Archive for the ‘Reading A Little’ Category

“Learning must be meaningful”

July 8, 2013

Okay if you already read Sandra Dodd’s Just Add Light And Stir Posts then I am sorry for the repeats but I just can’t help myself, so much wonderful information.

Today’s quote linked to a page written by Pam Sorooshian, whose 3 radical unschooled children are now grown.

You can find more of her writing, as well as one of her daughters, at the Always Learning Yahoo group, Sandra Dodd’s website (, or her blog Learning Happens (seriously I could fill a whole page with Pam’s credentials).

Everything that I try to write here when asked about radical unschooling revolves around this quote by Pam.

“Learning must be meaningful. When a person doesn’t see the point, when they don’t know how the information relates or is useful in “the real world,” then the learning is superficial and temporary – not “real” learning.”

You can read more of Pam’s Principles Of Unschooling here.

I have witnessed “real learning” through my children, myself, and my husband. This is why I know radical unschooling works. This is why I myself am so confident. I wasn’t always, I too had fears that I needed to overcome but I needed to face those fears for us to get where we are now.

Peace for the journey.


“Real Learning”

May 24, 2013

What I write here I learned from others who have gone before me, from real radical unschoolers who not only walk the walk but whose children are now grown and adults themselves. To me in my opinion they have proven radical unschooling works, to me if you are seriously interested in¬†learning about radical unschooling they are “the” experts and there is no better place to learn.

I also know reading about it and actually trusting it works and doing it are two different things. Reading is easy, it’s safe. It’s “sure I believe it could work” but being afraid to take the plunge.

“How did you let go?” “How did you get over the hump?” I took the plunge!

I “read a little” from those experts who went before me, and I “tried a little” of what they mentioned, then I “waited a while” to see if they were right (which they were ūüôā ) and “watched”.¬† I watched and saw what “real learning” looked like.

This did not happen overnight. In fact my “deschooling” lasted a year. I blogged about it. Looking back at those posts I laugh but I know it was a process that could not be skipped and very much-needed to happen in order to get where we are now.

I also know I am still learning and will continue to do so before our journey ends.

I love unschooling! I love writing about our learning adventures and I love talking about it with those who are interested but something I learned along the way is in order for one to do it *you* need to do it.

There is no magic answer or guide to follow on how to do it, only the wonderful advice from those who know what worked¬†and what didn’t and what I could add to that comes nowhere close than¬†discovering them for yourself.

If you want to know what real learning looks like this is a great place to start.

Peace for the journey.

“Make Choices”

December 3, 2012

Yes it is tea time once again for this mama. Tea time is time I have set aside for myself to do “a little reading”. I want to mention that tea time for me is *not* “me time”.¬† As a unschooling parent I never know when I may get time to myself. See¬†usually I am helping someone find glue or spelling out a word or¬†helping work¬†a puzzle or playing a game, okay you get the point. So when a time comes that everyone is off doing their own thing (it does happen the older they get ūüôā ) I decide to make myself a nice cup of herbal tea and catch up on my reading.

I know most of these links can be found pretty easily and may even be repeating to some readers but I like to share pages or videos that I come across that really help guide me to be a more mindful parent or helped me gain confidence toward unschooling.

Todays reading comes yet again from Sandra Dodd. Yes there are many other wonderful writers who I have also¬†learned SO much from but I figure those who are truly curious and want to learn more about radical unschooling will find them by following the¬†Sandra Dodd trails, I did. ūüôā

The reason I started researching radical unschooling in the first place was because even though we had been homeschooling for a while and even though when we first started out everything was great, as the girls started to get older things started to change. Miss Sky became more vocal about her likes and dislikes and Little Sis just didn’t fit the bill for Waldorf education at all. If I had stayed on that path against both of the girls wills I would probably be knee-deep in preteen rebellion and Little Sis would just *now* be learning her ABCs. Yes I am SO glad to have found radical unschooling, it was hard enough for me to write that let alone think of everything the girls would not have learned.

It is one thing if a child truly is not ready to learn to read yet, Miss Sky was a later learner that is why Waldorf  education was perfect for her in the beginning. However to hold someone back on purpose in my opinion is a real disservice to the child. It does not allow them to be who they were born to be. There is no whip cracking here, no one forcing someone to learn their ABCs or how to add (even though you can not force anyone to learn anything anyway). Everyone in this household learns because they *choose* to.

As the girls started to change so did I. Instead of being the girls partner in life, like I always wanted to be from the very beginning before they were even born,¬† I became their adversary. The older they got the more I had to control, so I had thought. The more I had to control the more they wanted to rebel and the more they wanted to rebel the more I yelled and punished. It really is an¬†awful cycle. I didn’t like the b**ch (it really is true) I had become. That is when I read something that changed everything.

“If you eliminate “have to” from your thoughts, it’s like driving a nice standard
transmission rather than riding in the back of a crowded bus. If you see
everything as a conscious choice, suddenly you are where you have chosen to be
(or else you have a clear path to moving toward where you would rather be).”

