Category Archive for "Organic Learning"

His first day!!

4 Weeks In: The Public School Update

When I was pregnant with Zeb I had several Wise Women approach me…you know the kind that just seem to have a spark of knowing something? Women from my mom’s church, my mom’s best friend on her death bed, strangers in the grocery store…they would tell me I was having a boy, they would say there was something this child was in this world to do, they would tell me that he was here to make a difference. And each time they would talk I’d have this image of a man, a leader, but without details of what that would mean or what he might be doing. Earlier this year Zeb excitedly came to me with, “Mom, I finally know what I want to do when I grow up.” Because you know, this was something that had been weighing heavily on him. When I asked what that is, he replied:…

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8 years unschooled, first day of high school

8 Years Unschooling to the First Day of Public High School

This is a really overdue blog post. The whole transition of unschooler-to-public-schooler actually started almost 2 years ago. So excuse me while I quite possibly make this the longest blog post I’ve ever written (or in case it takes you two years to read it). Because I’m sure many of you can understand, there’s a lot that goes into a story like this. Let me start by saying that although the principles and philosophies of unschooling are very much at the heart of our entire lifestyle, we dropped the unschooling label a long time ago. And for a lot of reasons, but mostly because I really started to disconnect with parts of the unschooling community and the lack of respect it ironically showed. It just stopped resonating as a term we needed to use, and even more so as a community we felt we belonged to. I think this is…

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Art Journaling Addiction: Finding Truth Beneath My Fingernails

I don’t know why it’s taking me so long to blog about this, except maybe that I’m still making sense of it myself. Making sense of how I could miss something I’ve never experienced. Making sense of how it brings tears to my eyes to think of myself doing it, to recognize it in myself, to finally have given myself “permission to art”. Making sense of how it’s drawing me closer to a dead father, a man whose artistic ability I never really knew while he was alive. Making sense of how it’s bringing words – my ingrained and ever-ready art – to life with colors and lines and images. There are so many of you out there to whom art or art journaling is already a part of your life. And so many more of you who ache for it in the way I ached for it, hungry for…

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5 Cool New Places You Can Find Me {Like Problogger!}

I’ve been getting around a little lately, collaborating with some new peeps and having some fun with it. I felt like I was so swamped with the OP e-course I just didn’t have a chance to network and collaborate with anyone for a good chunk of the year. Or I haven’t had a chance to share them. Boo. This afternoon the rad Christie Inge joined us on the Organic Tribe tele-circle to talk about what she does best: intuitive eating, honoring your body, and making peace with food {she was even rad enough to send some extra goodies too}, and reminding me again how much I love her, her work, her voice. If you haven’t checked her out, please do. I think you’ll love her. {If you’re part of the Tribe/Sisterhood, grab the recording from your downloads!} Here’s where I’ve been myself lately: Problogger: 6 Practices to Overcome Your Fears…

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Six (Wide Sky) Days Together

In case you didn’t see from my Instagram stream, we spent 6 entire days at the Wide Sky Days conference in San Diego. (WSD is an unschooling conference: a long weekend to gather with other “crazy unschoolers” and play, laugh, connect, ask, answer, realign, inspire, support, and laugh with one another.) What you probably noticed from said Instagram stream is an almost total lack of photos including children. Zeb spent most of his time in the game room and prefers not to have his picture taken much anyway, but I did manage to nab one photo of him: We got to see him find his own comfort level with meeting new people and balance it with plenty of quiet time to himself. (Yes, he’s still in his Caveman phase, and it’s so wonderful to be around other teens and adults who have “been there, done that” and meet him where…

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Meet Peter Gray, PhD: Psychologist AND Organic Parenting Contributor! Eeeeee!

The nerd in me (okay, that IS me) pretty much fell in love with Peter Gray when I found his articles on Psychology Today a few years back. He’s an evolutionary developmental psychologist and research professor of psychology at Boston College with an interest in alternative approaches to education with an emphasis on autonomous play. (Human nature + asking good questions + alternative anything + autonomy + play? You can see my fascination.) And then my heart really went all pitter-patter when he replied to my invitation to join the Organic Parenting e-course with “How could I refuse!” ♥ I’d like to introduce him in two different ways: By sharing snips from our interview, which comes as part of the e-course, and By sharing some of my favorite articles of his so you can get to know his message. Let’s start with my favorite articles: How To Advise and Help…

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Born a Human Being, Not a Chair

I just want him to stay with me until I can be sure he won’t turn into Norman Nothing. I want to be sure he’ll know when he’s chickening out on himself. I want him to get to know exactly the special thing he is or else he won’t notice it when it starts to go. I want him to stay awake and know who the phonies are, I want him to know how to holler and put up an argument, I want a little guts to show before I can let him go. I want to be sure he sees all the wild possibilities. I want him to know it’s worth all the trouble just to give the world a little goosing when you get the chance. And I want him to know the subtle, sneaky, important reason why he was born a human being and not a chair….

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End Of Summer Reflections

This weekend at the RV campground was packed full of Labor Day campers and kids enjoying their three day weekend. As Justin and I would walk the dog we would marvel at the noise and excitement where complete stillness had been. There were outdoor TVs for football games, four-wheeling through “our” blackberry trails and oh, the drunken karaoke. Nothing says “Sweet dreams and goodnight” like hearing the last chorus of Daydream Believer sung 17 times in a row. What surprised us the most was how much work their vacation looked to be. More setup and teardown than we allow ourselves for an entire week at one spot! LOL Zeb has had a blast this weekend too. He made two great friends here, one a little older and one a little younger and for three straight days they ran around together, playing Nerf wars and games, then for three straight nights…

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Why You SHOULD Focus On Being Perfect (And It’s Not What You Think)

Ah, perfect. That word is a hot one. Especially for us women. Most of us strive so hard to be perfect: the perfect mother, perfect partner, the perfect person with a perfect purpose. We try to create the perfect home and the perfect world with perfect hair and perfect kids. And then we hear the messages that perfection is a myth, that it can’t be obtained and that striving for it is a maddening and pointless attempt to be something we’ll never be. After all no one is perfect, right? This is where I get all Big and Philosophical on you… Both are wrong. Zoom out with me – way out – and take in the Big Picture of your life, your journey of self-discovery and growth, your contribution to and purpose in the world. The entire purpose of your life is to learn, to grow, to experience this human…

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Our 4th Unschooling Anniversary (And Growth)

I love unschooling. I know that probably goes without saying, but it’s good for me to be reminded sometimes. Yesterday was our fourth unschooling anniversary. Four years ago we made one choice that changed our world. And today I’m reminded just how phenomenal and empowering a choice it was. See, I don’t love unschooling because of its “results.” I love unschooling because of what it gives us: freedom, space to heal and the courage to live passionately. Four years ago, I stood before a child that was angry and sad. I stood before him with questions about how to help him and how to ignite the interests he once had. I was worried that he no longer loved to read or wanted to play with numbers or patterns. Our life was anxious and nervous and uncertain. In school he felt a lot of pressure to perform, took to heart anything…

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