Hi everyone. I've been a member of this list for a few years now.
I've definitely been more of a read and lurk type, I guess! I've
enjoyed so many of the posts, along with the thoughtful and at times
thought provoking responses from members.

I spoke with Sandra ahead of creating this post because I am looking
for some help out there in the world of unschooling. I'd like to
find a nanny to live with our family for preferably a year. I've had
a live-in nanny helping me out the last couple of years and it has
been a great help with our current circumstances. But I would love
to have a nanny who gets unschooling and our family lifestyle. While
our past nannies have done their best to learn and abide by our
philosophy, I've still often felt I had to defend our choices and
lifestyle. Before I describe the position, let me give you a brief
intro into our family:

My husband and I have three children, ages 10, 7 and 2 ½. I began
first homeschooling my daughter when she was 4, after trying some
preschool. She liked preschool okay, but I just had too much fun
with her to send her off to school and given a choice she wanted to
stay home with me too. I had considered homeschooling even while
pregnant with her. So after just a mediocre school experience, I
decided to go for it and took her out. I switched to unschooling
within 6 months after reading John Holt and visiting Sandra's site---
thanks Sandra! Wow, did unschooling resonate with me. The idea of
allowing her to learn how, what, where and when she wanted to learn,
without deciding for her or coercing or judging her choices, made a
lot of sense. It has been so great and I've enjoyed watching her
learn to read and develop a love of reading on her own and become
amazingly computer savvy, among others.

Unschooling didn't unfold so easily with Ian, at age 7. He is, based
on diagnosis, moderately to severely autistic. He can talk, but
sticks to single words and doesn't converse with us or answer
questions. He doesn't easily engage with others, but prefers to play
alone. His likes to bang toys and objects together, like shoes,
drumsticks, blocks, books, etc. He will circle and gallop around the
room when he does this and hum and squeal and make all sorts of
interesting noises. He can do this for hours a day. He's quite
sensitive to noises and smells and can get easily overwhelmed and
frustrated and will vent by throwing things, banging his head,
chewing on his shirt and sometimes breaking household items. He has
a fantastic smile and likes to be tickled and will often, out of
nowhere, give us hugs.

I did try some school for Ian because that's where the speech and
occupational services were once he reached the age of three. We did
part time preschool for about 6 months. My heart wasn't there
though. And they just didn't handle his needs appropriately, but
looked at him as just some big behavior problem. I took him out to
work with him at home. We had our third car garage converted to a
giant playroom for him. The therapy program we use with Ian is
called Son-Rise. If you want to learn more, we have a website
describing it all:

I felt in the beginning that doing therapy with Ian sort of went
against this whole unschooling philosophy that I so embraced. But
Son-Rise to me is in a way very unschooly. The therapy is based on
going with the child, not forcing them to do what you want. So many
therapies are based on modifying an autistic child's behavior and
stopping them from doing all that quirky, repetitive stimming (like
Ian's tapping and banging things together). With Son-Rise I actually
join Ian when he plays this way. So if Ian is banging two sticks
together and galloping with glee around the room, I do it too. I
support his choice and don't put a value judgment on what he chooses
to do. Since joining and playing with Ian on his terms, I've found
that he his more flexible and open to then playing with me. He makes
more attempts to connect with me in turn. Having his own playroom
space also helps with Ian's sensitivities—I can control the noise,
the smells and there are no other kids to mess with his stuff and
vice versa.

Then, my youngest, Adam came on the scene 2.5 years ago and….well, it
got to be pretty challenging around here. Ian didn't like the baby
and still doesn't really care to have Adam around. I've needed one-
on-one supervision for both boys since Adam was born. Ian has been
known to push, shove and sit down on top of his little brother. So
when Adam was born, that's when I first got a nanny. I couldn't be
with Ian in his playroom and care for the needs of a newborn at the
same time and also spend time with Julia, as well.

Having a nanny has been such a cool experience. It really allows me
to continue our unschooling lifestyle. It has been quite a learning
experience sharing our home with another person and putting our
values and way of life out there for scrutiny! And now I want to
find an unschooling nanny!!!

My current nanny is leaving at the end of June 2009 (his year
contract is up). I've begun my search to replace him and thought it
would be great to have a nanny who understands and embraces
unschooling. I'm looking to have someone for a year. I will do 6
months, for the right person. I would prefer 18 years of age or
older. The position is basically 40 hours a week, paid overtime, with
weekends off, 2 weeks of paid vacation a year. Room and board is
included, along with a weekly stipend (negotiable). The nanny will
have their own furnished bedroom with private bath and television.
We also, have wireless internet. I will consider a male or female
nanny. My current nanny is a man and he's worked out great. We call
him the MANny!

I currently have a profile of our family and our nanny position on a
nanny finding website called Great AuPair. You can learn more about
my nanny position by checking it out here: There's
some pictures of the kids on there too.

I know my post was rather long, but I wanted to give you a little
glimpse into our family and situation. If you are interested or know
of someone who might be interested in the position, you can contact
me offlist at pamaronow@...

Thanks everyone! And thanks, Sandra for letting me post my nanny job!

Best Wishes,
Pam Aronow