Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sunday Surf: Homeschooling & privilege, and my kids' car

Welcome to the Sunday Surf, a tour of the best blogposts I've read throughout the week.

brothers driving mini electric car
Aw, they grow up so fast!
I bet you didn't even know Mikko had his license.
Lest you think we actually own that cutest mini-Mini ever, I'll point out that the picture was taken while the boys were cruising around Costco. It struck Sam and me that if we were to buy such a car, we'd have to bring it to Costco for them to have a place to drive it! It's not like our carpeted condo has its own ballroom, and we don't exactly live in the land of year-round sunshine here in the Northwest. Where do people drive these things usually? We'll just have to keep visiting it at its home until someone else buys it for some (luckier) kid.

Linky link link links!

  • Is unschooling / homeschooling only for the privileged? | Kelly Hogaboom 

    Quick hits: Are a lot of people who homeschool/unschool middle-class and white? Yes. (Am I? Yes.)
    Are there some people who homeschool/unschool who lack privilege in meaningful ways? Absolutely.
    Is homeschooling/unschooling possible for everybody? I would guess no. That’s one of those tricky points, where I know people who struggle incredibly with lack of privilege and who still manage home education. But I would never tell someone what sacrifices should be made to unschool, and many obstacles are very real and very big (single parenthood, suspicious neighbors/government officials, disapproving grandparents or other authority figures, disabilities and illnesses, poverty, the not insignificant weight of cultural expectation) — I’m not going to stand from my place of privilege and tell someone else to just suck it up. That’s ridiculous. Educational paths are each family’s choice (or lack of choice).
    Does the unschooling community need to continue to address issues of privilege? Yes. And I wish the schooled community would as well!!
    Does anyone’s not-unschooling help the less privileged? I can’t see how. Honestly. I put my kids in public school, and that magically makes the world more equal? (I’ve thought long and hard on this, too. There’s not much I can do to transform the public school system — or our society’s treatment of children — except by modeling our family’s own preferences.)
    Does putting children into a school environment you believe would be toxic for them reflect a respect for all humans? Um…no. Children also suffer from a noted lack of privilege, and I’d rather they had free choices about learning, as mine do.
    Quote from the article:
    Of course, all parenting realities are influenced by privilege. Many parents with kids in school spend their energies trying to effect improvements for their children or their child’s school; most do not take on the larger cause of educational and social inequities. Notably, many of the progressives who I’ve seen voice anger or angst about unschooling or homeschooling and privilege, either don’t have children at all, or have children already privileged in terms of race, socioeconomic, health, family support, heteronormative family structure, neighborhood safety, and the school options available to them. Et cetera. “Privilege” accusations, in some cases, begin to feel like a red herring.
    However, I will always support the discussion of privilege and oppression, and even more so action-based strategies, within any group I find myself allied with, a member of, or sympathetic to (this goes far beyond education and parenting, for me). On a personal note, even more than discussion at a macro level about systems and socioeconomic realities, I enjoy working with families on a one-on-one basis for them to have more of the family life they want.
    And referenced within, this post: “The Unschooling Put Down: Economic Privilege” at Parent at the Helm:
    Second, and this deserves more space than I can give it now, is something Matt and Bruce have touched on: unschooling as a program, as a method, as a cult. I really wish we could talk about learning and living, but these terms have been marginalized by schoolspeak: now babies and children must learn how to learn (it isn’t something they have a biological imperative to do); unschooling is a program administered by parents rather than a description of how children can grow while they explore the real world with different types of support from their families and others. The social capital unschooling/homeschooling provides to children—access to adults who are doing things besides teaching children; strong interest by parents in making sure the emotional, nutritional, physical, and spiritual needs of their children are met—is far more important for helping children learn and feel secure in their lives than focusing on improving their test scores.
    And “Thoughts on unschooling and privilege?” at life in the radical lane:
    I think that the unschooling community as a whole does a really bad job of recognizing and acknowledging their privilege, and of admitting that that privilege affects both their ability to unschool, and how easy (or even how safe: those targeted by CPS and similar for unschooling, attachment parenting, and the like, are almost always already marginalized in some way) a time of it they have when unschooling. When questions and discussions of privilege come up in a group type setting, they tend to be quickly shot down and silenced by a bunch of fairly wealthy white people. That said, I’ve made many really incredible friends in the unschooling community who are really aware of and talking about privilege. But on a large scale, that discussion is noticeably absent in the community.
    However, I also get extremely frustrated with the reaction from radical and social justice type people who are not unschoolers, which is more often than not “only privileged people can unschool, so it’s privileged and horrible and selfish to do so, and no one should do it.” I feel like this is another example of how little children and teens are valued and respected, because with most oppressed groups, at least in words if not actions, SJ and radical peeps are quick to talk about concrete changes that should be made, yet when it comes to kids in school, it’s just a reaction of “oh well, it kind of sucks that they’re being indoctrinated with the tenets of the dominant culture, and that’s not very good I guess.”
  • Pumping in Non-Traditional Work Environments « Mommy News and Views Blog 

