Friday, March 22, 2019

Unexpected differences

A different approach to life yields a very different set of results.
A tiny change of course
photo by Ester Siroky

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Protect the peace

One of my main principles has been that it's my job to protect the peace of each of my children in his or her own home insofar as I can. I'm not just here to protect them from outsiders, axe-murderers and boogie-men of whatever real or imagined sort, but from each other as well.
photo by Sandra Dodd

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Slowly amazing

Schuyler Waynforth wrote:

It is amazing that the epiphanies seem to come so frequently in this life. The other day I was baking a cake and David got back from the grocery store and had to deal with the leaking coolant on the car and needed help putting the groceries away. I was up to my elbows in batter and asked Simon and Linnaea if they could help.

They both came in and put all the groceries away and went back to what they were doing. It was so sweet, so not coercive, so not eye-rolling. Just this generous gift of service. It came with an epiphany, an underscoring of these unschooling side effects that I see and read about from other people.

As you say, the proof is in the living! The rightness, the evidence, the closeness, the joy, those are all found in this life. You can read about them, but to experience them you have to get down on your hands and knees and play and hang out and tell stories and cuddle and talk and share and be willing to listen and to apologize and to work to make it better. And if you can do that without any other intention than enjoying being with them, without any ulterior motives, it plays out in ways that nothing else that I've ever seen does.

—Schuyler Waynforth
photo by Sandra Dodd

Monday, March 18, 2019

What proof do you have?

A response to this question:
What proof do you have that it is working? How would you suggest parents reassure themselves that this path is providing everything their children need?

Well starting at the end, there is no path that will provide everything for a child. There are some [paths] that don't even begin to intend to provide everything their children need.
Maybe first parents should consider what it is they think their children really need.

As to proof of whether unschooling is working, if the question is whether kids are learning, parents can tell when they're learning because they're there with them. How did you know when your child could ride a bike? You were able to let go, quit running, and watch him ride away. You know they can tell time when they tell you what time it is. You know they're learning to read when you spell something out to your husband and the kid speaks the secret word right in front of the younger siblings. In real-life practical ways children begin to use what they're learning, and as they're not off at school, the parents see the evidence of their learning constantly.
photo of a kaleidoscope (and Holly) by Holly

Holly was six when the response above was written,
and nineteen years old when she took the photo.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Time Out

Time out, please. I have tried to keep up here as though everything is normal, but I've missed a couple of days, and had more re-runs than usual. Tonight I'm too tired, but will share two things. #1 is this photo of me and baby Kirby Athena, taken by her dad yesterday; and #2, that her only grandpa, who is also my husband, has been in intensive care for two weeks. Today he's better than he has been, but it has not been steady improvement over the two weeks.

I might miss a few more posts in the coming days, or share more of the "greatest hits" or special forgotten posts from the past eight-and-a-half years.

Be happy with your families, please! Be grateful for all good things.

photo by Kirby Dodd, the Elder

Saturday, March 16, 2019

A path over water

Parent and child, crossing water, smiling.

This image, or any one like it, is inspiring. For anyone, of any age, bridges can seem a little magical.

Another bridge post
photo by Ester Siroky

Friday, March 15, 2019


Pam Sorooshian, in a 2009 chat/interview, wrote:

Every time someone starts thinking they should do something because someone else said it was a good idea, they should stop. And they should think right then about their own child and about whether it is a good idea for that actual real child. When people call themselves experts, warning lights should probably go off.

Real expertise shows itself by the good ideas, the modeling, the understanding you get from them. Real experts don't need to call themselves experts or promote themselves as such.

—Pam Sorooshian
photo by Sandra Dodd


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