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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, December 31, 2007


Just heard on television as I'm walking past an episode of Futurama (roughly quoted as it's been more than 10 minutes since I heard it):

Lela: "C'mon, you can't just blame television for ruining kids"
Bender: "yeah, give the schools some credit"

Oh my...sassy, sassy. Dontcha love it?

Then this, from Storypeople:

"Things to know about the future. #1: It doesn't have to look any particular way, but around here, if it doesn't, a lot of people will never speak to you again"

Sounds like some of the talk I hear as I'm out and about or talking to co-workers. Pressure to get into college, pressure to have a certain job, a certain kind of spouse, a life that looks just right. Not a thought as to what the child actually loves. Because if they end up without the little pink house, it might be a negative reflection on the pink house dwelling parent.

Am I sounding cynical? Retail will do that to ya.;)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry SolsticeChristmaswhatever...

I don't feel much like posting anything lengthy, but I did want to wish everyone a very warm and abundant Christmas in whatever way you choose to celebrate. Here's the quote from Storypeople I got today. It seems so appropriate for my day:

"There are lives I can imagine without children but none of them have the same laughter & noise."

Happy Holidays everyone!! Hope it was full of light and love.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The month that never was.....and a meme

Ok, December has been here, is here and just won't go away. But it hasn't existed in my blog world yet apparently. Got way off track after the ARGH gathering and haven't found the time or focus to sit and blog lately. So I'll get back to it with yet another meme.

Samuel tagged me and since I seem lacking in the something-worth-writing-about department I figured it wouldn't hurt to participate.:)

So here's the meme:

1) Post a note about a blogger you would like to see
something wonderful happen for. Maybe one whose
posts have touched your heart in one way or another.
Include details as to why you admire them and what
you wish for them. Be as supporting and affirming as you can.

2) Post your favorite memory around selflessness, giving,
or doing for others. Something that has actually changed you.

3) As a postscript, name one thing you will actually do
for someone in your life before December 31 that is born
out of joy.

4) Tag 3 other bloggers who will play the game and
find the spirit. Don't forget to leave a comment on
their blog so they continue to share the good feelings.

1)Number one is hard. I can think of so many people I want good things for, including myself.:) Lots of good things. But my mind tends to think especially of Diana Jenner this time of year.
I wish her all the joy of new beginnings and beautiful holiday memories and grand adventures.
You see, Diana lost her sweet baby girl Hannah to Leukemia at 9.5 years of age in 2006. Hannah reminds me to live life fully, to not make mountains out of molehills and to be the very best mama I can be to my children.
Diana inspires me to keep grabbing life by the tail and swinging it around! Even through the tears. I've never met a more flamboyant storyteller. She's a crazy gal and I love her for it.
I hope her new life in Corvallis with her boyfriend Scottie and her son Hayden is truly magical and she continues to grow her tribe. Wishing you a magical, amazing 2008 girlie!

2)Selflessness? Me? I think I'm both self-centered and selfless all the time. Makes sense right?
I volunteer my time to talk with people about unschooling and gentle parenting quite often. I do this as a way to "pay it forward" I suppose. Sometimes it's exhausting. Especially when people don't understand why I charge for lengthy phone conversations now. If I gave everyone all the time they wanted, I'd have none for myself and my own children. But I give a lot of time freely and I think that's pretty selfless. I also enjoy a lot of it.
I've given a ride to a stranger at a bus stop when it started to rain one day. I've "adopted" a family for Christmas and other such things people tend to do. I don't know that any of this is entirely selfless.

One of the giving things I did many years ago, was volunteer as a facilitator for a grief support program. I worked with pre-teens and their stories of loss and hope stay with me today. Definitely a life changing experience.

3) There will be many things I do for people just for joy before December 31st. I think living your life that way is the key. Giving in joy is a gift I give myself and my family. I wash dishes in joy, I help them clean up messes in joy, hell I wipe Jalen's butt in joy because you know what? He's here with me. Refer to number one for a reminder of why it's all good. One of the main activities we'll be preparing for after Christmas is Trevor's New Year's birthday. He'll be 18.

4) I'm going to tag my sister Heidi, because she hasn't been blogging lately and I need something new to read. I'm tagging Julie because her blog is exceptionally beautiful and witty and I know she'll come up with something that makes me long to be as witty as she. I'm tagging La because she'll have fun with this and I'll have another of her quirky, creative posts to read.:) That's providing they all play along.:)