Regrets
Chat transcript from October 9, 2013

From Sandra's Chat Notes (http://chatnotes-unschooling.blogspot.pt/), for this week's chat:
October 9 chat on Regrets "Regrets" (pages 245 to 249). Sometimes people express a wish that they had unschooled sooner, or been nicer to children earlier, or gone to conferences rather than stalling off.
I have a collection online with a few more than the book has. http://sandradodd.com/ifonly
Laura Z joined the chat
Virginia Warren joined the chat 
Heather Booth joined the chat 
Marta BP joined the chat 
AlexPolikowsky3 joined the chat 
Robin B. joined the chat 
AlexPolikowsky3: Oh my gosh, I have tears in my eyes and my belly is hurting from laughing! My son wanted to show me these videos. Someone wrote a Fan Fiction on Half Life (a game) and a Youtuber made a video series using the Fan Fiction! Who knew grammatical errors and such could be so awesome!!!!!! I love the creativity of the kids today!
Sandra Dodd joined the chat
Jill Parmer joined the chat 
Sandra Dodd: Do you want to share the link, Alex?
Sandra Dodd: Thanks to Jill, I had a vacation last weekend! Three days touristing and hanging out. 
Marta BP
Sandra Dodd: Even though I didn't leave home (not counting driving across town and up into the mountains just a little bit). THANKS Jill! Distraction and re-focus. Sweet.
Jill Parmer: And I got to see Breaking Bad sites, and eat Blue Sky donuts, and laugh some, and be serious some with Sandra. 
Robin B.: Nice!!
Jill Parmer: You are welcome, and thank you.
Marta BP: So cool!
Robin B.: I'm jealous, Jill. 
AlexPolikowsky3
Here is the first video (the fan fiction link is in the description somewhere). There are 4 and the last one was making me almost pee my pants full life consequences half lifehttp://youtube.com/watch?v=OHxyZaZlaOs
Sandra Dodd: Tension—not nervous jittery tension, but the kind of tension that holds a tent up—is hard to describe, and it's important for having direction, in life. It's why today's topic is an odd, important, difficult one.
AlexPolikowsky3: Jealous of both Jill and Sandra! They are a cool dynamic duo!
Robin B.: Batman and Robin!
Sandra Dodd: We tell people to slow down and wait a while, but if they slow down too much and wait too long, they won't get it. But if we say hurry up and do it NOW, they will stumble and become overwhelmed and confused, and might give up in frustration.
Jill Parmer: Like the tension of standing up tall? All the muscles working together, and it's almost no effort?
Sandra Dodd: It's like the clutch and the brake.
Laura Z: Hi everybody  I'm going to try to follow along as I pack boxes.
Sandra Dodd: Maybe, Jill! Like the tension that makes a sailboat go. Not too tight, not too loose, needs to be just right.
Capn Franko joined the chat
Robin B.: Some folks drive an automatic, are on automatic....
Sandra Dodd: I wrote "sailboat" and Frank appeared.
Sandra Dodd: Wow.
Robin B.: Woo!
Sandra Dodd: I WISH we could sell automatics for unschooling. 
Marta BP: I thought the same thing. Sailboat. Frank.
Capn Franko: It's like magic!
Capn Franko: Except it's science. I could explain it but that'd take the entire time we have here. (wink)
Sandra Dodd: Even the finest unschooling curriculum wouldn't work for someone who didn't get it.
Robin B.: Wouldn't it be nice if it were automatic!
AlexPolikowsky3: Wow!
Jill Parmer: Ah, I see what you are saying. There is effort (lots) in unschooling, and when you get it right or on or in flow, it's a lovely feeling, calmer and easier going.
Robin B.: Science. She blinded me with it.
Sandra Dodd: That's better than what I was trying to say, Jill. Thanks. 
Sandra Dodd: Yours is like "simple but not easy" which I heard from my friend Frank Aon, years ago. "It's simple, but it's not easy."
Robin B.: See? They are the dynamic duo!
Sandra Dodd: I don't want anyone to need to be Robin, though. So I reject that model, Robin. 
AlexPolikowsky3: I have seen them in action, Robin!
Capn Franko: Every system has a total amount of energy in it. How much of that energy goes into something "useful" and how much is used up in friction, waste, etc. determines the efficiency of that system.
Virginia Warren: Overhead.
Robin B.: I'm Robin! But not *that* Robin.
Jill Parmer: I've laughed with you both, Robin and Alex. I like being fun and goofy sometimes,....well, ok....lots of times.  
SylviaWoodman joined the chat
Sandra Dodd: The hotel Alex has procured for our use in Rochester, Minnesota, her nearest-by town, has a very cool feature. It is the shuttle stop in Rochester. There's an intercity shuttle (vans, right Alex?) people can use to get from Rochester to the Mall of America or the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport. But the terminal is This HOTEL! So though it costs money, it goes from the airport to the hotel, and that's pretty great.
