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Natural Learning

Post MineCon 2011

I wrote this because some things needed to be said.  I wrote this because you shouldn’t go around breaking children’s hearts in the name of being kind of famous.  I also wrote this because many reviews are from young adults perspectives and I thought a child/parent perspective would be good.  I think there is much to learn from the mistakes that were made.

***

So I began writing my post about MineCon and it very quickly became a novel.  It’s not really my style to write long drag out posts so here I am with a much shorter recap of the entire event.

Skylar and I made it to Las Vegas and checked into the Mandalay Bay around 3pm on Thursday.  We went over to the convention center and registered that evening for MineCon.  I remember buying my tickets and not receiving any instructions on how to actually GET my tickets so I hoped my name and an ID would help.  Kids 13 and up needed ID as well apparently, this was never told to me, but they let Skylar have his badge anyway.  The line was long and I was grateful not to have to enter it again.

We received our Creeper schwag bag filled with some cool stuff…  minecon schwag.  We also received a Jones soda with custom Minecraft labels.  Well, I mean one of them did, the other had a normal label.  Why didn’t ALL the promo soda reflect the event?  I have no idea.

The next day we grabbed our schedules and headed to the convention center.  I have heard many, many complaints over how the whole thing was organized and I have a few of my own.  I want you all to know that we had a FABULOUS time.  You see, wherever we go we tend to bring our own fun and no matter how poorly organized this event was we would have had fun anyway.

The opening ceremony was wonderful.  The whole crowd was laughing and cheering and having a GREAT time.  People are on Reddit complaining about the speaker, Minecraft Chick Lydia Winters.  I have no idea why, people can just be so nasty sometimes.  She was so awesome and the whole opening ceremony was the best part of the whole thing for me.  Watch it here.

The rest of the convention was typical of any convention.  Vendors, sponsors, exhibitors, swag and cool décor.  However, the event very quickly turned into LineCon.  The lines for anything were hours long.  That means the merch booth, the autograph sessions, and the scavenger hunt.  I understand that at conventions lines will be long, but it was way out of hand.  WAY, WAY out of hand.  The organization of the event left much to be desired.  We hopped in line for a limited edition Creeper toy that I wanted to bring home Milo.  We stood there for an hour and a half only to be told the room was closing so that they could start the opening ceremony I spoke about above.  I was less than thrilled, but tried to let it brush off of me.  I don’t think I have to say that I never did get one of those toys since I couldn’t make it back to the line in time.

On Friday night, I got in line to try and get an autograph from Notch (Minecraft creator) for Skylar.  We were 3 people and the last in line.  An extremely rude volunteer told us the line was closed and we had to leave.  I heard we should have gotten a ticket to get preferential line status the next day but these were not given to us.

On Saturday was the Yogscast panel.  Yogscast is Skylar’s absolute favorite YouTube channel.  He idolizes these guys.  He wants to BE those guys and has talked about starting his own similar channel.  It was promised to the attendees that they would announce where the Yogscast would be signing autographs, but it never was.  As it turns out they gave out 100 tickets for autographs as a surprise and that was it.  5000 in attendance. 100 tickets.  So yeah, “SURPRISE!!!  You didn’t get one.”  By the time Skylar there and found out he did not get a ticket he was torn apart.  Tears.  Anger.  Everything.  When the signing was done, Simon, Lewis, & Hannah (Yogscast) didn’t even look in the direction of all the kids standing there behind the ropes who didn’t get tickets.  Not a wave.  Not a smile.  Not a thanks for watching us guys.  Nothing.  I saw the crushed looks on about 20 kids faces and I cried myself.  What they did was just not right.  Not right at all.  The volunteers were actually apologizing for them.

See, he’s 13 and spent his own money to buy his ticket, brought his pick axe to be signed by 3 people and couldn’t get near any of them.  He looks up to these guys so much and they all made themselves so freaking unavailable during the convention that I wondered why they held MineCon in the first place.  The things that were promised did not happen, and if they did it I always had to find out by word of mouth.  Right down to the super cool swag bag I was supposed to get for being a speaker.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the custom soda bottle I received, but it wasn’t what I was promised.  They didn’t even give it to me, I had to go looking for it.

We had so much fun in between all the disappointments, but I just feel those disappointments didn’t have to happen.  It could have been different.  I was a panelist at this convention and I never even met anyone from the Mojang team that put it together.  I didn’t get an introduction, a thank you, or an acknowledgement from anyone.  I just showed up, did my thing and that was it.  I got a soda that I had to go looking for.

