This is from one of my favorite sites, Daily Om.
Let Go And Let Flow: Taking A Leap Of Faith
Many people, in heeding the guidance of their souls, find themselves contemplating goals that seem outrageous or unattainable. In the mind's eye, these individuals stand at the edge of a precipice and look out over the abyss at the fruit of their ambition. Some resist the urge to jump, paralyzed by the gap between their current circumstances and the life of their dreams. Others make a leap of faith into the unknown, unsure of what they will encounter but certain that they will gain more in their attempts than they would bowing to self-protective instincts. This leap can be exceedingly difficult for individuals with control issues because the act of embracing uncertainty requires them to trust that surrender will net them the rewards they seek. Yet when you make a leap of faith, believing without a doubt that you will land safely on the other side, you can accomplish almost anything you set out to do.
There have no doubt been times in your life when you chose to go where the universal flow took you. Yet you may encounter instances in which your objectives require you to step outside of the boundaries of your established comfort zone so that you may freely and actively jettison yourself into a new phase of your life. While you may fear what seems to be the inevitable fall, consider that in all likelihood you will find yourself flying. A successful leap of faith requires your attention, as it is the quiet and often indistinct voice of your inner self that will point you toward your ultimate destination. Understand that the leap across the chasm of ambiguity may challenge you in unforeseen ways but you will make it across if you trust yourself.
If your mind and heart resist, you can dampen this resistance by building a bridge of knowledge. The more you know about the leap you are poised to take, the smaller the gap between "here" and "there" will appear to be. Your courageous leap of faith can lead you into uncharted territory, enabling you to build a new, more adventurous life. Though you may anticipate that fear will be your guide on your journey across the abyss, you will likely discover that exhilaration is your constant companion.
This is from one of my favorite sites, Daily Om.
Here's the link to the article.
I posted it for future reading, because the links usually don't work after awhile.
Home Schoolers Content to Take Children’s Lead
By Susan Saulny
On weekdays, during what are normal school hours for most students, the Billings children do what they want. One recent afternoon, time passed loudly, and without order or lessons, in their home in a North Side neighborhood here.
Hayden Billings, 4, put a box over his head and had fun marching into things. His sister Gaby, 9, told stories about medieval warrior women, while Sydney, 6, drank hot chocolate and played with Dylan, the baby of the family.
In a traditional school setting, such free time would probably be called recess. But for Juli Walter, the children’s mother, it is “child-led learning,” something she considers the best in home schooling.
“I learned early on that when I do things I’m interested in,” Ms. Walter said, “I learn so much more.”
As the number of children who are home-schooled grows — an estimated 1.1 million nationwide — some parents like Ms. Walter are opting for what is perhaps the most extreme application of the movement’s ideas. They are “unschooling” their children, a philosophy that is broadly defined by its rejection of the basic foundations of conventional education, including not only the schoolhouse but also classes, curriculums and textbooks.
In some ways it is as ancient a pedagogy as time itself, and in its modern American incarnation, is among the oldest home-schooling methods. But it is also the most elusive, a cause of growing concern among some education officials and social scientists.
“It is not clear to me how they will transition to a structured world and meet the most basic requirements for reading, writing and math,” said Luis Huerta, a professor of public policy and education at Teachers College of Columbia University, whose national research includes a focus on home schooling.
There is scant data on the educational results of unschooling, and little knowledge about whether the thousands of unschooled children fare better or worse than regularly schooled students. There is not even reliable data on how many people are unschooling, though many experts suggest the number is growing.
Here in Chicago, a group called the Northside Unschoolers has 100 families registered on its online list. There are similar organizations coast to coast, including the San Francisco Bay Unschooling Network, Unschoolers Unlimited in Guilford, Conn., and the Unschoolers of the Ozarks, serving Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas, although accurate figures for the number of families they serve are hard to come by. Adherents say the rigidity of school-type settings and teacher-led instruction tend to stifle children’s natural curiosity, setting them up for life without a true love of learning.
“When you think about it, the way they do things in school is mostly for crowd control,” said Karen Tucker, a mother of three boys who is an unschooler in Siloam Springs, Ark., and belongs to the Unschoolers of the Ozarks. “We don’t duplicate the methods of school because we’ve rejected school.”
Coming under the umbrella of home education, unschooling is legal in every state, though some regulate it more than others. The only common requirement is that students meet compulsory attendance rules.
