Friday, May 24, 2024


Entries are literally and figuratively everywhere, past and future and in a minute.

When you see a place, a path, or think of something you could look up on the internet, you don't know exactly what will happen next, or how far you'll go. It might be just the first touch or glimpse, and you're back out again.

An entry-point at your house could be a "not interesting" to one person and a days-long rabbit-hole adventure for another. See that and accept it. Entryways to other things, people and places are coming up soon.
photo by Sandra Dodd

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Accepting help (and cake)

Deb Lewis wrote:

I always get in trouble with analogies, but I'm going to try one here. If I wanted to make a cake, and had never baked or cooked before, a cake recipe that just said "do whatever seems best to you, use your imagination" probably wouldn't be that helpful. If my friend, who always had lovely cakes (devil's food?) had given me this recipe, I would have to assume cake just didn't work for my family.

It would have been much more helpful to have an ingredients list and a plan for putting them together.

Ok, kids are not cakes, and maybe there's no ingredients list for unschooling, but I would hope, before I pour a bottle of vinegar in my batter, someone who knows about cakes would stop me. I would hope, before I add a text book or take away TV, someone who knows about unschooling would stop me.
photo (and cake) by Sandra Dodd,
when this blog was ten years old

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Fresh breeze of new thoughts

De wrote:

OH! Brainstorming ideas, treating your children like you would your spouse or friends, *OH!!*

I knew that. Now I *know* that. Or maybe I understand it with more depth. It still amazes me how a few words on a page—sometimes entirely (seemingly) unrelated—can trigger a massive door that I didn't know was there to open in my brain. It lets in the light and the fresh breeze of new thoughts.
photo by Sandra Dodd

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Slowing down

Karen James wrote:
I have spent the past three years trying to get unschooling faster. It has only been this past year, where I have slowed down, that I feel like I am really starting to get it, or at least see more clearly where I am still stuck, and work out those knots with a bit more clarity.

I quoted Karen from her comment at
"You can't test out." (2011)
photo by Hema Bharadwaj

Monday, May 20, 2024

Joyful and secure

"Learning about and applying unschooling principles has created joyful, secure relationships with my kids that I had never imagined. I feel SO lucky."
—Jill Parmer
photo of Addi, by Jill Parmer (her mom)

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Holly and the Hippie Shirt

The article's real name is "Art, Aging and Spirituality— Connections between Things and Ideas." I wrote it in early 2001, when Holly was nine years old.

I will quote the end, and usher you toward the full article:
We all are preparing for our unseen futures, and I was prepared to homeschool. I am prepared to discuss the social history of the 70's musicals Holly is frolicking with now, in a shirt I made when a brand new India print bedspread could be bought by a barefooted hippie for $4. She is surprisingly prepared, at the age of nine, to understand it.
That was written for a local homeschooling newsletter, so I apologize for the neighborhood particulars. Those from Albuquerque, or who attended the University of New Mexico, might've perked up. ***
photo by Sandra Dodd

Saturday, May 18, 2024


I don't look at the state's requirements. I look at my child's opportunities.
photo by Amy McDonough
Retrospective (more about the photo)