Learning to trust

Here's information about Unschoolers Unlimited. We are an informal network of people who are learning to trust our own and our children’s ability to choose the best ways to learn and grow.

Ned and I are parents of a 36 year old son. When Cassidy was a baby, we were inspired by John Holt, who said “Children do not need to be made to learn, or shown how. They want to and they know how.” We decided that Cassidy would determine what, when, where, how much and with whom he would learn. We never used school books or taught lessons. We answered his questions when he asked and helped him gain access to the real world when he wanted it. We called it unschooling.

When we went to homeschool support group meetings, the conversation was usually “How do I get my kids to do math, what curriculum do I choose, etc.” When we said we don’t “teach” our son, there might be one or two other parents who said “We don’t either, but we thought we were the only ones.” So we started a support group.

We hold family gatherings -- usually on the third Saturday of every other month. We come together to play and socialize, to support and encourage each other, to share ideas and information, and to reassure ourselves that we are not alone in believing that children and adults can be responsible for our own learning. We publish an occasional newsletter and a mailing list.

Our son celebrated his graduation (Magna Cum Laude!) in 2002 from Hunter College in New York City. After college he moved to Brooklyn and got into bicycle riding. He rode across the country to Seattle where he worked in bike shops and met the love of his life. Lucky for me, he persuaded Kim to come back to Brooklyn.

In 2009 he opened Bespoke Bicycles in Brooklyn NY.
Now he and Kim and their beautiful twins live in Philadelphia. Cassidy is managing Mainline Cycles

Ned died peacefully at home in July 2009 after a long illness.
I continue to do this group because I love talking to people about homeschooling and enjoy holding their hands as they make the leap into self directed learning.

Please call or write if you have questions. I look forward to hearing from you and meeting you.


Luz Shosie
Guilford, CT

Would you like to receive our contact list and occasional newsletter? Send an email to nedvare@ntplx.net
There is no charge. We welcome contributions of any kind.


Our mailing list is circulated only to other families on the list.
Do you wish to be on a published/circulated list?
Or do you prefer that we NOT publish your name?

CHILDREN’S NAMES AND BIRTH DATES (if you want them published)

What are your interests, concerns, or questions about unschooling?
mail to:

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Cassidy's bike shop

Bespoke Bicycles, Fort Greene, Brooklyn, NY

Bespoke Bicycles was founded in 2009 by Cassidy Vare. It's a shop for the everyday rider, so we specialize in bikes and accessories for the city. Whether you just want a nice way to get around the neighborhood, want to go grocery shopping or run errands, or give up your car and do everything by bike, we are here to help. We sell new bikes from Raleigh and Pashley, and an assortment of parts and accessories that we think are the best combination of quality and price.

Service and support are the backbone of the shop. We perform expert repairs and adjustments, cleaning and alterations. We also want to help you get to know your bike better--we think it makes for a better cycling experience.

If you've got a good bike that just doesn't quite work for you, bring it by and we'll see what we can do to make it better. If you want to learn in-depth what makes it better, stay tuned for our upcoming classes.

We custom-build bikes too (the word 'bespoke' means custom-made or made to order). We start with a frame (we stock frames from Surly, Soma and Velo Orange, and we're dealers for Gunnar and Waterford, but if you have a frame already we'll use that too) and pick out parts with you to make your perfect bike.

Bespoke's owner, Cassidy, had been working in other shops for years, and thinking about opening his own shop someday. In 2008, he discovered that his great-grandfather, George Collett, had also been in the business; George started out as a track and event racer, and went on to open a bicycle shop in New Haven, Connecticut, around 1902. With history apparently on his side, Cassidy opened Bespoke's doors in April 2009, in vibrant Fort Greene, Brooklyn.