The journey begins at home

The journey begins at home

Did you know?

Did you know?
Isaac Newton figured out the law of universal gravitation while sitting under a tree. Thomas Edison came up with the light bulb filament while idly rolling kerosene residue between his fingers. Albert Einstein pondered the riddle of the universe with a cat on his lap. So don't get up. Contribute to science. Stay relaxed as long as you can.

~Veronique Vienne

Friday, April 11, 2014

Justin and I to share our unschooling experience

Justin and I are presenting at the Florida Unschooling Conference, called Un in the Sun, at the TradeWinds Island Resort on St. Pete Beach in October. For those who unschool or who are interested in unschooling or just a tad bit curious about it come on out to one of the best Florida beaches for that weekend and check it out.  A good friend of mine and author of Parenting For Social Change,Teresa Graham Brett is also presenting, among others. Hope to see some of you there!  If you're interested in more information on the conference you can click here:
Below is the announcement made on the Florida Unschooling Conference Facebook page:
The Un in the Sun planning team is excited to announce the next speakers in our lineup for the conference in October - Kathy Brown and Justin Brown, a mom and son team from right here in the Tampa Bay area.

Kathy Brown spent a decade as a reporter and editor at The Tampa Tribune before resigning to become a full-time caregiver to her newborn son, Justin. That decision 18 years ago led her and her husband, Joe, to investigate alternative ways to parent and educate. After learning about unschooling and observing their son’s natural ability to learn on his own, they decided unschooling fit perfectly with their parenting style.

From the beginning, Justin has experienced the freedom to explore his own interests at his own pace; he has never been punished or forced to learn anything. Now, at 18, he says, “Unschooling has made me more of my own person so I could really decide who I am and the things that I like."

Justin's unique journey continues to be the joyful and rich experience that Kathy began writing about when Justin was 4 years old. As a parenting columnist for a local women's magazine, Kathy wrote of a world unlike the one in which she grew up … a new world where it’s possible to parent with non-punitive discipline, with trust and mutual respect, and with the welcomed acceptance of emotional release. (She is currently compiling her parenting columns, along with new commentary, into a book titled Parenting the Soul.)

Kathy and Justin are happy to share their journey in support of others who choose to parent and educate differently … who choose a new world full of opportunity and empowerment for both themselves and for their children.

We are looking forward to hearing from these two in October! Remember, the incredible rates for Super Early Bird Registration are only available through April 20. Register now to beat the rush!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

How to Learn Anything (TedTalk)

"The major barrier to learning anything is not intellectual, it's emotional..."

This is a great TedTalk on how to be good at anything you want. It only takes 20 hours of focused, deliberate practice. Listen for an entertaining explanation.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Video Games Are Great!

As many unschooling parents know, trust is the key to living the unschooling life. Learning to trust my 17-year-old son's osmosis-like learning journey hasn't always been easy. But I always trusted that his playing video games was a wonderful and fun way to learn all sorts of things.

All I had to do to validate myself was play the games with him. I learned firsthand the amount of complex thinking involved. There is so much to consider and to be aware of in order to play the games that my
"When kids are asked, in focus groups and surveys,
what they like about video games, they generally
talk about freedom, self-direction, and competence.[11]
In the game, they make their own decisions and strive to
meet challenges that they themselves have chosen."
middle-aged brain would feel a strong urge sometimes to opt-out of playing.

I continue to be awed at his ability to create and problem-solve his way through the Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG) he so enjoys. But rarely do I get a lot of cheers from other parents when I advocate unlimited digital gaming for all. 

The article titled, "The Many Benefits, for Kids, of Playing Video Games," cites a study by the IBM Corporation that concluded the leadership skills exercised within MMORPGs are essentially the same as those needed to run a modern company.

So I thought the article by Peter Gray might be a great read for any parent still struggling with all the fears around this issue or for any parent who may find themselves being the only one in a circle of moms who thinks video games are great. :) The link to the article is at the end of this post. The quote below is Gray's response to the most common fears around playing video games.

"The most common complaints about video games are that they (1) are socially isolating, (2) reduce opportunities for outdoor activities and thereby lead to obesity and poor physical health, and (3) promote violence in kids, if the games have violent content. On the face of it, of course, the first two of these claims should be truer of book reading than of video gaming. Concerning the third claim, I don't see any obvious reason why pretend murder of animated characters in video games should be any more likely to provoke real murder than, say, reading Shakespeare's account of Hamlet's murder of his stepfather. Yet we make kids read Hamlet in school." 

"Kids who are really free know what is best for them,
especially concerning how they should spend their free time.
Every kid is different, just as every adult is, and we can't get
into their heads and find out just what they are getting
out of something that we don't understand."

Click on link below:

Friday, October 12, 2012

How To Unschool Through College

An interesting look at college and how unschooling through college looks very much like unschooling through high school. <3 love it....

Thursday, May 10, 2012

When You Have Interest, You Have Education

This TedTalk is excellent. In a series of real-life experiments from New Delhi to South Africa to Italy, Indian education scientist Sugata Mitra gave kids self-supervised access to the web and saw results that could revolutionize how we as a society think about teaching. Click on the video below to listen to 17 minutes of fascinating, moving and funny stuff.

But first a quote from the talk:

"Education is a self organizing system, where learning is an emergent phenonmenon..."

After 16 years of unschooling Justin, I have experienced firsthand the above quote as absolutely true. :) Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

What Does Unschooling Look Like

The quote below does a great job explaining what unschooling is all about. :)

"(Unschoolers) maintain that a child's learning should be curiosity-driven rather than dictated by teachers and textbooks, and that forcing kids to adhere to curricula quashes their natural inclination to explore and ask questions.
(Unschooled) children can organize their knowledge in free and better ways. They never need to feel they are through learning, or past the point that they can begin something new. Each thing they discover can be useful eventually. If we help provide them with ever-changing opportunities to see, hear, smell, taste, feel, move and discuss, what they know will exceed in breadth and depth what any school's curriculum would have covered. It won't be the same set of materials--it will be clearer and larger but different."

The above, from the beginning, has been our perspective and approach to unschooling Justin and it's exactly what we have observed from it! I hope to start blogging more soon with some more examples! :) Btw, the quote is from the article titled, "The Most Empowered Children of the Future Will Be Deprogrammed and Deschooled." In my opinion, the article is very well-written! It can be found at  

Click below to go to article: