10 Unschooling Myths Debunked

Ten Unschooling Myths Debunked
The unschooling approach is gaining popularity, but with that comes a lot of misinformation and several inaccurate myths. From legality concerns to college admissions I'll set the record straight for you with this list of ten common unschooling myths.



Random hugs from the universe while chopping parsley!



my husband and oldest daughter conspired to go to the grocery store to get 'toothpicks' (flowers) so they could finish making flautas, hid them in the back seat of the truck, brought out the 'trash', (put ice water in a vase to keep them fresh overnight).

then in the morning, hubby woke up early, snuck outside (i was sleeping on the living room floor with the girls), brought the flowers in and put them on the table so they would be the first thing i saw when i woke up! TOO sweet, right?

but wait, there's more...

i have had a three week long love-hate relationship with getting dreads in my hair. i'd love them and how wild and crazy they were one day, but i'd wake up the next morning to these flat roadkill looking rat nests sticking out everywhere.

it took a few AWESOME friends DAYS of working on them, spread out over two weeks to even get them all done, (man the looks i got from all the crafty old ladies when i went to Micheal's half dreaded/half straight hair).

then i had to wash them because my head was itching like mad, and half of them came undone and there were wild stray hairs everywhere.

rather than the cool alternative hairdo i had dreamed of, i looked like i had escaped from a mental institution and drifted between dumpsters and random park benches for a few weeks!

i had just about given up on them, and was resigned to the fact that i would have to cut them or try to comb them out.

but my sweet man wouldn't hear of it! he knew how bad i have wanted dreads for about ten years now, so he said he would see if he could help; then promptly went to get some aloe vera gel, came home and worked on my hair for about 5 hours!!!

can you believe that?

needless to say, i feel very loved and very lucky to be the mother of two amazing daughters with this one of a kind man!



How we made our own homemade version of the topsy turvy tomato for the back patio. What worked, what we could've done better.

*Plastic 'terra-cotta' type pot from Home Depot
(it came with a little black plastic piece in the bottom, this is necessary)
*Soil/Potting Mix
*Tomato Plant
*Herbs (for top of pot)
*Twine (and someone who knows how to tie knots)
*Hook to hang it from (very important when you are holding an upside down tomato in a pot)

First, we made the hole at the bottom of the pot bigger. Big enough to fit the tomato plant through, but small enough so that the little plastic piece stays in. ( Didn't get a pic of that step, but you can see the pot in the background of the first pic.)

This is the little black plastic piece that was at the bottom of the pot. We cut it from the outside edge to the middle so that it could open like a pacman mouth, and that's how we slid the tomato plant into the middle of it:

Next, we put the tomato plant (with the black plastic piece around the base of the plant) through the bottom hole of the pot:

This is what it looks like inside the pot:

This is what it looks like from below:

Made twine 'hanger' (you'll need to do some creative knot tying here), to wrap around pot lip, slid up bottom of pot:

Then, I held the pot while hubby screwed in the hook to hang it from.
Tip: Do this step before you put the tomato in! :o)

Hang it from the hook, fill with dirt, put herbs in top of pot, and water!

Sit back, enjoy some watermelon...

And wait for it to grow!

Here it is after a few weeks of sunshine and water:

We spent as much or more as we would have on that infomercial brand, but ours has a place for herbs on top, and I think it looks MUCH nicer than the other one! Wouldn't you agree?




Here is some video of a very cool educational experience at our house!

Oh yes, and does anybody want some fish?



Welcome Committee

Crawfish Hole and Diagram

Reptilian a Trois

Corn Snake Cuffs

Bees on Thistle

Wild Snake Way Too Close

Spider Lillies

Crawfish Hole in the Wild

Blue Jay Feather and Wild Girl

Red-Eared Slider Turtles

Tree Trunk Love



If you did the mindfulness exercise in Part 1, you
may have noticed that being socially appropriate
(i.e., doing/saying the "right" thing) frequently
requires you to be inauthentic.

