Why Rush to Get It?
page 9 of The Big Book of Unschooling (2009 edition)
online chat, August 17, 2011

Rebecca Allen: Along the lines of "why rush to get it?" or perhaps a separate topic, I'd like to hear about ways to keep it or maybe things to keep in mind that sometimes derail folks.

Sandra Dodd: http://sandradodd.com/bigbook
http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/big-book-of-unschooling/id441277658?mt=11...

Sandra Dodd: It derails people to try to read everything ever written about parenting and education

Sandra Dodd: Because they change their minds (and get new fears) every couple of weeks.

reneecabatic: Thanks Jill- I'll pass on the message :-)

Rebecca Allen: I can see that, Sandra.

Chris: mixed causes -- kind of derailed me a bit -- mixing up TCS (Taking Children Seriously) with unschooling

Sandra Dodd: I think it hurts for people to subscribe to the idea that they can just visualize something and it will happen, or that whatever on earth they might be thinking or doing is good enough because their intentions are good.

Robin Bentley: Yes, I found that confused me years ago, Chris.

Jill Parmer: Steve and I used to rather like it when Addi was little and got sick....it would slow her down and we actually got to hold her in our arms for long periods of time.

Rebecca Allen: I was surprised to see someone who has unschooled for years seemingly lose the trust in natural learning when her kids decided to do a one day a week homeschool enrichment program.

Sandra Dodd: I think people should read tons of stuff if they like to, but that reading should be helping them clarify and solidify what they want and believe.

Jill Parmer: I think it derails people when they justify a "little bit of school" won't hurt unschooling or the kids.

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reneecabatic: Jill- I try to look at it positively and enjoy the extra cuddle time but I wish I could take hr pain away....

Sandra Dodd: For some people it just flips them around the world as though all ideas are equal. As though they themselves have no weight or gravity. :-)

Sandra Dodd: How old are those kids, Rebecca?

Jill Parmer: Yes, Renee, Addi was slowed down and lethargic, I would not have liked it if she was in pain.

Sandra Dodd: There is a vulnerable time for kids between about 9 and 12.

Sandra Dodd: When they start to think schoolkids (and structured-homeschooled kids) know things they don't know, and that it might be that way forever.

Rebecca Allen: 9 or 10 maybe. A younger kid is joining along, but the older was first interested.

Jill Parmer: Sandra, why is that time particularly vulnerable?

Rebecca Allen: Like jumping into peer pressure?

Robin Bentley: I wonder why kids are interested in a homeschool enrichment program?

Robin Bentley: the kids

Sandra Dodd: I think it's because the kids at school are doing noticeably difficult, kind of impressive things

reneecabatic: On the topic- Xander and XuMei are 10 and I feel that vulnerability- other schooled kids are filled with facts and figures...

Sandra Dodd: like multiplying and dividing large numbers, cursive writing, paragraphs, outlines.

Sandra Dodd: Learning the names of countries and historical periods.

Rebecca Allen: It has happened to at least a half dozen "unschooling" families in this area. It's hard to pinpoint whether it's more the kids or the parents' interest.

Rebecca Allen: The parents are mostly saying that the kids want to be with friends or around more kids.

Jill Parmer: With Addi 17, I see how she's so mature in her thinking, way bigger thoughts than same age peers. After unschooling for so long, I see the peers as almost retarded, they don't seem to have creative thoughts about life and the many ways to go about things.

Sandra Dodd: But after about 12, 13, the schoolkids burn out and have a bad attitude (toward school, themselves and others, in worst-cases) and the unschooled kids start to really blossom into an integrated person with all kinds of knowledge.

reneecabatic: I thought I "got it" relatively quickly but now as we go into this age I find I need to "get it" more and be confident.

Robin Bentley: I feel really lucky that Senna never said such things on a regular basis. It would never have occurred to her to go to school just to be with friends.

Rebecca Allen: Like there is a window of inspiration really revving up that might get squashed in school?

Robin Bentley: And I made friend get-togethers happen as often as she wanted them.

Sandra Dodd: At our house, though, we had played with facts and calculators and pattern games and names of countries with things like Animaniacs and humor recordings of all kinds, and games and maps, and so they were never totally separated from "facts." We played with facts a lot.

Sandra Dodd: Geography and history, for fun and games.

Robin Bentley: We did, too. And animals.

Robin Bentley: Animals led to geography and history and math and language, too.

Sandra Dodd: Renee, different phases are different partly because of the memories and fears the parents have, that will be stirred up by the children hitting those ages.

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Robin Bentley: Jenny!

Sandra Dodd: I didn't know that, years ago, but almost always if a parent panics about unschooling and says anything like "Well, because she's 12 now..." (or 8 or 15) and you ask them what was going on for them at that age, there will be something traumatic, or scary.

JennyC: Hi all! reading back

Sandra Dodd: So the real topic is why not just take your sweet, leisurely time to get unschooling.

Sandra Dodd: After all, last week's topic (and page 8 :-) are about not jumping half-cocked into unschooling without having any idea what you're doing.

Sandra Dodd: So somewhere between those two is a good time and way to jump. :+)

Jill Parmer: I could be wrong, but I think the people that we know whose kids go to the enrichment classes, have not pursued learning more about unschooling, and haven't really enriched their kids' lives with the things the kids wanted.

Sandra Dodd: Jill, is it like people who hung out with unschoolers and thought it would come through osmosis, that it was easy, and so they didn't read enough to change their own beliefs?

reneecabatic: changing computers brb

Rebecca Allen: I agree, Jill. I would take that interest in going to school as a big wake up call that I need to be doing more and providing more.

Jill Parmer: I think a factor in jumping quicker to unschooling is the age of your kid... the older they are, the faster the parent needs to get it.

JennyC: Chamille wanted to go to school when she was about 12 ish

JennyC: she was lonely for her unavailable friend

Sandra Dodd: Holly did too, and we used to go sit outside the school and she would watch kids go in or come out.

