not a quote from, but goes with SandraDodd.com/joy
photo by Sandra Dodd
If a child is bored and agitated, she's not learning. If she's happy and smiling and humming and engaged with what she's thinking, seeing, hearing, tasting, touching or smelling, then she's learning.
|Your children are not works in progress. They are whole people, now and from the day they were born. If you can try to see that, rather than think people are not finished until they're finished, it might help you. |
|The better we handle the trust given us by a child, the better people we are, and the better the child's young life, adulthood and old age will be. We're not just dealing with little children. We're dealing with the whole of life itself, which will outlast us all. We are dealing with joy and with eternity.|
|Be the kind of person you want your child to be. Nurture your own curiosity and joy. Find gratitude and abundance. Explore. Make connections, on your own.|
It's really okay to "cherry pick" in regard to the stories you let into your day. There's enough horror somewhere on the planet at any moment to make us all suicidal, so make it a habit NOT to collect or dwell on those stories. You have a responsibility to create as safe and peaceful a nest as you can for your own family.
Thank you, Heather Booth, for saving that
and putting it where I could find it again.
art and photo by Sandra Dodd
(the switchplate near our kitchen sink)
|Touch someone, or something, in a gentle, thoughtful way. Feel with your fingers, or cheek, or hand the warmth or smoothness or softness of something or someone you love.|
Be willing to appreciate a scent that reminds you of something soothing.
Recently it smelled like the mountains right outside my front door. Later I read that the wind of the day before had blown the wintery pollution out of the valley, and that's what I smelled—the air from the nearby mountains on a frosty day.
Baby powder gave me good memories another day.
Baby powder gave me good memories another day.
photo by Sandra Dodd
Something important is happening.
|Karen James wrote: |
"A good chunk of our days are filled with gaming, and I wouldn't change a moment of it. My son is learning so much, is healthy both physically and emotionally, and truly loves his life. What more could I hope for?!"
|I think the role of a partner is not to train the other person, not to shame the other person, not to find a time to say "I told you so."|
If you just do the nice things, that's what good partners do.
Sometimes the real message behind "I'm bored" is "I'm little and feeling agitated and vaguely unhappy and I don't know what I can do to get over this uncomfortable feeling. What would you do if you were my age, in this house, on a day like this?"
I think that deserves a helpful, respectful response.
|Mary Gold wrote:|
Just a little change in point of view can make a world of difference.
I used to HATE the resentment of "Why should *I* do this?" and so I just decided to change what I thought about what "this" was and why anyone had to do it. It was a philosophical shift.
BINGO! It's the shift that makes all the difference.
If you think that photo has been used before, you might be thinking of this one, from a different London city bus, at the same museum.
|Because my children learned to read without having been taught, they have no doubt whatsoever that they could learn anything else. Few things are as important or as complex as reading, yet they figured it out and enjoyed doing it. If I thought I had taught them, they too would think I taught them, and they would be waiting for me to teach them something else.|
|Some people can't leave school because they're carrying it around like a snail and his shell. They live there, still. School became an ingrown, hard part of them. They still define themselves by their school failures and successes.|
|"I have found that when things get tense, a short 'meditation walk' will really help re-focus my energy...or if the kids come along, we
all see new things, and find our joy again by being in a new setting."|
|Knot tying can lead to all kinds of history and geography. Hunters, traps, climbing, ships (wrapped bottles, in addition to all kinds of sail rigging and tethering knots), and cowboy stuff, and...|
|No doubt stone-age children played with toy spears and bows and arrows and atlatls and slings. Surely bronze- and iron-age children played with toy swords. Part of learning about culture and tools and technology, for children, is playing. |
Children play with toy guns. Sometimes those guns squirt water, or fire little Star-Trek phaser disks, or they shoot light. Some of them make noise.
There is no young-child gun play so violent as a mother saying "NO. I said NO!" to a young child who has dared to pick up a friend's toy gun.
|Probably some families make rules so that their kids will learn to follow rules. It's possible. Too much practice can kill the joy, though. Being forced to play an instrument can create an adult who doesn't even bother to own one of the instruments he knows how to play, because how he's out of school he doesn't "have to." If someone made me practice eating before every meal, I wouldn't be very hungry.|
Don't spend money at first. Read, meet other families, let your children have time to do what they're interested in, or what they weren't allowed to do before because of school. If they want to read or play in the yard or ride bikes or watch movies or draw or paint or play games, make that possible for them.
While the children are recovering, the parents can learn about what they want to do and why, and how. There is more online about homeschooling than anyone could ever read. Find the writers and ideas that make sense to you, and pursue that. Don't rush into anything. Parents should learn to be calm and thoughtful instead of panicky and reactionary. It's better for health and decision-making, and it sets a good example for the children. Don't live in fear when you can live in joy.
There's no advantage in looking at what you wish or hope a child will learn. Look at what he learns.
|Read a little, try a little, wait a while, watch.
Read a little more... try a little...|
Gradually you will notice more and more learning, and soon it will be happening all the time!
|"Seeing our life work, our choices through the eyes of gratitude changes everything. When financial difficulties set in, I can be grateful for our health, for our togetherness and the true wealth we DO enjoy in this country. When I'm sick, I can be grateful I have family to care for me and that I can recover from whatever is ailing me, unlike many folks suffering much worse fates."|
Don't miss this fun and easy opportunity to tie different "subjects" together by using a song as a jumping off place to many different discussions. If you need ideas, name a song here and see how many suggestions you can get for it!
What's above was written in 1993. Someone named "Blue Suede Shoes," thinking it wouldn't net much. I just wrote and wrote that day, and luckily I printed it out and saved it. The link below leads to my response, commentary and a video of Elvis doing another song, that leads to another song, and... you know.
|Unschooling isn't anarchy. Being kind to a baby isn't anarchy; it's tender protection of one's young. Being sweet with a toddler isn't anarchy; it's opening up the world to a human being seeing it with new eyes.|
|Wanting to learn, and making the choice to be in a school when one has the choice to leave without shame or punishment is a world apart from "no choice" and "have to."|
You don't get another chance to be the mom to these kids right now, today. When they are grown and gone from you you can have the cleanest house in the neighborhood. But what is the most important thing today? What will you be happier remembering in your old age; that your house always looked nice or that your kids were happy? What will your children be happy to remember about their time with you? Dirty houses always wait for you to get around to them. Children don't, and shouldn't have to.
Happy, happy, happy.
|We treated our children as guests, in many ways, as they were new to the world and we invited them into our home by having children in the first place.|
I realize that not everyone can attend a conferences,
but for those who can, it can be a great advantage. —Sandra
|Water handed to you nicely is a lot nicer than water slammed at you and sloshed.|
It's got to be better for you, because you can drink it calmly and sweetly, without trying to choke it down when you feel like you're going to cry.
|Some parents label unschooling as "child-led learning," and so they think they're going from "parent led" life to "child led" life, but the balance point is that the family learns to live together harmoniously.
Harmony makes many things easier. When there is disharmony, everyone is affected. When there is harmony, everyone is affected too. So if it is six of one or half a dozen of the other (right between none and a full dozen), go with harmony instead!