In states with the most permissive regulations — many of them in the Midwest, including Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan and Nebraska — the idea of unschooling has flourished in recent years, with families forming online communities, neighborhood-based support groups and social networks for their children.
Members of such organizations form a united front against sometimes fierce criticism from outsiders.
“When you are in a subculture of a subculture, you often get painted as the freak family,” Ms. Tucker said, “and people believe that what the expert says is true, instead of thinking the alternative viewpoint portrayed has some merit.”
Ms. Walter, a natural-childbirth instructor, has had to assuage tense feeling from some of her peers.
“Sometimes people take it personally, like, ‘Oh, school’s not good enough for you?’ ” she said. “No, no. It’s just that this is what works for our family.”
Only 25 states have testing or evaluation requirements for home-schoolers, so it is difficult for researchers to get a representative sample of students to even begin to answer their most basic questions about unschooling. And among home-schoolers, unschoolers bristle the most at the thought of standardized testing.
Ms. Tucker has allowed her son Will, 13, to be tested, but she refuses to look at the scores.
“They’re meaningless to him and me,” Ms. Tucker said. “If you attach a number to your child, your opinion of the child changes, good or bad.”
The Billings children are not graded. Weekends are no different from weekdays, summer from winter. They draw or read or play outside, or go on family outings to libraries, museums or the gym. They also attend activities and take lessons familiar to pupils in traditional schools like Girl Scouts swimming for Gaby and piano — if they express an interest — but none has seen the inside of a regular classroom.
“I don’t really know what that’s about because I don’t go to school,” said Sydney, who says she likes her life just the way it is. If she had to go to school, she said, “I’d be at school all day and not have time to be with my mom and do fun things.”
Unlike the more familiar home-schoolers of recent years, unschoolers tend not to be religiously motivated. They simply do not approve of ordinary education, and have decided to rearrange their lives around letting their children explore their worlds, unencumbered by the usual pupil-teacher relationship.
If Will wants to pick up a book, Ms. Tucker said, that is fine. But the decision to do so will be his choice, she said.
“The important things that you need to know are important because they’re useful to know,” Ms. Tucker said. “We all desire to get up and learn to walk because it’s a useful skill to have. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to see that, just an infant. Will had never been given a lesson in reading, but he read at 7. I tell people it took him seven years to learn to read because all of his experiences added up to learning how to read.”
Much of the basic mathematics that Ms. Walter’s daughters have learned so far, she said, sprung from their desire to calculate how much allowance money they would have to earn to buy dolls featured in their favorite toy catalog.
Each child gets a small weekly allowance that is deposited directly into her own bank account, then the adding and multiplying begins. The lessons have inadvertently, and painlessly, extended to taxes, shipping fees and postage, which she sees as another benefit of unschooling.
“It’s more real-world stuff,” Ms. Walter said. “How many kids get out of high school and don’t know how to balance a checkbook?”
The United States Department of Education last did a survey on home schooling in 2003. That study did not ask about unschooling. But it found that the number of children who were educated at home had soared, increasing by 29 percent, to 1.1 million, from 1999 to 2003.
Experts assume that the upward trend has continued, and some worry that the general public is unaware of the movement’s laissez-faire approach to learning.
“As school choice expands and home-schooling in general grows, this is one of those models that I think the larger public sphere needs to be aware of because the folks who are engaging in these radical forms of school are doing so legally,” said Professor Huerta of Columbia. “If the public and policy makers don’t feel that this is a form of schooling that is producing productive citizens, then people should vote to make changes accordingly.”
Pat Farenga, an author and advocate of unschooling, said the fears were unfounded.
“One criticism I hear over and over is that children won’t be ready for the real world,” Ms. Farenga said. “That’s ridiculous. We’re saying get them out of the classroom and into the real world. It’s not about isolating them and drilling them.”
Peter Kowalke, 27, was unschooled as a child and went on to earn a degree in journalism with a concentration in math three years ago from the Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University.
“You don’t know everything, and there are definite gaps in most unschoolers’ backgrounds, but you cover most of what you need,” he said. “And if you find out that you need something that you haven’t studied, you’ll have much more drive to actually learn it.”
“But it can be tough,” said Mr. Kowalke, a magazine writer who is married to a woman who was also unschooled. They met while he was filming a documentary about his educational experiences. “It’s always harder to forge your own path without someone telling you what to do.”
