Julie Bogart

I'm on a roll with posting tonight. Thoughts keep popping and I need to express them.

My mother and her husband are here from out of town to be with us over the weekend.
They've been very supportive of all our parenting choices all along. When we switched over
to unschooling, my mom was curious in that wonderfully supportive way. (I'm lucky.)

Well, today she told me how much she saw the wisdom of this kind of educational
philosophy and how it was impacting her grandparenting. She found herself really paying
attention to the unique ways our kids express themselves and then thinking how she and
her husband could fit in to who they are.

One funny example of how this worked itself out. My 8 yr old daughter decorated her
granddad with all kinds of objects (leaves, a blanket, a hair brush, a dog chew toy, etc.) to
create a "human collage." My mom laughed because she said that she and her husband
had talked about letting the kids have their way with them and not being fussy old people.
Thisw was a surprising manifestation of that commitment!

It was such a magical picture to watch emerge. My step dad sat quietly while my daughter
worked her art on him. They didn't need to talk. They just needed to connect and the
grandpa acted as a willing human canvas. We took photographs at the end.

That picture of supportive creativity spoke to me.

Unschooling, I've noticed, creates optimism. We see good in the natural bent of our
children. We affirm that good and look for ways to support and enhance it. There is space
for their quirks and gifts and we say yes to them.

I told my husband tonight that what I value most about the women on this list is their
unflappable faith in their kids. It's just so nice to be a part of a group who think their kids
are cool and capable and interesting.

Julie B