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simplicity, Charlotte Mason homeschooling, Old World inspiration, Oriental dance, style & beauty

Sunday, June 30, 2013

A New Vision



In the last post, I felt compelled to put my concerns about radical unschooling philosophy and the way it is practiced on the table, without any sugar coating or regard for diplomacy. That was not to judge anyone's choice of unschooling, for I did conclude previously that Christians certainly can apply some tenets of this method within the boundaries of their faith, which to me is the truest expression of freedom, particularly in the form of Catholicism. My research has also led me to conclude that "radical" in the Catholic sense is quite different than the original, secular concept of unschooling. It has been suggested that I don't understand the philosophy, but I think that perhaps I understand it too well. I have read between the lines and found a lack of substance and a host of logical error. In practice, RU, for many but not all, tends toward unparenting, or benign neglect. Unparenting, however, can happen regardless of the educational philosophy which is employed.

I have been researching and applying unschooling philosophy and practices for the past several months, and yes, much learning happens naturally, and I fervently believe that interest-led education and the pursuit of one's passions leads to deep learning and great joy. Surely, that is God's will for our lives, to have life abundantly, as Jesus said. However, the only way I think unschooling could be sufficient is if it is done very intentionally, and if direct teaching is not thrown out the window. There has to be a partnership paradigm that is a balance of parent- and child-led education, encompassing all aspects of life, with the authority squarely in the hands of parents. Some would argue that this is not unschooling, so surely anyone can see this dilemma for the Christian parent? I am taking a sabbatical from blogging for at least this week, so everyone please have a safe and happy Independence Day. When I come back, I'm going to look at the unschooling buzzwords and the problem with semantical hair-splitting and fear mongering that I have witnessed. I trust the Holy Spirit to guide me to the bottom of the well, to discover the pure water waiting there. And I will share the bucket!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Gospel of Freedom

Your own holiness is the best “gospel of freedom” you can offer. If you are holy and happy, people will know you are somehow different, and they will want what you have.

— from Catholic and Confident


This passage from the Franciscan "Minute Meditations" that I receive daily in my email inbox reflects the freedom within peaceful borders that I have been talking about in relation to unschooling. I was really turned off, when I spent some time with Facebook groups, by the radical unschooling notion that "freedom within limits is not freedom," a direct quote I read on one of them. It comes down to how one defines freedom. Anarchy is not freedom. For me, life without Christ and his Church is not freedom. I still wonder whether I should claim radical unschooling as a Catholic after all, for the sake of redefining what that can mean for a person of faith. 

It disturbs me to witness Christians being sucked into the secular rhetoric of radical unschooling, where it is implied that only in very specified terms can peaceful parenting be practiced, and only in being what some consider "fully RU" are children truly "free". Indeed, this is often billed as the only authentic form of unschooling, and its their way or the highway! Where does this nonsense come from? Well, the short story is that John Holt coined the term unschooling, by which he simply meant homeschooling--learning without the confines of school and its traditional trappings. But it was felt by some that the Christian community had taken homeschooling over with the development of their own curricula, so unschooling was branded as a different animal, and any curriculum use or set schedule became anathema. 

Then Sandra Dodd decided that the unschooling philosophy must be applied to all facets of life, which for her and many others somehow translates into children doing whatever they want, whenever they want. Somehow living by "principles" rather than "rules" (though these are in certain ways synonymous) will save the family from bedlam, and everyone will be balanced and self-regulated. But that isn't what is happening with, for instance, the mother who let her kid drink as much soda as he wanted, and then that's all he wanted for weeks. He stopped eating food, and she felt like she couldn't interfere because that wasn't "RU"!! This boy was 6 years old. Somewhere along the way, perhaps having become disenchanted with being slaves to a curriculum, some Christians picked up unschooling and tried their best to apply it within a Christian framework. The question is, can this be done?

Ironically, this radical unschooling version of freedom for children requires the adherence by parents to a strict system of rules put forth by such unschooling gurus, to the extent that the word "cult" started to float around in my brain. I just got so frustrated, wanting to embrace some of these ideas yet so repelled by some others. Too many parents seem to have ceased to think for themselves or to use an iota of common sense that I just couldn't bear to be part of the unschooling groups any more. I even left the Christian and Catholic ones--though the extreme problems were much less prevalent there--so I could clear my head and begin with a clean slate. Do I let the dream of living and learning joyfully that unschooling promises die, or do I dream a new, truly Catholic dream for unschooling? The thing is, many of those radical unschoolers are miserable and their children tell them they hate them. When they ask for help, the gurus and other RU parents often just tell them they aren't doing it right; they aren't "RU" enough. That is certainly not the case across the board, but these poor souls need a better way.

