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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Quo Vadis Gathering's LiveJournal:

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Sunday, October 8th, 2006
10:26 am
New board for homeschool/unschool teens!
From an email.

Hello, my name is Keavy. I'm in Worcester County, MA, and have created with a group of friends a teen homeschoolers' forum. It is heavily active, and we are always looking for new faces. We plan meetings, get homeschool support, or just chat on the boards. Even if you would not be able to get to a meeting with us, it is also a great board for homeschool support, or just to chat with other homeschooled teens.

Just so we can be safe about who is joining, we just ask that before you join you drop us a quick line and tell us your from here at coldxirish@gmail.com, and then just create your account.

Our URL is http://worcesterth.proboards76.com/

-Keavy =)
Tuesday, October 3rd, 2006
1:16 pm
US: A new chapter in education: unschooling
There is, of course, some infuriating biased bullshit in this article. My favourite is this quote:
“If the parents are highly educated and/or from a higher socioeconomic level, the kids are going to get all kinds of rich experiences because the nature of the home is going to be about books, experiences, education and learning,” says Myron Dembo, a University of Southern California professor of education. “These kids won’t be harmed as much from [unschooling] as the kids who have parents without much education. One thing I worry about, though, is that the parent may be less competent than the parent thinks.”
One, this professor is missing the point of unschooling entirely. The point of the parent is not to know everything; it's to know how to
access information and help the child learn to do that for hirself. Two, unschooling won't harm rich kids as much as poor kids - but rich kids are still being harmed by it. Cute use of language there.


A new chapter in education: unschooling
Controversial home-taught approach lets kids take the lead in learning
Victoria Clayton

Image: Child drawing
Unschooling allows youngsters to chart their own educational course. So if they want to doodle on the floor instead of opening a textbook, their parents let them go for it.
Photodisc / Getty Images

It’s a Monday afternoon in Mar Vista, Calif., and while other 9-year-olds might be fidgeting at their desks, Isobel Dowdee has played all morning and is now joining her mother and two sisters on a big blanket in their front yard.

Mom, Heather Cushman-Dowdee, keeps the younger girls, Fiona, 5, and Gwyneth, 2, busy drawing pictures. For Isobel, she’s made a large grid with numbers down the side and across the top so her daughter can fill in the multiplication answers. Not that Cushman-Dowdee cares if Isobel does the chart. It’s just that the girl actually wants to do it. Occasionally they play math games or sing counting songs.

For the past three weeks this has been the ritual — Math Mondays they’ve taken to calling it. Yet Cushman-Dowdee bristles at the idea that this is any kind of mathematics class. That’s absolutely against what she and her husband, Kevin Dowdee, believe in.

“The kids love it so far, but I am open to them changing their mind. We adapt and alter what we are doing all of the time,” says Cushman-Dowdee, an artist and cartoonist.

The Dowdees’ ultra-relaxed learning is called “unschooling.” It’s a fast-growing subset of homeschooling that turns traditional education on its ear.

And it's catching on. In the past 20 years the number of unschoolers in the United States has grown from fewer than 2,000 to more than 100,000, says Patrick Farenga, president of Holt Associates, Inc., a Boston-area organization started by John Holt, the late education reformer who coined the term “unschooling.” That’s a conservative estimate; others in the education field put the number closer to 200,000 and say the unschooling population is growing by 10 to 15 percent each year.
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8:39 am
From qotdrss:
"Education is a state-controlled manufactory of echoes." --Norman Douglas

From motivationquote:
"The reward for conformity was that everyone liked you except yourself." --Rita Mae Brown
8:51 am
Connections ezine now online!
From an email. This is an online magazine. Subscription is $10/year. Some of your favourite online unschooling writers contribute :-)

I'm delighted to announce that the first issue of Connections ezine of unschooling and mindful parenting is online.

We have an amazing group of regular contributors and several great feature writers this month, covering topics from unschooling budgets to the amazing conferences held this past month in Texas and New Mexico.

I'm particularly pleased to announce the addition of an unschooling dads column by Ben Lovejoy, which promises to provide lots more unschooling insight for moms and dads.

Also exciting are the Hot Topics section that covers unschooling and mindful parenting highlights from several email lists and Rue Kream's column "Ask Rue" where she answers readers questions with the same gentleness and insight she brought to her book, Parenting a Free Child.

