Free Range Parenting on a Farm, an Island, and a Fjord

When last we spoke I was grasping the profound lack of control we as parents have over the outcome in terms of keeping our children safe (The ninja warrior busted open his face getting socks, remember?). These last couple weeks we have been able to expand our comfort zone in the range our children get to enjoy in nature.


It begins with a Harvest Moon Festival on the biodynamic Jubilee Farm. It is by far the most Stars Hollow event I have ever been a part of and I loved every minute of it. I told the boys about the Harvest Moon Festival and they wanted to know all about the astronomy and history behind it so we dove in to some learning in advance. Once there, it was all flower crowns, hugging parents, running packs of children, real food from the Earth, tractor rides, and howling at the moon. To be on acres in darkness with children encouraged to run free made a part of my deep core sigh a sweet breath. This is childhood. This is how you get to learn who you are and how you are connected to a community and the Earth.

This guy. He turned 11 right as we took flight into this new adventure. Granting him all the connection and freedom his heart desires is an honor. Being the eldest, he leads the Rainbolt pack and teaches me so many lessons as I observe and support his own journey.

This boy made me a mommy and he is now 11. #son

A photo posted by Rachel Rainbolt (@sageparenting) on


Part of integrating into our new community has been signing up for a Family ReWilding program on Vashon Island. We attended the orientation and the nature and people were equally matched in quality. It was held at beach/park where children ran free and adults laughed together. See that red speck in the top of that tree below? That’s my kid. He spent most of the orientation in that tree with a herd of other children climbing up and down the lower limbs. My husband and I walked on the beach together, played with our youngest, made new friends with our oldest, and waved to our tree climber from afar.

Gratitude Circle #community #nature #familyrewilding @vashonwildernessprogram

A photo posted by Rachel Rainbolt (@sageparenting) on

Then we set off on our own and discovered even more amazing nature. Every place we find I swear it’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. So far down the beach they ran. Into the driftwood they scurried and built. Around the lighthouse they danced.

We discovered a gem. #childledlearning #lighthouse #unschooling #naturalparenting #naturallearning #theworldisourclassroom

A photo posted by Rachel Rainbolt (@sageparenting) on

#driftwood architecture #naturesplayground #unschooling #naturallearning #naturalparenting

A photo posted by Rachel Rainbolt (@sageparenting) on


After a month in a corporate apartment (grateful but really not our scene), we have moved into our next temporary digs: a beach house on the Hood Canal (which is actually a fjord – super cool learning opportunity). The highlights are the view, private beach, kayaks, stand up paddle board, tree swings, and rural living. The big downside is the commute; it’s a ferry ride away from civilization.

SUPing and kayaking have been exactly what we all needed – medicine for the mind, body, and soul. We are on the water daily, which leads to stretching into a broader range of freedom. See that speck in the center left of the photo below? That’s Sky, off on the water for an hour. It was his meditation that day and as he breathed in the breeze, tested his strength and balance, and smiled at the leaping fish, he grew into himself that much more. As he paddled across the fjord, waving back occasionally, I could hear those inherited parenting voices of fear, anxiety, and control but acknowledged that they were not my parenting voice and were not helpful or welcome here and they easily passed. Then he and Bay set off together on a broventure. The more conscious I am in my parenting, the more freedom and respect my children enjoy, and the more independent and mature they are. Plus fun. Oh the fun you can have when it’s just you and your children in your right now.


No words and #nofilter #bonding

A photo posted by Rachel Rainbolt (@sageparenting) on


  • I miss having a home. I wasn’t sure if I would. I do.
  • Real Estate sucks devil balls. We have been awaiting an appraisal for a month. Our first appraiser vanished. We still don’t know if our new house is ours. My real estate agent is lovely. Our lender is lovely. The system is broken.
  • My husband and I can’t quite fully relax with 3 children bouncing around in someone else’s space.

But sunsets . . .

One thought on “Free Range Parenting on a Farm, an Island, and a Fjord

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *