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FAMILY

Green parenting is economical, conserving of resources, and by its nature, encourages children to love the earth.

New - Attachment - Birth - Breastfeeding - Sleep - Getting Along With Others - Learning - Health - Media

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NEW

Who Owns Our Children's Minds - NOTE: 2/11/2006 This Advertisers want to - in their own words - "own your child", and they will if you don't stop them. Find out just how serious the media threat is, and what you can do politically to fight it.

Democracy Is for Children, Too - An editorial by Peggy O'Mara about how moneyed interests successfully compete with parental influences.

Watch Out for Children - An open letter to advertisers that says: "You are teaching our children values that are antithetical to the values we are trying to teach our children. You must stop." Have a look at the list of original and additional signatories. You can sign it too.

Kids and Commercialism - Things have changed. Advertisers today spend 20 times what they did 10 years ago on advertising directed at kids. And it's gone beyond selling products. They're after your kids and they're playing for keeps! Think we're exagerating? Find out for yourself. A GreenSense Special Report.

How Families Homeschool their Teens - This article, from Mothering Magazine, looks at three homeschooling families, describing how each has created a viable, rewarding learning situation.

The Scholastic Achievement and Demographic Characteristics of Home School Students in 1998 - 20,760 student achievement test scores and their family demographics make this the largest study of home education to date! Results demonstrate that home schooled students are doing exceptionally well and provide an informative portrait of Americaís modern home education movement. Conducted by Dr. Lawrence M. Rudner, Director of the ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation for the Home School Legal Defense Association.

AskERIC - A personalized Internet-based service providing education information to teachers, librarians, counselors, administrators, parents, and anyone interested in education throughout the United States and the world. You can:

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Attachment Parenting

It's funny- the more we learn about natural processes, the more we realize it's better to swim with them rather than against them. This has become especially evident with parenting. Now, a fast-growing number of parents are discovering that the simplest, most ancient ways of nurturing also happen to be the best to help their children develop persistance, creativity, communication skills, resiliance, the ability to cooperate, and other qualities and skills important for living in the world today.

The key to all of this is attachment, the process of bonding that develops between mother and infant when the mother is able to meet the baby's needs consistently over an extended period of time. Attachment bonds the child to the mother, the family, and ultimately the world, and once firmly established, it enables him or her to learn the skills and attitudes of adulthood with astonishing ease.

Coincidentally, Attachment Parenting teaches kids to rely on people, rather than things to satisfy their needs. Is it possible that a generation of children raised this way will feel less driven to consume than we do?

What builds attachment? First and foremost: meeting a baby's needs for physical closeness, food, and security. This translates to gentle birth, babywearing, breastfeeding on demand, picking the baby up whenever it cries, and co-sleeping.

Attachment Parenting: A Style that Works - An article by Dr. William Sears, M.D., author (with Martha Sears) of The Baby Book: Attachment Parenting: A Style that Works.

Attachment Parenting Methods FAQ - From Parent-l email list for families practicing extended breastfeeding

Attachment Parenting - What it is; what it's not. A concise summary, in outline format. This page would make a handy chart to print and refer to from time to time. (4k)

Parenting Answers - Infant and childrearing questions answered by parenting experts, Dr. Bill and Martha Sears.

Nursing Baby - A great AP parenting site. A reading Room with a variety of articles, Bulletin Boards on Parenting, Nursing Co-sleeping, Discipline and Babywearing, and a Store featuring Slings, Nursingwear, Pumps, Books and more.

How to wear your baby in a sling - A set of illustrated instructions for a variety of carrying positions. Here's another set, and yet another.

Baby Carrier FAQ - Wondering which type of babysling to get? This FAQ has a slew of sling reviews by users.

1001 Uses for Slings... - Not quite 1001 yet, but still fun to read. Check it out and add your contribution! (15k)

Make your own tube style sling! - Complete sewing instructions, along with an image of the finished product in action.[3k]

The Daycare Calculator - Obviously, Mom's availability contributes to attachment. Equally obviously, in our society (unlike some others), many mothers are forced to be inaccessible to their babies while working. So, for some of us it makes sense to ask, "How much does a second income add...and how much does it really cost?". Use this handy tool from The News-Press to find out.