Jill Parmer: More Sandra, that they maybe read a little, or heard about it from a friend, and thought oh that's what unschooling is, and did not pursue it further. Many of those people restrict food, video games, activities, or let their kids run wild. And crap, they keep infecting more and more people. It's rather sad for me to watch.

JennyC: school wouldn't have helped though

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JennyC: she went to meet her friend after school and sometimes walked her to school in the mornings

Robin Bentley: Are the ones restricting stuff also the ones who let their kids run wild? I'm curious.

Sandra Dodd: Had the girl been homeschooled before then, Jenny?

Jill Parmer: No, Robin.

Robin Bentley: Okay - either or.

Jill Parmer: Right.

JennyC: no, she was always in school, neighbor girl

Jill Parmer: Rebecca, would you agree with my assessment?

Jill Parmer: She knows this group, too.

JennyC: yes, Jill, the older the kid is the quicker the parent needs to get it!

Rebecca Allen: I have been really surprised at how swiftly the parents slip into a lot of school think when the kids are doing "a little school". the unschooling principles seemed to be lost so quickly.

Rebecca Allen: Ye, either/or about restrictions.

Rebecca Allen: Yes

JennyC: I saw that happen with kids that ended up going to a free school here

Robin Bentley: Why do people want to "do a little school" if they're unschooling. I just don't get it :-)

JennyC: the parents jumped into school thinking so fast!

Robin Bentley: Free school is still school.

Sandra Dodd: But what you guys are talking about is a phase after getting unschooling, isn't it? Or are you talking about jumping into unschooling quickly enough that they're not quite in before they jump into something else?

Rebecca Allen: Supposedly the kids want to do the school, but then the parents let go of unschooling.

Rebecca Allen: I think it's after the got it, but they let go of it very easily.

Sandra Dodd: Well the good news for us is that we don't benefit from more people unschooling--not "benefit" in a financial way, nor even in a safety-in-numbers way.

Jill Parmer: We're on a tangent, Sandra.

Robin Bentley: I'm wondering if they breathe a sigh of relief because they can go back to what they knew, themselves.

Sandra Dodd: It's better, from my point of view, for those who can't do it right to go do something else.

Robin Bentley: Yes.

Sandra Dodd: I'd rather there were 100 good, solid unschooling families in the world that 10,000 half-assed, confused, distracted ones.

Jill Parmer: True!

Rebecca Allen: Yes, it's a tangent. A separate topic perhaps.

Sandra Dodd: Not that I get a choice. ;-)

Robin Bentley: But so many people think that if they say they're unschooling, they're unschooling. Doing it right be damned.

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Jill Parmer: (I have a question about that, Sandra, doing it half-assed, I'll try to remember to bring it up toward the end fo the chat.)

Sandra Dodd: I think that might come from school or church. I could be wrong, but it seems to me that if someone joins a church or signs on at a school, that they they ARE that. Student there. Member there. It happens when the name is on the paper.

Sandra Dodd: And then it IS.

Sandra Dodd: But unschooling doesn't have something like that.

reneecabatic: when I was 10 years old (that's 5th grade , right?) I decided that I would learn everything-no one would know more than me. I was very competitive.....I think that explains why I notice other 10 year olds knowledge base

Sandra Dodd: So people use joining a discussion group or going to a conference (or five, or ten).

Robin Bentley: I think it's important to "get it" quickly and implement slowly, so as not to confuse kids with "today it's one way, tomorrow it's another". Relationships can be healed or built from the beginning if a parent understands unschooling well.

reneecabatic: and wonder about my own kids and what they know....it's not the same information.

Sandra Dodd: Good point, Robin. You should speak at a conference about that!

Robin Bentley: Yikes!

Sandra Dodd: I think maybe Jill's neighbors(ish) implemented it quickly and got it... maybe not at all. :-)

Sandra Dodd: Okay, then blog about it or something. :-) Bring it up as a topic on Always learning, maybe!

Jill Parmer: I dont' think they ever "got it". I think they thought they did.

Robin Bentley: Okay :-)

Jill Parmer: I think if the parents learns about unschooling when their kid is little, they get such a great opportunity to watch natural learning in their own kid all the time.

Robin Bentley: There are always layers to one's understanding, too. Some don't get down to the core of the onion, ever.

Rebecca Allen: Do you think it's about how unschoolers interface with the schooled world (friends, familiy, programs)? Either they hold onto natural learning or they slip/get sucked into school thought.

Jill Parmer: And then I don't think speed would be a factor, so much as their continued learning about unschooling.

Jill Parmer: in a , you don't have to do it fast, way.

Robin Bentley: There were ideas I didn't quite get until I was doing it and reading on AlwaysLearning to clarify my thoughts.

JennyC: I took time to get unschooling. I was in a position of needing to sit still for long stretches of time, so I read about unschooling

JennyC: I had already decided to unschool 2 yrs before, but it wasn't until I was sitting there reading daily that I really got it

Robin Bentley: Rebecca, Senna didn't have a lot of schooled friends - just neighborhood kids that mostly annoyed her with their bullying behavior or stories about how she'd go to hell if she didn't believe in Jesus. She didn't have good school-kid role models .

Robin Bentley: We hung out with unschoolers/homeschooler s most of the time.

Rebecca Allen: When I was pregnant, I read a ton about pregnancy and birth. My midwife said that people who read a lot have long labors, and that was the case for me. I don't know if it's about the reading or about personality or something else.

Rebecca Allen: Maybe unschooling is a bit like that too. the more you read and think about it, the more deeply you experience all of it.

Rebecca Allen: The labor pains and all,

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JennyC: reading, for me, was submersing myself in the ideas and marinating for long periods of time

Robin Bentley: Rebecca, it was the vibrations you were vibrating with

Sandra Dodd: I don't think long labors are ideal, though, are they? (Maybe I miss the analogy)

Sandra Dodd: Not everyone is a wordy, cerebral type.

