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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......

Friday, August 28, 2009

Jalenisms (or should I call them Scottisms?)

The boy asked me to go find his pajamas that Austin bought him for Christmas...they were bit too large last year. I got them out of storage and after he puts them on realizes they're now a perfect fit. He's thrilled. Did I mention they're glow in the dark, footie pajamas with space ships on them?

"I'm going to go tan" he says.
"huh? What's he going to do?" I ask Sis.
"He calls it tanning when he charges up the glow-in-the-dark stuff" explains she.
Aaaah. Ok.

So he's out in the laundry room "tanning" and I hear him tell her "I need tanning goggles".
And now the washer and dryer are a tanning machine because he can lay on top in his jammies and charge up.

Earlier this week Bleu took him out to eat at Taco Bell while Sierra and I goofed off at Hobby Lobby with La and crew. When Jalen/Scott got his taco he apparently said "Oh yeah, it's a party in my tummy."

Funny, funny guy.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Law of Attraction

I'm finally going to do it...go against the stream and write about how I feel on this topic. I know a lot of unschoolers believe in and practice Law of Attraction so I'll probably step on some toes. Not that I've ever worried about that sort of thing in the past, so why start now?;)

It sounds nice, this whole "think it and it will happen" doesn't it? But is it true? Does changing your thinking align the whole universe with YOU and your thoughts? What if someone else has an opposing thought? Who wins the Law of Attraction bid for stuff? I find it very entrenched in the old school notion that the person who does something better, wins. If you practice LOA correctly, if you believe enough, you'll get exactly what you want.

I don't believe that.
I don't believe that thinking about something equals a result.
I believe that trusting yourself and being OPEN to your own unfolding, your own needs and desires while moving forward with action creates amazing results. Always has. We didn't need a "law" to learn this truth. We don't need a movement to re-name "positive thinking" and it's sure as hell not a revolution.

Changing your thinking towards a more positive direction has always been helpful and good. It's not new. Helping myself and other people see opportunities, be more creative, find ways of doing what seems impossible is what I've been all about.

There is also that part which seems very materialistic about the whole thing. If I think about that camera long enough, someone will just GIVE me one right? Or that farm I want? Cool. You know what? When you talk about something, focus on something, work for something, connect with other people about that thing, you ARE going to find more opportunities. Duh.

It's pseudo-science folks. Pure and simple. I don't buy into New Age pseudo-science. I buy into my own thoughts and power to change my life. I'm really thankful my thoughts aren't powerful enough to make the universe/goddess/powers-that-be respond directly to my thoughts. That would be one helluva scary world.

From the Wikipedia entry:

"Since many of the claims of the law of attraction appear impossible without violating established scientific principles and our understanding of the universe, it has received criticism from the scientific community.[8] Physicist Ali Alousi, for instance, criticized it as unmeasurable (and therefore unscientific) as well as questioning the likelihood that thoughts can affect anything outside the head [2]. The Associated Press is also quoted as saying that "some medical professionals suggest it could even lead to a blame-the-victim mentality and actually be dangerous to those suffering from serious illness or mental disorders"

That's my biggest problem with LOA....that if you aren't getting what you want you must not be doing the thinking thing right. That if you were more positive, more _________-fill-in-the-blank you'd be getting exactly what you want. Maybe what some people want is unhealthy. Maybe wanting less and really being absolutely content with the here and now is better. Maybe I can move towards my dreams while being right here in this moment without trying to conjure anything.

I resonate with Zen Buddhism more than anything. LOA is opposite of Zen.

More from Wiki:

"Writing in the New York Times, Virginia Heffernan said: "“The Secret” is not really a book but a series of misquotations from historical figures and fraudulent maxims from no-count hucksters. And yet something in that gooey red waxy seal on the front of “The Secret,” and the book’s believe-in-magic glitter, takes me to a happy place." The hitherto undiscovered "Secret", is actually a mix of misunderstood quantum physics and a re-telling of "New Thought" fallacies, which have been around since the late 18th century"

I don't care much for misquotes, misrepresentation and fraudulent maxims. How truthful is something that needs to twist information to make it fit an agenda? Sounds like the folks who twist information to fit the Bible. Same thing.

Here's the other thing, a lot of unschoolers seem to think that LOA links so well with unschooling. I couldn't disagree more. If it's helping you think and believe in yourself more, GREAT. If it's helping you see possibilities and be more creative and trust that there are wonderful things available to you, GREAT!

However, it is taking people away from their own inner-guidance in the fact that it is a philsophy or idea that encourages a certain way of thinking. Are you learning these "truths" from within yourself, from your own experiences? If so, why the need for all the writings and talk about LOA, why all the "rules" about it? No, I say Zen and Taoism are much more in line with the philosophy of unschooling:

"Zen asserts, as do other schools in Mahayana Buddhism, that all sentient beings have Buddha-nature, the universal nature of inherent wisdom (Sanskrit prajna) and virtue, and emphasizes that Buddha-nature is nothing other than the nature of the mind itself. The aim of Zen practice is to discover this Buddha-nature within each person, through meditation and mindfulness of daily experiences. Zen practitioners believe that this provides new perspectives and insights on existence, which ultimately lead to enlightenment.

In distinction to many other Buddhist sects, Zen de-emphasizes reliance on religious texts and verbal discourse on metaphysical questions. Zen holds that these things lead the practitioner to seek external answers, rather than searching within themselves for the direct intuitive apperception of Buddha-nature. This search within goes under various terms such as “introspection,” “a backward step,” “turning-about,” or “turning the eye inward.”

Not that we need any philosophy in line with unschooling or anything else. People practice what works for them. Unschooling is a lifestyle that works with whatever else you want/need to practice.

My disgust is in hearing about stuff being "manifested" as if it dropped out of the sky. I'm tired of hearing how the universe is gifting someone with everything they want, as if the people who are dying and starving in other countries aren't manifesting good enough or something. Surely if thoughts were enough, nobody would be hungry. Because I'm pretty sure they think about food all the time.

Rant over.....

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The garden harvest

I've been picking tomatoes like crazy the last few days. Tonight we had so many that it was salsa time. We're taking a big batch to Asheville when we head down tomorrow with Laura's crew to meet Trevor and George at Alices house for movies and games. Can't wait!!

Fresh salsa, friends, fashion (asheville style) and fun. How many "f" words can I enjoy? A lot apparently.:)

In other news, Jalen sprained his foot badly last week and is hopping around the house in a very capable manner. Not much slows him down, but this has been rough for an energetic guy. We're taking Laura's wagon to Asheville so he can cruise downtown with us...what fun!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Public education??

WHY trust the public education system with your child's education? If anyone, EVER, ever, ever questions your choice to home educate your child you need to show them this video. I guarantee these are all high school graduates. I never want to hear how great public education is again. NEVER.

Hilarious Proof of How Bad U.S. Educational System Really Is

Shared via AddThis

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Imagination Tribe, Clark's Creek, more Nolichucky

A few more pics of vacation week/Trevor's visit:

Clark's Creek is a place far away from everything, tucked into the hills and as my friend Jess says "jump in the back of the truck for the full red-neck experience".

We paint rocks...

Hunt for crawdads....

And brave the cold water...

Another day at the Nolichucky river where we build an Obos village this time.

Jalen/Scott tries out some of his auntie Heidi's yoga moves...

Imagination Tribe was held at our house for July. We arted while a fire burned in the backyard and what seemed like hundreds of children ran back and forth playing games....

They actually stopped moving for a few seconds!

The adults mostly didn't move, except to pick up new colors or get a drink. ;)

Tired, tired peeps heading back to Asheville.