Friday, March 26, 2010

Frugality Fun!

Lots of unschoolers are living below, at, or just above the poverty level. Today I stumbled upon this fascinating site, meant for law students. Good tips! And it's helping me set up e-commerce on my (other) website, too!

Monday, March 22, 2010

5 Dangerous Things you should let your Kids Do

Did I already post this? Well, in case not, here it is (sorry, I'm in a hurry!)

It's a TED video of "5 Dangerous Things you Should Let your Kids Do" from his book (?) called 50 Dangerous Things. . .

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thank God for Spring!!

Hallelujah, spring is here! Suddenly everyone is coming out of their cocoons. If I didn't have so many things and people to remind me, I could almost forget that this winter was one of the most abominable periods of my life. And everyone else - people I barely even know - keep saying "that was a LONG winter!" even though it wasn't even that long - a few years ago (or was it last year) the winter went on until April!

Anyway, things are looking up. We still have no idea where we'll live or what we'll do with ourselves, but at least the kids are playing outside for long stretches of the day, and the sky is blue and the birds are singing and there are actually other children PLAYING on our block!!!

Please everyone hold me to this: I *must* find a way to travel for at *least* 2 months of next winter, especially if I am still in Southwestern Wisconsin! Don't let me forget!!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

"Be Creative Together"

This is a picture of Ezra being creative *by himself*

Have you read If The Buddha Married? Well, if not, run out and get yourself a copy.

I was copying quotes out of it yesterday (one of my fave passtimes, now that I am having to get all my books from the library, and so I can't UNDERLINE, which is my most *fave* of all my fave passtimes - almost), and I came across this strange little chapter called Be Creative Together. I think maybe the author forgot it was there, because it was so profound, and yet she didn't elaborate on it at all, and I got the sense that it just came out of her pen through Divine Inspiration, but that just then the telephone must have rung. Oh well! In any case, I think it applies so very much to marriage, but also to being with your children. So I am going to share it with you, because that's the kind of person I am:

"When we set aside our egos and take on a project together, we enter into a process of creating something together that grows from the best of both of us. If it's an actual project - adding a porch, starting a garden, decorating a living room - we brainstorm all the possibilities or keep our mind on the shared goal. We build on each other's ideas. The conversation might include phrases such as: "Here's an idea." "What if we did this?" "Well, maybe if we combined these two ideas." It is the push and pull of ideas erupting and building on each other that help us to create something better than either of us could have done alone. "If you can join together in the "us" place, knowing that being creative together is more important than anyone being right or winning, you can add spark to your relationship. It doesn't matter if every leaf is raked perfectly, or if the dessert is a flop, or whether or not the new rosebush eventually looks like the picture on the package - it's that the two of you joined in stretching, exploring, and joining together to bring new life to the ordinary tasks of everyday living."

I think the reason this really struck me is because my husband and I have been doing a lot of collaborating on creative ideas in the past few weeks, and that process is creating a totally different relationship. I can see the same thing unfolding with my kids as I spend more time working alongside them, with no computer. And so I very much look forward to the group endeavours that are simmering on several burners right now.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Metamorphosis! And my Useful Children!

Nobody can say that this Dr. Seuss-type drawing by Ottar isn't pure genius!

Just look at the competency level of these kids! Please note screwdriver and broken CD player - Ezra was taking it apart when he was suddenly stricken with a craving for grilled cheese. Amazing!


Well, besides the anti-computer revolution, more changes are happening like crazy. February was a month of transformation. . . I *knew* it was coming, because I consulted my tarot deck.

Anyway, more details later (I know, I always say that, but nobody calls me on it!), but in the meantime, I have to say that it has become increasingly clear to me that this stay-at-home-mom thing is no longer working for me. After a few neurotic fits where I considered (threatened?) to not only move away but also to start working full time (I am *still* fantasizing about a temp-to-perm job I had at a DT Minneapolis law firm. . . OMG it sounds so dreamy to me now - just mindless drudgery all day long, but surrounded by intelligent people - and they had a nice lunchroom, and gave overtime and paid like $14 an hour!) I have settled on instead focusing on figuring out how to put my "family business" plans into high gear.

What family business, you ask? Well . . . there are so many to choose from. But if you have an idea for me, throw it in the hat. I can't let any secrets out just yet. But something really dynamic needs to happen, and quickly, because I refuse to go through another winter like this! Plus, I've got two able-bodied children just hanging around all day long (not much to do in the winter in this town) and the older one is very talented at drawing, writing, and reading, and has a hankering to get a paper route. And the younger one is also very talented at drawing, though his drawings are hard to interpret as of yet. But he has buckloads of energy and some excellent organizational skills!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Computerless Bliss!

A tearjerking photo from the nirvanic, internet-free days of yore

Okay, forget all the other stuff I wrote about schedules, computers, youtube, etc. I have finally found the answer to all my problems! And I mean all my problems. Here it is: I set the parental controls on myself. Now I can't use the computer between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. every day of the week, unless my husband and children are gone.

What this really means is I can use the computer about 5 minutes a week, unless my husband and children are gone.

My husband and children are never gone. Except today, because my dad and his girlfriend are in town. Which is why I'm able to deliver this life-changing post to you.

Of course there are drawbacks. . . getting behind on my blog, not being able to even pretend to work on my website. . . but the family harmony has been restored back to 2007 levels! Back when we had no internet hookup in our home. Those were the days!

I suggest you try this, too. It's bliss. Hardly an angry word has been spoken in our house. Hardly a child has been clobbered by his brother. Hardly a thing has broken!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Another Quote!

Okay, this one is not because I'm losing my mind. It's actually because I have little computer access, and I'm so tired, I feel like I'm going to cry.

"In the words of the Albany Free School, if you aren't making it up as you go along, you aren't doing it right."
-John Taylor Gatto

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

"Take Back Your Education"

Here is a very good article which synopsizes quite a bit of John Taylor Gatto's basic message! It's from Yes! Magazine. Sorry I have no other commentary right now - our family is being ravaged by a very unpleasant illness. Enjoy!