Sunday, July 31, 2022

More and more moments

If something is good for a moment, it doesn't take a bunch of planning, and it doesn't need to be reported or documented. It can just be a good moment.

And when people get more and more practice doing what it takes to create or accept or recognize those moments, they can have more and more of them.

Moments and Mindfulness
photo by Sandra Dodd,
candid moment of Much Green

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Smiling, patient, gentle

If you feel helpless, you are.
If you feel powerless, you are.

Make conscious choices, in little ways, in ways that make your family warmer and more comfortable. Not a few big decisions, but a hundred little decisions in the next 20 hours. Tone of voice. Smile/no-smile. Patience/rush. Gentle/jerky.

Help yourself find the power to make your family's moments better.
photo by Elise Lauterbach

Friday, July 29, 2022

Anytime, every time

Anytime an unschooling mother thinks she's not doing enough, the simple solution is for her to do more.

Disposable Checklists for Unschoolers
photo by Cátia Maciel

Thursday, July 28, 2022

What kind of peace?

How can peace help learning? Is peace always a subset of "peace and quiet"? Is quiet always peaceful? What is the value of a peaceful environment to unschooling and how can parents help to create and maintain that? What kind of peace are we after and how can we get some?

Sometimes just asking the questions can be helpful, but if you want to hear a free sound file of me talking about that sort of thing, here:
photo by Caroline Lieber

There was a typo in the link, when the e-mail went out, but it's fixed above now. Sorry. —Sandra

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Knowledge, concepts, humor

If you just play all the time, how will you know the kids are learning? I knew my boys had learned all the swimming safety rules when they rhythmically took turns reciting them exactly wrong: Never swim with a buddy, always swim alone; Always swim in a storm; Always run by the pool...

There was no reason for me to say, "That's wrong." I would have spoiled their fun if I had. I didn't say a word. I knew enough already, because I had this information:

  1. they knew all the rules
  2. they understood the concept of opposites
  3. they had a sense of humor and weren't afraid to use it.
Photo by Sandra Dodd, not my local pool,
but one in Surrey, in 2012.
I hope it's still there!

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Healing and therapeutic

Becoming a calmer and better parent can help a person be a calmer, better person. Unschooling itself can be extremely healing and therapeutic at times.
photo by Laurie Wolfrum

Monday, July 25, 2022

Learning and joy

The best unschooling parents aim to avoid punishments and shaming. They try to facilitate learning and joy, peace and happiness. They slowly and incrementally learn to make choices themselves and soon they can better assist their children in learning to make thoughtful choices.

Becoming a Better Partner
photo by Nicole Kenyon

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Learning by osmosis

A cranky person once wrote to me:
I do unschool but I obviously do not subscribe to your radical view of unschooling where children are expected to learn by osmosis and television shows.
To the Always Learning discussion list I wrote:
When the environment is rich, children learn by osmosis, if the membrane through which ideas pass is their perception of the world. What they see, hear, smell, taste, touch and think becomes a part of their experience, and they learn. And they learn from television shows, movies, paintings, books, plants, toys, games, movement, sports, dancing, singing, hearing music, drawing, sleeping.... as if by osmosis, they live and they learn.

"Osmosis and Television Shows"
photo by Janine Davies

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Happy DAY!

This photo is the background for the word "DAY" on the Learn Nothing Day logo.
"It helps a lot to try for better moments not days. Don't judge a day by one upset, judge it as a bad moment and move forward. A little bit better each moment. A little bit more aware."
—Schuyler Waynforth
at Moments

The photo first appeared here in 2015: Water play
Thank you, Janine Davies.

Friday, July 22, 2022

"G" is for Growth

This photo is the background for the "G" on the lovely Learn Nothing Day logo.

Children need to be protected from physical and emotional harm. They need to have positive regard, food, shade and sun, things to see, hear, smell, taste and touch. They need someone to answer their questions and show them the world, which is as new to them as it was to us. Their growth can't be rushed, but it can be enriched.
from "Thoughts on Growth"
(one word changed)

The photo first appeared here in 2017: Sky
Thank you, Gail Higgins.

