Friday, November 21, 2014

A happier place

In helping to maintain the nest you have created for your children to grow up in, think of its components. Physical house, kitchen, food, beds, bedding, space to be alone, space to be together—but it's not empty space. It is a space you have chosen to share, and it is a space arranged around you. Have a hopeful, open presence. Be a happier place.
photo by Sandra Dodd, of a long-ago Kirby

Sorry if this seems to be a repeat.
Change of place and time zone caused glitch and botch.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A series of selves

Today is Marty's wedding day. I don't yet know how to be the mother of a married person. This is new to me. It is new to all of us.

Yesterday, we stopped for fuel as the sun was rising, in Holbrook, Arizona. I wanted a panoramic photo, but one lone bird was in the shot. I took another without the bird, but when I got a chance to look at them closely, the bird was the best part—repeated as if by magic. That series of positions made me think of Marty's first 25 years, and my gratitude for having aided and witnessed his early growth.

Marty views the world through his own eyes. He is seeing each moment with all his gathered knowledge and wisdom.

I see Marty in all his stages. I remember learning I was expecting a second child. His eyes, when he was a newborn, were full of thoughts. He was gentle, and strong, as he grew. He was patient, and sweet. In each of his stages and sizes, his newnesses seemed to create a new and different Marty. His face changed, his smile, his voice, his shape, and hair. In my heart I have been collecting the whole set.
The photo can be clicked to enlarge.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Collecting ideas

Some people collect things. Even those who don't gather and store physical objects might like hearing all of one artist's music, or seeing all the movies by a single director. I used to want to go into every public building or business in my home town. I never succeeded, but I saw each building as "yes, have been inside," or "not yet."

It might not make sense to a parent that a child wants to save feathers or rocks or movie ticket stubs. That's okay. What's important is that the unschooling parent accept that there is thought involved that might not need to make sense to anyone else. If possible, the child's whims and wishes about such things should be accepted and supported.
photo by Sandra Dodd, of someone else's robots

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Doing without a "have to"

The story quoted below is from nine years ago and involves a sixteen-year-old Marty Dodd.

Marty is twenty-five now and is getting married in a couple of days.

Marty has an orthodonist appointment at 10:30 this morning, and works at noon. He has gone to ortho alone, and has taken Holly before. I asked yesterday if he wanted to go alone or me take him. He wanted me to go. He asked me to wake him up an hour before. He likes at least an hour before, and usually an hour and a half.

I forgot to wake him up, but I heard his alarm go off at 9:31 (and remembered I had forgotten).

He was tired and I offered to put a fifteen or twenty minute timer on and come and get him, but he said no, he wanted to get up.

There is a snapshot moment in the "don't have to" life of a sixteen year old boy.

I'm not saying that every child given leeway will be Marty.
I'm saying that every person who claims that leeway will inevitably cause sloth is proven wrong by Marty.
photo by Sandra Dodd, of Marty, another morning in those days

Monday, November 17, 2014

An active experience

"In my park day group, the unschooled kids with freedom of choice to watch tv really clearly have their critical thinking engaged when watching tv. They "work" to get the joke, for example, on the Simpsons. They ask questions—they make connections to other things they know. TV is a more active experience for them than other kids. I know this from listening to them talk about it."
—Pam Sorooshian
photo is a link

Sunday, November 16, 2014

One way or the other...

 photo DSC00142.jpgSo how do you choose? You decide where you want to go before you decide to turn left or right, don't you?

Just like that.

The way to know the right direction is to identify the wrong direction.
photo by Sandra Dodd

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Avoid punishments because...

 photo LisaJonickRainbow.jpgNo matter how "peaceful" the punishment might be, it still involves power and judgment and has a loser. A winner and a loser. Ultimately several losers, because the parents lose out on the chance to undo it, and the grandchildren might suffer similar losses of choice, freedom and happiness if the children aren't shown a better way.
photo by Lisa Jonick
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