View the cover of Issue 1 at http://connections.organiclearning.org/ and click "Sample Issue" on the left for free access to the preview Issue 0 of Connections.
7:47 am
Canada: Can kids get proper socialisation at home?

Beatrice Ekwa Ekoko: Minding your own - Home based education
Can kids get proper socialisation at home?
October 2, 2006

Any person who considers home education for their children will have to face the worried question: "What about their socialisation?"

By this they likely mean: "Will my child end up a weirdo? Will they have friends? Will children be unprepared for the real world if they don’t go to school?"

Socialisation, technically speaking, is the ability to adapt to the needs of any given group, to learn the cultural norms expected of such a person in the community in which he or she lives.

Gary Knowles of Ontario Institute of Studies in Education (OISE) explains, "One may be socialised into the ways of being associated with a fundamentalist Christian group, a teenage gang, Girl Guides, or into the local community." A child will be socialised to the group she spends the most time with. The question rests on balance: do you want your child socialised to the larger society or primarily to their peer group?

Because the majority of children go to school, home-educated children don’t have as many peers to associate with during the day; some children might feel lonely or as they get older they might wish to spend more time with their peers. But this doesn’t indicate insufficient socialisation or poor social development. Not having a satisfactory social life can happen whether you go to school or not.
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Sunday, October 1st, 2006
8:07 am
US: Colleges coveting home-schooled students
Link to original article

Colleges coveting home-schooled students

Columbia College students Magdalene Pride, right, and Kevin Curry, left, work over a problem Thursday, 28 Sept. 2006, in their organic chemistry class on the Columbia, MO campus.  Pride, a home-schooled student, is a freshman who entered the school with 27 credits and earned a full-scholarship for four years&apos; tuition. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)
Columbia College students Magdalene Pride, right, and Kevin Curry, left, work over a problem Thursday, 28 Sept. 2006, in their organic chemistry class on the Columbia, MO campus. Pride, a home-schooled student, is a freshman who entered the school with 27 credits and earned a full-scholarship for four years' tuition. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

By Alan Scher Zagier, Associated Press Writer | 30 September 2006

COLUMBIA, MO --Bombarded by choices at a college job fair, Sara Kianmehr quickly found her match: Columbia College, a small, private school that didn't mind that her transcripts came from her parents.

The college "was the only institution that didn't have a puzzled look and say, 'Home school,' and ask me a million questions," the 19-year-old junior said. "There was a big appeal."

With colleges and universities aggressively competing for the best students, a growing number of institutions are actively courting homebound high achievers like Kianmehr, who took community college courses her senior year of high school and hopes to eventually study filmmaking at New York University or another top graduate school.

The courtship can be as subtle as admissions office Web sites geared to home-schooled applicants or, in the case of Columbia College, as direct as purchasing mailing lists and holding special recruiting sessions.

After years of skepticism, even mistrust, many college officials now realize it's in their best interest to seek out home-schoolers, said Barmak Nassirian, associate executive director of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.
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Friday, September 29th, 2006
12:33 pm
Yale University to post courses on Web for free

Yale University to post courses on Web for free
POSTED: 6:03 p.m. EDT, September 20, 2006

BOSTON, Massachusetts (Reuters) -- Yale University said on Wednesday it will offer digital videos of some courses on the Internet for free, along with transcripts in several languages, in an effort to make the elite private school more accessible.

While Princeton University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and others already offer course material online without charge, Yale is the first to focus on free video lectures, the New Haven, Connecticut-based school said.

The 18-month pilot project will provide videos, syllabi and transcripts for seven courses beginning in the 2007 academic year. They include "Introduction to the Old Testament," "Fundamentals of Physics" and "Introduction to Political Philosophy."

The courses cannot be counted toward a Yale degree, and educators say they are no substitute for actual teaching.

Students at Yale -- one of the nation's most exclusive schools and the alma mater of U.S. President George W. Bush -- can be expected to spend nearly $46,000 for this year's tuition, room and board.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for us to share a vital and central part of the Yale experience with those who, for whatever reason, are not in a position to pursue a Yale education at first hand," Yale President Richard Levin said in a written statement.

The project is funded by a $755,000 grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Copyright 2006 Reuters. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
12:16 pm
US: Learning Curves

Learning Curves
Education is no longer a simple line from “A” to “B.” How do students feel about the dizzying array of choices their parents can make?