Suzie Andres wrote the book on Catholic unschooling, but I think it has got to go deeper, because the secular voices are so much louder. Radical unschooling as it stands allows for spirituality, but only in the sense of religious indifferentism, because it really has its own dogma. Despite what Suzie and her philosopher husband concluded about unschooling not being an ideology, and therefore being in no conflict of interest with Catholicism, it just is not so when it comes to the radical version. Unless, of course, we Catholics entirely redefine what it means to be radical. It really shouldn't be that hard. The Church has been around for 2000 years, while radical unschooling has maybe a few decades under its belt. You want radical? Then be a Catholic. 

Why not just leave off the word "radical" and be done with it? Because if we say that ideally there should be no separation between learning and life, which is essentially what unschooling means, then it is by nature radical; that is, all encompassing. In that I agree with Sandra Dodd. Radical literally means "from the root". And Catholic education is supposed to be an entity that does not separate learning from the Faith, according to the Magisterium. Again, we have a deep sense of rootedness. By its very nature, it follows that Catholic unschooling is radical, but obviously not in the way Sandra Dodd means. Hence my desire to set this dish on a clean plate.

I don't think we can Catholicize an educational method and lifestyle that preaches a freedom without limits dogma. That being said, I don't believe that even the most RU parents don't have their limits. What I have seen in these unschooling groups is a state of deep, secular humanist indoctrination. That is why I opted for the label, Catholic Natural Learning, instead of Radical Unschooling. Happiness and Freedom outside of the Church? Forget about it! But religious issues aside, the way of living some families have adopted by following the RU dogma as they understand it is not healthy by any standard.

I really wanted to be done with this topic, but I can't leave souls drifting and confused and mislead in this sweet-smelling radical unschooling muck. It almost happened to me, because a lot of what Dayna Martin (author of Radical Unschooling: A Revolution Has Begun) says is truly inspiring, and I admire her in many ways. But I kept hearing the Virgin Mary quietly clearing her throat. So I'm probably not done--not by a long shot.   



 "The Virgin Mary in the Rose Garden," Albert Gustav Aristedes Edelfelt (1854-1905)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Polish.




Today I gave myself a pedicure on my balcony sanctuary. Simply having a balcony sanctuary, especially on a lovely, mild, sunny June day, should be good enough to make anyone happy. But I was in a funk today. The week started out with a bit of a traumatic experience. We were at the Renaissance Faire on Father's Day, and "Great Aunt Flo" decided to visit. Luckily I was wearing dark-colored shorts. Such a thing has not happened to me since the 7th grade! As usual, my period wiped my energy out this week, and I didn't feel like doing much. One good piece of advice I learned in Al-Anon was, "Do the next right thing."

Yesterday I did the wrong things. I drank too much coffee, ate too much sugar, and was up not feeling so well in my stomach in the middle of the night. So I began today with an oatmeal breakfast and ginger tea with honey. I would care for myself better, I vowed! I threw in a load of laundry and hand washed a belly dance top I will need tomorrow. I polished my toenails, finally having enough regrowth on the big toe where I had the nail surgically removed. I knew that feeling prettier and not wanting to hide my feet would cheer me up. I also colored my hair to cover the grays. I still really, really didn't wish to practice dancing, but I made myself while my family went to the library. I do feel better. I also helped Beezy with her 4-H dog program book, which I really had no desire to do either.

I had a choice. I could continue to feel overwhelmed and unmotivated, or I could push through the blue fog and carry on. I could take some time to read something edifying, write in my journal, eat healthy, do a little housework, talk to my husband, water my flowers, and bring some joy, even if I had to drag it by the ear, into my day. The sun is still shining as it is going down, and I have the peace of knowing that the day was not wasted. My daughter will read to me tonight, and I'll read to her, and we will say our prayers and go to sleep. Simply abundant. Life.





Monday, June 17, 2013

"I Love to Read!"