    If you work out of the home in a non-office environment, using a dedicated break room for pumping might not be an option. Here’s how a sign language interpreter works breastfeeding and pumping into her work life.
  • | The History of Circumcision in North America 

    Interesting look back on how male infant circumcision became routine in North America.
  • White Noise: On Being an Adopted Mom 

    All parents worry about their children’s well being and future happiness.  There’s just an extra layer of worry shadowing the adopted mom.  And a lurking desire to demonstrate proof.  Proof of love, proof of having earned the right to raise this baby, proof of legitimacy as a mom.
  • Our Little Acorn: Mini Sensory Bins 

    One of our most popular things right now is the mini bins - small containers with sensory activities. …

    These are great when we don’t have a lot of time to clean up a big mess.

And for your enjoyment:

Interview with a One-Year-Old (by MrArturoTrejo; via AhMet)

Support your favorite bloggers:

Hobo Mama: Support bloggers by shopping through affiliate links

If you're shopping online this holiday season, particularly at Amazon, please consider clicking through an affiliate link first — no cost to you, and a nice token of gratitude for your beloved blogs! If you have Amazon Associates or other affiliate links, add them to the linky Teresa at Mom Grooves and I set up:

Be sure to bookmark the page so you can continue shopping through people's affiliate links all year round!

Carnival news:

Submit to the December Carnival of Natural Parenting with your take on Childhood Memories!

Calling for submissions for the December 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting!

J. & D., Holidays 2006Theme: Childhood Memories: Our theme this month is childhood memories; feel free to write about whatever speaks to you. Here are some ideas: What are your earliest, favorite, strangest or other childhood memories? Is it easy or hard for you to remember your childhood? How do your childhood memories impact the way you parent? What childhood memories do you hope your children will have? What do you do to preserve childhood for your little ones (e.g., pictures, etc.)?

Deadline: Tuesday, December 4. Fill out the webform and email your submission to us by 11:59 p.m. Pacific time: CarNatPar {at} 

The Taboo Carnival is live on the topic of "I love you, but I don't always like you." Here's my take:

Maternal ambivalence … and why it's ok

And, make sure you sign up for the Parenting Blog Carnival Calendar:

The parenting blog carnival calendar: Keep track of upcoming writing opportunities!
As a writer, you no longer have to memorize due dates for the blogging carnivals you love. Notifications will come right to your Google Calendar and inbox!

As a carnival host, you can snag more participants and keep them apprised of due dates and themes!

Check out upcoming carnivals in the calendar below, and click the "plus" button at the bottom to add it to your Google account.

To add carnivals to the calendar, see the static page with an email form that takes you step by step through submitting your carnival information. Any carnivals on topics of interest to natural parenting bloggers are welcome.

From Pinterest:

Follow me on Pinterest to enjoy sharing pins! Here are some of my favorite recent pins:

Tired of the Elf on the Shelf spying on naughtiness? Jennifer has a much better idea:

True Confessions of a Real Mommy: A Season of Connection
True Confessions of a Real Mommy: A Season of Connection

Want people to stop prying?

