|Look for joy inside and outside of you.|
photo by Sandra Dodd
|When you learn to give, it starts to flow, and the others around you are soft and giving and a family can generate a lot of joy!|
|Ice is a good bathtub toy. Some people suggested freezing a little toy inside ice, like in a popsicle mold. Just ice can be fun, frozen in a bundt pan or some kind of mold. Jello molds (large or small)—we have a copper fish mold and a fish made of ice is a bathtub toy you don't have to clean up after. Regular ice cubes can be fun, too.|
Winter note: Icicles from outside, or snowballs, could be fun in the tub, too!
|"As an unschooling parent, one of the most fun things to do is to share things with your child that you think they might be excited about or to do things with your child that they tell you they are excited about, just like you did with them when they were little. It keeps the enthusiasm of life and learning alive!"|
Make choices that lead toward making life better. Not one big choice, a constant flow of choices every time you're going to say something or do something, all day, every day, starting now.
|Calm is calm. Not frantic, not excited, not frightened or frightening. Calm, like water that is neither frozen nor choppy.|
Calm is possessing the ability to think, to consider a situation without panic.
Calm is not perpetually on the edge of flipping out.
|Find something to smile about. |
Beginners, aim for once per day—one extra smile.
More experienced unschoolers, raise that to several a day, and then once per hour.
|Being a parent changes people but being a generous, compassionate parent is far above and beyond what happens if a parent goes with the flow of separation, cry-it-out, daycare, pre-school… and they forfeit the ability to see their children directly, and to know them intimately.|
|"Throw in lots of joy. Sprinkle in a little bubbly enthusiasm and I guess you could call that a recipe for unschooling after all.|
More to the point, you’ve got a recipe for life."
Mary Gold, 2003
|If the child is allowed to sit with mom or walk across the room, read or not read without pressure or fanfare, walk or not walk as he wishes, if his environment is kept comfortable (taking his personality, fears, needs into account when arranging his comfort) and if he has the means and encouragement and time and space to explore his ever-expanding world, he will learn.|
| If there is one thought that will help you understand unschooling and respectful parenting it is this:|
The primary goal is joyful living.
All other goals are secondary.
|All decent parents, of course, want their children to be happy. But they assume that sometimes happiness needs to be sacrificed to get something better.|
But for unschooling, peaceful parents meeting any goal must also meet the goal of living life more joyfully.
|If one thing makes you think of another thing, you form a connection between them in your mind. The more connections you have, the better access you have to cross-connections. The more things something can remind you of, the more you know about it, or are learning about it.|
|If you eliminate "have to" from your thoughts, it's like driving a nice standard transmission rather than riding in the back of a crowded bus. If you see everything as a conscious choice, suddenly you are where you have chosen to be (or you have a clear path to moving toward where you would rather be).|