Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Spring 2013 - Carnival Time!

The Unschooling Blog Carnival is back with blog posts recommended by unschoolers everywhere. And WOW! We have a lot of great blogs for you to read - you're bound to be inspired!!  I'm happy to say our Grown Unschooler Blogs section was a hit and is growing! If you know of others, please put them in the comment section or email the links to me for next time. (

And our next big announcement....


Unschooling Pinterest Carnival!

If you go to the  Unschooling Blog Carnival's Pinterest page, you'll see that we've expanded a little bit.  I've always thought that Pinterest is a HUGE gift to unschoolers! My kids were grown before it ever made it onto the social networking scene. But to have a place where you could easily collect ideas and share them with your kids? Brilliant!! With that in mind, I'm going to start adding "Boards" to our area on a variety of topics. As questions or ideas come up on email lists and Facebook pages, don't be surprised if you see a Pinterest Board on the topic. I've just started this - in the middle of creating the carnival and putting on a wedding in real life - so it's in it's early stages. I wrote a little more about it here:  The Unschooling Pinterest Connection.  If you have ideas or suggestions, email me!

So...back to the first Unschooling Blog Carnival of 2013!  Hope you enjoy it!

Be sure to leave comments at the blog sites - or even just click "Like" at their site. That way they'll know you stopped by.

Happy Unschooling!


Unschooling Moms & Dads share...

Catherine Forest blogs at Catherine et les Fees.  She shares some of the unique experiences that are filling her children's days in Central America in her post This Traveling Unschooling Life of Ours.
They probably will not know what it feels like to wait for the summer holidays, for Spring break or for the Christmas vacations, because their life feels like a never-ending holiday... and I wouldn't want it any other way.
Ronnie Maier writes at The Blog of the Zombie Princess. She has created a Facebook page called My Unschooler is Interested In... She explains more about the concept with a blogpost of the same name, My Unschooler is Interested In...
People create posts about something their kids (or they - we're not age-ist!) are interested in, and other members put in ideas for learning more... In a little over five months, we have gathered 1250 idea-makers together.
Heather Boothe blogs at Today Was Amazing.  She shares a short blogpost with a big message in Looks Matter.
As I sat there drinking my tasty, yet disgusting looking smoothie this morning I thought about what it must of been like for Austin when I would tell him he had to eat his vegetables.  
Sue Patterson, blogs at Lifelong Learning: For us, it's a Life Full of Saturdays. Readers can follow the process of how her son went from hating writing to getting a degree in Journalism, and how Sue deschooled along the way in her post, Boys & Writing: Our Journey.
It was at that moment, I felt the shackles of school fall away. We weren't going to turn in writing, hoping to squeak by with her approval and a passing grade. We weren't going to turn in any writing at all! Michael looked at me and grinned. I picked up the pencil and snapped it in two. Done!
Flo Gascon shares a fabulous post at her blog, Flo Gascon.  Don't let the busy-ness of life keep you from noticing that  It's Not Just a Moment, It's All there Is.
Time was so quiet and so still and I could have spent forever in that place, just holding her head in my lap, cradling her youth. Being her mama. Being her mama. Her continued rest with me affirmed that she was feeling it, too.
Michelle Conaway, blogs at Living,  Learning, and Loving Life. She started to look at why she was sayng "no" so often to her child. She shares how she turned this around in Choosing to be a YES Mom!
Our kids can be our greatest teachers in life. The things that bring joy to them are the things we get the opportunity to say Yes to. Our kids can show us our own road blocks if we are willing to examine our fears.
Alex Polikowsky blogs at Holy Cow is Polykow. In her post, My Sweet Children, and What Happens When You Are Sweet To Them, Alex shares the ripple effect of thoughtful parenting.
The more sweetness I  bring into my home by my tone of voice and the way I treat my kids and husband, the sweeter our lives are. 
Frank Maier blogs at singularity and this time, feels his post this time might be a bit harsh. I disagree. It's all about getting our priorities straight. You'll have to read the entire post to see if any of it applies to you or others you know in [Something] Radical Unschooler.
You are an LOA believer (or libertarian or vegan or videogame hater) who talks about unschooling and folds it into your LOA (or whatever) when it’s convenient and when it fits your weltanschauung; but radical unschooling is not a genuine part of your core weltanschauung. It’s an add-on.
Shannon Loucks blogs at Breaking Daylight. She reminds us that  Love Without Conditions can be the one sure thing we can offer our children in a world that can sometimes seem chaotic and frightening.
When my child knows my wide open and loving arms are always here to catch them, they are more willing to boldly take on life. To head out and take chances, make big messy mistakes and when necessary retreat in to the comfort of us, their family, to heal and strengthen in order to stretch out again. 
Linda Wyatt blogs at Unschooling Me. In her post, I Wish My Son Would Still Do That, she shares how unschooling has strengthened her family bonds.
Popular cultural assumptions about teens include that they don't want to be with their parents, especially not in public, and especially wouldn't want to be seen expressing any sort of affection.  I guess most teens don't sit on their Mom's lap where other people can see them?
Laura Grace Weldon shares a variety of ways parents can encourage or interfere with a child's internal motivation to learn in her blogpost Respecting a Child's Urge to Discover.
Conventional thinking tells us that children benefit from the newest educational toys and electronics, lessons, coached sports, and other adult-designed, adult-led endeavors. Well-intentioned parents work hard to provide their children with these advantages. They do this because they believe that learning flows from instruction. By that logic, the more avenues of adult-directed learning, the more their children will benefit. But learning has much more to do with curiosity, exploration, problem-solving, and innovation.
Sara Schmidt blogs at the Education Job Market. In her post, Unschooling Really Works, she describes how her child is pursuing her passions and learning independently.
The system, however, is designed to make us average. We need to change our entire culture. I think any child given the time to explore his or her own interests like this with so much passion and encouragement could be exceptional—and imagine where we could be if we allowed all of our children to be exceptional.
Nicole blogs at Verde Mama. She examines the roots of anger and how it affects the dynamics in her family in her post, Parenting, A Joyful Partnership.  
I wonder why anger towards children and control of them seems to be held in such a high esteem. While, friendliness, joyful partnering, kindness and respect, these parental traits are often ridiculed. The thinking is, children will become spoiled, parents will get walked all over, in short, nothing less than total chaos will ensue. This has been so far from my experience.
Sasha Zaring blogs at One Rich Mother. With two very different daughters, she shares one of their paths in A Tale of Two Educations: The Motivated Learner.
It was a hard lesson for me, but one well learned, that education is so much more than just how much knowledge you can acquire.  It is just as important, no, more important to have your child stop and smell the flowers than to teach them how to diagram one.
Kelly Auriemmo blogs at Teacher Goes AWOL. In her post, Multi-Age, Multi-Sensory, What the ?!?! she addresses what is sometimes seen as one of the biggest challenges to learning at home.
School focuses on visual and auditory learning and expects all kids to conform. By offering learning through multiple modalities, you can use each child's strength to help them overcome their weaknesses.
Mani Sheriar blogs at Sharing Along the Way. When asked about unschooling through the high school years, she writes about some of the questions and her responses in, What about Advanced Algebra or Chemistry? Self-Motivation is the Key. 
What about all the other things that a young person might miss while slaving away at higher math and science? All the things they won’t have time for – dance lessons, learning to fix a car, writing a novel, learning to code, traveling, painting, carpentry – whatever their passions are! Are these not valuable? These things that, by the very nature of the fact that the child WANTS to do them, are more likely to actually factor into their future endeavors? 
Teresa Honey Youngblood shares about her family at her blog, The Honey House Homeschool. Teresa shares her struggles about her son's first day one an organized sports team in, First Day of Baseball.
I have heard horror stories all year of Fayetteville baseball parents, and I may have heeded a bit too closely to the particularly nasty ones. I was playing out hypothetical scenarios where tucked-shirt, crew-cut, angry-faced dads yelled at my gleeful, silly, wooly-headed boy. 
Christeil Gota blogs at Play, Rest, Repeat. In her post, When you Are Homeschooling and Your Kids Are Better Than You at Something, she examines how unschooled children are able to be successful.
This is where my kids succeed, and I struggle.  Children naturally live in the moment.  They are less concerned with steps or completion and put themselves completely in the process.  This is true whether they are learning something new, repeating a favorite technique or messing one up.  
Susan May blogs at Together Walking. She writes about making An Attempt at Capturing the Magic that is Unschooling.
every time one of my children does something for the first time, completely of their own volition, my heart leaps and then pumps joy to every cell in my body. Each time this happens the truth: that children will learn all they need to, in their own time - becomes etched a little deeper in my bones. And this is where the magic lies - not so much in the "firstness" of each new skill or idea, but in the fact that they completely own these moments. 
David has just started blogging at rothklee: Design for Life. In his post, Food for Thought, he shares how he is recognizing learning happening in his children, but is still trying to get a firmer grasp on the idea of unschooling.
I’m still not sure how to describe what I do to ‘educate’ my children, other than to say that I help them learn and then watch what happens. 

 Unschoolers Around the World
Miranda Hughes blogs from her rural log cabin in BC, Canada, at Nurturing through Love. She shares how easy it is to learn and dwell In Between Subjects.
This fall has been a case in point for Fiona. She's been learning about... how does one describe it when it isn't a traditional subject area? ... learning about where math, art, and nature overlap.
Hema Bharadwaj, from India, blogs at The Bharadwaj Shine. She shares a peaceful post about an evening with her children in Questions.
So yeah... Questions.  They abound.  Sometimes the answers are easy, sometimes we google, sometimes we just have to trust that we do not know the answer but one exists somewhere.

