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 of a pool local to me,
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