Thursday, April 17, 2008


The folks over at LifeLearning have named this blog (mine...this one....the one that I one of the top 25 sites for homeschoolers! Super cool! Thanks guys.

Check out the list. It's full of good stuff.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Plug for "Carnival of Family Life"

I've got a post featured at this week's "Carnival of Family Life". It's one I wrote a few weeks ago for the LWoS Community Blog called "Taking Off the Training Wheels." They've credited Marjorie with the byline in the carnival post, but don't be fooled, it's really mine. Check it out.

I'd write more, but we're on vacation in San Francisco right now. Too busy riding street cars, touring Alcatraz, and going to Giants' baseball games. Loads of material, little time to sit at the computer. More later.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Together and Apart

Yesterday, after our Unschooler's Park Day, Janey opted not to join us for the rest of the afternoon. She's nearly 12 and perfectly capable of getting herself home on the bus and being on her own for a few hours. This works well lately, as her desires shift from being with the rest of the family and wanting and needing time alone. But she struggles with these needs. She wants to be alone, but not by herself.

She made the decision today to be on her own without too much deliberation. While we rode off in one direction from the park, she was negotiating a ride home with a friend. By the time we got home, she'd been on her own for two and a half hours. Apparently, she got bored. When I opened the gate to the backyard, I almost fell over. She had cleaned up!!!! Without being asked. Toys and roller blades and tennis rackets were neatly put away. The walkway was swept. The plants were watered. The bunny rabbit had fresh food and water. It looked so great. She was beaming. Now if only she could get that excited about cleaning her room.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Su nombre es Janey

My daughter Janey leaves for Ecuador in 8 days. She's 11 and a half. She's already used her passport once this year. Chances are good she'll use it once more after this trip. I keep reminding her, she's a very fortunate kid.

My sister lives in Mindo, Ecuador (commonly referred to by the rest of our family as
paradise) and my parents are taking Janey with them for 10 days. She is so excited, she can hardly stand it. She doesn't remember much from the last time we were there, almost 7 years ago. For weeks, leading up until now, Janey had been pretty low key about the whole thing. I brought home Spanish language tapes and books from the library. We'll learn together! I declared. It will be fun! Janey rolled her eyes. Last night at dinner, she got a little nervous.

The questions started coming at dinner: Will anyone besides our family speak English? Are the bus drivers from Ecuador? What kind of cars do they drive there? Will I need my down vest? By the time the table was cleared and the dishes were done, Macy had pulled out her Spanish folder from a class she took a year ago. The girls were busy reciting colors and numbers. "Do you think I'll need farm animals, Mom?" Janey hollered from the table.

A few weeks ago, I was sure my Spanish language tapes were the answer to all her fears. Not so much. Janey has her own ideas. She'll go to South America and have a fantastic time. She won't be fluent, but she will soak up some language and culture. We're planning to spend two months there this fall, so I'm going to keep up with those tapes. Years ago, I would have insisted she listen (and learn for goodness sakes!) so she could be prepared. I've learned in this life without school that unschooled kids do it differently. Janey chooses how and when she learns. I just get to watch.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Note to Self

Last night we decided to walk to a friend's birthday party. It had been a very full, busy day, and we were tired, but decided to go anyway.

There was really delicious cake and champagne and friends we hadn't seen in quite a while, so it well worth it, but by 10pm, we were cooked. The kids groaned a bit when I said it was time to go, but we bundled up and headed out into the dark, misty night.

As we walked home, we talked about all kinds of things. Important things, mostly. Things that only come up when it is dark and quiet out. Things like: the birth of the planet, other life forms, aliens, evolution, the size of the universe. Dr. Seuss' character Horton the elephant came up as well. A few stars peeked out from under the clouds.

"What if we really are just a speck, Mom?" Charley wondered as he craned his neck and looked way up into the inky blackness. "We may not even know how small we really are."

Note to self:

1. Always say yes to chocolate cake and champagne when it is within walking distance.
2. Always take the long way home so that the good stuff has time to come up.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Big News!

Big News, everyone!

I've decided that I've got it all wrong. After lots of soul searching, I've decided that it's time to send my kids to school. All this focus on child-led learning and family-time first is really cutting into my shopping and spa routine. I've finally got it all figured out: I'm sending them all to boarding school on the East Coast so that I can devote more time to my........

April Fool's.....just kidding. Actually the
real big news is that I have a new post up at the Life Without School Community Blog. It's called Taking off the Training Wheels. Hope you like it. Check it out.