Sunday, June 24, 2012

'til the break of dawn

We celebrated summer solstice this weekend with a lovely group of unschoolers in a beautiful setting.  There were crafts and games and delicious potluck food

  henna art

 bubble printing on paper

group games

After several fun- and friend-filled hours we headed into the city for another solstice celebration!
 the whoosh of the massive bonfire

 *photos by my good friend, Ronda 
We brought a box of floating lanterns to send our solstice wishes into the sky. (Thanks, Mom. We saved some to light with you :)

  As the fire mellowed, the drummers, hula hoopers, dancers, and fire twirlers took over. The girls were enraptured.
 If that wasn't enough excitement for us, we brought a couple of my girls' closest friends home with us and they all stayed up until sunrise!  I tried to doze, but I kept finding myself up, offering snacks and drinks, offering a quiet movie, smiling at their exuberant silliness.  They jumped and danced, watched youtube videos and sang, put together puzzles, built wooden train tracks, giggled and talked about their dreams.  After a few short morning hours of sleep, they were up in admirable condition playing with the chickens and gathering wild raspberries.  Playing, climbing, and digging.

 ...or trying to train baby chicks to perform a play in Camille's room :)
We ALL need to catch up on sleep (well, some are right now), but I'd say the magic of watching a near-solstice sunrise with good friends is a summer adventure worth having.

I guess I'm the kind of Mama who lets her little one play with a bowl of wet sand in the car because she's loving it so, and drives her daughters and friends home around midnight, and lets them stay up 'til the break of dawn, and believes that sometimes a chocolate milkshake can be a delightful breakfast.  I break so many of the parenting rules that we are often told are necessary, but sand vacuums easily, tired bodies sleep, and joyful children deserve magic in their lives.

There are enough natural limits and constraints in this world and society that we live in.  I ask my children to be respectful and kind to the best of their abilities in their interactions, but I love to find ways to enable them to find magic and joy in their lives.  So, while I don't consider that anything goes in my parenting philosophy, I choose to live by principles rather than rules.  (This links to a page from Sandra Dodd's unschooling site about rules vs. principles).

*This post is linked over at Owlet's unschool monday.


  1. What wonderful celebrations! You have such lucky children! :-)

  2. I really need to try and find some other unschoolers in my area. Great parenting!

  3. Thanks, Chloe!

    FF, We have to drive a ways to get together with these unschoolers but it's worth it. I've often thought that our kiddos would probably love each others' company if you and I lived nearer to each other :)

  4. You're welcome, I'm glad the floating lanterns came in handy!
    Looked like lotsa fun!


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