Wednesday, July 3, 2024

A busy, happy swirl

I didn’t expect them to learn so much without me.

Anyone who is involved in natural learning for any length of time can find it difficult to summarize what children have learned academically, because each child’s knowledge comes from such varied sources and is fit together uniquely.

At first, though, I thought I wouldn’t miss a single thing. Then I totally missed them learning Roman numerals, which they learned from the names of a series of MegaMan video games.

I was jealous of that “MegaMan” guy, at first. I felt cheated out of the fun of seeing their eyes light up. But in thinking about that feeling, I realized that if life is a busy, happy swirl, they will learn. Learning is guaranteed. The range and content will vary, but the learning will happen.
—Sandra in 2014, originally
and there's a comment there

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

You don't "have to"

Every time "have to" comes up in writing, speech or thought, back up two words and see it as a choice, and not a have to.

You don't "have to" do that, but your ability to make choices and to live a life of abundant gratitude will be hampered if you don't.
photo by Marty Dodd

Monday, July 1, 2024

Experiences, not lessons

Experience is the only true teacher. Give your kids experiences, not lessons. Give them opportunities to follow their hearts until they exhaust their curiosity. The longer you do schoolish things, the longer it will take for them to find a path of their own because they will constantly be looking for approval for their choices from without instead of from within. Expose them to cool and interesting people whenever you can.
. . . .
Relax. Live life. Breathe. Enjoy. Find yourself. Love your children.
—Jennifer / Jen Fox
from the last comment, here

Jennifer was writing about deschooling, so...
photo by Julie D

Sunday, June 30, 2024

Roses and different directions

People need to start and go, but they don't have to race at breakneck speed or never look back. "Going" sometimes just means going one step and smelling the roses! Sometimes the most important steps are those where you're still standing in the very same place, but looking a different direction!

Sandra Dodd, July 2003 discussion
photo by Sandra Dodd

Saturday, June 29, 2024

Solid and reliable

Integrity is a strong wholeness. The fabric of the being of a thing can't be broken. A bucket with one hole in it is lacking integrity. It's not a good bucket. A frayed rope lacks integrity. No matter how long or strong the rest of the rope is, that frayed part keeps it from being a good rope.
. . . .
It's exactly why every person who hopes to have a positive influence on any other person needs to figure out how to find and maintain as much integrity as possible.
photo by Sandra Dodd

Friday, June 28, 2024

I'm not guessing.

I'm confident. I'm not guessing unschooling can work, I know. I've also seen how it can fail, through my correspondence and discussions with so many other homeschooling families. I'm not hoping that kids can still get a job without fifteen years of practice bedtimes; I know they can. (And they would've been "practicing" for the wrong shift anyway.) I don't conjecture that kids can learn to read without being taught, I know. It's happened at my house, in three people's lives.
photo by Sandra Dodd

Just because it *can* work doesn't mean that a family can't fail. If you're going to unschool, do it well. Find your own confidence. Help is available.

Thursday, June 27, 2024


Learning is about connections. And others can't make those connections for you. You bring learning in; it is not inserted.

Some people learn better by seeing, watching, touching, than by being talked to anyway. Some want to see diagrams in a book, or maps. Some want to hear about it from others who have done it, seen it, know it.

When unschoolers provide as much different input as they can, each child can learn in his own way.

Principles of Learning (chat transcript)
photo by Cátia Maciel