What are you doing?

Posted by Annie on Apr 9, 2015 in college, Education

Today, I want to talk to the young people who are homeschooling. You are the future and you are coming of age in scary times.  It’s going to be rough for your generation but I’m certain you are up to the task.
There are two schools of thought for becoming successful. Either become an expert in your field or diversify and be a jack of all trades.  Both have merit.

It’s a fact that the more time you spend doing something the more proficient you will be at it.  Those who start early, get a jump on things. The book Outliers says it takes 10,000 hours doing “something” to become an expert at it. It’s a good book that will give you perspective.

What if you have no idea what you want to do?  Then you will want to start “somewhere”. Do you like history, computer games, poetry?  Whatever interests you, that is where you should start. Learning about it will lead you to more questions than answers. The main thing is to keep learning, become involved.  Times are going to get tough, so you will have to become creative. Can you grow a garden? What if the Internet goes down for a long period of time? Do you have cookbooks? Do you know which local, wild plants are edible, should you ever find yourself hungry?

We depend on electricity and the Internet each and every day.  Our on-board GPS was down for a couple of months.  We didn’t realize how dependent we had become on technology.  It’s not a guarantee in life.

The constitution says … “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Nowhere does it say anything about the Internet.

Can you care for yourself? Do you have first aid items on hand? Remember during Katrina the government was late getting in the game. I challenge each and every one of you to put together an emergency plan and help your family survive any coming catastrophe.

Getting an education means getting your hands dirty. It’s messy, it keeps you engaged and active.  You’ll meet new people, they will inspire you or you will inspire them.  Don’t be afraid to try everything.

Then learn a skill be it gardening, cutting wood, mowing lawns, making dolls, sewing, baking, any real tangible skills. The thinking is that these skills can bartered with to gain access to food and medical supplies and other things, which most certainly will be in short supply.  You can be a real asset to your family.  You could be the difference between making it or not.

And if a miracle happens and we don’t have a financial melt down, you will be better prepared for life on your own.

I’ve been homeschooling for over 30 years. I guess I chose homeschooling because I left school in the 9th grade. When my class graduated, I took and passed my GED test, signed up for college all while living on my own, sometimes walking more than 12 miles a day for work.  My first job was sorting potatoes and onions, making $1.65 an hour.  It was a five mile walk to work and back. Sometimes I got a ride, most day I did not.

I can honestly say I’ve learned something new everyday.  I didn’t graduate college, it was a fun break from life but I found no benefit from it other than the people I met along the way.  People are what’s important.  Stop and say hello. Combine  your skills and talents with someone else, start a business, see where it leads.

Our family is involved with Mountain People Organics, it’s a great little community where we collaborate for the good of the community.  All it took was for one little lady to stand up and make it happen. These will be the people I turn to when things get ugly.  It’s not too late to start getting involved.  I was on my own at 14.  Don’t tell me your too young to make a difference in your home, your community, or even your state.

Share your stories of how you are making a difference in your community. I would love to hear from you.

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Child Led Learning

Posted by Annie on Mar 2, 2015 in Education

Just what is Child Led Learning?  Unschooling?  Free-Range Kids?

“Learn Free” is a documentary about unschooling which is an educational philosophy that states children learn best by not attending traditional school, but rather through their own interests and by living life.  Watch it now…

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Redwood City Homeschooling

Posted by Annie on Nov 22, 2014 in California

Are you interested in homeschooling or unschooling? Have you just begun your journey? Are you currently un/homeschooling and need some inspiration? Join us for a fun, informative, and thought-provoking conversation at this all-inclusive, non-sectarian event.

Veteran Homeschool Moms, Mentors, & Activists:  Barbara Phillips and Diane Flynn Keith are hosting:

The Art of Homeschooling

Saturday, January 10th, 9:30 AM to 12:30 P.M.

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall
2124 Brewster Avenue (at Lowell Street)
Redwood City, CA 94062

What? You say you can’t make it to the live event? If you want to learn more about homeschooling and unschooling see the documentary film, “Class Dismissed.” Diane Flynn Keith is one of the homeschool advocates interviewed in the film that follows a family’s two-year journey from public school to learning  outside the traditional classroom walls. Learn more at:  http://www.classdismissedmovie.com.

For those who can attend the live event, here’s what you’ll learn:

  1. Get the Basics – Find out the Legal Ways to Homeschool/Unschool in California including enrollment in a public school/charter school programs, and establishing a private school (and filing the Private School Affidavit).
  2. How to Hack An Education – Where to Find Curriculum and Educational Resources and Opportunities both traditional and unconventional for all grades, ages, interests, and ability levels.
  3. Where to Find Community – How to Get Connected with Other Un/Homeschoolers for Support and Socialization including co-op classes, field trips, and social events.
  4. How Homeschoolers & Unschoolers Get Into College – with or  without doing high school curriculum.
  5. How People Successfully Homeschool and Unschool Their Kids.
  6. Learn what a day in a life without traditional schooling looks like.

Through personal stories and Q&A, get answers to all of your questions or concerns including un/homeschooling children with learning differences, gifted kids, teens, and children of multiple ages, and more!

Please arrive early, as we will begin the meeting promptly at 9:30 AM. Doors open at 9:00 AM.

This event will be held in the “Social Hall” at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. The entrance to the Social Hall is on Lowell Street. The facility is located in a well-maintained residential neighborhood. There is plenty of free street parking around the building.

This event is for adults only. Please do not bring children or babes-in-arms. Thank you for your cooperation.

Please bring any beverages or snacks needed for your own comfort during the presentation.


There is a small registration fee to defray expenses including room rental and hand-outs:

Advanced Registration is $20 per person; Registration at the door (if seating is available) is $25 per person.


To Register in advance and save $5.00 click on this link.

Sorry, no refunds. If you register and are unable to attend for any reason, you are welcome to transfer your registration to someone else. We will also be happy to email the handout (pdf) to anyone who registers and is unable to attend on the day of the event. Simply contact us after the event and request the handout.

Can’t wait to see you there!

Please help us get the word out by passing this information along to anyone who may be interested!

Thank you!

*About the Presenters:

Barbara Phillips is a veteran homeschool mom and activist, California credentialed teacher (Montessori certified), and a Reading Tutor and Coach who specializes in helping children with special needs. She has been mentoring un/homeschool families through workshops and presentations for over 20 years. Barbara un/homeschooled her daughter, Rachel, from second grade through high school.

Diane Flynn Keith is a veteran un/homeschool mom and mentor, editor of Homefires.com, author of the books “Carschooling” and “Papa’s Pearls,” and has been a popular speaker at homeschool conferences throughout the U.S. Her oldest son was un/homeschooled from second grade through
high school, and her youngest son was un/homeschooled from K-12. She enjoys liberating families from conventional schooling to live extraordinary lives.

Here’s to your lifelong learning success,


Diane Flynn Keith
Editor of Homefires.com, Kindling A Love of Learning Through

Author of “Papa’s Pearls: A Father’s Gift of Love and Wisdom
To His Children and Grandchildren”

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