Recently Beezy was reading to me at bedtime, which is now part of our regular routine. When I said it was time to shut off the light, she said, "Aw, but I love to read!" I swear I heard angels singing. Actually, I felt a strange calm. A love of reading--this was always my goal. Not that she would begin to read at a certain age, or read at or above grade level, or be able to learn about things through reading, but that she would develop the enjoyment of reading for its own sake. In fact, according to Beezy, reading is now her favorite part of bedtime! I know all sorts of grown up people who can read but don't like to. They don't do it unless they have to, such as when they must study for a test, or maybe to read a text message or Facebook comment. "Reading" and "fun" never appear for them in the same sentence. That a child isn't reading fluently by the first grade--or by age 10--is no big deal. That a person never loves to read--this is tragic. Of epic, Shakespearean proportions.

In a recent conversation, Beezy said to me, "I didn't mean it literally." I wish I could remember what we were talking about. Here I have a child who just turned nine years old, who knows the difference between the literal and the figurative. Could she spell "literally" correctly or even read it? Most likely not. But she can express the understanding of the abstract concept of the word. She can use it correctly in a sentence. When her reading and writing skills catch up, look out!

There is so much pressure on homeschooling parents to meet the expectations of others--even of those who don't like to read. Even from those who have never read a word of Shakespeare, never written a poem, and couldn't spell Ophelia or define "codpiece" to save their lives. If that pressure is put on a child, the bud will never open into the beautiful flower of loving to learn, which translates into loving life and being a whole and joyful person, a radiant soul. Nipping that bud in the name of being at grade level is criminal. Insidious. That means evil. That means you won't hear the choirs of angels singing when your child proclaims, "I love to read!" As for me, I will save Ophelia.




That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream.
There with fantastic garlands did she come
Of crowflowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples,
That liberal shepherds give a grosser name,
But our cold maids do “dead men’s fingers” call them.
There, on the pendant boughs her coronet weeds
Clambering to hang, an envious sliver broke,
When down her weedy trophies and herself
Fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide,
And mermaid-like a while they bore her up,
Which time she chanted snatches of old lauds
As one incapable of her own distress,
Or like a creature native and indued
Unto that element. But long it could not be
Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,
Pulled the poor wretch from her melodious lay
To muddy death.   --from "Hamlet" by William Shakespeare

Friday, June 14, 2013

Rules.

Every May I go on a weekend long dance retreat in Loveland, OH. When I returned from my annual trip last month, Beezy informed me with a big smile that she and her dad had broken all of my rules while I was gone. Rules? I have rules? I was not aware of this. I don't think that "strict" is an adjective people would generally apply to me. So I was very curious to know what were these rules that it was apparently such a joy to break! There were only two mentioned--Beezy slept in my space on the bed, and she and her dad wrestled at bedtime. I disapprove of rough-housing right before bed, as Beezy usually has a hard time falling asleep as it is. Yep, I'm hard core all right! Nearly a bastion of rules.

I do have rules about no running in the house, and if friends come to play, they are required to help clean up before they leave. But mostly we just naturally run on principles, and any rules follow from those. Maybe this is because of my Montessori background. I believe that children should know the reasons behind any restrictions. Only this way can interior motivation to do the right thing exist. Arbitrarily imposed rules set only for the convenience of adults don't fulfill that ultimate goal. Because I'm the adult and I said so... What does this teach? Children learn that if they want power, they have to be bossy, even bullies, to get it.

Increasingly I am aware of the nature of conflicts with others over my parenting style. We are coming from an entirely different paradigm. For example, when Beezy hit someone, I would talk to her about how that makes the other person feel, and that we don't want to hurt people, and that when we do, we make amends. I would also seek to understand the reason, the need underlying the behavior. The mainstream response would be to belittle and punish, to think badly of the child, and by extension, the parents. What are those people doing wrong in raising their child, that she would hit someone? One thing that has always stuck with me was the teaching of my Montessori training, that these children have only lived on this earth for three or four or six years. They have not had the time and experience that adults have had to learn to control such impulses and to find better ways to communicate their needs.

Even among adults, instances of throwing things, hitting, cursing, and screaming are not rare. For a child, the impulse to kick, hit, yell, or throw something comes quite naturally. What good can come from punishment with more of the same? Or even the shaming of a time out or taking away a toy? Children begin to believe that they are "bad," and people who think they are bad often do very bad things. We witness constantly a gross lack of empathy in the world. A complete disconnect from the idea of putting oneself into the shoes of another, and trying to understand. If empathy is not role modeled for children, and is withheld from them, how can they learn it?

