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TLC for Your Family – Oops, Happy MOTHER’S Day + Ezine Becoming a Blog :)
May 13, 2013

Hi,

Here’s your 2nd qtr. 2013 TLC for Your Family Ezine!

My regrets for the “Happy New Year” message subject I accidentally sent out on Mother’s Day! :) The content with what I had intended, but not the subject line. In case any of you deleted the message, thinking the whole thing was in error, here’s the substance again:

Happy Mother’s Day all you beautiful mothers out there!

Dahlia at Swan Island Dahlias ca. 1998 Near Canby, Oregon, USA

What an honor it has been to be there with you, for almost 5 years now! I look forward to another 5, and another, and on and on. :)

To that end, I have been super busy working to transform my site. I’m transferring it to a new host and making my ezine into a blog. The blog format will be easier for me to use, thereby making it easier for me to communicate with you – yea!

I’ll let you know once the transformation is complete. Expect a message within the next 10 days. The message will explain how exactly you can subscribe to the new blog.

Nothing much will change, except that you’ll need to subscribe to my blog, if you want to continue getting “TLC for Your Family” type messages and updates from me. :)

I hope you do. I was amazed to see that I had created and delivered about 40 ezine issues over the years! And I long to keep offering messages intended to meet your needs for understanding, inspiration, and information.

So, hopefully this will be the beginning of a fabulous new chapter for us!

In any event, and as always, I wish you all “Happy Family-ing” (in addition to a very sweet and long remembered Mother’s Day).

Warmly,
Tiffany Clark
Family-Focused Speaker, Author and Advocate
Discover What Might be Possible in Your Family Life!
www.family-life-possibilities.com

PLEASE NOTE: If I offered legal, coaching, or mediation services this ezine or www.family-life-possibility.com visitors, the rules governing my profession might advise I inform ezine recipients and website visitors of the following. Although I not presently offering such services through this ezine or www.family-life-possibilities, out of an abundance of caution I am advising you of the following anyway: My website and/or particular issues of this ezine may be construed to be, at least in part, a message concerning Tiffany L. Clark’s availability for professional employment within the meaning of California Rule of Professional Conduct 1-400. Given this, please understand that no statement on my website or any ezine issue is intended to guarantee any result in any individual case. Viewing the information contained on my website or any ezine issue and/or responding to either indicates that you understand and accept my website’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, and establishes no duty of confidentiality, or attorney-client, coach-client, or mediator-client relationship. Only a signed client fee agreement can establish these things.

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TLC for Your Family – Happy New Year!
January 02, 2013

Hi,

Here's your 1st qtr. 2013 TLC for Your Family Ezine!

2013januaryhappynewyearpicture

I'm wishing you and yours a splendid new year, filled with all you long for. And, to the extent you don't get everything your heart desires, I wish for you deep acceptance and peace with what is.

Speaking of what is, this comes with my regrets for the irregular pacing of the ezine over the last year or so.

2012 was a busy year for me, and 2013 will be too. So many things I am doing now to try to help more families have the wherewithal to be truly present, for both themselves and their children, if and as they long to be.

As a result, I believe I'll be issuing this ezine on something closer to a quarterly basis, rather than monthly. Also, due to cost constraints, I hope to shift web hosts, and possibly shift to a family-focused blog, rather than continue the ezine. But never fear, I will let you know/when the latter happens, so that you can opt into a blog subscription in that case.

In any event, my heart still resides with you, and with the family-focused topics I've spent so many years writing about, through this ezine and www.family-life-possibilities.com. And the site has been a helpful resource I believe. So I won't be letting this focus go, but just shifting some elements to make the work more manageable.

Happy New Year and "Happy Family-ing" to you all!

Warmly,
Tiffany Clark
Family-Focused Speaker, Author and Advocate
Discover What Might be Possible in Your Family Life!
www.family-life-possibilities.com

PLEASE NOTE: If I offered legal, coaching, or mediation services this ezine or www.family-life-possibility.com visitors, the rules governing my profession might advise I inform ezine recipients and website visitors of the following. Although I not presently offering such services through this ezine or www.family-life-possibilities, out of an abundance of caution I am advising you of the following anyway: My website and/or particular issues of this ezine may be construed to be, at least in part, a message concerning Tiffany L. Clark’s availability for professional employment within the meaning of California Rule of Professional Conduct 1-400. Given this, please understand that no statement on my website or any ezine issue is intended to guarantee any result in any individual case. Viewing the information contained on my website or any ezine issue and/or responding to either indicates that you understand and accept my website’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, and establishes no duty of confidentiality, or attorney-client, coach-client, or mediator-client relationship. Only a signed client fee agreement can establish these things.

