Keeping the Parent-Teen Connection Strong Through Unschooling
by Laurie A. Couture
The natural state of adolescence is to be joyful, playful, social and connected to parents and community. This bears repeating! Close and affectionate parent-child relationships, healthy peer dynamics, empathy, joy and play are actually the natural states of being for adolescent children. Many of us in the homeschooling community are well aware that homeschooled teens are less likely to be exposed to the toxic peer dynamics of public schools and the risky behaviors that often coalesce with those dynamics. Although protecting teens from toxic peer dynamics is a critical piece of the puzzle, there is an even more vital variable to growing joyful, connected teens: The parent-child attachment relationship.
Read to Me
by Jennifer Walker
The kids are still. They are silent. They are listening. They are beyond listening; they’re riveted. I pause, infrequently, to explain the occasional big word or archaic activity. They laugh at the funny parts, they cry at the sad parts, they writhe in agony when chapters end with cliff hangers. And no matter how long I read-I think my record is an hour and I stopped because I’d lost my voice-it’s never enough. Every time I close the book, I’m met with a chorus of protest, of begging for more, of indignation-you can’t stop noooowwwww, not theeeeerrrree!
My First Day of School Was College
by Kelsey Kinser
I was nervous but ready. I’d never taken a test or a class, but I now love college! All the classes I’ve taken have taught me something outside the realm of required material. I’ve learned much about what the world has in store for me, from the professors’ stories and what subjects naturally interest me. When asked whether I’ve learned anything in college, I say with confidence that I learned how to study for a test, speak in front of a crowd, and know that I can do whatever I what.
Co-Parenting and Co-Schooling:
Keeping our Sacred Commitment to Our Children when Living Apart
by Michelle Barone
Homeschooling families have found many creative ways to co-parent and co-school. Since the lifestyle is already out of the mainstream, keeping that out of the box mentality alive can really serve you as you design your unique arrangement. Although you may have a somewhat rigid custody arrangement from the courts, as healing happens, get creative.
Zombie Invasion –
Yeah, It Could Happen
by Nina Jones
Being prepared is a state of mind, my 13 year old explained to me one day. He went on to explain that survival is not just based on what we know, but more about the good sense we use within the moment of need. Wow, I just got schooled by my son. Knowing yourself is a great start to surviving. The possibility of a zombie attack has encouraged our entire family to think about being prepared for anything. Whether it is a zombie attack or economic collapse, we’ve decided we want to be ready together.
Controlling Children’s Media Access:
Are Stereotypes and Prejudice Only Perpetuated in Media?
by Teresa Graham Brett
I slowly let go of controlling what Martel watched. More importantly, I started watching shows with him. Sometimes that was a struggle. I needed to suspend what seemed to be automatic judgments about his choices. I asked him questions about what he liked about the shows. During the course of a 30-minute episode we might talk about several things related to the show. I began to find out what evokes different emotions and why.
Some Things I Need to Change in My Life
by Tracey Huguley
What I am learning the hard way is to be present every moment. I have not been supported my (ex)husband in doing what I’ve wanted to do. When I wanted to birth at home, for example, he was uncomfortable with the idea and I allowed his discomfort to change my mind. Each time I have gone to the Bahamas he has tried to discourage me from going. I knew deep down however that there was something there for me so I continued to go…
The Balance of Motherhood and Personhood:
Whose Needs Come First:
Our Children or Our Own?
by Tara Wagner
I battled the voices in my head that said my value was tied to work independent of my family. I struggled when I tried to release my own dreams and concentrate my creative energy on motherhood and partnership with my husband. I felt like I couldn’t win the losing battle. I was pulled from the outside and from within, and I grappled to answer the same question I have come to discover so many mothers grapple with: How do I balance my desire to be the parent my child needs and deserves with my desire to do more in my life? How do I live my heart and soul, share my message or my passion with the world, and do the work outside my home that brings me joy and fulfillment without depleting myself of the time and energy needed within my home, without losing my footing on the delicate tightrope of me versus us, without forcing them to sacrifice?
My Secret Arrogance
by Kate Fridkis
There’s a lot involved in being a woman. I got to be a lot of things as a girl, and being beautiful was just a small part of it. So what if I got a nose job.
I am lucky. I got listened to a lot as a child. It made me feel like I was worth listening to. And no matter how insecure I have felt and may continue to feel, about my body, about anything, that core of secret, swaggering, deeply rooted confidence with the Han Solo smile is not going anywhere. So Mom, seriously. It’s cool. And thank you.
Let’s Create A Learning Society
by Patrick Farenga
A college degree has become a means for discrediting non-professional learning and a ticket for earning more money and social capital in today’s society, but like any ticket it can be counterfeited, scalped, or discounted. For instance, the international push to increase college graduation rates will inevitably cheapen the value of the bachelors’ degree, and soon we will hear anxious parents telling their children, “A college degree today is like a high-school diploma was in my day. You need a post-graduate degree to really make money and be successful in today’s world.” This is the treadmill of education that threatens to wear us all out with its ceaseless demands for compliance and attendance, and there is no end in sight: all reform efforts assume the presence and existence of schools as we know them, only that schools will somehow become more team-oriented, more interesting to students by doing what we are currently doing, only better.
by Kelly Green
State-funded at-home schooling? No. I’ll come right out and say it. No. It isn’t worth it. Because the downside is more than just giving up the freedom to live and learn as a family without the constant pressure of having to prove that your child is really learning. Here’s what you really sign on for.
by Becky Rupp
Does electricity turn your kids on? How about text-messaging or the National History Bee? Well, what about snake science or flying machines or life after war, from the eyes of a child?
by Laura Weldon
Throughout nearly all eras of human history, parents weren’t isolated from a supportive network of other people. Grandparents, siblings, cousins, and friends not only nurtured children, they made good parenting much easier