Saturday, September 5, 2009

Some thoughts on unschoolers fitting in

Coming home from the Northeast Unschooling conference, we talked about the conference for most of the drive. While talking about the workshop Even More Different, with Erika Davis-Pitre and Kathryn Baptista, and about how so many unschoolers don’t feel comfortable about telling people they unschool, I realized that unschooling was only a part of why I felt different. I also don’t feel comfortable with the people at home because I have to pretend to be something other than I am to be accepted, and usually I don’t pretend.

So many people are happy to have their children go off to school in the Fall, I've always said that I would miss mine! Parents talk about how awful the teen years are, I love talking with my daughters and their friends! I've heard so many homeschooling parents talk about how hard it is to get their kids to do the assigned work, I say why not just unschool! It makes me different. It doesn't mean I'm not accepted by the people that I know, just that they don't understand where I am coming from, and much of the time I don't understand them!

Everyone has a public face to fit into the “village” they live in, and my public face is not very different from my private face, so I tend to feel that I don't fit in much of the time because I am not hiding my differences. As I read Eli Gerzon’s post (thanks Eli!) I realized that there are probably many unschoolers who feel the same way, especially if unschooling is not their only difference. They unschool, but that's just a word to most people who aren't doing it, not a philosophy. If someone asks what unschooling is, you may start telling them about your philosophy of life if you want to explain unschooling adequately. You can say your children learn at home without a curriculuum, and many people don't want to hear more than that, but if you elaborate you start talking about your values. You talk about respecting children and trusting that they will learn what they need to. That is a foreign concept to most people, and it may make them uncomfortable because they don't trust their children, and they may feel judged by you. If you say you talk with your teens, they may feel guilty that their teens don't talk to them. Other unschoolers don't need these values explained, they share them.

That may be why I felt so comfortable at the conference. The people there might not understand all of what makes me, but they understand enough that I still felt more accepted there than I do anywhere else!

I'll be posting more about the conference as I get it all sorted out in my head, but for now much of it is all jumbled together.

until the next time,

Monday, November 24, 2008

I was reading my daughter Emilie's new blog (No Ninjas From 2:00-5:00 A.M. ) in which she mentions that I have a blog as well. As I read that, I realized that I have not written in my blog in almost a month!! And I was supposed to write every day!

I am still not finished with projects. The cleaning out of the freezer room led me to taking out part of the wall so that a crack in the foundation could be repaired. When I took out the finished wall, I found damp behind it, so took out all the finished walls (only in the freezer room so far) that were on the foundation and the styrafoam insulation that was behind them. It was damp in many spots. I am not sure if it was moldy in spots, or if the black was from the bugs that thrive in damp places. The foundation has dried out since I removed the styrafoam, but I am not sure what to do with that room now. I have also not decided if I should check behind all the walls in the basement, a monumental task if I decide to do it! For now, the new freezer arrived last week (postponed from the original date since I hadn't finished cleaning out the room). Today the foundation crack was repaired. I mostly (I still have to put in a floor and the lowest shelf) finished my hall pantry on November the 2nd, and filled the shelves on November 3rd, when Isabelle took many photos and posted them on her blog.

I have since put up some shelves on the wall outside the freezer room, which I have almost finished filling; I have emptied and taken down the collapsed tent, with some of the contents coming back into the house and the rest of the bins piled on the deck; I am in the process of moving the bins and boxes temporarily piled in the basement woodbox (I will take a photo and post it, since woodbox does not really describe the space very well) back into the freezer/storage room; and I still have to put the floor and final shelf into my pantry (I can't decide if I want to put in a ceramic floor or a floating floor like I have in the kitchen), and put new shelves in the old pantry so I can finally find everything, not just 3/4 of what I am looking for! I have unofficially quit the Cadet parent committee (I have told the chairman and other members that I am quiting, but haven't yet sent in a letter to make it official), so at least I have more time for now. That time will hopefully soon be partially filled with a part-time job, so I'd better finish the house things ASAP so that I actually get it done!

I am planning on going to some Black Friday sales with my Mom and my best friend, so I will have at least this week to finish my projects before starting a job (providing I can get one in this economic slow down).

Looking at the length of this post, I can now see why I don't post more often -- each post is long enough to cover many days and activities. I'll see how often I get to post once some more of my projects are finished.

When I finish the house projects, I am hoping I can finally try a quilting project. I have been looking at quilting books for years, but have not yet found/made the time to actually try making something.

May all your projects be low stress and quickly completed.
Until the next time,

Monday, October 27, 2008

My overwhelming project

I haven't been posting on here at all, feeling that I didn't have time. I have now decided to post something every day, even if it is only one sentence.

I am exhausted today. I am in the middle of two smallish renovations, that have caused me to store things in a tent in the back yard. On Saturday we had heavy rain and the tent collapsed. I was out in the tent yesterday, ankle deep in freezing water (in my flip flops since I have no boots) moving bins and doing what I could to prevent further damage to the tent. I went to bed early, then woke at 2 a.m. and couldn't go back to sleep, so I stayed up until 6:30 a.m. doing some work in the basement so that the new freezer will fit. It is being delivered on November 4, and I have until then to finish clearing out the storage room it will be going into; putting up one panel of gyproc; plastering and painting the wall; and putting down a ceramic floor. In the same time span I am in the middle of creating a pantry from a storage closet upstairs, that needs sanding (the plastering is done) and painting; a new floor laid; painting and the shelves put up. Ideally the pantry needs to be finished before the storage room so that some of the things in the basement can go in the pantry to make room for storage room items to go on the shelves now occupied by food.

You would probably have to see how crowded my basement is to appreciate the amount of work involved, but besides being exhaused I am feeling overwhelmed by it all at the moment. Just to make the whole thing more challenging, my husband (Richard) goes in for knee surgery in two days. I need him to disconect and move a heater downstairs before I can put in the gyproc, then I am on my own for the rest of the project while he is on crutches.

I have been on a parent committee at my daugther's cadet squadron, but am giving that up after realizing I just don't have the time to help out and accomplish what I need to at home, and my family/home responsibilities have to come first.

Not as short a post as I had intended, but it didnt' take too long to do. I will have a sentence or two to add tomorrow. Probably an update on my progress.

Peace and calm to all reading this, and may your projects be small and managable.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

This is my first post ever on my blog. Isabelle (on the left in the picture) has a blog that I have complimented, and she talked me into having my own blog and helped me set it up. I am going to try to post a photo, and hopefully some words to go with it, every day. Time will tell if I succeed with either!

I want this blog to be a celebration of what we do; how we live and how we learn. I will be the primary writer and photographer, but Isabelle will sometimes (often) add comments.

Isabelle: Hi! My mom and I were looking at another blog shared by an unschooling mother and teen and I thought, hey, mom should have her own blog, and maybe I can contribute too! So here it is. I will always write in purple to make things easier, and hopefully both my mom and myself (especially mom, since this is her primary blog and I'm just randomly adding comments) can enjoy this! If you want to see my primary blogs, check out and Happy reading!