On Living Happily with Less

living on less, the shift, RFK, gross national product,

My husband is the bee inspector for two counties. He meets interesting people every time he goes out to another apiary. If he lingers after the heavy work of opening hives, the conversation invariably heads in the direction of self-reliance. People tend to talk about making home and equipment repairs, canning and freezing a garden’s bounty, earth-respecting ways of farming, living on less. It seems everywhere around us people are doing what they can to save. They’re also working harder to connect with others who have experience and talents to offer.

After two years of searching for full-time work my husband is well acquainted with these topics, but also because we’ve spent decades trying (sometimes with slapstick results) to live well on less. We make do, repurpose, and enjoy frugality without making a fuss about it. It’s a work in progress, as we’re still trying to gain reasonable proficiency in skills our great grandparents took for granted.

The times we live in are tossing millions of people in this direction whether they go willingly or scream all the way. It isn’t easy. It probably isn’t fair either. Our current economic downturn came after a long slide of wealth slipping from middle class hands into the tight grip of the wealthy. Nearly 8 million jobs are gone, many possibly for good. Yet the richest among us have actually increased their holdings.

Some of us have lost the illusion of security. Some of us have lost much more—jobs, health care, pension funds, and homes. All of us have been forced to grow a little. That’s part of a larger shift. Insecurity pushes us to pay closer attention to our core values. We’re recognizing that purchases don’t really buy happiness and as a result, saving more than we have in decades. We’re doing more for ourselves and still reaching out to help others.  We’re as ingenious, adaptable and happy as we choose to be.

The shift is even more noticeable when we see certain long-established structures around us breaking apart, with more cracks appearing every day. Just look at what’s happening to prescribe-and-placate medical models, inflexible financial institutions, condemning religious frameworks, and rigid corporations.

But these current conditions of breakup, economic chaos, and environmental decline are exactly those which are (slowly) leading to beneficial change. Collectively we’re waking up to the weakness of limited thinking and short-term fixes. Hopefully we’re also waking up to the reality that we’re in this together—rich and poor, developed and developing nations, young and old, left and right.

We see in our own lives that what’s important can’t be measured by dollars alone. Things like good health, supportive relationships, a vital ecosystem as well as economic security. Even the word “wealth” is derived from the Old English term “weal” which means “well-being.”

Less than two months before he was assassinated, RFK said in a speech,

“…America is deep in a malaise of spirit:  discouraging initiative, paralyzing will and action, and dividing Americans from one another, by their age, their views and by the color of their skin and I don’t think we have to accept that here in the United States of America.”

He went on to say,

“For too long, we seemed to have surrendered personal excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things…  The Gross National Product counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage.  It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for the people who break them.  It counts the destruction of the redwood and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl.  It counts napalm and counts nuclear warheads and armored cars for the police to fight the riots in our cities.  It counts Whitman’s rifle and Speck’s knife, and the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children.”

“Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play.  It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials.  It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.”

redefine the GDP, frugal living,

Time to clarify what we mean by well-being—for ourselves, our economy and our future.









Patchwork Living Bee post*

One with the Universe courtesy of Suvetar

Together courtesy of Morfa9977

Waiting For Superman, Really?

"waiting for superman," alternative education, democratic schools, test scores meaningless, charter schools bad, corporate influence in schools, educational freedom,

School in the old days may not have been ideal, but good teachers made all the difference. My father taught elementary school back when teachers had real options in the classroom. At least in his district, as long as his students generally covered the subject areas he was free to innovate. So he did. His fifth graders performed experiments, took care of the classroom snakes and rats, started school-based businesses, and perhaps most importantly, read and wrote about what they found interesting. Those days weren’t perfect by any means for students let alone teachers. But they’ve gotten worse. My father skedaddled out of the teaching business before standardized tests really hit education. But he saw the zombifying effect on schools, teachers and kids brought by high stakes testing.

Even in the best districts, attaining those all-important numbers eliminates opportunities for innovation and time to work with students’ interests. Those left behind see their schools under test-heavy siege charged with getting results or getting eliminated.  This drive also shapes the kind of material students see, relentlessly preparing them to reach higher for the Almighty Score while giving scant attention to more complex yet essential skills for higher learning like critical thinking, creativity, initiative, and persistence.

Test Scores are not the Last Judgment

We might believe policy-makers know what they’re doing. Surely they haven’t been restructuring education based on bare numbers unless they had substantial proven results. Greater competiveness on the world market or at least greater individual success?


