Friday, September 22, 2017

New eyes

Joyce wrote:
Don't teach. Just look at *everything* with new eyes....

Just live life amazed.
—Joyce Fetteroll
To read the long middle part I left out, go to:
SandraDodd.com/discovery
photo by Sandra Dodd

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Really out there

Ronnie Maier, years ago:
The collected minds on unschooling.com were my primary inspiration. Actually, my first reaction was, "These people are really out there!" But as I read a lot (LOT) of information about homeschooling, those unschooling voices kept calling me. The seeds were planted, and I began to see in our lives—even while our kids were in school—what the people "out there" were talking about. By the time we officially pulled our kids out of school, I was 80% an unschooler. One math lesson after that, it was closer to 90%.
—Ronnie Maier
SandraDodd.com/day/meme
(The message board named was once marvelous, but is long gone.)
photo by Chrissy Florence

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Knowing differences

"Compare and contrast," in school assignments, could have been called "tell how these are the same but different."

Here is a view through an old fence into some pens, in Maine. This isn't what old fences look like in New Mexico. I recognize it as a wooden corral, but they might not even use that term in Maine. It is the same, but different.


Our vocabularies, our understandings, our ability to think clearly—all can be expanded by considering "same but different" about animals, ideas, children, houses, music, stories, clothing, clouds... Don't dismiss children's questions, nor your own, with "it's just the same." It's probably just as different.

SandraDodd.com/comparisons
photo by Sandra Dodd
(and here was one in New Mexico)

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Courtesy, and teens

I posted this story in 2006 when it was six years old.
Now it is eleven years old. Our family looked like this, when the story was new:



A story slightly involving allowance, but a snapshot of how kids who aren't desperate for money can act:

Two of Marty's friends were going to pick him up to go run around, but they ended up staying here. Then another friend came over to see all my kids. Then a friend of Kirby's from work came over. I hadn't met her before. She was nice. So my three (14, 17, 19) plus four more (17-21) were all having a great time laughing and looking at stuff on Kirby's computer and around our house, and Marty's big Lego Viking village, and so forth.

They decided to go out for ice cream and then to see "Over the Hedge." I asked Holly if she needed money, and she didn't. (She saves her allowance up.) Every other person there has a job. Outside of Kirby possibly having an interest in the girl from work, there were no couples. Two of those kids do have steady others, but didn't bring them over. So it was four teenaged girls, four teenaged boys, no romantic tension (unless Kirby and new-girl; didn't see any).

And here's the big success part. They asked Keith if he wanted to go. I didn't know they had, when Marty came and asked me if I wanted to go. So they would have taken me, or Keith, or both of us, with them.

We separately thanked them and declined and found out later they had asked us both. Pretty sweet!

We didn't "teach them" to invite their parents to the movies. One advantage of our not going was that then they could fit into the big van and didn't have to take two cars.

The van they went in:


SandraDodd.com/math/allowance
Sweetness in Teens
The photos are links.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Falling asleep

For the first MANY years of their lives, our kids fell asleep being nursed, or being held or rocked by dad or mom, or in the car on the way home from something fun. They slept because they were sleepy, not because we told them to. So when they got older, they would fall asleep near us, happily.

We never minded putting them in the bed after they were asleep. It was rare they went to sleep in the bed. They would wake up there (or in our bed, or on the couch or on a floor bed) knowing only that they had been put there and covered up by someone who loved them.

Going to sleep wasn't about "going to bed."


Kirby, four, fell asleep while playing.

SandraDodd.com/sleeping
photo by Sandra Dodd, 1990

Sunday, September 17, 2017

In bits & pieces

Caren Knox wrote:
I don't even think about learning any more. It's not something I can quantify, or say how it's happening for anyone other than me - and quite frequently, I can't for me, either. It's organic. It's in bits & pieces so small we don't notice.

It's in this or that conversation, chance meeting, or something we come across on google. I can say, "I want to learn the lyrics to I'm Yours" so I google that, but who can say what I learn along the way?...
—Caren Knox
SandraDodd.com/day/meme/caren
photo by Sandra Dodd

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Experience and confidence

Don't rob your children of the experience and of the knowledge that they can learn to read without help. If someone can learn to read, surely he can learn other things. I don't mean to say that after he learns to read he can learn other things by reading. I mean that reading is complex, moreso in English than some other languages, and if your child knows that he learned to read, he will have great confidence in his ability to learn. (So will his parents.)
SandraDodd.com/r/deeper
(the quote is from page 86 of The Big Book of Unschooling)
photo by Sarah Wassinger
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