Sandra Dodd: Some people are jocks, runners, athletes, artists! And so unschooling isn't going to be processed the same way.

JennyC: I had long labors for both my kids! :)

Sandra Dodd: I think musicians have a head start, unless...

Robin Bentley: Does that mean that ignorant people (and I don't mean stupid) have easy labors?

JIHONG/joy: Rebecca, I had the same experience, reading, long labor. Had a preconceived idea of what labor should be

Rebecca Allen: It's not necessarily painful. I guess I mean levels or stages of understanding. The getting it can be slow and deep.

Sandra Dodd: I knew a classical music family--the dad was a conductor and the mom was a violinist or viola soloist or something, and they really wanted to unschool, everything but music.

Jill Parmer: I think, if people stop unschooling because of their " interface with the schooled world (friends, family, programs)" has more to do with their personality. If they are confident or swayed by any new idea. (Like Sandra was saying about reading too many things or latest ideas)

Sandra Dodd: I read about things I don't do. I read about embroidery. Or at least look at lots of pictures of embroidery.

Chris: Was music study required of their children, Sandra?

Sandra Dodd: I've done some in my life, but not lots, but some of my favorite books have photos of embroidery.

Rebecca Allen: No, Robin! Maybe it's something my midwife has more often seen with first births, but I think it's more about ideas of how it should go.

Sandra Dodd: Yes, Chris. Lots. I think unschooling's appeal for them was that the kids would have more time to practice their instruments.

Chris: Maybe those who read a lot about labor recognize it earlier.

Sandra Dodd: Good point, Chris.

Sandra Dodd: :-) Maybe they're thinking through everything they've read, trying to recognize the next clue.

Chris: <----- that was me :-)

Sandra Dodd: I suppose there are even people who have read lots and lots about unschooling, but don't actually relax enough to do it (or get creative enough, or persuasive enough with the spouse)

Rebecca Allen: Yes, me too. And trying every conceivable position.

Sandra Dodd: Well unschooling is NOT going to happen like a quick labor where the baby's out in two hours and Woohoo! Done! Because it's going to take years and years. :-)

Chris: which might explain part of my problems getting unschooling earlier on

JennyC: I didn't ever come to a point in my life that I wanted to "get it" faster and do it better. I really just enjoyed spending time with my kids and seeing them learn cool things

Chris: Reading Teenage Liberation Handbook slowed me up too

Sandra Dodd: Jenny, if you were enjoying the time and seeing them learn cool things, then what was there to get faster or better?

Rebecca Allen: How so, Chris?

Chris: and The Unschooling Handbook

JennyC: I am still that way and I sometimes don't understand why others struggle so much to get unschooling up and running

JennyC: well, exactly Sandra!

Chris: They were pointing out how to learn school subjects from real life. I needed to stop thinking school subjects and just live an interesting life with my kids

Sandra Dodd: This discussion is really helpful to me.

JennyC: It's been very smooth and seamless... but that could be personality too

Sandra Dodd: Because sometimes I have no idea what people are talking about, and I have only hand an idea what you guys are talking about, so it's great practice for me! :-)

Sandra Dodd: (JOKING, mostly)

Rebecca Allen: Ah, that makes sense Chris. i didn't like that about the Unshooling Handbook.

Robin Bentley: That's a good point, Chris. I think people do still sometimes focus on subjects and how to make unschooling work within that structure.

Robin Bentley: Instead of seeing learning everywhere, in everything.

Sandra Dodd: I think maybe some people go too far from subjects.

Robin Bentley: We've been taught to quantify and categorize, so it's easy to fall into that.

JennyC: and that will be very hard for a person like that, struggling to get unschooling while living in a place that requires great amounts of documentation

Robin Bentley: Yes, that's true, also, Sandra.

Sandra Dodd: They don't have to talk about them to the kids, but the parents still should be aware if they have a child who doesn't know which way's north.

Jill Parmer: But isn't that one end of the spectrum of unschooling, Robin? That some people use it for academics only? I don't want to be there, but many people seem to.

Chris: I was too immersed in schoolish thinking though -- and needed more deprogramming, although maybe I needed those books as kind of an intermediate stepping stone??

Robin Bentley: Yes, that's become clear to me lately on Facebook, Jill.

Robin Bentley: Sandra, I know teachers who don't know which was is north!

Robin Bentley: way

Jill Parmer: Low on spatial awareness intelligence. Don't go hiking alone!

Sandra Dodd: Yeah.... well.... I hope they're not teaching geography or history.

Robin Bentley: Sandra, you should hold a deprogramming retreat . Get people out of the cult of school.

Rebecca Allen: I didn't know which way was north well until I moved out of Louisiana where very little is in a grid pattern.

Robin Bentley: Snort, Jill!

Sandra Dodd: I spent most of two months not knowing which way was north this summer. :-)

Rebecca Allen: Oh my. Unschooling bootcamp.

JennyC: oh no!

Sandra Dodd: I think a deschooling retreat would be like "don't say frying pan; don't even think 'frying pan'"

Robin Bentley: But this was a person who lived in California who didn't know that Canada was north of her.

Sandra Dodd: That was an exercise I learned in school. :-)

Robin Bentley: Of course what do you think of? Frying pan.

Jill Parmer: Cast iron skillet.

JennyC: I doubt Chamille could point to north, but she does know that Canada is north of us

Robin Bentley: You can't not focus on something.

Jill Parmer: Can't get it out of my head.

Chris: Another reason to rush to get unschooling -- you may not have as long as you think you do, with your kids. And, I'm not even talking about if you or they die.

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Robin Bentley: Yes, Chris. You may not have as long as you think you do.

Chris: Don't think about pink elephants, don't think about them now. Thinking about pink elephants? That is what I thought you'd think.

Robin Bentley: :-)

Sandra Dodd: I think the deschooling info on my site (including links to other sites) is good, and sufficient to get people from schooling to unschooling.

