Saturday, August 31, 2013

Be still

Until a person stops doing the things that keep unschooling from working, unschooling can't begin to work.

It seems simple to me. If you're trying to listen for a sound, you have to stop talking and be still.  photo P3170432.jpg

Some people want to see unschooling while they're still teaching and putzing and assigning and requiring. They have to stop that FIRST. And then they have to be still. And then they have to look at their child with new eyes.

If they don't, it won't happen.

SandraDodd.com/doit
photo by Marty Dodd, in Utah

Friday, August 30, 2013

Not so extreme, please

 photo DSC00021.jpgIf the old rules were that school is vital and "an education" (defined as the curriculum of an ideal school) is necessary, will the new rules be that school is not important and an education is not necessary? We don't make school disappear by turning the other way. It's still there. Our kids might want to go to school someday, in some form. We don't deny that knowledge is important by becoming unschoolers, but many come to prefer the idea of "learning" with its vast possibilities over the narrower "education."
SandraDodd.com/balance
photo by Sandra Dodd

Thursday, August 29, 2013

You don't have to make choices.

 photo DSC09221.jpgThinking you "have to" do something keeps you from making a choice.
SandraDodd.com/haveto
photo by Sandra Dodd

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Bigger and Better

A mom who's going to help a child learn from the whole wide world should herself become ever increasingly comfortable with what all is photo SlidebyKirby.jpg IN the whole wide world, and how she can help bring her child to the world and the world to her child.

Unschooling should and can be bigger and better than school.
If it's smaller and quieter than school, the mom should do more to make life sparkly.


SandraDodd.com/strew/how
photo by Kirby Dodd

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

All that is good

8/27/13 All that is good photo SusanBurkeCarousel.jpgBe his partner, not his adversary.

Help him find and do and explore the things he's interested in doing. Encourage him. Facilitate and assist. See all that is good about your child.
SandraDodd.com/video/doright (there's a transcript, too)
photo by Susan Burke

Monday, August 26, 2013

Finding peace today

Sleep can be peace.
Food can be peace.
Sleep / Peaceful Homes / Naps
Photo by Sandra Dodd, of a Taco Bell sign in Bangalore.
It says "Visit Mexico for 18 rupees," more or less,
and it was a vegetarian taco.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

There is safety in happiness

 photo costumeCropped.jpg I think the most dangerous thing for a kid is unhappiness. When a child wants out and away from parents, then things outside the house can seem appealing—even questionable strangers in cars with tinted windows, who will say "meet me in the alley."

And that has been happening since before the internet.

from a chat on Internet Safety and related, suprising matters
photo by Julie D

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Music lives in the air

Music doesn't live in notes on paper, it lives in the air.

People can be VERY musical without knowing how to read or write music, just as people can be very verbal, tell stories, be poetic and dramatic without reading and writing.

SandraDodd.com/music
photo by Sandra Dodd

Friday, August 23, 2013

Sustainable learning

 photo P3120072.jpgThis is more of a “why to” than a “how to.” The “why?” in unschooling can be answered with “To create sustainable learning.” Our children have curiosity and joy to last a lifetime.
SandraDodd.com/sustainable
photo by Marty Dodd, in Nevada, March 2013

Thursday, August 22, 2013

A touchy subject

 photo mermaidcushion.jpgIn response to "I guess if I was totally honest, I think there are a lot worse things the kid could be doing the viewing dirty pictures."

I wrote, "And there are better things parents can do than create situations that cause their kids to lie and sneak."
The quote is from SandraDodd.com/sex,
but the thought might be more about masturbation.
It won't be a regular topic, but people with older kids might need the links.

photo by Sandra Dodd

P.S. I called this "A touchy subject" but I considered calling it "Don't Add Light."

