Saturday, March 17, 2018

How will you be?

How will you be, as a parent, and why? What's keeping you from being the way you want to be?
photo by Bea Mantovani

Friday, March 16, 2018


"Create a rich environment.
Support and feed their interests.
Connect with them."

That is what Joyce Fetteroll said my whole site could have said—one page, simple—if natural learning were easy to trust.

Read the rest:
photo by Karen James

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Playing that game

A parent with a child who loves a video game should look at what is wonderful about that. He is physically able to operate the controller or whatever it is (keyboard, wii, touch screen). He is bright enough to figure out at least part of a game that has aspects that would challenge any player. He has found something that sparks his joy or curiosity. He is playing that game, rather than doing something sad or destructive or negative.
photo by Karen James

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


Beatiful moments of stillness and calm are around us all the time. Sometimes we notice.
Look Quietly
photo by Annie Regan, who wrote "Possibly my favourite spot in the whole world.
Cradle Mountain, Tasmania, just on sunrise in this photo"

Tuesday, March 13, 2018


"Radical" means from the center, from the source, outward.

From the roots to the tips
from the roots of hair to the tips
or the roots of a tree to the end of each leaf
or from the roots of a belief to the end of each action.
photo by Ester Siroky

Monday, March 12, 2018

Be nice, often

Be as nice to your child as you can be, as often as you can be.
Partnerships and Teams in the Family
photo by Amber Ivey

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Conscious and continuous

Have a conscious, continuous and mindful partnership with your child.
photo by Cátia Maciel

Saturday, March 10, 2018

The universe in a drop of water

Universe-in-a-Drop-of-Water Method:

Can one intense interest come to represent or lead to all others? A mom once complained that her son was interested in nothing but World War II. There are college professors and historians who are interested in nothing but World War II. It can become a life’s work. But even a passing interest can touch just about everything—geography, politics, the history and current events of Europe and parts of the Pacific, social history of the 20th century in the United States, military technology, tactics, recruitment and propaganda, poster art/production/distribution, advances in communications, transport of troops and food and supplies, espionage, prejudices, interment camps, segregation, patriotism, music, uniforms, insignia, religion....

from "Disposable Checklists for Unschoolers"
photo by Gail Higgins

Friday, March 9, 2018

Worth the work

Pam Sorooshian, in 2007:

I never "got it" about chores until it was really almost too late. My own issues about housework, etc., kept me from being able to embrace whole-heartedly the idea that any kid would ever actually step up and help out without it being required.

I see a HUGE difference, now, though, since I stopped demanding housework a few years ago.
. . . .
What I regret is that I didn't figure out ways to do stuff like this when the kids were younger. I wish I'd made housework entirely optional, but then made it enticing for them to do it with me or with each other, so that they'd have still helped out, but without the tone of it being demanded. These days, when one of my daughters and I wash dishes together, it is fun, because they really know that they have a choice, that I won't be annoyed if they turn me down, so no resentment on their part. Very very worth the extra work I had and often still have to do.
—Pam Sorooshian
photo by Janine Davies

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Some of all

School calls a small sliver of the world "all", and we call all of life's learning "some".
photo by Janine Davies

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Laughter and joy

Cass Kotrba wrote:
"It is your responsibility to keep your children safe but that doesn't mean you are a prison guard. Lighten up and try to be fun! Try to think of fun ways to break things up when or before tensions start to rise. Find things to laugh together about. Watch comedies. Find out what your kids think is funny and laugh with them. Let the sound of their laughter resonate deep down into your soul. Find the joy and fuel it."
—Cass Kotrba
photo by Rippy Dusseldorp

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Longterm safety and happiness

"I can spend my energy on limiting my child's world so that he will be safe and happy or I can spend my energy on helping my child learn the skills to navigate our world himself so that he will be safe and happy. I think the latter has a better chance of success in the long term."
—Eva Witsel
photo by Cátia Maciel

Monday, March 5, 2018

Your unique kids

It helps unschooling and mindful parenting to be aware of your kids and their unique needs rather than treating them as generic kids with all the worst possible traits.
—Joyce Fetteroll
photo by Karen James

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Open and supportive

Three sentences pulled from longer writing by Joyce Fetteroll:

Mom can hold strong beliefs AND open the world to her kids so they feel free and supported in deciding what's right for them—even if it's counter to what mom believes.

*What* that belief is doesn't matter. The belief could be war is evil. The belief could be school is bad. Let's say you believe school is toxic. Many people here would agree with you....

Don't stack the deck so that your beliefs drown out anything else they might want to explore.
—Joyce Fetteroll

What's above is slightly misquoted, but the meaning is the same.
Go to to see what I changed, and those words in context.
Similar title: Open and sensible
photo by Janine Davies

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Oops. Sorry.

I missed a proper post, because Weird Al and Lin-Manuel Miranda were on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, because Weird Al has done a Hamilton polka medley. When Keith told me to turn it on and watch it, my TV hardly worked, so after it was over I looked into ordering another (cheap table-top flat-screen with DVD player). Then I cleaned the kitchen a bit and consolidated the dregs of four gallons of glue for Devyn's slime laboratory, so I ordered more glue, too. Midnight passed.

As consolation for something actually inspiring, here are things relating to my evening's excitement.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Happy and humming

The parents don't need to know what the child is learning in order for learning to be happening.

If a child is bored and agitated, she's not learning. If she's happy and smiling and humming and engaged with what she's thinking, seeing, hearing, tasting, touching or smelling, then she's learning.

Sandra Dodd, on the Always Learning discussion September 2012
photo by Sandra Dodd

This is a re-run from December 28, 2012.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Find the fun

Find the fun and see the beauty.
photo by Cathy Koetsier
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