Robin Bentley: We just need to get people to read it!

JIHONG/joy: Schooling learning and real life learning are really different. I am relearning the real world way with my children. I think the school way is easier once you have real world experience

Sandra Dodd: I also think half or more of people who come to unschooling think it doesn't apply to them, that they won't need it, that they get it already.

Sandra Dodd: Reading it doesn't do diddly, robin.

Sandra Dodd: Welll, not reading it by itself. :-)

Robin Bentley: Doing it helps.

Rebecca Allen: Everyone who went to school needs to deschool to unschool.

Sandra Dodd: A month from now, we'll be on the deschooling page of the big book. :-)

Robin Bentley: Sandra, it seems to me that some people think they can unschool, just like that. They think it's easy and it just happens. It's not remotely true.

Jill Parmer: I liked the idea in book about rushing to get it... Is that you can always go back to schoolishness, but once you go to schoolishness you can't go back to learning that thing gradually and naturally.

Sandra Dodd: Some of the coolest costume details I've ever seen I found in illustrations in books that weren't about costumes. One was in a cookbook. One on a calendar.

Chris: Maybe you could break down different parts of your website into pamphlets people could mail order (or paypal order.) Sometimes I think people trust something when it's printed and bound more than on the internet.

JennyC: Lyla is a very good example of a mom who got it fast so her kids could benefit from it!

Sandra Dodd: Chris, I have a project started (just started a year ago, and still "just started") for "The little book of unschooling."

JennyC: Sandra did that with her book, break it all down into sections

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Sandra Dodd: Figured it could be the cheaty little pocket-copy.

Chris: yes!

JennyC: fun Sandra!

JIHONG/joy: Robin, can unschooling be easy and up running fast for our unschooled children to their children?

Sandra Dodd: How did Lyla move toward it, do you know? Did she do something we can recommend to other people (other than decide to do it and then do it)?

JennyC: She has been involved in attachment parenting ideas and parenting classes and things of that nature for a long time

Jill Parmer: I thought is was cool that Luke could read World of Warcraft written font, that he did not need to start with a very simple font.

JennyC: she jumped with both feet forward and just did it

reneecabatic: can y'all help me "Get" another layer of the unschooling onion?

Sandra Dodd: Oh. Speaking of projects, we ordered the magnets but went with slow shipping to save money, so if we have any left after Good Vibrations, I can sell some. And if they come out pretty (words not cut off or needing revision of the art), we can order some more. But they'll be available for general sale by mid-September, I think.

Jill Parmer: Shoot, Renee.

Rebecca Allen: Wasn't it about her daughter being bullied at school or something like that as the impetus.

Robin Bentley: One of the things Ross uses in his coaching program is the competence model: unconscious incompetence - you don't know what you don't know; conscious incompetence - you know what you don't know; conscious competence - you know what you know; unconscious competence - you automatically do what you know without thinking.

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JennyC: she got heavily involved with other unschoolers and went to conferences, went to fun outings, got out of the house and usual routines

reneecabatic: when I was 10 years old (that's 5th grade , right?) I decided that I would learn everything-no one would know more than me. I was very competitive.....I think that explains why I notice other 10 year olds knowledge base

Sandra Dodd: Ah. That's what made it easy for me, too, Jenny. Five years of intensive parenting and self-help stuff, following years of involvement in the SCA and alternative ed.

Sandra Dodd: I had all the parts, and just had to assemble them toward Kirby-world.

Robin Bentley: Thought I'd throw that in there - gotta go on a burrito run. Be back shortly.

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Sandra Dodd: Jihong asked this: ": Robin, can unschooling be easy and up running fast for our unschooled children to their children?"

reneecabatic: my kids are 10 and they are different from me.

Sandra Dodd: I think if my own kids unschool their kids, it will be very easy for them.

Chris: Our kids will hopefully have unconscious competence when it comes to unschooling their kids

reneecabatic: they don't have a desperate need to know all and prove it-they aren't competitive like I was

Sandra Dodd: Renee, I think that's one of those things. (Saw it the first time; sorry I didn't comment.)

Sandra Dodd: They're not competitive, but your ten-year-old self is probably whispering to you "But what about...." or "How come you're not made at THEM?"

reneecabatic: they have total confidence that they will learn to read when they are ready

Sandra Dodd: I can get jealous of my kids.

Sandra Dodd: I recognize it, and it kind of amuses me.

reneecabatic: they aren't worried or in a hurry to read

Sandra Dodd: And I speak to myself and say "Funny you're jealous; not cool it." (Not in those words.)

Sandra Dodd: More like "don't be a dork" and "Cool that they get to experience life this way!"

reneecabatic: so is it my 10 yr old stressed out self that is jealous?

Chris: are you jealous?

JennyC: my kids are so much cooler than I am!

Sandra Dodd: -=- or "How come you're not mad at THEM?" ("mad" not "made"

reneecabatic: jealous that they can be so self assured and confident and spend their time immersed in what they are passionate about?

Sandra Dodd: Possibly, Renee.

Jill Parmer: Could be. It'd be easy to be jealous of a calm and cool kid, like Xander and XuMei. They exude coolness.

Sandra Dodd: That you believed knowledge was important, factoid-knowledge, and you probably identified with that

Sandra Dodd: Decided that THAT was what made you smart, worthy, valuable.

reneecabatic: Chris- maybe, I am kind of a spazz and they are so flipping awesome!!

JessicaO: :back:

Sandra Dodd: So maybe subconsciously you're thinking they're risking not having those aspects? (And maybe not; maybe I'm full o'poo)

Sandra Dodd: Jealous that Holly can have a very cool boyfriend, and be cavalier about it.

Sandra Dodd: Jealous that Marty can be home when I was already out of college. Home and safe and happy and not being shamed.

Chris: maybe you're jealous that they have each other to feel normal against? And you wouldn't have had that when you were ten?

