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Pregnant Mother Casting 
12:39pm 31/10/2008

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From motivationquote 
01:58pm 25/10/2008
  'A joyful life is an individual creation that cannot be copied from a recipe.' --Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi  
From motivationquote 
09:10am 27/05/2008
  'Love is the ability and willingness to allow those that you care for to be what they choose for themselves without any insistence that they satisfy you.' --Wayne Dyer  
02:41pm 13/05/2008
  Hey Bloggers,

I am working right now on promoting a book, Every Single Girl’s Guide to Her Future Husband’s Last Divorce. This book provides a nuanced outlook on learning more about assessing your future husband’s divorce and what that means for you as you are embarking on a new journey with him. This is very useful information about custody, alimony, child support, personal finance and step parent issues. This is your guide to ensuring the success of your new marriage!
If you are interested in reviewing this book, please email me at chelseasterling@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.
From motivationquote 
12:33pm 06/04/2008
  'Never again clutter your days or nights with so many menial and unimportant things that you have no time to accept a real challenge when it comes along. This applies to play as well as work. A day merely survived is no cause for celebration. You are not here to fritter away your precious hours when you have the ability to accomplish so much by making a slight change in your routine. No more busy work. No more hiding from success. Leave time, leave space, to grow. Now. Now! Not tomorrow!' --Og Mandino  
08:53pm 18/02/2008

Does giving sweets to kids produce a "sugar rush?"


Dear Cecil:

Is there really such a condition as a sugar high? Years ago, I read somewhere that medical research never could prove that such a thing happens. Yet parents and teachers continue to believe that kids are hyperactive following birthday parties, Hallowe'en, and other celebrations. Without facts, I can't get anyone to change their mind. — MaryAnn May

I'm always hearing parents talk about the sugar rush their kids get after eating sweets: "Uh-oh, watch out! Little Ignatz just had two M&Ms!" I thought I had read somewhere that this effect is either greatly exaggerated or nonexistent. What's the story? — Leonard, Half Moon Bay, California

Cecil replies:

You probably did read what you think you read, as scientists have been publishing papers to that effect for decades now. What we have here, however, is one of those cases where the conventional wisdom's gotten itself a size-16-EEE foothold, and nothing as iffy as mere science is likely to dislodge it. Nonetheless, we struggle onward.

There was a time, back in the '70s, when one could try and make a case for a correlation between kids' sugar intake and amped-up behaviour, but the testing that seemed to support the theory was fairly rudimentary. Researchers took a closer look, though, and in 1995 the Journal of the American Medical Association ran a survey of 23 comparatively rigorous studies conducted between 1982 and 1994. These were your classic controlled double-blind affairs: two groups of kids, one fed a bunch of sugar, the other given a placebo (i.e., artificial sweetener), everyone kept sufficiently in the dark as to who'd gotten what, etc. The results? No discernible relationship between sugar ingested and how the kids acted. It didn't matter how old they were, how much sugar they got, what their diets were like otherwise — nothing. The JAMA authors stopped shy of drawing any definitive conclusions, but if there were a legitimate sugar-high effect out there, you'd like to see it turn up in the lab every so often.
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Is five too soon to start school? 
10:33am 15/02/2008

Is five too soon to start school?
By Sean Coughlan
BBC News education reporter

Do children start school at too young an age in England? Is childhood freedom being curtailed too soon?

Compared to most other western European countries, English pupils are extremely early starters in the classroom.

Children starting school
Children start school in England up to three years earlier than Sweden

While compulsory education begins in England at the age of five (with many children actually starting at four), in countries such as Sweden, Denmark and Finland, school doesn't begin until the age of seven.

English children are ploughing through a fixed curriculum while their continental counterparts are still ploughing up the kindergarten sandpit or playing at home.

But which system delivers the best results?
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Oh hell yes. 
08:17pm 20/09/2007

About reading and writing, and how school has utterly fucked them up for us. We should all be demanding 'Where is the joy?' when looking at any sort of learning or alleged teaching. Written by Philip Pullman, an Englishman who has taught both kids and adults, and who is probably best known for writing book such as the His Dark Materials trilogy (the first book of which is Northern Lights, called The Golden Compass in the US). Entirely worth reading even if you aren't a fan of his books.
Unschooling Conference announcements: join UnschoolingCircuitRiders! 
10:35am 19/09/2007
  Have you attended a unschooling conference wishing you could go to more during the year? Have you never had a chance to attend a conference and have heard everyone sharing how much they loved the one that just past? Do you belong to unschooling yahoo groups but don't have time to get on and read as much as you would like since you are busy doing other things with your family? Would you like to know about other types of conferences where there will be at least one speaker who will be talking about unschooling?