The Perfect Stay at Home Career - NOTE: Link not working 7/27/00 - On the other hand, staying home doesn't have to mean no second income. Daa MacDonald tells you everything you need to know to earn $10,000- $15,000/yr as a tutor: Who can do it (almost anyone), How to find your niche, How to find clients, What to charge, etc.. (10k) NOTE: To find this article, click on the link and then scroll down past "Co-Sleeping".

A Miracle to believe in - Barry Neal Kauffman describes how he and his family helped a child free himself from the prison of autism. Much of what they do resonates with the ideas of attachment parenting. The entire book is online.

Elimination Timing - Diapers, another cure that's worse than the disease itself? Even today, most of the world's babies do without them. We know that many babies object strenuously to diapers. Does this experience, repeated thousands of times, have a negative affect on attachment? Then, too, all diapers, whether cloth or disposable, consume incredible amounts of natural resources and create even more pollution. Click on the link above for an interesting alternative.

Birth

Since anything that interferes with a mother's ability to respond to her baby's needs can interfere with attachment, the birth environment can dramatically help or hinder attachment. Because of the security of being at home, having more control over the birth process, etc., many mothers feel that homebirth helps them bond with their babies.

About Home Birth - NOTE: OFFLINE 3:34 PM 12/12/00 - Kate Webber Brown's article describing what she learned about homebirth, why she chose it, and what it was like. (8k) From her Home birth Information Center.

Kate's entire site appears to be gone. Have a look at Angela Horn's Home Birth Reference Site instead.

The Homebirth Choice - by Jill Cohen and Marti Dorsey. A well-balanced article that covers history, safety, finding a midwife, labor, complications, the birth, and where to find out more. (30k)

The Safety of Home Birth - BMJ (British Medical Journal) No 7066 Editorial. An overview of studies on the safety of home birth, with links to the studies reviewed.

Pregnancy, Birth, and Breastfeeding Resources - Sabrina Cuddy's collection of annotated links. It's all here- from the beginning of pregnancy, to birthing options, to getting started with breastfeeding. There's even a link to an interactive pregnancy calendar- you enter the date of your last period and it gives you day-by-day info about the changes in your body.

Pregnancy Chat - At Sarah Cuddy's Pregnancy Page.

My Births -- Medical-centered birth VERSUS Midwifery-centered birth - by Andrea Eastman. Her personal account of two births. (13k)

More Birth Stories - Read many personal accounts of birthing experiences (at home and elsewhere), contribute your own. And here are even more!

Breastfeeding

101 Reasons to Breastfeed Your Baby - Health reasons, economic reasons, personal reasons, they're all here, many of them complete with research citations. Enough, we think, to convince just about anyone. If you're already convinced, this page will make you feel even better about your decision.

10 things expectant parents need to know about breastfeeding. - Topics include: Breastfeeding is an important health issue, Breastfeeding is a learned art, The best sources of information on breastfeeding, Many breastfeeding problems are caused by medical mismanagement, If it hurts, it is likely that something is wrong, You will need support to breastfeed, and more...[16k]

LLLI: Frequently Asked Questions about Breastfeeding - This page, part of La Leche League's extensive, award-winning website, houses a general "quick Answers" FAQ and a series of "in depth" FAQs on topics like "Newborn Needs", "As Your Baby Grows", "Family Friends and Finding Support", etc.. Sample Q's: "How Can I Tell if My Baby Is Getting Enough Milk?...Will I Spoil My Baby by Holding/Nursing Him so Often?... The Father's Role in the Breastfeeding Relationship... Can I Nurse My Baby When I Am Sick?... My Breasts Are Sore. What Can I Do?". Some FAQ's are also available in Spanish.

