Tuesday, November 14, 2023

When I grew up

When I was in first grade I decided I wanted to be a teacher.

All through school I paid attention to what teachers did and how, and why (when I could figure that out, which was pretty often). And I asked the other kids what they liked about teachers and what they didn’t. So I learned LOTS and lots about how learning works and what factors work for different kinds of people.

When I was older, 13/14 or so, I wanted to become a missionary (still teaching-related), or to work at a magazine. And it seems all those rolled together are what I’ve become. I write, and I help people have happier more peaceful lives, and it’s all about learning. So in a natural-learning way I’ve been working up to this always.

I wrote the above in an online exchange for Mothering Magazine in 2007.

Recently, I remembered another writing-related profession I had seriously considered for a short while in my late 20's. I had read that the Hallmark Cards company was hiring writers, in Kansas City. I thought I could do that! I knew nothing about Kansas City, and decided I didn't want to move, but while I thought about applying, writing mushy or funny or inspiring words to go with an image sounded easy and fun.

When this blog was already ten years old, I remembered the greeting-card thoughts, and saw that Just Add Light and Stir is much like a greeting-card collection. Some are funny, or mushy, and many are inspiring. Some are seasonal, and some are about babies. With over 4,680 posts, I guess I have inadvertently written some greeting cards.

The top section was originally published in 2021, with a video. The permission to use that video was forgotten about and the organizer said no, when I reminded her. That post said "...with over 4,000 posts" but today there are 4,687. Thank you for reading.

Just Add Light and Stir on my site
The snowglobe image above was by an artist at Fiverr in 2017.

Monday, November 13, 2023

It's invisible, until...

Sandra, responding to a mom who said her son only wanted to play, play, play.

You’re looking for school. Because you don’t know what unschooling looks like, you can’t see it. It’s invisible to people who haven’t deschooled.

Because you’re pressuring your son, he can’t deschool. His deschooling won’t take as long as yours will, but if you never leave him along he will never deschool.

If you don’t stop looking for school, YOU will never deschool.
The words above are from a longer post, here.

I also noted, of her nine-year old who was new to unschooling, "Play, play, play is what he should be doing. Nothing else. Only playing."

Deschooling is recovery, and is a major reset of perception and of focus. It's always awkward, and sometimes scary for parents, but it's necessary and leads to visible unschooling!

photo by Roya Dedeaux

Sunday, November 12, 2023

Passing a passion on

When we stop looking at our kids and what they do through schooly glasses, we're no longer concerned about how long they've been interested in something, or how much time they've spent doing something but rather we're in there with them, their passion leaking onto us and giving us a bit of that passion too. It just becomes life and living, not some thing they're doing because it's good for them or because they'll need it when they're an adult or whatever other reason school says kids should do things.
—Kim H.

photo by Roya Dedeaux

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Expand your world

Jen Keefe wrote:

Getting to know my kids and subsequently all the amazingly cool "nerdy" things I never would have learned about otherwise has expanded my world. Cynicism always shrunk it.
—Jen Keefe

photo by Marin Holmes, in Tokyo

Friday, November 10, 2023

Empower and enliven!

photo from a car in a tunnel without other cars

Anything you feel you "have to" do is entrapping and stiffling.

Something you *choose* to do can be empowering and enlivening.

photo by Marty Dodd

Thursday, November 9, 2023


It's not about "success," it's about progress, and living in the moment as well as possible.

photo by Sabine Mellinger

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Safe at home

"He should be safe in his own home" is a good thing to remember about a child. It can be said to visitors, to siblings, and reflexively to oneself when making a decision. An adult partner should be safe in his own home, too.

photo by Julie D