Unschooling and Self Worth

Girl Playing Piano - Unschooling and Self Worth

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.

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Simple Learning – Unschooling

Boy Stacking Stones - Unschooling

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.

“So, you’re not his teacher, then….”

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Simple Gift Giving

Hands offering flowers - Simple Gift Giving

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 […]

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A Simple Activities Advent Calendar – and 40 Ideas to Inspire You

christmas snowman

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).

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Giving Back When You Feel You Have Nothing to Give

Homeless man - giving back

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.

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Habit: Keeping a Gratitude Journal

Woman writing in gratitude journal

Our days are filled with busyness – shopping lists, doctor appointments, mandatory meetings at work, bill paying, scrubbing the floors, cooking dinner…. Sometimes, we feel so put upon, so frazzled, we hardly remember to look at the blue sky, the glistening snow beneath our feet, or the smiles of our loved ones right beside us. It certainly doesn’t occur to us to be grateful for being able to buy and prepare nutritious food or for having floors to scrub.

And, sometimes, it feels as if we have nothing to be thankful for. Sometimes our burdens really are too heavy – chronic illnesses, shaky relations with friends or family, job insecurity, loved ones who are suffering…. It can feel as if there’s no end – and certainly no reason in the world to be thankful. Believe me, I know. I’ve been there.

But, there is something to be thankful for, somewhere. There always is.

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Habit Result: Healthy Breakfasts

Green smoothie - healthy breakfasts habit - Simple living resources

(Over) 17 days ago, I started a new habit. I vowed to make a healthy breakfast each morning – a glass of green smoothie and a bowl of homemade, omega-3 packed oatmeal with fruit – even though eating breakfast has always made me feel hungry before lunchtime.

So, it’s been 17 days. How did it go?

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Simple, Spooky Homemaking Tip

spider web - spiders

It’s that creepy, crawly time of year, again – Halloween! So, naturally, I got to thinking about our eight-legged friends. Can spiders be a helpful part of a simple home?

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10 Ways to Enjoy Cleaning

Clothesline with Garland -10 ways to enjoy cleaning Tips

In these days of rush and hurry, of commutes and deadlines, of overwhelming stress, making and keeping a comfortable, warm and welcoming home is often just a little more than we can bear, so it takes a backseat to more pressing pursuits. Cleaning the kitchen counters and vacuuming and laundry and dusting – sometimes, these things just don’t get done.

Do you find that you enjoy cleaning from time to time but not as often as it takes to actually keep the living room sparkling? Me, too!

So, how can you learn to enjoy homemaking tasks every day? Check out these 10 cleaning tips.

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Choosing Paths Over Pavement

Forest Path - Choosing paths over pavement

A path is shaped by the people who use it. Someone discovered the best way to get somewhere – maybe the quickest, maybe the most scenic and enjoyable – and over the months or years, as that person walked those same steps again and again, the grass was worn down and a path was formed.

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