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TLC for Your Family – Changing the World for Families
October 03, 2012

Hi,

Here's your Sept. 2012 TLC for Your Family Ezine!

Girl holding globe --- Image by © Royalty-Free/CorbisThe world will be saved by the western woman.
Dalai Lama

I regret any unmet needs with no ezine last month. I have been extremely preocuppied with trying to save the world! :)

Late last year and earlier this year I spent many months helping Occupy Sacramento learn Nonviolent Communication and work out differences.

But eventually I began to long for more focus. I needed some questions answered:

  • What kind of world change would be “enough” to help all families thrive?
  • And what would be the most effective way for me to help shepard in such change?

These have been difficult questions to answer.

But, after much reflection and research, I’m exploring the possiblity of becoming a part-time “sharing law” attorney, and sharing-focused mediator (in addition to keeping up my site and this ezine, and my commitments to my particular family).

Sharing law focuses on helping people share resources and gain empowerment, with the minimum possible unwanted legal and tax consequences. It can help individuals and family survive the looming dollar collapse and peak oil, as well as help preserve our environment. Think tool lending libraries, gift circles, shared backyard food growing, worker-owned businesses, home businesses, and such.

My intrigue with the value of sharing as a way to provide greater equity and abundance for families and everyone else, with fewer resources being used, began with my fascination with the Venus Project and Zeitgeist Movements “Resource Based Economy” vision.

Their vision is that we could come together in a network of worldwide cities, implementing the highest levels of technology, automation, and green energy, for the benefit of all humanity. We would share our intellectual and physical property, in fun, convenient ways, leaving no need for money whatsover.
No need to worry losing the “incentive” to work, because most labor would be automated. Plus, recent research shows that we’re the most innovative and productive when motivated by simply by our needs for purpose, meaning, and contribution anyway.

All the immense amount of life energy spent tracking, worrying about, and getting taxed on money would disappear. In addition, with everyone’s needs met, in abundance and by design, there’s reason to believe crime and poverty would disappear, and all children would have the highest possible likelihood of having healthy, informed, available parents.

There’s a lot more to the vision, which you can learn about by watching this video, but that’s a broad brush overview.

But I started to think, why not help people reap some of the survival and community-building benefits of sharing now, in our current economy?

This could help more people make it through the worsening financial issues and potential collapse. It could also expose increasing numbers of people to the benefits of sharing, which in turn might result in more people working for the implementation of a full-on Resource Based Economy.

So, anyway, that’s what I’ve been up to lately. Whatever I decide on the forgoing, I absolutely still plan on keeping my family-life-possibilities.com site and this ezine active – so keep your eyes peeled for future issues.

But, for now, it’s off to decorate the house with my eldest son, who adores everything Halloween! I hope you enjoy this month’s festivities too, and are enjoying whatever school or homeschool set-up you have going this year.

Happy family-ing!

Warmly,
Tiffany Clark
Family-Focused Speaker, Author and Advocate
Discover What Might be Possible in Your Family Life!
www.family-life-possibilities.com

PLEASE NOTE: If I offered legal, coaching, or mediation services, the rules governing my profession would advise I inform ezine recipients and website visitors of the following. Although I not presently offering such services, out of an abundance of caution I am advising you of the following anyway: My website and/or particular issues of this ezine may be construed to be, at least in part, a message concerning Tiffany L. Clark’s availability for professional employment within the meaning of California Rule of Professional Conduct 1-400. Given this, please understand that no statement on my website or any ezine issue is intended to guarantee any result in any individual case. Viewing the information contained on my website or any ezine issue and/or responding to either indicates that you understand and accept my website’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, and establishes no duty of confidentiality, or attorney-client, coach-client, or mediator-client relationship. Only a signed client fee agreement can establish these things.

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TLC for Your Family – Join Me to Learn About Unschooling & Homeschooling?
August 01, 2012

Hi!
Here's your Aug. 2012 TLC for Your Family Ezine – Enjoy!

