Friday, March 6, 2015

One and only childhood

 photo DSC00031.jpg
"Soften your view of the world. Don't expend too much energy being against things. Be soft and sweet and peaceful while your child is young. There will be plenty of time to gnash teeth and shake your fist at the injustices of the world when your child's one and only childhood is over."
—Sylvia Woodman
photo by Sandra Dodd

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Supporting change

Helping other people understand unschooling isn't easy. It can take months or years for people to get it. For natural learning to flourish with them,  photo DSC00048.jpgthey need to change the way they act and even the way they see learning and education. In discussions and on message boards and at conferences, people's thinking can seem to have been criticized, and some object. They want the speakers or writers to soften up, ease up, "support them." There's a difference between supporting changing in order to better understand unschooling, and the vanilla "support" that women can become accustomed to. Nice noise and soothing words of praise are what many people think of as "support."
photo by Sandra Dodd

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Learn and be an example

 photo DSC00884.jpgRealize your unschooling life and someone else’s unschooling life won’t look exactly just the same, and that’s because your kids and their kids, your partner and their partner, your house and their house, your interests and their interests… they’re not the same either. But still read, talk, and think about what you are doing, and listen to what others are doing. Learn from the example of people who have been there/done that, and be an example for those who will come after you on the unschooling path.
—Colleen Prieto
From Colleen's writings at the bottom here:
photo by Sandra Dodd

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

It depends

 photo DSC02043.jpgA question like "should I buy this, yes or no?" isn't the kind of questions others can answer very well. And if we did, we'd need to say WHY we thought so, which would involve explaining a principle. And with all of the best answers, it needs to start, "It depends."
photo by Sandra Dodd

Monday, March 2, 2015

Anything but that...

Deb Lewis, on responding to a child who has expressed a feeling of boredom:

Put her on your lap and snuggle and visit awhile. Talk about something interesting you read in the newspaper,  photo DSC00930.jpgtell her you're going to make her favorite thing for dinner, talk about anything at all except why she shouldn't be bored. Pull out a game she really likes and sit and play with her. Go for a walk around the neighborhood together. Invite her to make cupcakes.

She's not so much interested in you telling her what to do or why she shouldn't be bored. She wants you to help her feel better. Spend time with her talking and doing and that will help.
—Deb Lewis
photo by Sandra Dodd

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Seeing patterns

 photo DSC02285.jpgHumans look for patterns. There are patterns in sound, story, colors, words, designs and textures. Needlework, architecture and ironwork. Waves, clouds, and snow. Puzzles, mazes and games. Cosmic, microscopic and temporary patterns are all around us.
photo by Sandra Dodd

Saturday, February 28, 2015

They *know* things.

Teens who were always unschooled *know* things that other people don't know. My children, for example, know one can learn to read without being taught.  photo b55789fe-0e7d-4902-a28d-3b2f4453edfd.jpgThey don't think it, kind of believe it, or have a theory about it. They know that it's possible to be honest and trust your parents. They know it's possible for a fourteen year old girl to hang out with her older brothers pleasantly and at their request. They understand why those with unlimited TV in their own rooms can go a long time without turning it on, or why they might want to leave it on to sleep. They have years of experience with the fact that someone with the freedom to choose to stay awake will get sleepy at some point and want to go to bed and sleep. They all understand when it's worth going to sleep even though fun things are going on, and they know how to decide when it's worth setting an alarm to get up.

There are many adults who don't know those things.

"Unschooled Teens: How are they as people?"
photo by Sandra Dodd, of three teens on the way to a party together, long ago
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