Wanderlust, its in my blood

Yes, it is. I seem to come from a long line of travelers and adventurers. I’m no different. Except that I have 3-4 extra people at any given time, who would want to come along. Traveling is very high on our to-do list. We have a great short term plan, of exploring our own neighborhood, but we have two rather polar goals, that will somehow need to be melded together.

We want to farm, growing/raising most of our food, and contributing to the local food movement in our community.
We want to travel extensively with our children, giving them a international and entrepreneurial outlook on life.

Can we do both? Yes. How? Well, I’m not sure yet, but as I figure it out over the next few years, I’ll let you know.

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Signs of Spring

It looks like spring, may actually be on its way here.

My chives

A beautiful assortment of eggs, that we are now getting a plethora of.

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Learning and growing ebbs and flows

Watching my children learn outside of a traditional education environment is fascinating. Sometimes it seems like nothing is happening for months. I start to question if I’m on the right path, the BAM! practically overnight new skills are developed.

My oldest, Brecken, is a month shy of 6. I bought him tie shoes last year, and have spent the past year wishing I hadnt! Tying shoes, for what seems the hundredth time in a day, is not my idea of fun. A couple of weeks ago, he “tied his own shoes”, and by that I mean, he tied his laces in knot after knot, until he had used up all the laces. While I was very impressed with his engenuity, do you know how long it takes to UNTIE those? He was very proud of himself and I wasnt about to burst his bubble. After doing this 2 or 3 times, he asked me if I would show him how to tie his shoes like I tie mine. Of course, I said yes! I showed him, on two different days, how to properly tie his shoes. A few days later, as we were getting ready to leave I was helping Ronan get ready, and the next thing I know, Brecken is standing there, shoes tied, and ready go. He was SO proud. He felt so empowered. I wish I could have captured the look on his face.

Brecken has also made HUGE strides in the last month with reading readiness. He is starting to understand that letters put together make words, and that individual letters have their own sounds. He is very interested in this concept, and is constantly putting letters together on the fridge and asking me what word it is. Its been fun.

Ronan’s big accomplishment lately has been a MASSIVE growth spurt. You know the kind, they eat you out of house and home all day, but still wake up in the middle of the night hungry. Whew! Its exhausting for me and him!

Learning is a process. Its not usually steady and continual. Its a bit like a volcano at times, I’ve found. Thoughts, ideas, processes boil under the surface, then every so often, they explode from your being, adding to the mass of your knowledge. And, much like a volcano, its often not pretty, for kids or adults. My children definitely go through a rough phase when they are making big physical or developmental growths. As adults, I think we go through our own rough phases when we make big self discoveries.

It is helpful if we can navigate these phases with empathy for ourselves, and for our children. Sometimes that is a bit easier said than done, I realize!

May you embrace the ebbs and flows life brings your way this week.

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World travel begins at home

We have a lofty goal of traveling the world with our children. This is one of our primary reason for unschooling. What better way to learn about the world than to actually physically experience it? I cant think of one.

World travel sounds exhilarating. Everyone wants to do it. But what about what is in your own backyard, neighborhood, city, state, or geographical region? How many people live somewhere for years, maybe even decades, but they’ve never *experienced* it? Maybe they move, and someone says, “Oh, you used to live in ______, I’ve been there, they have a really awesome _______. ” And the person replies, “Oh, I’ve heard about that, but never bothered to go see it.” Which is usually followed by….”But I always wanted to.”

My mother, who blogs over at Birds O’ the Morning, is who taught me the value of “local tourism”. She took us all over our local area to see the sites, visit the museums, and get to know the local outdoor habitat and mountains.

In the spirit of local travel, the next few years of our lives, will be spent growing our farm, growing our children, and traveling to visit and explore places withing reasonable driving distance of our home. The possibilities are ENDLESS…and yet the whole world still awaits!

Happy Trails!

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QOTW – On Positive Discipline

Where did we ever get the crazy idea that in order to make children do better, first we have to make them feel worse? Think of the last time you felt humiliated or treated unfairly. Did you feel like cooperating or doing better?

~Jane Nelson~

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QOTW – What is education?

Education is not the taming or domestication of the soul’s raw passions — not suppressing them or excising them, which would deprive the soul of its energy — but forming and informing them as art.

~ Allen Bloom~

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Urban Homesteading – Its a lifestyle, not a trademark.

There has been a recent uprising of homesteaders around the world this past week. The Dervaes family has put a trademark on the words “Urban Homestead” and “Urban Homesteading”. If this is the first you have heard of this, a quick Google search will spell out the details for you.

Homesteading, urban or otherwise, is not a lifestyle you can trademark. My grandmother grew delicious food during the 10 years she lived in Halawa Valley in Moloka’i Hawaii during the late ’70s and early ’80s. My parents raised us on a small farm, where we had goats for milk, chickens for meat and eggs, steers for beef, and pigs for all the yummy goodness they provide. We had a MASSIVE garden as well as several fruit trees. And today, as a mother myself, we are gradually working towards our own food sustainability.

Recently, my town was able to overturn the new ordinance they were trying to make against backyard chickens and other livestock. I have the good fortune of being part of a community that will allow limited livestock in a neighborhood, provided it doesnt disturb the neighbors.

I am not an urban homesteader, but I am a homesteader none-the-less.  What is your story or connection to urban homesteading? Today is Urban Homesteaders Day of Action. Post on your blog, facebook, twitter. Spread the word!

Urban homesteading – Its a lifestyle, not a trademark.

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