Labels: Unschooling in the Media
Yesterday was Thanksgiving and I hope that anybody reading this (from the USA) had a good one. :-)
We usually go to my bestest friend (30 years and going strong!) Adrienne's house but we had some things that needed to be taken care of and we stayed home. It was the five of us, my mom, my cousin and her son.
We started with:
Rigatoni with Billy's homemade marinara sauce.
Antipasto (fresh mozerella, red peppers & black olives)
After about an hour, we had:
A 12 lb turkey cooked in our rotissiere. Butter on the skin and lemon pepper spices.
A ham shank coated in brown sugar and covered in pineapple.
mashed sweet potatoes with marshmellow on top
brocolli and carrots in an herb sauce
corn and mixed veggies with parmesean cheese
Pumpkin pie and pumpkin cake with cool whip followed. :-)
I had everything except the turkey and ham (being a long time vegetarian). It was a really nice, relaxed day. Things have been stressful so it was nice to have a calm day. :-)
My two daughters (ages 8 & 11) do not have a bedtime, as of about two months ago.
Let me back up a bit.
From the day that I removed my three children from school (December '04), I've been unschooling them, meaning we don't do school-at-home and we don't follow a formal curriculum. Around the time I removed them, I started reading about radical unschooling or as I've seen it called sometimes, whole life unschooling, meaning you extend the principles of unschooling into your child's whole life. (Personally, I prefer the term radical unschooling because I just love the word radical. It has a nice ring to it. It's described me for most of my teenage and adult life so why stop now? lol)
As I read more about it, I knew this was the path for my two daughters. My middle daughter was making a lot of progress with trusting my husband & I (you can read some of the posts labeled "adoption" for more on that) and I knew that I had to start placing more of my trust in her at the same time. The information on RU, came into my life at a time that I needed it the most.
Basically RU is extending the principles of trust into other areas of a child's life. In other words, by unschooling your children, you're trusting that they will learn what they need to, without school (how to do this without school is a whole other post but it included a great deal of parental involvement)....and then you have that same trust and use it in other areas of life (again...including parental involvement and again, another post).
I first started with food, which I blogged about here. Next was video/computer games (which I haven't blogged about, but will soon). The next area was bedtime. This was a hard one, not because of my trust in them, but because of our bedroom situations. (long story-another post one day). I finally figured out a solution and we did away with bedtime.
This type of parenting is not for a hand-off type of parent. Being there, with your child discussing things, being involved in their life, listening and giving feedback, modeling healthy behavior is all part of radical unschooling and frankly, it's not always easy. But to me, it's worth it I have a better relationship with my daughters than a lot of other parents I come in contact with...and my girls are happy.
So...now my girls don't have a bedtime. No, they don't stay up until morning or only sleep three hours a night. Funny thing is, most nights Jacqueline goes to sleep earlier than her old bedtime of 9:30. For those who are curious, since we lifted the bedtime, they have been going to sleep somewhere between 8:30-11:00 PM and they wake up between 6:30-9:00 AM.
If you'd like to do a little more reading on this topic, I suggest Joyce's site.
Related Tags: radical unschooling, parenting
We're halfway through with November so here's a quick request and reminder for submissions to Unschooling Voices.
I've had some extra time this week to catch up on some blog surfing and I came across some really great posts that would be perfect for this months topic. I left comments for all of them (I think there were about 5-6) suggesting they submit them to UV. I really hope they do because they were all doing such fun stuff. :-)
Anyway, as always...your post doesn't have to have anything to do with the topic. Just unschooling in general. The deadline is the last day of the month.
Related Tags: unschooling voices, unschooling carnival, unschooling, homeschooling, homeschooling carnival
Today was a busy, fun day. Shawna had her weekly storytelling meeting at the library. She's getting really comfortable with telling her stories in front of others and she's using more eye contact and facial expressions than before. While she was there, Jacqueline & I went to Dunkin' Donuts and hung out. She had a kiwi slushie and a coffee roll, I had tea and a chocolate chip muffin. mmmmm. :-) It's nice spending time with her alone. :-) After that, Billy picked up Shawna & Cimion at the library and took Cimion to register for basketball. He just turned 14 two weeks ago and he's already 6' tall so I thought basketball would be something that he would like simply because his height may make it easier for him. He's never been much for sports but he said he wanted to try and see if he liked it. Their first game is in two weeks. It's official...my kids have a better social life than their parents do. LOL
We recently took off for a few days to celebrate our 3rd adoption anniversary. We've done something every year since the first ear and it's become an anticipated family tradition.
