treating children like rational creatures

I was reading a philosophy book the other day, and I came across this interesting passage by John Locke: Remove hope and fear, and there is an end of all discipline. I grant that good and evil, reward and punishment, are the only motives to a rational creature; these are the spur and reigns whereby all mankind are set on work and guided, and therefore they are to be made use of to children too. For I advice their parents and governors always to carry this in thier minds, that children are to be treated as rational creatures. As I Continue reading

How does one homeschool, with all the intensity that involves, and be a compassionate, informed person at the same time?

This is my daughter's hand reaching out to touch a thistle. It seemed strangely appropriate.

Sometimes it is really hard to keep balance. How does one balance parenting with everything else? I don’t want to undervalue my husband’s contribution to our family life – his is amazing – but I suspect I’m the support pole the children lean on and there are times when the burden of having them lean on me feels to tough. I feel all hollow and empty and like I have nothing to give them and then I’m so keenly aware of them pulling on me, talking to me, seeking approval and asking for attention and I don’t know what to Continue reading

Emotional chaos

Parenthood can be wonderful. It can be filled with blissful days of reading to kids, watching them play, making all sorts of great memories. But it can also be incredibly difficult, particularly if your child doesn’t seem to fit the norms. I look back with exhaustion at the last almost-ten-years. I remember all the times when I’d gaze enviously at the other mothers sitting nicely talking with one another while their children played, while I had to be constantly interacting with my children. I’ve wondered why in the world my child couldn’t play with other children without freaking out. There Continue reading

why some parenting advice is more useful than others

Parenting advice from strangers is a bit like being told “go three blocks and turn left” by someone who knows where they want you to get but not where you are to begin with. It’s not exactly going to work. There’s a post over at Homeschooling Hatters about the blogger realizing she should have taken another safety precaution, one she didn’t because she assumed her child was too old to need it, but as the author says “Remember, with children like this? ┬áThere is no minimum age for disaster… but there isn’t a maximum, either.” She has some simple, very Continue reading

Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is one of those weird non-holiday holidays. There’s issues with the ethics of cut flowers and a need to buy ethical fair-trade organic chocolate. There are those who complain about it making single people feel bad and others who say its all just a marketing scam. Yet this year, despite the strangeness, I’m drawn to the idea of Valentine’s Day. See the 14th isn’t just Valentine’s Day. In Canada it’s the day of the missing women memorial march remembering native women who have been murdered and/or trafficked. In other countries it is the day for One Billion Rising, Continue reading

vaccines and the selling of fear, distrust and a sense of superiority

I read an article today about a family in New Zealand where a young boy came down with tetanus. His father is speaking out about their decision not to vaccinate, admitting that it was the wrong decision and hoping to spare others the pain they have had to suffer. The following stuck out to me: He’s not stupid. If anything, he was just a little bit too smart for his own good. The Williams are the one in 10 parents who opt out when it comes to vaccination, not out of ignorance, but because they think they know everything. Williams Continue reading