Students at the discussion

In his 2005 book It Takes a Family, Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum argues that home-schooling, and not mass education, is really the norm.

Santorum has a point. While it seems as if school buses and back-to-school shopping have been with us for eternity, our public education system is relatively new — about 150 years old. And while mass education is hardly on death’s door, it does appear that families are increasingly choosing alternatives to traditional public and private schools: from “cyber-schools” and charter schools to parent-led home-schooling. The National Home Education Research Institute reported this July that there were between 1.9 and 2.4 million children home-schooled nationwide during the past school year, an increase of about 10 percent from the year before. Home-schooling is growing even more quickly among non-white families; about 15 percent of all home-schooled families are non-white.

In Pennsylvania, about 15,000 students were home-schooled in 1995; today more than 23,000 kids are being home-schooled, about 1.2 percent of the state’s student population.
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Thursday, August 10th, 2006
8:07 am
From an autodidacts' e-list I'm on:

Here is a study my colleague just sent me, sounds interesting but I just started this afternoon.


"Recent ethnographic studies of workplace practices indicate that the ways people actually work usually differ fundamentally from the ways organisations describe that work in manuals, training programs. organizational charts, and job descriptions. Nevertheless, organisations tend to rely on the latter in their attempts to understand and improve work practice. We examine one such study. We then relate its conclusions to compatible investigations of learning and of innovation to argue that conventional descriptions of jobs mask not only the ways people work, but also significant learning and innovation generated in the informal communities-of-practice in which they work. By reassessing work, learning, and innovation in the context of actual communities and actual practices, we suggest that the connections between these three become apparent. With a unified view of working, learning, and innovating, it should be possible to re-conceive of and redesign organisations to improve all three."

(The e-list is http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lifelearningcommunity/ but it is not a parenting list, although some folks there are parents who are unschooling their children; it is a list for the members to discuss their own learning.)
Tuesday, August 1st, 2006
8:44 pm
Spreading the good word
From unschooling:

Life Learning Community is an email list and learning community liam_earthsong is attempting to nurture. Here is the description:

An inter-generational learning community where autodidacts and independent learners of all ages can discuss, support, and inspire each other on our personal learning paths. The only requirement is an interest in learning consciously and with passion.

This may differ from other unschooling lists in that: 1.) We are primarily concerned with our own learning (and that of others on the list). 2.) Adult learners may have unique problems that many unschooling groups don't address. We will.


Involvement. Members who wish to take initiative in transforming this "list" into a genuine community, into something ever evolving and growing, which will better serve us all. It belongs to every one of us. Lurkers are welcome too, of course. :)

Creativity. Creative out-of-the-box ways to do / learn / accomplish anything. Using portfolios and creative approaches to getting a job you want or getting into college and making your skills and talents shine...

Writing and Sharing Learning Plans. While we understand that some of the best learning is spontaneous and we value that, we also believe that setting concrete goals -- even the act of writing them down -- can be empowering and fun.

Mentorship. Take on the role of mentor in some capacity for another member(s) of the community. We have the resources to help each other succeed. Mentorship relationships may be formally integrated into the community at a later date.

Collaboration. Taking an active part in each other's learning. We can help each other figure out what we most want to learn, and how, and then come up with a plan for doing it. We can collaborate with each other on projects as small as reading or discussing a book of mutual interest, or as large as anything we can imagine!

A Gift Economy. Give freely to community members and receive gladly. What you give is up to you... but give. :)

To be approved: share something a spammer wouldn't. :)
Saturday, July 22nd, 2006
8:23 am
New unschoolers' E-mail list!
Kids only; you must be approved to join. Average age currently is 10-15.

Wednesday, June 21st, 2006
1:04 pm
US, CT: Mr. Mom Revisited
From nbtsc. This is a Fathers' Day article that appeared in the New Haven Register (New Haven, CT) on the 17th of June. The second story is on westsidetrolls's dad and sister.

Mr. Mom Revisited
By: Jim Shelton, Register Staff

Staying at home may never be the dominant option for America's fathers, but these days it's a choice with something new to offer: a generation of success stories.

Yes, today's stay-at-home dads stand proudly on the (tired) shoulders of a group of older guys who schlepped their kids to piano lessons and mastered the fine art of changing a diaper in public. It's sort of a continuum of kid care, from '80s Underoos to today's diaper cargo vests.

