HomeschoolNYC Newsletter
Celebrating Child-led LearningVol. VI, issue 3
July, 2015  
       In mid-summer most parents start planning for the coming school year.  New York State requires homeschoolers to submit a curriculum plan, which prompts questions about grade level and expectations.  However, grade level is a myth, which I explain in the first article in this issue. 
     These breezy summer days are perfect for the beach, a trip to a u-pick blueberry farm, or a family road trip.  Pack up the car with maps, a picnic basket, books and art supplies, and of course the kids!  Here are suggestions for where to go, what to do, how to get there, and games to play along the way.  Enjoy the summer!

The Myth of Grade Level Standards
The Myth of Grade Level
Six Games to Play Anywhere
Summer Travel & Field Trips
Traveling with Kids
Quote by Henry Van Dyke
Life Without Instructions Conference
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Excitedly waving a piece of paper above my head, I run down the block and into the house. My mother is knee deep in a renovation binge, sanding paint off the brick portion of the kitchen wall, her face half-covered with a scarf against the dust. She pauses the electric sander as I jump up and down in the kitchen doorway, shaking the paper and shouting. "Guess what! ..."  ...READ MORE...


       In a box or on a fox! In a car or at a table! On the floor or out the door! Anywhere, anytime, if you are bored or antsy and want something to do, all you need is one or more fellow player, and these games are yours to play.

    They develop skills in: communication, drawing, writing, collaboration, thinking on your feet (even if you're sitting still), and creativity.   One of the games (Trinterview) was created by my students during an Interview Class,  while other games were invented by great artists and theater educators. 
       Here you are six games, with additional variations ...


Summer Travel & Field Trips


Tips for Traveling with Kids

       My husband and I spent a month or two on the road every year, with our growing kids in tow, traveling to Indian Reservations as part of our work. I developed many ways of keeping the kids comfortable, healthy, and occupied. I kept magazines and informative pictures, "bits" of learning, in the pocket of my door, ready to pull out in moments of boredom. For the stereo we had funny music, sing-along tunes, and music to dance to. We called it seat-dancing, gesticulating wildly while in our seat belts, which was lots of fun! But my best technique was to put choices into the hands of my children.

        To prepare our car for travel   ... READ MORE ...         

Quote by Henry Van Dyke    
"Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those who sang best."
~ Henry Van Dyke (1852-1933), American author, educator, and clergyman  



Learning Without Instructions
New Conference for Homeschoolers and Self-Directed Learners!
Hear from "experts and speakers on unschooling, peaceful parenting and other relevant topics to today's life-learning families" at the first annual Life Without Instructions Conference, Oct 5 - 8 in East Rutherford, NJ (six miles from Manhattan).  Featured speakers include Peter Gray (Freedom to Learn).  My talk is about homeschooling on a self-directed path to college.  Join us!

    Education Uncensored

book cover
Here's what people are saying about Laurie's book:

"I would like to tell the parents reading this who haven't yet read your book, Education Uncensored:  'Please Do!'  I finished reading it a few weeks ago but haven't been able to put it away in my library, nor have I been willing to lend it out.  For those of you haven't read it yet, it is part memoir, part education book, part homeschooling primer, all wonderful."
~Mary O'Riordan, Ed.D, educator and homeschooling parent 
"You made me laugh, you made me cry, and you inspired me. I can literally hear your voice, and love your storytelling and your wisdom and just the whole package. I'm stimulated and filled with ideas for my own teaching."  

~ Dr. Bonnie Shulman, professor of mathematics, Bates College   


"I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciated meeting you and reading your book. It is terrific, and for me, the best part was its New York perspective. I know no other book available to homeschoolers that so overtly references an urban perspective."  
~ David Albert, author of And the Skylark Sings with Me and other books 
"Laurie's evolution as a teacher and life-long involvement in the world of education has given her a profound understanding of the problems that plague today's schools. This book offers an insightful look at how an increasingly standardized system is robbing our children of their individuality and passion for learning. Additionally, it provides innovative how-to curriculums for anyone involved or interested in educating children."  
~ Ellen Labiner, homeschooling parent and special educator
Available now at
Price: $12.95 plus shipping & handling
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