Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Kids grow up too fast

Today is Jared's 9th birthday. He was my last baby. We actually thought we were done after 3 kids and were planning on making that official and then I get bit by the baby bug.

You know the baby bug? Every time I saw a baby I got all emotional, I needed another baby...

So Jason saw this reaction keep happening and I told him I wanted another baby and he said OK!

Jared is such a bundle of intense energy. He has caused me to be a better, patient, understanding parent.

I have been his partner all his life, I have run intereference and helped him handle situations that other kids may not have a problem with. We would only go to Jared friendly places so he could be himself.

He was very different from my other babies right from the start. He used to scream from 1-4am the first few weeks of his life....

His perspective is different, he is intense and he thinks deeply and feels deeply.  He is  awesome, talented, artistic, has a photographic memory and can be very focused or get very frustrated.

I love this little boy more than I can express here!

Happy Birthday dear Jared!  I'm so thankful you were born!

Next month my oldest turns 16...WOW!

Enjoy your babies because you blink and they aren't babies anymore!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Real money

Our kids are doing great at saving their money in order to buy something.

Kieran saved up and bought his own computer. He did all of the research and picked all the parts and assembled it at home with his dad.

All three boys have been saving for an XBOX 360 since Christmas. They just got it this week along with a few games and another controller and flash drive for extra memory.

They all still have money left.

We are trying to instill good money habits with our kids. We don't want them in debt like we are. We have learned our lesson about credit cards the hard way.  Jason and I weren't taught to save, we were taught to establish credit....

Kieran works with Jason and earns money and now has his own bank account. The other kids have saved money from Holidays and Birthdays so far.

We are providing the example of a good work ethic and to save and pay cash because then it is yours, you own it!

Kieran's computer is awesome and he did it all and now the boys finally have a new game system.

Monday, June 13, 2011

How do you Unschool?

There is a lot of information about unschooling  on the internet. Some great and some not so great. Two favorites of mine are Sandra Dodd and Joyce Fetteroll

Many people new to the concept just want to know HOW to do it. Where to begin? What do  we do if we don't do school.

My advice is to first deschool. It is imperative to rid yourself of the years of indoctrination. This can take time, hopefully not too long. While you are detoxing from the system allow your child the same courtesy. If they have been in school or homeschooled they need to to undo the damage of schooling.

Children learn through play if  you have young kids you can check out my article.

Unschooling is living and learning, it is natural. School is artificial and school is what you need to leave behind.

Be with your kids, be interesting, curious and inquisitive. Talk about everything, discuss current events or your favorite thing.

We unschool by living our lives. My kids wake up each day and choose what they want to do. They play games, watch tv, look at books, maps, draw, create, imagine, talk, ask, research, explore etc... Each day is new, we all have a loose routine but we take each day as it comes.

Learning is happening all of the time, it's inevitable.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

How do you know?

People ask homeschoolers/unschoolers questions like, "How do you know they are learning?"

That is right up there with *What about socialization* for me....

How do you know without testing or grading or curriculum?

How do you know?

Well I live with them for starters, pay attention to your kids and you will be amazed at what they know.

I do have an example.

My middle son reads articles online and then tells me about them. That is reading comprehension, right?

He reads, absorbs, and then reiterates in his own words.

Each day my kids learn so many new things and they explore ideas and concepts and discuss them.

Children absorb and make connections everyday, they are learning beings. I know that they know because they exhibit knowledge and understanding on a daily basis.

Testing, grades and curriculum are unnecessary tools in the game of real life learning.

Those are school tools and they don't measure true knowledge or understanding. They are artificial markers just as school is an artificial environment not conducive to real learning.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

The way of the future or the status quo?

I believe that the way of the future will be gotten by unschoolers, out of the box thinkers and entrepreneurs to name a few.

Public school and even homeschoolers following the traditional path are not the wave of the future, they are the status quo.

School is producing more and more cogs in society, just going around that hamster wheel, not inventing anything new or blazing a trail.

Peter Thiel awarded 20 people with $100,000 to start a business and skip college. I believe that these kind of people are what the future needs. We need real change and if we as a society keep staying on the traditional path and don't get out of that box, change isn't going to come.

Some schooled people do escape the box, I did and many of you reading here did, we managed to see through the bullshit and not get dumbed down.

I see homeschooled people going through the same traditional path even after opting out of the system.

I believe that unschoolers are going to be the change. I have seen many grown unschoolers emerging into the world lately. Great things can happen when non traditional ways are followed.

Blake Boles who was an unschooler just started Zero Tuition College
I think it is an awesome idea!

I hope my kids will be entrepreneurs and innovators creating change in this world.


My parenting convictions are rooted in trust, respect and partnership.

I have been building a foundation for 16 years. It takes time to establish trust and respect. I parent as a partner with my children. I do not believe in top down rules and arbitration.

I want the lines of communication to be open. My kids can tell me anything without fear of punishment or ridicule or shame. I do not believe in force or coercion, it undermines the child's autonomy.

I have always spoken to my kids like real people who deserve respect. I'm not perfect, I make mistakes, I apologize and do better in the next moment.

My kids are getting older and require a different level of parenting from me. It's so different when they are babies, toddlers and little people. I now have two teens and two coming up on those years quickly.

I expect that we can handle anything that comes up because of the foundation I have worked so hard to build.

As unschoolers, life learners we take everything as it comes. Each child and situation is different and warrants a different approach.

I do my best as a mother to listen to and respect my children's individuality. I never punish or shame or take anything away. I think it's wrong to act like that.

When a behavior or situation arises I want to get to the why. Acting out is always a symptom, but getting to the heart of the matter is more important than worrying about the behavior.

Talk, ask, listen, discuss, listen some more, connect and be where they are at.

They grow up so fast, I want their childhood to be pleasant and something they look back on with fondness.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Why? I just don't get it!

I honestly don't get why the majority of people send their kids to school.

It is an artificial environment set up based on age segregation. Kids are locked away for 9 or more months of the year then let out on break only to be shuffled away to something else.   Summer school, summer camp, vacation bible school etc....

Kids don't get much time to just be kids, relax, think, reflect, choose their own path....Every waking moment is scheduled so after 12 years of in the box indoctrination they graduate into the real world.

Many can't read well, articulate a thought or do real math... Why do people believe that school is where they go to get an education? Many parents think school is teaching their kids what they need to know and don't supplement their learning by real life application.   I know there are involved parents that send their kids to school and I don't know why they bother.

Who wants that kind of education anyway?

School is nothing more than government babysitting. I'm sorry for those that are neglected at home and school is also a free meal and a place to get away from home. Those instances are rare though, at least I hope they aren't the norm.

I just stand here in awe and watch people send their kids away each year for what I don't know...

Now it's graduation time or what I affectionately call * I survived indoctrination and all I got was this lousy piece of paper*

Until people wake up to the purpose of government education our society will keep spiraling downward into the depths of sheeplehood.

I leave you with this quote:

"School is the advertising agency that makes you believe you need society as it is."

Ivan Illich

My first little article