Under the High Chair: Baby News (ask me about my kids) — for the pushy people who ask if you're having another!
Under the High Chair: Baby News (ask me about my kids) — for the pushy people who ask if you're having another!

I clearly need these stairs:

Beach Cottage, Coastal Colored Stairs

We'd also love to have you join us on our group boards on Natural Parents Network's Pinterest account: If you want to post your own or others' posts about a Slice of Life, Naturally, or Healthy Eating and Living, simply email ShannonH {at} with your Pinterest username to be added to the boards.

From Natural Parents Network:

Visit Natural Parents NetworkI also want to highlight the fantastic Handmade Holidays posts up right now. You can link up your own tutorials, recipes, and posts about homemade holiday gifts:

Handmade Holidays: Meal Time Gatherings

Handmade Holidays: Gifts for Babies and Children

Handmade Holidays: Gifts for Adults

Handmade Holidays: Food Treats and Gifts


I have so many natural-parenting affiliate deals to help you shop the best places this holiday season. Sorry for the glut, but I can't resist sharing while the coupons are good! Here are some highlights:

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We love our Melissa & Doug natural toys and play sets: the pretend food, the dress-up clothes, the wooden puzzles, and other classic and educational playthings!

Throughout the holidays, get FREE SHIPPING on ANY order at with no minimum with code FREESHIPAFF.

Plus, take advantage of bonus toys with purchases:

If your family practices the Christian faith and is looking for a kid-friendly guided Advent resource, try out Truth in the Tinsel!

This is "an Advent experience for little hands," because it offers 24 days of Scripture reading, ornament crafts, talking points, and extension activities. Plus fun printables and templates!

Truth in the Tinsel is only $7.99 as an ebook download — and now my readers can get 20% off just for being awesome!

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Tiny Prints Cyber MondayTiny Prints is offering 25% off sitewide: Get custom photo cards for your holiday greetings!

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Cyber Week SaleBaby Signs is having a Cyber Week Special!

Get 20% off plus FREE shipping through this Monday, December 3, only on the original baby sign language program!

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Get 40% off a Club Smilebox annual subscriptionThe 40% discount on a Club Smilebox premium subscription is extended through Dec. 4.

Smilebox is the ideal companion for creating and sharing custom-made holiday wonders — animated greetings, scrapbooks, photo books, photo collages, and more. And now through Tuesday, new subscribers can get a year of smiles for only $23.88 (regularly $39.99).

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Enjoy 25% off sitewide for Robeez adorable baby and children's shoes, this weekend only!

What a perfect time to stock up for holiday gifts, new baby and baby shower presents, and just for the little feet pattering through your own home!

Get 25% off at Robeez
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Find lots more wonderful giveaways at my Natural parenting giveaways linky! There are several that would make great holiday gifts: a Plan Toys wooden rocking horse and several fetching cloth diapers! Add your own giveaways, and enter to win!

Surf with us:

Sunday Surf with Authentic Parenting and Hobo MamaWe love following along with fellow Sunday Surfers. If you have your own post of reading links to share, please link up your post on Hobo Mama or on Authentic Parenting. The linky will go live every Sunday, and you can link up any day that week. If Sunday doesn't work for you but you do a links list another day, feel free to play along. You only need to add your post to one of the sites, and the linky will automatically show up on both sites.

You can get the Sunday Surf button by Jenna Designs and some code to add to your post from my Sunday Surf page.

Check out previous editions for good reading, and you can find more shared items during the week at my Tumblr blog, Hobo Mama's Shared Items.

This linky list is now closed.

Disclosure: Deal links are affiliate links.
I try to seek out only products I think you would find
relevant and useful to your life as a natural parent.
See my full disclosure policy here.


Jenn said...

Loving the homeschooling/unschooling privilege discussion. Homeschooling is a topic close to my heart right now and these perspectives make for a great read.

Thanks for that link to the carnival calendar by the way - brilliant idea!

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