Showing posts sorted by relevance for query sandradodd.com/response. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query sandradodd.com/response. Sort by date Show all posts

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Things change


Being a child's partner rather than his adversary makes the balance of knowledge unimportant. Nowadays my children drive me around, help me out, read small print and get things off high shelves. For many years, I did those things for them.

SandraDodd.com/partners

SandraDodd.com/balance

Learning first, and partnership and being present close after, and all the other things flow in around it.


Part of a longer response to an odd question: The other things flow in around it.
See also "Snapshot" on this blog
photo by Karen James
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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The other things flow in around it.

(Below is most of my response to a complicated question about the balance of power and relationships, citing Bruno Bettelheim about A.S. Neill, and the assumption that unschoolers were libertarians:)

I've unschooled for over twenty years, and am not a "libertarian," and the unschooling ideals I've aimed for involved learning. They had little to do with Neill or Bettleheim (though I did like reading Bettleheim on fairy tales), but had to do with John Holt, attachment parenting, and observation of other families doing similar things.

Being a child's partner rather than his adversary makes the balance of knowledge unimportant. Nowadays my children drive me around, help me out, read small print and get things off high shelves. For many years, I did those things for them.

SandraDodd.com/partners

SandraDodd.com/balance

Learning first, and partnership and being present close after, and all the other things flow in around it.

photo by Sandra Dodd, of a well dressing in the village of Tissington
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Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Describing unschooling

Rippy wrote:

If parents of school children ask, I usually say our homeschooling is pretty eclectic. I may give certain examples such as visiting interesting places, doing experiments, playing 'learning' games, reading stories, having conversations of events that happened in the past, talking about famous people, making things, hanging out with friends, etc. Sometimes I share with them a detailed description of an interesting day that we've had, especially if it has impressive signs of learning that they will recognize.
—Rippy Dusseldorp

SandraDodd.com/response
photo by Kelvin Dodd

Saturday, May 4, 2024

Rest, recovery, and plenty of time


Rippy Dusseldorp, for still-new unschoolers:

For your family, the most important thing now is to deschool. Avoid anything schoolish, unless your children really want to use those types of resources. This is their rest and recovery time from their years of schooling. It's important not to rush them and to give yourself plenty of time to deschool as well.
—Rippy Dusseldorp

slightly edited from SandraDodd.com/response
photo by Colleen Prieto

Friday, September 18, 2015

Climbing mountains and baking pies

Cumbres and Toltec train, 2015
In response to someone saying her child would rather take the easy route than try something tough, Joyce Fetteroll wrote:

It's human nature to avoid what we feel is a waste of time, energy and resources.
It's also human nature to pour energy into what we find fascinating.

If someone is made to climb a mountain, they'll find the easiest path, and perhaps even cheat.

If someone desires to climb a mountain, they may even make it more difficult—challenging—for themselves if the route doesn't light their fire.

If it were human nature to go the easy route, I wouldn't be sitting here writing out a response! No one would write a novel. No one would climb Mt. Everest. No one would bake a cherry pie from scratch. No one would have kids.
—Joyce Fetteroll

SandraDodd.com/joyce/pressure
Photo by Sandra Dodd, of Holly Dodd riding a steam train restored and largely operated by volunteers. The easy route would have been for them to stay home and read books and watch movies about trains.
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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What proof do you have?

A response to this question:
What proof do you have that it is working? How would you suggest parents reassure themselves that this path is providing everything their children need?

Well starting at the end, there is no path that will provide everything for a child. There are some [paths] that don't even begin to intend to provide everything their children need. Maybe first parents should consider what it is they think their children really need.

As to proof of whether unschooling is working, if the question is whether kids are learning, parents can tell when they're learning because they're there with them. How did you know when your child could ride a bike? You were able to let go, quit running, and watch him ride away. You know they can tell time when they tell you what time it is. You know they're learning to read when you spell something out to your husband and the kid speaks the secret word right in front of the younger siblings. In real-life practical ways children begin to use what they're learning, and as they're not off at school, the parents see the evidence of their learning constantly.

SandraDodd.com/interview a
photo of a kaleidoscope (and Holly) by Holly

Holly was six when the response above was written,
and nineteen when she took the photo.
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Monday, March 18, 2019

What proof do you have?


A response to this question:
What proof do you have that it is working? How would you suggest parents reassure themselves that this path is providing everything their children need?

Well starting at the end, there is no path that will provide everything for a child. There are some [paths] that don't even begin to intend to provide everything their children need. Maybe first parents should consider what it is they think their children really need.

As to proof of whether unschooling is working, if the question is whether kids are learning, parents can tell when they're learning because they're there with them. How did you know when your child could ride a bike? You were able to let go, quit running, and watch him ride away. You know they can tell time when they tell you what time it is. You know they're learning to read when you spell something out to your husband and the kid speaks the secret word right in front of the younger siblings. In real-life practical ways children begin to use what they're learning, and as they're not off at school, the parents see the evidence of their learning constantly.

