Friday, January 24, 2020

Hooks to hang ideas on

You have to know a lot to learn more, and if you know nothing, you can't learn anything.
SandraDodd.com/connections
photo by Dawn Todd

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Choose to choose.

Once someone complained making choices was too hard. I wrote:

Making a choice is a matter of choice and just doing it.I don't think it requires willpower to realize that a person can make a choice.

Think of two choices. Choose the best one.

Next time think of two choices (maybe the choice from the time before and a better one). Choose the best one.

If you do that several times a day, soon you'll be doing it countless times a day.

Make choices. Make choices that move you toward being more at peace with your child.
"Getting irritated," Always Learning, 2007
photo by Jill Parmer

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

More valuable and less expensive

Becoming the sort of person you hope your child will be, or that your child will respect, is more valuable than years of therapy. And it’s cheaper.
SandraDodd.com/becoming
(source)
photo by Gail Higgins

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Seeing in an unschooling light

Before you can see anything in an unschooling light, you must have an unschooling light to see by.
from an Always Learning post, 29Jan2016
photo by Karen James

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Be thoughtful.

Be careful what you get excited about or fearful of. Be thoughtful. Read a little. Try a little. Wait a while. Watch. Not just about unschooling.



Generous, thoughtful, considerate
the quote is from here
photo by Gail Higgins

Saturday, January 18, 2020

The kinder thing, the better thing

The best problem-solving skills I can suggest are to live by principles and to base each tiny decision on those principles.

Living by Principles

Do the more peaceful thing, the more learning-oriented thing, the more relationship-building thing, the kinder thing, the thing you wish someone had done for you when you were that age. If you don't think of two options before you act, you haven't made a decision at all.
Make the Better Choice
photo by Sarah Elizabeth

Friday, January 17, 2020

Actually doing it

Reading about unschooling without doing it is like reading a cookbook without making any food, or reading woodworking project books without owning a saw.

Do it!
Help for getting it
photo by Cara Jones

Thursday, January 16, 2020

A bigger big world

It is strangely possible to learn from the whole wide world without participating in its pervasive school aspects.

It's a little like polarized glass—where you change the angle a little and it all looks CLEAR!! Tilt it back and it all looks dark.

It's a big world and school does not own it.

And the big world is not just right now, as is. It's all its history, all its future, all its imaginings and myths and fantasies and alternate endings. School presents a little package of one version of history, a little package of one summary of science, etc., and leaves all else out.

the whole wide world and what schooling isn't
photo by Sobia Itwaru

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Lovable and respectable


Try to be lovable and respectable, whether or not you have a partner or an audience, because it makes you a better person. Try to be trustworthy and dependable.

Being a better person will make you a better parent.

Unconditional Love (was Love and Respect)
Better is better.
photo by Cally Brown

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

See what you have

The difference between poverty and abundance is sometimes the ability to see what one has. There have been times when I didn't have a car, we had a leaky roof, and the washing machine wasn't working. There have been more times that the car and washing machine were functioning, the house was solid, and I forgot to appreciate it.

from Gratitude, page 213 of The Big Book of Unschooling
(page 185, first edition)
photo by Elise Lauterbach

Monday, January 13, 2020

Know what you're asking

Joyce Fetteroll wrote:


It's said Alexander the Great founded at least 20 cities named Alexandria. So 2300 years ago if you were to ask someone for directions to Alexandria, you needed to know which you meant before following their directions!

Same with unschooling. To find ideas that will work for you, keep reassessing where you want to go, what you want for your family, what person you want to be rather than heading for "unschooling".

Ask yourself, "Will that idea move toward or away from helping my child explore his interests?" "Will that idea move me toward or away from being a kinder person?"
—Joyce Fetteroll


That is the middle of some longer writing, from a discussion here:
philosophical question on equality of ideas and learning
photo by Brie Jontry

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Advice for a newlywed

To have a more peaceful, loving relationship that has the potential to last for a lifetime, don't count and don't measure.

Don't divide anything "fifty/fifty." Forget that concept. Give what you have. Do all you can do. Give/do 80% when you can, but only measure it vaguely, at a squint, and then forget about it. If you aim for half, there will be resentments. If you aim for 100%, small failures will seem larger than they need to be, so don't do that. You can succeed at "lots" without measuring.

