Showing posts sorted by relevance for query sharing. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query sharing. Sort by date Show all posts

Saturday, April 14, 2012


About kids sharing a computer:

The problem I see with measured turns is that the quality of game play is compromised. If someone sees the clock and that's when they have to stop, they won't play as thoughtfully. They're less likely to look around at the art or appreciate the music. If they're starting to read, they're less likely to take a moment to look at the text and see if they can tell what it says.

The benefits of game play will not come to full fruition if kids' time is measured that way, and they're not learning to share.

If they only have an hour, they will take ALL of that hour, just as kids whose TV time is limited will.

It they can play as long as they want to, they might play for five or ten minutes and be done. I've seen it in Holly, I saw it for half an hour in Marty.

Yes, Kirby wanted it more. He was older and it was his game system and he could play better. And so in exchange for me keeping the other kids away while Kirby was playing as long as he wanted to, he let them play as long as they wanted to, which was never as long as he did.

from "Helping Kids Share,"
photo by Will Geusz, of his pets sharing

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

The open flow of real-world sharing

from 2004, Sandra Dodd:

The best thing unschoolers can do is to unschool well. The best thing those who are interested in helping others come along the same path can do is explain what helped it work well.

Reading other families' personal stories, hearing about paths that didn't work well and others that did is what helped me when I was new to this, and that's what I've been involved in helping happen ever since—real unschoolers sharing their real experiences.

Some people don't want to share in public and that's fine. Some people share things in public that turn out not to be true, and that's not cool. But over the years, many hundreds of unschoolers who first found one another through AOL's message boards, or at conferences, or through e-mail correspondence have met other unschoolers in person, and each person must ultimately gauge for herself who to emulate or trust or to go to for inspiration or whatever. There is no central board certifying unschoolers or conference organizers or listowners. It's the open flow of real-world sharing.

In 2024 I'm still offering a hand.
photo by Linda Wyatt

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Sharing time

When we "give someone our time," what is it we give? Sometimes attention, or service. Maybe assistance, or advice.

Instead of thinking that I "give" my child my time, it helps to think of us sharing a moment, together.
photo by Sandra Dodd

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Sharing contentment

The damage done by negativity is a knowable thing. If the mother can't find contentment, she has none to share with her children.

Sharing Negativity (how and why not to)
photo by Jo Isaac

Friday, May 12, 2023

Peace and sharing

Peace and joy make all the other things easier. Children who don't feel crowded or frustrated will find it easier to share.

When things are, sometimes crowded and frustrating, remember not to yell "I told you to share!" (That last part is a joke, but it might help to imagine a smiley-face safety cone near what could be a danger.)
photo by Roya Dedeaux

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Sharing a moment, together

When we "give someone our time," what is it we give? Sometimes attention, or service. Maybe assistance, or advice.

Instead of thinking that I "give" my child my time, it helps to think of us sharing a moment, together.

"Being there for and with the family" seems so simple and yet many parents miss out on it without even leaving the house. Maybe it's because of English. Maybe we think we're "being there with our family" just because we can hear them in the other room. There is a special kind of "being" and a thoughtful kind of "with" that are necessary for unschooling and mindful parenting to work.
photo by Lydia Koltai

Monday, November 18, 2013

A million ideas

I'm glad to live in a time when photographs are so easily taken and shared, without ever needing to be set on paper or touched with hands. I can show you things I've seen. Just Add Light has had images from four continents, from mothers and fathers sharing photos of their children, and from teens and children sharing photos of things they've seen. A thousand people can see them on the same day. A thousand photos have come through. It's worldwide strewing from which each reader makes his or her own connections. Shared experiences are interpreted differently by each person involved, and connected by each to his own existing knowledge and images.
photo by Sandra Dodd,
and it's one of over 1200,
but I rounded to the nearest thousand

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Staying home in modern times

Below is something I wrote in December 2020.
I'm sharing it because it has been two years since the covid shut-down changed my plans. I was to have stayed with a grandson while his younger sibling was born. That little girl has turned two years old now. Because I have an undiagnosed chronic cough, I fear to become sick, so I stay home, still, usually.

I could be sad at home, or I can be happy. I have years of practice at conjuring and sharing happiness. Keith knows that sometimes I fail. I get scared, or have a bad dream, or feel sorry for myself, but I revive and recover and put out one more “Just Add Light and Stir,” where people can peek into moments in other families, viewpoints of other people, and sightings of birds or lizards on other continents, in other seasons. There are words and ideas people can take in for a moment, or an hour, or to keep. Then I feel better.

I hope next year is easier and sweeter for all of us. If it is, your memories of an expansive world should allow you to jump on and ride it.
photo by Sandra Dodd

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Life at home is blooming

A mom named Heather wrote:

Sandra Dodd & Joyce Kurtak Fetteroll, I came to unschooling to provide a better way to learn for my kids. Then I came to radical unschooling because I discovered it was about more than school. Now I'm discovering my hang-ups about food / nutrition / healthy food obsessions / weekend "junk" binges and controlling the groceries in our home and now radically unschooling (and your wisdom!) is helping me to unravel these problems and live wholly in the area of food too! Radical unschooling has SO MUCH been about me discovering issues I didn't even know I had, and life at home is blooming. I can't thank you enough for sharing your knowledge!
photo by Sarah S, who took the photo in September 2023, of candy that's available for her kids anytime, and invites us to note there is still Easter candy in there

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Being with your child

If watching TV is his thing and complaining about TV is your thing, you spoiled a chance to have a shared thing.
photo by Holly Dodd

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Year Three Begins Today

I hope the ideas and links on this blog have helped you and your family live rich and peaceful lives. I am honored by the number of readers and by the positive feedback.

