|Watch movies proudly.|
Don't be embarrassed about what other people think.
Let the movies lead 18 directions. Use the remote. Pause, rewind, use IMDB and google to find out more, more more!!
photo by Sandra Dodd
|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!
|"Self discipline" is like "self regulation." It's still about discipline and rules. How and why should one discipline and regulate oneself, when decision making in the light of compassion and goodness will work much better?|
|I had only been online a couple of years when someone on AOL wrote one of the best things ever, and it changed my life the moment I read it. She said she didn't think of a day as "bad," as she didn't want to condemn or write off a whole day. She said she would just think "I had a bad moment."|
|People breathe all the time. People are not always conscious of it, though, and so their breathing simply keeps them alive. |
Beyond basic function, there are heights of mindfulness and awareness you can reach up to with conscious breathing.
Breathe before you act. Breath before you speak. Breathe before you play. Breathe before you work. Breathe before you sleep. Breathe when you wake up. Breathe when you think of your child.
In every single case of real-life violence anyone can think of, wouldn't it have been better if the perpetrator had been home on the couch than out causing trouble? :-)
The one thing I've been thinking about this week is that unschooling is a profoundly optimistic decision and that it involves a huge commitment to living a very optimistic life. I'm going to talk more about what I mean by that and what happens when children grow up that way—kind of amazing.
I think it is possible that THE most significant thing unschooling does is nurture optimism.