2011-Augustezinepic-Elliot-at-HSC-Conference

Come join me tomorrow at the annual Homeschooling Association of California’s conference in Sacramento?

My two boys, Elliot (in red) and Keegan (in yellow) are pictured above having fun at last year’s conference.

There are tons of things to learn, and tons of of people to meet.

Indeed, there is so much to take in that I plan to spend a significant part of today plotting my course. So this month’s ezine will be shorter than usual, as a result.

Every year, for nearly a decade, this conference has been my source for education, community, and inspiration for our family’s homeschooling journey, and unschooling specifically. (For those unfamiliar, unschooling is homeschooling that is based around a child’s personal interests and choices.)

The conference is where I first learned about unschooling, met amazing young unschooled adults, and slowly gained the confidence to venture further and further into unschooling, and away from more top-down methods. Unschooling is not the only method discussed at the conference, but the whole conference has an unschooling feel and emphasis.

To learn more about the conference, click here.

I hope to see you there!

But, in any event, as always, I wish you and yours “Happy Family-ing!”

Warmly,
Tiffany Clark
Family-Focused Speaker, Author and Advocate
Discover What Might be Possible in Your Family Life!
www.family-life-possibilities.com

PLEASE NOTE: If I offered legal, coaching, or mediation services, the rules governing my profession would advise I inform ezine recipients and website visitors of the following. Although I no longer offer such services, out of an abundance of caution I am advising you of the following anyway: My website and/or particular issues of this ezine may be construed to be, at least in part, a message concerning Tiffany L. Clark’s availability for professional employment within the meaning of California Rule of Professional Conduct 1-400. Given this, please understand that no statement on my website or any ezine issue is intended to guarantee any result in any individual case. Viewing the information contained on my website or any ezine issue and/or responding to either indicates that you understand and accept my website’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, and establishes no duty of confidentiality, or attorney-client, coach-client, or mediator-client relationship. Only a signed client fee agreement can establish these things.

 

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TLC for Your Family – Learning and Working as Play
July 03, 2012

Hi!
Here's your July 2012 TLC for Your Family Ezine – Enjoy!

Child Playing with Toy Construction Trucks ca. 2000

As many of you know, we unschool.

Think of unschooling as learning through play, which ultimately transitions into work as play.

By “play” I mean that which a person experiences as fun, stimulating, freely chosen, droppable at will, manageable, and self-paced.

According to the literature out there, play is usually story-based and physical – for the youngest children anyway.

By “story-based,” I mean involving imaginary worlds, which the child can easily manage and control (so as to avoid overwhelm, with is anathema to learning).

By “physical” I mean involving movement and three-dimensional objects, used to symbolize story elements. For example, blocks are used to build; dolls and figures are used to simulate action and interaction; and so on.

But as children age, play usually becomes increasingly abstract and decreasingly physical. This is the stage both of our 8 and 12 year old boys are in now.

An example of play in that second stage is an online game like Minecraft. “Mine” refers to mining for iron ore and other natural resources. Players mine resources at first just to survive, and eventually to build up to a fully functional market-based civilization.

The game is story-based. But it’s less physical, because it is conducted on a computer, rather than via the manipulation of tangible objects.

What’s most fascinating to me about the pretend worlds of first two stages described above, is that “academic skills” are required in each of them, just as they’re required in the “real world.” Hence, children naturally want to and do acquire those skills, as needed.

This leads to skill building upon skill, in a constant atmosphere of self-paced ease – the optimal environment for learning, per hundreds of studies referenced below.

And, before you know it, your kids are doing high level math and physics, in many cases, and you have no idea how it happened. I kid you not.

So, for example, in the first stage, our youngest son would engage in physical, story-based play that involved simpler math and reading skills.

One of the ways he did this, almost daily for years, was by testing and rating all of his little battery operated trains according to three criteria: strength, speed, and ____. Then he’d then create increasingly detailed bar graphs with written descriptions of his findings. He’d also theorize why his results often changed each time (e.g., relative battery strength, etc.).

All of this required math, science, and writing skills at or above his “grade level.” And all of it was freely and joyfully chosen, as part of his manageable, story-based, physical play.