SandraDodd.com/interview
photo of a kaleidoscope (and Holly) by Holly

Holly was six when the response above was written,
and nineteen when she took the photo.
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Saturday, November 19, 2022

Climbing mountains and baking pies

Cumbres and Toltec train, 2015
In response to someone saying her child would rather take the easy route than try something tough, Joyce Fetteroll wrote:

It's human nature to avoid what we feel is a waste of time, energy and resources.
It's also human nature to pour energy into what we find fascinating.

If someone is made to climb a mountain, they'll find the easiest path, and perhaps even cheat.

If someone desires to climb a mountain, they may even make it more difficult—challenging—for themselves if the route doesn't light their fire.

If it were human nature to go the easy route, I wouldn't be sitting here writing out a response! No one would write a novel. No one would climb Mt. Everest. No one would bake a cherry pie from scratch. No one would have kids.
—Joyce Fetteroll

SandraDodd.com/joyce/pressure
Photo by Sandra Dodd, of Holly Dodd riding a steam train restored and largely operated by volunteers. The easy route would have been for them to stay home and read books and watch movies about trains.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Investing your time

The question was: "When do you find time for yourself as an individual?"

My response, once:

When children are very young, their lives ARE the mother's life. The more time the mother spends with the child when he's young, the easier it will be for him to separate freely on his own. It goes against some of the assumptions of traditional parenting (although it might not in India, and my comments might be too western here), to suggest that fulfilling all of a child's needs will make him more INdependent, but when a child is needy and feels ignored, he will be more demanding, not less.
As my children got a little older, I found other families to trade time with. Their kids would play at my house while the mom shopped or something, and she would reciprocate. If a mother is encouraged to look for more and more time without her children, though, it can make her feel unhappy thinking she's doing something wrong and should "find herself." Rather than encourage mothers to feel they have lost their individuality, I've found that helping them become the sort of parents they're proud to be can make them feel much better than outside interests might have. As children get older, mothers have more time, until someday the children are grown. People say it and hear it all the time, I know, but when they're little it seems it will never happen, and when they're older, it seems it took no time at all.

The more people one's children know and trust, the easier it will be for the parents to find some separate time, but I don't think time apart should be a high priority.

The graph was created for this article:
SandraDodd.com/howto/precisely

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

18 years old


How did reading the title "18 years old" make you feel? For some, there might have been an emotional response. I've had friends and relatives whose 18 year olds were required to either move out or start paying rent.

Some 18 year olds celebrate the occasion by doing things their parents had prevented for their whole lives up to that point.

It turns out that a person is just about the very same on the day of his 18th birthday as he was the day before. Unschoolers can live toward helping a child stay whole so that 18 is no particular landmark in his life, nor something to be feared or dreaded


The notes above were all new in 2011.
The page closest to it for linking purposes
was written seven years ago:
SandraDodd.com/teen/kirby
photo by Holly Dodd

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Which hat?


These hats are in a museum in Pennsylvania, in a reproduction milliner's shop.

Recently Just Add Light had a quote and link to something by Pam Sorooshian about whether one should be a child's friend, or parent. Pam knows one should be both, and explained that elegantly.

I was with a group of home ed families in France, some unschoolers, others in the various stages of consideration of unschooling, and someone asked to to tell how I am as a woman. Bea Mantovani was the translator, and said the question didn't really translate. The questioner tried to clarify. She said I had spoken of my husband, and of being a mother, but how was I as a woman, separate from that?

I remember my confusion better than my response. One thing I said was that I AM a mother.

I suspected, and it was later confirmed, that it was a socio-political question, a feminist concept about identity above and beyond motherhood. But the question sets motherhood in a low position, if only the brightest and the best exist apart from and outside of that, and if to have no answer made me unaware or less whole.

For one thing, though, I was in France speaking to people because I had been invited to do so. I've written thousands of thousands of words about parenting and how children can exist in a peaceful world of easy growth in all directions.

I'm a changing-the-world woman. But even that didn't answer the question, because it still was an extension of mothering, which I had explained had involved sharing and modeling since I nursed babies at La Leche League meetings.

I would most like to be known as a woman of integrity, and for that to be true, I can't deny or reject any aspect of my being. I can't divide myself into parts and still be one integral whole. Any hat I might put on is still on my own head.

SandraDodd.com/integrity

Affection and Esteem (from this blog, June 6, 2012)
photo by Sandra Dodd
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Friday, October 16, 2015

Stranger danger


In response to a question about "unschooling schools":

If a democratic school is chosen as the lesser of some array of school evils, that's fine.

If it's being chosen because the parent believes that professionals and strangers can "unschool" their child, then that's a problem with their perception of unschooling, and a potential loss of a wonderful home environment.

SandraDodd.com/school/alternative
photo by Sandra Dodd
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Friday, June 8, 2012

For now

In response to questions about what unschoolers can say to doubters and critics right in that crucial moment, I wrote:

Some things I've said:

"This is working for now. If it stops working, we'll do something else."