So, let’s get to the awesome parts.  The décor totally rocked.  Someone had built all the Minecraft characters out of wood and they stood all around the convention hall.  Let’s face it, being in a room with 5000 people all passionate about the same thing is sort of exhilarating!  I met and saw so many awesome people.  Of course I had many of my unschool buddies to hang out with but I was just shocked at how many kids were there with their parents!  And parents that played the game!  Just amazing.  Tiffani and I spent some time hooping with Steve and Creeper heads on down in the convention center.  Skylar made some friends that I just know will last a long long time.

The panel went absolutely amazing.  I was very nervous as it took a very academic tone, but I settled into my skin and made some great points.  I think I even inspired a few people toward unschooling.  I’ll post the podcast or video as soon as it becomes available.

The after party at Club XS with Deadmau5 was just totally surreal.  I’m still wondering if it was real.  It was really fun to hoop by the pool and geekify this fancy club for a night.  The muggles were totally mystified by the geekery in the room.  I think they dropped the strict dress code just for the evening.

People are asking me if the convention was worth the money.  I think I would still say yes, but Skylar feels really cheated.  He says he had a great time, but much of that fun was had outside the convention.  So the entire trip was 100% absolutely worth it for me and maybe75% worth it for Skylar.  If he knew that he wouldn’t be able to meet his favorite people and get autographs he may not have gone at all.  Like I said, what was promised didn’t happen.  I’m so glad he did go though as he made some unforgettable connections.

I just wish that we could have left it there and not experienced the airing of dirty laundry between Yogcast and Notch.  You can read all about that on Reddit.  Honestly, I felt that they all sort of acted like divas when it came to their celebrity status.  We even tried to talk to Notch at Club XS but his entourage whisked him away and wouldn’t let us near him like he was Tom Cruise or something.  Strange behavior since Prince Harry didn’t seem to mind being around people at the club.

Will I go again?  Yeah…  I totally would.  It’s just really hard for me not see the obvious failures that happened at MineCon.  It’s also hard to me to watch my child have his heart broken.  We missed the closing ceremony because of it.  I do hope they learn from their mistakes.  But I’ve learned too.  I’ve learned I have to be careful with my expectations and to see the red flags from the beginning.  Other people had worse experiences than us, and others have better.  It wasn’t across the board terrible.

I’m still giddy with excitement, but it’s less about MineCon and more about friendships and sharing some amazingly good times with the people I love.  You know who you are.

I covered so little of our trip in the post.  As usual, feel free to ask me anything.

MineCon – We’re going to Vegas!

Well if you’ve ever doubted my inherent geekiness, then it should be solidified now.  I keep saying I’m taking my 13 year old to MineCon at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, NV.  However, I’m just as excited as he is!

What is MineCon you ask?  Well…  MineCon is the very first, 2 day conference of everything Minecraft.  Yes!  And if that isn’t enough, I’ve been chosen to be on an education panel with 5 other people, all from various forms of academia.  I’m super excited to be able share my experiences with gaming from a life learning perspective.

Ssssss…..

Snohomish Pumpkin Hurl 2011

In 1986, 100 teams got together in Delaware and formed the very first annual Pumpkin Chunkin event in the US.  The idea snowballed across rural America and teams of people started building machines to chuck pumpkins as far as a pumpkin could possibly go.  The event even landed it’s own show on Discovery.

My favorite! Not all were medieval in style like this one, but they did all appear to be various forms of a trebuchet.

Coolest. Shit. Ever.

So when a friend emailed our local homeschool group about the Snohomish Pumpkin Hurl and Medieval Faire that was happening up in Everett, WA I knew we had to get to it.  Despite my worrying about being too late to see anything good, we made it just in time to see the last round of pumpkins sailing through the air at unimaginable heights and distances.  I can’t even explain the EXPLOSION of pumpkin as the flying gourd hit the ground!

How perfect an idea to couple this event with a small, one day medieval faire!  I mean if you like that sort of thing.  It’s probably a bad idea to expose the kids to things like:

Knights

Archery

Foam weapons. They REALLY hate those foam weapons.

Because the next thing you know they will be dragging you all over the place trying to make you shoot arrows at people dressed in armor.  And no one likes having fun when there is violence involved, especially not TJ.

Two head shots. One arrow. For realz.