If each of you gives as much as you can, your shared needs will be fulfilled more quickly, more easily, and more often.

Be generous with your patience. Life is long. People change, and more than once.

I wrote that for a young friend getting married, and I quoted it here:
Becoming a Better Partner
photo by Vlad Gurdiga

Friday, January 10, 2020

Sometimes, be still.

Sometimes, be still.


Don't be still all the time—kids and life are busy, busy, busy! Notice moments of stillness, and breathe there.
Doing it,   Still
photo by Gail Higgins

Thursday, January 9, 2020

What it means

"Being there unconditionally for our children nurtures the beautiful side of the human spirit that resides in each one of us. It cleans it. Reveals it. Keeps it fresh. It feeds it. It brings it to life. Makes it grow and helps it thrive. It's a gift to the receiver and to the giver, and it leads both parties to a greater understanding of what it means to love."
—Karen James



SandraDodd.com/growth
photo by Sarah Dickinson

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Love what you love

What one person fears, another might love.

Don't be afraid to like what others avoid or reject. There might be something in or about you, too, that seems irrational or wrong to someone. It's good to be different, but it's fine to like what most people like. Don't be afraid if your preferences change.

Feel your own feelings, and love what you love.

SandraDodd.com/parentingpeacefully
photo by Janine Davies

Monday, January 6, 2020

Playing with connections

I found something to share, but it seemed too long. While looking for a place to put it, I came upon a link to posts in this blog that are about play and playing.

These two images came up one after the other. They were posted seven years apart, but they're similar, and the posts they link to were called "Playing around" and "Play around." They're links here, and the quote follows.


Someone wrote in 2011:
I do worry about my boys playing computer all day.
I responded:
I have three kids who have played hundreds of games among and between them--Holly learned two new card games just this month that nobody else in the family knows, even her dad who has been a big games guy all his life. There is no game called "computer." I think you mean playing ON the computer. HUGE difference.

We have dozens of nice board games here, and table games (games involving cards or other pieces, to be laid out on a table as play proceeds), but those aren't referred to as kids playing board, or kids playing table.

The computer is not itself the game. There are games on the computer. There is information on the computer. It's not really a net. It's not really a web. It's millions of ideas, words, jokes, pictures, games, a ton of music and videos and.... But you know that, right?

Clarity can begin with being careful with the words you use. Thinking about what you write will help you think about what you think!
(The quote is from halfway down here.)
photos by Sandra Dodd and Karen James

Looking back

I think every moment an unschooling parent spends reflecting on what
and how
and where
she learned things is time well invested.
Reflection/Unschooling (in a discussion from 2005)
photo by Nicole Novakovics

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Little surprises

If it happened when you expected it, it wouldn't be surprising.

Be open to finding joy in the unexpected.
Something Surprising
photo by Jo Fielding

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Simple and beautiful


"I think unschooling has done as much for me as it has and will have for my son. When you get down to it it's just so simple and so beautiful. It's helped me to reconnect with my older kids too and make amends for all the times that I made mistakes. So many things that you don't even know will be changed when you start living that different kind of way."
—Jessica Sutton
Unforeseen Benefits of Unschooling
photo by Karen James

Friday, January 3, 2020

Stand up tall

People don't bend to become unschoolers. They stand up tall enough to look all around.
That was in response to a put-down of unschoolers, years ago.
photo by Heather Booth

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Fill yourself up

Generosity makes you generous. Kindness makes you kind. Respecting others, and their ideas and their interests, makes you full of respect—respectful. These are little things that build up quickly.
SandraDodd.com/becoming
photo by Janine Davies

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Generalizations and exceptions

How easy would it be to define dogs as four-legged animals?

Yet there are three-legged dogs. Many. Some people have never seen them. I knew one personally, and have seen three others closely.

My children learned to read without being taught.

If my children were the only children in the history of the world who learned without being taught, it would still be a fact that some children have learned to read without lessons—that a child can learn to read without lessons.

But my children are not the only ones. There are many. There were many even before schools existed, though it was harder without being surrounded by talking video games and movies with subtitles and printed boxes all over the kitchen, and signs on every street and building and shelf.


(The quote is from this topic, about 4/5 of the way down.)
photo by Sara McGrath

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