We drove about 90 minutes away from where we live, and visited Cypress Gardens. When you buy one day, you can validate your ticket and come back the next day for free. So we went two days in a row, which was nice because we didn't have to rush and everybody got to do and see stuff that they wanted.
They had a good mix of rides, shows and garden spots. Jacqueline's favorite ride was Thunder Bolt and Shawna's was Triple Hurricane. The water skiing show was great and the kids got to take a try at it the next day. . As soon as I develop my film, I'll post pictures on them out on the water. The only bad thing was the food. Not only did it suck, but it was soooo overpriced.
We spent two nights at Lake Roy Beach Inn & Suites. The suite was okay, nothing to brag about, but the view and the area off the lake were just beautiful. Out our back door was a screen room and then after that a deck right off the lake. Beautiful tress, small sparkling lights and the heated pool off to the left. When we weren't at Cypress Gardens, we were out there enjoying the lake view.
Labels: Unschooling in Action
I just realised I never posted about Halloween. LOL
First of all, I hate Halloween in Florida. It's nothing like New York City...nothing like it at all. Not that many people decorate, not that many kids go trick or treating, it's actually quite boring. The other thing I hate is that the weather is still so warm that I've been forgetting it's even Halloween so I end up making a mad dash to the store to rummage through leftover costumes. This year it was Jacqueline who reminded me the week before..."Um, mom-Halloween is in 6 days and we don't have a costume yet". 6 days!!! How can that be...I'm still wearing shorts!!!
Anyway...Jacqueline was a geisha girl and Shawna was a vampire. They both looked great and my mom did their make up. I took pictures which I'll post as soon as I get them developed. Billy took them trick or treating. Cimion decided to stay home so he had the fun job of giving out the candy. He really enjoyed himself and the girls shared their candy with him when they came home.
We really enjoy watching web cams, especially ones of animals. Here's a few of the ones we really like. The San Diego Zoo offers four different ones; apes, pandas, elephants and polar bears. The Monterey Bay Aquarium has a few diferent ones like penquins and sharks. This one is about koalas but they show it at a high speed so it's a little strange to watch. We also love Earth Cam. Definitely check this one out!
I hope you enjoy these and if you know of any other good ones, please share them. :-)
Labels: Links We Like
We've belonged to Blockbuster Online for a while now and we love it! We pay $17.99 per month and we can rent three movies at a time with unlimited rentals. Which means we can rent as many movies as we want, but we can't have more than three in our possesion at any one time. What I like about blockbuster, as opposed to netflix, is we can also get free rentals at our local Blockbuster store. I highly recommend them (and no, I don't get anything for saying that) and they also have less expensive plans.
Here's some of the most recent movies we've watched. Some were just for Billy & I, some were movies the kids wanted to see, some of them we all decided to watch.
Harriet the Spy
From the Earth to the Moon
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
End of Days
Out of Time
Air Force One
Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story
NOVA: The Elegant Universe
The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl
Cirque du Soleil: Midnight Sun
2 Fast 2 Furious
The Tie That Binds
Barbie Fairytopia: Mermaidia
The Fast and the Furious
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
The Next Karate Kid
Mission: Impossible II
Gray Lady Down
The New World
The Bourne Supremacy
The Ultimate Space Experience
Cirque du Soleil: La Nouba
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
A list of books (and dvd's) last checked out by my 14 year old son.
Attack helicopters : the AH-64 Apaches by Sweetman, Bill.
Britney Spears by Lutz, Norma Jean.
Carrier-based jet fighters : the F-14 Tomcats by Green, Michael
Drag racing by Cockerham, Paul W.
High-altitude spy planes : the U-2s by Sweetman, Bill.
How to become an elected official by Bonner, Mike
Jeff Gordon by Brinster, Richard.
(DVD) People, places & interesting things by Leokum, Arkady.
The Pettys : triumphs & tragedies of auto racing's first family by Stewart, Mark
(DVD) Prehistoric life by Hardy, Justin.
Star Wars: the hunt for Aurra Sing by Truman, Tim
The story of mankind by Van Loon, Hendrik Willem
Top 10 NASCAR drivers by Riley, Gail Blasser.
World's best outdoor games by Vecchione, Glen
ZOIDS: new century. by Mizobuchi, Makoto
This is my submission for Unschooling Voices #6. The question is: "What interesting activites, projects or experiments have your kids done this past year? We've gotten some really cool ideas from other unschoolers, so tell us what you've done in 2006!"
