Sunday, May 31, 2015

Wood

 photo DSC03070.jpgCollections can take space to store. Games, post cards, dolls, musical instruments, puppets, scarves...

Online, ideas and images can be collected and shared more easily. Following an interest can last a few minutes, a week, or many years.
SandraDodd.com/wood
photo by Sandra Dodd

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Changing sensibilities

Common sense among unschoolers is (and should be, needs to be) more particular and rarified than everyday "common sense."

Does it seem like common sense, after a few years of unschooling, that it's good to let people sleep if they don't need to be anywhere? And that the nicer you are to them, the nicer they're likely to be to you and to others? It seems like common sense to me that learning is learning regardless of the source, and that what's engaging and fun has value.
SandraDodd.com/change (though these words aren't there)
photo by Sandra Dodd

Friday, May 29, 2015

"The ice-cream principle"

 photo DSC09074.jpgI asked my 11 year old "What's the ice cream principle?" and he responded without hesitation "If you want the ice cream, get the ice cream - because you only live once."

That's a big part of the way unschooling looks in our family - and he knows that. And it's not just about ice cream, even though that's how we happen to refer to the idea.

Our son knows that if he wants something, his Dad and I will do our best to make it happen...and there's more, at the link below, by Colleen Prieto

SandraDodd.com/options
photo by Sandra Dodd

Thursday, May 28, 2015

A better place

If by "change the world" a person means "make the world better," then step #1 must be to decide right then not to make the world worse. photo LisaJonickRosePetals.jpg
SandraDodd.com/philosophy
photo by Lisa Jonick

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A lot of DOING

I think unschoolers should let their kids do what they want all day in an attentive and enriched environment. photo DSC01193.jpg The parents should be facilitators of natural learning, providing new and interesting thing for their kids to experience, being supportive of their children's interests, providing them materials and experiences with music, food, art, materials...

It's a lot of DOING, and being, and learning, for years and years.

SandraDodd.com/neglect (cheery neglect)
photo by Sandra Dodd, of Robbie Prieto's Viking ship

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Avoiding roadblocks

 photo DSC00635.jpg[While I was in La Leche League] I learned that children have within them what they need to know, and that the parent and child are a team, not adversaries. It reinforced the idea that if you are loving and gentle and patient that children want to do what you ask them to do, and that they will come to weaning, potty training, separation from mom, and all those milestones without stress and without fear if you don't scare them or stress them! Seems kind of obvious, but our culture has 1,000 roadblocks.

SandraDodd.com/calm
photo by Sandra Dodd
of a pretty wooodpile in Laurie Wolfrum's yard

Monday, May 25, 2015

Experiencing, sensing

I am so certain that learning comes from experiences and touching, hearing, seeing, smelling and tasting that in light of natural learning, books seem flat and dry. photo TidePoolMirror.jpg
(Quote is from page 148 of The Big Book of Unschooling.)
photo by Chrissy Florence

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Art about art

[In 2009...] When Holly and I got back from having seen Lady in the Water, I told Kirby and Marty "It's a fairy tale about fairy tales. It's a movie about movies."

I guess that idea was still in my head when I wrote "This is art about art. These are cartoons about cartoons" (about a Strongbad cartoon called "Japanese Cartoon").



SandraDodd.com/artaboutart
Art by Naolito; image is a link.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Brave, happy Barbie

"Parents are afraid of a plastic doll that is not real, and kids know it—but what really damages a child's self esteem and body image is a parent comparing, critiquing, complaining and dissing their own body (or someone else's body)."
—Alex Polikowsky
SandraDodd.com/barbie
photo by Robyn and Jayne Coburn

Friday, May 22, 2015

Learning to see differently

If beginners don't go through a phase in which they REALLY focus on seeing learning outside of academic formalities, they will not be able to see around academics.
SandraDodd.com/peace/newview
photo by Lisa Jonick

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Look in a new way


"There's more to unschooling than just not doing school. To make it flourish we need to look at ourselves, our relationship, the way we look at the world in a new way to clear out the thinking that's holding us back."
—Joyce Fetteroll
5/20/15 Look in a new way photo DSC02110.jpg

SandraDodd.com/lazy/kids
photo by Sandra Dodd

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Whole and attentive

 photo WindowBell.jpgBeing a good unschooling parent involves being a good person, a good parent. Unschooling can't work unless the parent is there, whole and attentive and not screwing it up.
SandraDodd.com/issues
photo by Sandra Dodd

Monday, May 18, 2015

Calm down

"If I could go back in time, I'd tell myself to calm down and worry less, not pander to anyone else's ideals and I'd trust my kid alot more."
—Lea Tapp
 photo DSC00620.jpg
SandraDodd.com/hindsight
photo by Sandra Dodd

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Talking and thinking and being

More people talk about peace than think about it. Many people are full of peaceful platitudes, and fury that others aren't "peaceful" to their specifications or fantasies.
SandraDodd.com/peace
photo by Sandra Dodd

Friday, May 15, 2015

Wisdom

Rejoice when your child surpasses you in skill, knowledge or wisdom.
Nearly a quote, from SandraDodd.com/empowerment
photo by Sandra Dodd

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Open, windows; open, doors

Be open to seeing what you see, out the window.