And, in the second stage, both of our boys pick-up and use complex physics, arithmetic, algebraic, and deductive and inductive reasoning skills in the Minecraft and online game-creation play they do.

The online game-creation they do is primarily on a physics-based platform called Sploder, which has an active online community with whom you can learn, network, and share your games. Minecraft also has an optional interactivity component, where you can join other players on highly populated servers.

With both Minecraft and game-building, they do a great deal of reading, writing, and interacting.

(Also, in this second stage, they watch and listen to “stories” about history and science, told in historical fiction we read, and on the TV programs Nova and Nature).

No pressure applied whatsoever with any of this – again, creating the ideal environment for deep, lasting learning, according to research cited below.

But what’s the final stage? That is, how do these children transition into the “real world”?

Eventually children’s competence hits such a high levels, in their stage one and two play, that they begin to at first dabble, and ultimately dive into work-as-play, out in the “real world.”

That is, they become increasingly ready, and hence interested in, creating things for real, life-sustaining trade; researching and presenting ideas for serious evaluation by others; collaborating with real people outside the family unit in the process; and forming deeper personal relationships beyond the family unit – relationships that may soon take them outside of that family unit, to create one of their own.

The game-making play our boys do in this second stage is a great example of “dabbling” in all of the above. They trade their games with others, they get evaluated by others for their contribution, they collaborate with those people to learn new ways to make various features in their games, and, in so doing, they form personal relationships.

Another great example of this dabbling is small businesses unschooled kids often engage in. For example, a friend’s child creates and sells friendship bracelets at craft fairs to raise money for a particular charity. And my nieces, ages 11 and 14, create and sell special “butterfly” backpacks online.
Meanwhile, other children in this stage go delve more into research-like pursuits – sometimes ultimately leading to grad school and life as a professor, doctor, laywer, or the like. An example of a child who dabbles in real-world research comes to mind with an unschooled child I know who’s deeply involved in bird watching. He records his findings, with the help of his mother, and regularly reports them to a non-profit that tracks the information.
Again, all without pressure of any kind.

But don’t people need incentives – aka, rewards, and punishments (pressure, grades, etc.) – to learn, and, ultimately, to work?

Turns out such external “motivators,” can actually be counterproductive.

See the book “Punished by Rewards,” by Alfie Kohn, for information about hundreds of studies showing the long list of side-effects that result from the use of punishments and rewards.

These side-effects include: damage to relationships; reduction in intrinsic interest in the reinforced activities; lower quality performance; etc..
More narrowly, on the issue of lower quality performance, check out Dan Pink’s book “Drive,” or the fun, animated, 10 minute version on YouTube by clicking here.

The studies Pink describes show that people innovate best when their needs are fully met (rather than being “contingently” met – i.e., you’ll get them met only if you do x, y and z – which is how rewards and punishments work), and they’re motivated solely by their needs for contribution, purpose, and/or mastery.

(As an aside, the above is actually one of the reasons I advocate for a Resource Based Economy [RBE] too – because the same consequences of a reward/punishments systems apply to the world of work. That is, when we make people’s survival contingent upon their production, as we do in this monetary-market system, we reduce intrinsic interest, productivity and innovation. That’s why, in an RBE, the goal would be moneyless, sustainable abundance for all, via smart technological design. But that’s another topic for another ezine.)

For now, I hope these musings helped you get more information about learning and working as play!

For more information on unschooling, Google the word, and check out the books "Radical Unschooling: A Revolution Has Begun” by Dayna Martin and “Unschooling: A Lifestyle of Learning” by Sara McGrath.

And, if you’re interested in unschooling, but don’t think you could make it happen in your family, for any number of reasons, I invite you to check out the book “Guerrilla Learning: How to Give Your Kids a Real Education With or Without School,” by Grace Llewellyn and Amy Silver.

Meanwhile, whatever you and your family does next, I wish you all “Happy Family-ing!”

