Western culture is buried under a blanket of fear. We’re afraid of guns and school shootings, and many children have to pass through metal detectors each morning before entering their schools. We’re afraid of other crime, too – home invasions, gang violence, serial killings, terrorism…. We’re afraid of immigrants and drug abusers, of environmental collapse and deadly disease. We’re afraid of strangers and ISIS and the seasonal flu. The fear is almost addictive.
But, in a very real way, we have nothing to fear but the fear, itself.
I’ve been thinking about home, recently. My family’s little home is our peaceful pocket in an often chaotic world. This is where we come to recharge ourselves, and this is where most of the important moments in our lives take place. We connect with each other here. We’re not afraid to be our true selves. We can relax and enjoy life within these walls.
Which got me to thinking about all the ways people are making home a greater part of their lives….
Over the last several years, there have been countless attempts to define (or un-define) unschooling. Some say it must look like this or that; others say that each unschooling experience will look different. Almost everyone, however, has focused on the details rather than the broader picture. While reading through The Unschooling Handbook, I was struck by the section titled “Traits of an Unschooling Household.” She listed three….
For us, one of unschooling’s greatest benefits is its natural reverence for a child’s self-worth. Rather than imposing our own structure on our children’s education, it necessitates that we trust our children and help them find and follow their own interests, forge their own paths, and pursue their own dreams.
My son (17 years old) and I are natural learners, or unschoolers. Unschooling is a way of learning that fits comfortably into a life that focuses on authenticity and simplicity. Unschooling is child-led and interest-driven. It is allowing children the freedom to explore their world and providing them, as much as possible, with the means to learn from their environment.
When my grandmother was 95 years old, she lived in an assisted living facility several hours away (though in the same town as one of her children, my uncle). We had always seen each other several times a year – usually Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas, if nothing else. As she grew older, it became more […]
The holiday season should be the season of togetherness, of warmth and closeness and simple joys. Instead, we find ourselves rushing around to buy things to eat, things to decorate with, things to give away. We believe we must live up to expectations – society’s, our family’s, our own. We feel stressed and anxious, irritated and worn out, from our trips to stores jammed full with other shoppers. We buy our holidays, plain and simple.
It doesn’t have to be that way (even if the television is screaming that it does).
Our communities are desperately fragmented. So often, even when we’re surrounded by others, by friends and co-workers, by family and loved ones, we perceive ourselves as very alone. Because of this, we’ve begun to feel more and more alienated in the world. Even when we’re surrounded by so many other humans with the same fears and doubts, the same joys and hopes that we have, we keep to ourselves. We never discover that others are much like we are.
Giving of ourselves allows us to feel genuinely needed and inspires us to see ourselves as a part of something bigger, integrally connected to those around us.