About Us

  • The Life Without School Blog is an on-line publication and blogging community. We homeschool. We unschool. We live our lives without school. For some, life without school begins as a conscientious choice that is whole-heartedly embraced. For others, it begins as a quest for second chances and new opportunity.... Read more about us.

Hot Topics

About Our Blogs

  • We support life without school, diversity of perspective, choice, the family and the child. No one blog, not even this LWOS blog, can possibly represent the opinions and lives of all who live life without school. Each blog does, however, in some small way represent one life, one family, once voice, one lifestyle out of many who choose to live life without school.

On Questions

  • The simplest questions are the most profound. Where were you born? Where is your home? Where are you going? What are you doing? Think about these once in awhile, and watch your answers change. -Richard Bach

Questions for Us

  • What are ways you prepare your children to survive in our society economically? How are you sure your children are learning enough; what about holes in your child's education? Read more Questions for Us.

On Perspectives

  • A perspective does not tell me what is right for you. A persective shares a view into what is possibly right for me. No one perspective should hold a human being, especially a child, prisoner to its expectations.



« In The Middle Of It All | Main | Children Have a Right to an Education »

May 03, 2008



I don't think this has anything to do with the type of homeschooler you are. We're classical homeschoolers, not unschoolers, and we would also find a Flat Stanley a chore. I think it's because a Flat Stanley is so contrived. It's obligatory work, not "love to" work.


Yes, you're probably right about that. Obligatory work isn't fun for anyone.


We too had a friend mail us her flat self. My kids only wanted to take a few pictures with her doing what they did that day. Of course that included sitting on the couch together watching TV and playing in the snow. There were no long stories about what they did and why they did it. Our little friend who is in Early Intervention Pre-K has an unschooling brother so their family loved our very 'busy' day of watching TV and playing outside.


Going out on a limb here because we have never hosted a Flat Stanley... but we have friends who have. I've gotten the impression that it can be fun to have your Flat (you, favorite animal, etc on a stick) travel the world and exciting to see where your Flat has been through photos and momentos you receive back upon Flat's return. I know that some people can get pretty elaborate if they choose and some may expect something elaborate in return, but that does not have to be the case (and there can be some folks who actually enjoy elaborate.. not talking about making a lesson of it because that is beyond my personal perspective and comfort zone). A Flat on a simple adventure to Japan and back can be fun. Then, I've also seen it be a drag to pull the Flat out once again for another photo opt. I think it all depends on what we as individuals enjoy or are willing to do for another's enjoyment (or school lesson... although I think the trick if to have packets prepared and it is an exchange of lesson plans for folks who do it that way), and in the end it is all about personal decision and personal perspective and then all about learning what makes us feel good about ourselves and our lives. If we ever did a Flat Stanley, I would be concerned that the recipients of our hospitality would be disappointed if looking for more than a travelogue of pictures with a few captions and a momento or two, knowing that Flat's are sometimes used very seriously as teaching tools and much can be expected in return in that regard. Then if we did it once and didn't enjoy it, that would be our lesson.


I hosted my younger cousin's Flat Stanley when I was in Australia and almost lost him in the Sydney Harbour as he posed beside the Opera House--instant journaling fodder! I also hosted several homeschoolers' Flats, and my daughter sent one out her first year of homeschooling. It was a fun project all around (much more fun than the book itself). The hosts can be as imaginative and creative as they want to be, and I seriously doubt that any sender would want a host to feel obligated to participate.


Someone sent us Flat Stanley. I thought it was a really cool assignment but we didn't get around to it for 3 months. We didn't have time for all the stuff that was asked. We ended up hurriedly slopping something on him just to get him off on his journey. Everyone was mad at us. It's interesting to have family living 500 miles away but sometimes that's not really far away enough.


We've done Flat Stanley over and over and the key to it is to just say up front on the yahoo list that you are willing to host a flat but it will only be pictures that are sent back. That's what I do. In fact, all I do now is just email them back the pictures that they can print on their own and links for the places we visit. Nothing more and we have fun and the other people seem pleased as well because that was all they expected.


We received a Flat Stanley in the mail. I never put our experience to words....but you've all done it so well! The same thing happened in our house.
1. Receive the envelope: Oh cool!
2. Put it on the counter
3. Forget about it for weeks
4. Go through the pile of paper and realize we've really dropped the ball
5. Quickly take some pictures write a few things and send it back feeling guilty that we wrecked some poor kid's project

Oh well....back to regular life...


Our family recently took a 7 hour drive from San Antonio to beautiful Alpine, Texas to show our boys where their dad received his masters degree in geology. My son took his two favorite bears and we have the photo to prove it. I think taking your "best friend" with you makes learning geography more special. :)


We had lots of fun with our cousin's Flat Mariah, but all we had to do was take goofy pictures of us with the dinosaurs at the natural history museum. Grandma typed everything up and organized it before sending it. We actually have two "flats" out - but as we have no deadline, people can take as much time as needed to take a couple pictures, and be as simple or as elaborate as they please.


We have done several flat travelers for other homeschoolers, through the yahoo group. My son is 5 and he enjoys getting packets of souvenirs from his flat travels, and then we find the spot on the globe and he gets a short geography lesson. As far as hosting the other people's flats, I do that part of it. I want to send back a cool packet, because that's the kind of packet we want to receive and I'm trying to build up good flat karma. Unfortunately, we have lost about 7 travelers who went out into the world and never returned, so we've also learned the lesson of disappointment. I think this project could work really well for unschoolers (we aren't, but we are only in Kindergarten so we are "very relaxed"), but the adult does have some work to do.

The comments to this entry are closed.

The Life Without School Blog

  • kids
    View Photo Slideshow

    From the Quote Vault:

    The wave of the future is not the conquest of the world by a single dogmatic creed but the liberation of the diverse energies of free nations and free men.~John F. Kennedy

Editor's Corner

  • It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power. ~Alan Cohen

    Managing Editor: Robin

    Blog Manager: Steph

    Thank you Featured Authors for your contributions and guidance.

    HEM Support Group News Interview

    Current Question:

    What is success?

    Contact the Editor: editor@comcast.net

Google Search this Site

  • Google


Real Stories: Real Lives

Guest Authors

How to Contribute

  • Please feel free to express your experience, thoughtful perspective and personal opinions in the comment boxes that accompany posts. Comments in the form of questions submitted to this site may be used to create the You Asked page or as leads to new posts. Your stories and experience make this weblog! Read:
    How to Contribute.
    Regarding Submissions.


  • Receive updates via your email.

Your email address:

Powered by FeedBlitz

On Comments

  • Comments in the form of questions submitted to this site may be used to create the You Asked page or as leads to new posts.

News & Commentary

News & Commentary Vault