Jesus admonishes us to become like children if we want to get to heaven. I think he is asking us to put ourselves into their smaller shoes, to see His light shining in their eyes. Too often adults do not take the time to observe what is really going on with a child. We take the easy way out. The lazy way. When Beezy is all grown up, I want to be able to echo the poetic words of Robert Frost: But I, I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.



Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Modified Homeschooling Fleur de Lis



Our homeschooling approval letter arrived today. The superintendent is always very prompt; I only turned in my paper work on Monday! This means that the evaluation by a certified teacher was completed and my curriculum outline finished. Not only that, but aside from what we will borrow from the library, I have all of the books we will use for the upcoming school year organized into a basket and an antique egg crate. These are next to our shelves of games and other fun, educational activities. A freshly dusted and tidied set of shelves, I might add! If you remember reading it, or in case you didn't, Order on the Homestead was one of the upper petals of my original "little way of homeschooling" fleur de lis. The center petal was Catholic Faith Formation, and the other was Charlotte Mason/Open Source Learning. The base segments represented Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.

Now that I have had time to delve deeply into studying unschooling, and have determined that many of the positive points are also found in Montessori and CM, I think I will modify the format. Catholic Faith Formation will actually be at the foundation, tying everything together, with the members of the Holy Family still in their places. The Faith is central to our lives, home (domestic church), and educational efforts. It should guide and permeate the methods (petals) used above the base. Since I am now calling our homeschooling philosophy Catholic Natural Learning, the upper domain of the fleur de lis will be Montessori, Charlotte Mason, and Unschooling. These are all natural methods. Order is intrinsic to Montessori's philosophy, while CM is strong on good habit formation. There is then no need for a separate category of "order on the homestead".

While unschooling's benefits are basically included in the other two methods, the emphasis on joyful living; partnering with children in learning; treating children respectfully and as equal people; acknowledging that the child is the primary agent in his or her learning; balancing the needs of all family members; and passionately pursuing interests has been such a good influence on me that I want to keep these principles in the forefront of my mind.

One more very important point to mention. Maria Montessori, Charlotte Mason, and John Holt were all brilliant educational reformers, and each cared deeply for children. However, none of these was ever a parent but Maria, who was not instrumental in raising her son, Mario. As carefully and mindfully as they observed children, none of them were ever homeschoolers. They were all classroom teachers, though after leaving teaching, Holt spent much time with families in their own homes. As much inspiration as we may glean from these folks, our own experience and intuition trumps any scholarly advice or modern educational guru. We know our children best. We know best what they need to learn and thrive as human beings. And if we aren't sure, no one cares more about finding out than we do. So trust in God, and trust yourselves!

I do not believe that the full burden of education and decision-making, or even the greater part of it, should ever rest on children. As they age and mature, certainly they can handle ever-increasing autonomy. Gradually. The gentle authority of parents should be exercised. Consistency is important. Peaceful borders (limits) are necessary. These elements create security for children and are part and parcel of the parental vocation. In fact, I would say that they are all quite... natural. 


Monday, June 10, 2013

Lush.

Summer is still feeling a bit uncertain, it seems. Our public pool opened today, and though it was only 68 degrees and had been raining on and off, Beezy was really excited, so bravely we went! She slid down the tornado water side twice, and that was it. It was just too chilly for her to swim. I knew going in that this was likely to happen, but rather than arguing about the weather, I allowed my child to find out for herself why such days do not make for excellent pool days. I told her afterward that it costs $2 to get in, and that while I didn't want her to feel bad about it, next time we come she needs to be in the water. So if she thinks it might not be warm enough, it would be best to make a different choice. A great lesson learned, and wonderful practice for me of the ideas gleaned from unschooling!

Just as with the slow start to spring this year, my yard tells me what season it is (although summer has not officially begun), regardless of the weather. Summer flowers are blooming and everything is filling in with green. Enjoy these lush, visual delights!!


 coleus, begonias, and geraniums

I plant these urns with some of the soil left over from last year, compost from our pile, and a little topsoil to cover.



iris


Everything's coming up roses...










hollyhock



poppies



Catholic Natural Learning

Having established that I could be a radical unschooler, I have decided that this is not the best fit for my family. I have learned so much from all of the reading, talking, writing, praying, and even sometimes obsessing (who, me?) about unschooling since February. I do believe that the Spirit is leading me toward a gentler approach to parenting and homeschooling. Mostly, I think I am being called to more fully engage life. To follow passions and make relationships a top priority. To avoid doing things because I should. To experience more joy.

