• Homeschooling Styles

    Published on 07-07-2014 12:23 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Homeschooling Styles,
    3. General Homeschooling,
    4. Secular Homeschooling,
    5. Curriculum

    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. ...
    Published on 05-28-2014 04:48 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Homeschooling Styles,
    3. General Homeschooling

    We're happy to be able to finish up our month of Unschooling with this great blog post reprint from Beatrice Ekwa Ekoko. You can find more wonderful posts from Beatrice on her blog ! Thank you, Beatrice, for allowing us to share this at SHS!

    Beatrice Ekwa Ekoko is a freelance writer and blogger at Natural Born Learners. She also works as a project co-ordinator at a local environmental organization.

    Beatrice has recently published Natural Born Learners:Unschooling and Autonomy in Education in partnership with Dr. Carlo Ricci (Nipissing University).
    She lives in Hamilton, Ontario with her husband and three teens who were all unschooled for a time.

    Visit her website to see other writing at bekoko.ca. Read her blog her Natural Born Learners. Follow her at https://www.facebook.com/RadioFreeSchool
    or https://twitter.com/RadioFreeSchool

    10 Unschooling Mistakes You Want to Avoid


    I believe that the root of all evil is comparison. When you find yourself about to do the "is my child keeping up?" or the "her child is better at piano then mine, and they're the same age," just stop. Don't do it.
    When you look at another unschooling mum and back at yourself and feel that you fall short, don't go there. Rather, allow her to inspire you; don't feel down.

    2.Believing that everyone should agree with you.

    This is the attitude of any newbie. I remember how militant I was when I first became a vegetarian (I no longer am-a vegetarian). I couldn't tolerate people who weren't. I must have been an insufferable 'know it all.' I know I certainly annoyed people.

    3. Getting offended/feeling hurt when people don't (agree with you).

    The world owes you nothing. If someone tosses you a dubious look or expresses doubt in what you are doing-deal with it in a mature way. Learn not to take yourself so seriously. Laugh. ...
    Published on 05-22-2014 05:07 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Homeschooling Styles,
    3. General Homeschooling

    We're excited to share ANOTHER great blog post reprint from Karen Mayo-Shanahan. Thank you, Karen, for allowing us to share this at SHS!

    In case you missed her bio the first time, Karen Mayo-Shanahan learns incredible things every day as her three children (13, 11 and 9) share what they've discovered about what they are interested in from Shakespeare to mantis shrimp to Dr. Who. She would call what they do homeschooling, but that implies they are home for more than the briefest moments in between adventures. You can read more about her unschooling adventures via her blog, Eclectic Parent.

    Things to Do

    Since I recently did a post on People and Places, I decided I’d ramble on about things to do too. It’s that time again. Activity picking time. It always stresses me out. Each new season brings hair pulling. We live in a huge metropolitan area. We are so lucky to have so many, many…many options. The downside of course is having many, many, many options. Do you want to take a sport: rowing, soccer, swimming, diving, fencing, tumbling, martial arts – what kind? Though our city parks and rec, through any of the cities touching us, at a private business, a camp? Do you want to take some art: theater, pottery, movie making, drawing, jewelry design? Do you want a technology class: programming, video game design, app design? Parks and rec, community college classes for kids, business?

    And then each entity has it’s own time to put it’s schedule up and different times to register. So oldest wants to continue rowing year round (we’ll see what he thinks of leaving the house at 6:30, when he likes to get up at noon). Cool. Rowing is fun and great for you. I *know* he wants to do that. Oh, but the city that offers that isn’t posting it’s schedule until after the city he’s doing volunteer lifeguarding through opens its classes for registration. He’s already signed up for volunteer lifeguarding, but since he’ll be at a pool already, I figured we’d do any swimming and flowrider classes then. But how do I sign up for those – which day, what time – when I don’t know when rowing is? And classes get filled up?

    I keep trying to remember an article I read called Burden…or Blessing? that talked about adjusting our attitude about “I have to” into “I get to.” Turning “I have to go to work” into “yay, I have a job,” or “I have to go to the grocery store” into “I can get to the grocery store and have the money to buy food to feed myself or my family.” I could also find multiple articles about how children don’t need more organized lessons, but need time to play and explore and work their way out of bored. But the thing is, those are mainly written from the perspective of children that spend all day in school and then are being put into classes in the evenings and weekends – their only free time. Mine, however, spend their days playing, exploring and working their way out of bored. I have many friends who are so at one with themselves and the universe that they’ve passed ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade’ – which would require also having sugar – and go to ‘when life gives you lemons, do a cleanse; they’re good for you.’
    Published on 05-21-2014 08:21 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Secular Homeschooling,
    3. Homeschooling Styles,
    4. In Other Words

    We're honored to be able to reprint this post from unschooler and author Pam Laricchia. Pam is the author of the unschooling books Free to Learn and Free to Live. We'll be hosting a book giveaway from Pam starting on Thursday, May 22, AND we'll be doing a live Google Hangout with her on Monday, May 26! Stay tuned for updates about these exciting promotions here on the site and on our social networks.

    I love the variety of words that express the concept of being mindful: observant, aware, attentive, conscientious, careful, cognizant, considerate, present, respectful, thoughtful, sensible.

    Living mindfully is another skill that I picked up as I played with creating a solid unschooling environment in our home. Being mindful walks hand-in-hand with unschooling because they both call us to be observant and make conscious choices, see how they play out, and incorporate those experiences into our lives moving forward. It’s how we learn, regardless of age—from learning to walk to figuring out games to discerning our sleep patterns ...
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