Wednesday, February 19, 2020

All that verbal stuff...

Pam Sorooshian, on writing:

Good conversation is really writing development. Sometimes I see parents who kind of shush their kids or get obviously bored when their kids are telling them a rather long drawn-out story (like retelling a movie plot). But retelling a tv or movie plot or telling everything that happened, in order, in a video game are really great for writing. In fact, all that verbal stuff—conversation, summarizing movies, persuading or arguing, playing games, etc.—is MUCH better for developing good writing than practicing writing in the artificial ways that schools do it.
—Pam Sorooshian

Other Just Add Light and Stir posts about writing
photo by Belinda Dutch

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Remember "partnership"

Being patient and compassionate with a child who is sad or hungry or tired or maybe teething or frustrated with his friends is good. Feeling good makes you calmer and more confident. It will give you stores of calm and clarity so that you can remember that your spouse might be sad or hungry or tired, maybe aging, aching, or frustrated with his co-workers and friends.

If you have come to feel adversarial in any way toward your partner, remember "partnership." Help him or her follow interests or hobbies or to take care of collections, or to see a favorite TV show. Support his interests. Being nicer makes you a nicer person.
photo by Joyce Fetteroll

Sunday, February 16, 2020

The horizon and beyond

"What you're dealing with is a very well-meaning person who is convinced the world is flat and is worried that you're so clueless that you want to head off across the horizon. It's a lot healthier and more useful to listen to the people who've been across the horizon than to the person who fears it." —Joyce Fetteroll

The Big Book of Unschooling
(The quote is not from there, but the quote and image both remind me of it.)
photo by Renee Cabatic

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Better, kinder, stronger

Robyn Coburn wrote:

"Everyone who is unschooling is on a daily journey of making choices based on unschooling principles that move them either towards or away from unschooling, towards or away from better, kinder, stronger relationships with their children. Life impacts us, emotionally and practically. Some days I think I was more fully connected to my daughter than others. But she is happy and fulfilled, and not hungry in any negative connotation of that word."
—Robyn Coburn

What Problems can Come?
photo by Cass Kotrba

Friday, February 14, 2020

A little separate time

The more people one's children know and trust, the easier it will be for the parents to find some separate time, but I don't think time apart should be a high priority.
photo by Janine Davies

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Approaching solidity

There is a danger when someone's own understanding and practice of unschooling is shaky, and she wants the approval of others more than the solid joyful everyday life of her family. I've seen a few of those.

Another problem comes when someone's reasons for unschooling are not about learning and family relationships, but about being way cool and out there, and cutting edge, and anti-this'n'that. But that sets the stage for lots of problems in insecure people, when they want to glom onto something that's wild and new and shocking.

Unschooling is...
photo by Alex Polikowsky

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Voices in your head

In your head, you have some repeating-loop messages. Some are telling you you're doing a good job, but I bet some of them are not. Some are telling you that you have no choice, but you do.
"Past Voices" is one good follow-up,
or Phrases to Hear and Avoid
Scanner image by Sandra Dodd (it's a link)

Tuesday, February 11, 2020


Reflections are beautiful to see—in still water, in windows, or mirrors.

If there are waves on the water, or leaves, or plants, or ice, the reflections might not be as clear. If a glass surface is wavy, or curved, or broken, the reflection will be distorted. Sometimes that's fun.

houses reflected in water in Luxembourg by Orion Larson

People "reflect on things," cognitively, mentally. The plainer one's mind and thoughts are, the easier it will be to reflect.

Looking back
photo by Orion Larson

Monday, February 10, 2020

Beauty and hope

Find beauty and hope wherever it can be found. Say and think sweet things about your children. If people can be positive and sweet, it doesn't matter so much where they do it. Being better is better.
Deposit the good stuff.
photo by Jo Isaac

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Joyful, fearless moment

Right now, it's much more important to live in the moment with your kids, absorb information about who they are and what they like, and present options with joy and free of fear, than to focus on what this will look like when they're grown, or next year, or even next week. Fear and worry transmit to them.

It helped me to remind myself when they were choosing lots and lots of sweets or cakes and I was still afraid it would harm them physically (it never did), that a belly ache is far easier to mend than broken trust.
—Jessica Hughes
photo by Tara Joe Farrell

Friday, February 7, 2020


Do your best to do your best.

You won't regret making more positive choices. on my site
"Better" on Just Add Light and Stir
photo by Renee Cabatic

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Like fluff, like play

"Compared to school, with unschooling what you see on the outside looks inconsequential to what they'll be doing as adults. It looks like fluff. It looks like play. But as long as they're in a rich environment with parents who are curious about and engaged with life themselves, when kids explore what interests them, they pull in what is important to their right-now selves and create the foundation for their future selves."
—Joyce Fetteroll
uphill path through grass in Scotland
photo by Sandra Dodd

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Hot and cold

Life moves and swirls with cause and effect, from snow to the visits of relatives to what's on sale at the grocery store. It's easy to wish for things to be different, but the best move is to find the benefit and beauty in what the day brings. If grapes are inexpensive today, you might not even be able to find any next week. Icicles are famously temporary. Your own smile can lift another's face. If you sing a song, it will remind someone of another song.
photo by Cass Kotrba

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Enjoyment, joy and health

Peace and calm are really good things all in and of themselves.

Enjoyment/JOY is better for health than all the "health rules" in the world.
photo by Belinda Dutch

Monday, February 3, 2020


I think "grow up" can be shortened to "grow" and then we don't ever have to stop.
photo by Vlad Gurdiga

Sunday, February 2, 2020

What does it take?

Read a little, try a little, wait a while, watch.

We cannot inject unschooling into anyone. Unschooling is not accomplished by joining an unschooling discussion. It takes time, gradual and increased understanding, effort, desire, attention, change.
photo by Linda Malchor

Saturday, February 1, 2020

A few cool things

Knowledge only comes incrementally. Ditto experience.

Do a few cool things today. Build on that tomorrow.
photo by Sarah Elizabeth


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