Warmly,
Tiffany Clark
Family-Focused Speaker, Author and Advocate
Discover What Might be Possible in Your Family Life!
www.family-life-possibilities.com

PLEASE NOTE: If I offered legal, coaching, or mediation services, the rules governing my profession would advise I inform ezine recipients and website visitors of the following. Although I no longer offer such services, out of an abundance of caution I am advising you of the following anyway: My website and/or particular issues of this ezine may be construed to be, at least in part, a message concerning Tiffany L. Clark’s availability for professional employment within the meaning of California Rule of Professional Conduct 1-400. Given this, please understand that no statement on my website or any ezine issue is intended to guarantee any result in any individual case. Viewing the information contained on my website or any ezine issue and/or responding to either indicates that you understand and accept my website’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, and establishes no duty of confidentiality, or attorney-client, coach-client, or mediator-client relationship. Only a signed client fee agreement can establish these things.

 

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TLC for Your Family – TIME for a Breastfeeding Song
June 07, 2012

Hi!

Here's your June 2012 TLC for Your Family Ezine – Enjoy!

june2012dropinoceanpic

In the wake of the June TIME magazine cover, about attachment parenting, child-led weaning, and full-term breastfeeding (AKA, extended breastfeeding), I wanted to reach out to you all, with some words of empathy and a song I wrote.

It didn’t matter if you didn’t do attachment parenting, child-led weaning, or full-term breastfeeding, or if you did. There was something for you to get triggered about with the TIME cover regardless.

If you didn’t do those things, there was implication that perhaps you weren’t “mom enough.” If you did, there was an implication that you had perhaps taken motherhood to “extremes.”

So my heart and compassion goes out to all in pain after reading that cover, caused by a range of unmet needs I’m sure. For me the unmet needs were primarily shared reality, support, and peace between moms.

The incentive for magazines to spark such controversy to get sales, despite the societal cost, is one of the reasons I am now advocating for a totally different economic system (a Resource Based Economy, specifically). But that’s a topic for another day.

For now, I just wanted to take the time for a special "shout out" to all those moms who, like me, have had access to information about the benefits of breastfeeding and child-led weaning, and the ability and opportunity to do those things (I know not all mothers have), but haven’t necessarily had their needs met for understanding or support – yet nonetheless made the commitment to breastfeed, and to try to let their child or children choose when to wean.

THANK YOU.

TIME magazine cover creators may not yet fully understand and acknowledge your gift, but I do. The song that I wrote, videotaped, and inserted towards the top of my Full-Term Breastfeeding (AKA, Extended Breastfeeding) page, is my offering to you, of heartfelt gratitude, encouragement, and support – things I would have loved more of when my children were still breastfeeding.

Thank you so very much for all you’ve done, and do. As I say in the song, you give not just to your child, but to the world.

And, as always, no matter what choices you make as a parent, I honor them, and wish you and yours "Happy Family-ing!"

(BTW, some of you may have noticed that no May 2012 ezine came your way. Yea, if you noticed, as I'm guessing that means these ezines have been of some value to you. :) My regrets for any unmet needs with this though. Life just got in the way last month.)

Warmly,
Tiffany Clark
Family-Focused Speaker, Author and Advocate
Discover What Might be Possible in Your Family Life!
www.family-life-possibilities.com

PLEASE NOTE: If I offered legal, coaching, or mediation services, the rules governing my profession would advise I inform ezine recipients and website visitors of the following. Although I no longer offer such services, out of an abundance of caution I am advising you of the following anyway: My website and/or particular issues of this ezine may be construed to be, at least in part, a message concerning Tiffany L. Clark’s availability for professional employment within the meaning of California Rule of Professional Conduct 1-400. Given this, please understand that no statement on my website or any ezine issue is intended to guarantee any result in any individual case. Viewing the information contained on my website or any ezine issue and/or responding to either indicates that you understand and accept my website’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, and establishes no duty of confidentiality, or attorney-client, coach-client, or mediator-client relationship. Only a signed client fee agreement can establish these things.

 

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TLC for Your Family-More Options for Families
April 01, 2012

Hi!

Here's your April 2012 TLC for Your Family Ezine – Enjoy!

march2012choicepicture

For so many families there are limited options.

And this affects us all. When children don’t get the attachment they need, they are disabled in a very real sense. Synaptic connections don’t happen. The ability to create for the benefit of all society is reduced. The risk of behaviors that don’t meet society's needs, such as "criminal behavior," increases. See my Benefits of Breastfeeding page for more details and evidence of this.

Yet, it’s the reality today. So many families don’t feel they can even financially consider the “family life possibilities” I speak of. And the percentage of these families that do have options has dropped precipitously over the last few decades, and the last few years in particular.

