|"When I stumbled across unschooling I grabbed hold. I read and I tried things and I moved further away from the childhood I had known to the parenthood I wanted to know."|
photo by Sandra Dodd
|"It is a matter of choice. You choose to serve others, to see it as a divine gift and to be filled with joy, awe and magic. You could also see it as a simple unpaid chore and feel miserable and make everyone miserable. The act is the same; the attitude is different and so the atmosphere you create is different."|
|Here's the big idea: If children are allowed to turn foods down, they're not forced to eat, and they're given choices, they will come to choose good foods, know when they're hungry and when they're not, and actually learn to listen to their bodies and know what they need.|
|"Life can never be perfect, but mothers have the power to make it a little better, a little better, and a little better."|
La vida no puede ser perfecta, pero las mamas tienen el poder de hacerlo un poco mejor, un poco mejor...
—translated by Yvonne Laborda
|Change takes time. Don't send the bill. Don't "be nice" for two months and then say "I was nice and you weren't any nicer to me!" Be nice because being nice is better than not being nice. Do it for yourself and your children.|
|"Don't become emotionally invested in your child's choices. If you want to invest your emotions, invest them in creating an atmosphere where kids feel supported in trying what appeals to them AND turning down what doesn't."|
|Homeschoolers think a lot about learning—but they often focus on learning to read, write, do math, or learning science or history, etc. |
Unschoolers tend to take that kind of learning for granted, it happens along the way. Instead, as we get more and more into unschooling, we tend to focus on things like kindness and creativity and honesty—all those character traits that will determine "how" their learning will be used in their lives.
|In a world of choices, every choice that moves one toward positivity (hope, optimism, joy, sweetness, peace) and away from negativity (cynicism, anger, disdain, dismay, pessimism) is a solid step toward "better" (IF the person wants to be more positive). |
In a world of partnership, when one partner is more positive, the partnership is more positive.
In a home with a mother, when the mother is more positive, the family's life is more positive.
|I hope I have instilled a sense of abundance, not moderation, in my 11 year old. I hope he will love, enjoy, think, create, eat, sing, play, read, watch, go, see, and do in whatever amount or volume makes him smile. I hope he will never look at an opportunity, or a person, or a cookie, and think "I'd really like to do that, or hang out more with him, or try that" and then stop himself because his goal is moderation rather than happiness.|
B: board games, books, books on tape, bike riding, baby-sitting, balloon animals, Brain Quest, basketball, baking, building, beading, braiding, bubbles, Boy Scouts, baseball, bird watching, bowling, blocks, building toys, bugs
Learning depends on the perspectives and experiences of the individual. That's the heart of unschooling—that learning isn't something you can control from the outside.
What you can do "from the outside" is to work to improve another person's experience. You can be kinder and sweeter and more helpful. You can make his or her life easier. When life is easier, learning is bigger, broader, more expansive. There's no magic to that! When you aren't focused on meeting basic needs, you can explore more complex needs. When you aren't hungry, you can focus on things more interesting than hunger. When you aren't arguing with someone about what you "should" eat, you can explore the far more interesting questions of what appeals to you and why, and in what combinations.—Meredith Novak
|"Learning flows when needs are met, connections are strong, and kids can absolutely trust their parents, and know their parents are there for them. Some of the core values of natural learning are trust, support, joy, and freedom. You are putting up scaffolding for years and years of learning by the choices you make now."|
|Pattern tiles, magnets, puzzles, kits and other such fiddlin'-around stuff are good for children and adults both. They create opportunities for parents and children to interact in wordless or talkative ways, as suits the moment.|
(Or you could go play miniature golf.)
|If you feel you should be doing for your child, do more.|
If you feel you should be being with your child more, do that.
If you feel you should be doing more with school and schoolishness, back away from that. That is NOT your child.
| "[It helps to] recognize how lucky I am that I get to do this life. I know that it's not just luck, it's a lot of work and thought and reading and breathing and patience and curiosity and exploration."|