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Clara's Clearing

Clara's Clearing

The honeymoon -- while it lasted!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

This blog is part of Educating My Boy: Chronicles of a Free-Schooler

The Honeymoon

The first couple of months of home schooling are definitely sweet. It’s the honeymoon stage and decompression feels like a million bucks.
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Running into "truancy laws"

Thursday, May 13, 2010

In San Francisco a project called Pavement to Parks has been started to turn under-used street space into little parks. One of these parks has been built – entirely of recycled and reclaimed materials – close to our house. We and all the neighbors we know love it. After years of being enclosed by buildings, now the neighborhood kids have a place, even if very small, to run to and let off some steam. One neighbor family wheeled their portable basketball hoop over there for everyone to enjoy. More

Decompression, the first stage

Thursday, May 06, 2010

This blog is part of Educating My Boy: Chronicles of a Free-Schooler

Decompression, the first stage

The important fact about our situation is that we’re not starting from scratch. The positive aspect of it is that I have a ten-year old who can read and write and has basic math. This small little detail makes a world of difference. It makes life a lot easier on me. The negative aspect of not starting from scratch is that we have a lot of things to overcome. We have a lot of bad memories to leave behind and a lot of bad habits to unlearn. Some homeschoolers call this “de-schooling."

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So what do I do with this site now?!

Friday, April 30, 2010

My first motivation in starting this site was a selfish one. I wanted to help myself cope with the difficult time my son and we, the family, were having with school. As I investigated the problems boys were having, however, I realized that the problem is bigger than us and I thought that I might as well raise some awareness and advocate for boys as well as help myself cope. I figured what helps my son and I survive must be of some use to others as well. Since Jack was going to be in school for many more years I figured I was in this for the long haul.  More

Here's to Jean, Theo, and John Steinbeck

Thursday, April 22, 2010

When a couple of months ago I told a close friend of mine that I was going to home school Jack she was not at all surprised. “I was expecting it,” she said. I myself had not expected it, how could she?! She said that she sensed I was going in that direction. I swear I was not aware of it myself. But, there’s an old friend for you... I guess when you know someone since seventh grade you sometimes see things about them that they don’t see themselves!

I had been running a homeschooling series by Denny Mather, a contributor on this site. Apart from my professional interest in children’s education though, I had a personal interest in homeschooling because of my nephew Theo who was homeschooled since sixth grade. My sister-in-law, Jean, decided to home school her son when she moved to a small town with a culture her family was not at all used to. Theo was more than miserable. He was getting sick. When Jean decided to pull him out of school and pretty much single-handedly teach him I was kind of shocked – not shocked in disapproval but shocked because I had never seriously thought about homeschooling. I remember thinking smugly to myself, “Poor Jean, I guess that’s what happens when you move to Hicksville: no liberal folks, no decent education.” I thought we privileged people in politically correct, upscale San Francisco have nothing to worry about! Really, I thought exactly that: Nothing to worry about.
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What has become of friendship?

Friday, April 09, 2010

A few weeks ago I linked to a news item about the sharp rise in the number of children calling a UK national helpline because they feel lonely. Many of the kids who called said that they had no friends. This got me thinking about friendship. Actually it didn’t start me thinking (I’m always thinking about friendship) but it got me to create a “tag” for friendship. (Tags are ways of organizing contents on this site according to topic so, say, you go to the “Health” tag and find all the pieces and news items that have appeared on this site on the subject of health.) More

In unabashed praise of my son

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Over the years, trying to be fair in the utmost, seeing things from many different perspectives, and, not the least, not wanting to spoil my son or make him feel the center of the universe, I have been very held-back in saying good things about Jack. Now, I’m going to indulge in that a little. More

Would you call it karma?!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I can’t help but notice a kind of irony in what happened to Jack at school.  More

The apologies come in

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

When we went to pick up Jack’s books from class his teacher told us that she has asked students to write apology letters to him. A few had come in already so she gave them to us. Interestingly, they were mostly from the kids who had nothing to do with the bullying. I wonder if there will be others! More

It really was over

Thursday, March 04, 2010

The strange thing about writing these blogs is that I’m always behind myself. For a long time I was writing about second grade, which was three years ago. Eventually I made it to fifth grade and then, bam, we left school altogether. The home/free-schooling adventure that we’re on right now is quite a story… but I have to go back and finish off the story of how I decided to pull Jack out of school.
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