Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Aaaarrr, Mateys! Today Be the day!

It's Talk Like A Pirate Day again!! We have always enjoyed this day to the fullest, with my kids adjusting their own Texas drawl to sound more like Captain Hook.

Interestingly, when I look back and think of how we used to celebrate most things, it always centered around food and TV! Isn't that funny? But we always found some television show to be representative of whatever we were learning about or exploring. So we latched on to Talk Like a Pirate Day and ran with it!

This year marks the 10th Anniversary of Talk Like A Pirate Day.  Our house has been full of eyepatches and fake hooks for years now. And even tonight, Katie's pulled together a costume and is heading downtown with a friend to celebrate!

But my favorite was when my 3 kids acted and sang the Veggie Tales song: The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything.  We were living in Wichita Falls, Texas, and surrounded by homeschoolers who ONLY let their children watch Veggie Tales movies. That clearly wasn't my kids' experience. But when they saw this particular Veggie Tales song, they claimed it as their personal theme song! We laughed so hard at it. Three pirates sing in this video, and each of my 3 kids learned their part.  Michael and Katie were used to performing and loved it - but Alyssa was a little more shy. So they gave her lines like, "You look like Cap'n Crunch" and "Hey, look, I found a quarter!" I know I have a video in the garage somewhere of them singing this - I should get out there to find it! In the meantime, think of Michael, Katie and Alyssa as you watch this video.

Movie Options

Our video library had several pirate options, so maybe you can find one on Netflix or at the RedBox:

Pirates of the Caribbean - any one of the series would do. Although I don't think I'd try learn Pirate talk from Jack Sparrow. Ha!! Still, any excuse for a Johnny Depp movie works for me.  Hector Barbossa, on the other hand, that's a great pirate voice to emulate!

Hook - with Robin Williams as Peter Pan and Dustin Hoffman as Captain James T. Hook. Lots of fun - great costumes!

The Goonies - of course you can't forget this one.

Treasure Island - if you haven't read the book, the 1950's version might be interesting to watch. Or if you have younger kids, The Muppet Treasure Island might be more your speed!

Blackbeard has several versions.  And there's a great restaurant on South Padre Island called Blackbeard's - THE best onion rings in the world. In case you're down there, it's lots of fun! But I digress - I TOLD you though - food & movies are my thing! (and, evidently, exclamation marks!!!)

Mutiny on the Bounty - you can't go wrong with that one! Especially if you want an old black and white movie.

Master and Commander is a great movie. A little intense at times, but I think it's one of Ron and Michael's all time favorites.

The Pirates of Penzance was always a favorite at our house too!
Steve the Pirate from Dodgeball might be fun to watch today!

Captain Ron - a very quirky movie with Kurt Russell. We loved this movie for a variety of reasons, probably mainly because of the name.

And as I was looking up the links for the movies we have and love, I found a link to The Complete List of Every Pirate Movie Ever Made! How about that?

Pirate Songs

The International Talk Like A Pirate Day website has a huge collection of famous and obscure Pirate songs. Lots of links and downloads are available at their song collection page.

But here are our personal favorites:
A Pirate Looks at Forty by Jimmy Buffet (we love all thing Buffet - Parrotheads, we are!)
Hoist the Colors - from the Pirates of the Caribbean, kind of creepy, but very pirate-like (movie clip)
I Am the Pirate King - Pirates of Penzance
15 Men and a Bottle of Rum - yo ho ho and a bottle of rum! (You know this one)
The Jolly Roger - I just found this one, could be cool to learn.

I'm sure there are so many more songs! Share them here if any spring to mind!

Internet Slang

But if you want to share our shortened versions of Pirate lingo:

  • SMT - Shiver me timbers!
  • R - Aaaarrr (easily confused with "r" for "are")
  • AVH - Avast, me hearties
  • BDTH - Batten Down the Hatches!
  • LL - Landlubber
  • SOBE - Son of a Biscuit Eater

And, if you want to stay current on All Things Pirate - you can join the Talk Like a Pirate Facebook Page. That way, each year, you'll be reminded of the fun!

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Antidote for Animal School: Unschooling

This quote has been circulating through the unschooling community for years. Lately, it recurred on Facebook and several people shared some great links. Some question whether Albert Einstein actually said the quote. But that doesn't really matter. The quote itself has been a huge inspiration to me - possibly one of the reasons why we ended up unschooling our children.  A fabulous wikiquote devoted to Albert Einstein gives so many of his quotes as well as the contexts and people he was actually talking to. It's really fascinating.

You've probably seen the original 1939 story Animal School, by George Reavis. This video, below, modernizes it by taking the story and applying it to beautiful photos of the animals. The creator of the video goes on to include his explanation of which children he sees most correlates with the various animals.  I like his explanations.

"Your child is a Unique Blend of talents, personality and ingredients...
nowhere else to be found. "

I'm happy to say that my kids were removed from the school system early on. Somehow, I was always aware that people were being dealt with like this, as I was growing up. So when I noticed this same one-size-fits-all approach happening with my own child in school, I knew that I had to find a better approach. And we did. We focused on their strengths - something schools are simply not equipped to do. But as a family, you can! My kids have grown up under a completely different paradigm. 

It seems to me that the antidote for "Animal School" is Unschooling.