At that point I realized: this is what I do every day. All day. I participate in wild fantasy, I take emotional pain seriously even when it seems to me to be so tenuously linked to reality, because I have respect for my kids. Because I want to get to know them. Because I have power over them but I don't condescend to them. I don't pretend to know them better than they know themselves. Because I respect their emotions, and it's my job as an unschooling parent to support them on their journey. Because I want to learn more about them.
We haven't been to the library much because it's been hard with a run-away toddler. But they had a program about making glow-in-the-dark slime! So we made it there, and I found ways to contain and entertain the toddler. My daughter was so excited. She was mixing and shouting "yo ho ho!" She was telling... Continue Reading →
Send baby out with dad to keep things calm. Clean the food messes at the kitchen table so that something gross and scary doesn't end the whole deal. Listen and chat while she watches videos at the kitchen table and you do dishes. Don't listen to certain videos that she can't handle you being an... Continue Reading →
We went to the beach labor day weekend, knowing there'd be traffic, while meanwhile all the rest of California--including the town just up the cliff from the beach--was baking and burning with 110 degree temperatures and fires up and down the state filling the valleys with smoke. Needless to say there were a lot of... Continue Reading →
Over the past year my relationships have shifted and changed--sometimes precipitously like unexpected sneaker waves sweeping me off my feet. I've done a lot of seeking in that time. Since the little kids make it hard for me to read I've looked to new forms of guidance. Even as old relationships have shifted new mentors... Continue Reading →
I recently had a fraught email exchange with a friend. Most of the conflict came from me forgetting that we hadn't spoken much in four years and in that time I have changed so much. I have moved from being an academic to a homeschool mom. Settled into my new position, I'm baffled when someone... Continue Reading →
I've been trying to make my way out of the swamp of white privilege for 20 years. I've definitely taken some wrong turns. I've made more progress since quitting academia and beginning to unschool full time. I'm learning how to listen. So despite all these wrong turns, now I think working toward being an anti-racist white person is pretty simple. This is what I've come to: listen, speak, act.
One of my favorite bloggers is someone who frequently cusses about mothering. This doesn't fit in with the tone of most unschooling blogs I read, about finding peace and meditating to deal with triggers and finding joy everyday with your kids. I love those things. But I also think cussing--and writing--about mothering is a lifesaver.... Continue Reading →
I often get the suggestion that I should make my daughter do something she's afraid of so that she'll be prepared, to fix something about her, so that she can succeed in the future. Ironically, these suggestions put her fears up against grownup's worry-fears about the future. Fear versus fear. I think with a neurotypical... Continue Reading →