Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Access to tools

Karen James wrote:

Cultivating an attitude of gratitude for the many gifts in my life has taken me from a place of hopelessness in my mind, to one of abundant possibilities. Because my life *looks* more abundant to me, every moment holds more potential. That doesn't mean my life is all wonderful and easy. It does mean that I have access to more emotional, creative, and intellectual tools to help me move toward the kind of life I want for myself and my family.
—Karen James
photo by Amy Milstein

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Encouragement back and forth

An unidentified reader wrote:
I wanted to say that this blog, out of all the blogs in the blogosphere, encourages me the most. It lets me know, that my actually natural inclinations as a parent (to love, to focus on relationship, to care for the inside more than the outside) are what I should be listening to. It is so easy in this world to get mired down in how we *should* do something. I admit to falling for this time and time again. I just wanted you to know this blog to be a true inspiration for how to be not only a "good" unschooling parent, but just a good person. Thank you.

That was late 2013, but I came across it again in 2024. It's one of those I saved here: Feedback—Just Add Light and Stir
photo and quote by Sandra Dodd; image by Holly Dodd

Monday, March 25, 2024

Look, learn, and proceed

Karen James wrote:

I think advice of any kind can get in the way of unschooling if it is taken as truth without some reflection. Unschooling is really about learning without school. Radical unschooling includes all learning, not just academic learning. What encourages and supports learning in your child(ren)?
Look at that.
     Learn from that.
          Proceed from that.
—Karen James
photo by Christine Milne

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Contentment, where you are

Peace can be just contentment—to be happy where you are, to like your life.
(the quote is from the sound file at the bottom)
photo by Sandra Dodd

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Whole people, with lives unfolding

I see my children as whole people whose lives are unfolding now. They may have memories as vivid as mine. What I do and say now will be part of their lives after I’m dead. And do I want to be the wicked witch? Do I want to be a stupid character that they grow up and live in reaction to and avoidance of? And so if I see them as whole, then I see that as they grow bigger, I grow smaller in their universe.

Improving Unschooling (transcript, and recorded interview)
photo by Elise Lauterbach

Friday, March 22, 2024

Living in the world

Unschoolers live in the same world as other people. If you plan ahead, you can live in that world even better than most people do. If you stubbornly cling to frustration or fantasy, you can find yourselves isolated, and angry about it as though the isolation was imposed on you from the outside.

Don't pine for "unschool-world."

But as for ideas for what to say, there are lots collected here: Responding to questions about unschooling
photo by Wesli Dykstra

Thursday, March 21, 2024

The bright, shiny parts

On a scale from dull and dusty to bright and shiny, where is your life? How much of the happy outside world is flowing in? How much are you and your children interacting with the bright, shiny parts of the world outside?

Unschooling should and can be bigger and better than school.

If it's smaller and quieter than school, more should be done to make life sparkly.

Let one thing lead to another for you. Explore. Not the parent pressing the kid to explore, but the parent exploring and connecting.
photo by Sandra Dodd