I realized I *chose* to be a b**ch. No one made me but me. I also realized I could choose not to be one anymore. In order for this to work every time I got ready to yell I made a choice that took me closer to the parent I wanted to become. Instead of yelling I walked into the bedroom and took a deep breath. While in there I thought about what it was I was SO upset about. Spilled milk? Was it an accident? I will say it was *always* over something stupid. Even if it was a broken window, the window was broken and I  still needed to replace it whether I yell or not. Yelling does not solve the problem.

Once I had a clear picture of what I really was upset over, like not having the money to replace a window, instead of yelling I became honest. Once I became honest the girls let their guard down and wanted to help come up with a solution. The more choices I made toward being the girls partner the closer I came to being the parent I always wanted.

It has been almost 2 years now since I have yelled at my kids. It saddens me to even think that I did at one time. Becoming a more mindful parent is a choice. It is your choice whether or not you want to change.

The above quote came from here.

Once I changed my “have to” to choose to my¬†path became a lot clearer. The girls have been given the gift of choice now. They realize now that everything they do is their choice. This is why unschoolers have a much better experience in school or college, they are not there against their will but instead because they choose to be.

Peace for the journey.

“Candy Gets Dusty”

October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Todays “reading a little” was waiting for me in my e-mail this morning from Sandra Dodd’s inspirational blog Just Add Light And Stir. Perfect timing I would say.¬†¬†ūüôā

“Since my kids were little they could have all the Halloween candy they wanted, and since they were little that has been no problem at all, because by the time they gave away what they didn’t like and traded for favorites, and saved it and shared it with kids who came over for the next few weeks, there was still candy left. I have very often found the sorting boxes (a Xerox box lid or cardboard Coke flat) months later, and one year when it was nearly Halloween again, Kirby threw out the last of the candy from the year before. (Ditto for Christmas and Easter candy, some years.)

We were confident that it was control, not access, that made kids eat, do and want “too much” before we ever considered unschooling. Others come to the idea the other way around‚ÄĒunschooling first and releasing other control-urges later. ‚ÄĒSandra Dodd”

I have always been one of those parents who allowed the girls to eat all the candy they wanted Halloween night and they have never ate so much where they got sick. In fact last year Miss Sky used some of her candy for experiments.

pictures 2143

Speaking of experiments, I love the experiment over at the blog Unbounded Ocean.

She filled a bucket full of candy and left it out for her son to eat whenever he wanted. As of this week it still has candy ūüôā

You can read more about how other unschoolers handle Halloween candy here.

Wishing everyone a safe, yet fun night.

“You Don’t Have To Go To School To Become Educated”

October 5, 2012

Yep, time for “reading a little” or again in this case watching a little.¬† ūüôā This video was shared in our local unschooling group and I wanted to share it here. He is an unschooled/homeschooled kid who experimented with going to high school. This is one of his video logs.

So grap a cuppa tea and enjoy.

Strewing Or Feeding An Interest

June 7, 2012

A thread was brought up in the Always Learning radical unschooling group (created by Sandra Dodd) about strewing. There seems to be a bit¬†of confusion surrounding the differences of feeding an interest and what strewing¬†means to unschooling (myself¬†included ūüôā ).¬†I could not have written¬†this any clearer than Joyce Fetteroll¬†herself (author¬†of the website Joyfully Rejoycing ) and thought I would share.

“What you described is supporting their interests.
Strewing is something different, something separate from their interests. Sandra coined the term as it applies to unschooling. And it’s not a good one to use to apply to supporting their interests and explorations. The ordinary use of the word strewing suggests disconnection. And moms should not be disconnected from their kids when they’re supporting them in exploring.
Strewing even in its common use is not done to or with someone. It’s done to the environment. And that’s what strewing is in unschooling. It’s leaving interesting things out where people might stumble across them. They may pick them up for a moment or an hour or ignore them entirely. Periodically they’re cleared away. Periodically new things are strewn.
Supporting requires being connected and interacting with them. Being aware of what they’re doing with their passions enough to be their support and ask interested questions and understand what they’re talking about when they share.
There are several parts to creating a rich, vibrant atmosphere for learning:
1) Support their interests, as much as *they* need. Which involves getting them the stuff they want and need. Share what you know. Run related ideas through their lives. Listen to them talk about their interests. Be interested in their interests or at least appreciative of their passion. *Not* taking over their interest ūüėČ
2) Connect with them outside of their interests. Do things together. Have conversations. Tell them stories of their childhoods and yours. Go through old photo albums. Invite them to do household tasks with you, go shopping.
3) Take them places. Introduce them to new things. It doesn’t need to be big deals. Grocery shop in new grocery stores. Drop into thrift stores and antique stores. Farmer’s markets.
4) Be curious yourself. See the world through your kids’ eyes. Wonder about things.
5) Strew. Sprinkle their environment with things to stumble across. (Bathrooms are particularly good for this.)”