Thursday, November 14, 2019


Give your kids so much love and self-confidence that peer pressure will mean nothing to them. They will be pressure-proof.

photo by Holly Blossom

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Intense learning

I was just telling a young (22) friend the other day that my kids were always the most exhausted not after a day of physical activity, but after a day of intense learning. If they saw things they had never seen, got to do something they’d never done, met new people and played and talked, they slept like rocks. But those days might not have looked like something to write a transcript about.

Sometimes the most intense learning of all looks like play. And that is central to what makes unschooling work.

Chat with Sandra Dodd on Mommy Chats, 4/25/07
photo by Kinsey Norris

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Learning and peace

Peace and calm help learning.
Stress and pressure never help learning.

If you set your priority on learning and peace, it makes other questions easier.
Peace and calm
photo by Sandra Dodd

Monday, November 11, 2019

Information to consider

I don't care if people disagree with me. I wouldn't want anyone to agree with me blindly, nor disagree blindly.

Nothing personal to me—I just want to present information for people to consider.

That was written in the mid 1990s, in an online workshop
about detoxing oneself from schoolishness.
It is preserved here:
photo by Sandra Dodd

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Learning everything

If you think of knitting as “good for learning math” it isn’t good for knitting. 🙂

EVERYthing is good for learning everything.

Chat with Sandra Dodd on Mommy Chats, 4/25/07
photo by Ida Maria Stenild Coltau

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Compare and appreciate

When trying to decide whether unschooling is working, remember to compare it to what would be going on if your kids went to school. They’d be doing six different things (homework) not of your choosing or theirs. And you would be expected to oversee/help.

They would have been taught by school NOT to fraternize with others; they would be less likely to play together.

So don’t compare it to your imagined ideal. Compare it to other real options, and then appreciate what you have.

The big upside
photo by Sarah Dickinson

Friday, November 8, 2019

Try, discuss, explore

What makes unschooling work is that children learn by playing. Older kids too. Adults, too. People learn by playing.

People can learn without “work” and “study.” They can learn by trying, discussing, exploring.
photo by Sandra Dodd

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Real, actual unschooling

I don’t mind “radical.” I just hear it as “real” or “actual”
Radical Unschooling is...
photo by Cass Kotrba

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Your move

Sometimes I’ve said that conversations, friendships, relationships, are like a chess game. You don’t get to plan out all the moves in advance and decide the end. You get to make ONE move. Then you wait.

Because of a post called Moonrise, here,
a discussion ensued.
photo by Vicki Watkins

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Value, form and substance

My response to this (years ago):
We are going into our third year of "homeschooling." Our first year consisted of complete deschooling. The next year I fell victim to mother panic mode
If I said "I went through a year of demagnetization, and the next year all kinds of metal stuck to me," you might think I hadn't really demagnetized!

Deschooling only works when it works. Doing nothing schoolish isn't the same as actively recovering from school. Kids will get over school gradually, but there needs to be an active unschooling life taking its place as they recover. Parents get over schooling MUCH more gradually, as they were in school more and they have parental fears and responsibilities and pressures from others. So it takes more work and more time for parents to see the value of and to recognize the form and substance of natural learning.

Unschooling - some questions (2003)
photo by Ester Siroky

Monday, November 4, 2019

A small decision

How often do you make a choice?
How often do you think "I have no choice"?

How do decisions happen?
How small a decision can you make?
           to pause?
           to smile?
           to sign your name bigger and happier?
           to open your windows and your thoughts?

Considering Decisions
photo by Sandra Dodd

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Growing newness

Unschooling is a good excuse for parents to do new and interesting things.

Unschooling can make it easier for a parent to feel, and to show, enthusiasm.

When a parent enthusiastically does new and interesting things, there is value even if the child's attention and interests are elsewhere.
Newness and excitement
photo by Karen James

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Sleep it off

Sometimes you need to sleep it off. Being tired can be a sign that there was a whole lot of fun, activity, work, or learning.
Sleep when you're tired
photo by Sandra Dodd


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