Thursday, October 31, 2019

Safe and lively

"Some kids need school more than they need their dangerous or lifeless home environments."

I wrote that in 2009. School was good for me. If you keep your kids out of school, create an environment that is safe and lively.

If you can't do better than school, let them go to school.

Building an unschooling nest
photo by Manessah Ellender Garcia

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Wholly cosmic

Polly Berrien Berends refers to infants as "seeing beings," and that changed
my life, when I read Whole Child/Whole Parent, when Kirby was a baby. To
realize so profoundly that his whole, real life was fully in progress changed MY
whole, real life. And that's the purpose of her book, and the meaning of the
title. When we help our child to be whole, or rather when we acknowledge
and honor his wholeness, seeing him as the seeing being he is, then we know that
we too are, and always were, "seeing beings." We are as much a part of that
child's world as he is of ours, and we are both part of the same wholeness.

Kinda cosmic. 🙂 WHOLLY cosmic.

Children are people
photo by/of Holly Dodd

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Gain courage

Fearful schoolishness hasn’t ever helped unschooling yet.

When you are schoolish, or fearful, or both, move toward courage.

Becoming Courageous
(The quote's not from there, but that's a better resource!)
photo by Gail Higgins

Monday, October 28, 2019

Seeing learning

You won't "deprogram" yourself by clinging to school stuff.

Until you see learning where school stuff is not, you won't get unschooling at a gut and soul level.

Actually seeing it
photo by Janine Davies

Sunday, October 27, 2019

What you think

Clarity can begin with being careful with the words you use. Thinking about what you write will help you think about what you think!

from the archives of "Unschooling Discussion"
photo by Gail Higgins

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Happy, safe and comfortable

Jenny Cyphers wrote:

There are so many small generous happy-making things that parents can do for their kids throughout the day, and week, and month and year.

When kids are accustomed to feeling happy and safe and comfortable, they can move through life knowing that life is happy, safe, and comfortable, and that even when it sometimes isn't, they can always come home to find it and feel it again.
—Jenny Cyphers

Building an Unschooling Nest
photo by Elise Lauterbach

Friday, October 25, 2019

Rhythm and connection

"I learned how to breathe and relax into the rhythm and connection that define the learning life of unschooling."
—Leah Rose

The precious principle of abundance
photo by Gail Higgins

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Alphabetize your shoes

To someone who thought unschooling might be hard because she liked structure:

If you like structure, reorganize your spices, or make a birthday calendar and buy cards for everyone for the coming year and start putting clippings or little stickers inside the envelopes of various individuals. Alphabetize your shoes. Do something that doesn't hinder your kids, to fulfill your need for structure and organization.

That was from 2003. People are less likely now to send clippings, or birthday cards. The principle still holds true, though. 🙂

What about structure?
photo by Manessah Ellender Garcia

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Time and seasons

When I was younger, I couldn't yet grasp the meaning of loving something and letting it go. All I could think of were birds.

As a parent, and as a grandparent, I see it more clearly. I remember a pregnancy, and a baby, and a toddler... but we let them move on, and grow, and appreciate then where they are, while knowing we can't keep them that way.

The new plants grew, and some survived, and harvest came, and fall. This photo shows a garden that's already gone, but will be back in some form next year.

Life flows through us and around us.

photo by Cass Kotrba

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Freeing advice

"If there is one piece of advice I could give people it would be to see everything they do as a choice. It is so incredibly freeing. 🙂 It seems like the only reason we do so many unpleasant things in life is because we don't have a choice. But it's the perception of not having a choice makes them doubly onerous."
—Joyce Fetteroll
The Value of Choices
photo by Amy Milstein

Sunday, October 20, 2019


The more that parents can accommodate children's simple desires, the calmer and happier those children will be.

Nice, and patient
photo by Destiny Dodd

Friday, October 18, 2019

Curiosity and beauty

You can't see beauty without wanting to see some. Once you're looking through curiosity-tinted glasses, you will see a thousand interesting things.

(a little longer, on facebook)
photo by Sandra Dodd

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Sorry... here's news

I've missed a couple of days. I could tell stories, but the highlights would be:
  • computer damage (it's in the shop, but that's where the photos are for this)
  • new granddaughter named Tommy (she's in NICU, but she is okay—preemie, but healthy)
  • remodelling had some problems that stressed me (back on track now)

There have been other frights and frustrations, but everyone is alive and mostly healthy. I was unable to get in here, and might be gone another few days, but I'll be back! Probably. 🙂

Good thing there's a randomizer. Good thing there are way over 3,000 posts you can peruse, revisit, frolic in.

