My name is Laureen. I came kinda sideways to this Mama gig, and it's been quite the transformational experience.
Seven years ago, I met Jason, who simply swept me off my feet and is hands-down the best thing that ever happened to me. And he really, really wanted to be a father. So two years after we met, along came Rowan. Rowan's cesarean birth was very traumatic for me, and I spent a few years in the pit of PPD, trying to make sense of it all. I finally climbed back out into the sun, and had Kestrel, in a triumphant, mostly-unassisted VBAC.
I had thought that birth and baby issues were the be-all and end-all. Right up until a family member lit into me for not having Rowan (who was three, at the time) in preschool.
Not, not, not an option. Not for the child my son is.
I'm a classical research geek, so I started, well, researching, all the different schooling options. And reflecting. Jason had been a "bad boy" in school, I had been a "good girl", and both of us felt ill-served by our educational experiences. So we went looking for better options.
The more I read, the more I realized that unschooling was what we were already doing. I work fulltime as a technical editor, but I telecommute, so my days are task-based yet totally flexible. I can drop what I'm doing to nurse the baby, to assist with the play-dough, have lunch picnics, whatever. Jason is Part-Time Papa Guy, and Part-Time Contractor Guy. Rowan understands that work is computers, work is hammers, and that mamas and papas take turns caring for, and playing with, their little boys. It works really well for us. And it seemed, well, silly, to break a system that was working so well, just because Rowan hit some arbitrary, culturally-imposed age limit.
Living without school is going to be even more a priority for us than we originally thought, because over the next year, we are fixing up our house, selling it, and moving aboard a boat, fulltime. The lifestyle is called "cruising", and mostly, it involves encircling all your loved ones and worldly possessions within a fiberglass hull and hitting the high seas. We're really excited about this next phase of our family's adventure. Interestingly, the fact that homeschooling, or unschooling, is required during such a journey, is one of the things mentioned in most of the books on the topic as a trial, a speedbump, a thing to be carefully considered, as to your family's fitness to
undertake it. For us, it's a selling point.
So, as I write this bio, Rowan is a newly-minted four, and Kestrel is one. I'm delighted to be documenting our journey as a family, here, and in my own blog, The Elemental Mom.
Laureen is a writer, a professional editor, a scuba instructor, a beginning sailor, a traveller, and an obsessive researcher who's chiefly focused on, and delighted with, her husband Jason and her sons, Rowan and Kestrel and her daughter, Aurora. She's a lifelong Californian, which lends a very distinctive spin to both her ideas and her politics, and she's discovered, in her peregrinations, that the world is far smaller yet far more fascinating than anyone gives it credit for being. She holds
forth her opinions on that in her blog, The Elemental Mom.