There was about 200 people there when we arrived and this little festival was so worth the trip.  I hope to see it grow over the years, but I did love that it was tiny.  Being just outside a city over 100,000 people the size of the event was big welcome surprise.  This new experience definitely deserves a repeat.  Can’t wait until next year!

Failure Without Guilt

I’m sitting in the coffee shop where I used to do a lot of writing, in West Seattle.  I came here to kick off my weekly write night, as I’ve been absent from writing for quite some time.  Upon sitting down I went through my usual routine of checking my facebook and my email.  I usually need to get all of the distractions out of the way before I dig in.  Within minutes, TJ called.  He said, “I have bad news.  REALLY bad news.”  I knew by his tone that the kids were OK, but I had no idea what he was talking about.

“Heather, all 5 chickens are dead.”

“What!? I checked on them seconds before we left for the ferry.”

TJ dropped me off at the ferry to cross the water to meet up with my brother.  Then he drove home.  This takes 15 minutes.  TOPS.  When he got home, the chickens were dead.  And really, can we call them chickens yet?  They were still babies.  Just barely getting their big girl clucks.

Fuck.

I failed them, my chickens and my children.  I feel like a jerk.  I allowed my chickens to die, what was probably a horrible death.  I can’t even go into the preparation and the research we did.  It doesn’t matter anymore.  Whatever  killed them didn’t even want to EAT them.  It just picked them up, broke their necks and left them to die.  Each one of them.  Five. Chickens.  I’m not even home to console my children.  I’m what feels like a million miles away.  A ferry ride.  TJ says he’s fine and will let me know if should make my way home.   I trust him.

I’m sad, incredibly guilty, angry, befuddled and I feel genuinely defeated.

*sigh*

June Cleaver never had chickens.  June Cleaver isn’t a failure.  June Cleaver never did anything that allowed her to fail.  Then again, maybe her mom never told her that failure was an option.  It is, you know.

Failure is your friend.

By implementing grading systems, school culture has negated the option of failure.  It can happen, but if you ask, failure isn’t an option.  In school, failure is something you do not want to happen.  If you fail, you are punished.

Our culture, competitive to a fault, has created the “need to succeed” in the worst way.  Our society says you need bigger, better, faster and more.   You NEED to succeed.  I guess that many people forgot that some of the most mind-blowing things we learn are born of failure, like silly putty!  Some of the greatest inventions came from failures.  The Pacemaker was invented by making a mistake!  We need to fail to learn.  We need to try and tinker and test and fail.

Failure should have a cozy little spot in our lives.  Failure is incredibly important.  As a mom, I need my children to see me fail.  I need them to know that I am not infallible.  No person, anywhere is infallible.  It’s OK to make mistakes.  It’s OK to muck it all up.  It’s a process, and a really necessary and  important one.

“If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate.” -Tom Watson

Guilt is not your friend.

If we’re going to talk about friends, then we should also talk about one friend that really isn’t a friend at all.  Guilt is a nasty acquaintance that only hangs around when you are feeling bad and seems to love to watch you suffer.  Guilt keeps you hanging on to the past; the could haves, the would haves, and the should haves.  Guilt prevents  you from moving forward and therefore learning or trying again.  Guilt only ensures that you feel wrong in your mistakes.

I can’t choose your friends for you.  You may need to learn that one on your own.  I know I did.  I once let guilt hang around for a good year before I decided to let her go.  My life felt stagnant and it was as if she was holding me back by my suspenders.  I’m not saying you should never let guilt in, but after a cup of tea and a nice conversation make sure she doesn’t overstay her welcome.

Guilt is perhaps the most painful companion of death.” – Coco Chanel

Safety in mistakes.

In my home, I feel safe to make mistakes.  The chickens were largely my responsibility.  TJ had done his job, he built them a safe and secure house that nothing could break into!  (Heck, I couldn’t undo the locks!)  The tractor was mine.  It was made from chicken wire, not raccoon proof chicken wire and it needed repair.  I’m almost always home, watching them closely.  Phoenix LOVES to spend time outside near his chickies.  I never thought anything was going to get in during the day.  In fact, they have been outside during the day in the tractor for weeks now with no issues.  We collected so much knowledge when we decided to take on these chicks, but it wasn’t enough.  I should have reinforced the tractor.

