Welcome to Undogmatic Unschoolers, a collection of unlessons about homeschooling the Nothing By The Book way, mostly learned in the beautiful Canadian city of Calgary, Alberta.
Meet Cinder. He’s the dude that launched us on this journey, the greatest and most life-changing gift the universe gave his parents in the spring of 2002. He’s out of this world. He might stop moving long enough for you to say hello—here he comes. Wave before he disappears… No, he hasn’t brushed his hair in weeks. Washed it just the other day though. Or was it the other month?
In 2012, he’s 10, so nominally in grade five now. Into Lego, Minecraft, Tang Soo Do, archery, Mythbusters, and Scooby Doo. And gross poop, barf and fart jokes. And Minecraft. Did I mention Minecraft?
Shake hands with Flora. She arrived in the first days of 2005, but she thinks she’s been here before. She’s too everything. Too beautiful, too smart, too talented, too sensitive, too Flora. She’s a protector of all living things, “even the ugly ones,” and if anyone’s going to save the Earth for your grandchildren and their grandchildren, it’ll probably be her. If her art career doesn’t distract her… or if she doesn’t stick with the original plan of becoming a paleontologist. Of course, artistic paleontologists can save the world too, right?
She’s slid into grade three in fall of 2012. She’s writing a book–in her head–called The Secret Realm, listening to about 10 hours of audio books a day, and memorizing all of Bone.
Survive a bear hug from Ender. Year of joyous arrival on Planet Earth 2009. Nothing’s ever been the same. Currently as three as three can be, and loving every minute of it. Ah… sorry… did he bite you? I assure you, it was with love. Oh, it was just a lick. Well, it’s all good then. Watch out! Dodge! Don’t ask why, just DODGE!
I suppose now that he’s three you could say he’s now a preschooler, not a toddler. We just call him… Ender. Or, sometimes, the beast.
The Mom. That’s me. More on her (me) below.
The Dad. Awesome in pretty much every way. Except his reluctance to eat floor peas. Or get dirty. Or tolerate germs. Or… where was I? Awesome in every way.
Maggie. Runt of a spotted Boston Terrier. Terror of the neighbourhood. Ender’s de facto litter mate.
Also three sets of grandparents (who-hoo!), a local aunt and uncle on each side, and an amazing tribe and community around us. You’ll meet them in little bits and bytes.
I blog as Jane Marsh here, and at Nothing By The Book. I’m a freelance writer who writes on business, legal affairs, renewable energy and not-so-renewable energy for a variety of leading business publication, as well as private corporate clients (if that turns your crank, my business portfolio is at CalgaryBusinessWriter.com). I also script and project manage corporate video, chiefly through Calgary-based (but ready to fly east, west, north and south–especially, in February, south) Falstaff Productions. But enough about that. That’s what I do for lucre. I blog purely for love and fun. Undogmatic Unschoolers is my new unabashedly pro-homeschooling, pro-unschooling blog (although my goal here is to preach mostly to the choir, so to speak). On Nothing By The Book, I write about parenting, mothering, laughing and living with my funky kids. (And snot. Why is it they never tell you that parenting is all about snot? Copious amounts of snot… )
If you have a blog that’s similar in philosophy to Undogmatic Unschoolers, please let me know about it, so I can check it out. I’m new to the blogosphere, and actively searching out neat things to read and follow. To raise your hand, comment on one of the posts–or send me a private email to nothingbythebook @gmail.com.
Now. Stop reading this very boring page, and go read some posts.
Text © Marzena Czarnecka, Photos 1, 2, 3 and 4 above © Sean Lindsay. Reproduction not permitted.