Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Eileen Mahowald

I am Eileen mom of 3 tweens :D I am attending ALL Unschooling Symposium 2012 without my family which is unusual but fitting for us.

We began our radical unschooling approach to the education of our children about four years ago after a few years of eclectic homeschooling our first kiddo, Felix.

My husband George & I have shared 1/2 our lives together. We are in our mid to late 40's and this year we celebrated our twentieth wedding annivesary. Our children are Felix (12, soon to be 13), Ericka (9, soon to be 10) and Carly (9 soon also to be 10 as they are fraternal twins).

Our young family has grown more gracefully in our relationships since adopting priciples of peaceful parenting and adapting our ideas of how learning occurs. I am ever grateful to Joyce Fetteroll as her web page was were I first gleaned ideas about peaceful parenting. The clever trail I discovered there has opened my world and that of many people whose lives I come in contact. It is an exciting time and just as technology has exploded so has the personal growth for my family. We have taken what seems like a quantum leap.

At times I become confused and lack confidence while toggling what is a terrific way of being for our family to a challenge in how to manage so many new concepts. For example, we have possibly over worked our attempt to find friends in the unschooling community.

Naturally the children maintain lightness in interactions and friendships. The complexities adults manage are sometimes too much for me. My experience with other radical unschooling parents has not always been terrific and I have learned we are incorporating unique ways of educating and living not joining a group. We have tried to maintain relationships with whole families but it hasn't always worked out.

I wholeheartedly appreciate Sandra's work in continuing the dialogue and sharing the ideas of what helps radical unschooling work. I am blown away with Sandras subtle style and appreciate her ethics. An example of this is in her recent talk at Un in the Sun Florida conference where she commented that she really "liked" her husband Keith.

I have been exploring meditation and took a class on equanimity. To me Sandra's sincere comment was profound within its subtley and I was deeply touched by its meaning. So very thoughtful with words and deeds I seek to learn more from Sandra and her close group of friends.

I also love the fact that Sandra seems to be free of what I think of as "hang ups'. I aspire to this as I do not enjoy the identification some moms have with being super conscientious about diet, health, expected ways of being, lables for behavior and most importantly the complexities of how people manage and cope with the stresses in life. I love Sandra's dedication to preserviing relationships and how to be less self centered and more partnered.

At one time I viewed the many and varied people who write and support unschooling (from Joyce,Sandra, Pam S., Deb, Meredith, Anne, Pam L.ect.) to be "Superstars". Today I know these are people who share their stories and ideas to help others improve families and generations to come. They are not untouchable as I once imagined. The regularness of these dynamic people gives me great hope that my family too can share in this great opportunity for educating in a loving, exciting, respectful and amazingly rewarding way.

These days George enjoys Yoga and works diligently crafting relationships as a terrific salesman. I work at improving my ability to live thoughtfully instead of reactively and use the intuitive nature I have to help my children flourish as young people.

Felix loves his Xbox Live gaming life. He has many friends and spends 4-8 hours online. We have hosted many a teen gathering and though he isn't actually a teen most of his friends are. Felix is quiet spoken like his mom and incredibly social like his Dad.

Ericka is our family's most auditory and well spoken kid. Recently she has listened to the Hunger Game series 3 times over and loves to do crafting while listening. She has also watched the movie 4 or 5 times. She is intrigued with the detail of the story and though she is not fluently reading, when she does she will expect rich content. Gymnsstics and friendships are a main focus. Ericka enjoys Girl Scouts and relaxed living.

Carly loves lists, being organized, knowing what's next and helping mom. Carly learned to read over the past several months with texting to Dad and writing notes and invitations. She loves to play with her Ipod 5 and has a blast texting and facetiming with her neighbor friend. She is frequently found doing handstands and she also is a beatiful swimmer.

I am keenly aware of how sweet and intelligent my kids are.

We are joyfully learning and living with great intention.

My learning style is with lots of research, listening watching and borrowing ideas and ways of being. Georgie is a doer, a connector of people. Sometimes I have to watch out for what I wish for, as his quick action makes things happen.

I am sometimes deliberate to process information slowly. This works fairly well for me and allows my experiences to percolate so I can make changes when I see I have moved in a direction that doesn't serve our purposes for learning and peace.

Looking forward to a few days of radical unschooling philosophy and discussion.

(The length of this intro lends a better glimpse as my quiet ways may never afford such detail of my life.) :D

Chat soon (I love the affection of this salutation though it may not quite fit me) :D,

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