I made a mistake.  A big one.  We are terribly sad and mourning the loss of life that happened in our own backyard, but no one is angry with me.  My home is a safe place to make mistakes and to learn and move on; as every home should be.  Children (or adults) who make mistakes are simply human.  Punishment, whether by force or by treatment, is a useless tactic that does nothing for the punished, but brings sort of an instant gratification to the punisher.

We will bury our chickens today.  I have one especially sad child.  One who wants more.  And one who says the chickies went bye-bye.   No one has seen the chickens except TJ, and I’m really grateful that the children were somehow given the option to see them, rather than to stumble upon them in the backyard themselves.  Guilt will be here by my side but, I’ve already made her quite aware, once the last pile of dirt is thrown, she is to head north…  straight out of town.

The Secret to My Patience

I feel like crap.  The last few days I’m convinced I’ve come down the plague.  I’m unsure which plague…  it’s just that the word “plague” just sounds so utterly horrible that it MUST be what I have, right?  My eye are burning, my nose is running, and I’ve officially kicked off the year end sneeze-a-thon.  Ugh.  Head colds suck, man.  It has left me incredibly irritable.

Last night the two oldest boys were getting a bit overtired and were having an argument a communication breakdown.  I honestly just didn’t want to hear it.  After I yelled my piece and stomped my feet like a child (no not literally, but I won’t say it didn’t cross my mind) I went downstairs and plopped in the rocking chair to finish up watching the UFC event that was on television.  I said out loud to my brother, something to the effect of, I hate being sick, I’m finding it hard to parent.  Immediately he commented, “I don’t know how you do it sometimes” and complimented my (usual) high degree of patience.

…Patience?

I thought for a moment.  Am I patient?  I don’t feel patient.  In fact, I am incredibly impatient.

  • I have been known to frost the cupcakes before they cool, leaving the frosting to melt and soak into the tiny steaming cake.  That’s not patience.
  • I would do Christmas a week in advance if I had my way, the anticipation kills me!  That’s not patience.
  • I can’t stand taking 20-30 minutes just to put shoes on to leave, so I’ve been known to rush my family.  That is definitely not patience, and sometimes I think they go slower just to have a laugh.

No… that’s not it at all.  I haven’t been blessed with some magical patience gene.  In actuality, I hate waiting and I like instant gratification.  Impatience, isn’t one of my better qualities, but as I get older and gain more experience, I learn to cope and try not to negatively affect others with my eager ways.

So what is it then?  Why do people compliment me on my patience?  Why do I hear “I don’t know how you do it” and  “you’re so patient” coming from people outside my household.

It’s not patience.  It’s perspective.

Patience:  1. capacity for waiting: the ability to endure waiting, delay, or provocation without becoming annoyed or upset, or to persevere calmly when faced with difficulties

Perspective:  1. particular evaluation of something: a particular evaluation of a situation or facts, especially from one person’s point of view.

Someone I know keeps a list on her fridge.  It’s a list of negative words that are commonly used to describe fairly typical childhood behavior, and next to each word is a new word casting a new, more loving light on each behavior.  I’m going to use that idea here, and try and come from a place of compassion while describing the child.

Example Patience (waiting for it to end)
Perspective Shift
Child won’t eat anything except macaroni and cheese and claims to dislike most other foods. Picky eater This child is discerning and not quite ready to explore more tastes yet.  The child has a very sensitive palette and can easily pick out subtle flavors that many children can’t.  Many successful food critics also have this very delicate ability.
Kids are arguing and yelling obscenities at each other. Angry, mean, rude, undisciplined and must be forced to stop what they are doing. Passion comes in lots of different forms.  When someone feels strongly or passionate about something sometimes it can collide with anothers point of view.  Children have less experience in communicating under stress and navigating through tense situations.  How can I help them?
Child wants to do nothing but play video games. Not learning anything, no other  interests. Child is dedicated and has perseverance.  He accepts difficult tasks and continues to try to solve complex problems.  He is determined and putting strategical skills into practice.
Won’t clean their rooms. Lazy, defiant, messy. Brilliant young minds are busy at work and play and don’t have time to clean up the mess, much less notice it.  That mess is more than likely is proof of real learning going on.  Feel free to reset it, and let them start all over again.

Peaceful households aren’t born overnight.  Changing perspectives to come from a place of love and compassion, rather than a place of criticism and judgment changes the energy within your home.  It becomes a comfortable and safe place to be.  These simple examples are really good ways to change those old-fashioned perspectives on how children should behave or when advocating for other children who’s parents can’t seem to see the positive.

