Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Leaving the world wide open

I was just reading the list over at Always Learning, and there was a discussion about TV-watching that I just loved reading, not just because it espouses the value of TV, but because the voices of the unschooling moms are so full of respect, love, and connection with their families. I often visit this list to read the voices of Sandra Dodd, Pam Sorooshian, Joyce Fetterol, and others, because they inspire me and remind me about why we have chosen to unschool our kids. And they help me get better at it.
I am into my fifth year of unschooling, and I am still learning to consistently create and foster an environment for my boys that is free and full. I get anxious when I discover certain things they don't know; when gaps are revealed through conversation, I sometimes still, want to whip everybody into shape with some structure and lessons. However, I have gotten to a point where I can silently acknowledge that anxious feeling in myself, and not punish them for my insecurity. It is mine, and when I impose it on them, I end up damaging our trust and our flow of natural learning.
Just yesterday, we were sitting around the table for lunch and I was reading questions to them from a deck of quiz cards one of them got for a birthday. They were all science-based questions and one of them asked what the center of a hurricane was called. My youngest answered "The eye, the eye!! I remember from Tweety and Sylvester!!" Other answers came forth, and when asked how they knew, I was struck by the wide variety of sources for their answers. Visits with grandparents, trips to museums, conversations with friends, cooking, camping, stories, and yes...TV and video games...were all cited. There were things they didn't know, but there was no shame in their not knowing. Just an inquisitiveness and a sense of "Huh. I didn't know that."I still have to get a grip on myself sometimes, and remove my ego from their learning. I have come to appreciate not only their knowledge, but their freedom to not know; their ability to see information and connections everywhere, and to take in what interests them. They get to wonder about things and to explore many paths. The best part is that I get to be there too, and I am grateful for that.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday Fill-In


1. Please feel free to discuss your differing ideas. I don't need people to always agree with me .
2. When I am near one of my sons' heads I can't help sniffing it occasionally.
3. My favorite thing to cook is a chicken pasta dish, loaded with veggies.
4. Joy with my kids is something I can't get enough of.
5. That's the thing I love most about November; the good excuse to stay in sweats and slippers all day due to the weather.
6. Stepping on a scale after weeks of exercising always makes me think to myself, what the heck?
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to going out to listen to music, tomorrow my plans include puttering in the house and having friends over and Sunday, I want to go for a long walk!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

More Politics: Prop 8

I ran across this video today, and was quite moved. While feeling great gladness about the outcome of the Presidential election, I am stymied by the California vote on Prop 8. Living in Massachusetts, I can tell you that the legal right for gay people to marry has not resulted in the apocalypse of marriage in New England. In fact, it has not changed ANYTHING!!! Except...that more unrelated people who are in love and want to enjoy the legal benefits of marriage may do so. Simple. If any of my boys are gay, I am glad that they are from a state that recognizes their civil right to marry. I hope that in the future, their choices are not limited by state lines.

Thank you for this, Keith Olbermann. If only more of TV had this to offer...from either side, for that matter.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Fever and a Friday fill-in

My youngest son experienced febrile seizures last night which is something I had never experienced before, and something I'd rather never see again. Febrile seizures happen when their is a sudden spike of a fever, and while frightening to witness, they are considered fairly harmless. My boy had been running a low-grade fever and experiencing headaches for a couple of days, but the fever really peaked last night to 103. Twitching, eye-rolling, moaning....scary.

Today...normal. Nothing. He wanted to go to the park and play. He's eaten and run around, talked with friends. Little kids' bodies are amazing.

And now for my Friday Fill-In:

1. My blueprint for success includes knowing yourself and what you love and taking it from there.
2. A Snickers Bar offered graciously from my son from his bottomless trick-or-treat bag was the last candy I ate.
3. The best facial moisturizer I've ever used is coconut oil.
4. Electing the new leader of the free world and knowing he's the right guy can be good therapy.
5. I'd like to tell you about how I lost twenty pounds...but I haven't...yet (see#2).
6. Being a decent and attentive listener is my strongest characteristic.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to sleeping, tomorrow my plans include going to a double-dutch demo and going to the Y (see#5) and Sunday, I want to drink coffee, play with my family, and maybe visit a friend!

Have you???

I lifted this from Debra over at From Skilled Hands.

Bold the things you’ve done and will admit to.

1. Started your own blog (obviously)
2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity

7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis

10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Run a Marathon (chuckle chuckle)
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run (well, maybe in kickball)

32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant

44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance

47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Gotten flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car(pickup truck actually)
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life(heimliched my mom)
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous(Larry Bird)
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby (three!)

95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee


Methinks I need to travel more.

How about you?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


It's time to rejoice and shed tears of relief. The man who should be President has been elected and both the nation and the world will be a better place for it. Tell your children history has been made. Save the front page of your newspaper. Skip down the street and laugh with joy because a genuine force for peace and justice will soon be entering the White House. I have never been so proud to be an American as I am today. This is what we are all about. This is what was meant to be.
Hello, President-Elect Obama!!!! I hope you and your family enjoy picking out that new puppy!
I also hope that in eight years we also get to vote for her:

Well done, Michelle!!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

It's Time!!

Monday, November 03, 2008

The Edge of An Era

He embodies what is best in our country. He speaks...and I believe. In him and in us. I am so excited to vote for him tomorrow. Wishing everyone a fulfilling election day.