Robin B.: Cool!
Virginia Warren joined the chat
Robin B.: Alex, the procurer. 
Marta BP: And how cool that Pam Laricchia is going too! 
Marta BP: (to ALL Minnesota, that is)
Jill Parmer: So, Frank, I'm guessing you want the least amount of waste, to get the most efficiency. Am I on the right track? And ...hmmm....how would that translate into action for unschooling?
Sandra Dodd: So, Frank, in the idea of the needed tension between approaching unschooling carefully and thoughtfully, and hurrying up and just DOING it, where would the energy and waste and all go? Waste of misstep or wrong direction?
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Capn Franko: Exactly correct. In theory. No system is perfectly efficient in reality.
Virginia Warren: It happens when people go "no rules!"
Virginia Warren: They're trying to hurry up and do it, but throwing out the baby with the bathwater.
Virginia Warren: It's still not thoughtful.
AlexPolikowsky3: Yes Sandra! The Van service is awesome! You can take it just to go to the Mall of America or airport, It is also a historical hotel with a classic pool on the top covered by a glass dome. Really cool. I hope I can take people to see the Ball Room. It looks like one of those from an old movie Pretty amazing. The hotel system and downtown Rochester is pretty cool. Everything walking distance and on Thursday right outside the hotel is Thursdays on First which is the best thing to do on Summer around here. A big fest all day into the night !!! ALL free!
SylviaWoodman: People like shortcuts.
Capn Franko: So, wow! Big question - how is that observed in attempting unschooling? Lemme use a sailing analogy. I choose a course and set my sails with my best guess. It ain't perfect. I see signs which tell me that I'm not "in the groove" - sail flutter, chrun in the wake, whatever, so I make adjustments. Trim the sails, refine my course, whatever. Now, I'm more in the groove.
Capn Franko: Was my first attempt incorrect? I don't think so. It was my best guess at the start. As I felt that and where it was weak, I worked to improve it. I think that's analogous to unschooling beginners.
Sandra Dodd: Nice! Thanks.
AlexPolikowsky3: I like that Frank. Do you have an analogy for the wind? The force that drives the sails?
Capn Franko: Even an experienced sailor who's in the groove will notice that sometimes the wind changes or the current changes or the boat trim changes and you must readjust for that. What had been as perfect as humanly possible is now less so and adjustments are called for.
SylviaWoodman: Is the wind things the family is interested in?
Robin B.: The wind could be a child's development.
SylviaWoodman: I'm thinking right now the wind is driving us toward all things minecraft, halloween and cake decorating...
Capn Franko: I think so, Alex. A sailboat works essentially on the Bernouilli principle, forming a pressure differential between the sails. However the direct force of the wind is also simply trying to push directly against the sail and push the boat over on its side. Balancing those forces to get the best bernouilli slot with the least knock down pressure is where "the groove" is.
SylviaWoodman: The wind could also be love.
Sandra Dodd: When we're helping new unschoolers, or those who are undecided about whether they want to even try to unschool, those who've been around a while, we see their responses and fears through the filter of what we know of other people's regrets, false starts, delays...
Capn Franko: I like the wind as love!
Robin B.: Just when you've think you've figured something out, things change (growth spurt, new interest, life event).
SylviaWoodman: We do things out of love for our children that take us in an entirely new direction.
Sandra Dodd: I like information and interests better than love.
Sandra Dodd: People can claim and talk a lot of "love" without much learning happening.
SylviaWoodman: True enough and I don't want to imply that people who don't unschool don't love their children.
Sandra Dodd: I don't think the wind is outside of us, in an unschooling model. (Not in the model in my head, anyway.)
SylviaWoodman: There is wind in your head?
Jill Parmer: Love is too weird for explaining parental behavior. Some people do mean things out of love.
SylviaWoodman
Capn Franko: As a sailor, I definitely feel that I am one with the wind, the water, and my boat. Very woo for me and kinda koo-koo-kachoo but that's when I'm really feeling the groove, the zone, ya know. When it all feels part and parcel of ONE thing.
Capn Franko: Plenty of wind in *my* head. (grin)
Laura Z joined the chat
Robin B.: Being in the zone *is* cool.
AlexPolikowsky3: HA! Felt the same way bodyboarding Frank. I get it.
Robin B.: Race car drivers experience that, too.
Robin B.: Athletes of all kinds.
SylviaWoodman: The groove is flow state, right?
Jill Parmer: Similar for unschooling, no? Like when family members are happy and things are going smoothly, people are sharing with each other, or intensely interested and happy working on things.
AlexPolikowsky3: Or riders riding their horses.
Robin B.: Yup.
Capn Franko: Yes. You can achieve "the zone" lots of ways. Unschooling too. There are times when I and we as a family are definitely feeling in the groove.
SylviaWoodman: And the kids are singing....
AlexPolikowsky3: Yes Jill.
Sandra Dodd: Maybe the groove is just lack of panic, with unschooling.