“Wow!  It looks like a lot of fun and learning has been going on here!”

When my kids are behaving in ways that are generally undesirable, (for instance yelling “assbutt” and “bitchhole”), I have no need to be patient because from my perspective they aren’t “misbehaving”.  I’m not waiting for them to stop their undesirable behavior.  The issues they are having are more important than the swears they saying.  They won’t be solved simply by ending and punishing the use of words like “bitchass” and “fartshit”.  Their issues can begin to be solved when they can effectively communicate their needs to each other (or to me).  I have more experience, I can help if they want it.  I can do the listening and the talking if and when they need me to.  When all is cool and calm, then and only then will I talk about the appropriate use (or place) for words, name calling, and more effective communication.  Not during the heated moment. (on a positive note: they are incredibly creative with their use of language!)

Shift This:

1. Realize that children are free human beings and any control you may think you have over them is merely an illusion.  Whatever you forbid now, they will seek out later and most likely behind your back.  Restrictions create forbidden fruit.

2. Everything is learning.  Everything.  When I’m having a particularly hard time with something one of my children is doing, I focus on all the things they are learning.  Chances are they are learning SOMETHING, whether academically, socially, or personally and all life learning is equally important.

While both perspective and patience are valuable and useful, I’d say that perspective wins for me, every time.  (and somehow causes me to appear to be incredibly patient)

Unschooling After Death on Enjoy Life

I think if there is one thing no one wants to imagine, it’s the death of a spouse, partner, or parent. It’s uncomfortable to consider what might happen to you, your children, and your quality of life.  Unschoolers are not immune to life or even death.  Sometimes, we know in advance that death is inevitable, sometimes it is sudden as it was for one unschooling family last week.

I’m writing over at Enjoy Life today about what can happen and how we can be prepared to make sure that our families are still able to live an Unschooling life even when our lives are affected by  the passing of a parent or guardian.

Click the image to read the article.

Today’s Students Are Tomorrow’s Leaders, Scared Yet?

There, for as far back as I can see, exists a separating line between republicans and democrats.  Sure there are a few other parties, but I’m just going to stick with the major two.  And why wouldn’t I?  Everyone else does.

So many people sit on the dividing line and point fingers in the other direction.  But from where I am standing no one party is absolutely wrong about anything.  But many of our elected officials sit back and blame “the other side” for anything that might go wrong.  It seems that a meeting of ideas and respect for another’s thoughts and beliefs is in order.  You might say that Libertarians do just that!  And in many ways they do, but just belonging to any one party has inherent flaws.

In school, the culture is a rat race.  We use grades and other systems of measurement to place value on ideals.  Students who socially, economically, physically, and academically meet those ideals become competitive with students who do not, and vice versa.  It’s an unspoken game that exists within the social structure of school.  The worst part about it, is that students who do not want to enter the race have no choice.  Observation and theory no longer become tools of science; they become tools for survival in the institution.  When we use these tools and apply them to the real world, we recall it from the only place we know, an institution, causing a competitive and judgmental social culture.  It’s not the way the world works, yet when we release students after 18 years it’s the only way they know how to make it work, especially when given power over others.

Earlier I had a conversation on Facebook with a 16 year old girl about evolution.  Her knowledge of the subject was not quite correct.  Throughout the conversation she continued to be extremely defensive and even change the definitions of what she said.  She wanted to be right and I can’t say I blame her.  Modern child rearing and formal education do not value a child’s ideas, thoughts, and opinions.  When someone is never right, and never valued for their opinion they are shut off from learning about the subject and often feel inclined to defend their stance, when there is no battle and even if it’s factually wrong.

That’s what I see in our leaders.  I see many politicians, men and women, people who were probably never valued for their thoughts and dreams, and so they adopt an ideology and defend from behind the line.  Few politicians ever come out and say, “you know, I think xyz, just might work” if it doesn’t follow their party lines.  And that’s a shame, because I see many good ideas and good values on both sides of the line.  But like I mentioned, it’s not how we are raised.  We are raised to be right, to have the right answer all of the time.  We are also raised to expect greatness and perfection from our leaders when they too, are only human.  There is extreme value placed on right answers and loads of negativity, like public humiliation for example, being directed at being wrong.

My God Heather.  What on earth are you getting at?