I believe this is because our current economic system has encouraged those with wealth to understandably take actions (to meet their needs for survival, comfort, and security in an insecure world) that have made it so our dollars buy less and less.

In other cases, I believe families avoid certain family life alternatives because they understandably fear what people will think of, say, extended breastfeeding.

I believe this phenomenon too is an indirect product of our current economic system.

That’s because our economic system meets people’s needs for survival, comfort and security more when they convince people to buy things they don’t need – such as baby formula, and separate rooms and beds. This I believe, in turn, leads to greater cultural acceptance of such choices, and reduced acceptance of family life alternatives.

For this reason, I will soon be launching a new website focused on simple steps we can take to change our economic system.

The most exciting, hopeful thing to me is that I am not alone. There is an exponentially growing number of individuals and organizations seeking a similar or identical fix to what I am seeking – basically what’s called a “resource based economy” by most.

I’ll let you know once I get the site up.

Meanwhile, for some bite-sized info on the need for a solution like this, you can check out my favorite short (10 minute) video by clicking here. And for more details on exactly what a resource based economy might look like, check out this 14 minute video by clicking here.

Note, in the first video, the speaker refers to an “earth economy.” If you watch it, then find you want more information, I suggest you Google “resource based economy,” as this is the term most commonly used.

I hope you feel as convinced about the need, and as excited about the potential as I do.

And, as always, I wish you and yours "Happy Family-ing!"

Warmly,
Tiffany Clark
Family-Focused Speaker, Author and Advocate
Discover What Might be Possible in Your Family Life!
www.family-life-possibilities.com

PLEASE NOTE: If I offered legal, coaching, or mediation services, the rules governing my profession would advise I inform ezine recipients and website visitors of the following. Although I no longer offer such services, out of an abundance of caution I am advising you of the following anyway: My website and/or particular issues of this ezine may be construed to be, at least in part, a message concerning Tiffany L. Clark’s availability for professional employment within the meaning of California Rule of Professional Conduct 1-400. Given this, please understand that no statement on my website or any ezine issue is intended to guarantee any result in any individual case. Viewing the information contained on my website or any ezine issue and/or responding to either indicates that you understand and accept my website’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, and establishes no duty of confidentiality, or attorney-client, coach-client, or mediator-client relationship. Only a signed client fee agreement can establish these things.

 

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TLC for Your Family – Spelling and Grammar Happens
March 02, 2012

Hi!

Here's your March 2012 TLC for Your Family Ezine – Enjoy!

february2012typingpicture

The unschooling books have come through for us again! Apparently spelling and grammar does just "happen" – at least if you can sit on your hands long enough to wait for it to happen organically. :)

What do I mean?

I spent years trying to devise ways to "get" my kids interested in spelling and grammar (and reading, and math, etc., etc.).

But, once I learned to relax and let their interests lead, reading came fairly easily. And math came easily, to one child anyway.

But I was beginning to fear spelling and grammar would never come.

Although both of my boys loved "writing books," they didn't seem to care so much about spelling and grammar in them. In the early years I found myself putting so much "subtle" pressure on them, that they'd sometimes drop their book writing for months.

Studies described in books like Punished by Rewards by Alfie Kohn had told me this would happen – pressure decreases interest. But I guess I had to experience it to really get how much it was backfiring.

So, finally I let pressure go entirely. And just the other day – wah-lah! It happened!

And it happened because my boys became interested in communicating with others in writing, in a clear, understandable way. What more solid a foundation on which to build spelling and grammar knowledge could I hope for?

They had begun emailing back and forth with their cousin, which started them musing on the value of learning spelling and grammar. But it wasn't until they started making video games, around the same time, that they really got it. The game-making software allowed them to publish their games for others to play. Since it required them to type in text for various characters to "say," and they wanted players to understand and enjoy their games, they wanted to increase their spelling and grammar skills accordingly.

Last night I spent hours, at their urgent request, helping edit their games, answering endless questions about spelling, and where commas go, how contractions work, etc.. They couldn't get enough! They wrote long lists of words they had trouble with, to refer to when I wasn't there. And they looked at me with the kind of palpable eagerness that every traditional teacher dreams of, so grateful for each answer I gave. "Thank goodness we have you Mom," my eldest son said.

