Check This Out: Happiness is Here

This is a WONDERFUL blog! All the things I read in books while raising our wonderful kids right here at your finger tips. It is 100% about respectful parenting and respecting childhood. Check it out! Bookmark it! Read it! LIVE IT!

Source: Happiness is here – Australian Unschooling and Respectful Parenting blog



Love This: Turning the tables: questions for school parents | Racheous

Imagine if when you told people you had chosen to send your kids to school, you were met with the kind of assumptions, judgement and questioning that is typical of families who have chosen to homeschool.

  • “I knew someone who was schooled and they were freaks”

  • “Oh I don’t know if she would suit school, she’s a bit too spirited for school”

  • “Are you going to miss them? I would just miss mine too much”

  • Are you concerned about negative socialisation? Bullying? Peer pressure?”

  • “Is that legal?”

Read the whole thing and enjoy!  Source: Turning the tables: questions for school parents | Racheous





Trust Children to Learn

“Nothing could be more simple – or more difficult. Difficult, because to trust children we must trust ourselves – and most of us were taught as children that we could not be trusted.” Deborah Meier


“Grandma! Grandma! There are snakes in the pine trees!” our grandson shouted excitedly running to the house. Knowing that we do have at least one snake I thought to myself, “Drat, that snake had babies!”

So, I grabbed my camera and asked our grandson to show me the snakes. (Yes, I grabbed my camera! LOL) Off to the pines trees we went.

As grandson was pushing his way through the pine boughs, he was telling me to be careful. Once through, He stopped, pointed and said, “See!?”

I poked my head through the pine trees ever so carefully fully expecting to see an active nest of creepy snakes. When I didn’t see anything slithering on the ground, I asked grandson where are the snakes? And that is when he pointed up into the pine trees! “OMG,” I thought to myself growing even more creeped out. I scoured the tree branches up and down. Didn’t see a thing except needleless pine branches.

I asked him again, “Where are the snakes?”

“See! Right here!” he answered pointing to touch one of the bare branches.

“So, this is pretend, right?” I asked.

He looked up at me with a puzzled look on his face and answered, “Yeah.” (Duh, Grandma!)

Then off he ran through the pine boughs toward the house screaming excitedly, “Monster! Monster! Come on Grandma, run!”

Children and their imaginations are wonderful!


“Imagination has no age and dreams are forever.” Walt Disney

“The world is but a canvas to the imagination.” Henry David Thoreau

“Play is the work of the child.” Maria Montessori




On Being A Mom by Anna Quindlen

“If not for the photographs, I might have a hard time believing they ever existed. The pensive infant with the swipe of dark bangs and the black button eyes of a Raggedy Andy doll. The placid baby with the yellow ringlets and the high piping voice. The sturdy toddler with the lower lip that curled into an apostrophe above her chin.

All my babies are gone now. I say this not in sorrow but in disbelief. I take great satisfaction in what I have today: three almost-adults, two taller than I am, one closing in fast. Three people who read the same books I do and have learned not to be afraid of disagreeing with me in their opinion of them, who sometimes tell vulgar jokes that make me laugh until I choke and cry, who need razor blades and shower gel and privacy, who want to keep their doors closed more than I like. Who, miraculously, go to the bathroom, zip up their jackets and move food from plate to mouth all by by themselves. Like the trick soap I bought for the bathroom with a rubber ducky at its center, the baby is buried deep within each, barely discernible except through the unreliable haze of the past.

Everything in all the books I once pored over is finished for me now. Penelope Leach, T. Berry Brazelton, Dr. Spock. The ones on sibling rivalry and sleeping through the night and early-childhood education, all grown obsolete. Along with goodnight Moon and Where the Wild Things Are, they are battered, spotted, well used. But I suspect that if you flipped the pages dust would rise like memories.What those books taught me, finally and what the women on the playground taught me, and the well-meaning relations — what they taught me was that they couldn’t really teach me very much at all.

Raising children is presented at first as a true-false test, then becomes multiple-choice, until finally, far along, you realize that it is an endless essay. No one knows anything. One child responds well to positive reinforcement, another can be managed only with a stern voice and a timeout. One child is toilet trained at 3, his sibling at 2.When my first child was born, parents were told to put baby to bed on his belly so that he would not choke on his own spit-up. By the time my last arrived, babies were put down on their backs because of research on sudden infant death syndrome. To a new parent this ever-shifting certainty is terrifying, and then soothing. Eventually you must learn to trust yourself. Eventually the research will follow.

I remember 15 years ago pouring over one of Dr. Brazelton’s wonderful books on child development, in which he describes three different sorts of infants: average, quiet, and active. I was looking for a sub-quiet codicil for an 18-month old who did not walk. Was there something wrong with his fat little legs? Was there something wrong with his tiny little mind? Was he developmentally delayed, physically challenged? Was I insane? Last year he went to China. Next year he goes to college. He can talk just fine. He can walk too.

Every part of raising children is humbling, too. Believe me, mistakes were made. They have all been enshrined in the, “Remember-When-Mom-Did Hall of Fame.” The outbursts, the temper tantrums, the bad language, mine, not theirs. The times the baby fell off the bed. The times I arrived late for preschool pickup. The nightmare sleep over. The horrible summer camp. The day when the youngest came barreling out of the classroom with a 98 on her geography test, and I responded, What did you get wrong? (She insisted I include that.) The time I ordered food at the McDonald’s drive-through speaker and then drove away without picking it up at the window. (They all insisted I include that.) I did not allow them to watch the Simpsons for the first two seasons. What was I thinking?

But the biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make while doing this. I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of the three of them, sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4 and 1. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.

Even today I’m not sure what worked and what didn’t, what was me and what was simply life. When they were very small, I suppose I thought someday they would become who they were because of what I’d done. Now I suspect they simply grew into their true selves because they demand in a thousand ways that I back off and let them be.The books said to be relaxed and I was often tense, matter-of-fact and I was sometimes over the top. And look how it all turned out. I wound up with the three people I like best in the world, who have done more than anyone to excavate my essential humanity. That’s what the books never told me. I was bound and determined to learn from the experts. It just took me a while to figure out who the experts were.” By  Anna Quindlen Newsweek Columnist and Author

Thank you, Anna Quindlen, for this eloquent essay.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Why Kids Need Real Play

“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” ~ Mr. Rogers

Play is such an integral and natural part of childhood. It is how all children learn. Play was one of the main reasons we decided to home school our children.

Sara wrote an excellent blog post on why kids need messy, free, unstructured, REAL play time. And some tips for making it more manageable.   Check it out at Happiness Is Here: Why Kids Need Real Play 

Real play making a big splash!