Sunday, August 11, 2013

Summertime, 2013

Summers hold such happy memories for those of us who went to school. Freedom! Playtime! Hanging out!  And that's just the start of it... here are a few more gems that summers hold:

  • staying out late playing with neighborhood kids
  • spending time learning to make fun foods
  • late night family movies
  • day trips to local city attractions
  • camping trips
  • sleeping under the stars
  • exploring nearby nature centers
  • cross-country road trips
  • reading books of our own choosing
  • board games, cards, puzzles - all day long

What? That list seems familiar to you?  Yep! It's what unschooled kids' lives look like every day!  So the next time someone says, "What's unschooling really like?" Tell them, "Summertime!"

The Unschooling Blog Carnival is going to go on a hiatus after this carnival. I have accepted the managing editor position for the new national magazine, The Homeschooler. I'm really excited to get started with it and I don't think I can manage both the Carnival and the magazine at the same time - at least not for the first year.

I will continue to fill our Unschooling Blog Carnival's Pinterest boards though. That's a lot like filling bookshelves with beautiful fascinating books - without any expense!

Also, I've created a Facebook page for Unschooling/Homeschooling Bloggers. Feel free to share your favorite blog post there, or follow along as bloggers share their newest writings. It will be somewhat of an ongoing Carnival of Blogposts!

And, lastly, we're building teams over at The Homeschooler for content search, marketing, and we always need good writers!  You can follow The Homeschooler on twitter (@HomeschoolerMag ) or go to the new Facebook page to keep up on what's going on with it! I hope you'll subscribe - it's going to be full of writers you'll recognize and love!

Now, on to the Carnival...

Happy Unschooling!


The Summertime Unschooling Blog Carnival! 

Rebecca Taberski blogs at Down a Rabbit Trail: Interest-Led Learning with a Charlotte Mason Flair.  As a grown unschooler who's unschooling her own children, you'll love her post: Unschooling: It's Personal! 
At the time, my parents weren't aware of any "label" for how we learned back then. We simply did what we did. My mom and dad always gave a very simple explanation of how we homeschooled...that they encouraged us girls to follow our interests.  And that we did. Passionately. :)
Marji Zintz blogs at The Peaceful Parenting Whisperer.  In her post, Blueberries and the Unhurried Child,  Marji points out the problem with letting age be the only factor in determining if children (or blueberries) are behind or advanced in their development.
However, like blueberries, children all “ripen” at different rates.  They acquire skills and skill sets differently from kid to kid... They simply deviate from the norm, which is an arbitrary set of expectations based on what is most convenient for institutionalization.
Ronnie Maier has started a new parenting blog, A Soft Place to Land. You'll want to bookmark it!
Ronnie has asked writers who parent in a gentler way to write guest posts there. So far she has Ren Allen, Sue Patterson, Frank Maier, Jeff Sabos, Shannon Louks, and Ronnie, herself. The most recent guest blogger, Laura Parrish, shares how a harried parent could maybe have A Different Trip to the Grocery Store.
Ultimate control turns out to be not what you wanted as a parent after all, and the price for obedience is too high. When your children are afraid of you, when they don't trust you, when they hide things from you, or lie, or cringe when you raise your hand, you may realize that. 
Linda Wyatt is back to blogging at Unschooling Me. She sheds a little light on what might be going on for many of us as summer winds down in THAT time of Year.
THIS is how conditioned people become.THIS is how difficult it can be to truly move away from school concepts. Even without having needed "back to school supplies" for 35 years… two thirds of my life… the urge is still there.
Hope Nilges blogs at Hopeful Insights: Random Musings about Anything and Everything. She's looking at freedom and thinking about how it applies to our unschooling lives in A Little More about Freedom.
I don’t always feel courageous and I certainly wasn’t always brave. But I was brave enough to get here. And I’m courageous enough to keep going.
Frank Maier  blogs at Singularity and this time shares some tips for being a good communicator with children in  Lieutenant Uhura.
I never use that tone of voice to/with any person, whatever their age. You know the one I mean – artificially chirpy and upbeat and speaking a little slowly, like you’d talk to a dog who’s entertaining you. 
Heather Booth took some fabulous shots of their Crazy Fun Day and posted them to her blog, Today Was Amazing!  THIS is what summer looks like!
 As we were both settling in he commented that it was unusual for him to want to go to bed so early.  Then added, "But I did have a long, crazy fun day today."  I agreed and within minutes, we were both sleeping peacefully.
Pam Sorooshian's blog Learning Happens is in the process of being redone. It looks great already. This summer, she blogged about kids' need for Physical Activity.
I’ve noticed that moms very often vastly underestimate the amount of physical activity their kids need and they think there is something wrong with their kids when what they really need is many more hours of physical activity.
Amy Chapin Moran blogs at Unwrapping Presence.   In her blogpost, Unschooling the Climb, Amy shares the adventures of her "kinesthetic ramblers"as they scale a climbing wall.
Follow your own path “up the wall” you’ll get what you need and not what someone else thinks you need.
Michelle Conaway blogs at Michelle Conaway: Living, Learning and Loving Life. She has written a few posts about Minecraft and now shares her observations in More Minecraft Love.
In my mind, Minecraft is not even a game. It’s a tool for engaging in subject matter that might not otherwise be available. It most definitely holds their attention and gives them the means to experiment with anything and everything they might be interested in. It also leads to fascinations of subject matter that they might not have otherwise been exposed to.
Laura Grace Weldon blogs at Her post It Really Does Take a Village, shares a variety of village building resources everyone could use.
Today we don’t benefit from the educational richness of traditional village life where children can see and take part in the real work necessary to sustain life. Few of us live near extended family members. But we can foster the development of our own “villages” in at least three ways. [find a supportive network, create a chosen "extended" family, and develop rich connections in the community]
Shannon Loucks blogs at Breaking Daylight. She shares her path from "minimal TV and no video games" to a house full of computers, game platforms and more!  Shannon says,  Let's Talk about Tech, Baby!
Complex problem solving scenarios, beyond the scope of my understanding, were being presented to them and they were finding solution using the sort of out of the box thinking that my schooling never afforded me.  Text and comprehension requirements where being hurled at them from all directions. They were constantly in the moment developing decoding skills in order to understand and engage in the environments they were curious about. All of this being fueled by their own passion and enthusiasm. 
Sue Patterson blogs at Lifelong Learning. Her middle child, Katie, graduated from an acting conservatory - a completely different experience for this lifelong unschooler. Read about her day in Endings and Beginnings. Don't miss the part about Jamie Lee Curtis giving the Commencement address!
As I watch my daughter find her place in line with her classmates, I'm filled with joy for her. Still, I have to look away. I find myself wanting to stop the clock, in the same way I've wanted to stop time over and over throughout her life. I don't do that well with life transitions, it seems. And time marches on.