Those things of which I have written about unschooling that resonate with me are the same ideas that attracted me to Montessori and Charlotte Mason. Many adults that I personally know are disrespectful toward children. I am guilty too, and this is the biggest thing that I want to change. Following my natural rhythms, and giving my child the opportunity to discover hers--this is important. But freedom without limits is nonsense.

The Virgin Mary is my role model exemplar as a wife, mother, and disciple of Jesus. With her guidance, intercession, blessings, grace, and protection, I cannot fail. She knows best the will of Jesus for my life. Jesus and Mary know what is best for my family, and I have no doubt that the Holy Spirit has and will continue to light my way.

All along I have defined Catholic unschooling as a uniting of the Faith, life, and learning into a seamless whole. How that is accomplished will be unique to each family. The concern I have is that "unschooling" is the negation of school. It is "not school". That doesn't give me something solid to embrace. If unschoolers are living as if school does not exist, why use the word school in the description at all? Life learning, natural learning, and organic learning are some examples of a worldview similar to unschooling, but without the baggage. Without the rigidity of "thou shall nots".

So I am taking a break from books and internet searches on the subject of unschooling. I have done my studying, and it is time to get back to making the Catholic faith the center of day-to-day living. I think I'll ditch coffee while I'm at it. Unschooling has given me the permission to free myself and my family from unnecessary shackles. Jesus said, "For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." I owe unschooling a debt of gratitude, for it led me to my "little way of the fleur de lis".  My home is a domestic church, and our educational lifestyle is Catholic Natural Learning.



Friday, June 7, 2013

Choices.



I was recently visiting with a close friend who has been a public school teacher for many years, working with 7th and 8th graders in language arts. The comment she heard most often from her students about her class was how very much they appreciated the choices she gave them. They chose their own books and writing topics, and believe it or not, she actually gave them regular time in class for silent reading! She even expressed to me that she wishes more parents would do unschooling (life learning) activities with their kids, as the burden of education seems to rest almost exclusively with school teachers.

This brings to mind a strange day in my high school geography class. Our teacher was asking questions to which we students did not have answers. Suddenly he punched the chalk board. If we had been dozing, we woke up then! "It's not your fault," he said dramatically. "Your parents should have taught you these things." How much time do parents of school children have to teach them anything? My friend seemed to think that the school day is not really that long. Yet if kids get on a bus at 7:30 a.m. and do not come home until 3:30 p.m, that is 40 hours a week away from home. Add after school activities such as sports and clubs, and then add a couple hours of homework a night.

Kids are tired. I remember many an evening that I slept right through dinner, woke up to eat by myself and do my homework, figured out what to wear the next day, and went to bed. Today kids have many more distractions in the way of TV, computer use, and video games. The school system, combined with these modern diversions, separates family members from one another and impedes meaningful connections. The peer group at school becomes dominant over relationships with parents and siblings, neighbors, and extended family.

My teacher friend's students loved having real choices. This gave them the opportunity to make their own decisions.  It gave them the impression that they were people whose opinions and preferences mattered.  I remember telling my mom that my 5th grade teacher addressed the students as "people," rather than calling us "children" or "kids." That small gesture signaled respect. That teacher also read to us out loud on a regular basis, even though we could read by ourselves. I loved this teacher. With all the pressure today put on teachers and students in preparing for standardized testing, many teachers cannot find a way to personalize education or encourage individuality, critical thinking, and creativity. Reading out loud to students would seem superfluous.