Annelies Bon's Breastfeeding resources - An incredibly thorough and helpful collection of annotated links. Topics covered include: Breastfeeding FAQs, Basic Practical Breastfeeding Information, Specific Practical Breastfeeding Information(BF and medications, preemies, dental caries, multiples, toddlers, day care, diet, etc.), Personal stories, Advantages, Advocacy, Pages for Health Care Providers and Lactation Experts, Supplies, Attachment Parenting, Newsgroups, Lists, and Organizations.[52k]

Breastfeeding...Scientific References - Scientific support for the benefits of breastfeeding on: IQ, allergies, prevention of SIDS, cancer and ear infections.

The cost of not breastfeeding - This abstract, from The Journal of Human Lactation, archived at Medline, gives the details of the estimated 1 billion+ of yearly U.S. health care costs due to not breastfeeding.

Toxins and Breastfeeding - Because of their worldwide distribution Dioxins and related toxins are showing up in breastmilk. Does this mean that women should limit or forego breastfeeding? Annelies Bon reports on the results of a Dutch government investigation into the safety of breastmilk.

Why Breast Feeding Isn't Best - or special, or better, or healthier...it's simply normal- the standard by which infant nourishment should be measured. Anything less is deficient. The author of this article presents some persuasive arguments for changing the way we think and talk about breastfeeding. (20k)

Growth Charts for Breastfed Babies - If you talk to a lot of parents over time, it becomes obvious that real, healthy, breastfed children frequently fall off the growth charts, which are normed on formula-fed babies. Here is a set designed specifically for breastfed babies. (2k) It's part of the excellent ProMom website.

A Natural Age of Weaning - In the past few years we've come a long way from the naive belief that formula is as good as (or better than) mother's milk. We now realize that mother's is far superior. However, there is still controversy about how long the nursing relationship should go on. Anthropologist, Kathrine Dettwyler, PhD. has taken a novel approach to this question: She decided to look at our closest relatives, the primates. This article summarizes what she found.

Tandem Nursing - As an increasing number of mothers follow WHO guidelines and nurse for 2 yrs or longer, the number of nursing siblings increases as well. The author of this article describes her personal experience of maintaining an ongoing, nursing relationship with _three_ children.(9k)

Why Nurse Toddlers? - If you're wondering, read this short, but persuasive post by Katherine Dettwyler, Ph.D. (4k)

Breastfeeding Survey - Dr. Katherine Detwyler, an anthropologist who has studied patterns of breastfeeding in humans and primates worldwide, is conducting a survey on extended breastfeeding. NOTE: Dr. Detwyler has finished the input phase of the survey. When the results are published, we'll link to them here.

Milk Bank Survey - NOTE: OFFLINE - 3:48 PM 12/12/00 - Contribute to a survey on people's feelings about milk banks (same idea as a blood bank) (5k)

BreastMilk Does Every Body Good - It's more than the perfect food...

Sleep

Sleeping Through the Night - Babies often don't, and guess what? They aren't supposed to. As it turns out, it's a matter of biology... (8k)

Ten Reasons to Sleep Next to Your Child at Night - Here they are, in a convenient list format. [12k]

Co-Sleeping - Susan Martin points out that 25-30% of Americans co-sleep with their children. She examines the roots of the prejudice that keeps more of us from doing it, and describes how new medical and scientific knowledge is reaffirming the wisdom of cultures where the family bed is the norm. (20k)

Family Bed -- An Expert's opinion - This article by an M.D.,Ph. D. from U of Pittsburgh explains why sleeping arrangements in infancy can have lifelong positive or negative effects. It's followed by dozens of comments by readers- lots of personal experiences, and lively discussion. Read it and add your $.02. (142k, last time we looked)

The Family Bed - Itís safe and hereís why - Not too long age, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a warning against placing babies in adult beds. It turns out the warning is badly flawed. Here are the details. [7k]

Nightime Nurturing- Parents' Forum - Parents share their stories, experiences and concerns about co-sleeping.

Getting Along With Others

Attachment parenting changes the rules in the game most of us call discipline. The object remains the same (a viable adult) but the strategy and the difficulty change considerably. The more attached a child is, the more he or she trusts (and wants to learn from) adults. Unfortunately, many of the child-rearing practices we grew up with undermine trust and actually interfere with social development.