 Grown Unschoolers 
(and one younger unschooler too!) 
I'm SO thrilled to share our expanding Grown Unschooler blogs!  Twice as many as last time and I'd love to see even more.  Do you know grown unschoolers who are blogging and sharing some of their thoughts? Send me the links!

Cameron Lovejoy blogs at One Wandering Poet.  I'm so excited to share with you all that his book, Mud Foot: Highway Prose and Poetry, is complete and has been published! Find out more about it from his blogpost The Release of "Mud Foot".
After months of traveling, writing, rewriting, editing, reading, rereading, and editing even more, I've finally completed my first polished collection of work.
Lindsey Muscato started a new blog, The No-School Kids: A Homeschool Retrospective, examining notes from her mother, Cathy Earle's, early days of homeschooling. She compares those thoughts to her own, as she reaches parenting age  and opens with The First Pages.
My sisters and I are our mother's life's work - this is a thought that hit me with some impact when I first articulated it. She is a fiercely capable, opinionated and intelligent woman - who grew up in the height of the women's liberation movement of the 60's and 70's - but she made the decision to quit her job, be a stay at home mom, and homeschool thee kids for 20 years... When she decided to journey into homeschooling in the 1980's, it was anything but mainstream. It was map-less.
Roya Dedeaux has a blog at her Counseling: Confidence, Creativity, and Connection website. She has shared a fabulous Natural Learning Handout that she and her mom, Pam Sorooshian, used at a local event.
The idea is that - you have thngs you will want to your children to learn, but you do not need school to be involved. Think creatively about other ways they may learn these things - and be open-minded about the timeline of WHEN they might learn them.
Michael Patterson is still blogging from his Peace Corps assignment in Nicaragua, at In the Nica Time. You can read about volcanos, and monkeys, and living in a rainforest there. But here's a look at him participating in a local festival in Ride On, Gringo!
The Hipicas are a real phenomenon. All classes of society come together for the event as complete equals. You'll see fancy dressed aristocrats riding horses worth more money thn I've made, right alongside poor farmers on their mules. But no matter. They toast their Toñas with each other and raise their cans to the patroness of La Paz all the same.
Quinn Trainor primarily writes poetry at her blog, sunlight and silence. But here, in A Series of Journal Entries, we feel the twists and turns of a poet's mind.
My life is a project half finished. One that you always come back to but do not know what the next step should be. My ambivalence consumes me on a day to day basis. How does one so sure of herself manage to get so lost? My compassion, sanity and doubts, all rolled up into one and tied so delicately...
Roxana Sorooshian has just started blogging at Upstaged. If you have a child interested in theatre, you'll love her witty yet helpful post, 5 Songs to Avoid in Auditions: the Teen Girl Belting Edition.
Look. I get it. Those dramatic mezzoland ballads make you feel powerful and significant. The lyrics are so generic, you can imagine any story you feel like acting onto them. The key changes generate a false sense of excitement. I GET IT.
Brenna McBroom shares pictures of her fabulous pottery and writes at her blog, Pottery and Pastry: The Blog of Brenna McBroom. She shares details about what life has been like and what she's learned in 10 Things I Learned During My First Year of Self-Employment.
I’ve been self-employed making and selling pottery for a full year. That was my goal when I moved to Asheville- to make a living by being a potter. But I honestly didn’t think it would happen so quickly. 
There is no typical day for an unschooler, because everyday is based on what we want to do that day. My family is extremely spontaneous, aside from all of the regular groups, band practices, activities and events in the community that I have chosen to put into my schedule. Every day is  different. 
Ethan Wolfe, an eleven year old unschooling blogger, shares a little bit about volunteering at the Experimental Aircraft Association's event in his post, Volunteering at the EAA. Follow him at his blog, Ethan Wolfe's World.
This summer I will have the chance to fly in an airplane for the first time through the EAA's Young Eagles Program. The program lets kids like me and you have the chance to go flying in an airplane for free. How cool is that?

Lastly... Just a Reminder 


  1. Wow! Big carival, lots of stuff to think about. Cool!

  2. I am so happy to see that there is an unschooler's blog carnival. I'm subscribing so that I won 't miss it from now on.

  3. I know! We grew! Hope you have fun reading, Frank. Thanks for all your support!

    sgaissert - be sure to scroll back - at least to the December issue. And maybe the first one in February of 2012. Those were my two favorites of last year. Although the one about Animals and the one about Moms were good too! :)