Here are the actual results in this excerpt from Free Range Learning:

It’s widely assumed that national test score rankings are vitally important indicators of a country’s future. To improve those rankings, national core standards are imposed with more frequent assessments to determine student achievement (meaning more testing).

Do test scores actually make a difference to a nation’s future?

Results from international mathematics and science tests from a fifty-year period were compared to future economic competitiveness by those countries in a study by Christopher H. Tienken. Across all indicators he could find minimal evidence that students’ high test scores produce value for their countries. He concluded that higher student test scores were unrelated to any factors consistently predictive of a developed country’s growth and competitiveness.

In another such analysis, Keith Baker, a former researcher for the U.S. Department of Education, examined achievement studies across the world to see if they reflected the success of participating nations. Using numerous comparisons, including national wealth, degree of democracy, economic growth and even happiness, Baker found no association between test scores and the success of advanced countries. Merely average test scores were correlated with successful nations while top test scores were not. Baker explains, “In short, the higher a nation’s test score 40 years ago, the worse its economic performance . . .”   He goes on to speculate whether testing [or forms of education emphasizing testing] itself may be damaging to a nation’s future

What about individual success?

In remarks to a Cato Institute Policy Forum, Alfie Kohn said, “Research has repeatedly classified kids on the basis of whether they tend to be deep or shallow thinkers, and, for elementary, middle, and high school students, a positive correlation has been found between shallow thinking and how well kids do on standardized tests. So an individual student’s high test scores are not usually a good sign.”

Why then do we push standardized tests if it has been shown that the results are counterproductive? Well, we’ve been told that this is the price children must pay in order to achieve success. This is profound evidence of societal shallow thinking, because the evidence doesn’t stack up.

Back in 1985, the research seeking to link academic success with later success was examined. It was appropriated titled “Do grades and tests predict adult accomplishment?”

The conclusion?


The criteria for academic success isn’t a direct line to lifetime success. Studies show that grades and test scores do not necessarily correlate to later accomplishments in such areas as social leadership, the arts, or the sciences. Grades and tests only do a good job at predicting how well youth will do in subsequent academic grades and tests. They are not good predictors of success in real-life problem solving or career advancement.

For-Profit Charters are not the Promised Land

Now the much-touted documentary Waiting for Superman indicts today’s schools. The film hasn’t opened yet, but advance publicity makes it clear that solutions include whipping the teacher’s union into submission while tossing money at the problem. Waiting for Superman follows five families as they try to spare their kids the fate of bad public schools by enrolling them in promising charter and magnet schools.  These are surely among the best charter and magnet schools in the country. But with our tendency to simplify any message, this film will surely be used to advance public perception of all charter schools. And that’s a very short-sighted approach.

Yes, there are some good ones, even some great ones out there. But let’s consider for a moment that many charter schools are run by for-profit companies. Making public education into an opportunity for entrepreneurs is not the solution. Owners have to make money somewhere. As a result they pay teachers very little, emphasize public relations, and provide little more than a rote McSchool education. Meanwhile they rake in stacks of taxpayer cash. Some charter schools provide nothing more than all-day computer based curricula for students to use at home (co-opting the term “homeschooling”) or in poorly run facilities. Unlike public schools, many charter schools can handpick their students, resulting in better overall test and behavioral outcomes. Even when children gain entrance by random pick, there’s an undeniably positive effect on students and their families who feel they’ve gained a leg up.

I’m not against entrepreneurs. I’d simply prefer to see them turn their attention to wind turbines and solar cells. My concerns are based on what’s happening in my home state. Here in Ohio, White Hat Management, owned by David Brennan, is the largest charter school operator in the state and the third-largest in the U.S.  They may have the most dedicated teachers and support staff possible but management is out for the money. Currently 10 White Hat run schools are suing the company hoping to get out of contracts. Why?

An attorney for the charter schools comments, “White Hat Management is a for-profit company. Its interest in making a profit often conflicts with the schools’ goal to educate and show student progress. There are no real rules in place to make White Hat fully account for the nonprofit dollars they receive to manage Ohio charters.”

A Columbus Dispatch article noted Brennan was making nearly $1 million for each charter school his company operated.

It’s not as if charters are better. According to a Stanford University study, charter schools here in Ohio underperform compared to public schools.

That’s true across the nation as well.

Comparing data from 70 percent of all charter students in the country, attending one of 2,403 charter schools, it was found that these schools were no better and often worse than their public school counterparts. Comparing math achievement, charter students had gains in 17 percent of the cases. But charter schools had no impact in 46 percent and a negative impact in 37 percent.

We knew this back when President Bush enthusiastically promoted poorly ranked charter schools. Now we know, at least in the case of some for-profit ventures, the concerned voices of parents and community members aren’t likely to be heard beyond “press one for public relations.” They may, as in Ohio, have to sue to free themselves from money-changers right there in the temple of learning.

No Need to Wait, We’re the Super Heroes

The big changes in our society have come about as the result of ordinary people demanding accountability while making changes themselves. Everything from civil rights and environmental protections to natural childbirth—- our ideals, our struggle.

Waiting for Superman urges us to insist on similar changes in our schools. But change isn’t about throwing more money at the problem. It certainly isn’t about letting corporations get a stronger foothold in schools where BP writes science materials and advertising is ubiquitous.

The change highlighted in the film is spurred by concerned parents and amazing teachers like Jeffery Canada. I’m a big admirer of Canada’s work I read both his books Fist Stick Knife Gun: A Personal History of Violence in America and Reaching Up for Manhood: Transforming the Lives of Boys in America when they came out. The other teachers showcased in the film are equally creative, brilliant and caring.

Do we see the irony here? This film showcases innovative teachers and child-centered programs, holding them up as the last hope to “save” kids from bad public schools. Exactly the sort of conditions that benefitted my father’s public school classroom before high stakes testing and business models got in the way.

There’s no “silver bullet.” We’re talking kids here, kids who start out with curiosity and eagerness. Sure, we can funnel a few lottery winners into trendy themed schools like Q2L or we can recognize that all children are born to learn in the way that best suits them, as they do in Democratic Schools.

While tests measure what kids have yet to achieve, kids themselves more naturally seek to  engage in the wonderfully exciting work of mastery, guided by parents, teachers, grandparents, clergy, friends and the world around us. The strictures of school tend to limit learning, as I explain at length in my book which is one reason a few million of us homeschool, creating every day the kind of responsive and individualized education that best suits our children.

But that’s not workable for everyone. So let’s figure out what changes will really benefit our children and our communities.

1. Let’s find out about the holistic, uneven and delightfully unique ways that children learn.

2. Let’s look beyond trends, reading publications written by parents and teachers such as Education Revolution Magazine,  Rethinking Schools, and Encounter: Education for Meaning and Social Justice.

3. Let’s pay attention to the thoughtful, experience-informed work of today’s unsung educational luminaries including Ron Miller, Jerry Mintz, Chris Mercogliano.

4. And perhaps most importantly, lets pay attention to what those who love to learn have to say. Our kids tell us how they learn best each day not only through their enthusiasm but also through their stubbornness, anger, despair and numbness. They need to participate in meaningful work, to apply real skills, to pursue their own interests, to advance at their own speed in their own way, to model themselves after people they admire and to face challenges that inspire them. Every day. That’s how humanity advances.

The future is too important to do otherwise.

What To Expect From A Load of Crap

optimism, bad day, negativity,

I’ve had one of those days. A steaming pile of crap sort of day. You know how it is.

We all have them. When the morning starts out with headache, an angry tailgater or the continuation of some tough circumstances the bad mood usually isn’t far behind. This has a ripple effect. We complain to others, tipping conversational topics toward what grinds and grates. And somehow that negative outlook sets our personal radar to scan for more difficulty on the horizon. Those days rarely improve.

Some of us hold out a little longer. We work hard at emphasizing the positive, which is handy because moods are downright contagious. Studies show an individual’s emotions can influence entire groups (families, playgrounds, workplaces). Positive contagion leads to more cooperation and less conflict. Negative contagion, well, you know how fun that can be. Apparently moods stick like that pink goo from The Cat in the Hat Comes Back.

No one is upbeat all the time. Besides, constantly perky people inspire loathing. But I keep learning the necessity of choosing the way we experience life’s ups and downs. You know how easy it is to focus on five minutes of difficulty rather than the smooth progress of the day. We do it all the time. A child’s angry outburst overshadows hours of sunny cooperation. A colleague’s late return from lunch somehow reflects badly on a week’s worth of work. Or a whole slew of minor problems start to look like a steaming pile.

I’ve discovered while reading Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom that we’re fighting a hard-wired tendency. Our brains pay more attention to the negative than the positive. That was probably helpful when saber-toothed tigers threatened our early ancestors. Not so helpful these days.

