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Are You a Conscious Educator?

I have been in the classrooms of our public and private schools. I have been on the administrative side. I have seen amazing people work magic with "difficult" kids, I have seen teachers who love their job and joyfully show up each day to be…
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The Power of Curiosity

By social standards, we have taken a non-conventional path to education, but biologically speaking my children are doing exactly what nature intended: learning by engaging in activities and topics that intrigue them, draw them in, and pique…
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The Day My Teen Built His Own Computer

If you’re not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you’re determined to learn, no one can stop you. -Unknown It happened. The Amazon cart filled with computer parts for well over a month was finally emptied. On his 15th birthday, the…
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The Case for Living the Self-Directed Life

Summer is probably the most dreamed about, written about, and longed for season in America. For most of America's children and young adults, summertime means freedom. The school year schedule fades away and the longer, warmer days are replaced…
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You Might Be Ego-schooling If...

Once upon a time, when our family first made the decision to forego the traditional schooling options, I dreamed of being a fabulous teacher to my kids. We would come together every morning, still dressed in our pajamas, sipping cocoa or nibbling…
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Pine Cone Bird Feeders: 4 easy steps

We love birds. For years we have been observing them and putting up birdhouses in our backyard to provide shelter. We have also participated in FeederWatch and the Great Backyard Bird Count. If you haven't heard of either of these, I encourage…
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If You Want Children to Love Learning, Let Them Lead

It’s 11 a.m., the first day of the new year, and my 14 year old has just come out of his room. Hair disheveled, loving grin on his face as his tall body bends over to give me a hug. This is how every morning begins if I’m home when he wakes.…
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Raising Humans? 7 Books Every Child Wants you to Read

  It is extraordinary that the most important job in the world, raising a child, is an untrained position. -Richard Grossman, Ph.D.   When I was around 11 or 12 I found several books my Mom had been reading that caused me feelings…
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Why Children Need Pets

I grew up with pets. As a matter of fact, my rather impulsive (he probably thought of himself as forward thinking) Dad brought home a puppy to my two brothers the day my Mom brought me home from the hospital. Because you know, an infant and…
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What is Unschooling?

We 'un' school. But what does that mean? For us it means this: We do not approach learning the way most think of when they hear the word 'school'. We eschew the traditional approach of going into a building filled with resources and…
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Gun Play: Shooting down Parental Fears

In the early days of parenting, when all toys were bright and cheerful, when television shows were filled with funny songs, silly dances, and playfully nice characters, and when advertisers had a limited effect on my son’s wants, I reveled…
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I'm pro-learner, not anti-education

The natural curiosity of a child is a sight to behold. To watch a toddler fumble through her world, touching, examining, tasting objects in her path is quite remarkable. Her brain taking in all the new information at lightening speed. She is…