Thursday, July 21, 2022

"N" is for No

This photo is the background for the third "N" on the spiffy Learn Nothing Day logo.
I like the idea that moms should think of saying "NO" as though the child comes with 200 tickets at birth. Some moms use them all up the first year and the child ignores "no" forever after.
—Sandra, here, third message down
(and it was my idea)

Yes is probably a happier link

The photo first appeared here in 2018: Amusing moments
Thank you, Brie Jontry.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

"I" is for Integrity

This photo is the background for the "I" on the new/improved Learn Nothing Day logo.
Integrity is a strong wholeness. The fabric of the being of a thing can't be broken. A bucket with one hole in it is lacking integrity. It's not a good bucket. A frayed rope lacks integrity. No matter how long or strong the rest of the rope is, that frayed part keeps it from being a good rope.

In people, integrity requires some degree of reliability and honesty (the more the better).

The photo first appeared here in early 2020: Active participants
Thank you, Nina Haley.

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

"H" is for Healing

This art is in the "H" of "Nothing" in the logo created by Holly Dodd in 2020.
For me, it seems like a gift to me and my mom both, if I can do better than she did. She would have liked to have done better, too, so I can do it for her.

I get some healing benefit either way.

from Kids' stuff, and sunrise. 2019
Thank you, Holly Dodd, for the photo and the logo.

Monday, July 18, 2022

"T" is for Teaching

This photo is the background for the "T" on the Learn Nothing Day logo.
"Teaching" isn't always about learning. Learning happens inside the learner.

"Children will flourish if their needs are joyfully met as they explore the world. Creatively support your child in what he's genuinely interested in."
—Debbie Regan,
at The Problem with Teaching

This image was used in 2019, at Some ideas for beginning.
Thank you, Lisa Jonick.

Sunday, July 17, 2022

"O" is for Options

This photo is the background for the only "O" on the Learn Nothing Day logo.
Colleen Prieto wrote:

Our son knows that if he wants something, his Dad and I will do our best to make it happen. He knows he doesn't have to second-guess himself before expressing what he wants - and he knows that he doesn't need to feel guilty or ashamed for thinking "ice cream (or anything else) sounds really good right now" and saying it. He knows that his desires won't be judged and he won't be told "it's too cold" or "you just did that yesterday" or "don't you have enough of that already" or any other such thing - whether his desire is for a particular food, or more time with a video game, or another drive out to the beach, etc.
—Colleen Prieto, at Options

The photo first appeared here in November 2019: Growing newness
Thank you, Karen James.

Saturday, July 16, 2022

"N" is for Nicer

This image adorns the big initial "N" in the word "Nothing," of the Learn Nothing Day logo from summer, 2020.
"If someone can take a moment to consciously be nicer and kinder to their children, a shift can take place. The choice to be nicer removes the choice to be mean. That can become a habit."
—Robin Bentley,
Being Nicer

This photo was first used at Kinder, gentler ways, in May 2020.
Thank you, Vlad Gurdiga.

Friday, July 15, 2022

"N" is for Nest

This photo is the background for the "N" in "Learn" on the newer Learn Nothing Day logo.
There's a basis, a foundation, on which confident, workable unschooling is built, and most of it involves confidence, and confidence can't come without examination of one's purpose, priorities and principles. It takes a while to figure those things out, and while they can be figured out at the same time unschooling is unfolding, and will probably continue to evolve (maybe even after the kids are grown), it's not "nothing" to do that.

The photo first appeared here in 2020: Be positively positive!
Thank you, Shonna Morgan.

Thursday, July 14, 2022

"R" is for Reality

This image fills in the "R" on the spiffy nearly-new Learn Nothing Day logo.
People can't actually leave the planet and can't actually go back in time. The only place we can live is the here and now.
Live with your children in the moment, and the moment is not in the past. Live with your child in the moment, in the world where you are.

The photo adorned Better, kinder, stronger, in early 2020.
Thank you, Cass Kotrba.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

"A" is for Abundance

This photo is the background for the "A" on the current Learn Nothing Day logo.
Jenny Cyphers wrote:

In order for kids to feel and see abundance, they first must have parents who feel and see it too, even if there is no money. Go to parks, pick up sticks, ride bikes to new places, swing on the swing differently, make bubbles and blow them in front of a fan. Look at stars at night and try to find constellations, light things on fire with magnifying glass, roast hot dogs for dinner (it's cheap), the possibilities are limitless, but only if you choose to see them. THAT is what will help your kids learn how to be creative thinkers—seeing and doing creative things.
—Jenny Cyphers

The photo appeared here in First aid for scary, sad days of doubt
Thank you, Alex Polikowsky.