Four Basic Listening Skills - A nice distillation of Thomas Gordon's ideas about communication.(10k)

Never Violence - Astrid Lindgren (Pippi Longstocking), tells a poignant story from her youth. (4k)

The Willendorf Pages - A collection of links and wise words about how and why parenting can prevent violence and promote personal, family and global peace.

Spanking - a shortcut to nowhere... - A powerful article by Penelope Leach, explaining why...and what to do instead.

Twenty Alternatives to Punishment by Aletha Solter, Ph.D. - Practical suggestions for when you have a problem with your child's behavior.

9 Things to Do Instead of Spanking - Kathryn Kvols is the president of the International Network for Children and Families and the author of Redirecting Childrenís Behavior. She is also a national speaker and workshop leader. (8k)

Learning by Living

Horizon Solutions Site for Kids - Like the Horizon Solutions site, the idea is that a solution to an environmental dilemma that works in one place, might also work in other places around the world. site is set up so that kids of all ages from around the world can communicate with each other, share ideas and stories, discuss problems, and work together to help solve them. The site includes discussion groups, a chat room with scheduled meeting times, and special project groups. Fun (puzzles, games, etc.) is integral, but serious topics aren't avoided or trivialized.

Some examples of case studies: Empowering Women Through Karite, Fish-Farming to Protect the Rain Forest, Spiders Help Farmers Grow Safer Crops, Have a baby? I think I'll Think It Over, Saving Otters, Saving the Environment.

101 Activities to do with your Toddler - A great list of simple, creative ways to have fun together. Also, Treasure Chest, a collection of more ideas, games, and crafts for toddlers that were sent in by people around the world. Tasty Treats: Food and snack ideas, suggestions to make mealtime more fun, and a recipe page.

Other pages include: Fingerplays, Songs and Rhymes and Knee Bouncing Rhymes.

Homemade Toys Why nothing can beat a paper pinwheel - Some valuable insights on the value of child-made toys. [14k]

Read a Story - A wonderful collection of children's stories on the internet. From the excellent Bonnie's Fun Things to Do on The Computer, one of the many resources of Moms on the Web.

What NOT to do to encourage your child's creativity - 1:20 PM 12/15/2003 NOTE: LINK APPEARS TO BE DEAD. Here's an alternative article with the same information. This article by Alfie Kohn, Author of Punished by Rewards, looks at some startling research. It shows how seemingly commonsense strategies for motivating ourselves and others can backfire.

Democratic Schools - How odd that in countries with democracatic government, schools that actually practice democracy are virtually non-existent. Yet there are a few. This is one of the first in the U.S., and it's been so successful there are now almost 30 of them around the world.

Unschooling/Homeschooling- Like Attachment Parenting, Unschooling is a re-discovery. There was a time when learning was seamlessly integrated into life. For awhile, at least to many of us, it seemed a good idea to separate the two. Now, the most recent learning research and the gut-feelings of most children (and a growing number of adults) are in agreement that learning works and feels best when it's really living.

A Conversation with John Holt - Widely recognized as the father of the growing "unschooling" movement. Holt puts it all in a few well-chosen words in this interview. Informative and inspiring. [22k]

Unschooling Undefined - An essay that describes how school separates life from learning to the detriment of learning (and other things). It explains why "school reform" is not the answer and shows how "unschoolers" are creating ways to bring life and learning back together. Part of the excellent Jon's Homeschool Resource Page.

Homeschooling FAQ's - Some answers to commonly asked questions about homeschooling/unschooling.

How Families Homeschool their Teens - This article, from Mothering Magazine, looks at three homeschooling families, describing how each has created a viable, rewarding learning situation.

Growing Without Schooling- - the newsletter created by John Holt, has been a primary source of inspiration and support for the unschooling movement throughout its history. Check out their site!

Homeschooling 101 - Why We Do It - Three families describe why they do it and how it has affected their lives. [28k]

BJ Pinchbeck's Homework Helper - We don't usually link to other hotlink sites, but this but this one is worth the extra clicks!- over 400 entries divided into traditional academic areas (science, Math, etc.) and many of them are annotated. A great one-stop starting point for learning; this is a father-son collaboration.

