Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Lively ideas; living language

Without becoming too critical or cynical, maybe consider, with your children sometimes, changes in knowledge (the platypus, Mars, Pluto, leeches, volcanic activity and virgin sacrifice compared to global warming's medicine men; anything smaller than an atom?), or geography ("Four Corners" has been in the wrong place all these years; the U.S.S.R. is still on maps in some public places) or spellings ("plough" or "plow"? wooly or woolly?).

Play lightly with these ideas. There's no advantage to getting huffy or angry about it. Just see it as the reality it is. People learn. People change their minds. Knowledge grows. Evidence is reclassified. Language is alive. People who are alive are changing and learning. You can resist that or you can ride it with gusto.

photo by Sarah S.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Moments to years

"As we get older and our kids grow up, we eventually come to realize that all the big things in our lives are really the direct result of how we've handled all the little things."

Pam Sorooshian
photo by Jihong Tang

Monday, January 17, 2022

Eye contact and communication

Non-verbal communication doesn't get enough credit. I used to be one of the people who thought babies couldn't communicate, or that pets couldn't, until I got older, had a baby, and started paying better attention to different ways to communicate.

Perhaps these animals wanted food, or were curious about visitors. Sometimes my cat wants food, or to be scratched or picked up, or put down, or let in, or let out.

Sometimes a child doesn't know what she wants, but she feels uncomfortable. If she looks at you, see if you can tell without asking what it is she might be thinking. I have tried things like offering food or water, singing, getting up and watering plants, or picking up toys, to see if she wants to help (or watch, in the case of pre-mobile children).

Too often, I talked. I began to see that my questions or verbal guesses weren't always the best responses.
photo by Ester Siroky

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Cocooning at home

Some children have seasons of wanting to cocoon at home (some adults, too). Sometimes an unschooled child will go through a year or two of not wanting to go out. And some, as Connie describes so well above, are inclined to be inward-looking.

I think in Howard Gardner's intelligence theory, this might perhaps involve more intrapersonal intelligence than average. But there are artists and writers who prefer a great deal of time alone, too.   And even among those with kinesthetic intelligence, there are some who prefer hiking, climbing or skiing. There are those who practice sleight-of-hand and juggling for many hours alone. There are musicians who play a thousand hours in private for every hour they might share with others.

When such children are in school, they find ways to make themselves invisible if they can. The advantages of being home are abundant for those with such inclinations.

Time for Solitude
photo by Gail Higgins

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Relax back into learning

The way kids learn openly and honestly from the world around them can be hampered if parents have not deschooled well. If parents are still attached to school or schoolishness, if parents have prejudices or places they don't want to examine, they can't be as good at unschooling as parents who relax back into learning.

I've seen many families succeed, I've seen some wander off because it's not easy, and I've seen some fail.

I'm sorry the links didn't work, in the e-mails.
They should here, now.

Deschooling is the best next stop
though the quote came from a rougher place
photo by Colleen Prieto

Friday, January 14, 2022

Empty your cup

Sandy Lubert, from a presentation she gave:

As we deschool ourselves, we must empty our cups of all the preconceived ideas, concepts, expectations and methods that prevent us from embracing unschooling. This seems like a simple thing to do, but it can be quite difficult in practice. At first we think we have emptied our cups but as we drink, we often detect a residual, schooly taste. And sometimes, even a little residue can curdle the whole pot of tea. So, it’s important to have a "clean receptacle," as it were, in order to taste the true essence of unschooling life.

—Sandy Lubert

Sandy Lubert on Unschooling and deschooling, and changes...
photo by Sandra Dodd

Thursday, January 13, 2022

One easy step

Thinking of "better choices" instead of "RIGHT choices" is an easy step to a world of other easy steps.

Make the Better Choice
photo by Jen Keefe