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Limitations

 photo areaClosedPrieto.jpgMy children are about as free as they're going to get, honestly. Always have been. Yet there are all these real-life limitations and considerations.
from the transcript of a chat on "Freedom"
photo by Colleen Prieto, of a legitimate exception

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Living proof

"We don't have to be tested to find out what we've learned. The learning will be demonstrated as we use new skills and talk knowledgeably about a topic."
—Pam Sorooshian
 photo DSC08941.jpg
SandraDodd.com/pam/principles
photo by Sandra Dodd

Monday, August 19, 2013

Enough trivia

Enough trivia will create a detailed model of the universe. photo DSC03563.jpg
Joy said "That is a poem," about the text above, when it appeared here. I decided to create a new page for this poem to link to.
SandraDodd.com/trivia
photo by Sandra Dodd

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Friday, August 16, 2013

Count slower

Someone said one time that she counts to ten and then she's still mad so what should she do, and a couple of people said "Count slower."

Angrily holding one's breath and counting to ten in a hostile fashion isn't the "count to ten" that's recommended. Breathing to ten is way better.

Breathing can be done in an overt, hostile "I'm breathing so I won't hurt you" passive-aggressive way, too. That cancels it right out.


The quote is from a Wednesday chat, but a good link is SandraDodd.com/breathing.
photo by Destiny Weaver, of sunlight coming in the top of a cavern

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Relax into it

 photo IMG_1257.jpgUnschooling is easy for children, once parents relax into it and come to understand it. It's a way of living with children in a life based on sharing a joyous exploration of the world.
SandraDodd.com/interviews/successful
photo by Colleen Prieto

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Don't miss it

"If I wasn't paying attention, and if I was afraid of the time Ethan spends at the computer, I would miss all of the creativity and learning happening. Worse still, Ethan might too, because my worry would become his burden."
—Karen James
 photo DSC03652.jpg
SandraDodd.com/screentime
photo by Sandra Dodd

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Words

Please be careful with words, because they say what you're thinking. Be careful with thoughts because they affect the way you're responding to people. photo DSC09395.jpg
SandraDodd.com/words
photo by Sandra Dodd

Monday, August 12, 2013

Playful experimentation

Children learn from playing. They experiment with tools, materials, textures, movements, sounds. They imitate the older people around the. They imitate animals, and fictional characters. They try on voices, faces, postures and ideas.

Parents should encourage and facilitate their playful experimentation.
 photo accordian.jpg

Learning Styles and living big
, on the Always Learning discussion
photo by Sarah Dickinson

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Rain and sunny days

 photo FootprintPollyGriffiths.jpg"If it's raining, focusing on what you can do instead of the walk you wanted doesn't make it a sunny day! But it does make a day of rain more pleasant."
—Joyce Fetteroll

photo by Polly Griffiths, of an accidental pattern

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Unschooling should be...

Unschooling should be about peaceful, supportive relationships, about modelling consideration and thoughtful choicemaking, and about learning. photo Babiesandflowers018.jpg
SandraDodd.com/problems/toofar
photo by Holly Dodd

Friday, August 9, 2013

Give generously

If you want to measure, measure generously. If you want to give, give generously. If you want to unschool, or be a mindful parent, give, give, give. You'll find after a few years that you still have everything you thought you had given away, and more. photo DSC09227.jpg
SandraDodd.com/howto/precisely
photo by Sandra Dodd

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Hold on to something

 photo DSC09912.jpgInstead of requiring that my kids had to hold my hand in a parking lot, I would park near a cart and put some kids in right away, or tell them to hold on to the cart (a.k.a. "help me push", so a kid can be between me and the cart). And they didn't have to hold a hand. There weren't enough hands. I'd say "Hold on to something," and it might be my jacket, or the strap of the sling, or the backpack, or something.

I've seen other people's children run away from them in parking lots, and the parents yell and threaten. At that moment, going back to the mom seems the most dangerous option.

Make yourself your child's safest place in the world, and many of your old concerns will just disappear.

The Big Book of Unschooling, page 69
photo by Sandra Dodd

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

That's all. Just that.

