Archive for the 'Inspiration' Category
I’m kind of obsessed with the idea of repurposing clothing, particularly T-shirts. I say obsessed with the IDEA because I don’t actually ever DO any of this said repurposing. But that’s about to change. We got this book. And we like to look at the pretty pictures.
And as soon as I locate a sewing machine, Bella and I all will be all over this!
Until then, I give you…my friend Christine. She is hilarious. And she’s crafty. Check out this short and sweet video, where she combines all of her superhero skills to make a rad t-shirt.
One of my favorite books ever is a book by Lloyd Khan called “Homework“. If you’re at all interested in alternative housing…you will love it too. It’s completely inspiring and beautiful. So…you can imagine I was thrilled to come across this lovely video about his work. Enjoy!
He has written several books about alternative housing…check them out below.
We are loving the West coast. The ocean is dreamy and Portland is by FAR one of my favorite cities in the country. California is beautiful and WARM! Just wish it wasn’t so spendy
I’m still blissed out from Hoopcamp. *sigh* Amazing.
**If you’re interested in getting more consistent updates on my life, as I’m obviously not a daily blogger …feel free to add me as a Facebook friend or follow me on Twitter. I also just uploaded 186 new photos to my Life Inspired set! Lots of “behind the scenes” action
Have a wonderful week!
Life moves fast. And when you’re not intentionally slowing down and really SEEING every moment…you will miss something! With this in mind, every day for the past week my dear friend Alicia and I have been documenting our daily life (morning and evening) and sending them to each other via iPhone.
It has been such a sweet way for us to connect and feel closer to each other even when we’re miles apart. When I see her photos come in for the day, I am GIDDY with excitement! It’s been so fun to see each others lives in this way and it causes us to be mindful about catching all the little moments…our life “inspired”. Be sure to keep an eye on her blog as well…she’ll be posting some of her images too (and they’re amazing!).
I will be sharing more of these photos with you…because they make me happy! And, more importantly…I am sharing them because I am trying to turn over a new leaf. Imperfect, pressure free blogging
I’ve blogged before about how much I LOVE “phone photography”…and the gritty, unedited glimpses into life that they provide. I don’t have time right now to edit lots of photos, but I can do this! It takes me moments instead of hours…awesome.
I still love my “fancy” camera…but at this season of life, I’m loving the on-the-go, compact accessibility of my iPhone camera. I’ve never been a big scrapbooker/record keeper, but I do that with my photos. And someday, I will make a book of all of these photos for my kiddos to treasure.
I am also starting a Flickr group called Life Inspired and I would love if you would add photos of your own. See you there!
I caught a glimpse of Your splendor
In the corner of my eye
The most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen
And it was like a flash of lightning
Reflected off the sky
And I know I’ll never be the same
Glory. Hmmmm…I love that word. As I listened, I sat down at my computer to look up the lyrics. Life was good.
But then…it turned into one of “those days”. I wasn’t feeling grateful. I was cranky. I didn’t feel God near. As we drove into town that night, these were the scenes before us. Brilliant sunlight shining out from the clouds and a rainbow splashed across a dark and dreary sky. In an instant, I thought…”GLORY”. I was reminded of that morning and the song.
I love it when He speaks to me so clearly…through His creation and music. Two methods that I can understand easily. I watched the sky…and my heart finally understood what He had been trying to tell me all day. If He has the power to create these works of art in the sky, He certainly has the power to work in my life.
Once we’ve seen God’s glory…we are NEVER the same. But thankfully, He is ALWAYS the same. He never changes. He never stops loving me even through my darkest days and my lack of faith. He is patient and loving. He is LIGHT…the rainbow that cuts through even the darkest of days.
For the past few months, I’ve been rather quiet online. My desire and inspiration to blog ebbs and flows…and lately I’ve been feeling quite introspective. My heart is aching to spend more time with Jesus and spend less time thinking about me. I seem to have have lots of words and thoughts flowing…but my words want to stay inside for some reason. I need time to really sit with myself and figure out what is going on in this brain of mine before I open it up and share with others.
Sometimes the internet is an amazing open road for me to wander upon. My heart skips a beat when I come across something that speaks to my soul. But it can also be completely overwhelming. So many people to catch up with and connect to…I open my Facebook page and immediately close it. It’s like walking into a huge party that has been going all night long and I just don’t have the energy to mingle If you have emailed or sent me a message on Facebook lately and I haven’t answered, please don’t take it personally. Feel free to send another message to jog my memory. It’s been hard to keep up with it all and “real life” has been much more attractive. And we’ve been busy busy busy.
