Monday, November 17, 2014

Come on over to Raising Allies!

I know it's been pretty quiet over here at With The Family!

It's possible we are going to reinvent this blog, but probably not until some time next year at the earliest. In the mean time, I've been blogging quite often over at Raising Allies
Come on over to see what's new or join in the conversation on Raising Allies facebook page Here.   

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Your Daily Dose of Duck

I've started a new blog, Dobby The Duck: Your Daily Dose of Duck. It's mostly photographs of my ducks, but today there's a post about Duck Therapy. 

Some of my favorite people are affected by depression. It claws at them, dragging them down into a dank swamp of despair. It clouds their minds with thoughts that they aren’t good enough, they aren’t significant, that no body cares, because why would anyone ever care about them anyway? Depression doesn’t just suck the joy out of their lives, it makes them believe that they really weren’t worthy of joy to begin with. It gnaws away at their hopes and dreams, the happy memories, the good parts of life, leaving them hollow. Feeling like a shadow rather than a person....  
 Read the whole post, learn how ducks have help my mental health, and check out pictures of my ducks HERE.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Our 6th Not Back to School Day

It's our 6th annual Not Back To School Day. For the 6th time the school buses rumbled by and we ignored them. No worries about what to wear, new schedules, who to sit with on the bus, what table to sit at for lunch, finding classes, or getting the locker combination right. No stress about trying to eat breakfast before teenage bodies are awake enough to be hungry because lunch is hours away. No noticeable difference from any other day.

This morning, I'm sitting in bed with my cat by my side, drinking coffee and eating carrot cake at 9:00 a.m. It might be worth mentioning that I've already made breakfast, lunch, tea, and coffee for my husband before he left for the day. And the chickens and ducks have been let out. But now, at 9:00, I'm warming up under the covers.

The house is silent. My kids are probably still asleep. I say probably because they aren't here, so I don't know for sure. Last night they had a sleepover party with friends. Some time today we'll go pick them up, but for now it's one of those oh so rare moments when I'm alone in the house.

It may be the first day of school for many people, but not at our house. My oldest noted, on September 1st, that this would be her final year at Hogwarts. It would also be her senior year of high school. Since school isn't a part of our life, the passing of a fictional mile marker has at least as much meaning in her life.

It was a reminder to me of how we choose what is important in our lives, we choose what is meaningful. At our house we have chosen to make our relationships more important than school. We have chosen time together as a family, but each individual member gets to make that choice. We have chosen to support one another in following our passions. And we have chosen not to blindly accept the societal view that school is required for children to grow up socialized or well educated.

Really? Do people really think school leads to healthy socialization and well educated children? Do those same people also consider themselves properly socialized and well educated? The irony should be obvious and the fact that it isn't brings to mind my blog about Schools, Suicide, and Stockholm Syndrom. Just like that my warm fuzzy blog post has taken a turn toward the dark side. On the first day of school parents want to take pictures of smiling children with their brand new backpacks, not think about how a week down the road, or maybe even tomorrow, their kids won't be smiling and happy, the backpack won't be clean and new, reality will have set in. In the last month, as kids in various parts of the country have headed back to school, the numbers of hits on my blog post Does Your Child Want to Stay Home From School? have been rising. It's now the 3rd most viewed post on my blog. Unfortunately, I don't think that post is what most parents are looking for. Hopefully it will help at least one parent to listen to their child, rather than googling for a different article that tells them what they want to hear.

But enough about those other families, school, and the realities of their lives. I know about those realities, I had kids in the school system for 7 years, but that's not our life any more. As we head into our 6th year of life outside the system, and reflect on the past 5 years, I am once again thankful that we don't have to scramble every morning to be ready for the school bus.

My quiet house awaits. Time to tackle some projects and enjoy the solitude.
Tonight the house will be filled with teenagers once again.

Happy Not Back To School Day to all our friends who share this way of life. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Some Days Are Hard

Over Memorial Day weekend I had the honor of speaking at LIFE is Good Unschooling Conference. My talk was titled "Some Days Are Hard." I posted the content of my talk, or what I intended to say, at my newest blog that bears the same name:  Some Days Are Hard

Since that weekend, I've added three additional posts: 

You Don't Have To Say I'm Pretty

On The Days It All Comes Crashing Down

Counterintuitively Countering Hard Days

I've also added a post to Raising Allies:

The Hazards of Raising Our Kids to be Nice 

As spring turns to summer it is my hope to post on each of my blogs once a week. 

Stay tuned to see if I come close to reaching that goal! 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Parenting and Raising Allies

My most recent post on Raising Allies focuses on the Raising Allies Mission Statement:

Raising Allies is a blog that advocates parenting respectfully, with unconditional love and compassion, fully accepting our children as the individuals they are. 

In the post I discuss three concepts that create a solid parenting foundation. 
Those three concepts are: 

Focus on your relationship

Let go of your expectations

Stop trying to control your child

Read the whole post HERE

Monday, February 24, 2014

Size Doesn't Matter

At Raising Allies my latest post, Let's Stop Comparing and Judging Bodies: Size Doesn't Matter, reflects my on going struggle to accept my body. My acceptance is hindered by the voices in my head, health issues, and aging. It is also affected when I compare myself to others. I hope you will head over and read the post. You can get there by clicking Here.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Girls and Their Clothing Choices

Over at Raising Allies I posted a blog about What Girls Should Wear.

Friday, January 17, 2014

What Girls Should Wear

It's happened! I'm now the mother of three teenage girls. There's a secret that most of our society doesn't seem to know: having teenagers in the house can be awesome! One of the amazing things my girls have done is to help me understand topics that are important to them, while being patient with me when my "Aha!" moments are slow to come. From the time they were babies my daughters have been helping me understand that the way they dress is part of their exploration of who they are, a form of self-expression, and an integral part of how they interact with the world.

It was my daughters who introduced me to the issue of slut shaming, and opened my eyes to the double standards our society accepts without thinking when it comes to the messages for boys vs. the messages for girls. "Boys will be boys," but girls need to understand that one mistake can ruin their whole life. Boys can wear shorts and no shirt, but girls need to cover up, if boys who play football rape a girl who is drunk it's her fault - WHAT?!?!

Read the rest of this post HERE.

I am blogging at both With The Family and Raising Allies,  you can follow Raising Allies on facebook Here. On the facebook page I post articles and resources that support the Raising Allies mission of "Advocating parenting respectfully, with unconditional love and compassion, fully accepting our children as the individuals they are."