Unschoolers Platform Giveaway!

Unschoolers Platform has SO MUCH GREAT TO CELEBRATE!

This coming year, February 2017 we are hosting the most fabulous keynote speakers! Pam Laricchia, Sue Wolfe Patterson, and Erika Davis-Pitre for an awe-inspiring week! Full of magic, inspiration and celebration!

The excitement is oozing from our pores so much so that we’d love to host an Early Bird registration giveaway!!! That is a FULL family registration giveaway!!! Enter NOW (with in the next 48 hours…. by Tuesday, June 14, 2016 at 5pm CST) and you will have a chance to win the family registration!

AND…. what’s more you ask?!?! You could have more than one entry to this giveaway! If you like/react to this post you will receive 1 entry for your family. If you comment in our FB group or closed page, you will receive 1 entry for your family. AND…. if you SHARE this post with friends, families or groups… receive 2 entries for your family! (And YES! If you share more than once, we will honor your shares per number of entries!)

AND…. YES, YES, YES…. do all three and you will receive four entries to the giveaway! What’s not great to celebrate about that!?

JOIN US! Have a blast! Find your tribe! Celebrate!

www.unschoolersplatform.com

 

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Magic

Sometimes…. magic just drifts right into our lives and we are left with such an abundance of gratitude we are  simply not sure which mountain top is high enough to launch it from! I’m not sure if today’s magic can be re-encapsulated quite as I hope for so I am simply going to copy and paste the excerpt from the original source….. ENJOY!

Moments of complete and utter MAGIC have come to Kaidin during this entire documentary project from start to near finish. Things that I am certain not many 14 year old boys will experience in their lives. When we set out to accomplish such a magnificent project, I truly don’t think either of us had fully understood the impact this project was going to have. Not only on us, but to those around us, involved both directly and indirectly. Today was one of those seriously magical moments.

Returning home from a day of unschooling adventures, we receive this beautiful letter in the mail, with a donation that plows us out of the water. This very magical person does not know Kaidin. To be 14 years old, pursuing a DREAM come true, and to see the world around you rallying to see you to the finish line…. well …. truly no words can encapsulate that. My mama tears of joy, pride, gratitude, abundance, bliss…. I simply cannot sum it up.
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Our very special, very magical, abundant tribe has rallied beyond words to assist this young man live a dream. I am just beyond words.

Only weeks to the finish line. Just steps away from completed budget, project and film! I know that neither of us can quite sum it up. Just please know, to each and EVERY one of our donors…. You are ALL just pure magic to us. ALL of your help and assistance has gotten him this far. Your support sees him to completion and sets him up for a future of many more dreams to actualize!! Our gratitude oozes to each and every one of you!!!!

We can’t wait to see you at the premier!!!
(Remember donors, your ticket will be available for you at will call!)

Updated (Ticket and DVD Pre-sale): www.nakitababy.com/film

And event page:https://www.facebook.com/events/218631215181311/

 

Future donations (and this exert) are at www.gofundme.com/kaidin

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Whole Life Learning

I have recentlyWLLday7 been moving away from the generalized term “unschooling” or better describing our family as “radical unschooling.” I, quite honestly, have never truly loved this label. I truly love what it stand for, but not necessarily how it sounds. I almost would rather just say (and often do) that we are homeschoolers. Ok…. well… truthfully, even just writing that rubs me the wrong way. These labels that utilize the word “school” in them are what’s getting to me as of late. Not just recent, but a growing nagging since we began this endeavor a long long time ago. To the generalized public “homeschooling” is what’s known or at least slightly understood. And I don’t like the connotation that this word even brings about because it is such a gross misinterpretation of what our life is really like. And then to use the term unschooling, at the very least better describes our family based on what folks would read about this and then come to understand about our lives….. And yet even still, this term makes me think twice about it every time I’ve used it.

There is this growing realization, as our kids grow, as we begin to explain it more, that really it’s not at all about “school” as a construct. “School” as conceptualized way of “teaching” our kids. The “school” word really does not belong amongst our family description at all. There is nothing about our lives that represents what society knows in and of school. And the daily life and routine we cherish is so far from a “school” philosophy that attempting to use the term is just truly inaccurate in its entirety.

I’m coming to adopt the phrase Whole Life Learners… and/or Worldscholars. Seems to make much more sense to me…. to our lives…. our philosophy on life. There is no distinction on learning and life here. One big continuum. It has never ever made any sense to me to stop an amazing learning experience to point out to a child that they are “now using MATH!” And with this notion, everything we do is RICH with interest, passion, curiosity, wonder, love and relationships. Our journey is about the family unit. Nurturing our core. Nurturing each other. Supporting each of our passions. And enjoying the journeys together.

With that…. here’s a bunch of what we’ve been up to lately!

