Wednesday, September 28, 2016

On a peaceful day...

Watching the news on TV, or following too many news sites, can harm the peace of an unschooling home. Some moms, especially when their children are young, have found more peace if they focus inward on their children than outward far away. photo DSC04938.jpg

If someone WANTS to be afraid and pissed off, even on a fairly peaceful day, all it takes is to turn the news on and let it affect your entire nervous system, your digestive system, your adrenal glands and hormones, your chance of trusting your neighbors, or of sleeping peacefully.
photo by Sandra Dodd, of someone else's puppet

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Light and shadows

"Light" can refer to levity, in English, and also to illumination. So it can be sweetness, humor, and clarity all. One of the best places to live lightly is in the kitchen, with and around food.

Avoid shading or shadowing what works best when bathed in light and lightness.
photo by Sandra Dodd

Monday, September 26, 2016

Don't measure.

I've given this advice to newlyweds, and to my children about roommates:

Don't aim for 50/50.

If 50% is right, then 49% is wrong, and 65% would be something get angry about.

If you both aim for more than half, you'll meet around the middle, around half the time. If you want the other person to stick around, "around" is the goal,
photo by Sandra Dodd

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sometimes yes

Sometimes saying yes is being patient a little longer than the schedule says you should. Sometimes being kind is not rushing toward or away from something. Sometimes magic, and learning, and memories, come from a patient, gentle, unspoken "yes."
photo by Sandra Dodd

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Strewing might ring a bell

Not the same bells as I saw in a museum in Avebury, but bells...

Once Colleen Prieto wrote:

Yesterday, a neighbor offered me something that looks sort of like a cross between a bell and a gong, a stand to hang it from, and a mallet. It was interesting and I figured we'd find some sort of use for it, so...

In the less than 24 hours it's been in the house, my 9 year old has:
  • Experimented with the different sounds it can make (soft hits, hard hits, hit in different places)
  • Used it to call us all to attention so he could announce important things (like "I'm hungry" :-))
  • Told our elderly friend about it, and in turn checked out the links she sent to websites that have photos of gongs that are bigger than people, Tibetan singing bowls, etc.
  • Added The King and I to our Netflix queue after my mother said she thinks they use gongs to summon dancing maidens in the movie
  • Looked for other things in the house to bring into the living room to make it look "even more Avatar air temple and less ordinary living room" :-)
  • Put Avatar episodes on in the background and made up his own air-bending moves while they were on
  • Wondered why a mallet is called a mallet and is not called a hammer
  • Asked me to find the bell collection we used to have out, so he can play with the bells again

The fun (and learning, and connections) that can come from exploring one simple item can be amazing.

—Colleen Prieto photo by Sandra Dodd

Friday, September 23, 2016


For unschooling to flourish, parents might need to find ways to protect their children from the parents’ own fears and prejudices. The easiest way to do that is for the parents to let go of those fears and prejudices and see the world, and their children, through new eyes.
Protection can backfire
photo by Sandra Dodd

Thursday, September 22, 2016

What's the question?

Instead of indulging in pretty phrases and lofty goals, strip off the words and see if there is a simpler, more direct question to ask. If you can find the question, you might discover that you know the answer.
photo by Sandra Dodd
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