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April 24, 2007



I found your blog tonight! <3 and am so happy, I love your boxes, I love your photos... you have such a wonderful sense of color and composition. I love that you can write and that you are reflective and that you change your mind. And I am even more excited to have you around. :) Happy me.

I have a not-so-up-to-date blog, it's mostly my art journal stuff. http://www.melaniesage.blogspot.com/

I am glad your kids are enjoying the Village, they seem like such natural fits. I think of this as unschooling in a community too. But if it works for your kids (my kid) then I think what we call it is an afterthought.



Hi Melanie! I'm so glad you found me. And thank you for the compliments.

My issue about still being unschoolers started with an unschooling conference that happened last weekend in Corvalis. Originally we were going to attend to widen our circle of unschooling friends. But since we are at the Free School now it wasn't necessary from that standpoint.

However, being a John Holt, Sandra Dodd, etc... fan, I started thinking about their ideas that ANY type of school changes you from unschoolers to schoolers (and that maybe we weren't really a fit with the conference anymore because the kids were now in school). That we can be unschoolers making the decision to attend school (because that's what the kids want, it's their choice) but as soon as we enter the school we are no longer unschoolers, even though the choice was made by the kids in freedom without coersion.

That really bugs me, that definition. So I'm changing it for me and my kids.

That's all.


I think you have a right to make that change, and I think you are correct in your definition.

Because, after all, the WHOLE definition doesn't have to do with whether or not the kids enter a specific building every day called "SCHOOL"; I would contend that far more important in the definition of unschooling are the parts that deal with children's choices, non-coercion, etc.

So really, you're still in majority agreement with the classic definition--it's only one minor part that doesn't fit (and I would argue that when Dodd, Holt, etc. crafted their ideas about unschooling, nothing remotely like the VFS existed).

Or, you know, something like that. :)


hey kate! found you on typepad here!
i really enjoyed reading your take on unschooling your kids and their experience at the freeschool....
i do see us at VFS as an unschooling community of families coming together - not just "sending out kids off to school". before we had Leif, we always thought we'd homeschool/unschool. but then we had a child who loved being around his friends and other adults, as well as older children so much that he didn't want to be home full time with his 2 younger siblings and mama. yet i do love that if we are feeling a bit disconnected and not spending enough family time together, i can keep the boys home whenever we want, or i can come and hang out with them at school. it is such an ideal situation for our family and my boys are in love with the place!
on another note, i LOVE your photos and thoroughly enjoyed looking at your flickr page! keep up the beautiful art!
love, gemma


Aimee, Sandra Dodd still believes that, she's alive and kicking in ABQ. I have an enormous amount of respect for her, I just happen to disagree with her in this particular area of unschooling (although I agree with her on most of the other stuff).

Gemma, it's so great to have you come visit and leave a comment (I love comments, although I'm terrible at passing them out to other bloggers). I totally agree with you on the hanging out with people issue, Stu loves being with people and at times (a lot of times) it was virtually impossible for me to fill that hole for her (small town, not much around and we were the only unschoolers). I'm pretty sure if we'd had this school option where we were in CA, that the kids would have gone there. Thanks for the kind words about the photos and art, I love taking photos and I love making art, so here's to more art!

Ana María

Can you please write about what the freeschool is...I live in Colombia, no such thing here, and I really would like to know.


Ok, I'll work on a post about that. Look for it soon.

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