|If parents retain ownership of their children's learning, the children cannot learn on their own.|
photo by Sandra Dodd
|Parents get pretty good at noticing when a child is tired, hungry or frustrated. It's important to see those things in yourself. Keep your family safe from your more dangerous moods and states. If you're too hungry or too tired to be kind and safe, ask for help. Or admit you're feeling stressed, and be more careful. Don't use your mood as an excuse to be harsh or dangerous. Learn to do what you need to do to stay in a workable, safe zone.|
|We left the house and headed to the subway, (we live in Manhattan). On the way there, Logan spotted a number of street signs. He commented on their shapes and colors, he gets very excited by this. We got to the subway, and he said we were taking the "A" train, so we sang the song together. At 14th Street there is an elevator to get out of the subway, so he talked about going up and down. We were headed downtown to a really fun water playground. He had a blast playing in the water, filling up a cup and spilling it out. He also practiced his climbing to get to the big curly slide. Logan also got to socialize with lots of kids of many different ages. Sometimes that takes some negotiating...he's learning. After a few hours we headed back home.|
When we got off of the train, Logan wanted to go to Central Park, which we call our back yard. There is a small lake near us, and he loves to look at the ducks. We watched the ducks; he counted sticks and threw them in the water, looked at trees, flowers and squirrels. Sometimes we see Raccoons too. As an added bonus, there was a troop of actors performing Shakespeare. There was sword fighting, so Logan wanted to watch the show.
—Meryl, Logan's mom
|"For unschooling to flourish it means taking out our fears and examining them. It means looking at unschooled children to find out what really happens rather than what seems like would happen (from knowledge of schooled, controlled kids). It means shutting off the expert voices that tell parents what they should be seeing and looking at our real kids."|
|Amy: Here is Sandra Dodd with a simple definition of unschooling.|
Sandra Dodd: Creating an environment where natural learning can flourish.
Amy: What’s natural learning?
Sandra Dodd: Learning from experience, learning from asking questions, following interests, being.
|Ultimately, "better" and "good" will be seen in retrospect, or in realizations that things are WAY better than they used to be. That "better" is between children and parents, and happens when it happens, not because of anything anyone here says or thinks.|
|There is probably not an idea about how to be with kids that you have that we haven't seen and turned over. (Sounds a bit snooty!) What I mean is, that 1000's of people have wandered by us with the ideas they have. We've held them up for examination to see "Is this respectful? How does this help a child? How does this hurt a child? Is there a better way that will nurture him *and* help him?"|
|To understand what Unschooling is, it helps to understand what it is not. It can also help to see some of the best examples. |
. . . .
Explore! Decide you want to learn, go forth and soak it in, sort it through, spread it around to dry.
|Good people make better parents. Better parents make better unschoolers. If some of your transitional energy is spent being a better person, your child's working model of the universe, which only he or she can build, will have a better foundation. It will be built in a better neighborhood, with cleaner air and purer water.|
|"I was a picture framer for ten years before we moved to the US. I loved that job. I got to frame so many objects, including a snowboard, a wedding dress and a gun from the US civil war—first time I had ever held any of those items in my hands. I got to handle and look up close on many wonderful works of art, and hear so many stories about why different things were meaningful to different people. Children's art was some of my favourite to frame."|
|"Be precise in the words you use to describe those you love, aim to support and care for. Be as generous as you can too. The clearer you see your child, the better you can respond to their needs. The better you learn to listen to them, see them, and be of useful service to them, the more they will have confidence in your ability to have their best interest in mind."|
|Integrity is a strong wholeness. The fabric of the being of a thing can't be broken. A bucket with one hole in it is lacking integrity. It's not a good bucket. A frayed rope lacks integrity. No matter how long or strong the rest of the rope is, that frayed part keeps it from being a good rope.|
| We always have ice cream in the freezer—he rarely eats it, but an apple or watermelon will be gone in no time.|
A mom named Kris wrote that ten years ago, of a child who is probably grown now.
|In an attempt to "be fair," parents can be very UNfair. Children don't all need the same things for the same amount of time. Measuring with rulers and timers and charts is often shortchanging one child or another. What they could use more than that is the opportunity to decide when they're finished for their own reasons.|