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Let’s start with a super duper 70-ish degree day. There was this very informative talk going on in the Rogers Park area about knowing your rights when you are stopped by a police officer. It was a great talk with video demonstration, professionals in the field, and open Q & A. The kids learned a ton and I felt it was so imperative considering the recent incident that we have all been through. Near the end of the talk, however, mama got itchin’ feet! It was 70 outside and we were just blocks from the lake! It was BEACH time! So we headed down to the lake and enjoyed an amazing late afternoon collecting sea glass and finding all that the winter waters had washed ashore. It was such a beautiful afternoon.

I have been trying to get back into our mama-kid date nights again. It’s been a long-standing tradition, probably going on 5 years now! Each kid gets a date with mama. It’s funny… with just how much time they all get to spend with me day in and day out…. that one-on-one time is so so so SO vitally important, needed, and loved. It’s a beautiful time to reconnect and be heard. And it’s always all about their personal choice of what they want their crazy mommy to do with them. We’ve been having some wonderful outings to the beach, the parks, the mall, a bite to eat, or anything really. It’s been really fun getting these back on the schedule since our last wee-one was born. It was very challenging getting out of the house at all. Baby C would go with often for us to keep them up. And then it became challenging because she hated the car. Things fell away for a bit, but now…. now she loves hanging with her crew and we can thoroughly enjoy them once again!

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This week held a new adventure. D had her Le Girls club this past week and we decided it would be a blast to try out some climbing! None of us had ever been and a few of the girls who came had not a ton of experience as well. New experiences all around! Since I was kinda “in charge” …. more like the adult go-to person for the girls, I thought it’d be fun to have the rest of our gang try out the climb. It was a HUGE hit. I was SO surprised how well everyone took to it. A new experience by the horns, so-to-speak. They just threw on those harnesses, listened to the guided tour lady’s instructions, and then hup to it! They were up that wall in no time. It was so great to see their bravery, their gumption. They did awesome!

The rest of the week brought about some new cooking endeavors. The three oldest kids are quite handy in the kitchen. They often jump in to cook a breakfast for the whole crew. K loves to do dinners once in a blue moon. S and D are big on our breakfast routines. But this week they ventured in to trying new recipes they had never done before. And… they were SO delicious and *completely* on their own. They did not ask for help and knew what they wanted to accomplish and did a fabulous job. Both of them doing each meal for their first time.

It was so much fun for them, and so much fun as a mama to see their self-pride.WLLday3 WLLday5

Ok, and another wonderful experience that had been fortunate enough to think to document was just the other day…. It was one of those moments where it felt like there was so much noise chaos in the house I might explode at any given moment. I suddenly jump up from where I am and start handing out assignments/jobs/duties/tasks….. The kids were at first laughing at me because they thought I was kidding. I have never (ever) told they had to do an assignment before the rest of their day could resume. This did, in the moment, feel like a complete joke, but hey…. at that very moment it broke the mass chaos noise in the house. It shifted the paradigm. It brought about new energy. And at that moment it was desperately needed. So I ran with this on-the-fly idea.

K was given the assignment to write two pages about he could “better shut his mouth.” You’re probably chuckling right now, but yes, I very seriously asked him to do this. He too laughed at me till he realized I was serious. He has this gross habit of butting his nose into absolutely every single conversation. And often to not say anything very kind or productive. It’s a habit I’d like him to be grossly aware of, and begin to shift. Of course his immediate response is that I’m reiterating his opinion “never matters.” However, the furthest from the truth…. AND…. after having him write this paper, I do think we FINALLY see eye-to-eye on this subject matter! He was so insanely articulate about the subject. He truly had so many heartfelt things to say about this habit and his siblings/family. It was SO great that I suggested the “assignment” was not complete until he read it to his sibs. They needed to hear these words…. from him… in *his* voice. It was quite beautiful.

D was given the assignment to write about how to be a nicer person, which then evolved ultimately into “how to love myself better.” She has been struggling with esteem as of late and it’s truly challenging as a mother to see your young girl struggle so much and (a) have no idea how or where this impact is coming from, but (b) also struggle with how to shift that paradigm with her. Because ultimately, if she did feel better within, she’d be treating sibs better outside of herself. So it all needs to start from the inside. She did write this very sweet little diddy about it and I was proud that she finally did it. She spent a good hour complaining about the fact that I was “making” her do this assignment. And she torn lots of paper in the process. But when we shifted the topic of the paper and she removed herself from the room to do it, she came back with something very warm and sweet. She did not want to share it with anyone just yet, and this kind of upset K because he felt it was unfair that he had to read his and she didn’t. Perhaps a double standard on my part…. I question that decision. But still feel, deep down that subject matter was the imperative decision maker here. If her’s reflected sibs in a way they *needed* to hear her words, then may I would have felt differently. But her subject matter was extremely personal. His was involving the world around him, and I felt the sibs that are most affected by it should be pervvy to that info. (I’m sure it’s still a double standard…. I’m working on that one within and sure it will resolve.)