The world is full of never ending choices. Children need practice in making them. The problem I see is that the goal of school is supposed to be preparing young people for the "real world", as if they have not yet begun to really live.  We become accustomed to always thinking that life will begin only after some educational goal is accomplished, and this continues on to after I get this new job, after I get married, after I lose the weight...The list goes on, the years go by, and life happens, whether or not we fully engage it.  How about if children just live and learn in the real world in the first place? 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A Child Draws Her Own Boundaries

This evening Beezy was playing on the porch with her new kitten, who is still very tiny.  A group of much younger children were out for a walk with their mother, and of course they were very interested in this pet!  But Beezy told me she wanted the kids to go, and she locked the screen door.  I knew she was feeling protective and overwhelmed by all the little hands wanting to touch the kitty.  I know this because I know her, but I asked her about it later, and she confirmed my intuition.  I didn't judge her reaction or her need to do what she saw fit to solve the problem at hand.  I understood and acknowledged the disappointment of the other children to their mother, but I didn't feel the need to fix anyone's feelings, not my daughter's, or the other children's, or the other adult's.  I simply observed.

Beezy set her own boundaries, met her own needs.  If she had asked me for additional help, of course I would have stepped in.  Later when we had come in from outside, she immediately wanted to go back out and do more chalk drawing.  I said, "If you need to draw some more, then do so!"  It was such a good feeling in both these instances to experience radical unschooling principles at work, to witness my own growth, and to be amazed.




Sunday, June 2, 2013

Unschooling Principles

"The principles of unschooling are that humans are born learners. That children will learn best when given the freedom to learn what, when and how they want.

That doesn't, of course, tell anyone what to do. Principles are what help us decide which choices support our philosophy and which choices run counter to it.

Some people hear the unschooling principles and see them as limiting, as preventing them from doing what they feel is best or want to do and equate that with being closed-minded. But we all have guiding principles that limit our choices to the choices that we feel are right. If we didn't have principles it would be okay to shoot our neighbor for running his table saw at 6AM on Saturdays! But we voluntarily limit our choices of solutions to that problem because we recognize that some of them violate our principles. (Or values or ethics or philosophy or get in the way of our goals in life.)"   --from the blog, Joyfully Rejoicing


 making "grass angels"


It looks like anything you might want to know about unschooling, and any question you might have, is covered at Joyfully Rejoicing. I recommend just looking at a few tidbits at a time and letting the unschooling philosophy slowly sink in.  The above explanation was an "aha" moment for me.  I was indeed feeling that some unschoolers are closed-minded and not thinking for themselves, just parroting someone else's ideas about unschooling. They seem rigid rather than joyful, refusing to continue going deeper, which defeats the whole point.

Dayna Martin actually covers this in her Radical Unschooling book as part of the journey in understanding the process. Some people may get stuck in that rigid spot and get discouraged, even give up on the whole idea. And unfortunately their policing may adversely affect others.  Dayna commented on the Whole Life Unschooling Facebook group that there is no such thing as "fully RU".  We are always on the journey, and it will look different for every family.

Radical unschoolers live by principles rather than rules, but there will likely be specific rules which naturally follow from one's principles. The principle of respect for one's environment as well as considerations of safety lead to a "no running in the house" rule in my home.  The extension of unschooling principles in education to all other areas of life means respecting the wants, needs, and personhood of children within each family's individual principles. Gentleness is an overriding goal. We don't want to be constantly questioning whether every little thing we say and do is "RU" (Radical Unschooling). That would not be authentic parenting.

If I say that we are Catholic unschoolers in my family, that means that the Faith not only permeates educational considerations, but that it informs every area of life. And it means that our Catholicism is radical, or "from the root".  We can be radical unschoolers, because this means that we follow unschooling principles within the peaceful borders (my designation for limits or boundaries) of our Faith.  It could even be argued that the moniker "radical" is redundant, because it is already implied by the label of Catholic unschooling. In fact, catholic literally means "universal".  Our definition of Truth and Freedom may be different from other radical unschoolers, but the point is living joyfully and in respectful partnership with our children according to our Truth, not someone else's.  It means living in Freedom by our own lights, shining within the brighter light of Christ.



Saturday, June 1, 2013

Organic Learning FB Group Invitation

I have created a new Facebook group called Organic Learning. This is an extension of the topics discussed here at Organic Mothering, with a focus on gentle, natural homeschooling and parenting styles, and respect for parents, children, and the environment. Organic learning goes in tandem with and is a natural result of attachment parenting. I do not endorse anarchy or a "freedom without limits" mentality, either for adults or children. Please read the description and join the group if you are interested. I want Organic Learning to be a safe place for anyone who wants to learn more, to share ideas and experiences, and to ask questions. People of all faiths and spiritual beliefs are welcome. You do not have to be a homeschooler to join. I just ask that all comments be respectful. Hope to see you there!