How we hybrid schooled first grade

If parenthood had a motto, a good candidate would be, “it didn’t go as planned.” When our kids were born, we had every intention of sending them to the local public elementary school as soon as they were old enough for kindergarten. We had even bought a house that was within walking distance to each... Continue Reading →

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The ABCs of Life

Last week we were just returning from a lovely vacation near Lake Michigan. We stayed in a big wooden lodge in the Michigan woods with our extended family. We had five families totaling ten adults and fourteen kids. It was an amazing week. The kids were never bored. There was always someone to play with.... Continue Reading →

How we unschooled kindergarten

After I published this article about why we unschool our kids, I got quite a few requests for more detail. What does unschooling look like in practice? What do unschoolers do each day? The stock answer is that unschooling looks different for each family and different each day. Unschooling is more of an overarching philosophy than... Continue Reading →

Your child is not testing you

Babies are physically exhausting to parent, but as they grow into toddlerhood and beyond, the physical exhaustion is slowly replaced by emotional exhaustion. For much of babyhood, needs and wants are identical, but over time needs and wants start to diverge, which means that parents need to start setting limits. We can’t let our kids... Continue Reading →

Super easy play dough recipe

At ages 6 and 4, my kids have yet to outgrow the play dough phase. In fact, I'm not sure I've quite outgrown it myself. It's one of those things I can do with my kids that is enjoyable for all of us. Below is the recipe I've been using for a while. I start... Continue Reading →

You are not a peaceful parenting failure

Peaceful parenting is a movement that aims to raise kids who will become responsible, resilient, happy adults who do good in the world. It involves setting limits with empathy, trying to understand and address the root causes of problems rather than manipulating behavior through rewards and punishments, and generally being kind and non-punitive in our... Continue Reading →

Four ways babyhood is like a honeymoon

At first glance, having a baby and going on a honeymoon may appear to have nothing in common. One is a fabulous vacation and the other is a decidedly unglamorous jumble of sleep deprivation, spit-up covered clothing, and never-ending laundry. But when it comes down to it, both mark a major transition in life that... Continue Reading →

Are swimming lessons necessary?

Living in Central Texas, getting out to water is a necessity for surviving four or five months of heat.  Fortunately, we have a variety of amazing swimming holes here in the Austin area. That also means there is a lot of pressure to learn to swim early. There are baby swim classes for kids as... Continue Reading →

A filling, frozen summer snack

Nothing says summer like snacking on watermelon, strawberries, and popsicles between dips into the water. Our fruit consumption really goes through the roof during the summer months, which I mostly love. The only part I don't love is that fruit isn't very filling, so it will leave kids (and adults) constantly in search of another... Continue Reading →

Why I’m raising my kids to be wildflowers

It may seem like the last thing the world needs is another parenting style. There is attachment parenting and peaceful parenting; helicopter parenting and slow parenting; tiger parenting and elephant parenting; RIE parenting and the CTFD method. I’m going to sweep these aside for a moment and focus on an analogy: Raising kids is like... Continue Reading →

You can homeschool in less than two hours per day

When someone first envisions homeschooling, the first thought is often a family replicating the school environment at home. Lessons start promptly at 8:30am, with children working studiously around the kitchen table until a break for lunch at noon. After the lunch break, lessons continue until 2:30pm. Then the homeschool day is over. But, for a... Continue Reading →

I don’t play with my kids. Here’s why.

“Mama, will you play on the train with me?” my daughter asked, lining up the dining chairs to form a line of seats. “Sure! Where’s my seat on the train?” I responded, thinking we were about to engage in some good, old-fashioned pretend play together. This is what childhood is supposed to be all about,... Continue Reading →

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