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Chickens and Unschooling
Learning through living
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23rd-Nov-2014 12:10 am - First Flood day for ducklings.
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S.

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C.

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H and S.
19th-Nov-2014 08:41 pm - First Outside Trip for Ducklings
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I probably should have taken the ducklings outside on Monday, at one week old, but I wasn't organized enough. Instead, today was the day, at one week and two days old.

They really enjoyed the weeds in the yard. They also had a go at a dog bowl full of water. Their first swim. It took a while for the ducklings to figure out what to do with the dog bowl - at first they just drank and ate the weeds we threw into the water.

Blizzard was the first to brave the water on her own. She stepped up on the rock we put next to the bowl, then stepped in; she promptly freaked out and left the bowl as fast as she could. She tried again a couple of minutes later and was fine, since that time she was ready for the big step down.

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I like how bottle duckish they look in this first picture.

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S and C were outside with me today, H was still asleep.

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Soft Spot is in the bowl in this picture.
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Pictures of our five ducklings. The first of each set is a picture from the first morning we got them (thus 2 days old). The second of each set is from yesterday (thus one week old).

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H's chocolate runner duck - Amazon.

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S's Welsh Harlequin - Blizzard.

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M's fawn and white runner duck - Fang.

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My black runner duck - Castiel.

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C's blue runner duck - Soft spot.
15th-Nov-2014 11:26 am - Duckling Pictures from Day 1.
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Ducklings in their shipping box at the post office.

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Settled into their box at home.
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We got new ducklings in the mail yesterday. At first I didn't post about it, because I had to get up before 7:30am to pick them up (leaving me about 3 or 4 hours sleep shy of normal), then we were very busy with "Squeeee! Babies!", then normal daily routine (C had shuffleboard and karate, and I had a soup to prepare since we wouldn't be home at dinner time). Plus, we had to coordinate with the other two 4-H families taking a pair of ducks each (we went in on a 10 duckling shipment to make the price lower per bird, by reaching a minimum order value and the minimum bird order where you don't get charged extra to ship them).

For those keeping track, that means 10 minus 4 equals 6 ducklings left for us (the difference in price between 9 ducks and 10 was less than 4 dollars thanks to that aforementioned minimum bird order without extra charges thing, so we just went with the 10th, even though we really only wanted 5 - one for each family member).

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Here are the five we ended up with by late last night. Yeah, five, thus the other reason I felt like putting off writing about this. One of the ducklings fell ill and died last night. We don't know what was wrong with her and all the others are fine, as far as we can tell.

When I came back from C's karate I notice one was looking a little off (a fawn and white runner duck I had been planning to give to one of the 4-h kids, good thing that didn't happen till after I came home). We swapped out the lethargic one for a perkier one to give to JD (I certainly didn't want to give him a broken bird). H got a heat pad out to try to warm up the sick one. That's when we realized she may be pooping blood. S took charge of the sick bird while H and I dropped the two extra fawn and white runner ducks off with the 4-H kid (all his siblings were there to greet us and they were all super excited to get ducklings, so H and I didn't feel too bad about leaving one of the ones we thought would be ours with them). When we got back, H took over holding the bird from S (and S had to change to get yet more bloody poop off of her pants), then within the hour the duckling died in H's arms. She didn't even have a name, since she wasn't originally going to be ours. The one that went to JD was going to be M's, instead he got the one I was going to call Lucifer, and he named her Fang.

As hard as that was, the Metzer folks were great. This morning I called and they refunded the price of the duckling and grow gel shipped with her (they would have replaced her if I preferred, but we never really wanted six birds to begin with and the thought of waiting two extra days for a single duckling, then trying to mix an extra bird into our little established flock, seemed way too stressful to me).

This whole post was long and sad, when it should have been full of squee inducing duckling pictures. Yesterday was hard.
4th-Nov-2014 11:40 am - C's latest karate Testing.
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Last testing C earned his brown belt. He was surprised, since he figured he'd get another stripe on his red belt before getting the brown. Unlike S's karate, C doesn't know in advance exactly what he is testing for. He knows the next color of belt he could earn, but it is also always a possibility that he will only earn a stripe, and there is no true upper limit to the number of stripes he could get before being deemed ready to move to the next belt. He was very solid in this testing, so I wasn't too surprised he got his brown. C isn't having to learn as many techniques as H did when she went through, since the Sensei can only offer one class these days, and he has a lot of students, many of whom are very new.

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Palm heel strike.

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Technique in response to front hair grab.
31st-Oct-2014 12:44 pm - Happy Halloween.
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We carved pumpkins yesterday. S has been sick for a few days; she feels cursed to be either sick or injured or both every time Halloween comes along (last year she was fine, though). It's still been very warm lately, so the flies were a big hassle yesterday. C cut his top, then had me gut his pumpkin. He then stabbed his pumpkin, a lot, before settling in to make a face. H and S did all carving, and gutting themselves. S made a pikachu on her pumpkin (face in front and tail on back). H couldn't land on a particular picture to carve, so she made the free candy sign on her pumpkin instead.

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23rd-Oct-2014 03:52 pm - S testing to get her Low Blue Belt.
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S and I have a deal. I get to watch her testings without taking photos for low and middle belts (that way I can actually watch, rather that see everything through the camera lens). But when she has a high belt (going for the next color) I bring the camera.

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S passed and got her low blue belt. It was the first testing, however, where she wasn't really sure she deserved to pass. She messed up her form part way through, and the one thing (on paper anyway) that she absolutely needed to be able to do correctly was her purple belt form.
22nd-Oct-2014 12:24 pm - Ice Skating Pictures.
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I managed to bring the camera to our second Homeschool Ice Skating day.

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This was the second time the kids had ever been ice skating. C hung out with an older girl and her little sister for a while. Then he attached himself to a couple of older boys. He made sure to say goodbye to all his new found ice skating friends before we left.

It took about 10 minutes for me and H to find our rhythm, to feel comfortable on the ice again. By the end H was working on fancy circles, and had fallen enough times that she was able to determine that the guy working as staff on the ice was really nice (he'd check on anyone who fell to make sure they were all right).

S seemed like she was born on the ice. She started out fast and kept it up for most of the skate. She was also trying to manage even fancier circles than H.
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"Would you REALLY put the welfare of ‘the system’ over that of your own children?

I’d hope that you wouldn’t, and I’d hope that this line of logic is unique to you, but I know that it isn’t. I’ve heard it before. I’ve heard it so often, in fact, that I’m starting to think I’m the strange one for having absolutely no desire to make my children martyrs for some bureaucratic machine.
"

"I’m not insinuating that homeschool is perfect, or that homeschool students are perfectly adjusted, but I am absolutely declaring that ‘socialization’ is the WORST part of public school."

For the rest of Matt Walsh's article: Behold: Here Are the Two Worst Arguments Against Homeschooling. It's worth the read.
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