Friday, October 3, 2014

Forge Faciliation

Devin has been passionate about Blacksmithing for over a year now. It was last year at this time that 60 Minutes, Australia flew over to film our family for the day. Devin's passion was a big focus of the filming. Facilitating our children's passions are so important as Unschooling parents. In one year's time, Devin has built his own forge and is now bladesmithing knives that he sells in his Etsy Shop.

During our time in the UK, my step-father brought Devin to the Chain Bridge Forge.

"Chain Bridge Forge is an early 19th-century blacksmith's workshop, located in Spalding, Lincolnshire England.
It has been transformed into a living museum, open to the public on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, where visitors can learn all about Spalding's history, blacksmithing and the Forge through various displays, guides and videos. There are also opportunities to have a go at blacksmithing, watch demonstrations and buy iron-forged products.
The Forge is believed to have been purpose-built as a blacksmith's forge in the first half of the 19th century, when it was owned and run by Francis South.[1] The Forge derives its name from the foot-bridge which crosses the River Welland next to the building, and which was originally made of chains. Watercolours by Hilkiah Burgess in the Spalding Gentlemen's Society collection indicate that it was a draw bridge, designed to enable boats and barges to navigate up river from the Wash. At this time there was a working port at Spalding,[2] and the accounts for the period 1850-1860 show that the blacksmith of Chain Bridge Forge was servicing the boats here.[3]

In 1899 the forge came into the possession of Mr George Dodd [4] and remained in the family for three generations. During this period they predominately serviced the community by shoeing horses, and doing agricultural repairs. The twentieth century saw a steady decline in the blacksmith's role,[5] and adapting to this change Mr Geoffery Dodd, George Dodd's grandson, spent much of his career designing and building the frames for floats in Spalding's Flower Parade.[6]

In the 1980s, as Mr Dodd neared retirement and with the building in a poor state of repair, Mr Dodd approached the South Holland District Council to purchase the forge. After two years of discussions the site was purchased from him by the council for the nominal fee of £1, on 20 September 1988.[7] The building was restored in 1991 with the assistance of English Heritage, by Spalding builders R.G. Sharman, on behalf of the District Council."

Devin believes that the Art of Blacksmithing should be brought back and he is one of the youngest pioneers for focusing on this age-old craft. We have all learned so much from him during the time of this interest. Devin visiting the historic Chain Bridge Forge was very exciting for him! I am grateful for my parents for facilitating one of their grandson's passions in life.

~Peace & Love, Dayna

UK Peaceful Parenting and Natural Learning Conference!

Devin, Ivy, Orion and Tiff at the airport waiting for our plane!
The kids and I traveled to the UK in Sept. to host the Peaceful Parenting and Natural Learning Conference! Joe stayed back home to run the business while we traveled. We missed him so much!
The conference was a HUGE success!! I met so many fans of my work and of our family! I connected with coaching clients that I've had for years! It was powerful and the event inspired so many people.

Here I am offering the opening talk at the conference.

Part of our time in the UK was connecting with my best friend and Soul Sister, AmyLee!! The kids love her and she is like family! She is moving in with us next month! Her dream is to visit the US and we are helping her make her dream come true! We can't wait for the Sparkling Martin's to grow as I add my sister in on the crazy mix!!

Here is AmyLee giving the kids "candy class" in Tesco, UK!

Here is me and my Soul Sis shopping in the UK!

Devin, Ivy, Orion and Tiff in London! The graffiti was amazing in the city!

BIG BEN!!! We had to see the touristy stuff, as well as the local treasures!

I love this photo of Orion and Tiff as they enjoy the beauty of the Tower Bridge!

Traveling is such an important part of our lives! Not only for the kids to learn and grow, but for us to advocate for Peaceful Parenting and Radical Unschooling.This philosophy is reaching so many people, worldwide! We have only just begun as we embark on many new adventures and experiences to share with the World!

Thanks for visiting and Peace & Love, Dayna

Sunday, July 20, 2014

FREEDOM Shopping Challenge!

In the first episode of our new Reality Vlog Series, "The Sparkling Martin's," I challenged our viewers to allow their children to grocery shop for themselves, within a budget. Several families took this challenge, with every one of them having amazing results! Let me know how you all do on this challenge and be sure to watch the episode below and subscribe to our NEW Youtube channel for future challenges and episodes!
"We watched your shopping with the kids Vblog yesterday and loved it. So today I took the shopping challenge with my three little women The had so much fun and were buzzing afterwards,so was I and they made a variety of choices. This way of shopping will certainly be a regular thing now! Some of the food in the trolley is our dinner for tonight." Sandra Porter, Tasmania

Congrats to the Adams Family for taking my challenge!! With a budget of $20 per person, it looks like you all did amazingly well! I am glad you enjoyed the experience and hope you can integrate it into your life regularly!