It reminded me of the unschooling story I heard from the speaker, Pam Sooroshian, at a homeschooling conference, years back. She talked about how her girl desperately wanted to travel to New York to see a particular Broadway production. To that end, she was going through elaborate calculations to figure out how many days of travel that would take. And her mother, doing the laundry nearby, casually said, "Hey, if you're interested, I know a trick that would help you figure that out faster." Her daughter was thrilled! Her mother then proceeded to teach her a semester's worth of math, all of basic, to long, to decimal point division, in less than an hour. And her daughter spent the next few weeks engrossed in it. "Wow, Mom, this is soooo cool! Why do all my school friends complain about long division!!! It makes figuring things out so much faster!!!"

Years later I heard this mom speak again. She relaxes now, having watched all of her children go on to succeed in college, and math especially, despite never having any formal math education except for what happened in these moments of interest. She knows even more deeply what I am still just beginning to trust.

Learning happens – if we just let it happen. Because we're human! Because we're naturally curious! Because we want to be understood, to create, and to contribute!

So let's get out of the way of that! :) I know it's hard, given all the training we have, telling us we have to be forced to learn.

But, once you see true interest-based learning for yourself, well, you'll never believe in pressured, interest-detached learning again. Especially when you understand, from books like Punished by Rewards, that the eager learning you begin to see in your children is not anomalous.

Well, that's it for this issue. I hope you enjoyed it.

And, as always, whatever you do next, and however it goes, I wish you and yours "Happy Family-ing!"

Warmly,
Tiffany Clark
Family-Focused Speaker, Author and Advocate
Discover What Might be Possible in Your Family Life!
www.family-life-possibilities.com

PLEASE NOTE: If I offered legal, coaching, or mediation services, the rules governing my profession would advise I inform ezine recipients and website visitors of the following. Although I no longer offer such services, out of an abundance of caution I am advising you of the following anyway: My website and/or particular issues of this ezine may be construed to be, at least in part, a message concerning Tiffany L. Clark’s availability for professional employment within the meaning of California Rule of Professional Conduct 1-400. Given this, please understand that no statement on my website or any ezine issue is intended to guarantee any result in any individual case. Viewing the information contained on my website or any ezine issue and/or responding to either indicates that you understand and accept my website’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, and establishes no duty of confidentiality, or attorney-client, coach-client, or mediator-client relationship. Only a signed client fee agreement can establish these things.

 

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TLC for Your Family – Allowed to Bloom
February 03, 2012

Hi!

Here's your February 2012 TLC for Your Family Ezine – Enjoy!

Pink Daisy
We would never think of forcing a flower to bloom, right?

Over time, I started to apply this principle more and more to my children too.

My son, Keegan, has always had an ear for music, classical especially. He could sit, listening to a piece of music, and identify each instrument in an orchestral piece.

At some point along the line, I decided he might enjoy violin. He was only about four years old, but I knew a Suzuki violin teacher who taught children starting even younger.

And we tried, for a while. But Keegan just didn't seem that interested. So I backed off.

When he was about ten, he seemed interested again. I leapt at the chance and we went right back to his old violin teacher.

She was very clear that the lessons would need to be weekly, and he would need to keep up on his daily practicing of whatever songs she assigned.

Sometimes he was interested, sometimes not.

Knowing what I know now, I'm confident he would have retained his interest, were it not for the follow-the-leader, daily approach he was being told to take.
But, as it was, his interest slowly waned. And, after about a year of dragging him there, we finally stopped going.

He said he wanted to keep coming back, but when he wanted to. I said that was OK, and even the violin teacher was willing to consider it.
But he showed no interest in the violin for about a year following, until a few days ago.

That day he came to me in tears, saying how much he missed the violin. He said he realized that he had forgotten all about how much he liked it, and wanted to try again.

I had learned something from the last two times though: Offer help if and when it's asked for, and that's it.

So, I empathized, comforted, then checked in to see if he wanted help trying to play again. He did.

So, I tuned his violin and started looking for a YouTube video of his first song, "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," to help him remember it. But before I could find it, he had played the whole thing, then his next song, and then his next! He was so happy.

When he at last grew tired, he stopped.

And you can be sure that I won't invite him to touch it again until if and when he brings it up.