Early in the year we put a time capsule together. We'll be digging it up and doing another on January 1st. This was a lot of fun! Shawna even made a map of where we buried it. :-)
We started our Grateful Wall after much pondering about different ways to show gratitude. There are now over 100 thoughts written in it.
A couple of fun, nature projects we did were a butterfly garden and a bird restuarant. We're hoping to expand on these two ideas soon.
This next idea came out of looking for a way to remember all the questions Jacqueline had in the car. We started a question book, which is a spiral notebook where we write questions we have. We leave room for the answer and jot it in as soon as we know. It's a few pages long so far and it kind of looks like our own personal encyclopedia. :-)
This was fun!! We made slime!! Billy made this with them one weekend and it was a real big hit with all of us! We used neon food coloring so the colors were very vivid. It actually lasted a long time.
This was another fun one! We should have bought more than one soda for the soda geiser because it's over in two seconds. But it was two seconds of fun. :-) And if your kids are like my youngest and want to know the how's and why's, click on the link.
Shawna & Jacqueline have been interested in writing. Shawna has been writing book reviews and we've been working on a story together. It's not finished so I haven't posted it yet. Jacqueline wrote a Seuss-like poem and a Barbie story.
Speaking of Jacqueline, here is a recent blog post about some experiments she thought up on her own. She's very interested in, not only why things happen but what happens if we do this and this together.
One things that I haven't blogged about yet is ATC's. The reason I haven't is because I can't find my camera to post pictures! We've paprticipated in so many trades at Imagination Tribe and ATCcards.com and have been having a blast making, and trading them!
Well, that's what we've been up to this year. I'm looking forward to reading what all of you have been doing!
What interesting activites, projects or experiments have your kids done this past year? We've gotten some really cool ideas from other unschoolers so tell us what you've done in 2006!
Feel free to answer here, as a comment or on your blog (and then e-mail me the link). All submissions will be added to the next edition (out Dec. 1).
Click here for information.
Related Tags: unschooling voices, unschooling carnival, unschooling, experiments, homeschooling
If you post a link to Unschooling Voices #5, please let me know (by leaving a comment) so I can start a list thanking those who do. I'll keep updating this list for about a week or so.
Thank you to:
Relaxed Homeskool (Kim also added a late entry to this months carnival. Check it out!
Living Without School
Wired For Noise
Just Enough and Nothing More
Homeschooling is Life
Avec Mes Zebres
A Typical Homeschool
Related Tags: Unschooling Voices, Unschooling carnival, unschooling, unschool, homeschooling, homeschool
As I posted earlier, I didn't have enough time to get this together before we left for our adoption anniversary mini-vacation (more about that in another post!) so that's why this is a few days late.
The 6th Unschooling Voices will be out on December 1. If you'd like to participate, click here for the details. The new (and always optional) question for this month plus past editions, can also be found there.
If you post a link to this months installment on your blog or site, please let me know (by leaving a comment here) so I can thank you with a link back. :-)
As you click the links that take you to the different blogs and sites, I encourage you to comment on the ones that you particularly enjoy (tell 'em we sent ya!) or maybe offer some words of wisdom to someone at an unschooling crossroads. As you read, keep in mind that everyone who participated is at a different place in their unschooling journey.
The (always optional) question for November was on support. How much do you have from family and friends? Are there other unschoolers near you or do you belong to an offline unschooling group? How important is having that support?
I posted the question to a couple of unschooling e-mail groups and here are responses from Pam and Catherine.
Wildflower Car, at Hippie House shares her thoughts about support from when she was unschooled and now, as an unschooling parent.
Cher, at Adventures in Living blogged about her take on support that's needed and given with regards to unschooling with a post about the observations and experiences with support over the last 4 1/2 years.
Melissa also gave her thoughts about support and how important it is to unschooling.
Nancy submited a post that talks about comparisons, finding peace in their chosen method (or non-method) of home education and a little bit about their day.
Tammy at Just Enough submitted a very interesting post about passing down non-mainsteam values to our children. Good food for thought.
JoVE, over at Trictomania, inspired by a conversation with another homeschooler about knitting, examines how the primacy of a market logic for assigning value makes it hard for us to adequately express and/or defend the value of what we do as homeschoolers (and perhaps particularly as unschoolers) because the aspects of our activities that we most value do not have a market value.
