Monday, March 19, 2012


  I have had numerous stories and reflections to share since I have started this blog, but I have been teetering on that fine line of invading their privacy. I don't want to destroy trust with my teens and share too much of their lives with the world. I don't want them to feel they have to sensor every word they say to me because they may end up reading it online. So I've had to step back. 

"Nothing is more important than the relationship with my children".

My son (15.5), who calls himself the theatre geek, continues to be happy he chose high school, but still views it as a tool to get him what he wants at this point in his life. More posts to come about school.

My daughter (almost 14) is extremely happy in her days and has no intention of choosing high school. She fills her days with what is important to her and has encouraged me to add a Teen session to my Earth School, as well as continuing our Teen Connection which we started last February 2011. 

If YOU have any specific questions of our journey, please write them in the comments and I will include them in a future blog post. (Your questions will not be published.)

                             happy day!

Friday, December 9, 2011


She told me later how uncomfortable she felt that day. A day when we had guests .

She went to sit with a girl she knows, who is very quiet and shy, to make her feel comfortable and to get to know her more. In the midst of conversation, a mom of another shy girl , wanted her to come and talk with her daughter and tried to interrupt her numerous times.

My girl hardly acknowledged that mom and was feeling increasingly annoyed by the minute.

She didn't want anyone to think she was being rude, but there was no way she was going to interrupt the conversation she was having to go off to someone else. "THAT would have been rude," she said. Plus she was enjoying herself.

Anyone who doesn't know my daughter, or who is fairly new to unschooling, might have thought ill of her. But she is a child with her own mind, and no adult or child is ever going to make her do something she doesn't want to do.

That, plain and simple, is the beauty of radical unschooling. Being a partner with your child and allowing them freedom to choose and make their own decisions, trusting they do know what is best for them. Because they DO!

So if you ever witness this kind of situation, what you see may be a confident child doing what she feels is best for her at that moment in time.

Every day I see the benefits of leading this kind of lifestyle and the confidence that radiates from my children.

Monday, November 28, 2011


He writes well. He has an extensive vocabulary and a sense of humor and can put his thoughts into words..intelligently. And has unschooled all his life.

His teachers, last year and this year, have told him often that he is a good writer. Last year it took some time before she knew it was his first school experience, was surprised and said positively, "He is who he is because of it."

The teacher this year doesn't seem to know as yet, for would she still be threatening to call his mother when he didn't turn in assignments on time...or not at all? We look at each other and laugh. It IS laughable to an unschooler who goes to school by choice, has the power to quit whenever he wants, and to do or not do, the work.

The thing is, he likes her ,"As a person", he says, "not as a teacher". They have had some deep conversations and enjoy each others company. But when she is in teacher mode it is a different story. It is no surprise that his english grade was much less than his A in history and his A in French. . .as if grades really matter.

I have encouraged him to keep up with his writing on his own because he IS good and does have something to say. And who knows what the future may hold, one can write from anywhere.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


   Choice, Problem-solving and Creativity top the list in our house.

 Choice. . .to allow them to make decisions that they feel are best for them. Good or bad, their decisions are learning experiences and they need to know it is OK to take risks.
Problem-solving. . .to question everything and constantly evaluate our days to see what changes can be made to make life happier. We see what small steps we can take to make a difference. Happiness is an underestimated word in our society and should be a priority.
Creativity. . .from Music to Art to Logic and anything in between, creativity enriches lives, increases confidence, and brings solace to crazy schedules. I love to see what they are into next and encourage more and more.

Someone was up until 2am, playing, singing and composing even though he had a bus to meet at 6:20am. (More on the school experience in another post.)

Another someone had been asking for a new set of crayons. I knew we had many crayons as well as oil and chalk pastels, but we got two large packs of crayons anyway.

                                                       lined on canvas

                                    and melted with a hairdryer

                                           Isn't it Scrumptious ???

Saturday, August 20, 2011


My teen has been gone for eight days and it feels like months. She arrives home tonight by train and it can't come fast enough for me. I miss her. I truly do. 
This is the same child who wouldn't leave my side just two years ago. Now she is venturing off with confidence and joy.

If we let children be who they are, and allow them to grow in their own way and in their own time, they become filled with self-assurance and are not afraid to take risks. 

She went by train to Washington D.C. and Virginia with her friend, the older brother and the dad. She had a fantastic time. We texted, we talked and I always got that beep on my phone late at night just before I went to sleep saying good night, love you :)

This house isn't the same. And my other teen has been gone a day here, two days there and this house is way too quiet and my life seems to be in limbo.
Believe me, I love having my own time, and I like quiet now and then, but I find I can have that anyway WITH them HERE.

I LOVE my teens.

My thoughts go to those parents who constantly complain about their teens and who don't *know* them and who treat them with negative energy. Those parents who have no relationship at all with their teens and tell them "at 18 you're outta here!" 

It makes me sad. It makes me sad to know what they are missing. . . how life with teens *can* be if only they would give it a chance.

Nothing is more important to me than the relationship with my children.  Once you focus on the relationship, all of life falls into place . . . with peace and joy and love.

How to have a real relationship with a teen:

~Respect them for the unique individual that they are. Respect their person, their thoughts, their space, their actions, etc. Do not say something to them you would not say to another adult or friend. They deserve the same

~ Find one on one time, even if it's a short drive to the store, out for an ice cream, or pulling up a chair in their room. They still need us and want us and it is valuable to keep communication open for all.

~ Ask questions about their interests, even if you think you are not that interested. There is good in everything. Your child is interested,and you care about your child, right? Becoming interested in how they fill their times makes them feel more valued ,more worthwhile. You are showing you do care. And you will learn something yourself

~ Trust that they do know what they are doing. Bite your tongue. and let them fail. You are letting them know it is OK to take risks. We learn from every mistake. Tell them you are always here for them, no matter what., and will always offer guidance should they need it.

~ Tell them you love them often. . via words, a text, a smile, a hug, etc. Sure they know you love them. . .but do they really???  They need to hear it and hear it often.

~ Say yes or be positive as much as possible. Yes you can have that, yes you can do that., yes I will give you a ride, yes they can come over, Well we can't afford that right now but let's see what we can do about it?  It models positive living and problem solving that can last a lifetime.

~ Saying things like" I miss you, will you be finished with that game soon? I'd like us to spend some time together, will you be off the computer soon?" instead of an authoritative "Get off right now!" or limit their time doing what they love. How would you like controls on your likes and creativity?

~ Do not compare them to anyone else. They are who they are. Rejoice in them and love them unconditionally.  Search for all their goodness.

~ Realize that they are at a tough time in their lives, an in between a child and adult, on their journey to adulthood. Go against the bad rap society gives to the teenage years and trust them and allow free expression to let them find their place in the world. Help them to be the best they can be with freedom and choice and respect.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Do you need years of instruction to learn math? 
Can you learn math from just living life?

My unschooled son, who hadn't done math drills since age 6, and who rose to the top of his freshman algebra class within two months of going to school for the very first time, got an award in Mathematics.
More proof that you don't need years of instruction to understand math and you can learn it from just living life.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


                                               ( Hermione Granger and Luna Lovegood)
The teens enjoyed a pot luck lunch
 and went off together .. . .
to see the movie. . . 

dressed in their costumes.