Jill Parmer: I like being near the juju of cool people. So for instance, I'd want to learn from your kids, adn if they can be self assured and confident and immersed in their passions, then I think I should do that myself. Learning from their example.

Sandra Dodd: Nothing I had or did at Marty's age lasted or was good for me, really. I was spinning my wheels in a marriage, a job, taking care of kids that were NOT my kids, that is NOT my longterm marriage, that was teaching jr. high when I was 22 years old (and 21-26, but Marty's age, I was going to work every day)

Jill Parmer: OR revel in your spazziness. Because that is SO cool too.!

reneecabatic: when i watched my shows as a 10 year old just like XuMei does I felt like I was wasting time that I should have been studying

reneecabatic: XuMei does NOT think she is wasting time-she knows she is learning or relaxing and that both those things are important

Rebecca Allen: Thanks for the chat. Off to a stop for doll making supplies and to go to a play date.

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JessicaO: funny that we're talking about this... i'm taking an online art workshop and the first assignment is to recognize our gremlin...

reneecabatic: bye Rebecca

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JessicaO: that voice that says "not good enough"

Chris: My "not good enough" voice almost always is heard speaking about my parenting... :-(

Jill Parmer: Luke is rewatching all the Naruto and Shippeden shows, and the things he's telling me about the story and about what he missed the first time through is really neat. He's got so many thoughts about it all.

Sandra Dodd: I think moving to a by-the-moment analysis from a whole-life analysis can sometimes be useful.

Jill Parmer: Explain more?

Sandra Dodd: Sometimes "good enough" is good enough, but mine is usually about housekeeping. And that was just going to be a mess again later. If I think I wish I would clean up the sewing room (my thought of the past two days)

Sandra Dodd: I CAN clean it up, or at least a little of it.

Sandra Dodd: But I've cleaned it up before, and the piles come back anyway.

Sandra Dodd: If a mom has a good exchange with a kid, THAT moment/conversation should be seen as good.

Sandra Dodd: And not averaged in to the past year.

Sandra Dodd: But maybe compared to the goal and the average, and if it's between the average and the goal, good! And if it's below average, not good.

JessicaO: and talks about doing affirmations to

JessicaO: turn it around to a positive point of view

Sandra Dodd: And try to do better the next chance.

JessicaO: (sorry evan popped in to talk)

Sandra Dodd: Like a ratchet wrench, if you're lucky, where your only direction is better.

JessicaO: (and now he's going to take a shower)

Sandra Dodd: The art teacher is talking about affirmations?

Sandra Dodd: I think affirmations can be cool.

Sandra Dodd: But they can also sometimes be used to cover a lack of progress or attention to detail.

JennyC: affirmations always make me think of Stewart Smalley

JessicaO: yep, take the gremlin is saying you have no talent or.. your gremlin is saying you're a lousy parent...

Sandra Dodd: (Not in an art class; not thinking about that.)

Sandra Dodd: Voices in your head?

JessicaO: you basically have to tell the gremlin to shut up or something

Sandra Dodd: "I've heard that too long," I thought to my mom and my granny."

JessicaO: yeah, voices in my head

Sandra Dodd: Too much now. TOo many years.

JessicaO: could be jealousy, you see another parent doing something with their kids and the gremlin starts in

JennyC: it's an interesting assumption that the art teacher makes, that most of her students are going to have issues

JessicaO: the class is based on a book called Raw Art Journalling

JessicaO: by Quinn McDonald, I can get the amazon link if anyone wants it

Sandra Dodd: I think everyone has issues.

JennyC: well, yes, I guess so!

JessicaO: it's not an academic art class, it's more art journalling.. i'm wanting to learn a bit more about collage, get ideas for collage and a friend

Sandra Dodd: And if issues keep someone from being calm, or sleeping well, or having a peaceful childbirth, or to do art bravely, it's worth the coach/counsellor knowing and helping!

JessicaO: recommended this yahoo group and they're doing a workshop based on this book

JennyC: so, a large part of getting it faster, might be to work through ones issues faster

Chris: I wonder if unschooling our kids can lessen their propensity to have issues?

JessicaO: i actually came up with my gremlin as a partner rather than an adversary, be interesting to see what the workshop leader says about that :)

Sandra Dodd: Here are some affirmations I collected but I want to make a disclaimer first. They helped me recover from co-dependency in my 20's, from hoping I could help my mom stop drinking.

reneecabatic: Yes! JennyC- that is so important

Sandra Dodd: http://sandradodd.com/affirmations

JessicaO: chris, I'd like to hope so

Sandra Dodd: It doesn't make them true. Thinking them doesn't create truth. They counteract negative messages we might be carrying around.

Sandra Dodd: Jessica, that's the problem with using a cutesy term like "gremlin" instead of talking about negative messages inside us.

Sandra Dodd: Or unexamined hurts.

Chris: Because that is what it seems I'm spending a lot of my parenting energy on, sometimes seemingly to no avail

Sandra Dodd: I don't know what issues unschoolers will have, or what bad dreams they will have, though Holly told me one this morning. It wasn't about school. :-)

JessicaO: true

Sandra Dodd: Chris, spending parenting energy trying to keep them from having issues? :-)

JennyC: chamille's bad dreams used to be about the movie "Idiocracy"

Sandra Dodd: That it was true? That she was in it?

Sandra Dodd: I like that movie.

Chris: or dealing with the issues that they are having in spite of unschooling

JennyC: yes, that it was true

JennyC: very nightmarish for her!

reneecabatic: OMG- amazing- my always unschooled kids don't have nightmares about getting lost at school or not having their homework done like I did! thanks for that!

JennyC: she watches all kinds of horror, but that movie terrified her!