Best wishes, and be happy,


photo by Sandra Dodd

Monday, October 14, 2019

Don't always finish what you start

The only things that should be finished are those things that seem worthwhile to do.
. . . .
Wanting your children to learn to ignore their own judgment in favor of following a rule is not beneficial to them or to you. It will not help them learn.

Thoughts about finishing what you start
photo by Sandra Dodd

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Look at the moon

I don't look at the moon enough. Sometimes when I do, it amazes me.

Sometimes the moon seems to be the same old moon. Sometimes it doesn't show at all. Sometimes it shows in the daytime.

Perhaps, look at your child more. Sometimes when you do, it might amaze you.
photo by Gail Higgins

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Big world, and full

"When we can we should always do more, offer more, think more, and make our bit of the world as big and full as we can for our kids. Our kid's lives get bigger and better when our thinking gets bigger and better."
—Deb Lewis
photo by Jo Isaac

Friday, October 11, 2019

The same but different

Some things are the same at a distance, or when the details are unimportant.

Up close, even things that are "the same" can be very different.

What you're doing, what people think you're doing, what you wish you were doing, all might be very different. By careful comparison and contrast, we can clarify our vision. Save the effort for things you care about, though.

photo by Cass Kotrba, who wrote
"These beets I grew are such beautiful colors! I have never seen a white beet before. They came from a beet mix from Seed Trust."


Thursday, October 10, 2019

Laughing and playing and singing

I did my time in and around school, and learned things painstakingly and grudgingly that my children later learned while laughing and playing and singing. I have guarded my children's freedom and given them happy choices that I didn't have.
photo by Sandra Dodd, of Marty in the 20th century

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

The right way to live

Joyce Fetteroll wrote:

What you can do is *live* your right view. *Be* the person you believe it is right to be. If you believe it's best to be kind, be kind to her. If you believe it is best to be respectful, be respectful of her. *Don't* do it because you expect her to act that way. Do it because you believe it's the right way to live.
—Joyce Fetteroll

Healing Presence, when things have not been going well
photo by Karen James

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Aiming the spotlight

Joyce Fetteroll wrote:

I once described the difference between teaching and learning as where you shine the spotlight. In teaching, the spotlight is on the teacher. There may or may not be a learner taking in what the teacher is doing.

With learning, the spotlight is on the learner. The source is unimportant. There might be a teacher. There might be a set of blocks. There might just be the learner's thoughts.

If that's called "teaching" then it pulls the spotlight away from the learner. The light shines on the source as if it were the actor in the process.

I think parents like to feel like a child's learning is their project. If the teacher isn't in the spotlight, then something they aren't in control of or directing is happening.

—Joyce Fetteroll

The photo is re-run from Clearer and larger
photo by Julie D.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Tree appreciation

Sometimes food does grow on trees. Here are some apples in Los Luceros, New Mexico, yesterday. There are apples on trees in lots of places in the northern hemisphere this month. There are some places where apple trees can't grow.

Sometimes fruit grows on trees, sometimes nuts do. Some trees have flowers or blossoms. Some only have lots of leaves, or pine needles if they're evergreens. Tree shade is good.

Oxygen grows on trees.

Trees need...
photo by Gina Trujillo

some other "Add Light" trees

Sunday, October 6, 2019


The camper from which this photo was taken has been moving around Europe extensively, so the view changes, but the doorway stays about the same. This day, they were in Turkey.

What we perceive is seen through our own eyes. Even looking at a photo, we see what WE see, of what the photographer saw. Our thoughts can't be theirs. What it smelled like can't be conveyed, or how it sounded.

Some scenes and places and stories, dishes, houses, I have shared with my husband and children, but still their perceptions and memories can only be their own. This is a good thing, and good to remember.

Center of the Universe
photo by Ester Siroky

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Relationship, trust and peace

The relationship, the trust, and peace, are what will help learning work.

Relationships and wholeness
photo by Gail Higgins

Friday, October 4, 2019


"Just as giving a gift can be as enjoyable as receiving one, giving unconditional love has been as beautiful as receiving it and it has alleviated many longstanding pains that I once thought would be permanent."
—Jessica Hughes

photo by Roya Dedeaux

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Change it up

"Things change when you change things."
—Holly Dodd
Thoughts on Changing
photo by Karen James

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Good parents, good lives

If parents focus on being good parents rather than expecting marriage or children to make the parents' lives good, every single life involved will improve right then.

A good mom
photo by Sarah Dickinson

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Some things are better

If someone wants to unschool well, positivity is better than negativity. Gratitude is better than resentment. Optimism is better than pessimism.

Choices in Parenting, Unschooling and the rest of Life
photo by Cass Kotrba