Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Keep choosing

You can't choose to be an unschooler once and expect that one choice to see you through life. You have to choose several times an hour.
photo by Sandra Dodd

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Plain old or all dressed up

Sometimes a table might be formally set for a special meal, or decked out with a birthday cake, and other times it has a week's worth of mail and a forgotten art project.

People will doll up with formal clothes and the best of hair and make-up, or be set head-to-toe for a sport, performance, or a cosplay event.

A house, or neighborhood, might be decorated for a festival, and a week later have too much sunshine, and trash blowing down the street.

This happens with learning, with relationships, and in families, too. A special movie night isn't the same as whatever's on and helping fold the laundry so there's space on the couch. What looks like a quiet, boring afternoon might have a lot of learning under the surface.

A Typical Unschooling Day Described two ways
photo by Janine Davies

Monday, January 16, 2023

What and how much to eat

Alex Polikowsky, the day after "Pi Day" one year when her kids were younger:

My kids can eat bowls of sugar if they want. They are not fat, obese of even chubby. They have lots of cookies, candy and sweets at home at any time. Just yesterday I bought two pies for Pi day and baked. My daughter ate a big piece of the pumpkin pie but only the filling. Then she asked for an apple and ate half of it. Then she went to the refrigerator and grabbed the red bell pepper that we got for the Guinea Pigs and cut a couple pieces for them and ate the rest. That was while I was reading [an unschooling discussion]. That was her late night snack.

My son ate a strip of bacon and left the other one and went to sleep.

They have chosen what they eat and how much all their lives.
—Alex Poliowsky
March 2012

True Tales of Kids Turning Down Sweets
photo by Sylvia Woodman, of candy sitting peacefully

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Keep your world warm

The faith he has in you is growing or waning at every moment.

You're either building your relationship or you're eroding it.

Every laugh at his expense, every promise you can't keep... erosion. Getting cold, not getting warm.

The quote is from a chat on breathing, but this link is better:
photo by Karen James

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Portals to this and that

Yesterday's post had a song to listen to, if you clicked through to the blog. It didn't show in e-mail. Check again, if you missed it, if you like songs. This one is from late 1967. Some of you were not born yet, but I was 14 years old—a great age to appreciate new 60s music.
Another link to What You Can't See, from yesterday.

As I worked on updating and stabilizing pages here and on my website, I started marking those I felt were sufficient, for now, for use from phones and computers both. At first I was using a big asterisk, but when I linked a page on facebook or somewhere, a grey scary asterisk showed as the first image, and that's no good, so I went with
a little line.

On blogposts, they're centered below the photo credit. On webpages, they're in the upper right corner (or left, if the upper right was occupied).


From Just Add Light and Stir, on older posts, if you see one of those lines it probably goes to a second webpage that's also applicable—maybe one that didn't yet exist when the post was new. Sometimes they go to a different blog day that's a good match.

At, they link to posts at Just Add Light and Stir that link to or quote that page, usually. So those go back and forth between the blog and site, usually.

If you find one that doesn't go anywhere, let me know and I can put something in. There might be ten or a dozen that are blank, because at first I thought it would be just a mark for my own use.

Entertaining mysteries are better than irritating blank mysteries.

Have fun, if you see any of those unmarked portals.

Unschooling Site News,
photos by me (the sign) and Hema Bharadwaj (of me in 2010 posing with a zoo's... I don't know what those are called, when you stick your head in something for a photo)

Friday, January 13, 2023

What you can't see

If that apple weren't there, you might be able to see Mount Taylor in the distance. It's 60 miles away. If it weren't for that pesky apple, it would probably show itself.

It's easy to think of what I might have done if I hadn't had kids when I did, or at all. It was even easier when they were little and moist and sticky and grabby. It's better for your soul, and for theirs, if you don't see them as pesky kids keeping you from getting away with whatever you were imagining.

Look past the momentary downside. Wipe off the stickiness and give them something good to grab. Maybe an apple. Don't worry if they don't eat it "right," or at all. Let it be a ball, an attribute block, or a visual aid that can block out a mountain.
photo by Sandra Dodd

Donovan wrote (and sang):
First there is a mountain
Then there is no mountain
Then there is
P.S. I did not place the apple there to block Mount Taylor. The photo was taken on my back deck in April 2013. The words here are from January 2023.

The apple is long gone; Mount Taylor is still there. My kids have moved out, but I've seen each of them this week.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

"Wrong place"

"A place for every thing, and every thing in its place" can hamper a lot of experimentation and originality.

Live loosely, for learning to flow.

Inflexibility makes fewer connections. Stiffness opens fewer conversations.
photo by Sandra Dodd