Sandra Dodd: Or getting on the schoolbus and discovering they don't have enough clothes on

Chris: renee -- I know, I've shared those school anxiety dreams with Zach -- although I think he's maybe had a couple now since being in college

reneecabatic: or standing up to speak to the class and forgetting every thought in my head

Chris: I used to be lost walking around campus, or trying to find my car

Sandra Dodd: So back to the topic.

reneecabatic: actually- that wasn't a nightmare- that really happened! :-)

Sandra Dodd: People can't wait forever to get unschooling.

Sandra Dodd: It is possible to wait too long, or get it too slowly.

Chris: The sooner you get it the better

JennyC: we were just talking about fear... fear definitely holds people back!

Sandra Dodd: It's possible to think something is good enough, and to "affirm" one's "good enough" and to be stuck there.

JessicaO: in our case we need a 2nd vehicle so we can go out & DO things a lot more often than once a week and weekends

Sandra Dodd: Fear holds people back and deschooling can/should help them get past that fear.

JennyC: that might be touching the edge, dipping your big toe in, but not really going swimming

Sandra Dodd: Once a week and weekends is more than some families do, so I hope you really do those outings when you can, Jessica! I wish every unschooling family did something cool twoce a week.

Sandra Dodd: twice a week.

JennyC: that's been our goal, once or twice a week, get out and do something cool!

JennyC: we have lots of cool things here too!

Sandra Dodd: 180 cool things a year. (Don't have to be out.) But really different, interesting things, even briefly. 180.

Chris: Zoe told me last spring, that she'd always wanted a trampoline, more than anything int he world. (but she'd never told me before then.) Rick and she are going to pick one up later this afternoon!

JessicaO: i've been taking reuven (10) to the swimming pool whenever we get the car.. then we might stop someplace for a snack & talk about "everything under the sun"

Sandra Dodd: That sounds fun.

JessicaO: the others have just wanted to hang out with their friends this summer

Chris: Rick got it in a trade with his buddy for some graphic design help

JessicaO: sunday we went to 6 flags, that was fun... gary & the older ones did ALL the roller coasters and R & I did various rides together

JIHONG/joy: Hehe, I went kayaking myself. Recharging my energy :)

JessicaO: we did roaring rapids 4x because I was mad that i came out nearly bone dry the first time on it.. lol

Chris: Don't tell Zoe, it's a surprise, but I got tickets for her to see Wicked! Another dream come true!

JessicaO: jihong, that's cool! what kind of water?

JessicaO: cool, chris!

Jill Parmer: Another thing I really liked in the book was the idea of a kid discovering things on their own, and that adding to their sense of being capable.

JIHONG/joy: Sandra, why not start a cool things list, everyone car report the cool things they did and tried, so we can get some ideas and inspiration. I myself need more specifics than theory

JessicaO: so part of getting it is... doing cool things with the kids

Chris: Jihong, Rick and Zach went on a very long and unfortunate but sometimes funny kayaking jaunt attempting to circumnavigate my mom's island once. Lots of stories from that experience!

JIHONG/joy: Ocean water, in Victoria BC

JessicaO: jihong, good idea... i also like when people talk about what they've eaten, gives me new ideas for shopping

Chris: nude beaches and sunburns were involved

Sandra Dodd: http://sandradodd.com/typical

Sandra Dodd: Lots of cool things in there, though it's not "a cool things" list.

Sandra Dodd: It is. :-)

JessicaO: i can look right at something in the store & not see something cool

Sandra Dodd: That can take practice.

JennyC: I love going to thrift stores with Chamille because she has a magpie eye

JessicaO: but if someone mentions something i'll know i've seen it so many times before

Sandra Dodd: Jihong, I think a cool-things list might be difficult for low-income families.

JIHONG/joy: Haha, Chris

JennyC: it makes everything cooler!

JessicaO: jenny, i'd love to go with chamille to a thrift store! love going with my guys!

Sandra Dodd: Maybe think of a witness, if it would help, Jessica. If you have a creative friend, artistic, maybe go to the store thinking "What would Annette" (or someone) see in here?

JIHONG/joy: Sandra, don't have to need spend money...

JessicaO: yeah... i know one time Gary & I were looking at the packaged lunch snacks & could get more of the same food without the fancy packaging

JessicaO: we did just that when we went to the fireworks

reneecabatic: magpie eye! love it-chris has it and brings home the coolest dirt cheap things!

JIHONG/joy: Going to thrifty store was a cool thing for me, learned from you. I had never been to the saver store on Maui before u

Sandra Dodd: Garage sales can be fun. If you stop where nothing even looks good, you might find one odd little thing that sparks thoughts or ideas.

Sandra Dodd: Jihong, just yesterday I saw that one curtain that I wished I'd gotten all four of. :-) But I'm glad to have the one! I thought they were sheets or something at first.

Sandra Dodd: Nice cloth.

JennyC: I got a very large roll of wall paper trim at a garage sale once

JIHONG/joy: It is like treasure hunt for us

Sandra Dodd: Even if you don't buy anything, there's a lot to see and think about in there, in thrift stores or antique stores.

JennyC: it was one that had junk

reneecabatic: i think the folks who price things don't even know what they have in their hands but Chris knows what its worth and he gets a thrill from getting stuff so cheap

JessicaO: walmart sometimes has closeout items.. got a hula hoop for $2.50 that i think was $5 before

Sandra Dodd: Recently I got a pillow that unfolds to be a quilt for one. Then you can roll it back up, fasten the top part back around it, and it's a pillow. My neice says it's called "a quillow."

Chris: Zoe loved walking through a huge furniture store -- she loved seeing how they decorated and all the different styles of sectionals. She especially liked reclining on the comfy couches. One near us offers cookies and lemonade to all their customers too. We should go there more often just to browse.

JennyC: it is!

Sandra Dodd: I think thrift stores can be a good deschooling exercise.

JennyC: Margaux has one

Sandra Dodd: It could be as good as thinking sticks, at least!

JennyC: antique stores are great too!

Sandra Dodd: I could take people on thrift store outings as (what was recommended? A retreat?)