If I saw [unschooling] simply as a means to get them to college, I might be nervous. I see it as a way to live. I don't see it as keeping the kids out of college or hampering their opportunities for formal learning if they go that route,  photo 28Nov09003.jpgI'm not holding college up to them or me as "the goal." The goal, for me, is that they will be thoughtful, compassionate, curious, kind and joyful. That's all. That's not asking much, is it? I think if those traits are intact in them, they will continue to learn their whole lives.

SandraDodd.com/interview
photo by Julie D
Words 1998; Image 2013.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Colleen Prieto (in overtime)

Colleen Prieto took the photo on this Just Add Light and Stir: Being a Father,
which I launched just before I feel fast asleep. I thought "How nice, a combination of Frank and Colleen."

Eeep! I didn't change the default credit line.

Collen's writing is some of my recent favorite, and I hope many people will read it, now and in years to come.
Colleen Prieto

Colleen's words and photos have been properly credited before, and I hope will be properly credited in the future. Sorry. Colleen!
One with her words, and one (of several) with her photo:
Valuing Scooby-Doo
A Beautiful Mystery

Being a father

"Being a father means participating in, and belonging to, the world around me and not just sitting quietly, being an observer. I have learned from my family and blossomed within my own inner geography as much as the kids have blossomed and grown into the wide world around them. As with most kinds of growth, it's difficult to see the changes on a daily or short-term basis. It's when you look back over a longer period that you really see, and are amazed by, the amount of growth that has happened."
—Frank Maier
 photo IMG_1237.jpg

SandraDodd.com/dads
(I took an "also" out of the first phrase.)
photo by Colleen Prieto (sorry for earlier error)

Monday, August 5, 2013

A bigger payoff

Pam Sorooshian wrote:

Think about what is REALLY important and keep that always in the forefront of your interactions with your children. What values do you hope to pass on to them? You can't "pass on" something you don't exemplify yourself.
 photo DSC00066.jpg
Treat them the way you want them to treat others. Do you want respect? Be respectful. Do you want responsibility from them? Be responsible. Think of how you look to them, from their perspective. Do you order them around? Is that respectful? Do you say, "I'll be just a minute" and then take 20 more minutes talking to a friend while the children wait? Is that responsible?

Focus more on your own behavior than on theirs. It'll pay off bigger.
—Pam Sorooshian

SandraDodd.com/pam/howto
photo by Sandra Dodd

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Do more.

If you don't feel like you're doing enough, do more.

Karen James remembered me writing that, and a few years later she repeated it to another mom, with a nice addition: "Do more. Have fun. In my experience, it's truly contagious!"
 photo DSC00025.jpg

SandraDodd.com/howto/precisely
photo by Sandra Dodd

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Right and true

 photo P3170434.jpgLive your life in such a way that other people will trust you. When you make decisions, make generous, selfless decisions so that others benefit. When you say something, do your best to say what is fair and right and true. When you write, write things you don't mind people taking out and sharing.

A person is only trustworthy if he has earned trust, if he is worthy of being trusted.

SandraDodd.com/alwayslearning/benefit
photo by Marty Dodd

Friday, August 2, 2013

Compass

"Compass rose" is a beautiful term for directions set in tile, or stone, or metal,  photo DSC09962.jpgor painted... It's a symbol for knowing what's what and where's where—where the viewer is, in relation to the rest of the world.

The word "encompass," meaning to surround and enclose, can be a soothing concept, for parents and families.

Within that compass, there are options. As children grow, the size of the encompassing circle expands.

SandraDodd.com/wordswords
photo by Sandra Dodd

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Fascinating

"One dark spooky night not so long ago, under a full moon and while the wind howled....my 5-year-old developed a fascination for monsters."
—Amy Kagey
 photo IMG_0614.jpg
SandraDodd.com/t/monstermania
and one monster leads to another...
photo by Colleen Prieto
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