|Look for beauty in the tiniest things in the smallest moments.|
photo by Sandra Dodd
|One of the beautiful things about unschooling is it gives our kids time to really explore the things they love—to see where they might lead. And if they don't lead to a career or life-long hobby, the love of the thing, in the moment, is still a valuable experience. If you could magically know what would give your child joy, wouldn't you want to provide it? The magic is in trusting our kids to know what they want and in helping them do as much of that as we possibly can. It's not always easy or comfortable, but how do you put a price on learning and joy?|
photo by Sandra Dodd
Don't miss this fun and easy opportunity to tie different "subjects" together by using a song as a jumping off place to many different discussions. If you need ideas, name a song here and see how many suggestions you can get for it!
What's above was written in 1993. Someone named "Blue Suede Shoes," thinking it wouldn't net much. I just wrote and wrote that day, and luckily I printed it out and saved it. The link below leads to my response, commentary and a video of Elvis doing another song, that leads to another song, and... you know.
|You don't know what your children need. They won't know either, if they're never allowed to live in such a way that they will learn to pay more attention to their bodies than to a book or a menu, a calendar, a clock, or to their parents' fears and prejudices.|
|Don't think of your brain. Think of your mind and of your awareness. A little tiny brain can hold a LOT of information. A big fat one can fail to do so. It's not size, it's peace and use.|
| It's cool when something can be more than one thing. When you think of how to categorize an object, an idea, or an action, if you can give it more than one designation, it will have more "relatives"—more connections in the world.|
Art? Apple? Fruit. Food. Gift. Inspiration, memory, photo-op!
Most things are many things.
|Awareness in the way a mother touches and speaks to and thinks of her child in the next moment she is near him is the awareness that makes unschooling and peaceful parenting work.|
|I've climbed big hills (physically and metaphorically) like this for a couple of decades now. I don't look up and think "That's going to be exhausting." I look up to get a sense of where I want to go. Then I start walking. As I walk, I listen to my breathing. I watch my progress. I notice the beautiful details along the way. I look up every once in a while to celebrate how far I've come. I haven't made it to the top of every hill I've wanted to climb, but I don't let that negatively influence my next attempt.|
|One of my main principles has been that it's my job to protect the peace of each of my children in his or her own home insofar as I can. I'm not just here to protect them from outsiders, axe-murderers and boogie-men of whatever real or imagined sort, but from each other as well.|
|"Focussing on being my child's partner is helping me to place my real life children front and centre of my attention and to think deeply and respond kindly and appropriately to their particular needs in this particular moment."|
|One day, my neighbor's tree was brighter than the sky.|
Sometimes my kids are brighter than I am. The older they get, and the older I get, the more often they outshine me in many ways. I do not mind one bit.
|No one could make a website, or a book, or a library or a university with all the history you will come across in your life. Frolic! Delve. Catch it in your peripheral vision. Learn it in relation to cooking or automechanics or learning which plants came from other countries when, and why. Why were airplane plants popular with Victorian ladies and with hippies? And the Victorian ladies couldn't have called them airplane plants, so what did they call them? And why did they have them? And what does NASA think of airplane plants? They're #1 on NASA's list! But wait... that's not just history. It involves geography, home decorating, botany and the space program. Don't stop 'til you get enough.|
photo by Sandra Dodd, of root beer on the dashboard
outside Bode's in Abiquiu, New Mexico
(AB-i-cue, and BOE-deez)
It's like "just say no."
Just say no to school years and school schedules and school expectations, school habits and fears and terminology. Just say no to separating the world into important and unimportant things, into separating knowledge into math, science, history and language arts, with music, art and "PE" set in their less important little places.
Most of unschooling has to happen inside the parents. They need to spend some time sorting out what is real from what is construct, and what occurs in nature from what only occurs in school (and then in the minds of those who were told school was real life, school was a kid's fulltime job, school was more important than anything, school would keep them from being ignorant, school would make them happy and rich and right).
It's what happens after all that school stuff is banished from your life.
|Even if you obtain the coolest tools or toys unschoolers could recommend, natural learning isn't in the toys, it's in the reltionship between the adult and child—in the freedom and peace and time to explore and to think.|
|I don't want to spend my volunteer time telling people what to do. I AM willing to help people move away from needing that, and toward seeing that WHY to do things will help them figure out hundreds and thousands of whats and whens and wheres.|
We can look...
As far as I know...
|Someone wrote once |
"I really have to be vigilant on myself and try not to control."
I was amused, but responded, in part:
"Vigilant" sounds like absolutely exhausting effort. Relax. You do not "have to be vigilant." Especially not on yourself. That's you watching yourself. Way too much work. Let go of one of those selves. Relax inside the other one. Have a snooze. Don't be vigilant.
When you wake up, think. Am I glad to be here? Is this a good moment? If so, breathe and smile and touch your child gently. Be soft. Be grateful. Find abundance. Gently.