Fortunately I live on a small farm where the cows produce loads of actual crap. So I know what to expect from it. Whether mixed in to the garden beds or left in a heap, eventually it bursts into flower.

The same potential lies dormant in our worst days. No matter what, we’re still in charge of our own attitudes. Because “sh*t happens” is only one way to look at it. “Compost happens” too.




Dirt in hand photo courtesy of Tea Cupie

Flower in hand photo courtesy of Prismes

Six Ways Introduce Fine Arts Using The Happy Idiot Method

Artwork by Samuka

“You’re a frigging idiot.”

That’s what the guy behind us said. He spoke so loudly that two rows of concert-goers heard it. He didn’t even wait until the intermission to announce he considered us boorish.

I’m still not sure what upset him so much. My seven-year-old daughter had begged to attend what she called a “real performance” after enjoying a number of the Cleveland Orchestra’s Musical Rainbows concerts for young children. Nearly every day since she’d been three years old she put on recordings such as Beethoven Lives Upstairs,
Prokofiev – Peter and the Wolf,  Song of the Unicorn, and Mr. Bach Comes to Call.Sometimes she played,  sometimes she danced but mostly she drew pictures as she listened to compelling music woven around stories.

Going together to the concert was a rare night out for the two of us but I knew her three brothers weren’t as entranced by classical music. So that evening she and I dressed up, taking our eagerness to velvety seats not far from the stage. As the concert hall filled many people greeted us kindly. The musicians began to tune up and my daughter nodded at me. She knew this was her cue to be quiet until intermission.

Then the man behind us arrived. He squeezed past others, sat down and said aloud, “Oh no.” Because he exhaled so repeatedly and in such an exaggerated manner I wondered if he’d sat on something awful. Nope, the something awful was us.

Just as the conductor lifted his baton, the man behind us leaned forward as if to whisper, but his hissed words weren’t quiet at all. He said, “I paid good money for this seat. Your kid better not wreck it.” Then he muttered “idiot” under his breath. I turned around to look at him, more surprised than annoyed, but he wasn’t looking at me. He was glaring hatefully at my beautiful child.

The performance started and my daughter was enraptured. At times she looked over at me, squeezed my hand or leaned her head against me. Sometimes her hands floated just above her lap as if carried by sound. I paid close attention, hoping to hold the whole experience in my memory.

As the applause died down after the first piece the man behind us started sighing in exasperation. And he kept it up. I tried to notice what might have been bothering him. My daughter didn’t speak, didn’t hum along. She simply adored the music. But when the man started bumping my seat I turned my head to look at him. He was still glaring at my child.

For reasons of his own he was fed up. He looked at me and said loudly, “You’re a frigging idiot.”

The moment intermission began he stomped off and didn’t return. I hoped he’d find some peace despite possession by keep-children-out-of-concert-halls demons. But I’m no saint, I was pretty thrilled he left.

The woman next to my daughter assured us we weren’t the problem. An elderly gentleman at the end of our row, an orchestra patron for thirty years, said he hoped to see more children who loved classical music. By the time the musicians filed back some people had chatted with my daughter, happy to learn about her specific knowledge of that evening’s program. Others said, quite tactfully, that it was rare to see youngsters attend an evening concert.

A common perception is revealed by this experience. Fine arts and eager children don’t go together.

It’s not just one guy convinced the presence of a kid will ruin his evening. Most people set the arts aside as something special or worse, something for those who really know what they’re reading/seeing/hearing.

To me that’s the sort of separatist thinking that keeps fine arts in the underfunded, under appreciated realm where nearly extinct things go to die. But that’s how they’re introduced to most young people. Arts are imposed using the old “eat this spinach or you’ll be punished” method. Great way to inspire a hatred of spinach. And art. It isn’t woven into their lives and it doesn’t grab them (or at least many of them) in a way that’s personally meaningful. Instead fine arts are introduced in later grades. Students are lectured, assigned work, and graded. If they’re lucky they get extra doses of the arts doled out in guided museum visits and a class trip to see Shakespeare performed after weeks of preparation. The vitality is bled right out.

In Shakespeare’s time his plays were part of popular culture. People from all social classes crowded into the Globe Theatre where they enjoyed the bard’s social commentary, melodrama and comedy. Chances are they didn’t bother to analyze a thing. Chances are those plays did for them what art does when it means something to any of us, it illuminates.