Here is one place where all statewide and larger unschooling conferences, gatherings, speakers and events can be posted so that those of us who would like to "ride the circuit" can easily find which ones are coming up. This includes anything from statewide to international.

This particular Yahoo group is not covering local unschooling groups. For local get-togethers, please find a list for your local area.

let's ride bikes 
11:00am 08/07/2007
  I sincerely apologize if this post is not allowed here - please delete if that's the case.

I am a graduate student at the Academy of Art University, and I am designing toys for my thesis. (The toys will powered by the child's own energy, instead of batteries, to encourage kids to be active and eco-responsible.) If you have a 4, 5, or 6 year old, and don't mind, please answer a few questions about your child and bikes, either here or email me at spaculdo at gmail dot com. If you have questions about my thesis, please don't hesitate to ask.

I'd like to know:
How old is your child?
Does your child enjoy riding a bike?
If so, what kind of bike (2-wheeler, 2-wheeler with training wheels, big wheel type bike, trike, etc.)?
How often does he or she ride (times per day, week, or month)?
In a typical biking session, how long does he or she ride?
And how far?
On a scale of 1-10, how much does she or he like riding a bike (1=doesn't like, 10=favorite activity)?

Thank you so much for your time (I know you parents are very busy people).
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From motivationquote 
08:21am 08/07/2007
  'The knowledge of the world is only to be acquired in the world, and not in a closet.' --Lord Chesterfield  
Unschooling Voices #9 is out! 
07:48am 07/06/2007

Unschooling Voices is a monthly collection of blog posts on the topic of unschooling. For more info, go to Unschooling Voices Information.
Rearing children in captivity 
07:05am 05/06/2007

Analysis: Rearing children in captivity
By Mark Easton
Home editor, BBC News

At the school gates of Birchington Primary School, on the Kent coast, a group of mothers chat about their childhood.

"I used to go to the woods and build a den," said one.

"I would always go to the park on my own, just so long as I was back before dark," said a second.

Child jumping in mud
Some children are now too anxious to play in mud

The other mums nodded.

All remembered the adventures of their youth - long days spent out of sight of their parents. "Happy days," they said.

So do they let their own children enjoy the same freedoms?

"That would be irresponsible," replied one. The rest agreed.

The furthest they would allow their youngsters to roam alone was to the garden gate.
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Holy unschooling in unexpected places, Batman. 
08:50am 24/05/2007

xkcd.com is brilliant. I highly recommend it. It's available on your LJ friends page as xkcd_rss.
From motivationquote 
08:52am 20/05/2007
  'The things that one most wants to do are the things that are probably most worth doing.' --Winifred Holtby  
Live Free Learn Free issue 14 is out, and there's a sale! 
08:11pm 09/05/2007
mood: hot
From http://groups.yahoo.com/group/livefreelearnfree/ .

Greetings, everyone!

No doubt you've noticed that Live Free Learn Free has been on a bit of a hiatus, recently. Over the course of only a few months, we nearly doubled our readership! Not surprisingly, we were a bit overwhelmed. You can find out more at our website: http://www.livefreelearnfree.com/hiatus.html .

In any case, the new issue is hot off the press and will be mailed out over the next several days. You can check out the cover and table of contents at http://www.livefreelearnfree.com/current.htm .

To celebrate Mother's Day, our new subscribers, and the arrival of the long-awaited Issue 14, we're having a sale! All one-year subscriptions are $25 until Wednesday, May 16. Have you been waiting for the perfect moment to subscribe? Or perhaps you'd like to order the magazine as a gift for an unschooling friend or for your homeschooling group's benefit. Now is the time! Come discover what other unschoolers have been raving about!

And, for those of you who have been waiting for the back issues to reappear, fear not! The first two years of LFLF will soon be available in book form!

And remember, we're always searching for submissions. You don't have to be a professional writer to contribute to LFLF – just an unschooler! We're looking for articles on a variety of topics. Just check out our website for details: http://www.livefreelearnfree.com/submit.htm . The deadline for the July/August issue is Thursday, 24th May.

Contributors will receive a six-month subscription to the magazine! (For those with a current subscription, the subscription will be extended by six months.)

Happy unschooling!

