Thursday, April 27, 2017

Why we flipped to FunSchooling

All 10 Corey kids
    I could share lots of great stories about Funschooling.  I could tell you about how they brought out the best learning in my kids.  I could tell you about how they created an atmosphere of always being in the midst of education.  I could tell you about how it allowed me to see into the hearts of my children.
     So much great stuff to share and yet all of that falls short when I think about the impact it has had on my son Adam.  It's a long story, I will try and give you the very condensed version.  Adam was 10 when we started funschooling.  He wasn't reading very well, he was frustrated, he felt stifled.  
     School had just kind of stalled at about 2nd grade level for him.   He hated school and I felt like I was failing him.  I was trying not to freak out and looking into what I could do to help.... but I wasn;t even sure what was wrong.
In the beginning there was... Adam ;)
      Through a friend, I was introduced to Dyslexia Games.  This lead me to all the other great Thinking Tree books.  It also brought me to our facebook page full of amazing homeschooling families. It was through this chain of events that I figured out that Adam has, what I call, left brain learning gaps.  He doesn;t have enough 'missing pieces' for full dyslexia but he has enough markers to cause major problems.  Traditional school is created for students whose left brain works great and this is true for most curriculums as well.  For the Adams of this world, this is not a good thing.  In fact, this is a very bad thing.

     The first time Adam was told he didn't have to write anything but could draw what he learned was a 'light in the dark' moment!  Going to the library and picking out books (I didn't care if he could read them or not.  In the very least he could look at pictures) that were what he was interested in actually became a catalyst for his interest in reading and improved reading.  
     Now, part of this sounds silly because we went to the library, we got books, and he can color.  It was the combination of everything and the way it was put together and that it COUNTED as his school.  Adam began to crave learning, he wanted to know more!  He wanted to document his learning!  Homescjournals, scraps of paper, lined notebooks;  full of drawings, misspelled words, and all being the over flow of his busy brain at work!  And when things became tough with reading... or overwhelming, he could do a film study and draw what he learned.  The learning didn't stop just because his brain was tired of figuring out the reading but instead it continued!
making and playing their own board games

     Little by little I saw my son embracing education in a way he never had before and this made me take a hard look at what all 10 of my kids were doing!  Why are we so focused on all this 'hacking and gagging' academics when we could be living, loving, and laughing through amazing education?  It was time for change!

French Revolution
     So we began, we shifted, we kept with some things we liked, threw out a lot we didn't and flipped to Funschooling! 

      Funschooling has looked different for all of my kids; no two being the same.  I have learned how to be a good facilitator in my house for each child and have morphed with them in our Funschooling journey.  
Studying pigs
     Our days now are filled with more independent learning, tea drinking, game playing, and diving into the interest of one and all.  I am constantly being amazed that my children have learned this, or that.  I didn't teach them that!  I have learned to loosen up, not be worried about being ahead... or falling behind.  Instead, I embrace it all and we just enjoy the journey. 

Minda Corey

Saturday, February 4, 2017

THIN STIX ! The new Kwik Stix from The Pencil Grip!

     Last year, I had the privilege of reviewing Kwik Stix from The Pencil Grip, Inc. and was ecstatic when I was asked to review their new product,  Thin Stix 12 pack!   We jumped on this so fast!  We love our original Kwik Stix and couldn't wait to try out these new, thinner ones.
   Thin Stix are a solid tempera paint that come in a tube much like a glue stick. Whats different between these ones and the original is that they are thinner, making it easier for the user to hold and use in smaller spaces. They are about 1/2 an inch in diameter, which is about 1/2 the width of the original.
     Like the original, they are the same washable, quick drying,  non-staining, easy to use, mess-less, fantastic-ness that we have grown to love.  They are still easy to use with the same twist up top (just like a glue stick works)

Intrigued yet?  =)

 I copied this from my original post because the information is still the same with this thinner model:

     "My kids started calling these "paint crayons" which I think is a pretty accurate description of them.  The paint tube is like a glue stick.  So if you need more "paint" you twist up. Then use them just like you would an over sized crayon. They feel kind of like a crayon and a chapstick had a baby. They roll on smooth and easily.  I guess, like a dry paint (is there such a thing?), dry in several blinks of the eye, don't run, smear, or seep.  In short.  They are amazing!"
       The  Thin Stix 12 pack comes with a large variety of colors. The colors are well represented by the cases they are in.  They roll on smooth, bright, bold, and stay that way!  The finish is almost a soft, textured look.  It's supposed to be the same as if you had painted with tempra paint.  I think they achieve the over-all look but it's not quite exact.  I actually like the Kwik Stix finish better!

Using it:

      My kids absolutely love these things!  The are so easy to use and big kids and little kids alike like them!  I like that they are mess-less, fast drying, and in the event a child does get them on themselves or clothing, it comes right off!  
     I do think the Thin Stix have more of a "big kid" feel.  The long, thin design feels more sophisticated- lol.  It did make it much easier for them to use in their Fun-Schooling books and in making more intricate designs and drawings on their painting papers.

     They can be used on paper, in coloring books, on balloons, windows, wood, etc.  They are so versatile and the possibilities are endless.  We primarily just use our on paper products and gifts.  I admit that I am busy and don't venture to off the grid.  Paper I have, so paper we use!

PRO's and CON's: 

Pro's are abundant!

  • easy to use
  • no mess
  • bright colors
  • lasts for a really long time
  • dry's in 90 seconds
  • doesn't bleed
  • doesn't run
  • doesn't smear
  • can be used on practically every surface
  • all kids like them
  • fun!
Con's (if there really is any)
  • The only one I could think of is that if you wanted it to have a true "paint" look, this is close but not exact.  If the child has painted pretty thickly then is does look super close to regular tempera paint, if its a lighter coat then you see more of the "texture".
(Borrowed pro/con list from my original post.)


Click on the links below to find out additional information about Kwik Stix Thin Stix.