Saturday, June 23, 2018

One layer, and another....

Like layers of an onion someone can understand unschooling, and be calm, and then discover... Oh! I could extend these principles to my spouse.

For people with young children, it will be about just the surface of an onion. Maybe that's the concreteness of it. "How can you recognize an onion when you see one?"

Text is a smoothed-out quote from Becoming an Unschooler
photo by Ester Siroky

Friday, June 22, 2018


"I want my kids to feel empowered, so I empower them."
—Jenny Cyphers
photo by Rippy Dusseldorp

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Different and better

The change you need is to live a different way. Step out of the grumpy dark into the calm decision-making choose-joy light.
. . . .

Leave the old habit to wither. Don't try to break it. Move to making better choices so that what you used to do and used to think will be left in the "choices I don't consider anymore" category.
photo by Ester Siroky

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Women, mummies, Abe Lincoln

Lyle Perry, who unschooled two boys, wrote:

While watching a movie, a Kotex commercial came on and spawned a lengthy discussion on menstruation, and how all the different methods of protection work, or don't work, the reasons why women pick one method over another, and what did women do back before companies like Kotex existed. Then the discussion moved to the different methods of birth control, then to birth itself, and C-sections, natural childbirth, etc. All from one little Kotex commercial.

While watching The Mummy (cartoon), we talked about Egypt and the pharoahs, and then slavery, which eventually led to the civil war and Abe Lincoln, and then on to other presidents that had done "great" things.

That's just a few off the top of my head, but the main thing to remember is that none of these discussions were planned, and it's always the kids that initiate the talks, and when they stop asking "why, when, how, who and where" the talk is over. They may come back at a later date and want more information to add to what they know, or they may be satisfied and leave it at that.

TV is not a "bad" thing. TV can be very, very cool. or (bonus link):
photo by EsterSiroky

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Not what, but why?

When someone expressed shock that unschoolers felt TV was okay in any amount, Joyce Fetteroll wrote:

I wouldn't say that books are ok in any amount because it isn't *what* a child is doing that's important, it's *why* the child is doing it.
A child who reads all day long because he has many options and his parents appreciate the value in choosing what you want to do is in a good place. A child who reads all day because his mother picks at him constantly when he's in her presence isn't in a good place.

I feel that TV is a resource like any other and that given the freedom to do so kids will use it when they need it and not use it when they don't, just like any other resource.

["TV" could be video, games, YouTube...]
photo by Heather Booth

Monday, June 18, 2018

Grow into learning

In the middle of something a little longer, about becoming an unschooling parent, Pam Sorooshian wrote:

Overly self-centered people can't do it because it requires a lot of empathy. People with too many personal problems that they haven't addressed in their own lives probably can't do it because they are too distracted by those.
People who are too negative or cynical can't do it because they tend to crush interest and joy, not build it up. People who lack curiosity and a certain amount of gusto for life can't really do it.

On the other hand, we grow into it. Turns out that we parents learn, too.

So—when we are making moves, taking steps, in the direction of unschooling, turns out the trail starts to open up in front of us and we get more and more sure-footed as we travel the unschooling path.
—Pam Sorooshian
photo by Amy Childs

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Mindful enrichment

When people ask about unschooling "success stories," perhaps we should ask them to define "success" rather than simply name unschoolers who have gone to college or who have impressive (or just sturdy and steady) jobs. Treating that as a simple, sensible question channels attention away from the broader, deeper benefits of unschooling and of living a life of mindful enrichment.
photo by Karen James
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