I love the way young people discover and appreciate art when it isn’t imposed on them. These days my kids are older (teens and young adults). They enjoy fresh visual arts on YouTube, soaring new classical music scored for video games, and performances everywhere. Better yet, they aren’t passive. They connect and engage with it. During a recent discussion I overheard my kids relate the theme of a recent movie to Homer’s Odyssey, tie that to quotes from a Terry Pratchett book, then they were off parodying the theme using quotes from movies and song lyrics. Lightening fast, funny, and sharp. No curricula could possibly keep up.

My kids swam in the current of fine arts from the very beginning, as it flowed naturally with all the other influences in their lives.

Here’s the enjoyment-based, jump-right-in way we’ve always gotten comfy with fine arts in my family. (Caution, some may deem it idiotic.)

  1. Build in some fun. If you’re going to a concert in the park take along silent amusements for small people—a tiny stuffed animal that just might want to dance on its owner’s lap, drawing materials to capture impressions of the performers or the feeling of the music, a small treat that’s specific to concerts (consider bending that no lollipop rule). And if it isn’t much fun don’t stick around. Mosey off and wait until your children are older. And once your kids are older the experience is a greater pleasure for them if you let them invite a friend. We were often surprised to find that our 10th trip to a museum, where my kids clamored to see favorite sculptures and new exhibits, was the first trip for their friends.
  2. Make it an adventure. When you journey any distance to see a music performance, attend a play, or ramble through galleries make that stop one of several anticipated events.  Try to spot murals or other public art on the way. (When they were little my kids knew we’d arrived when they waved at the Guardians of Traffic pylons as we drove over the bridge to Cleveland.) Take a break in an ornate big city library, eat a packed lunch in a park, stroll through an open air market, pick up unusual snacks at an ethnic grocery, and let your child’s curiosity help guide the day’s events.  If part of the day incorporates a lot of sit down time (including the ride to and fro) be sure to balance that with movement, exploration, and sensory adventure.
  3. Tune it to the child’s level. Let preschoolers stroll as interest leads them through museums, especially art museums. You might decide to look for something specific on the way (one of my sons liked to spot animals, another son made it his quest to find anything airborne—birds, planes, angels, flying carpets).Make galleries a place of discovery. chat, ask questions, and when they lose interest it’s time to go.
  4. Make it an ordinary part of life. As with anything, it’s what you pay attention to that you magnify. Conversations about music, philosophy, or logic are just regular mealtime topics, brought up with the same casual interest as sports or the weather. Literary discussion with a four-year-old is easy. Simply talk about the picture book you’ve just read together. How could it have ended differently or gone on longer? Why do you think the main character acted that way or made that decision? Which character would you like to be in the story? Why?
  5. Start early. Listen to music as you nurse babies to sleep, imagining the wonderful association that child is making between sound and comfort (whether Bach or the blues). Hold up tiny ones to get a better look at paintings or sculpture. Indulge in sock puppet conversations with your toddlers. Dance and sing together unselfconsciously. Display your child’s artwork in frames and on shelves. Make CD’s available to kids for bedtime listening or quiet time, especially those by professional storytellers such as Odds Bodkins (who started my kids’ love of Homer’s Odyssey) and Jim Weiss. A great selection is available at Gentle Wind, Chinaberry, and your local library.
  6. Enjoy it the way you choose. Shakespeare’s work may spark fascination in a lavishly illustrated picture book such as Coville’s William Shakespeare’s The Tempest (Picture Yearling Book), an early chapter book such as Mayer’s The Tempest, or maybe a graphic novel like The Tempest The Graphic Novel (American English, Original Text). See The Tempest in any number of movies from productions done in 1928 to the newest, recasting Prospero as a woman. Check out how The Tempest has been interpreted by artists throughout the years. My kids appreciate a stage performance best after they know the story well, on their own terms, after bumping into it in books or movies or music. After seeing the play, one of my kids noted that it was written 400 years ago but names from The Tempest are still popular today— Miranda, Ariel, Antonio,Iris, Sebastian. That reminds me that the roots of what we care about today go much farther back than we imagine.


Find more suggestions in Free Range Learning.





Gathering Fifty Wise Homeschoolers in One Place

Award-winning Home Education Magazine has been published since 1984 by Mark and Helen Hegener and their third-generation homeschooling family. Each issue inspires, informs and invigorates readers.  Of all the magazines our family receives, this is one we keep. The copies are timeless. I share them, refer to them and treasure them.

