About Us!

September 2011:

I'm Laura (41), wife to Jay (46) for the past 21 years and mom to 6 boys (Brett 20, Grant 15, Jacob 13, Cade 11, William 7 and Luke 4) and 4 girls (Hannah 19, Emily 17, Sophia 9 and Tori 11 months) and
grandma to Noel David (2).  We live in Loveland, OH. This is our 11th year homeschooling--or should I say unschooling, we only did school at home for about 1 month when we first pulled the kids out of school.  The older 3 children attended school through the 4th, 3rd and 1st grades.  The younger 7 kids have never been to school and have never known anything but unschooling.
We are embarking on a new adventure this year, as Emily, our 17 year old daughter (who went to school for K and grade 1) has decided to return to school.  She is attending Live Oaks (a career center vs the local public highschool), it should be interesting if nothing else.  She is really excited, mainly, I believe, because she
realizes it is her choice and she knows that if at any time that choice doesn't work for her she is free to explore other options!  Of course it probably "helps" that her current boyfriend is a student there as well!
A little about the kids:
Brett (20)--my "perfect" child who never partied, missed a curfew or gave me a moments grief, who announced to us 2 weeks after his 18th birthday that his girlfriend was pregnant, is the assistant manager of
a local pizza chain and is in line for a promotion to general manager in the near future.  He LOVES working there and apparently has impressed his bosses, as he moved up from a part time delivery driver to the assistant manager in under 2 years.  He is also their "go to" guy when other stores need a manager to fill in...one local store has had a stroke of "bad" luck with managers...one got malaria and then before that one had even returned to work the other manager had a heart attack.....so he has been filling in there quite regularly.  He coaches his 11 year old brother in basketball. Brett and Sarah (Noel's mother) plan to unschool him.
Hannah (19)--has recently ventured out on her own (moved in with her boyfriend) but we see her more than ever, she is over doing laundry or hanging out whenever "D" is at work and she isn't.  I used to laugh
when people said they saw more of their kid after they left home, but now I understand what they mean!  She is a waitress at both Applebees and Red Robin and loves it.  She is very extroverted, so any job where
she is coming into contact with others in perfect for her!  She toys with attending college, was excepted by the local university (with her unschooled transcript) but thinks that given the current state of things that college would just be a waste of money right now.
Emily (17)--is our child forging a new path--highschool!  She works as a hostess at a small local restaurant that she can walk to from our house and will also be working at Haunt at Kings Island in the fall because she LOVES it up there!  She doesn't like girl drama so the majority of her friends are boys.  Emily is beautiful and sometimes models for local photographers!  She is artistic (draws, paints, poetry)  and a talented dancer. She loves animals and currently is "mom" to 2 adult gerbils, 3 "teenage" gerbils and the new gerbil babies, 2 turtles and 1 rabbit.
Grant (15)--loves sports of all kinds--specifically baseball and basketball, he just finished his first season of playing select baseball.  He also played on a local homeschool team for the highschool season.  Although he just turned 15, he played his season with 16 and 17 year olds and apparently was spotted by a few college
recruiters as we have been contacted by them.  Most are shocked to learn he is only entering his sophomore year in highschool.  Maybe the kid will have the chance to play college ball.  He was a very late reader (at least 11 years old) but you would never know it now.  He loves making and editing videos (usually for youtube), taking photos, and playing PS3.  He LOVES going to Kings Island and riding all the rides!
Jacob (13)--like Grant LOVES sports, he also plays baseball and basketball.  He loves making videos with Grant, watching Southpark and Family Guy, playing PS3.  He is Grant's partner in crime at Kings Island.  Jacob has a speech "issue" so he is often hard to understand.  We have started the process of getting him into speech therapy and he should start seeing the therapist in the fall (long waiting list--we have done all the preliminary stuff).  Another late reader.
Cade (11)--loves sports as well and plays basketball and baseball.  He is my sensitive kid, quiet and often prefers to be alone.  He HATES loud noises (like amusement park rides, fireworks and thunder) but
copes with them much better now than he did in the past.  He is my boy that is all things "nature" constantly venturing across the street to a small stream and bringing home "critters".  He could spend all day exploring the woods or a creek. He loves Legos and PS3.  Like Jacob, he likes Southpark and Family Guy.   Just now learning to read.
Sophia (9)--the PRINCESS surrounded by boys...she is just as comfortable playing a game of pick up baseball or basketball as she is playing barbie dolls and painting her nails!  She loves swimming.  She loves Girl Scouts and is really excited about an American Girl doll club I am helping to form for the upcoming 2 years to study American history with 6 other girls.  She loves exploring the wood/streams with Cade but is afraid of the spiders in the basement!  She LOVES webkinz!  Fluent reader who reads every day.  She loves reading to her little brother and sister.  She likes writing short stories.
William (7)---a good natured kid that humors Sophia by playing barbies with her and dressing up in tutus but prefers to take the field with his big brothers playing sports.  He has never been on an "organized" team but it is coming in the near future.  He is adventurous and has never met a challenge he doesn't attempt to conquer, well except those of an academic nature.  He has no desire to read yet and although creative, doesn't like to write.  He loves Legos and webkinz. He loves to swim and dive and flip off the diving boards (especially the high board).
Luke (4)--extremely active and was a very late talker (after 3 years old probably even closer to 3 1/2) but had no interest in learning sign language to communicate, his receptive language is amazing, expressive still delayed but moving forward.  He just potty trained 2 weeks ago and hasn't had an accident yet!  He love
wrestling guys, sports of any type, blocks, cars and the computer (he can get himself on the internet and into youtube and he searches for videos by entering wrestlers names from memory).  He LOVES books, but
insists that we read the same books in the same order every day!
Tori (11 months)--our MIRACLE baby!  Literally a miracle!  Took us 8 weeks and 2 surgeries to get her home.  I still can't wrap my brain around it or the fact that she is getting ready to turn 1!  As of the first week in  June when she went for her doctor's appointment, she was not doing "anything"--not rolling over, not sitting, nothing.....well GIRLFRIEND (as we nicknamed her while she was in the NICU since Sophia refused to give up the princess title!) took of like gangbusters in the past 2 months...she is now rolling over (both
directions..we laugh now....she rolled tummy to back Tuesday, back to tummy Wednesday and off the bed on Thursday), crawling, sitting, can get herself into a sitting position and then out again, pulling up on
furniture and CRUISING, and is now trying to let go and just stand I suspect she may talk early as she
already says mama, dada, hi and can sign "milk" and waves hello and goodbye but I could be wrong!  She has 6 teeth and is cutting 2 more (meaning she isn't sleeping).  She LOVES to swim!  She said her first 2 word combination "hi, ma-ma" on September 1.
I have kept a blog for years, but recent troubles with the login forced me to start a new one (the one you are reading), which I have been rather slow to update....but for those who are questioning what our days look like, you can check out:
Ramblings of an unschooling family:  www.theriesenbergs.blogspot.com
Oh, and I love scrapbooking, rubberstamping, photography, making ATC, reading, blogging, yard saling, quilting......