It’s one thing I have learned being a mom….. The kids totally appreciate me learning things as well. I make mistakes and they may call me on things, and I may say, “you know…. you are right. I did that wrong.” …. or “I reacted wrongly.”….. or…. “You have a very good point here. Let’s change that.” They honor my journey as well and they feel safe telling me such. It’s quite beautiful as I become more accustom!

OK…. so because of SAID INCIDENT we’ve been through… the last few weeks have been pretty hearty, heafty, rough on the nerves. The wee-ones go to the bathroom in pairs, and won’t go in closets or kitchen alone. Especially worse in the dark of the night, but even prevalent during the days as well. So…. their assignment was to draw everything they were scared of or about. S & M drew these really awesome pictures and explained everything about them to me. They said what they were worried about and what in the pictures was scary. They talked about what they felt would happen when they entered the bathroom alone, etc. After we chatted that through and felt it had completed itself in the process, I then asked them to draw over those pictures. I asked them to think of ways in which they could feel safe and secure again in their home. So they took their markers and started making all kinds of great marks all over the paper. They talked about evil spirits and how they needed to go away, and that they were not going to be scared anymore.

At the end of it all, they handed them to me and asked me what they should do with them now. I was kind of thinking to myself… “well, hmmm….. This is not exactly the kind of artwork you pin up on the wall!!! The constant reminder = NO GOOD!” So…. I thought…. well… we have been into smudging lately…. let’s SMUDGE THEM! So I tell them we are going to light them up and send the spirits away. We crinkle them and crunch them. The process of mushing them all up was quite a satisfying step as well. And then I get the lighter and we have a little pow-wow right there in the middle of the living room. The blow and swoosh the evil spirits right out the window. It was such an awesome experience because the older kids got to see just how powerful this experience has a grip on the little ones. The little ones got to gain some control over these fears they are carrying. And together we *all* decided that this can happen as much and as often as *they* would like it too.

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The kids then asked me why I had done this “assignment” thing with them. 😉
Well… I tell them quite honestly… “At first… it was just a way to get you all to be quiet! But then…. LOOK at this! As this idea evolved in my head and you guys were willing to embrace it, it became such a beautiful thing!” We all got into this discussion about how this process shifted the energy and the tone of what was happening in the room. It brought them to open-minded and a sense of calm for some time. They listened to each other and explored themselves. It was such a great afternoon! Something I will for sure bring out of my back pocket again sometime in the future!

And the grand finale…. S finished up his rocket. He is SO pumped to try this thing out. It was (in part) the instigation of his new BOOM club! He’s longing to make more friends and along that mission we are going to BLOW THINGS UP! 😉

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BOOM Club

My 8 year old is longing for some more BOY time…. interested in making more connections and hanging out with older peers. We are looking to start a BOOM Club :)

8-10 year olds join us Mondays, April 25th, May 2nd, 9th and 16th (for starters) from 12pm – 2:30pm. Meet at Peterson Park to blow things up, play in the woods, and hang out in the park. Can be drop off, or families with sibs of course may stick around and play too.
For starters, Shea (my 8y/0) has just built a rocket that he’d love to set off about a billion times. We will also do lots of pop rockets, and whatever fun science explosion stuff we can find…. perfect for that big open field at Peterson Park. I will help them with all explosions, follow them into woods excursions (or the Nature Center if they choose), and park play as well. It’s loose, free, casual. If ever explosion supplies become a cost, we’ll let folks know, but it’s intended to be nominal. Or we can ask folks to bring their own supplies for a particular project.
Again, the intent is to nurture connections and build new friendships. We have some travel in May, so after these dates, we would explore future gatherings as well. Just not yet planned out.
If interested, please email me directly: mommy@nakitababy.com. Let me know your name, kids name and age (if I don’t already know you), and if you’re interested in sticking around or dropping off.
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Homeschool Documentary Project

It’s been some time since an update, but rest assured, this kid has been doing some AMAZING work! I’m super proud at what he has captured in some truly phenomenal homeschool and unschool kids! This film is shaping up beautifully and we are ON PAR for the May 13th airing! The airing will be Friday May 13th at 7pm with a brief Q&A to follow, along with a little reception as well. Kaidin is half way to his budget goals, and to round out this project and bring it all the way home, he needs YOUR support! This final push to make it all happen means the world to him and to all of us really. The amazing children who participate in this film, and Kaidin’s beautiful eye in capturing them. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for ALL of the support you’ve shown thus far, and ALL of the support you are able to show to help him fulfill his budget needs and goals. Please consider helping. Any amount means the world. And please do share this with friends and family. Supporting the massive endeavor of uber creative unschool teen means the world to us. Truly! Thanks again for everything!!! ENJOY this beautiful trailer!

www.gofundme.com/kaidin

 

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