Thursday, May 29, 2008

Darius Goes West

Will blog about our LIFE is Good conference experiences soon (must finish unpacking and doing laundry first...) but wanted to spread the word about this independent film. It's about an amazing kid named Darius who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Bret and I were invited to see it tonight -- it's really inspirational (get out your tissues!) -- and they're hoping to sell one million DVDs in the next year ($17 of the $20 goes directly to support research for treatment or a cure. See Charley's Fund for more information). We got ours...get yours online at

Monday, May 12, 2008

How Unschooling Works

Great article here by Joyce Fetteroll on her Joyfully Rejoycing page.

A snip:

All the stuff they teach in school are tools that people might use to get what they want. In real life if someone is reading Charles Dickens and wants to know why society was like that, they'll read some history. Unfortunately schools do it backwards: giving kids the tools before they have the reasons or desire to use them, e.g., making them study Victorian England in case they want to understand Charles Dickens better. And because the tools are so dull when taken out of context, kids often turn away from the things the tools are good for.

School is like hammer lessons. It's teaching kids how to pound various size nails into different types of wood with a lot of different types of hammers. Over and over and over. Then moving onto saws. Then moving onto drills. The thought being that if they have the skills they can then be prepared to do anything.

But they're so bored with the tools and have such a bad taste in their mouths towards the tools from the years of coerced learning, that the feeling transfers to anything that even uses the tools.

Unschooling approaches learning the other way. It starts with bird houses (or stools or chunks of wood for whacking or toys for stuffed animals or whatever the child is reaching out wanting to learn) and kids learn how to use the tools as a side effect of doing something they want to do.

The rest is just as good...enjoy!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Crafts, watermelon

Sabine and Vivian painting the pieces for a game we're making for the LIFE is Good Conference raffle.

This is a "birthday cake" Sabine made to have a teddybear birthday party with our neighbor kids - Atticus (aka Musky) and Oliver.

Watermelon eating...frog style.
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May day...MAY DAY!

OK, so it's a couple of days late now, but this is what we awoke to on May 1. Good gracious.
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