Tag Archives: idea

New IDEA Post

I have been meaning to write another post at IDEA for weeks, and I am so sorry that I keep forgetting since I’ve also lost about a dozen topics I’ve wanted to cover! Today I was thinking about how much our pets really enrich our lives, so that’s what I ended up writing about today.

IDEA: The Institute for Democratic Education in America
5 More Lessons Kids Can Learn From Pets

The Stirrings of Subversion

In our family, Thanksgiving is all about gratitude and togetherness; a celebration of family and all of the things we are so fortunate to have. It is not a misguided (whether maliciously or not) history lesson, and it does not focus on untruths, or the fairytale transformation of violence into friendship, as the Thanksgiving of my childhood school days did–and that of so many other children’s do. The falsehoods that I learned–indeed, that I was tested on and forced to memorize–were some of the first nudges toward homeschooling that I felt as a teenager. Here is what I think about them today.

IDEA: Institute for Democratic Education in America
The Stirrings of Subversion

Back to School for Homeschoolers/Unschoolers

Sometimes, I wish I lived in a world where living with authenticity and nonconformity could be embraced just a teensy bit more… Forgive the bitterness that is sure to be in this post; it’s just that all summer long, our homeschooling lifestyle was filled with other HSers and support.

I sort of forgot what it was like to be around people who don’t understand us–or who don’t try to, or want to, at least. Now that the school season is upon us, it’s back to the criticism, questions, and accusatory statements that put us on the defense once again. And we’re just starting! We’re going to have to defend our entire lives forever.

How I used to love fall…

Of course, if you have to ask if it’s worth it, you definitely don’t know us. 🙂

IDEA: Institute for Democratic Education in America
What Back to School is Like for For An Unschooler

Claiming the U Word

I’ve been reluctant to call what we do “unschooling” because of the connotations associated with the word, but essentially that is what we do. I still like other terminology better (such as “self-directed learning”), or, better yet, refraining from using labels in the first place; and while I’ll continue to use the generic “homeschooling” to avoid confusion, particularly with strangers, I’m also claiming the U word today.

IDEA: The Institute for Democratic Education in America
Coming Out of the Unschooling Closet

When the Kids Tear Up Their Stuff…

…sometimes you just have to let them do it! Whether it’s balloon art, pieces of yarn turned into experiments (often on my stuff), or water added to just about anything, I’m learning to just grin and bear my daughter’s adventures rather than resist them–even when it means letting her alter something I think is beautiful.

IDEA: Institute for Democratic Education in America
Sometimes You Just Have to Sit Back… And Watch the Destruction

A Parent’s Perspective on Alternative Ed

I’m often asked about alternative methods of education. I’m certainly no expert; I only learned about traditional, public education in college, after all, and the rest of my knowledge comes from my own research and experience with my own child (as well as children I’ve tutored, babysat, homeschooled, etc.).

However, I do know enough to just introduce people to some of these methods (“Bill, meet Waldorf. Like you, he’s really into Robin Hood!”), so I decided to make a list of 10 different alternative methods of education that parents may be interested in. I hope the list inspires parents and teachers to look up more information on these different styles and philosophies.

IDEA: Institute for Democratic Education in America
A Parent’s Take on Alternative Education

10 Questions for Public Schoolers

Our lives have become so richly filled with play dates, field trips, classes and fun this fall that I’m struggling to keep up with work! That said, I wouldn’t change it (except maybe to stop time like this), as it’s just been so awesome, and we’ve been meeting new incredible people every week.

I’ve written a new post at IDEA: The Institute for Democratic Education in America about how, as much as I love public school teachers (many of my heroes are teachers) and as much as I support families and their need for public schools (and especially the reform and funding for those schools), the same questions that I’m often given as a homeschooler (often demanded with a not-so-nice tone) can just as easily be directed at public schoolers as well.

I don’t mean to offend or harm teachers (especially since the new important but single-sided film, Waiting for Superman, has been unfortunately doing so for the past couple of weeks) or families; I only mean to show the perspective of one homeschooler.

IDEA: Institute for Democratic Education in America
Aren’t You Worried About the Socialization?

100 Word Challenge is Complete!

This was perhaps the easiest writing challenge I’ve done; maybe next month I’ll do it all in poems, super short stories, or something even more challenging! I hope you’ll join me next month; 100 words each day is really easy to write. My September entries can be found here.

Party Games
Girls’ Night Out!

Parenting Report
Following Your Child’s Lead

IDEA: Institute for Democratic Education in America
Autumn Adventures