• Freedom,  Living with Children

    What’s Your Unschooling Why?

    If I had to choose one word to sum up why we are on this unschooling journey, it would definitely be Freedom. Freedom not just for my kids, but for our family as a whole. Our days have not been squandered with busy work or other people’s agendas. We have not locked our family into a system that ignores our individuality by demanding conformity. We have excused ourselves from the chaotic busyness that comes with standardized schooling to step into “pleasurable busyness” that involves activities we love, learning that brings us joy, and living in harmony with our own bodies. We have been free to sleep as long as we…

  • Freedom,  Living with Children,  Parenting,  Self-Directed Learning,  Social Changes

    Living Without School in Pictures

    [av_one_half first min_height=” vertical_alignment=’av-align-top’ space=” margin=’0px’ margin_sync=’true’ padding=’0px’ padding_sync=’true’ border=’12’ border_color=’#efefef’ radius=’0px’ radius_sync=’true’ background_color=” src=” attachment=” attachment_size=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_display=”] [av_image src=’http://letemgobarefoot.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Tryon-Trip-232.jpg’ attachment=’4215′ attachment_size=’full’ align=’center’ styling=” hover=” link=” target=” caption=” font_size=” appearance=” overlay_opacity=’0.4′ overlay_color=’#000000′ overlay_text_color=’#ffffff’ animation=’no-animation’][/av_image] [/av_one_half] [av_one_half min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_display=”] [av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=”] What does it mean to “live and learn”? Exactly what it sounds like. Live your life by following things that interest you, that intrigue you, that puzzle you. Ask questions, try things out, explore, observe, examine, challenge yourself. Meet people, go to different places, read, watch, write.  Get sick, get…

  • Freedom,  Homeschool,  Learning,  Living with Children,  Parenting,  Self-Directed Learning

    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 with uninterrupted sleep, exploration, visiting with family and friends, vacationing, and learning new information simply because of a desire and curiosity to know, not in order to pass a test or check a box. The alarm bells cease and desist. Stress subsides and growing minds are happily given more time to wander and wonder. There seems to be a universal respect of the unscheduled, free flowing days of summer and a…

  • Homeschool,  Learning,  Living with Children,  Play,  Self-Directed Learning

    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 you to check them out. It is a great way to learn about the many birds living right under your nose and to help scientists track birds. My kids really enjoyed it, but truth be told, I may have come out as the true ‘bird nerd’. This weekend, we revived our neglected bird feeder and decided to also make pine cone feeders. They are super simple and pretty. Be aware, the…

  • Freedom,  Homeschool,  Learning,  Living with Children,  Self-Directed Learning,  Social Changes

    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. A warm embrace and a grin almost immediately followed with, “What’s for breakfast?” Today he says, “Mom. Did you know that the largest tsunami created a wall of water 3 miles high?”  “I didn’t know that. That’s unbelievable.” I’m obviously interested and he continues with stories about prehistoric weather events, asteroids, the power of atomic bombs, and engineering…