For example, in certain parenting situations you
may feel social pressure to *control* your child
when you'd rather be relaxed and accepting.

Quite often the real purpose of "being social" is
to protect others from their own small-mindedness.
Such is the case when mothers are pressured to
avoid nursing in public.

So being authentic -- even when it seems "anti-social"
-- may actually be *more* social, because it creates
opportunities for others to question their limiting

When you honor Who You Really Are -- *and* you
look beyond others' disempowering beliefs to honor
Who THEY Really Are -- you contribute to the greater
good of society.

Today, whenever you choose authenticity over
conventional sociality, decide that you *are* being
social... They just don't know it yet! :-)


Personal Note: I have often found the reverse of this to be true in the radical unschooling community. Feeling pressured to 'not' pull the reigns in on your kids when you normally would like to request that they 'control' themselves. So while I am around say...my parents for example, I feel more pressured to 'control' my kids; but while I am around some extremely radical unschoolers, I feel pressured to let them run completely wild, at times without concern for safety or consideration of others.

What I am coming to at the root of this, is that we are all on our own paths at our own pace, and being authentic simply means being true to where we are NOW. Trying to act in a way that would look like we are where we WANT to be, rather than where we ARE NOW, is just as disrespectful of our individual journey as reverting to where we used to be in an attempt to appease others.

ACCEPTANCE and GROWTH are counterparts.



Authentic sociality is something that I have reflected on quite often lately. Moving to a new place, making lots of new friends, and getting to know people, being 'likeable', while remaining 'authentic'; it's something that I have found both intriguing and exhausting at times.

The Daily Groove newsletter is something I look forward to every morning. Like a truly good friend, it offers personal insight by means of provoking thought and self examination. This is something I found interesting, and thought I'd share it:

We humans are social animals, and for the vast
majority of humanity's time on Earth, human societies
took the form of *tribes*.

Modern civilization has undermined our innate
sociality in many ways. For example, the "virtue"
of self-sacrifice for the collective good defies our
natural pleasure orientation.

In a healthy tribal society, where everyone is
emotionally *attuned* with everyone else, individual
and collective pleasure go hand in hand, for there is
more pleasure to be had when one's choices serve both
oneself *and* the collective.

But in our society, with its complexity, alienation,
and legacy of "dominator" values, it takes an
extraordinary kind of consciousness for one to
re-create that interpersonal attunement in a way that
actually feels good.

In Part 2, we'll look at how that works. For today,
notice the things you say and do in order to "be
social" -- especially around your children and other

Notice whether your "social" behavior feels
*authentic* or not. Do you ever sacrifice your
authenticity to appear "good" or "nice"?



I really should stop setting myself up for public failure with this nablopomo challenge.

I figured out with my oldest daughter years ago that the only way she would get in the tub was if I told her not to.
She comes by it honestly; I have always been a bit contrary, so i will have to use a little reverse psychology on myself here.
I WILL NOT blog one single day for the rest of May! there, that should help.

Maybe if it didn't take me soooo long to catch on to techy stuff, I would be a little more consistent? Maybe.

For example:
I have been on TWITTER for months now, and just figured out that anyone who was replying to me must thing I'm a bitch because I never answered anyone.
I didn't know the little sidebar that said @dandeliongirls was something I needed to click on!

Just figured that out tonight!
Go ahead, laugh, it's funny!

Now I'm going to see if I can figure out how to link to my twitter on my blog.
This should be interesting...



I look through my pictures every now and then, or make mental notes all day everyday, and I see so many opportunities for interesting blog posts; things that family and friends would love to see and know about, interesting projects, fun field trips, or just the cute 'small things' of living with your kids everyday, watching them discover things about the world in their own funny little ways.

Spending so much time 'doing' and 'living', I rarely find the time to 'share' our fun stuff with everyone else.
But sharing our lives with others is one of the sweetest and most rewarding things about life, so here goes a big effort to be better at the sharing!