Sunday, August 31, 2014

Easy to miss

Something BIG happens when a person turns away from selfishness to service.

Something HUGE happens when a person can care about another person more than about himself.
photo by Sandra Dodd

(Thanks to Marta Pires for saving that quote,
from a recent discussion.)

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Your child and the world

"Bring the world to your children and your children to the world."
—Pam Sorooshian

How to Be a Good Unschooler
photo by Rippy Dusseldorp

Friday, August 29, 2014

Random thoughts

When one of your thoughts leads to another, it's okay if you don't know why, or where it's going to end up. Fearlessly slide from one idea to another. very old wooden cabin with porch
Thinking Sticks: Playing with Ideas
photo by Sandra Dodd

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A wonderful collection

"The unschooling environment I create at home is just a wonderful collection of the best examples I have from the past and the present."
—Rippy Dusseldorp

Deschooling... "Like what?!"
photo by Sandra Dodd, at her own house

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Fully immeasurable

Our days are full and our learning is unmeasured and immeasurable. jungly trees from below with cloudy sky above
photo by Sandra Dodd

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Relationships and Wholeness

"Intellectually, I got unschooling all the way from the very beginning. The part that took more time was relationships and wholeness. When I got THAT, that is when things started happening in the direction that made unschooling work great!"
—Jenny Cyphers
photo by Jenny Cyphers (and it's a link)

Monday, August 25, 2014

Lively abundance

Lisa J Haugen wrote:
There are very wealthy people who have no concept of abundance. There are very poor people who feel very rich indeed.
. . .
Happiness, smiles, liveliness, peace—those are things an unschooling parent can go far on, even if their budget is tight.
—Lisa J Haugen
people playing Five Crowns, a card game
photo by Karen James

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Flowing play

One of my guiding principles is that I want my children's worlds to be sparkly.

There goes the dull and the darkness. Easily not chosen, not an option.
photo by Julie D, in Leiden, at a playground
also seen here: Clearer and larger

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The path to peace

bird up in small branches

"One of the biggest shifts in my unschooling journey has been changing my focus—staying in the present, letting go of the need to have things match my expectations (or those of the school world around me), relaxing my grip on What The Future Is Going To Bring. Letting go of the need to control the results is the path to living peacefully, because it keeps me oriented to The Process, to living mindfully in the present."
—Leah Rose
photo by Sandra Dodd

Friday, August 22, 2014

Polite and confident

"Lead by example. Be polite and confident, show trust and respect to those who deserve it and your kids will do the same."
—Lyle Perry
photo by Sandra Dodd

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Bigger, wiser, more whole

Giving children choices helps create a partnership, it helps them learn, it makes them bigger, wiser, more whole.

Pulling them out or pushing them into things keeps them smaller and more powerless.
photo by Sandra Dodd

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Choices, for partners

Egyptian tree onions

When you choose to say something or to wait, think of which will be more patient, or less critical. If you decide to say something, think of two things and choose the one that is closer to the person you want to be. If you choose not to say anything, consider your posture and demeanor. Choose to be gentle, and not to express negative emotion.

Sometimes choose quiet space, but not hateful silence.

With practice, it gets easier.
photo by Sandra Dodd

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Be inviting

In response to someone saying "I pulled her out of school…", I wrote:
Being pulled out of something sounds rough, and surprising, and a tad violent.

Being invited to come home is much sweeter, and gives the child an option and some power.

(That will work for any choice you can give a child to come home,
opt out, take a break from some activity.)
photo by Rippy Dusseldorp

Monday, August 18, 2014

One peaceful choice

Lisa J Haugen wrote:

I make one peaceful choice, one bonding, relationship-building choice. Just one little choice.

Then it's easier to make the next one, and the next one, and sometimes there's wobble, but rebuilding peace and self esteem one choice, one moment at a time, is doable! When you do that you can get to really sweet, joyful, soul-warming places.
—Lisa J Haugen
photo by Sandra Dodd

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Approach perfection

Approach perfection, don't aim and fail. Be the best in the moment, but don't expect that to be "The BEST."

("Better" is a preferable goal. The quote above made sense in the chat, though.)
photo by Sandra Dodd, of Holly, in Sausalito

Friday, August 15, 2014

The big upside

pillars and rooflines, Japan

"The big upside of unschooling, in my opinion, was that it also created an unexpected peacefulness, fulfillment, and happiness for all of us."
—Jenny Cyphers
photo by Karen James

Thursday, August 14, 2014

How different...

"It's funny how different the world can look, when you're not so restricted in your thoughts."
—Kristen (new, at the bottom)
photo by Sandra Dodd

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Living and being

Live the way you want your children to be.
Be curious.
Be thoughtful.
Be patient.
Be generous.
Dusseldorp family, in a boat
(from something about virtues)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Minimum bad; Maximum good!

fruit candy, bulk, with scoop

Everything in moderation… no. Not everything. Not very many things at all. Bad things at the minimum, good things to the maximum, and hopefully not much at all sitting sadly in the in-between.
—Colleen Prieto
photo by Sandra Dodd

Monday, August 11, 2014

Where are you headed?

When you come to an intersection, how do you decide which way to go? It helps, before operating a motor vehicle with all its attendant expenses and inherent dangers, to know where you want
coin operated toy car ride for young children
to go. When you DO have a destination, then each intersection has some wrong ways, and some better and worse ways.

It's the same with unschooling. If that's where you're headed, there are some wrong ways you can avoid simply by being mindful of your intent.
Mindfulness in Unschooling
photo by Sandra Dodd

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Radical Unschooling is...

"Radical Unschooling" is unschooling fully, from the roots, from the principles, extended into all of one's life and being.

This was inspired by Family Bonding, Amy Childs interviewing me
about the benefits of radical unschooling.

Here it is with a transcript!
photo by Sandra Dodd

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Become trustworthy

Parents, in order to have their children trust them, should become trustworthy.
. . . .
Trust and respect go together. Someone who is trustworthy will be respected.
photo by Lisa Jonick

Friday, August 8, 2014

The heart and mind of the parent

Radical unschooling (and the "radical" means "from the root") is all about mindset and changing beliefs and relationships for the better. Some people approach it from letting go of "academics" first, trying to see learning in everything. But if beliefs about learning and kids and partnership are changed first, then unschooling will proceed more smoothly. The real work is done in the heart and mind of the parent.
—Robin Bentley
photo by Sandra Dodd

Thursday, August 7, 2014

New and different

If an experience is new and different, children learn. convex mirror reflection fo two-story carousel
photo by Sandra Dodd

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Gratitude for everyday things

Spoons. Flush toilets. Roofs, walls, doors. Paper and lights. Colored markers.

Love. Time.

Thoughts. Ideas.
photo by Sandra Dodd

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Knowing someone loved them

We never minded putting them in the bed after they were asleep. It was rare they went to sleep in the bed. They would wake up there (or in our bed, or on the couch or on a floor bed) knowing only that they had been put there and covered up by someone who loved them.

Going to sleep wasn't about "going to bed."
photo by Sandra Dodd

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Safe in his own home

One of my main principles has been that it's my job to protect the peace of each of my children in his or her own home insofar as I can. I'm not just here to protect them from outsiders, axe-murderers and boogie-men of whatever real or imagined sort, but from each other as well.

More of, and comments on, settling kids' fights
photo by Colleen Prieto

Friday, August 1, 2014

Think (think)

"Thoughts and opinions that don't match reality should be rethought."
—Joyce Fetteroll
photo by Sandra Dodd