Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Sort it out!

 photo DSC04259.jpg"A lot of learning about unschooling is unlearning what we're sure we know about learning."
—Joyce Fetteroll
SandraDodd.com/joycefetteroll
photo by Sandra Dodd
outside a kitchen shop in Chichester
click to enlarge

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Peaceful options

 photo P3150250.jpg Our lives are peaceful, our pressures are self-inflicted and mostly optional, we’re free to visit historical sites when there are no crowds, to leave town during the week, to sleep late or have guests whenever it’s convenient for us, without regard to school’s schedule.
SandraDodd.com/why
photo by Ashlee Junker

Monday, April 28, 2014

A busy, happy swirl

I didn’t expect them to learn so much without me.

Anyone who is involved in natural learning for any length of time can find it difficult to summarize what children have learned academically, because each child’s knowledge comes from such varied sources and is fit together uniquely.

At first, though, I thought I wouldn’t miss a single thing. Then I totally missed them learning Roman numerals, which they learned from the names of a series of MegaMan video games.

I was jealous of that “MegaMan” guy, at first. I felt cheated out of the fun of seeing their eyes light up. But in thinking about that feeling, I realized that if life is a busy, happy swirl, they will learn. Learning is guaranteed. The range and content will vary, but the learning will happen.
SandraDodd.com/unexpectedarticle

Saturday, April 26, 2014

New and better

Lean, one choice at a time, one conscious thought at a time, until your choices and thoughts are solidly in the range where you want to be, and you no longer lean that other way so much.

Your new range of balance will involve better choices and options than your first attempts did.
 photo DSC09579.jpg
Sandra, from a talk on being partners
photo by Sandra Dodd

Friday, April 25, 2014

Support

 photo DSC00143.jpgSupporting someone or something requires strength and confidence.

Support is holding something up.
Support is upholding something.

Support your child. Lift him up above you.
New words, relating to older ideas: SandraDodd.com/partners/child
photo by Sandra Dodd

Thursday, April 24, 2014

If you do this well...

"Expect imagination and interest and excitement and passion."

—Mary Gold


SandraDodd.com/game/nintendogold
(Follow from Mary's "If you give a kid a Nintendo"
to Crystal's "If you give a cat a Nintendo.")

photo by Sandra Dodd, in Keith, South Australia

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Learning through experience

 photo IMG_5124.jpg "If you wait to do unschooling *after* you understand it, it's unlikely you'll ever understand it. Learning itself works through experience. Unschooling is the same way. It's largely grasped by experiencing it."
—Katherine Anderson
SandraDodd.com/readalittle
photo by Karen James

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Seriously...

If learning for fun creates more connections than "serious learning" did, I can no longer look at "serious learning" seriously. photo DSC09860.jpg
SandraDodd.com/schoolinmyhead
photo by Sandra Dodd

Monday, April 21, 2014

Already full

"I don't need to stuff him full of who I need him to be, because he's already full of who he is."

—Schuyler Waynforth
March 29, 2014
Gold Coast symposium
 photo DSC01902.jpg
SandraDodd.com/understanding
photo by Sandra Dodd of a wonga pigeon at Schuyler's
(The quote is about her son, not about a pigeon.)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Open and sensible

 photo DSC00246.jpgExploring the world (including food) needs to be done in a supported and supportive way, in an open and non-fearful way, in a sensible and sensitive way.
SandraDodd.com/food
photo by Sandra Dodd, of a chocolate Bilby in Australia
(which I bought and ate)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

See what you see

Things don't need to be colorful to be fun.

Ordinary can be colorful. Plain can be exotic.
SandraDodd.com/unschool/sparkly
photo by Sandra Dodd (click for another view)

Friday, April 18, 2014

A different place

"Your perspective will change when you've experienced new things, seen the world from a different place."
—Debbie Regan
The quote above inspired this page:
SandraDodd.com/readalittle
photo by Sandra Dodd

Thursday, April 17, 2014

To get more jokes

When I was a student I often asked why something was important to learn, but my teachers rarely had good answers.

When I was a teacher, I was asked those things too.

Then one day, the question came phrased a new and better way: "What is this GOOD for?" The answer I gave then changed my life and thinking. I said quickly "So you can get more jokes." I think we were reading a simplified Romeo and Juliet at the time. I could've gone into literature and history and fine arts, but the truth is that the best and most immediate use of most random learning is that it illuminates the world.

The more we know, the more jokes we will get.