NOAA Student Connection - is a website that enables students with an interest in ocean science to track the operations of a Hawaiian based NOAA fisheries research ship. Students can contact and interact with ship's officers and scientists while the ship is at sea conducting research on Hawaiian monk seals, coral reef fish, seabirds, lobsters, yellowfin tuna, swordfish and oceanography. The site is geared toward high school students, but is open to all ages. (We found postings from Grade 2 up to adult.)

The Scholastic Achievement and Demographic Characteristics of Home School Students in 1998 - 20,760 student achievement test scores and their family demographics make this the largest study of home education to date! Results demonstrate that home schooled students are doing exceptionally well and provide an informative portrait of America's modern home education movement. Conducted by Dr. Lawrence M. Rudner, Director of the ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation for the Home School Legal Defense Association.

AskERIC - A personalized Internet-based service providing education information to teachers, librarians, counselors, administrators, parents, and anyone interested in education throughout the United States and the world. You can:

The Unschooling Homeschooler - NOTE: OFFLINE - The Bedford Family's unschooling links. Another excellent hot-link site. It's well organized, with carefully selected links, a fine jumping-off place for unschooling- learning about it or doing it.

School Is Dead, Learn in Freedom! institualized education, including its negative effects on socialization, motivation, creativity, success, and democracy.. Lots of quotes by famous people; lots of resources for independent learners.

Deschooling Society - This classic work, by Ivan Illich, had a powerful influence on John Holt's thinking. When you're immersed in something, it can be difficult to see it clearly. Illich was able to step out of our institutionalized society and see it in a different light. It's not an easy read, but stick with it and you may find yourself with a whole new perspective- not just on education, but on other institutions ( medicine social welfare, etc.) as well. The whole book is online.

Bootie Zimmer's Choice - An informative look at the historical underpinnings of compulsory schooling- how it came about and what it was intended to accomplish. From the Conference on Private initiatives in Education, Indianapolis, Indiana, November 13/14, 1992. This is the text of the keynote Speech given by John Taylor Gatto. By the way, the date in the first line of the speech should be 1852, not 1952. [44k]

Media

As humans, we learn values from observing life - We can't help it. And as research shows, especially for young humans, life includes media, especially video-based media. If our kids' environment teaches negative, destructive values, we have serious work to do or those values will be learned.

Who Owns Our Children's Minds - NOTE: 2/11/2006 This Advertisers want to - in their own words - "own your child", and they will if you don't stop them. Find out just how serious the media threat is, and what you can do politically to fight it.

Democracy Is for Children, Too - An editorial by Peggy O'Mara about how moneyed interests successfully compete with parental influences.

Watch Out for Children - An open letter to advertisers that says: "You are teaching our children values that are antithetical to the values we are trying to teach our children. You must stop." Have a look at the list of original and additional signatories. You can sign it too.

Kids and Commercialism - Things have changed. Advertisers today spend 20 times what they did 10 years ago on advertising directed at kids. And it's gone beyond selling products. They're after your kids and they're playing for keeps! Think we're exagerating? Find out for yourself.

365 TV-Free Activities - NOTE: 4:05 PM 12/12/00 Seems to be gone. - A great set of ideas- all kinds of toys to make, art ideas, games, etc. The only drawback to this set of pages is voluminous advertising and the several dozen cookies (the computer kind) per page.

The Impact of Television - How has television affected us? This article, by John Redford, describes the results researchers found when they studied what happened when television came to a town that had never had it.

Health

Parents for Barefoot Children - It's becoming apparent that going barefoot as a child is important to healthy foot development. It's a familiar story- we adopt what we think is better (shoes), only to find out that it's not...Parents for Barefoot Children is a complete guide to the whys, wherefores, and above all, practicalities of going barefoot. Have a look at the Medical Research page with statements by well-respected podiatrists. Browse the What About... section for answers to common questions about safety, etc., peruse extensive excerpts from the book Take off Your Shoes and Walk, by podiatrist Simon J. Wikler, and more...

Please Note: Dispelling Vaccination Myths - Has been moved to Balance.

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