 More feedback about the FREEDOM Shopping Challenge from "The Sparkling Martin's" episode:
 "After watching Dayna Martins video re the grocery store I couldn't wait until today - shopping day!! We have a large family and a small weekly budget for the 9 of us so I was trying to figure out how to let them choose without taking out of the budget. I decided to let them each have $20 limit to decide what the whole family can share. Some choose breakfast, snack, or dinner items or a combo. Some bought stuff to try new recipes. It was sooo fun!!! If they asked for something the answer was always YES and if it went out of their budget range they got to decide what was more important to them. We came home with a lot of the same foods we buy but also some new stuff. After 2 hours at the store with most kids I had ZERO melt-downs and pretty energized happy kiddos!!! It was great. With the rest of the grocery budget I used for stuff my husband and I like and other household items. It worked perfectly." Shannon Purdie Foust

 "These videos are the best Dayna x My whole family are getting so much out of them. We just did our first "freedom shop" & it really opened my eyes 3 kids all bought a mixture of breads, chips, chocolate & fruits...and they are buzzing from how much fun it was for them! A little frazzling for us as parents due to the amount of people irritated by their exuberance in the market aisles but we just breathed & were there for our kids. I'm loving the shifts I'm having!" Ellie Young

"We did this last week. We gave our 4yo a $5 budget. She immediately spent $3 on organic apple juice and then worked hard to try and figure out what to do with her remaining $2. She finally decided on $2 worth of bulk raisins. Hubby and I decided to make it a regular part of our shopping excursions."
Nada Leona Sheppard
Peace and Happy Shopping to you all!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Our Sparkling VLOG! First Episode!

The Sparkling Martin’s NEW: Radical Unschooling Vlog

Our family has begun a new Radical Unschooling Vlog series on Youtube!  Here is our first episode. Be sure to subscribe to our channel, The Sparkling Martin’s, on YouTube.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Wild Edibles: Eat Your Lawn!

This week, Devin and I took a Wild Edibles class. It was amazing and we learned so much! I thought I would share just some of what we learned with our readers. Please, feel free to share what wild edibles you have on your property!

Ground Ivy - Great for Pesto!!

Cleaver - Awesome for the lymph system! Dry and make into a tea

Germanium: A great antibacterial and antimicrobial
Horsetail: Primitive plant. Do not eat raw, but make into a tea. There are tons of minerals in this plant! Be sure to pick it before June.

This is Sedum and was my favorite wild edible. It is very abundant right now and all over my lawn!

Be sure to see what you have on your property! Get down and look closely at your lawn and see what is really there! It is an abundance of free, powerfully healthy plants just waiting for you to pick and enjoy!

Unschooling on 60 Minutes!

Our family was featured on 60 Minutes, Australia!
(photo: myself and Michael Usher, host of 60 Minutes Australia)
The show was fantastic and showed Unschooling in a very positive light. The 60 Minutes crew flew to America to spend a day with us. They also showed a few other families in Australia and they were all amazing.
In our introduction, Michael described us by saying, “If there were a global headquarters for this free-range education revolution it would be this unassuming home in the woods of New Hampshire in America’s Northeast.”
Michael Usher also says, when introducing me, “Dayna Martin is the inspiration to me.” He and I spent the day together and he was very open to learning about Unschooling.
The shows that we appear on just keep getting better and better in regards to being honest and balanced when sharing about Unschooling. We just keep showing up and saying, “Yes!” and positive change is happening as a result. Follow your heart and when opportunities come to speak your truth, take them, without fear!

Here is one of the ads for the show, featuring Orion and Ivy!

We received a nice Thank-you note from the Network for our appearance on the show. It was a fabulous experience and we are grateful for the opportunity to share about our unique and joyful lives!

Devin's Lodge

Since Devin was very young, he has been building forts an shelters in the forest.  It is a true passion of his. Through his interest in survival and being in nature, this project was born. He researched for weeks before beginning through YouTube, books and various sources on the Internet. The project is coming along beautifully. This is his place to get away, and have a space of his own when he wants to. I have brought him out lunch (organic sausages) for him to cook over an open fire with his cast iron cookery. He loves bringing me out to the shelter to show me his progress. To learn more about being your child's student, check out my article here.
Here Devin is working on his bed. He created a raised bed to enable warm rocks from the fire to fit under it to warm him. This is a practice that he learned through one of his resources.
Devin was showing me various ways to start fires. 