This is just how it worked for me with guitar – I'm making the most progress now that I don't have a teacher, and can go at my own pace.

Reminds me of this quote from page 109 of the book Guerrilla Learning: How to Give Your Kids a Real Education With or Without School, by Grace Llewellyn and Amy Silver:

"Nathen Lester, a twenty-eight-yera-old recording engineer and musician from Southern California, shared this story. 'I was about nine when I expressed an interest in playing the mandolin to my dad. I can now imagine how excited he was at this since he is a musician and this was the first sign I had shown that I might follow in his footsteps. Within a few days he had rented a mandolin and showed me a few chords. He put it in my room, laying open in its case. I never touched it. I never even thought about playing it. I was busy reading and playing in the woods. After a couple of weeks I noticed that it was gone. My dad never rebuked me or even mentioned it. That's so impressive to me now that he knew me and trusted me so much that he could let it go like that, and that it didn't affect his support of my musical interests in the future. Now I am a musician. I wonder how my life would be different if he had [pushed] me somehow into playing the mandolin before I chose to pick it up on my own."

Something to consider . . . . :)

In any event, happy family-ing to you and yours!

Warmly,
Tiffany Clark
Family-Focused Speaker, Author and Advocate
Discover What Might be Possible in Your Family Life!
www.family-life-possibilities.com

PLEASE NOTE: If I offered legal, coaching, or mediation services, the rules governing my profession would advise I inform ezine recipients and website visitors of the following. Although I no longer offer such services, out of an abundance of caution I am advising you of the following anyway: My website and/or particular issues of this ezine may be construed to be, at least in part, a message concerning Tiffany L. Clark’s availability for professional employment within the meaning of California Rule of Professional Conduct 1-400. Given this, please understand that no statement on my website or any ezine issue is intended to guarantee any result in any individual case. Viewing the information contained on my website or any ezine issue and/or responding to either indicates that you understand and accept my website’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, and establishes no duty of confidentiality, or attorney-client, coach-client, or mediator-client relationship. Only a signed client fee agreement can establish these things.

 

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TLC for Your Family – Happy New Year!
January 02, 2012

Hi!

Here's your January 2012 TLC for Your Family Ezine – Enjoy!

2013januaryhappynewyearpicture

Happy new year to you all!

The last few years haven't been easy ones for many families. And I'm concerned things may get a lot more challenging, before they potentially get easier.
In hopes that they can get easier, and drastically so, I hope you will join me in reaching for solutions in 2012.

On my own personal quest for solutions, I have been active for months now with Occupy Sacramento.

And now I'm beginning to focus on fundamental world changes that I hope will address some of our core problems.

I am becoming more and more convinced that the "root cause" of our challenges is the world-wide monetary/exchange-based system itself. And I'm getting extremely excited about the possible alternative of a "resource based economy."

If you'd like to learn more about this possible "root cause," and how we might be able to create a world where families can have exponentially more time to spend with each other, and material abundance, I invite you to check out The Zeitgeist Movement Activist and Orientation Guide Video.

In the future, I hope to have my own, personally authored videos and literature on the issues as well. I'll keep you posted on that.

In any event, this ezine is dedicated towards helping all families have a Happy New Year – or at least a hopeful one – as those of us, who are willing and able, work towards a world that serves all humanity.

It's not as out of reach as you might imagine.

And, of course, Happy New Year and Happy “Family-ing” to you and yours!

Warmly,
Tiffany Clark
Family-Focused Speaker, Author and Advocate
Discover What Might be Possible in Your Family Life!
www.family-life-possibilities.com

PLEASE NOTE: If I offered legal, coaching, or mediation services, the rules governing my profession would advise I inform ezine recipients and website visitors of the following. Although I no longer offer such services, out of an abundance of caution I am advising you of the following anyway: My website and/or particular issues of this ezine may be construed to be, at least in part, a message concerning Tiffany L. Clark’s availability for professional employment within the meaning of California Rule of Professional Conduct 1-400. Given this, please understand that no statement on my website or any ezine issue is intended to guarantee any result in any individual case. Viewing the information contained on my website or any ezine issue and/or responding to either indicates that you understand and accept my website’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, and establishes no duty of confidentiality, or attorney-client, coach-client, or mediator-client relationship. Only a signed client fee agreement can establish these things.

 

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