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In a message dated 2/3/2005 4:54:06 PM Central Standard Time,
mamaaj2000@... writes:

I'm curious about what other thoughts people have on "unschooling


Don't be fooled by the number of bedrooms in a brand new house. The living
spaces are often poorly designed for unschooling. Three or four bedroom
older houses that have been added onto, or in which the attic was finished seem
to have the best options. Of course, you might want to have a bedroom for
each kid, but it's the common areas that matter.

Is there a room that can be a library? (Better if it has doors that can be

Is there a room where projects can be laid out and left there and not hinder

You definitely want a house with a living room AND a den. They usually have
formal dining rooms, too. My best unschooling house so far was the one on
Penguin Cove. It had a den, living room, dining room, breakfast room,
sunroom, office, 5 bedrooms and in the middle of all that was a room that could be
accessed from both ends of the house. That was our library.

It wasn't a brand new house. It was built in 1979. Two of the bedrooms
were added later, in the attic, as was the sunroom (not in the attic). It was
3000 sq ft, and I looked at other 3000 sq ft homes that were brand new and
they didn't have near what this house had as far as usable space. They had
"great rooms" and gourmet kitchens. I didn't need that.

It was also much more house than I could have afforded in the "nicer" areas,
but it didn't matter to be in the "nicer" areas because we're
unschoolers---GOOD SCHOOLS don't matter (except for resale, but we sold it for more than
our asking price just 2 years later).

Most real estate agents will have a hard time understanding that you don't
care how many more bedrooms or that it has all the latest gadgets in the
kitchen or arched windows. (Who doesn't want a beautiful house? But there are
trade-offs.) I had to explain it to my realtor every time we saw a house.
They want you to think about the schools, but the schools really didn't matter
to me. I knew what I wanted.

I don't have a great big house anymore. There are only 3 of us here now. I
could have gone and bought a brand new house or a giant house again. What I
have now is a 110 year old Victorian in a small town on an acre lot. The
house is only 1500 sq. ft, and it's layout is divided up perfectly for being
able to shut doors and keep out noise. The reason I bought this house over
several others was because it also has an 1100 sq. ft. shop and 12x24
studio--that's where all the stuff that was in the library goes. Plus we have the shop
for doing indoor things like baseball practice (which we did with sock
balls) and working on the cars, etc.

It's really good to imagine what you will need and figure out what's really
important to you. Set a minimum (number of bedrooms and baths, number of
seperate living spaces, size of kitchen, price range, of course). This helps
you narrow the field, because it can be mind boggling. Look at new AND old
houses. You should look at all houses that meet that minimum, no matter what
area they are in, because you never know.

Of course, most of this depends on the market in your area and your price

Sorry this is so long. I'm into house hunting.


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