Find delight in small, everyday things.
photo by Sandra Dodd
|Learn to be content with your own puzzlement, and to nurture the puzzlement around you. It's okay not to have all the answers, but to let the questions confuse you for a while as you move in new directions. |
If you interrupt them while they're playing Rock Band or drawing or spinning on a tire swing, you might be disturbing a profound experience. So interrupt gently, when you must. Treat them with the respect you would treat anyone who might be in the midst of a transcendental moment.
For the record, this happened in the stacks by the north wall of what was then called the Wyoming Branch library, behind Hoffmantown Center, in Albuquerque. It was surrounded by rose gardens. Now it has been renamed the Tony Hillerman Library, but in 1987, it wasn't called that.
"Just Add Light and Stir" is my favorite blog. My "Thinking Sticks" blog is my second favorite. It has examples of the kinds of connections and trails and explorations that I hope unschoolers will come to find in their own lives.
It has half of its original candy. Reese's and Hershey's miniatures. Everyone here likes that stuff, but it could last a long time more, because nobody here is "needing" that stuff. Not craving it. It's just candy.
|"I suspect that any time a parent new to unschooling starts thinking 'This isn't working' it is because they are holding on to an expectation.|
"Expectations can get in the way of seeing what is really happening."
|Don't aim for 50/50.|
If 50% is right, then 49% is wrong, and 65% would be something get angry about.
If you both aim for more than half, you'll meet around the middle, around half the time. If you want the other person to stick around, "around" is the goal.
|In response to a question about commitment...|
My best recommendation is to create and maintain such a rich and joyful unschooling life that the child won't want to go to school. That's the direction "commitment to unschooling" should take.
We recently took Fisher to a Blue Man Group concert—his first real "grown-up" show. Again, I could see all the connections being made—he watched how the instruments were being played, listened to how the sounds and the rhythms came together, jumped and bopped his head and let it all come together inside of him. His knowledge and awareness of music is growing deep and wide—it's not about "the basics," but about a gestalt, a holistic, systemic approach.
When you ask what component you are missing, this is what I keep coming up with. Are you looking in the wrong places? Are you looking for the basics when in fact, your son's knowledge and understanding is deep and wide and whole? What you see as "basic" are just a few Lego pieces that he'll fill in as he goes—but in looking for those, are you missing the incredibly large, whole creation that he's built up?
| "I want for my kids to grow up and hear that mommy voice in their head saying positive supportive things—not tearing them down, but encouraging them."|
|"Children have to be taught to self-regulate." That "rule" is parroted by non-thinking parents with great regularity. It can be replaced with "I would like to help my child make thoughtful choices."|
If you think of controlling yourself, and of your children controlling themselves, it's still about control. If people live by principles their choices come easily.
"Being an unschooling parent means finding something you *can* like in what your kids do. It means finding a way to support them, lovingly. It's a shift away from 'eww' to 'ahh!'"
If you can allow yourself to relax into wonder, your children will have a wonderful mom.
|"I was looking at the photos on my phone tonight and found this (Jack must have taken it, hence the angle). It is Charlie (3) eating an apple in front of the telly right beside of a full pot of sweets. I thought it was a rather lovely illustration of the choices kids make when they have them, and I thought of you because they never would have had that choice without all your writing."|
It's not like moving to another planet. You'll still have the same house, same car, same phone number, you'll still be sitting in the same chair. It will just be different. And everytime I've ever said that to anyone, they seemed somewhere between totally relieved and shocked. . . . .
They were flipping out. They were really spinning out, off the planet. Like, "Where will we be? What will happen? How will we ever get back?"
Back to where? You're in your own house.
|Flow is learning to go fast in a calm way. Flow is clarity while in motion. The opposite of flow might be "stuckness"—being immobilized while thoughts and fears swoop and swirl inside you. Flow is a state of being that unschoolers can reach, in which they are no longer laboring to make conscious decisions about how to encourage learning and to maintain peace and joy. It might only last a few moments at a time, but it will be enough.|