Thank you for reading, for trying these ideas at home, and for sharing them with your friends.

Through the month of September 2012, I am requesting assistance and will send gifts. If your life, learning or relationships benefit from this information, please consider participating.
Gift Exchange Information:

photo by Sandra 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.

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

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Gifts, boxed

Within that little library box are books. Each book is like a box of stories and ideas. Each scene within could be a gift to one reader or another. Some books have pictures.

Video (on tapes, discs, YouTube, streaming services) is all made up of pictures, and probably voices, and maybe music. Those, too, are boxes of gifts of stories and ideas.

If you feel stuck, remember the gift of escape into stories of other times and places.

MOVIES AS A PLAYGROUND, as tools, as portals
... sharing movies with our kids

photo by Gail Higgins

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Lean toward it

You can lean—even without moving—with thoughts and decisions toward where you want to be.

Thanks to Rachel Miller for saving and sharing something I said during a presentation in Texas in April 2014.
photo by Sandra Dodd

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Earn your children's trust

Live your life in such a way that other people will trust you. When you make decisions, make generous, selfless decisions so that others benefit. When you say something, do your best to say what is fair and right and true. When you write, write things you don't mind people taking out and sharing.

A person is only trustworthy if he has earned trust, if he is worthy of being trusted.

BENEFITS beyond just "be a better parent"
photo by Marty Dodd

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A state of curiosity

In early 2008, sharing some interesting connections that had happened at our house, I wrote:
That all 'just happened,' but it happened because we've been building up to it with our whole lives and our whole style of communicating and living together in a constant state of open curiosity.
. . . .
Once you start looking for connections and welcoming them, it creates a kind of flow that builds and grows.
Photo by Sandra Dodd

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Mathematics could use a better name. Seriously. School has gone and made that one all scary. In addition (she said mathematically), it's not called the same thing in all English-speaking places. "Math" in some places, and "maths" in others.

But it's about measuring and weighing and sharing. It's about making decisions in video games (buy the watering can? risk danger to collect coins?) and it's about how fast music goes and which ladder to use to get onto the roof. It's almost never about numbers themselves, and it's never about workbooks (except for workbook manufacture and purchase).

I went to look for a different word for "mathematics," and I didn't find one. One Old English word was "telling." For arithmetic: "cyphering," or sums. So I went looking for modern, philosophical definitions of mathematics that had nothing to do with school, and I have collected all these bits and pieces for you: Mathematics is a science dealing with the logic of quantity and shape and arrangement; structure, space, and change; logic, transformations, numbers and more general ideas which encompass these concepts.

Structure and transformations? I use those things. Shape and arrangement? That covers art, and music. Flowers in vases and books on shelves.

Unschooling is simple but not easy, and it's not easy to understand, but when math is a normal part of life then people can discover it and use it in natural ways and it becomes a part of their native intelligence.

Unschoolers and Mathematics
the image is a Holly photo

Thursday, July 6, 2017

See, touch, hear

Let [babies] hear you speak, and find opportunities for them to hear others speak. Although there are justifications and theories about what babies like and respond to (high voices and sing-songy voices seem to appeal to babies), don't revert to a whole babytalk language with them. Some is fine, but talk to them about real things, too.

Tell them what you're doing with them, and what they're seeing, when they're out and about. Don't quiz them, just talk. It's fine if they can't understand you for months and months. They'll be learning your tone and your moods and the speech patterns of the language even before they have vocabulary. You will be building a relationship that is not based on the meaning of the words, but on the sharing of the time and attention. You're paying attention to what the baby sees and touches and hears. The baby is paying attention to you.

If you can keep that up for eighteen years, you've got unschooling!
photo by Sandra Dodd, up into a little tree I sat under, in a gully;
a banana blossom, in Maui!

(touch/click to enlarge)

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Sometimes thinking is shared

Though thinking is usually private and quiet, sometimes it shows easily. Games and projects often involve discussions of strategies, or analysis of error or success. Working on projects together puts the supplies and the thoughts all out on the table.

If a child wants to share his thoughts with you, take it as a compliment. Be honored.

Honor him by listening to him as a full human sharing real ideas.

Those are the moments faith and trust are made of. Be a person he'll come back to next time, next year, when he's grown.
photo by Ester Siroky

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Experiments and experiences

Keith and I have enjoyed our children and the success of our experiments and experiences has been a joint project at which we were very successful. The effect of sharing something difficult, like parenting in a way that’s not universally acclaimed and supported, can be strengthening to a relationship.

We had always worked at being courteous to each other. We always said please and thank you about any “pass the salt” or “could I have a Kleenex.” It was easy, then, to model that for our children and for them to see the valuable effect of it.

Source:  20 Unschooling Questions: Sandra Dodd from NM, USA

Related:  Becoming a Better Partner
photo by Sandra Dodd