Unschoolers Around the World

Priya Desikan blogs at My Musings from India. Priya unschools her 8 year old son and shares and example of How Our Day Flows... Meditation, Meteors, Mars, Macaws and More.
I so love the way  the flow is so different each day - the different worlds we explore with our thoughts and imagination... always flowing, always shining....where we happily go with the flow of the moment, not thinking about where we are heading or why we are flowing......but just flowing....because it is so beautiful to just be, the way it is right NOW!
Francesca Rao blogs about traveling with children in Free Range Explorers. In Hesfes 2013 Fran's Photos, she she gives us all a great visual of what a Home Education Festival in the UK looks like.
I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, we went last year and this time the boys were a lot more engaged (not so much with the workshops...but very much with the other children) and I got to meet some Facebook friends in real life, it was wonderful, they are such amazing people! 
Lainie blogs at Raising Miro on the Road of Life . Through blogposts and podcasts, she shares the adventures she's having as she travels with her 14 year old son.  We're following along and found that she had Unschooling Teens in Peru - the Last Week and a Half.
It was quite an experience, riding through the night on top of a sand truck, looking at the stars and waving to people on the second floors of their house  who seemed astonished to see four gringos on the top of the truck.  After a short stop, to deliver 2 bags of sand, we made it to Lares.

Grown Unschoolers & What They're Up To!

Lindsey Muscato blogs at  No-School Kids. She discusses ambition, success, achievement, motivation and values in her post, For Learning's Sake.
Were we raised by the antithesis of a Tiger-Mother? I can't help but wonder how that affected our values and approach to living. And ultimately, how that affected our prioritization of "success" in traditional terms. 
Katie Patterson writes at her website Kaitlin Jean Patterson. She's trying to find work as an actress in Los Angeles, so if anyone knows anyone... ;)
"In life, you will realize there is a role for everyone you meet.
Some will test you, some will use you, some will love you, and some will teach you. But the ones who are truly important are the ones who bring out the best in you. They are the rare and amazing people who remind you why it's worth it." ~Unknown
Roya Dedeaux blogs at her website Counseling: Confidance, Creativity, and Connection. A few months ago she wrote about the benefits and overcoming the stigma of using a therapist in, Welcome to May: Mental Health Awareness Month!
I love therapy. I love having a good, solid therapeutic relationship with my therapist. I love how when I leave her office I feel lighter and refreshed. I love the things I think about after. I love having someone with an "outside" perspective to talk to, in good times and in bad.
Brenna McBroom blogs and sells her pottery at Pottery and Pastry. She hired a photographer and shares New Photos with us.
I just got the images back and I’m really happy with them. My plan is to use them in my applications for two North Carolina craft guilds. 
Michael Patterson, a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nicaragua, blogs at In the Nica Time.  He shares about Nica Archaeology: The History of Lakes and Volcanos.
I had told him that I had a passion for archaeology. We hiked down to the river, about a 30 minute hike down some treacherous slopes and jungle. When we got to the river we walked along until we saw the two dozen or so faces carved into the rocks. No one knows who put them there or why.
Roxana Sorooshian blogs at Upstaged. She reviews musicals, actors, memes and news items. Don't miss her fascinating discussion in She and Me: Matilda, Mermaids and Masculinity.
Today we talked about the Broadway adaptations of Matilda and The Little Mermaid and what it means that the character of Miss Trunchbull is portrayed by a male actor in drag (Bertie Carvel, nominated for a Tony for his performance) while Ursula, whose animated origins were inspired by a drag queen, is given to a female performer.

And since school is in the air already, 

here are a couple of reminders you might like:


  1. Adding a last minute blog post I found. You'll LOVE it!
    "Am I a Bad Parent?"
    from the Nomadic Jesters

    Geocaching, moonlight, and LAW ENFORCEMENT!

  2. Scrolling through these posts and enjoying. Thanks for including mine!

    1. You're welcome - my pleasure!
      It's a great Carnival!! Glad you're enjoying it!

  3. A FABULOUS way to record how the year went - write a letter to your child about all they've been up to for the year! Very inspiring.

    Time, Space, and Stillness: Joseph's Unschool Report 2013

  4. Hi there,

    Just wondering if you know the origin of the Ivan Illich graphic quote above. It appears to be one of many that I have created over the years for the Life Learning Magazine website. It sems to have been taken from the site's quote page and had the credit removed by someone....

  5. Hi Wendy! I didn't know the origin of the graphic. It's been floating around for a long time. But seeing it on your page with credit ON it, I'll be happy to switch it out. Unless you want it off the page.
    I'm glad you found it and we have the chance to make it right!

  6. Thanks, Sue, for replacing that one with the original! Much appreciated.