JIHONG/joy: I am from another culture, so many obvious things to you are not so obvious to me, like the ivory soap thing:)) would love a daily cool thing inspiration

JessicaO: sandra, for us, walmart can be like a fun museum

JennyC: thrift stores in small towns are often the very best of the best

JessicaO: jihong, what about ivory soap?

Sandra Dodd: In a thrift store, they could pick up an object and I could say "math, geography" and put it down and they could pick up another: "art, engineering, history" and after a bit they could call connections on things I held up. :-)

Sandra Dodd: I was playing piano from a book I got in a thrift store in Iowa, passing through a small town when Kirby needed the bathroom, 15 years ago.

JIHONG/joy: Ivory soap that floats. Soap sculpture, microwave it. New things we tried and loved

Sandra Dodd: Sunday, I was playing from that.

reneecabatic: Ivory soap is great for whittling

Chris: The fact that you remember where you got it is impressive to me, Sandra

JessicaO: a few years ago i found some tie dyed curtains... lost them in the fire tho

JennyC: my great grand mother had a thrift store. If she liked you, she'd let you have it cheap or free, if she didn't, she'd make you pay more. Nothing had price tags on them, you had to ask

Sandra Dodd: I'm sure if you could take one of us to China, Jihong, we'd be noticing cool things you hadn't thought were cool before. That happened to me all the time in the UK. People couldn't figure out what I was taking photos of. Much of it was what was relative to where I live. Not the US, but New Mexico.

JessicaO: couple of days ago i went with Harrison to a thrift store & he found 5 pairs of pants his size that he likes... 50 cents a pair (special sale that day or this week)

Sandra Dodd: Plants will grow AND BLOOM in what seems like no dirt at all, in England. On rock walls, in architectural details, behind drain pipes.

JIHONG/joy: What's whittling?

reneecabatic: carving

Chris: carving

Sandra Dodd: But Jessica, you're talking about Walmart and saving money on jeans, rather than surprising finds that tied in to learning opportunities.

Chris: :)

reneecabatic: jinks!

Sandra Dodd: Carving little figures with a pocket-knife.

JessicaO: i meant we found 50 cent jeans in a thrift store.. Harrison is all about fashion related stuff right now

Sandra Dodd: Small knife blade just 2-3" and soft wood.

JIHONG/joy: Then let's go to china :)

Sandra Dodd: I'll go.

reneecabatic: me too

JennyC: my dad showed me how to make a whistle out of saplings

Sandra Dodd: I'll need an electrical adaptor for my camera, and internet access.

JennyC: I still remember how to do it, but I haven't shown my own kids

JIHONG/joy: Ok, let's play with the idea, and we can make it happen

Sandra Dodd: But, Jihong, next time you go to see your brothers, you could take me ghost-like in your head. What would Sandra see? That's how you could look at things.

Sandra Dodd: I don't really need to go.

Chris: define "internet access" lol? In China.

JessicaO: jenny, i made a pennywhistle out of plumbing pipe a couple of years ago... was a low D, hard to play but cool deep sound

Sandra Dodd: I mean wifi. They have internet.

Chris: I know -- just notoriously censored -- but isn't internet censored to some extent just about everyewhere?

JIHONG/joy: Easy, Sandra. I still remember you took a pic at the store upcountry. To me, all old stuff with no value :))

reneecabatic: gonna go now-thanks for the awesome chat and helping me to peel back layers and get more of the unschooling onion :-)

Sandra Dodd: The value was the history of it!

Sandra Dodd: Bye, Renee. Have a happy day & week!

JessicaO: take care, renee!

JennyC: bye Renee!

reneecabatic: thanks - you too!!!

JessicaO: sandra, earlier you said that you wish every unschooling family did something cool twice a week..

JIHONG/joy: No Facebook access in china no YouTube. But people know how can access

Sandra Dodd: Jihong, my desktop on the computer is that sunrise when we were freezing at the not-a-crater. There's a subtle reflection on one side that proves (to me) I took it from inside the ranger station. :-)

Sandra Dodd: I don't need facebook.

Sandra Dodd: Just e-mail and my own blog.

JessicaO: my guys are wanting more contact with friends... evan's wanting to go to high school mostly so he can hang out with his friends...

Sandra Dodd: I think if every unschooling family does (consciously, on purpose) two very cool things a week, that they'll be ahead of school.

JIHONG/joy: So can we start the list request, Sandra? More people will reond

JessicaO: i'm feeling a bit sad that we haven't been able to take the boys more places to meet other kids

Sandra Dodd: Respond with cool things, you mean?

JIHONG/joy: Respond to u than to me. I run out if ideas now and then

Jill Parmer: Thoughts, opinions.... On a local regular homeschooling list a mom wrote that she did the required (by the state) testing. She said she now saw their weaknesses, and would teach to that this year. Then she said she mostly unschools. And I just about spit my tea on my computer screen. Since this is an regular homeschooling list, I don't feel like I need to say anything, but I have a hard time letting that sit there, in case there are really people that want to know more about unschooling. Thoughts about what I could/should do?

Sandra Dodd: Looking at the typical days might be idea-producing.

Sandra Dodd: But yeah, we could.

JIHONG/joy: Like, just stir mailing list, much better and manageable than the big book.

JennyC: just tell them that what they are doing isn't unschooling

Sandra Dodd: Other resources for that are books like "what to do with the kid on summer vacation" or "365 things to do in the car" and other lists that already exist, out there, in books at thrift stores.

JessicaO: harrison would want to go to school also, but he likes the older kids but wouldn't be allowed to go to high school.. hmm. the days i have the car, we could go pick evan up & hang out around the school some w/harrison

Sandra Dodd: You can't hang around a school, not legally, not during school hours.

Sandra Dodd: You could spy on them from the car, like a drive-in movie, maybe. :-)

JessicaO: hmm i meant outside... but we are allowed to go to lunch with them

JessicaO: that might not work with getting gary to his ride tho unless lunch is 11ish

Sandra Dodd: Jessica, having another car might be extra important if you live far from a town where kids can get public transportation or walk places.