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

"E" is for "Enough?"

This art was used behind the letter "E" in the recently new logo for Learn Nothing Day.
Someone asked "Am I doing enough?"

Karen James responded:
I asked the same question a few years back. I got an excellent, but unexpected reply. I was told if I thought I wasn't doing enough, then to do more.

The photo first appeared in 2019, in a post called "Non-emergency services"
Thank you, Jihong Tang.

Monday, July 11, 2022

"L" is for Learning

This photo is the background for the "L" on the new(ish) Learn Nothing Day logo.
Joyce Fetteroll wrote:

Real learning, the kind of learning humans are hard wired to do, is about discovering connections between one thing and dozens of things. What those connections will have in common is interest.
—Joyce Fetteroll, saved at Real Learning

The photo first appeared here in 2018: Laugh, think, smile
Thank you, Amber Ivey.

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Learning directly

How can a baby learn about his food if he doesn't get to smell it, see it, touch it?
photo by Cátia Maciel

Saturday, July 9, 2022

For now...

There it is, for now. Later it won't be.

See it, love it, be grateful, and then accept the changes, with grace.
photo by Roya Dedeaux

Friday, July 8, 2022

Like working a puzzle

Joyce Fetteroll wrote:

Picture learning like piecing together a massive jigsaw puzzle.

With natural learning kids plunge into the puzzle wherever it seems interesting to them. They fit the pieces together here and there working all over the puzzle. They won't go in any particular order. They'll stick with one spot or jump about depending on what's most interesting to them. They'll stumble over new and interesting things. They'll see old things in unfamiliar places giving the unfamiliar places a sense of familiarity as well as intrigue.
—Joyce Fetteroll
photo by Sandra Dodd

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Following the herd?

Sometimes people follow a group, they "follow the herd."

Can't that be a legitimate decision to make?

It's good to know where they're going, and why, and what the alternatives might be.

Finding choices and options for yourself and your children is good when it's possible.

Making the Better Choice:
photo by Ester Siroky

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Learning social skills

Jihong Tang wrote (as part of a longer list):

Socialization and social skills. I think it should be one of the top reasons to homeschool. I see with my own eyes how my children develop their social skills by watching how I talk on the phone, interact with people and explain to them what to expect and how to behave under different circumstances. It has been a subtle and slow process until one day I noticed they used the same language I used and mimicked how I conducted myself at special occasions. I would say having an adult modeling in the real world makes a big difference.

—Jihong Tang
photo by Cátia Maciel

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Not the best choice

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

Monday, July 4, 2022

Going forward

Janine Davies wrote:

Respectful parenting and parenting for social change is where my main focus is now, and of course radical unschooling is all those things and more. For me, that all begins and ends with being a good mum in the eyes and minds of my children, and going forward being remembered as a kind respectful and happy mum—someone they could trust implicitly, and who was their partner and friend.

Hopefully they will then carry that forward to how they treat their children, regardless of what the current trend is, or fears they have, or the current scaremongering circulating. Even if they don't have children of their own, my hope is that they treat and speak to all children that they come in contact with throughout their lives with the same respect and kindness that they afford their partners and friends, and that they treat them like the people they are.
photo by Jihong Tang
(her son's painting, left)

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Peace and love and food

Without choices, they can't make choices. Without choices they can't make good choices OR bad choices. In too many people's minds, "good" is eating what parents say when parents say (where and how and why parents say). That doesn't promote thought, self awareness, good judgment or any other good thing.

Food is for health and sustenance. Eating with other people can be a social situation, ranging (on the good end) from ceremonial to obligatory to courtesy. There's no sense making it hostile or punitive.

Food Choices (and lots of them)
photo by Sarah S.

Saturday, July 2, 2022

People they trust

Joyce Fetteroll wrote:

The best way for introverts to learn to socialize is with the people they're comfortable with: their family. And then whatever friends they feel comfortable with.

Then when they're older and their desire to get something from a group is greater than their discomfort of being in a group, they'll have the skills they picked up from people they trust.
—Joyce Fetteroll
photo by Janine Davies

Friday, July 1, 2022

Variable speed

Sometimes it's good to rush along a trail. Other days, even a slow stroll might be too much.

It's okay not to follow every trail you see, and it's fine to look at a photo of a path and use your imagination, without going anywhere.

There will be paths, options, and surprise destinations all along the way.
photo by Ester Siroky