Monday, February 5, 2024

Be there, listening

bouncy house
Deb Lewis wrote:

Once you’re really listening to your kids and not your sense of injustice, you’ll find that answering them and interacting with them is intellectually rewarding and stimulating and fun. It’s not something you *have* to do. It’s something you *get* to do for a very little while. You can’t change this need your kids have right now. You can only change how you see it, how you think about it and meet it. And that’s good because that’s entirely in your power to do.
—Deb Lewis
photo by Sandra Dodd
in Northern Ireland, years ago

Sunday, February 4, 2024

Be more involved

Joyce Fetteroll wrote:

Unschooling is the opposite of both authoritarian and hands-off parenting. It's neither about creating rules to remote parent nor about letting kids jump off cliffs. It's about being more involved in kids lives. It's about accompanying them as they explore, helping them find safe, respectful and empowering ways to tackle what intrigues them.
—Joyce Fetteroll
photo by Eleanor Chong

This image might be hard to interpret. It's wintry yard art. A forked branch was stuck in a container of water, and when the top layer froze, it was pulled out and hung up as a temporary decoration.

Saturday, February 3, 2024

More peaceful, more loving

If you can envision the kind of relationship and the life of learning you want to have, then every time you make a choice, choose the one that takes you nearer to that goal. Learn to make many choices a day and choose the more peaceful, more loving options whenever you can. Choose to make your life more positive, and less negative.
(video and transcript)
Related info: Better Choice
photo by Cátia Maciel

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Being, in balance

Sandra, about Always Learning (the discussion list referenced):

I think finding balance is probably the hardest thing. It's easy to make an extreme caricature of "being an unschooler" rather than finding a way to live unschooling. Someone recently assured us she was "doing it," but having someone else say "that's it, you're balanced on that bicycle" is worthless if the bicycle falls over. There's doing, and there's being, and there's "it," and the reason this list exists and thrives is that those ideas (doing, being, "it") live in the realm of philosophy, of the examination of ideas, of the weeding out of error and fallacy.

Half of me says "bummer" and half of me says "cool!" and so at the balance point of those two, we continue to discuss unschooling.
photo by Linda Wyatt

Wednesday, January 31, 2024


It seems that once unschooling is going that it covers everything, and there are no wasted moments, or wasted thoughts.
but you don't have to take my word for it:
Shockingly efficient
photo by Sandra Dodd

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Benefits of laughter

Deb Lewis wrote (in 2007, so that's the "now"):

Studies are now popping up suggesting laughter makes our brains work better, reduces stress and helps sick people get well. St. Jude's Children's hospital is part of a five-year study about laughter and improved medical outcome. The study may very well expand on a finding by the renowned Dr. Seuss, which says, in part, "Today was good, today was fun. Tomorrow is another one."

Laughter has helped my own family through hard times. Sure we would have come through the hard times anyway, but we came through them with less stress, fewer lasting scars, and lots of great one-liners.
—Deb Lewis

from "Unschooler's Pipe Wrench,"
photo by Janine Davies

Monday, January 29, 2024

Fun, connection, learning

In response to a question from a mother of four-year-old girls:
"What does unschooling look like at this age?"

Clare Kirkpatrick wrote:

It looks like it does at any age: fun and connection. Do what is fun for them. If you're also working on better connection with them, a closer relationship with them, you'll also start to learn what they may find fun that they don't yet know about. Also do what is fun for you. Learning to help yourself to do fun things will help you realise that your children's learning and richness of life will come from helping them to do things they find fun.

At the moment in my house, I am having fun thinking hard about unschooling. My husband and my 12 year old are having fun and connecting with each other by playing Call of Duty together. I have helped my 6 and 8 year olds by making some space for them to build a little home for their polly pocket dolls out of wooden blocks and they are now having fun working on that and playing together. My 10 year old is having fun watching Mako Mermaids on Netflix and occasionally turning round to watch her sister and dad playing and ask questions about the game. Actually, while I've been writing that, the six year old has now snuggled next to my 12 year old to join in the chat about the game. Connection and fun. And, therefore, learning.

—Clare Kirkpatrick
photo: selfie by Sven, the dad