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    by Published on 07-18-2014 11:23 AM

    Well, we are mid-Summer. How did that happen already? I swear I was just waiting for it and poof....

    Many of us are done with school for at least part of the Summer, or are taking a little break!
    My boys finished late June and are done until the 2nd week in August. Mainly because during that time they headed to their grandparents for the Summer visit and our family vacation. So their 7 weeks break turns into 4 weeks really because the rest is planned and busy!

    They are older and while I could send them to a camp, it is not really their thing. They love TO camp but not attend a Summer camp. Plus many of the camps in our area are day camps and while I am a homeschooling Mama, I am also a working Mama and it is not feasible to drag all the childcare kiddos around while trying to shuttle my boys daily.

    But, I attended camp as a kid! I think it was mainly to give my parents a break plus I have some fond memories of it. I was and still am, horse crazy! I went to Horse Camp and since I didn't have a horse of my own, this was the bomb!

    So, do your kids attend a Summer camp? Your choice or theirs? What camp and do they like it?
    Click here to tell us! ...
    Published on 07-07-2014 01:23 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Curriculum,
    3. Secular Homeschooling,
    4. Homeschooling Styles,
    5. General Homeschooling

    This is another great blog reprint from unschooling blogger, Idzie Desmarais. Idzie has graciously allowed us to reprint her blog post from her blog, I'm Unschooled. Yes, I can write! Thank you Idzie!

    Idzie Desmarais is a (grown) unschooler, feminist, green anarchist, (confusedly) queer, pagan(ish) woman who makes her home in the Montreal area. She spends her time reading fantasy novels, writing, cooking up lots of tasty food in the kitchen, and dreaming of the homesteading intentional community she wants to help found someday.

    The Value in Writing for an Audience, Not a Grade

    After not reading any non-fiction books in quite a while, I picked up Better Than College by Blake Boles this afternoon and started reading. Instantly, something sparked a blog post idea. Blake writes:
    Instead of working on homework, papers, and presentations destined to be seen once and tossed into a trashcan, self-directed learners turn much of their hard work into useful products for other people.
    I don't know about "products," per se, but definitely something useful and appreciated.

    Reading that, I had a thought that somehow had never occurred to me before. Most young people view non-fiction writing as something primarily done to get good grades, something that is only useful insofar as it pleases a teacher or professor and thus leads to good marks.

    I've never written a five paragraph essay. Count paragraphs, you say? Construct an essay based on a rigid outline? Why would I do that? I've worked within word or space or time constraints numerous times, writing articles for magazines or talks for conferences. But I've never written an essay expected to adhere so closely to a specific outline, nor have I ever written something designed to please just one specific person. ...
    by Published on 07-06-2014 01:28 AM

    Ok, being that this week is 4th of July... this is a perfect question!!

    Fireworks. Do you do them? Do you hate them? Pets hate them? Kids hate them or have sensory issues with them? LOVE them?

    Our house is all over the place. I am lucky in that my pets are not affected by it. My boys LOVE it, as does hubby. The only one that is affected is ME. I HATE fireworks season. I know as soon as those tents go up around town that I should pack my bags and head out to somewhere FAR away!
    The sound just makes my head go nuts!
    Now, I buy my boys a package that they do with their Dad. And I stand out and take pictures. They know I hate it but I am doing it for my kids. After that, they head off to the park by our house to watch the crazy people and all their fireworks. It is a big neighborhood event! ME, I hang inside and watch a movie LOUDLY.
    4th of July on a Friday means LONG hours for fireworks. They continued in our neighborhood until after 1am this morning. UGH!
    But, you show me fireworks from far away.... I think they are beautiful. All show and no sound.

    I have always been this way. I remember being taken to Disneyland by my Aunt and Uncle at 4 and our motel happened to be right by a fireworks show of some sort. I remember sitting on the bed, covering my ears and screaming for us to leave. We did. We changed motels.

    So, while I hate them..... I want my boys to have whatever experience they want. If they love them, we get them and we go watch them. Mom deals. If they had issues with them, then we would work around that too.
    How does it go in your house for 4th of July?
    Click here to tell us?! ...
    Published on 07-04-2014 01:20 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Secular Homeschooling,
    3. General Homeschooling

    You're invited to participate in the second annual Homeschool+ Conference! This free, online event will be held from 10am - 5pm US-Eastern Time on August 7th + 8th, 2014, featuring keynote speakers and crowdsourced presentations by your peers. Keynote speakers will include Leslie Barson, Blake Boles, Monica Cochran, Pat Farenga, Matt Hern, Jamie McMillin, and Carlo Ricci.

    Public discussions on education have been increasingly more accepting of the variety of learning opportunities for students, and also of the potential for valuable dialogue on practices that arise from non-traditional learning environments. While the Homeschool+ Conference is geared toward those participating in or wanting to learn more about homeschooling, unschooling, free schools, democratic schools, and
    other forms of alternative education, our hope is that this conference will also be valuable for traditional educators looking to expand their scope and understanding of teaching and learning practices.

    The conference is based on a peer-learning model developed over the last several years which invites high levels of interaction and participation. We hope to offer a variety of perspectives on alternative learning, and encourage you to present and share your experiences, practices, and resources with each other. First-time presenters: you are not only welcome to submit proposals--you are encouraged to do so! ...

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