Sunday, July 12, 2020

You don't need to break your bad habits

Leave the old habit to wither. Don't try to break it. Move to making better choices so that what you used to do and used to think will be left in the "choices I don't consider anymore" category.
photo by Sandra Dodd

Saturday, July 11, 2020

They learned and learned

Caren Knox wrote:

I undertook learning how to be a good unschooling mom, and in that learning, experienced some
of the most powerful personal growth and healing I’d ever seen in myself. I learned how to be vulnerable with and genuinely present for my guys.

They learned - and learned and learned, without having to be subject to someone else’s imposed timeline of when to learn what, without being limited to staying in a building 6-7 hours a day, five days a week, without having to pretend to learn something to pass a test, without having their grades determine their path. They freely explored their interests, utilized their own strengths and perspectives, and learned, and, as adults, continue to learn.
—Caren Knox

Original, on facebook
photo by Ester Siroky

Friday, July 10, 2020

Kids are people

Except in the few obvious ways, I don't treat my children in a lesser way than I treat my husband. It has been crucial to our interactions as an unschooling family that the kids were people first, and kids only incidentally and temporarily.

That was written nearly 20 years ago,when Always Learning was new
Now they're adults, so it was true! They were only temporarily children.
photo by Elise Lauterbach

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Helping relationships

can help relationships
in all kinds of ways.

Broken relationships
can harm unschooling
in all kinds of ways.

Benefits of Unschooling when the Teen Years Arrive
photo by Daniel Moyer Artisan

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Gradually and sensibly

It's a Very Bad Idea to "start unschooling" before you know what you're doing. The more rules a family had, the more gradually and sensibly they need to move toward saying yes.
The happy ideas to go with that are at Gradual Change.
photo by Janine Davies

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

The best of bad dreams

I went to school for 15 years straight, and most summer sessions from 8th grade through university.

Beginning in the 4th grade, I had a nightmare the night before the first day of school every single time, and I came to count on it as a checklist. The first few were small and kind of standard, like I got off the bus in only my slip, or I had my house shoes on, or I didn't know whose class I was supposed to be in.

Over the years these dreams blossomed into extravaganzas of mishap, and they were always so real I'd wake up in a panic thinking I'd gotten off to such a horrible start the whole year would be a total disaster. Then I'd realize the whole year was still ahead of me and I'd get out of bed and do all the things right that had gone wrong in the dream.

The night before my first day as a classroom teacher I dreamed I didn't have a grade book or a pen. Next day I did. That one, my first checklist dream as an employed adult, made me start to wish for more.

I wrote all of that in the early 1980s, before I had children. Checklist dreams have continued, or stress dreams where I had lost a child's shoes, or had forgotten to order a cake, or didn't have gas in the car.

If you can make checklists out of fears, worries, and stress dreams, and your life is better because you think "Well I won't let THAT happen," what a gift!
Use happy advantages wherever you can find them.

Disposable Checklists for Unschoolers
photo by Sandra Dodd

[P.S. for those who are good with numbers, and didn't like "15 years": I didn't go to kindergarten, and graduated from public school a year early. Four years of university, graduated in May 1974, turned 21 that summer. Then I taught for six years. I was quickly learning about learning!]

Monday, July 6, 2020

Warm food

Offering a child food instead of waiting for him to ask has been frowned upon by some people as being pressure. I think that's wrong.

Asking for cold pantry-food, or needing to ask someone to cook something isn't nearly as good as smelling food cooking, or seeing nicely-arranged food that's immediately available if you want it.
The Full Plate Club
photo by Jen Keefe


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