The view of Devin's beautiful Lodge. 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Ivy Blossoms!

If our children want to make money from doing things they love in life, we want to encourage that and facilitate it in any way that we can. Of course this may include working for someone else in an apprenticeship role to gain more skills to help them toward their goals. Our family was featured on 60 Minutes Australia this week and I shared about the fact that our children have never been conditioned to take orders, so working for themselves would more than likely be their path. I also shared during the interview that IF they did want to work for someone else, it would be because they truly desired to work and gain skills in whatever job they would have. Working, just for the sake of making money in an unhappy job is not likely something they would choose to do, because it wouldn't make sense for them to do this. Especially where they have never been forced to take order nor trained to be, Yes men.

Devin and Tiffany both have their own businesses and have been making money for themselves for years. As organizer of the Life Rocks! Unschooling Conference, one of the highlights of the event is the "Renegade Bazaar." It is a two hour event where attendees of the conference can sell their wares. Children bring their handcrafted items and display them for sale. I love supporting young entrepreneurs and offer a place for them to share their work and businesses with other Unschooling families.

Ivy (9) has started a business called, "Ivy Blossoms." She makes barrettes and jewelry with positive messages of love and peace. She will have a space at Life Rocks! this year to sell her items. Devin is making walking sticks, cutting boards and some hand-forged items. It will be the fourth year that we have held this event and everyone is counting down the days!!

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Vision Boards For Unschoolers

Vision boards are tools to help you reach your goals and dreams in life and they are simple to make! Our family has been making vision boards for seven years now. This one is actually my third one, because as your dreams in life come true, you can check them off your list! Eventually, you need to dreams and to create new goals. I found that this vision board was more focused on feelings and experiences than things. Of course, "things" are simply tools for joy, so those are important too!

To create your own vision board:
Tip: Feel your way through the process.

1) Gather up some magazines, glue, scissors and a piece of poster board.
2) Flip through the magazines and see what phrases and pictures capture your attention.
3) Cut out the images that excite and empower you and glue them on the poster board.
4) Enjoy the process of creation and excitement as your vision board comes together. I love to light candles, play soothing music and enjoy a cup of tea while I work on my vision board.
5) Hang your vision board somewhere you can see it everyday. You can add to it as new desires are born within you. 

The theory behind a vision board is that when you focus on and think about these desires, dreams and goals you bring them closer and closer to be your reality. I have found this to be true in my last two vision boards. Although some things came to me even more powerfully and bigger than I had even dreamed!
The idea of a vision board is based on the ideas that what you focus on, you experience more of. What you think and focus on, you attract - good or bad. It is through focusing on what you want in life, you bring it to yourself powerfully by being able to look and focus on them everything through your vision board.

All of my children have made visions boards. They believe in their own abilities to facilitate their own joy in life. They think of this as a tool to assist them in creating their dreams. There are times in which we may not be able to afford to purchase the kids something they want. A vision board is one way to empower them. Although we do all that we can as parents to help our children get what they want in life, I don't want them to think that we are the only resource in their lives. There are so many ways to manifest your dreams in life. By sharing with my children that they could put something on their vision boards, it is pure, "Yes!" energy!

This is Tiff's vision board. She has made several over the years. She has this hung up near her bed to be able to look at it regularly. 

I hope you enjoy creating your own vision board! I'd love to hear how a vision board helped you create the life of your dreams.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Greetings from Portugese Unschoolers!

I love beautiful greetings set to me from all over the world.
Here is one that I received today:

"Dear Dayna! This is our Homeschooling/Unschooling kids club in Central Portugal! 
I'm heavily inspired by your book 'Radical Unschooling: A Revolution Has Begun!' Thank you!!
Greetings from sunny Portugal!"

I love this photo!
Greetings Portugal Unschoolers! Thank you for reaching out! Love & Learning to you all! 

Newborn Sparkle Sessions!

Joe and I are working together, merging two of our passions. We have decided to embark on newborn photography as a husband and wife team. Today, we had our first client! Joe was behind the camera as I handled and posed the sweet little newborn girl, Avery.

I've been researching gentle, loving ways to photograph newborns without flashes. Joe has watched dozens of tutorials and will handle the technical side of things. I have many unique and creative ideas that I am looking forward bringing to our clients.

Joe and I working on our first newborn photo shoot together!

The beautiful result of our first pose with little Avery

Here I am snuggling little Avery while Joe changed a few props. I can tell how much I will love this already! I was secretly sniffing her head. You Mama's know why...
I love this super-frilly-pink look. It contrasts so much with the next photo with a more earthy feel.

