the network for radical unschooling families
I'm Jen. Mama of Daniel, Jonah (10 year old twins) and Sam (6). Also Mama of two high school age exchange students, a house full of doggies (including Jonah's service dog, Lyla), and a barnyard full of other critters. We live near the Quad Cities of IL/IA.
We're in our 5th year of homeschooling, the first year was semi-structured (structure was ditched partway through the year) and until recently, I didn't know there was a name (beyond 'unschooling') for what it is we do, so I was very excited to find Sandra Dodd's RU site as well as this networking site.
I'm interested in connecting with others with similar interests. Our boys have special medical needs, which was a small part of deciding to homeschool in the first place, but now, I just can't imagine it any other way. Are there any others RU-ing kiddos with significant special needs? Our "list" includes Epilepsy (all three, only one is fully controlled), bleeding disorder (all three), austism spectrum & cerebral palsy -mild (one child) and vision impairment (one)... So I'm interested in connecting with others who might have similar challenges - these things don't really so much affect us in schooling or in parenting, and I think they would affect us much more if we had a different lifestyle, but I don't view my children as broken beings, so there is nothing to fix. So, in that regard, I think we have it easier than a lot of families with multiple medical challenges.
Let's see... oh, the other stuff... we are on a small working farm. I cook from scratch, we raise and grow as much of our own food as we can, including milk (goat), eggs and meat (chicken, rabbit and goat) as well as our gardens. I'm a seed saver, emergency prepper, survivalist, we do our own vet care (except for the service dog and emergencies) and practice natural health management in every area we can. We stay away from chemicals and preservatives in our food (and have found this makes a huge difference in the boys' health) and that's how I started to do it all from scratch. I also enjoy bartering. Not much time for crafts here, but I do enjoy making greeting cards from time to time.
The boys enjoy sports, the twins play baseball and basketball and Sam tried soccer for the first time this Fall. He's not too into sports because of his vision impairment, but I think he had fun... He gets the "no sports" thing from me- I'm terrified of the ball. :)
I think that's us, in a large nutshell. I look forward to meeting y'all!
-=- I was very excited to find Sandra Dodd's RU site as well as this networking site.-=-
I don't ever use "RU" as a term, though. I think any jargon or codes like that come between people. I always say (and write out) unschooling. I think it's as important as using the term "learning" rather than talking about "teaching."
Holly (my 19 year old daughter) and I will be in Illinois at the InHome conference in March
I have a daily blog you can subscribe to (to get a daily e-mail) here:
Unschooling works the same for any child, but here are a few things collected over the years:
I do use the term unschooling in general circles... RU is something I use as shorthand within circles of like-minded folks only, but I do understand the differentiation. We do the same thing with "learning"... big difference between learning and teaching.
Thank you for the links and we may just have to attend the InHome conference. I am originally from the St. Charles area and may just head back out that way! Thanks much! Jen
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Unschooling-in-IL This is a very low traffic group, but perks up with new members. :) Come on over.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/inhomeconference For information on the upcoming InHome conference Sandra mentioned. Registration and hotel discount registration should be live any day at http://homeeducatorsconference.org/index.php
Deborah in Lake County