I would love to start sharing more of my “real life” with you. Often times, I feel like I have to to write a “grand” topical blog post and the sheer intensity of that endeavor makes me want to run away and hide. So instead, I think I will try to share snippets. Photos, links, quotes…things that are inspiring me. I’m thinking about doing a “photo a day” project again (but with my iPhone) or perhaps some video blogs.
So I’ll start today. Here are a few things that have my affections this week, online and off:
- I’ve been making TONS of ice tea. Every morning, I make a big batch of unsweetened mango raspberry mint herbal tea and then add just a touch of Sweet Leaf Mint and Honey tea. Heaven.
- I miss my sweet Becky sooooo much and yesterday she wrote a beautiful piece on her blog about her solitary retreat for one in the woods. A must read.
- We’re living at a beautiful state park in Colorado right now and the view from our window is amazing! Trails, pelicans, lakes, and mountains, right out our front door.
- I experienced hot yoga here for the first time. I got up at 5:30am 8 times before we moved to a campground farther away and then I quit going regularly. It rocked my world. I brought my mom and she loved it too. Getting up that early is probably what threw a wrench in my online activities because I started going to bed earlier…and my prime time for browsing the web was 10pm-2am. My body is thanking me for getting out of that routine!
- How scrumptious is this swing?
- I’m obsessed this this CD. Best kids music ever!
- I’m looking forward to the Boulder Farmer’s Market tomorrow morning and a little trip up the mountain to Nederland. I’m going to hoop in the mountain air.
- My mom has been staying with us for the past 2 weeks and my dad came for the last week…and they left yesterday. My heart is light with joy as I recount the amazing memories we made…but it’s also heavy with the weight of goodbyes. Above is a photo from the balcony of our hotel room in Golden. We spent one amazing “getaway” night there during their stay…eating, drinking, laughing, and being refreshed. I love them so.
Have a wonderful weekend!
From the time Bella was born, Matt and I knew that we wanted her to have a rich life experience…and that it wasn’t going to come from spending 7-8 hours a day at school. And even though we were not homeschooled ourselves, it was something that we were excited about and embraced with open arms. But the term homeschooling is quite broad and it became somewhat overwhelming to navigate our options. As Bella approached that “magical age of 5″…we felt pressure to make a decision on a curriculum and get busy learning.
Have you ever noticed how ramped up everyone gets when kids enter kindergarten? It’s like everything before then was a cake walk…their kid was just slacking off until one day BAM, they’re 5 and it’s time to get serious about learning. Letters! Numbers! Reading! Writing! Stress enters the picture and hysteria ensues. * Child’s Play / The Art of Learning
However, the more I researched, the more I found that none of the curriculum were clicking with me. Fellow homeschooling friends would recommend different ideas…but something else kept drawing me in. And that something was something called “unschooling”.
What is unschooling?
Unschooling is a lifestyle of learning. It is a type of homeschooling, but we do not “do school” at home. There are no workbooks, no desks, no memorization, no set “time” for school, and no tests. The child is FREE to pursue their own interests.
Mary Griffith, author of The Unschooling Handbook, defined unschooling this way, ‘[it] means learning what one wants, when one wants, in the way one wants, for one’s own reasons. Choice and control reside with the learner. She may find outside help in the form of parents, mentors, books, or formal lessons, but [she] is the one making the decisions about how best to proceed. Unschooling is trusting that your children are at least as clever and capable as you are yourself.’ (source)
Does this mean that we never help her in her journey of learning and she is just left to figure it all out on her own? No. As her parents, we are responsible for coming alongside her as a partner and providing learning opportunities based on interests…and guiding her if she asks. At this age, most of Bella’s learning is is based around play. But if she expresses interest in something…we will do whatever we can to help her explore that interest.
The biggest difference is that we are not actively “teaching” her. She is learning on her own through life experiences. If, for example, we’re sitting watching the sunset, we don’t launch into a quiz session about the earth’s rotation and the solar system. We sit and enjoy it together and if she asks questions about it (which she usually does!), we can start to discuss it, but it’s not a parent-initiated.
Unschooling as a Lifestyle
For our family, unschooling is a natural extension of the parenting style that we have chosen. Attachment parenting and gentle discipline respects and nurtures the child…and we’ve found that unschooling does the same. We enjoy a very easy “flow” to our family life. While it is not completely free of conflict, we have taken some of the common struggles (sleep and food) out of the picture. Bella does not have a set bedtime, instead she listens to her body and goes to sleep when she is tired and wakes when she wants. We also don’t have a lot of rules and restrictions surrounding food. We do have family meal times, but if someone is hungry before or after a meal or even after teeth have been brushed, we eat. Basically, we treat her with the same respect that we would a guest in our home.