A “best of” volume titled The Homeschool Reader: Series 1995-1999: Collected Articles from Home Education Magazine has just been released. It gathers nearly 50 homeschooling experts in one place.  I was honored to serve as editor for this project.

For a glimpse of what this very full little book offers, take a look at the bounty promised by the table of contents.

Starting Out

“Revelations of a Homeschooling Mom” by Carol Wanagel

“Keep It in the Family” by Catherine Daughton

“The Early Years Child’s Learning Assets” by Linda Dobson

“Leaving Public Education” by Ellen C. Bicheler

“Decompression – Frequently Asked Questions” by Cafi Cohen

“User Friendly Homeschooling Records” by Larry and Susan Kaseman

“Make Learning Fun” by Katie Fawcett

“A Word of Encouragement If Needed” by Rebekah Freedman

Family Life

“When Everything is a Mess…” by Katje Sabin-Newmiller

“And Baby Makes Trouble?” by Cindy Gaddis

“The Fabric of Home Education” by Kathy E. Waldorf

“My Kids Won’t Let Me Teach” by Ann Leadbetter

“On His Own Time” by Robin Ohlgren-Evans

“Anecdotes” by Helen Hegener

“All Play and No Work?” by Linda Kidwell

“Handmade, Homespun and Homeschooled” by Robin Ohlgren-Evans

Fathers’ Viewpoints

“The Forest Floor Theory of Love” by Odds Bodkin

“Notes From a Homeschooling Dad” by Jeff Kelety

“Homeschooling Fathers” by Gary Wyatt

“When Dad Homeschools: from Breadwinning to Baking” by Jim Dunn


“Socialization” by Helen Hegener

Different Needs

“You’re Going To What?” by Melissa Wagner

“Personal Notes on ADD” by Janie Bowman


“Learning to Love Math” by Alison Moore Smith

“Ten Counter-Intuitive Math Teaching Tips” by Cafi Cohen


“Learning to Read” by Sue Smith Heavenrich

“Learning to Read” by Christine Lozano

Reading Recovery Program” by Martine Palmiter

“A Family Book Club for Readers and Non-Readers” by Melinda Roth


“Getting It Down: Ways to Encourage a Reluctant Writer” by Sue Smith-


“The Writing Club” by Jill Boone

“Haiku in my Pocket” by Sue Smith-Heavenrich


“Art for the Younger Child” by Jan Brewington

“Art for the Older Child” by Jan Brewington

Physical Education

“Time For Family Baseball” by Earl Gary Stevens


“Learning and Doing Science” by Cafi Cohen

“Learning High School Science Outside a Lab” by Sue Smith-Heavenrich

“Learning Nature’s Way: With Open Arms and Ample Interruptions” by

Gail McClelland Fenton

“Natural Nature Learning” by Deborah Taylor-Hough

History & Social Studies

“History At The Old Huff House” by Diane Huff

“Meet Travis The Traveling Bear” by Julie Hart

Philosophy & Ethics

“Philosophy and Learning at Home” by Jana Mohr Lone

“From Empathy to Altruism: Community Service” by Shalynn Ford

Discussing Unschooling and More Structured Homeschooling

“Unschooling” by Cheri Howard

“Keys to Successful Unschooling” by Susan Jordan

“What Do I Do?by Eileen Yoder

“Unschooling or School-At-Home?” by Chris Sims

“In Defense of Workbooks” by Joanne M. Billmers

First Day” by April Montgomery

Learning, Working and Heading Out on Their Own: Teen and Young Adults

“Ten Reasons to Homeschool Through High School” by Cafi Cohen

How to Help your Child Choose a Career” by Dr. Ferne Cherne

“Preparing for College: An Insider’s View” by Maggie Bryson

Travel Homeschooling

“A World of Learning” by Barbara Theisen

“A Year Abroad: A Family Learning Together” by Lantien Chu


“Redefining Basics” by Earl Gary Stevens

“Reflections of a Homeschooled Homeschooler” by Rebecca Bangs Amos

“On Self-Doubt” by Lenita Harsch

“When Being a Mom Isn’t Enough” by Amy Hollingsworth

“I Told You Not to Do That” by Kathleen Creech

“Bad Homeschooling Days” by Selena Montoya

“My Kids Aren’t Geniuses!” by Sally Hunt

“Letting Go of the Reins” by Helen Hegener

“The Door’s Wide Open, Come Out and Play” by Kathleen Creech