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8 questions people ALWAYS ask unschoolers & homeschoolers

If you’ve been a homeschooling or unschooling parent for a while, you are probably already familiar with people commenting on and questioning your choices, or trying to single-handedly determine your child’s level of knowledge on the spot.  Next time you find yourself in the line of fire, try one of these responses.   1. What about socialization? That’s funny. When …

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You can homeschool in less than 2 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 large and growing number of …

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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, right? “You can sit riiiight …

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Dear Attachment Parent: How do I explain a pet’s death?

Dear Attachment Parent: Our family dog just died and I don’t know what to say to my 4 year old. How do I explain this? Losing a four-legged family member can be heartbreaking. While we are coping with our own sadness, we parents also have to figure out how to help our kids navigate sadness, possible confusion, and questions about …

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Is Your Child Afraid of Fireworks?

We sat in a mass of people blanketed over the sweeping lawn. Everyone staring up, ready to ooh and aww over the light show that was about to begin. Fourth of July fireworks never fail to disappoint. Then, without warning, we were under attack. People all around us started screaming and running. My partner and I scanned the crowd in …

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Dear Attachment Parent: Can I Get Pregnant While Breastfeeding?

Dear Attachment Parent: My first baby is still breastfeeding around the clock. We would like to have another child, but I don’t want to wean! Can I get pregnant while breastfeeding? Yes, you can absolutely get pregnant while breastfeeding. Most of us have her the tale of a couple who thought breastfeeding equals contraception and who now have two children …

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The Loneliness of Modern Parenthood

There is something I hear far too often. A quiet, frustrated cacophony of the mothers and fathers I see going about their days with their children. Often alone. Struggling. Holding too much stuff and too many hands. Spending too much time just getting from Point A to Point B. Eager for conversation at the playground with other parents, wanting to …

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Eight ways to respond to unwanted parenting advice

Having a child and taking them out into the world can sometimes feel like an invitation to have others comment on your parenting decisions. With parenting, as with any endeavor, it’s important to be open to new ideas, to listen, and reflect. At the same time, we all know that a lot of the advice offered out there isn’t coming …

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Free-Grazing Kids: A Way To Do Food

What is free-grazing, you ask? It means that you don’t have any artificial restrictions on food in your house. Examples of restrictions include a set schedule of eating times, or only allowing certain foods at certain times. Or only allowing X to be eaten after Y was eaten first. We mostly follow a free-grazing lifestyle because I have an extremely picky and …

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Is An Achievement Mindset Hurting Our Kids?

The need to achieve — to succeed — is all around us. At my two year old’s ballet class, one mother and son were watching through the window. The boy remarked, “That teacher isn’t letting her play. That isn’t very fun.” The mother responded, “Good. She needs to learn how to do it right so that she can move up …