There is an excellent article that goes into more depth on the logistics of an unschooled life here: “From Control to Connection: An Unschooling Journey”.
I also really enjoyed this talk given by Astra Taylor, called “An Unschooled Life”. Her biography reads: Raised by independent-thinking bohemian parents, Taylor was unschooled until age 13. Join the filmmaker as she shares her personal experiences of growing up home-schooled without a curriculum or schedule, and how it has shaped her educational philosophy and development as an artist.
What about “socialization”?
This is one of the questions that comes up a lot…and it’s good to stop and really think about what the word socialization means.
Socialization defined: “a continuing process whereby an individual acquires a personal identity and learns the norms, values, behavior, and social skills appropriate to his or her social position”.
Hmmm….being socialized doesn’t sound like something I want for my children. I want them to think OUTSIDE the box, not learn how to follow the “rules” of social position.
What it boils down to, is that school is not teaching children about the real world at all. It does just the opposite. And instead of rambling on about it, please just read this. It spells it all out and is an interesting read.
What about math?
I took college calculus. I don’t use ONE thing that I learned in that class. In fact, I don’t use much of what I learned in high school either. I do use math to cook, go shopping, and figure out how old I am (after you pass 30, you start to forget!) My point is that life-learned math is much more applicable to…well….life! And if you run into a situation where you need to divide 68345 by 27, I’m sure a calculator will be nearby. In the case of those who wish to become an engineer or delve into any other math related occupation, they can learn it as they need to. You may want to read this intriguing article about kids learning math easily when they control their own learning. And more interesting thoughts on math here.
What about reading?
Children will learn to read naturally, on their own…in their own way that works for them. It has been said that age 7 is the ‘best’ age for children to start learning to read. Starting them before can be detrimental to their reading habits in some cases. Joyce Fetterol puts forth the idea that “…schools place emphasis on [early] reading not because it’s the best way to learn but because it’s the most efficient way to run assembly line learning.” For more information on unschooling and reading…click here and here.
What about college?
If our children decide to go to college (and it would be fine if they didn’t)…they will learn what they need to learn to achieve that goal. There are many unschoolers doing fantastic in college right now…and there are many who decided to take a faster (and cheaper) route to their dreams.
What about learning discipline?
Discipline, as in SELF-discipline, cannot be forced upon a child. Like adults, it is born out of a passionate desire to achieve. For me, I have self-discipline in my eating because I am passionate about health. I have self-discipline in my language and lifestyle because I am passionate about following Jesus Christ. The discipline was learned on my own because I was excited about these things. It was not something I learned sitting in classroom by being forced to sit and take tests and raise my hand to use the restroom.
What about the laws?
Each state has different laws regarding homeschooling. You can see each state’s regulations here.
That’s All Folks…
Those are my thoughts on unschooling in a nutshell. This could be a 10 part series, because there are so many branches and ideas related to unschooling…but I wanted to give you a brief overview because I’ve had so many questions sent to me about it. Unschooling is something that I’ve grown very passionate about and I look forward to our discussion in the comments! Please share any other unschooling blogs that you love as well…
If you have a general question about unschooling, you may want to check out the starred web links below before commenting…they cover a HUGE range of topics related to unschooling and your question is most likely addressed there.
If you are adamantly opposed to unschooling or homeschooling, please comment with a gentle spirit and know that this is what works for our family and we love it. We are not judging your choices…everyone needs to do what works best for them, and it’s definitely not for everybody.
Web Resources That You Will Read For Hours
Sandra Dodd’s Site*
The Natural Child
Natural/Non-Coercive Learning (Psychology Today)
What about the Dads?
Not Back to School Camp: I cannot wait for my kids to be old enough to attend this camp. I wish that I would have been an unschooler so I could have gone Be sure to watch the video on the home page.
Books That Will Change Your Life
*When you use these links, I will get a small percentage of the sale. Thanks so much for supporting my site!
The Women’s International Summit for Health…I am SUPER excited for this event! There are so many people speaking that I respect and admire…and I love that there is a little something for everybody. Food, relationships, money, attitude, beauty…and more. The last event like this that I listened to was so inspiring. I walked away from it feeling renewed and excited about life and my health. Even if you don’t fully agree with everything a speaker is proposing, you can take away many little nuggets of wisdom from each one. Even if you can just catch a couple of the interviews, it’s SO worth it.
Sign up for free before March 8. I hope that you’ll be able to listen in!
I’ve always been SO fascinated with other cultures…especially in how they live out their daily lives. I can’t wait to see this movie. Awesome. I wish it was out now, but we’ll have to wait until April 2010 to see the rest of this loveliness.