Wonders are found in topics rarely addressed by poets: cow pastures, dictionaries, to-do lists, and astrophysics. Beauty is unearthed in what one reviewer calls “sacraments of the ordinary.”
I admire and learn from Laura Grace Weldon’s writing. Her poems blossom from an inherent curiosity and grow strong under her compassionate treatment of the subject matter. Such fresh images and heartfelt insights move me to be a better writer.
~Susan F. Glassmeyer, author of Invisible Fish and 2018 Ohio Poet of the Year
These poems touch me so deeply because they bring me home to the marvelous sacraments of the ordinary: a coyote howl at midnight, a bean in its fuzzy pod, water in a forest stream that “moves in patterns more ancient than philosophy.” When I take a few moments to read a Laura Grace Weldon poem, the sun comes out in my heart, and I know that the earth, for all its pain, is bathed in goodness.
Laura Grace Weldon invites us to engage our third eye, to truly examine “light in a window/ laundry flapping defiantly on the line.” Her words so intimate and lush, she guides us to spaces we pass by, take for granted, overlook in our super-charged lives. Without reprimand or judgment, Laura Grace ever so deftly reveals the secret: “it’s a matter of walking/ inside to out with someone capable of truly seeing… wakening skin and gut, summoning/ the long kinship we share with everything.”
~Kari Gunter-Seymour, author of Serving and Poet Laureate of Athens, Ohio
On each surface our fingerprints linger.
They are too light to pack
too heavy to carry.
These lines from Laura Grace Weldon’s “Moving Day” remind us that the miraculous, the heartbreaking, the beautiful are always right in front of us, disguised as the daily messiness of our lives. I finished Blackbird and took a long winter walk through the park, seeing the world with fresher, keener eyes, and a feeling of gratitude.
Informed by quietly ordinary days, these poems look into the nature of things with questions that circle the stars.
“Laura Grace Weldon employs radical empathy to enter into the hidden lives of rutabaga, cows, the neighborhood bully, and the beating heart of life itself. Playful, curious, sensual, she aims to open the reader’s eyes and heart.”
“Laura Grace Weldon’s poems remind us that our world’s necessary brushes between nature and technology, human and animal, are not necessarily ones of friction. Instead, Weldon sees these moments as truly wondrous ones, available to us not only on the farm, but also in the back pocket of a window washer, swinging among the skyscrapers.”
“Memory, faith, and the natural world as both witness to the cycle of human life and healer to a questioning heart are at the core of this lovely and lyrical collection of poems. The weather changes, people come and go from cities and towns, babies are born, grow up and depart from their parents’ arms, but still, the countryside and its rituals sustain the people and creatures who know how to read the signs of the seasons. In these pages, Laura Grace Weldon shares those signs with us; her poems are the fruit of a wonderful harvest.”
“Laura Grace Weldon’s poems are concrete, allusive, and rich.”
~Diane Kendig, author of The Places We Find Ourselves.
“These are calming poems, set deep in the specifics of this life.”
Published by Aldrich Press. Order HERE.
Free Range Learning
Free Range Learning describes an important individual and cultural shift in education that’s already well underway. It advocates for the child’s right to learn naturally and demonstrates how to enfold this approach into daily life. It incorporates ancient knowledge as well as current research, highlighting wisdom shared by over 100 families from around the world.
In this useful book readers will discover a wealth of inspiring ideas for connecting with nature, reinvigorating their communities, and sustaining the love of learning. If you need one volume about educating the whole child, Free Range Learning is that book.
“If we want to live in a more peaceful, democratic and humane world we need to re-think our child rearing practices–this book provides the groundwork and inspiration for this type of revolution. If you love children and humanity this book is a must read.”
~Carlo Ricci, Ph.D editor, The Journal of Unschooling and Alternative Learning Professor of Education, Graduate Studies Nipissing University
“Laura Weldon draws on the experiences of diverse homeschoolers and her own insightful observations to show why learning rooted in the family and community makes so much sense. She demonstrates that when young people are allowed to learn freely and naturally, they gain extraordinary competence, self-confidence, maturity and wisdom. Free Range Learning will encourage anyone considering homeschooling, and will explain to anyone else why so many families are making this choice.”
~Ron Miller, Ph.D, editor, Education Revolution Magazine
“My heart began to sing after reading the first paragraph of this book. I became thrilled and hopeful as I kept reading. Thrilled that the author so beautifully captures the essence of how children learn and hopeful that more parents will have the opportunity to understand and respect how exciting learning can be for children.
This book should be read by every parent, teacher, and school administrator as the beginning of education reform that includes respect for the learning process of every child.
Therapists might be out of a job if every child could experience an environment where different strengths are understood and respected and failure is never an issue. Homeschooling parents who have any doubts will be filled with confidence and encouragement.
This book is about much more than homeschooling. It incorporates beautiful philosophies such as slowing down, kindness, empathy, cooperation, the dangers of materialism, creating a heart-centered lifestyle, and much more. It is also filled with valuable resources for homeschooling parents. It is a beautiful read.”
~Jane Nelsen, author of Positive Discipline and Raising Self-Reliant Children in a Self-Indulgent World
“A book of many voices. A swelling chorus of the real life experiences of parents and children, buttressed with science, that powers a fresh, but ancient, way of looking at how children learn. Laura Weldon shares her view of the rich experiences of children learning in a free range setting. A resource for parents; an inspiration for all of us.”
~Robert Wolff, author of Original Wisdom: Stories of an Ancient Way of Knowing
“It has always been so simple and Laura Weldon keeps it that way. The emerging new paradigm in child development confirms it: organic experience and children themselves are their own best teachers. I can’t imagine why anyone would consider sending their kids to school after reading such a well-researched and convincing book.”
~Chris Mercogliano, author of In Defense of Childhood: Protecting Kids’ Inner Wildness and Teaching the Restless
“Children love to learn – and they’re good at it. That’s not a new idea, but it’s a critically important concept which has been stifled and twisted and denied for far too long. Thankfully, it’s also a frequent thread and the binding glue of Laura Weldon’s wonderfully affirming book, Free Range Learning. Through homeschooling her children and working as an effective homeschool advocate for many years, Laura Weldon developed an understanding of, and an appreciation for, an elementary wisdom which our society forgot somewhere along the way: Children can be trusted to learn. In this book, she joyfully shares that wisdom.”
~Helen Hegener, publisher, Home Education Magazine
“Free Range Learning offers a wide-reaching resource for any parent who cares about augmenting their child’s learning – whether home-schooling or not.”
~Homa Sabet Tavangar, author of Growing Up Global