Shana Ronayne Hickman, editor
Live Free Learn Free Magazine
Inspiration, Information and Support for Natural Learners
New Yahoo group: Un-Traveller 
11:13am 19/04/2007

This group was created to bring unschoolers and eclectic homeschoolers together from around the world! It should be a way to find people with similar interests to be your "tour guides", in a sense, in your world travels.

There will be host families, and traveling families. The job of the host family will be to help the traveling family plan their trip. They will help them figure out where to stay (near the host family), what type of activities to do, where to eat, how much money to bring, etc. Then, when the traveling family arrives, the host family will help show them how "the locals" live! The parties involved will decide how much or how little vacation time will be spent together.

If you are interested in being a host family, just fill out the database. Then, the travelling families can browse the database, and find a host family with similar interests, in a location that they want to visit.

If you are going to be a travelling family, it is preferred that you also offer to be a host family. You don't have to have a lot of money, a fancy house, or live in an exotic place to do it. You just have to be willing to open yourself up to another's way of life!

It is not recommended to make plans to stay in someone's home when you are travelling, especially if you have never met. That way, if things don't go as well as hoped, the travellers won't have to rely on the host family, and the host family won't get "stuck" with the travellers. If need be, each can go their separate ways!

The group is just here to help families hook up. All travel plans should be made offlist. This is a private group, so messages and other features will be visible to only the group members, and new members will be heavily moderated. (Spammers will be excommunicated!) Though just to be on the safe side, phone numbers and addresses especially should be shared offline.

This should be fun! Go see the world!
Too cool. 
10:20am 28/01/2007
mood: impressed
We need more of these around the world.

I inquired about what they do for non-school-affiliated groups and got this response:
'We exist for the passionate. It doesn't matter whom they're with so long as they want to experiment, learn, and grow. Group sizes from 2 to 100, home, public, private, university ... all are welcome here.'

http://www.thegeekgroup.org/ - Kalamazoo, MI, United States

The Geek Group hosts hands-on interactive educational demonstrations for school groups. These demonstrations are unique to the class, curriculum, and grade level of each group and are individually designed to mesh with the classroom curriculum. After the demonstration, the instructor can use the field trip to augment the in-classroom teachings.

What we offer:
The Geek Group allows teachers to showcase technologies and demonstrations that they cannot do in the classroom because of the size, expense, or safety considerations involved. Public school funding may not allow busing in many places, much less $50,000 to build a lightning generator. The Geek Group allows teachers to have access to these resources and many others, including a specially trained staff. This enables students to have an up-close, interactive experience with facets of science and technology that they would otherwise only see in books.

Most kids never get to see an actual lightning bolt, or get to feel the power of a tornado siren. The few places that do have this level of technology tend to keep access to it locked away for only a very few people in University-level research. The Geek Group opens those doors and allows these toys to be shared with anyone.

The Geek Group gives kids more than the typical field trip. We're not a school in the traditional sense, and we're not a museum. The Geek Group is a place where it's okay to touch things. It's okay to ask questions. You're going to get your hands dirty, pick up a tool, and build something before the day is over.

Our demonstrations are loud, exciting, fast-paced events. We choose to use a visceral, hands-on approach to science. We don't teach about energy with a chalkboard and complex equations; we do it by pushing 80,000 amps of electricity though a pop can, or sending a 1.5 million volt arc ten feet across the room. As part of our meteorological demonstration, we actually create a snowstorm inside the laboratory. These activities make the concepts real for the students, and more importantly, they make learning fun.

The Geek Group is the most unusual and amazing place you will ever take your students. We are a radical departure from the traditional boring museum afternoon. Come on down and take a look around, see some of the demonstrations, and find out more on how you can share this new resource with your students in a field trip you can actually use in the classroom. We're certain you'll like what you see.
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http://community.livejournal.com/geeksintraining/22233.html - photos from last night's show, allegedly 'the best show we've ever done'.
US: Can your homeschooler paint a duck? 
07:42am 25/01/2007
  From an e-mail.

Any artists out there?

The 2007 Junior Duck Stamp Contest Brochure is now available. The Contest Brochure contains all of the information students and teachers need to know in order to enter the contest. You can download a .pdf version of the contest brochure using the link below, or contact your state's coordinator to have a copy mailed to you.


I browsed through the site and Homeschoolers are welcome to enter. Here's a page within the site you may be interested in: http://www.fws.gov/juniorduck/ArtContest.htm

Wishing the best for everyone who enters!
From motivationquote 
09:50am 30/12/2006
  'One thing life has taught me: if you are interested, you never have to look for new interests. They come to you. When you are genuinely interested in one thing, it will always lead to something else.' --Eleanor Roosevelt