I know, unequivocally, that unschooling can change the world, that is if the whole world unschooled.  Raising children in freedom will allow them a fresh, unobstructed view of what happens in the world today.  They don’t need to head to school to learn the ins and outs of government.  They don’t need someone else to tell them how government works.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or an elementary civics student to know that there are big, huge problems in government today.  However as parents, it’s important to allow our children an unobstructed view of modern politics.  I think discussions must come from a neutral place, allowing a child freedom of thought.  There is a place for sharing your opinions and beliefs but, I would tend to be careful in rights and wrongs, careful in the condemning the thoughts and values of others.  If you give a child your inner voice, that child will be stunted in the development of their own.  Quite possibly, the trust and freedom to learn will translate into the trust and freedom of all children, and even further the trust and freedom of the people.  No dream is too big right?

The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next. -Abraham Lincoln

In My World

Even though Taylor Mali expresses a desire to be as inspiring a teacher as the first fallen snow in Undivided Attention, he gives us a different story below where he tells us just how inspiring he thinks he is; or was.  He is actually no longer a teacher, and it seems he now teaches, teachers.

Clearly a talented slam poet, and the only one known in the world to be making a living by reciting poetry, his brilliantly delivered piece of poetry sends chills down the backs of those who listen.  No one can take this pure talent and ability to convey raw emotion away from him.  But it is his voice and his delivery, not his words.  An all too familiar problem.  Because does anyone really believe that a teacher does all those things?  That a teacher is actually responsible for all a child learns?  That control and force are what inspire children to be their best?

Well…

I guess they do and I forget that sometimes.  In my world, children learn but I do not teach.  In my world the problem lies in pushing children too hard, giving them repetitive, meaningless tasks, and handing out grades as rewards; or in many cases punishments.  It lies in telling them what they must learn instead of what they want to learn, and therefore need to learn.

Sure, we all want children to do their best, to be their best, to put their best foot forward but what is this idea that they have to be best…  at everything, all of the time?  Is a child less of a person because he doesn’t particularly like to work hard?  Not in my eyes.  Is a child less of a child because his grades are low?  Not in my eyes.  Is a child less of a child because he misspelled beuatifull or byootiful or beautiful?  Not. In. My. Eyes.

If a child says he needs to go to the bathroom, show him where it is so that every single time he needs to go to the bathroom he has the knowledge and the freedom to get up and go.  And if a child says he is thirsty ask him, would you like water or milk or juice?  Then be kind, pour it for him and offer up a genuine smile, because children who have been treated with kindness and generosity will grow up to be kind and generous.  Oh and one more thing, if you think you can make a child apologize…  you might be right.  But you can never…  ever…  make him mean it.

So Mr. Mali, your honorable message…  that it doesn’t matter how much money you make because you’re making a difference is completely and totally lost on me.  I don’t see the difference at all.  You have been blessed with the power of poetry and you use it to disguise more of the same.  Your poetic words and your powerful voice do not hide the fact that you, Mr. Mali, get up on stage and captivate audiences with your lyrical genius, but all the while you’re saying it’s OK to oppress free human beings just because they are children.

Not Back To School

It’s the first day of school for the larger portion of schools here in Seattle.  I believe 2 already started.  Appropriately, it’s cloudy and raining.  Back to school is nothing more than a reminder of the terminal illness our country has a treating children like prisoners who must be controlled.

Let’s start here by answering a few questions.

How was your summer vacation? We didn’t take a summer vacation.  We mostly stayed home, played computer games, read some books, explored some parts of Seattle, and ate ice cream and nachos.

Are you ready for fall? Not quite.  I need to go searching for some rain jackets and Phoenix grew out of his rain boots.  I’m thinking I could use a new sweatshirt.

So what classes are they taking? Well, Skylar will hopefully find another video production class.  Milo starts bowling soon.  And we’re all hoping to join a circus class at the start of the new year.

Not really the expected answers.  These are the answers I’m giving.

Parts of me are happy to have the city to ourselves again.  Parts of me want to rescue the children who aren’t going to come out of school in one piece.

Happy Not Back to School Day.  I think.

Can Children Learn Without Rules?

You can find me today over at The Mahogany Way for a second guest post.  Darcel asked me to write about living without rules.  I think some unschooled families take great care to not have arbitrary rules and some eschew the term altogether.  Our family, has an approach that I feel rules are completely unnecessary.  It doesn’t mean anything goes.  There are times, that no IS the answer.  There are also times where I will not allow something.  There are reasons I still do not call that rules.  Find out more here:  The Mahogany Way

Hope you enjoy it!