Be open to finding what you find, out the door.
SandraDodd.com/learning
photo by Sandra Dodd

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Life flows

Liquids flow, life flows, ideas flow, learning flows. Sometimes things don't flow smoothly, or don't flow freely, or flow where we don't want them to flow, or freeze up altogether. Parents can accept, acknowledge and appreciate flow, or they can block, knock and wreck it.
SandraDodd.com/flow
photo by Sandra Dodd

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Something different

What's "same old" to you will be different or new to visitors and children. Something you see all the time might be worth a closer look.
SandraDodd.com/wonder
photo by Sandra Dodd

Monday, May 11, 2015

Factors and etiquette

Thoughtful decision making involves considering as many factors as you can. No rule can be applied in every place and at all times. There will be special cases, and times to put courtesy and etiquette before any other considerations. photo DSC00097.jpg

SandraDodd.com/foodrules
photo by Sandra Dodd

Sunday, May 10, 2015

"Just now"

from a talk on May 9, about choices,
finding balance, and living in the present moment:
"Just right" and "just now" are things you should pay attention to.
 photo IMG_0983.jpg
SandraDodd.com/moment
photo by Holly Dodd, of bubbles in India

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Other unschooling families

 photo IMG_9707.jpgWhether in person or at a distance, online, it can be helpful to know other unschooling families. Seeing how others handle everyday or unusual situations, how they amuse themselves and comfort one another, can make it easier to understand and relax.
SandraDodd.com/friend
photo by Rippy Dusseldorp

Friday, May 8, 2015

Variable speeds

Time is fast, time is slow. A moment can seem like an hour, or a day can pass in a blink. Joy can make time flow smoothly. Make the best of most of your moments. photo DSC01481.jpg
SandraDodd.com/time
photo by Sandra Dodd

Thursday, May 7, 2015

More positive, more nurturing

Commentary on it being bad advice for a stranger to say "follow your heart":
 photo DSC00775.jpg
Making a "feeling" decision can not only bring down the family and bring down the child's opportunities, but it doesn't help the parent to lay out their own wounds to dry.

Logic is good.

So if a parent knows that she wants to be kinder, gentler, more positive, more nurturing, there are things that she can do—little changes she can make and decisions she can make that lead her toward that. And "follow your heart" is not a good one.



Unschooling Support: Extras with Sandra Dodd
photo by Sandra Dodd

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Ways to support interests

Where some parents might brush off the very idea of pursuing a certain interest, unschooling parents will really try to find ways to support it, even if we can't jump in full-on right away.
—Pam Sorooshian
 photo DSC01477.jpg
SandraDodd.com/yesagain has examples
photo by Sandra Dodd

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Following a trail

Learning, collections, connections and humor can all meet when an interest is followed. This one I picked up from Marty's childhood interest in Leonardo Da Vinci. I bought a couple of nice t-shirts for Marty, a poster of inventions, a book, and we came to notice lots of riffs and parodies.

That "oooh, LOOK!" behavior was a large part of interacting and learning, when my kids were young. We still share images, music, movies and trivia now that they're grown.

SandraDodd.com/vitruvianman
image lifted, as one of several variants at the link above

Also applicable: To Get More Jokes

Monday, May 4, 2015

Visions and knowledge

 photo IMG_0502.jpgI didn't know how much children could learn without reading, until I immersed myself in unschooling and my children's lives.

As their reading ability unfolded and grew, I learned things I never knew as a teacher, and that I wouldn't have learned as an unschooling mom had they happened to have read “early.” Reading isn't a prerequisite for learning. Maps can be read without knowing many words. Movies, music, museums and TV can fill a person with visions, knowledge, experiences and connections regardless of whether the person reads. Animals respond to people the same way whether the person can read or not. People can draw and paint whether they can read or not. Non-readers can recite poetry, act in plays, learn lyrics, rhyme, play with words, and talk about any topic in the world at length.

SandraDodd.com/unexpected
photo by Holly Dodd, from inside an auto-rickshaw

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Being and providing

5/3/15 Being and providing photo JanineKesRope.jpgBeing the sort of parent you wish you had had, and providing an environment you would like to have had as a child, is probably the easiest and most direct way to move toward being a good unschooler.

photo by Janine Davies
words by Sandra Dodd, in a fleeting context

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Trust and faith

Trust and faith are the most powerful tools parents of teens have. Too many parents squander those trying to control toddlers and young children.  photo DSC09889.jpg
SandraDodd.com/trust
photo by Sandra Dodd

Friday, May 1, 2015

That "French poodle" voice

Even the nicest of words can be ruined if they're spoken in a condescending, treacly way. It's not bad for infants, and it's great for French poodles. It's that talking-to-a-French-poodle voice, and the thoughts that go with it, that should be avoided when parents are talking to their children.
SandraDodd.com/tone
photo by Sandra Dodd

Note about treacle: In the UK they make a small pie called "treacle tart." It's like pecan pie without any pecans. Sounds like "tree," not "tray." Needs pecans. Just sayin'...

Note about the photo: Nothing to do with the quote; one of our catalpa trees blooming, a different year. Click it for more info.

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