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Learning in Freedom

Welcome to Learning in Freedom, a blog all about the learning adventures (and mishaps) of the Allen family. My four children are unschooled, following their interests and passions every day and living the lives of their choosing. The purpose of this blog is to share our every day lives (and my not-so-humble opinons) with anyone interested in stopping by. We hope this will give a glimpse of how natural learning unfolds from day to day......

Sunday, March 05, 2006


Today is exactly the kind of day that is my favorite. I'm exhausted, my muscles ache, but it's been a great day. I decided to re-start the war on vines and cleared a spot around a tree on the side of our property. That part took about 2.5 hours, but yielded some nice little openings in the brush for children to hide within.
Jared, Jalen and Sierra finished a Monopoly game and came outside to work on their new "village".
Sierra claimed one opening and dubbed it "club Sierra". :) With trimmers in hand, they worked their magic on the shrubbery (ok, massive weeds and vines).

At some point, Markus arrived with a weeping willow. He'd surprised me last night with a river birch, then this morning brought the willow. I'd mentioned wanting one to plant in honor of Hannah Jenner, so it was especially sweet that he bought it for me.

In all, I planted some shrubs he moved out of the front yard, four blueberry and blackberry bushes and the Willow. We picked just the right spot for it, where it can grow large and full and placed a large rock nearby. I plan to inscribe the rock with "remember me" or something (that song keeps running through my head: "will you remember me? I will remember you....don't let your life, pass you by. Wait not for the memories").
I dubbed it the remembrance tree. We plan to write notes to our loved ones on brown paper and hang them in the tree. Visiting friends and family can do the same.

Our next project was the "council circle". We took all the rocks I've been collecting and made a small firepit amongst the trees where I'm planning the Zen garden. More rocks made a circle of seats around the pit and the shrubs Markus dug up are behind those. Eventually, it will be a large circle of plant around the entire area. I'm picturing all our good friends sitting around a fire and telling stories, singing songs and roasting marshmallows. A place for tribal gatherings.

The kids are enchanted with the idea of a fire tonight...so we'll test it out. I need to make a marshmallow/graham cracker/chocolate run first. No fire is complete without S'mores!!

In between dirt and shrub explorations, the kids have been playing games. Jalen keeps hauling up new games from the basement as soon as he tears one apart. Sierra and Jared are back at Monopoly while Trevor is content with W.O.W. (as usual).

I'm working a lot this week....days like this are treasures. Markus gets to have all the fun while I'm making money, darnitall.

Note: We tested out the firepit tonight and the kids had a blast collecting sticks, burning them, burning marshmallows etc.. There were even a couple of storytellers in our midst.;)
The council circle is a hit!


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