In fact, the first ballyhooed wave of Mr. Moms is already trading in its minivans and vacuum cleaners as the kids grow up and leave home. They've seen their children through first steps, first days of school and first times behind the wheel.

"I'd recommend it to anybody, if they can work it out with the other parts of their life," says Allan Brison, 67, of New Haven, who has been a stay-at-home dad for 17 years. "It's definitely happening out there."

There are an estimated 98,000 married dads in the U.S. with kids under the age of 15 who have stayed out of the labor force for more than a year in order to take care of their children, according to U.S. Census statistics.

Meanwhile, there are scores of men in their 30s, 40s and older who served a limited tour of home duty and retain proud memories of the experience.

They and their current stay-at-home counterparts celebrate Father's Day 2006 with a unique perspective on the ups and downs of parenting.
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Tuesday, June 20th, 2006
9:26 pm
US, DC: Interviewees wanted
From an E-mail.


I am an interning reporter at National Public Radio, and am composing a training story on unschooling. I would love to talk with and potentially interview an unschooling family who is currently located in the Washington, DC area. Would you be willing to pass this message along?


Jeff Swingle
Intern, Office of the Ombudsman
635 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20001-3753
1202 513 3247
10:02 am
Where are you?
Hi everyone! A few months ago I started an interactive map for the past, present and future attendees of Quo Vadis. I'd love it if you'd put your information on it, too - it's a great way to look for people who you've met in the past but have lost touch with, or to see where in the World other QV attendees are coming from. You can see the map and add your info here.

Hope you are all well!


Thursday, May 25th, 2006
10:59 am

Instructables is a community for:

* Showing what you make and how others can make it
* Being inspired and learning how to make things
* Collaborating on projects you are interested in
Tuesday, May 23rd, 2006
12:54 pm
Radio interview on unschooling is up!
From an E-mail.

The dates are out of order. 25th April is one on unschooling; if you click the date the audio should come up. He talks a little in the beginning but it picks up after that. I stumbled a little, but it's not too noticeable.

Link is http://wmpg.org/?archive#Homedad

Laura Drew
Wednesday, May 17th, 2006
10:03 am
New unschooling E-zine!
From an E-mail.

I'd like to announce the exciting new online publication of *Connections — ezine of unschooling and mindful parenting*, a monthly online magazine dedicated to keeping readers thoughtfully informed about topics relevant to unschoolers of all ages.

Created by unschoolers for unschoolers, the zine will feature regular contributions by unschooling advocates Ren Allen, Danielle Conger, Sandra Dodd, Deb Lewis, Kelly Lovejoy and others; columns by Anne Ohman and Rue Kream, author of Parenting A Free Child; as well as an unschooling kids' section, "Mouth Off," showcasing the thoughts, writing and talents of unschoolers themselves.

Connections will offer two feature articles each month in addition to the regular contributions; monthly reviews of books, resources and websites; coverage of unschooling e-list "hot topics"; "Virtual Visits" and "Inspiration Station" for interesting ideas; and a "Snapshots" gallery of unschooling in action.

The entire contents of *Connections, Issue 0*, along with the amazing photography of Jessie Fields in our premier "Snapshots," is now available free online at http://connections.organiclearning.org/

Please feel free to pass this announcement along to other unschooling/homeschooling groups.

Hope you enjoy!
Tuesday, May 16th, 2006
1:20 pm
Live Free Learn Free on TV
From an E-mail.

We were pleasantly surprised today to find ourselves on a news segment from a Virginia television station. The depiction of unschooling is positive, though not necessarily completely accurate, nor in depth. Still, though, we certainly had a fun time watching.


Click on the 'Leaving Normal School Behind' link to watch.

Sunday, May 14th, 2006
12:40 pm
From motivationquote
"Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it." --Maya Angelou
Thursday, April 27th, 2006
9:04 am
Live Free Learn Free subscription sale!
Just a note to let you know that all Live Free Learn Free subscriptions are on sale! Don't forget - Mother's Day is just around the corner! Know a special mom who would enjoy receiving Live Free Learn Free? Send her a Mother's Day subscription! Or, treat yourself! Enjoy a full year's worth of inspiring articles, extraordinary resources, and stories of curious, creative families just like yours! Happy unschooling!
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