Is there a close connection between isolated confinement and the horrible conditions in our public schools? I am certain there is because once my field program school was up and running, my relationships with my students became much more productive, their work inspiring enough to restore belief in the prodigious feats of George Washington, Ben Franklin, et. al., when they were of student age. Just by being treated with dignity and respect and given some reality-based task to perform seemed to be enough to work the transformation from irrelevant clowns to worthy young men and women who could add value to the general community.
Unschool Girl – Going Head-To-Head with Stereotypes
by Kate Fridkis
There are plenty of stereotypes for non-schoolers: when I was little, I heard stuff about how we couldn’t tie our shoes, couldn’t do basic things, as though you had to go to school to learn those things. The kids in my Hebrew school class asked me if my family had a microwave. If we drove around in a buggy. You know, like Amish people. If you didn’t go to school, you were backwoods and primitive. A little later on, the stereotype was the math genius who couldn’t socialize. Some prodigy who got into Harvard at fourteen, but had never had a friend.
by Michelle Barone
We carry the story of our childhood in our mind and bodies. Every day I am humbled. I see the human spirit always striving to find love and connection. To heal what has been wounded.
When we do or say something to our children that is hurtful, the shame is deep. We don’t like to feel shame so we hide it, talk it away, and emotionally beat ourselves up. We feel guilty about it. When we let ourselves, even for a moment, lean into the wound, we feel like a small child again, hopeless and helpless.
Unschooling and Sustainable Living – A Real Lifestyle Change
by Kimberly Scheimreif
Eighteen years ago I would never have thought that I would be practicing sustainable living and unschooling on a homestead. When our first child was born in 1994 we lived in a very populated town, trying to keep up with the rat race. While I was pregnant, I was still unsure if I would go back to my full time job working forty to fifty hours a week. However, after holding my newborn for the first time, I was able to make a definite decision: how could I leave this precious being, and trust her welfare to a stranger? It did not seem natural for someone else to take care of her.
What are the long term ramifications of unschooling for our kids?
by Barb Lundgren and Mark Hegener
Despite all the freedom and fun in childhood, my children, once adults, have experienced an uncomfortable sort of wake-up call in the “real world” as they moved from home and become fully sustainable on their own. Their levels of discomfort have at times been nearly overwhelming as almost everyone they met was, in their words, in need of therapy: real-world people lacked inner motivation, holding jobs or attending college because others expected them to; they’re in abusive relationships they can’t break out of; they’re just plain unhappy or relieving stress with addictive or self destructive behaviors; they don’t know how to be honest.
A Matter of Conscience – A Whole New Game
by Kelly Green
Sure, homeschooling is effective. Yes, homeschooling produces well-educated, functional adults who contribute to their communities and can support themselves financially. But that’s all old news.
So what’s the new news? The new news is that, like Billy Beane’s Athletics, we have changed the terms of engagement. Only we go even further than the A’s. Because we don’t just play the game of education, as others define it, with fewer resources (and frequently with better “results”). We have actually made up our own game. We have made our own rules, and decided for ourselves what winning means.
My Head’s in a Book: HEM Reviews Books
by Barb Lundgren
Barb reviews Meryn G. Callander’s Why Dads Leave: The generations-long effects of traditional Western parenting have been devastating to the health and wellbeing of us all, beginning from conception and birthing through infancy and childhood. Such dysfunction is evident in the basic ways we feel about ourselves, our partnership relationships as well as our relationships with our children, our friends, our world community: we lack the profound, joyful feelings of connection which include deep love, respect, caring and empathy.
Through conditioning and self-preservation we have replaced our needs for connection with the very distant second best substitutes known as independence and self-sustainability.
Good Stuff – What Happens When: Phenology for Kids
by Becky Rupp
Phenology, Silly Books to Read Aloud, the Zinn Education Project, and this year’s nominees for the National Homeschool Book Award (books with homeschoolers as the characters!)
by Carrie Sayer
I used to dream small. I wished for a job that had casual Fridays. I prayed for snow days. I wanted someone to rescue me. I was stuck in the victim role for decades.
I got sick of giving away my power. I was waiting for someone to take care of me. When I met Ben, everything changed. Ben and I simultaneously take care of each other and ourselves. We are kindred spirits. We inspire each other. We trust each other. We share life philosophy with a foundation in unschooling.
by Aravinda Pillalamarri
“Studying history is … pretty much useless, isn’t it?” my daughter asked, as if it was fairly obvious. “I mean why read about Columbus discovering America, when it isn’t even true?”
Alarmed. All senses alert.
Mission: Rescue the field of history. Why?
Meanwhile, don’t answer. A weak response merely invites rebuttal. Then what? Stay calm. Say nothing. No one need get hurt. Ah, now I remember what to do. Listen.
I’m Not Socializing My Kids–I’m Humanizing Them
by Kimberley Price
“Your kids are homeschooled?! What about socialization?!”
What about socialization?
So, do I socialize them? What do you mean by that? Do they have friends? Do they behave? Do they know how to hold a conversation?
Am I teaching my children to conform to the beliefs and actions of our society?
When I think of what I read in the news, or what I see around me, or what is considered mainstream, I don’t think I am. It doesn’t bother me though.
Smart Technologies: Are they making us less human?
by Michael Mendizza
To understand why I think that smart technologies are not as smart as they appear we need to share some appreciation for the fact that harmonic resonance is different from superficial sensation.
We know that a mother’s emotional state directly influences the nature and quality of the body and brain developing as her unborn child. We know that frequencies generated by the heart inform every cell of the body, moment by moment, of one’s relationship with everything. We know that inner ‘states’ of relationship are mirrored by hormones which shape perceptions, generate feelings of dis-ease or wholeness.
Island of Freedom
by Jeanie M Curry
There are no paved roads on the island which is mainly wilderness. There were many days we would travel the length of the 18 mile long beach and never see another person. There are no malls, no stores of any kind. We would travel by boat every week or two for a few hours on shore to buy groceries. It didn’t take long before I realized our family had the homeschooling opportunity of a lifetime. How can a child learn to know about himself, without some solitude and nature? We shared an abundance of time and relationship building together.
Finding Hope in Tragedy
by Teresa Graham Brett
When we are on the sidelines of the kind of violence we saw in Newtown, Connecticut we try to find some way to make sense of what has happened. We ask questions and seek answers to this kind of violence. We try and make sense of what seems so senseless. How can the loss of so many children make sense?
Some want to name it evil and see it as an anomaly, rather than a symptom of the larger disconnections in our culture. Although there may not be easy answers, some of those answers lie within each of us.
Love It Forward: Extending Unschool Philosophy
by Dayna Martin
On a recent flight, there was a mother with two kids who were sitting next to us. I could see the mother getting impatient with her kids. The two year old was standing on the seat looking at the people behind us. The mother was so frustrated, and I saw her squeezing her daughter’s leg really hard. She talked in a low, angry voice, scolding her. My husband Joe and I began talking about how cruel this mother was being to her kids.
As I judged this mother, I began feeling bad, focusing such negativity toward her. I had a moment of realization …