This is one of my favorite images from our shoot with little Avery today. You wouldn't believe what goes into a photo like this! Joe and I work so well together. He is my best friend and we are quite a team. The focus and flow that we had was natural and comfortable. The shoot today was a lot of work, patience and love, but it was  so worth it! What do you think?

This newborn photography venture is a combined vision and effort. My years of experience in working with pregnant and birthing women, newborn care and attachment parenting advocacy has offered me over a decade of experience in the care, respect and honoring of a newborn's unique needs. Joe's experience as a photographer adds a new dimension to what we are now offering as a couple. To learn how you can book us to come to your home for a Newborn Sparkle Session, visit: 
 Joe Martin Photography here.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Radical Unschooling & Pop-Culture

Tiff and her friend Aliva meeting their idols, "Little Mix"

For years now, we've be part of a sub-culture. I'd even say it is a sub-sub-culture. We gone deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole as the years have rolled on. What happens when a child of "freak" parents wants to pursue learning all about and immersing themselves into pop culture?

Sometimes we first feel our conditioned response of fear, then we relax and embrace. Why is that?

For many coming from a sub-culture perspective, it would be forbidden, shamed and mourned that part of their child's innocence was stolen at the fate of pop-culture. Many naturally minded parents are well-intentioned in attempting to keep their children from the modern world. I have learned, however, that it is through  unconditional acceptance of our children's choices through partnership parenting is walking the sub-sub culture road. To truly connect and continue a strong bond of self-love and trust, we learn to drop pre-conceived ideas and beliefs about everything, including things we may have judged before our children showed an interest in it. We find ways to bring as many resources into our children's lives as possible to learn and grow from based on their interests as the nucleus of their individual learning.

Right now, Tiff is powerfully inspired by the popular band, Little Mix. We found out that they were coming for a Meet and Greet at a mall about two hours away. My friend from New York drove out with her daughter to go with us. Together we brought our daughters to connect with the women whom they love and share their thoughts about how they inspired them. They were nervous about talking with them, knowing that in the moment they may be so nervous that they'd forget what to say. I have the idea to purchase cards and write down how they felt to the band members. The girls loved this idea!
Here we are in line, having a picnic waiting for "Little Mix." 

Here Tiff is giving her card and gift to a Jesy, from "Little Mix."

We waiting six hours and were the first fans there at 10am! You'd think that waiting in line for so long would be torterous, but it was so much fun! I made food to bring with us and we had a picnic and connected with other, "Mixers," (the name of "Little Mix" fans.) It was fun to see the girls connect with other fans and spend hours talking about all that they loved about them.

After meeting the group, Tiff was in tears. She was shaking and so powerfully moved by the experience. She said, "Perrie told me I was 'gorgeous'!" She was soaring!

When I first became a parent, I thought that my role was to keep what I perceived as a negative influence away from my children. I judged those who made choices that I didn't feel were "wholesome" enough. As my children have grown, I have learned that they truly know what is best for them. Many of my past judgements were fear-based. I know that whatever my children are interested in is an extension of themselves and by judging their interests I am judging them. This is not coming from a place of love, but a place of fear. I do not wish this to be part of our relationship.

Radical Unschooling is not neglectful or permissive because we "allow" our children to watch television, play video games or immerse themselves in pop-culture. In fact, it is the greatest example of unconditional love and acceptance that we can have for our children during their teen years.

Thanks for reading! Please share ways in which you have supported your children in their love for something that others, or your past self, has judged as negative.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Capability Through Freedom

a photo of Devin martin who is a unschooler
This is Devin's design! It is the "Utilicloak." 
Devin is sewing his own clothes! He has been modifying his clothes for years now, especially through his creative passion of Steampunk. Now he is actually making them from fabric to garment using his sewing machine. He made these fleece pants this week.

Devin wants one of these types of sewing machine for his birthday. He loves anything old fashioned that were run by man-power, before electricity was so widely utilized.

What I love most about how Devin learns, is his willingness to be persistent and try and try until he gets something right, and the way he wants it. These pants were a great success for him and he plans on making all of his clothes in the future. He gains amazing satisfaction and a sense of pride from learning to do things that allow him to be more self-sufficient. He has a great interest in homesteading right now, and making his own clothes falls under one of the skills that he wanted to perfect to be that much closer to his personal goals in life. 

Children are so capable, when given freedom, time and the tools to learn and grow with their ever-evolving interests. Devin has life skills that very few teens in our culture have today. He knows how to sew, make bread, build a survival shelter, blacksmith, woodwork, and so much more than I could even list here. He truly enjoys mastering crafts that are a lost art.