Freedom, a blog all about the learning adventures (and mishaps) of the Allen family. My four children are unschooled, following their interests and passions every day and living the lives of their choosing. The purpose of this blog is to share our every day lives (and my not-so-humble opinons) with anyone interested in stopping by. We hope this will give a glimpse of how natural learning unfolds from day to day......

Sunday, July 19, 2009

What unschooling mamas talk about....

...or "The glowstick IM".

In preparation for a conference talk, I was chatting with Sandra Dodd about glowsticks and the idea of using them to illustrate some idea about unschooling. Can't remember what that part
was about but I saved the instant message conversation with her because there were lots of cool ideas about using glowsticks in fun ways and so I emailed it to a rarely used account and forgot about it until today.

It struck me as being longer than just four years ago. Hannah Jenner was alive, I hadn't done much public speaking yet, we still lived in Pensacola. So many things have changed in the last four years. Anyway, here is the instant message in all it's convoluted glory:

SandraDodd: We've had glowstick injuries.

starznmoongarden: Seriously!??

SandraDodd: My kids' favorite thing is to tie a string on it and spin it and fling it up into the air, in the woods, because they're easy to find.
SandraDodd: But...
SandraDodd: between them and the glow stick might not be cactus-free and rocks and trees, and hitting other people, and just tonight, it so happens,
SandraDodd: Keith and the kids went to the company picnic at the zoo. I'm sick and stayed home

starznmoongarden: I got the idea because when I was out of town for training..I left them a bag of fun stuff. They took the glowsticks one night, with Millie, and wrapped them through a whiffle ball and rolled it all around the house.
starznmoongarden: Wow. I LOVE the idea of throwing them up in trees.

SandraDodd: The kids got glow sticks, three apiece, part of what the company was providing for fun. NOt the sticks but the fasten-together bracelet/necklace things.

starznmoongarden: Our woods are fairly non-dangerous...at least in daylight when you can see snakes.

SandraDodd: Holly opened one and got it on her and it was hurting. I talked to her about chemical burns and that it wasn't soap and water that would help as much as more and more water.
SandraDodd: There are lots of fun things to do with them but not in a hotel. And not with the lights on.

starznmoongarden: Well...they still look cool with the lights on!

SandraDodd: And sometimes you need other stuff, like a whiffle ball
SandraDodd: or water
SandraDodd: or strng
SandraDodd: You can drop one in a wine bottle--that's fun.

starznmoongarden: My kids play with them all the time, but yeah, I might need to just use it as an example since I don't want to bring all the peripherals. Damnit.
starznmoongarden: I need to think of something.

SandraDodd: In cold water they go dim, but last longer. You can use them in a cooler for a refrigerator light, but they're not very bright in there.

starznmoongarden: Oh yes, my kids throw them in the freezer to have them last for the next night.

SandraDodd: and they're FANTASTIC bathtub toys, and glow even brighter in warm water, but the don't last as long when you warm them up.
SandraDodd: You can tape them into porta potties for lighting, and if you use box tape (my suggestion) instead of duct tape (DUH, PEOPLE) you get the full light.

starznmoongarden: One of the kids made a really cool bottle/sculpturish thing with one before...can't remember who it was. Oooh, a portapotty light. How funny.
starznmoongarden: I took a picture of Sierra in Black light the other night. It turned out really, really blue and cool. I used it for one of my Art Trading Cards.
starznmoongarden: I'll have to do a glowlight pic next!

SandraDodd: Years ago I figured out how to order them in bulk because the local SCA group needed them and couldn't figure it out. Pre-internet. I read the fine print on one and used a zipcode map and directory assistance to call the manufacturer and found a wholesaler in Oklahoma but they weren't available to just anyone, only to police and government.

starznmoongarden: That seems lame. I bet you can buy them in bulk easy now eh?

SandraDodd: I figured out how to get us a thousand, and Keith and I threw in our own money on top to get 100 for us. So when the kids were little and we went to events,

starznmoongarden: Cool.

SandraDodd: each night we gave each one a stick and they could sleep with it under the pillow or in their sleeping bag. VERY HELPFUL.

starznmoongarden: A little peace stick.
starznmoongarden: Peace of mind anyway!

SandraDodd: Probably you can get them way easier now, but they were newish in the 70's and very high tech.

starznmoongarden: I see them at Lowe's really cheap now.

SandraDodd: The lowest price we ever got was 79 cents each in 1985 or so, I think.
SandraDodd: But those were the best kind, the bright yellow that lasted 12 hours.

starznmoongarden: Yeah, the one's at Lowe's are really long lasting. They're thicker too....I need to buy one to see who makes those.

SandraDodd: I have some glowstick pics of Holly in the hot tub when Diana and Hannah and Hayden were here.

starznmoongarden: I bet those are GREAT.
starznmoongarden: I love how they look in a bottle of water, very bizarrish.
starznmoongarden: Like a bio-phosphorent drink.

The picture Sandra referred to can be found here, lower left corner.

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