How We Become
Rickshaw Unschooling
by Emily
3w ago
back cover illustration from "Emily and Arthur", 1975 This morning I got up as I have almost every May morning for as long as I can remember, and went barefoot out of the house to wash my face in the dew and pick flowers for my mother. I don't know why I do it, and I don't know that my mother even knows I get that dew all over my face and feel so at peace in the world this way. Something inside me just feels this is right, so I do. I used to take my own children out to do it when they were little, but I don't think the practice has stuck with them in adulthood. Why do I do this? What ..read more
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Adult Unschoolers: An update on our kids' lives! (And the Careers Situation)
Rickshaw Unschooling
by Emily
2M ago
“Photo of Rhiannon and Taliesin (not photoshopped)” ... I asked the kids for a photo of them and the dog for the article and this is what I got.   This morning my daughter sent me a photo of her dog, Clara, sulking on the couch. She's not a morning-dog, apparently, and I guess sometimes she just doesn't feel like going for a walk, even if it is to review a new dog park for Rhiannon's work. Whatever "work" is. Clara gets treats no matter what, so should it matter whether she's helping with a reel, going on a doggy field trip with her hiking buddies, or just sitting at home waiting ..read more
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Death and Grace
Rickshaw Unschooling
by Emily
7M ago
My reflection in the vase of flowers I had just set on my grandmother's grave, Geldermalsen, the Netherlands. I think the first death of my memory was my cat Katykins, who arrived dead in the trunk of our green VW beetle. My friend and I looked at his little stiff body and I wondered at how similar and still utterly different it was from the rabbits my family routinely slaughtered for food. He was soft and black on the outside, but not like food or rabbitskins, and also not at all like the weak, leukemia-ravaged friend who had left for the vet that morning. More like a stuffy, not th ..read more
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Unschooling Myths Debunked! (Sort Of)
Rickshaw Unschooling
by Emily
1y ago
If you're a new parent just now hearing about the term "unschooling", or a long-time unschooler just wanting some validation; if you're a parent whose kids' friends are unschoolers, or a teacher who has just quit working to unschool their kids (surprisingly common!), or a teacher who just welcomed former unschoolers to a classroom, this is for you. If you're an educator, a parent, a grandparent or a friend with concerns about some unschooled kids you know, this is for you, too. This list includes many misconceptions that I held, myself, before unschooling and in the first few years of it. Un ..read more
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How Unschoolers (and all of us) Build Careers
Rickshaw Unschooling
by Emily
1y ago
High priority interest for my kids right now: experimental cooking! My unschooled kids moved out recently, and now I'm processing all the choices we made! It's not so much the unschooling; there is no doubt in my mind that it served us all well. But the smaller choices we made on our twenty-one-year (so far) parenting journey have had huge impacts on our kids' career options; their confidence and courage, and even the way their interests have filtered into their careers. How DO people follow their interests into satisfying lives and careers, and what if they don't? I'm watching my k ..read more
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Big Changes at the Phantom Rickshaw
Rickshaw Unschooling
by Emily
1y ago
Big change is afoot at the Phantom Rickshaw house. It's been the nest of this family unit for over twenty two years now, and the space where I figured out attachment parenting, then unschooling, and made explorative learning theory my main occupation. As of next week it will be officially an "empty nest". Both kids are moving to the city, which brings up so much for me around parenting, personal growth, my relationship with my partner, Markus, and also life-choices in general.  For the curious: The not-so-kids have rented a sweet little basement suite in an ideal spot, right between beac ..read more
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More than Just Food: Why I Love My Veggie Garden
Rickshaw Unschooling
by Emily
1y ago
Last night my partner, daughter and I sat around pulling freshly-washed kale leaves off their stems, inspecting each one for aphids, and giving the odd stem to our kale-loving dog, Clara. My partner arranged them in the dehydrator, and this morning I took them out and poked them carefully through a funnel into a jar, using a wooden spoon that's entirely the wrong shape for the job, but manages. I thought to myself how much more efficient the job would be if I had a giant funnel! I could dump the whole bowl of leaves on and just press it in with a perfectly-sized dowel--or something. And immed ..read more
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Raising Disciplined Adults without Punishment
Rickshaw Unschooling
by Emily
1y ago
my 20-year-old son with one of his current devices I was hauling on my son's laptop so hard I wrenched my shoulder. I heard myself blaming him for the injury over the grunting of his determined self, gripping and salvaging the one device he owned from my attempted theft. I have no idea what reprehensible act he'd committed. It may not have been related to the laptop, even. I just remember that I thought his behaviour was absolutely inexcusable, and the only power I had to change him was the threat of taking away something important to him. So when the threat didn't work, I felt obli ..read more
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First It Was Reusable Pads and Period Panties; Now the Reusable Pee Wipes!
Rickshaw Unschooling
by Emily
1y ago
A few years ago I wrote Talking about Periods with Daughters and Sons. A good part of that was dedicated to my daughter's and my choice to find sustainable menstruation solutions. But I never imagined we'd one day arrive at... PEE WIPES!!! Yeah. Those are also our pee wipes hanging on that laundry rack. Here's a prettier photo of them folded and ready for use. I'll spare you a photo of them after being used... OK so here's what happened: Quite a few years ago I visited a home where my sister was house-sitting, and discovered a box of little tiny washcloths beside the toilet, and a bucket und ..read more
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Climate Catastrophe: Why an Unschooling Mindset in School or at Home Is Essential Now
Rickshaw Unschooling
by Emily
2y ago
Paddling in Wildfire Smoke on Tum Tum Lake, August 2021, photo by Kristina Calli Yesterday I listened to a news report about the UN "code red" climate change report, which is likely to be the last such report written before we go beyond the 1.5° of warming that will put an end to life as we know it, if we don't take drastic action, NOW. At the end of the report, CBC played a clip of Greta Thunberg saying, "Today, it will probably be quite popular to talk about the climate crisis; tomorrow it will not be popular anymore." I knew she was right, and I can't let that happen. Today is tom ..read more
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