Robin from Life Without School submitted a post written by Stephanie. It's abut knowing when to "push" and when not to.
Mama Chaos talks about the idea of sending young children to preschool to prepare them for school and about being the odd one in her mommy group for not feeling the same way.
Henry at Why Homeschool reviews the recent Geraldo segment on unschooling.
My submission is something Kelly Lovejoy wrote on Unschooling Basics. She was answering a question (what exactly is unschooling?) asked by a new member.
I hope you enjoyed reading this edition. :-) I know I did. Thank you to all those who participated. Don't forget the deadline for December is a little over 3 weeks away. Maybe take a look at some of your older posts and submit a bunch!
Related Tags: Unschooling Voices, Unschooling carnival, unschooling, unschool, homeschooling, homeschool
These submissions are part of Unschooling Voices #5 which is posted above.
From Pam G:
Family, hmmmm, I don't really have much family left. All parents, grandparents, parents-in-law, grandparents-in-law have crossed over. My two brothers live a long way away and are really involved in their own lives to be support or anti-support (is that a word? LOL) for me.
When we first moved here to North Carolina almost 9 years ago (wow it has been that long) I had no friends, did not grow up in this area, had never lived here before. My boys were younger, like 6 months and 4 years. I would take them to the library story hour etc. Things like that. But I was kind of lonely not having friends, and started thinking about my children as they get older and want friends. I joined the local homeschool group but there were no
unschoolers there (that I knew of). I just kept my mouth shut, my boys were making friends, didn't talk about my unschooling much, although they all knew I was an unschooler. I just sat and listened to the curriculum, being polite. But there was never any deep conversations about parenting or homeschooling, just the superficial stuff.
I was searching the internet for unschooling, just that general topic, was not on any yahoo list at all. I found the web site for Kelly's Live and Learn Conference in Columbia SC. Asked dh if he wanted to go, it was only 3 hours away so my thinking was if we didn't like it we could come home, no problem. Well we LOVED it. I am kind of shy so we didn't make any friends, but I listened to all the speakers, nothing new but it was nice to see I wasn't crazy and that other people unschooled too. I hadn't been long that I even knew what we did had a name. My boys loved finding kids like them so much that they cried when we had to leave on Sunday. They wanted to stay longer. I cried because it was amazing that they could make connections to other kids so strong in that short a time. I still didn't join any yahoo lists.
I saw a post on a statewide list from a mom about one of the unschooling lists, so I went and joined that. I think it was Unschoolingdotcom. And also saw she was really near me (45 min drive) and was just taking her kids out of school. So I encouraged her to join the local homeschool group, now there would be 2 of us..LOL, and we met in person at park day and our kids hit it off. That was my first unschooling friend, who really got it.
She then met another mom from the area and introduced me, we live about an hour apart. Kelly encouraged me to start my own statewide list so I did, LOL. It is a very active list with so many unschoolers on it. I started meeting more and more unschoolers that live pretty close to me, and some that don't. And now our local homeschool group has 13 unschooling families in it. The group has gone through a split because the more conservative types didn't
like our unschooling ways. LOL
I guess what I am trying to say is that if you don't have an unschooling community or unschooling friends you can build your own. I thought there were none around here when I started out. I don't have any biological family near by but I have friends that are closer than family. OK this is getting too long, but that is my story. LOL. My unschooling
family and friends.
In terms of support, my parents and in-laws are hands-off, but they do not "get" what unschooling is really. So I am glad they do not interfere, aside from my Dad asking the odd question now and again, like, "Does Ben read books now, and does he know basic mulitplication?". Annoying, but manageable.
In terms of friends, I have an unschooling friend 12 minutes away and it is great to be able to get together and understand one another. She is very busy with politics right now, so we don't see each other as often, but it is great she is there. I have another friend who is "eclectic" and does a relaxed school at home approach, but we are connected well, and enjoy one another's company. Our children play well together too which draws us together despite the different way we see learning. It's interesting, I connect philosophically with the unschooling mom, but connect emotionally with the school at home mom, in terms of friendship! Part of this might be the number of kids we have.
I am on two unschooling lists, and I read when I can. I am reading Unconditional Parening by Alfie Kohn right now (very challenging and excellent).
I find unschooling in a rural environment hard in terms of meeting others of like minds. But, it is where dh has work and the kids have lots of room to roam and yell and be crazy without disturbing the neighbours!