Sunday, July 31, 2016

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Thursday, July 28, 2016

What's the rush?

I saw an advertisement on the side of some webpage, aimed at me. "Homeschooling," I saw out the corner of my eye. It asked me whether I didn't want to make sure my child was ahead.

"Ahead" of what? Ahead of himself? That's considered a bad thing. "Don't get ahead of yourself," people say.

"Ahead" of other people? What's the rush?

When the traffic is slow on the freeway, sometimes someone will zoom along the shoulder and try to squeeze in. Why? It's not helpful. It's not polite. It's not safe.

My children are grown. They grew slowly, safely, politely, and I've always tried to be helpful. They weren't ahead. They were right where they were, all day, every day. There they still are, where they're used to being. They are themselves, here and now.
photo by Sandra Dodd

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Strolling along

Explore. Go for a walk. From special days in exotic locations to normal days in the same old place, there will be things to see and thoughts to share.
photo by Chrissy Florence
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Monday, July 25, 2016

Your House as a Museum

There are stories behind the things you have. You're saving history, geography, social ties, mysteries. Share those stories with your children and your guests, if there's a lull, or a connection to be made.
photo by Sandra Dodd

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Friday, July 22, 2016

Limits are limiting!

I have heard of, read about and communicated with people who referred to themselves as part-time unschoolers, relaxed homeschoolers, eclectic homeschoolers, academic unschoolers and other terms.
. . . .
Limited kinds of unschooling will have limited benefits.

The Big Book of Unschooling, page 41 (or try 45)
which leads in to
photo by Sandra Dodd

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Power and culture

Art, culture and ideas can swirl in your life if you let them.

Be open to seeing, appreciating and connecting.
photo by Sandra Dodd

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Help to relax

"What helped me relax was focusing on our relationship with each other and fostering GENUINE interest in each others' interests."
—Tina Bragdon
photo by Sandra Dodd

Monday, July 18, 2016

Words about words

I like words. Much of my writing is about terminology, and concepts, and meaning, which is why it can be difficult (or worthless) to translate some of it, because it is of and about English, very often.

"For clarity of thought and for value of discussions about unschooling (or anything), it's important to use words intentionally and carefully. . . . [M]uddled thinking can't lead to clarity nor to better parenting." (My words, from

photo by Sandra Dodd

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Refreshed and alive

Parents should keep life flowing, clear, refreshed and alive.

not a quote from, but goes well with
photo by Sandra Dodd

Saturday, July 16, 2016


Games can be family history, and art. Games can be culture and togetherness.

It's okay if games are old and made of wood, and seeds or stones. Some use cards, dice, markers. Don't worry about it if they involve computers, or smart phones and long walks.
photo by Pushpa Ramachandran

Friday, July 15, 2016

Be brave; have fun

Be curious. Be open-minded!

Beyond this, or behind that, are other things. Peek.

A joyful attitude is your best tool.
photo by Sandra Dodd

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Quantity and quality

Here's an idea that will work with just about every aspect of life:
Every time you make a decision, wait until you've thought of two choices and choose the better one.

It seems simple, but I was surprised, when I thought of that way to ratchet the quality of life up, to find how many times I was acting without really thinking.
photo by Sandra Dodd

Wednesday, July 13, 2016





Color, texture, scent. Sound. Taste.

Let your days be sensational.
photo by Hinano

Tuesday, July 12, 2016


It's good to be grateful for all the things we have.

Sometimes it can help to be grateful to have less, fewer, not as much, as might cause us difficulty. Be grateful for having just enough.
photo by Chrissy Florence

Monday, July 11, 2016

Laughing and wondering

People learn by playing, thinking and amazing themselves. They learn while they're laughing at something surprising, and they learn while they're wondering "What the heck is this!?"
photo by Celeste Burke

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Gradually, without fanfare

Fiene showing the skirt we made together
Gradually, without fanfare, be more positive and more supportive
of her desires and requests.
photo by Eva Witsel

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Patience and acceptance

I noticed one morning I was really patient with my irritating cat. That was cool, and I announced to one of the discussion lists that I was going to work it into my talk about things that surprised me. We've long been sweeter with our current dog than we ever were with a dog before, and somewhat the cats too, but usually I hiss at the cat to get away from me when he gets in my face early in the morning and this morning I told myself that the cat can't open a can, and he's excited that I'm awake, and the dog probably ate their canned food, so I just very calmly followed him in there and fed him and he was very happy.

I doubt it's my last frontier, it's just my current frontier.
photo by Sandra Dodd, of someone else's cat

Friday, July 8, 2016

"Pause it!"

When Kirby and Marty were little, and playing with toys, Marty said "Pause it!" when he needed to leave for a moment, but wanted Kirby to wait for him. He was used to watching video tapes, and playing Nintendo.

The concept of a time-out lives more largely in younger people than in some of their parents. It's GOOD to wait a moment, to stop, to await other's input.

Human interactions should be like games, sometimes—after I "move," I can wait while the other person makes a move, a comment, a response. Then it might be my turn again.
photo by Julie T
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Thursday, July 7, 2016

No post today

Keith's 60th birthday party just wound down. It's two minutes until midnight (my deadline for a post) and I'm too tired to race it.

Thank you for reading and sharing these posts, and I'll have something for you tomorrow.


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Try not to miss too much

The sunset came into my yard this way for just a few moments. I could have missed it. I have missed most sunsets in my life.

You will miss much of your child's life. Try not to miss too many moments.

It only takes a second to do better.
sunset photo by Sandra Dodd
a repost from February 2011


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Thousands of nicer things

When I was a kid, if my mom had done one nicer thing a day, that would have been thousands of nicer things in my childhood.
photo by Ve Lacerda

Monday, July 4, 2016

Choosing not to whine

Sometimes I want to whine. Sometimes I do.

It never helps.
When making a conscious decision about how to respond or how to react, it will be rare that whining will be the best choice.
photo by Elise Lauterbach

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Learning from our kids

People assume they will teach their kids lots of things. Then they move on to knowing they don't need to teach, just help/assist/facilitate. But there's that other area where the kids know things we don't know (and maybe could use knowing). By the time you get to that stage, confidence is easy to have, I think.

From the transcript of a chat on Learning from our Kids
photo by Colleen Prieto

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Happiness and lightness

"Something has clicked, or melted away, actually, in the past year and I just wanted to thank you. Thank you for saving my relationship with my children. I feel happiness and lightness where there was once dread."
(a mom, recently)
photo by Rachel Singer

Friday, July 1, 2016

Quiet trust

"Learning flows when needs are met, connections are strong, and kids can absolutely trust their parents, and know their parents are there for them."
—Caren Knox
photo by Cátia Maciel