Sandra Dodd: Their lives need to be better than they would be if they were in school.

JessicaO: yeah, i'm going to make that my priority this week

Sandra Dodd: And however parents can figure out to do that, they should.

JessicaO: we live about 10 miles from one town and 20 from the other

JIHONG/joy: A picture, an idea every day when I turn on my computer is easier than burying my head in 365 idea book. Also I love the stir list, because it is random, unexpected. Just like I like listening to the music in radio because I don't know what the next one will be :) strange?

JennyC: no, it's sensory input!

JessicaO: we've been having silly money issues lately.. gary's getting his paycheck garnished for something he's already paid back but "the system" isn't getting the message

JennyC: some people really need that!

Sandra Dodd: Jill, maybe you could say kids in school don't know all that either. BUT.... with my kids we played trivia games, and if I saw "weaknesses," I addressed them with strewing, sometimes. If they didn't know which way north was (to use an example from this chat, not from their actual lives) I would have put out a compass and a local map.

JessicaO: and last weekend we needed to replace 2 tires on the car.

Chris: Sandra - can you tell us more about what trivia games you play

Sandra Dodd: Not strange, Jihong. I've been listening to Pandora instead of my own iTunes because of that. Surprises.

Sandra Dodd: Played, years ago. Lately, though, Marty and friends (sometimes me, too) play a game called smart ass.

jihong with computer joined the chat

Sandra Dodd: Not a very nice name.

Sandra Dodd: There are some decks of cards for kids, and they had grade levels (1st grade, 2nd grade) but we ignored that.

jihong with computer: one of the reasons that I love travel is that somebody esle has done the strewing for me: everything is new :)

JessicaO: is it still available? (checking ebay)

Sandra Dodd: They were cards joined at one corner with a brad.

Sandra Dodd: But it's not important WHAT game; just trivia games. thrift stores have them.

Chris: I have a couple of those but don't pull them out because Zoe won't ignore the grade levels and she gets down on herself if she doens't know the answer

JessicaO: i think i know the cards you mean, held together at the top, shaped like fat bookmarks?

Sandra Dodd: But when they were little, we would play with those and pennies.

JessicaO: yeah we've come home w/games from the thrift stores

Sandra Dodd: And it was called "gambling." "Let's gamble," Kirby would say, or I would say.

Chris: I need to alter them

Sandra Dodd: They would always win, but they wouldn't win every question. :-)

Sandra Dodd: And it won't work with big kids. It worked with little kids.

Sandra Dodd: But that's what was closest to "a test". It was a game.

JessicaO: sometimes we'll just go through the questions (can't remember the game) without playing it properly

Chris: I wonder if they update Trivial Pursuit often -- I remember enjoying playing that a lot

Sandra Dodd: If I knew they wouldn't know, I wouldn't ask it. So between me and the game and their answers, I knew what they understood really well and what they didn't.

Sandra Dodd: Here's an example from Smart Ass. People answer when they know the answer, and if you guess wrong you go back (or something; I forget)

Sandra Dodd: **

Sandra Dodd: I am a female singer.

jihong with computer: sandra, do you think the knowledge base the paretns have will be a deciding factor for what would be exposed to the children

Sandra Dodd: I was born in Staten Island in 1980

Sandra Dodd: My backgroudn is Irish and Ecuadorean

Sandra Dodd: At age 12 (GUESS IF YOU KNOW) I was in the New Mickey Mouse Club.

JessicaO: that's the other thing about the school wanting "records".. i don't need them. I don't have 30-200 kids to keep track of, so i don't keep records

Sandra Dodd: In 2001, I made the top 20 in FHM's sexiest women poll.

JessicaO: i have an idea what my kids know

Chris: Christina Aguilara

Sandra Dodd: I sang "Reflection" in the Disney movie Mulan

Sandra Dodd: Right.

Chris: :)

Sandra Dodd: So those games encourage discussion.

Sandra Dodd: HOW did the person know?

Sandra Dodd: And that can be helpful and friendly and fun.

JessicaO: and a lot of times my kids surprise me with what they know... they pick up a lot from tv

Sandra Dodd: http://sandradodd.com/testing/gambling

Chris: cool, thanks! I'll look into Smart Ass and other trivia games

Sandra Dodd: There's where I wrote up about that game

JennyC: I've got to go and feed people! Thanks for the chat! Bye all!

Sandra Dodd: And here's more about trivia

Sandra Dodd: http://sandradodd.com/triviality

JessicaO: i'd watch tv more with them if more were captioned

JessicaO: bye jenny!

Chris: We have Chronology but Zoe doesn't like it -- too hard

Sandra Dodd: Okay, all. I'll be back next week and we can talk about Principles and Priorities, page 10-11

Chris: an old Trivial Pursuit game might be fun to mine for good questions

Sandra Dodd: Chris, play it differently, maybe.

Chris: Okay, thanks, bye!

Sandra Dodd: Sort cards by what she knows and doesn't, maybe.

Jill Parmer: There's a game called Dictionary, Chris.

Jill Parmer: You do it yourself with a dictionary, that's fun.

Chris: good ideas

Sandra Dodd: There will be a games night (probably more than one) at the ALL Unschooling gathering.

Chris: gotta get food for Zoe, thanks and bye!

Chris left the chat

Sandra Dodd: I really do want to play a game called Wise and Otherwise, which is like Dictionary but with proverbs from different places.

Jill Parmer: Bye all. Thanks for the chat.

Sandra Dodd: I like dictionary itself, too, and have played it lots.

Jill Parmer: What do you use for Wise and Otherwise?

Sandra Dodd: Thanks for being here, everybody!

Sandra Dodd: sunrise

Sandra Dodd: sorry.

JessicaO: take care! thanks for the chat & ideas & such!

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