Sunday, May 16, 2021

Light and shadow

Shadows can be fun to play with, and to notice. I've always liked it if a bird or an airplane made a shadow on me.

Be a light, when you can be. Practice thinking about what you might be overshadowing.

If you're in the desert, remember that it can be courteous to stand where you will shade someone who's tired or overheated, or is trying to read something.

Be a courteous light.
photo by Sandra Dodd

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Ever-changing opportunities

Each little experience, every idea, is helping your child build his internal model of the universe. He will not have the government-recommended blueprint for the internal model of the universe, which can look surprisingly like a school, and a
political science class, a small flat map of the huge spherical world, a job with increasing vacations leading to retirement, and not a lot more.

Unschooled children can organize their knowledge in free and better ways. They never need to feel they are through learning, or past the point that they can begin something new. Each thing they discover can be useful eventually. If we help provide them with ever-changing opportunities to see, hear, smell, taste, feel, move and discuss, what they know will exceed in breadth and depth what any school's curriculum would have covered. It won't be the same set of materials—it will be clearer and larger but different.

Seeing It
photo by Catherine Hassall

Friday, May 14, 2021

Math and logic over superstition

The more you give them the less they need.

Messages about deprivation are in most people's heads, passed down from parents and grandparents. I was told once, "You need to frustrate them."

No, that was NOT a need I had.
Be gentle and sweet and kind and attentive. Your child benefits, the relationship is stronger, and it makes the parent a better person.

photo by Kinsey Norris

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Do it; be it

Some unschooling parents talk too much to their children about unschooling.
Just DO it, don't talk it. Be it.
Just Do it. ●  Don't talk it. ●  Be it.

photo by Sarah Dickinson, of a Kitty Letter game in progress

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Thoughtful and sweet

What you think you "have to" do makes you powerless and frustrated. What you choose to do is empowering, and should be done thoughtfully and sweetly.looking up into sunshine through a forest of Australian Tree Fern
photo by Sandra Dodd

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Deciding what to do

Stop doing the thing that stops you from doing what you need to do.
—Sandra Dodd

Prioritize your children.
—Holly Dodd
photo by Ester Siroky

Monday, May 10, 2021

Happy, positive and helpful

Deb Lewis wrote, of Scooby Doo:
Freddy, Velma, Daphne, Shaggy and Scoob genuinely care about each other, trust each other....

They handle tough situations with humor. That might inspire someone to think about the value of a happy and positive attitude.
They help people who need help.
The people who need help ask for it.
These are good things.
—Deb Lewis

In Defense of Cartoons
photo by Janine

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Seeing things

Sometimes, just look.

You might look as an artist, or as a scientist. You could look in wonder. You could gaze lovingy, or observe suspiciously, but as you don't always know exactly what you're seeing, sometimes it's good to just look.
photo by Gail Higgins

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Peaceful Sleep

Sleep is crucial and peace is good.

We don't know what experiences and ideas our children are processing, but the more often they go to sleep gently and wake up sweetly, the better their lives will be.
photo by Lydia Koltai

This photo was used here a few years ago. Some of the most beautiful photos in this blog are also by Lydia Koltai. See more.

Friday, May 7, 2021

Sharing intangibles

old English door with wreath
Abundance in one person provides benefits for others. A child with all the trust he needs can trust others. A child with all the time he needs can share that time with others. One who has freedom won't begrudge freedom in others.
How to Raise a Respected Child
photo by Kelly Drewery

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Be prepared for more or less

Go gradually. Read some, do some, read some more, do some more; repeat.

If you find yourself tempted to present a lesson, or to teach, feel that feeling and refrain from it. If your child asks a question, just answer the question. Answer it in an interesting way if you can. Look it up if you need to. Don't turn it into "a lesson."

If a child asks a question he might ask another one. Be prepared for one question to turn into fifteen of them. Be prepared for it not to.
from "Beginning to Unschool," page 36 or 39 of The Big Book of Unschooling
photo by Roya Dedeaux

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Lighten your child's life

The more lightly you live, the lighter your children's lives will be.
Live lightly, in various ways
photo by Nina Haley

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Only a child?

"Respect" is not a light thing. It's not easy to respect your child, when it's new to you. There will be people encouraging you to see your child as "just a kid," and "only a child." Think of adults you respect, and think of them as ten years old, four years old, two, newborn. They were those people from birth. There was a newborn Mohandas Gandhi; a four-year-old Abraham Lincoln; an eight-year-old Oprah Winfrey; a twelve-year-old Winston Churchill.
photo by Sandra Dodd

Monday, May 3, 2021

Hopefulness, good and true

Probably [doubters and critics] are sincerely concerned for your children, so try to be grateful for that, or at least to understand it.
. . . .

The nicest thing to say might be "Thanks, I'll think about it." If they say he might need some type of school, you could say yeah, someday he might. I liked to tell people that things were going well, but if that changed we would do something different. That gave them hope, and that was good for all of us. And it was true.

What Can I Say to Doubters and Critics?
photo by Gail Higgins

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Abundance and gratitude

"If it's not one thing, it's another."

People usually say that of problems or frustrations. But what about gourds, and little girls, and music, and humor?
If you practice finding abundance, if it's not one thing, it will be another.
photo by Cátia Maciel

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Better Things

The fewer things you say or do to make things worse, the better things will be.
photo by Cátia Maciel