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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......

Monday, April 10, 2006

Secret

I want to blog all about yesterday, but I can't!!:) I have a secret and soon will be able to post about it, but until then, yesterday was a whirl of interesting activity right here at home. We met a person that had lotsa questions about unschooling and such, and the rest I will tell later.

After the "secret" portion of the day, the kids were working on their chalk mansions. They've been covering the driveway with chalk drawings of their property and mansions, complete with large screen televisions, pools, art and stores. Their stores yesterday, were a flurry of buying and trading. With wads of monopoly money in hand, piles of grass, flowers and roots (mostly weeds pulled up from the yard) they haggled intently.
We hung out in downtown Jonesborough in the late afternoon and as we walked they found more weeds for their shops. They got REALLY excited about the gum tree pods covering the ground near the Salt House and gathered quite a few; "this one is $1,000!!!" and "No, I won't pay THAT much for it!" were the conversations we heard.

As they bought and sold and chalked, things slowly began to deteriorate. There was a squabble about someone stealing money and Jalen started picking at them. I could see it wasn't going to get better (once Jalen is in that state, it's hard to re-direct) so I gathered up some newspaper, matches and S'mores materials and headed out. "Come on you guys, let's go build a fire." I yelled.

That's all it took....I felt like the Pied Piper. We ended up staying in the "council circle" for more than two hours. Markus joined us later and built the fire up to a more respectable size. Marshmallows were everywhere! As the fire burned and various kids told stories or sang poorly (me), they swirled around the council area gathering wild onions (those REALLY tickled Tristan because he could eat them) and small violets. Jalen had eaten a violet earlier in the day, and the rest of them were trying to figure out if they wanted to try one! Ah, wild edibles...how fun.

Night settled around us and a batch of kids went back up to the house. Jalen fell and bumped his ear on a rock seat. After crying and rubbing his ear, he settled into my lap for the remainder of firepit time. He was very snuggly, laying his head against my cheek. Moonlight lit the fields and yard...it was very peaceful. We stared at the moon together, sweet five year old cheek against mine and I thought there could be no better moment. It saddened me to think I couldn't just hold that moment forever, that the world would keep moving and growing older and time would rush forward. But I had that moment in the moonlight, with my precious, sticky, wood-smoke smelling boy.

As Heidi prepared to head back to the motor home, Jalen informs me he's going with her. He's so confident and independent at times. This child that sleeps right next to me, is spreading his wings. I miss him when he's gone with her at night! I also know this is part of his journey in life, to feel the joy of choosing to be away from me when he so desires. It's just very strange to sleep at night with no children on my floor or in my bed. Very strange indeed.

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