The larger paragraph above is from:
To Get More Jokes
or
"Thinking and Learning and Bears"
by Sandra Dodd, 2007

photo by Sandra Dodd

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Something old. . .something blue

 photo DSC00029.jpgSomething old, something new,
something borrowed, something blue."
—traditional English saying about what brides should wear

"And all of this is true because it rhymes."
—Vitruvius, in The Lego Movie

Look for beauty, truth and humor. Connect the dots!
SandraDodd.com/connections
photo by Sandra Dodd

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Better, patient, kind

 photo DSC01839.jpgLearning to live better with children makes one a better person. Being patient with a child creates more patience. Being kind to a child makes one a kinder person.
SandraDodd.com/betterpartner
photo by Sandra Dodd

Monday, April 14, 2014

Good habits

"If you want to establish good habits, be gentle with your kids' feelings. Make their lives warmer and softer and easier so the habits they develop are those of warmth and joy, comfort and care."
—Meredith Novak
April 13, 2014
 photo DSC00322.jpg
You might like "Building an Unschooling Nest":SandraDodd.com/nest
photo by Sandra Dodd

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The most important word

 photo DSC09389.jpg"The most important word in unschooling is 'with'."
—Sue Patterson
April 12, 2014
More on being with: SandraDodd.com/being
photo by Sandra Dodd

Saturday, April 12, 2014

New truths

"A lot of learning about unschooling is unlearning a lot of stuff that you're sure is true about learning."
—Joyce Fetteroll
 photo DSC09573.jpg
More by Joyce about How Unschooling Works
photo by Sandra Dodd

Friday, April 11, 2014

Don't fight nature

 photo DSC00376.jpg"Unschooling involves recognizing that fighting against human nature doesn't make better people."
—Meredith Novak
SandraDodd.com/pressure
photo by Sandra Dodd

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The power to give kids choices

If children have freedom to choose, it's because the parents GIVE them that freedom, because they have the power to give it to them.

 photo DSC01509.jpgFor a parent to absolutely decide that he will never "insist" is going way too far, I think. Not only could it be, in some cases, illegal and neglectful, if the parent isn't even clear on what her duties and responsibilities are as a parent, maybe she isn't thinking clearly about other things, either.

Part of something long about If-then contracts
photo by Sandra Dodd

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Happy momentum

 photo DSC01445.jpg"One of the very important aspects of unschooling that is solely on the parents, is to create a happy learning environment. Kids don't learn nearly as well when they aren't happy. It doesn't mean that every person needs to be happy at every moment of every day, it means that things that create happy momentum should be paramount from day to day."
—Jenny Cyphers

SandraDodd.com/happy
photo by Sandra Dodd

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Count one. One. One.

If every day you help a child gently, generously, directly, personally, that's hundreds of times a year.

By the time that child is fifteen, then you will have helped him, or her, thousands of times.
 photo AnhingaRobbiePrieto.jpeg
Sandra Dodd, from a talk given in Minnesota in 2013 and Gold Coast 2014.
photo by Robbie Prieto

Monday, April 7, 2014

Crediting Karen James for photos

 photo IMG_5030.jpgBooboo on credit. Very sorry. The Japanese photo set is all by Karen James. I was too sleepy to be careful last night and didn't change the default template which says "photo by Sandra Dodd."

This is by Karen James. So are photos at
Switching words around
Safe place, time and space
Bring it
You'll know.
Acceptance (not from Japan)

There are others! If, at the top of the blog, you search for Karen James, there will be her words with other people's photos, and vice versa. Maybe one with her words and photo. :-)


photos NOT by Sandra Dodd

You can't imagine.

Being a child's partner in exploring the world is valuable in more ways than people can imagine, if they haven't done it. photo IMG_5030.jpg
SandraDodd.com/adelaide
photo by Karen James
(photo credit was wrong before; sorry)

Sunday, April 6, 2014

See it more and more

 photo DSC01508.jpgSee learning as your priority, and you will begin to see it more and more.
SandraDodd.com/cairns
photo by Sandra Dodd

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Be whole; be childlike

 photo DSC01487.jpgA movie reviewer on the Australia Broadcasting Company, giving a just so-so review of The Lego Movie, explained herself to the other reviewer by saying "My inner child was buried long ago."

Don't reject the playful, hopeful parts of you thinking that it's the mature thing to do. A person can't be whole if part of her was buried long ago.

originally here at Radical Unschooling Info on facebook
photo by Sandra Dodd

Friday, April 4, 2014

Love and coolness


Deb Lewis, about unschoolers' difficulty with parental disapproval:


"What I discovered is that the people who love *you* will love you even if they think you're crazy. Sometimes their concern is an indication of their love for you and your children. And who couldn't use more love? Helping those people feel easier about your choices, if you can, is worth the time and effort. Do what you think is right for your kids, help your parents feel easier about it, if you can. In time, your children will be so cool and smart, your parents won't have any choice but to agree you did everything right!"
—Deb Lewis

Special guest: Deb Lewis chat transcript
photo by Sandra Dodd

Sorry I slept through Just-Add-Light time yesterday.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Teenagers are...

"Teenagers are just your babies grown big."
—Schuyler Waynforth
March 29, 2014
Gold Coast symposium



SandraDodd.com/teens
photo by Sandra Dodd

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Clearly living

 photo DSC01578.jpg"It's not about being great or reaching lofty goals. If that happens—awesome! To me though, a life well lived is one where our motivation for doing what we do is clear in our own minds and hearts."
—Karen James
SandraDodd.com/happy
photo by Sandra Dodd
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