"Thanks. I'll think about that." (Or you could say "We thought about that," or "I think about that all the time.")

Mostly people want to know you heard what they said, and that you have thought about what they're suggesting. It doesn't hurt to say that you have, or that you will.


SandraDodd.com/school/say
photo by Sandra Dodd of one of the Diamond Jubilee beacons
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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Bully-proofing?

QUESTION:
I worry that if our child does not go to school that he will be vulnerable to bullying when interacting with school kids at activity clubs like soccer or scouts.
RESPONSE:
School kids are vulnerable to bullying both at activity clubs and at school. The idea that practice with being bullied helps people to avoid bullying doesn't seem true. Do abused women stand up to abusers better than women who have not been abused?

With my kids, their tolerance for nonsense from other children was very low, and because they never had to be in a class or club, but it was always their option to leave, it made a huge difference. They knew they could stay if they wanted, or go home if they would rather.

Much of bullying happens because humans need a hierarchy to interact. They don't behave well in "equal" groups of equally inexperienced people their own age. First, they need to learn from older and more experienced people. And if they have no leaders or experts in the group, then bullying and gangs can develop, because people seem to have a need to know their "rank" in a group.

I think bullying is a natural side effect of people feeling powerless, and of not being in the regular world where people do have different ages and different levels of experience in a situation.

SandraDodd.com/musicroom
photo by Sandra Dodd
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Saturday, October 24, 2015

Everywhere, all the time


My response to this question, from 2009:

What resources do you use for your children’s “educations”? Feel free to comment on the word “education”.

We don’t “educate” our children. We help arrange so that they have so many learning opportunities they can’t possibly take advantage of them all. We have friends with interesting jobs and hobbies. We invite them over, and we visit them. We have a house full of books, music, games, toys, movies, art materials, plants, food and dress-up clothes. We don’t expect learning to happen in the house, nor in museums, but we know it happens everywhere. We don’t expect learning to happen during daylight hours or on weekdays. We know it happens all the time. So we don’t “use resources” except that we see every thing we discuss or see, smell, touch, hear or taste to be a resource. It’s not a word we use, because it’s all of life.

SandraDodd.com/education
photo by Cá Maciel
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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Change for the better

With apologies to male readers... adjust as necessary.
You don't have to change everything. You can't change everything at once anyway. If you start acting consciously and mindfully with a goal in mind (more peaceful, richer environment, more patient, more gentle—whatever direction or combination of principles you want to hold as your guiding lights), you can and will be a better (more conscious, more thoughtful) mother, and a better person.

SandraDodd.com/choices
photo by Sandra Dodd
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I wrote "have to."
Perhaps it was in response to someone having used it in her "yeah but..."
I could have written "You don't have to change everything, yet everything will change."

Sunday, July 21, 2013

You don't need to know.


Response to a question about how a mother can discover her child's passion or strengths:

You don't need to know your child's strengths and passions. It doesn't matter. Sounds goofy, but it's true.

What you should look for is helping her right in the moment.

SandraDodd.com/being
photo by Sandra Dodd, of an Easy-Bake Oven, in a thrift store
Thinking the new lightbulbs won't work, but most unschoolers have REAL ovens, unless they're in The Netherlands, perhaps, where (I've learned) ovens are rare.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Layers of an onion

My response to "Sometimes I think I've started to understand something but instead it's like an onion and there's another layer I didn't know I needed to understand."



That's how everything good is. Every hobby, skill, pastime, has a surface and has a depth. Some things can be just surface, but parenting and unschooling last for years. And if a family can't resolve to be and do and provide better for the child than school would, then school is better.

If a family resolves to provide a better life experience then school did, then their decisions and actions should be based on that.
SandraDodd.com/betterchoice
"Getting It" has some layers-of-onion discussion, too.

photo by Sandra Dodd

Friday, June 2, 2023

It's not about power

Once upon a time, a newer but enthusiastic unschooler came to a discussion explaining the "we" (all of us) should agree that unschooling was about power—power over oneself, and the power to decide what to learn and when (and more dramatic power-based rhetoric).

Some of my response is below, and near the photo credit is a link to the full post.
We don't talk about power here much, but we have given our children a life of choices. It's not "power," it's rational thinking, considering all sorts of factors and preferences. They don't need power over themselves. They need to BE themselves.
SandraDodd.com/being

"The power to decide what to learn" makes a pretzel of the straight line between experience and knowing.

My children don't "decide what to learn, how to learn, and when to learn it." They learn all the time. They learn from dreams, from eating, from walking, from singing, from conversations, from watching plants grow and storms roll. They learn from movies, books, websites, and asking questions.

Power over oneself, unschooling and "politics"
photo by Amy Milstein

Monday, May 13, 2013

Commitment to unschooling

In response to a question about commitment...

My best recommendation is to create and maintain such a rich and joyful unschooling life that the child won't want to go to school. That's the direction "commitment to unschooling" should take.
two stone archways at a state park in Texas
SandraDodd.com/interviews/naturalparenting2010
photo by Sandra Dodd
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