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Jill Parmer: And ease with problem solving, too?
Robin B.: Yes! Like that Eagles song a "peaceful, easy feeling."
Jill Parmer: Heh, yeah I guess that would be lack of panic. 
AlexPolikowsky3: It is a calm and content stage, but alert and with lots of connections!
Robin B.: Awareness!
AlexPolikowsky3: Yes, but I think more than that.
Jill Parmer: Engagement. ~from Joyce's talk at ALL conference.
Sandra Dodd: It's rare to feel flow with a group. It's usually fleeting, for more than one person to be having that feeling with others as a group. Musicians sometimes, but not probably for more than a few minutes (as a group; longer for an individual, maybe).
Virginia Warren joined the chat 
AlexPolikowsky3: That is true Sandra.
Capn Franko: I could differentiate "no panic" and that transcendental intensity of being "in the groove" but they're definitely close. Maybe the non panic is groove stage one and "in the groove" is groove stage 2?
Sandra Dodd: Theatre. Sometimes several things are flowing smoothly together, but one participant or another will be on a different wavelength, different mood, distracted, or frustrated.
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Capn Franko: I had my regular Tuesday night jam session last night and we definitely hit that music groove a coupla times. Feels GOOD!
Sandra Dodd
Maybe, Frank. 
I don't want people to think the whole family need to be "groovin" for it to be successful unschooling.
Robin B.: We did it once or twice with the Greybeards, too.
Sandra Dodd: If one or two are engaged with learning, or with each other, that's fine.
Capn Franko: Yes, Robin! For sure!
AlexPolikowsky3: Yeah, someone posted on the Unschooling in Portuguese that she lives in a state of survival in everything she does. That makes unschooling almost, if not, impossible.
Capn Franko: And it's true that I hit my personal groove on Tuesday nights more often than the whole band hits the groove. Not congruent necessarily.
Sandra Dodd: Singing madrigals or medieval or Renaissance partsongs (harmonies), often someone is counting, or reading, or trying to remember, or consciously thinking someone else is off, or slow, or someone struggling or resisting a bit, one way or another, emotionally or musically.
Robin B.: It must be so much more difficult to unschool if you are struggling, struggling to pay the bills. Is that what you meant, Alex?
Sandra Dodd: But then sometimes for about 20 seconds, maybe as long as a minute, everything is still and quiet in a way, and the music is there as though it's an entity separate from the people who are making it. Or the people are in the music. They're all one thing, and no sharp edges, and no dangling bits and no distraction.
Capn Franko: We've been poor and we've been comfortable. EVERYTHING is easier when your're not not worrying about keeping a roof over your head and/or affording food for the next week.
Sandra Dodd: And it will end, very soon, that magic, but when it's there, it's AWESOME.
AlexPolikowsky3: It is for me for sure, but I think in this case it is just more for that person. It is past, present and herself in that state.
Capn Franko: Absolutely, Sandra!
Sandra Dodd: Same with gymnastics Frank? Sometimes do you stop trying and it's happening like slow motion?
AlexPolikowsky3: Yes, Frank that is for sure. I make a huge effort to not let it get to me. Deep breaths and looking for solutions, joy, things to be thankful for help a lot.
Sandra Dodd: I don't have a lot of jock experience, but I hear stories.
Sandra Dodd: I know it from writing, sewing, calligraphy, and especially from music.
Capn Franko: True. I had a few times when I hit the groove during a particular trick or a routine. You feel preternatural.
Robin B.: Ross says that time slows down in a race car. Sometimes he could see people's faces in the stands.
Robin B.: When that groove is happening.
AlexPolikowsky3: My son was happy today because I renewed Norton security. With his new computer he has a free trial. Now I know and use the free virus software but he felt safer with Norton and he is happy I was able to get it today. He is happy.
Capn Franko: I was the first person in the world to throw a double sommersalt over the vaulting horse. When I hit that trick in that first competition, the universe stopped. I was only slightly aware of my surroundings. *I* was in a completely different space.
AlexPolikowsky3: Wow Robin!
Robin B.: Time seems elastic then, it seems.
Sandra Dodd: In car accidents (rather, for me, when a car is spinning on ice or sliding off the road) I see in slow motion. In those cases I have assumed it was adrenaline giving me the opportunity for one second to seem like fifteen or twenty seconds, so I could think lightning fast and react.
AlexPolikowsky3: WOW Frank!!!!
Robin B.: That could definitely be part of it, Sandra.
Capn Franko: That particular "groove" differed from the one where I feel connected to what I'm doing, like a sailing groove when I feel intuitive unity with the wind, waves, and boat.
Marta BP: I didn't know you were a gymnast, Frank!
Sandra Dodd: We can't change the fact that when people are struggling to provide food and shelter that they will be unlikely to experience any flow moments, which are related in a way to Abraham Maslow's "self-actualization." They might be helped to have some peace through focus on abundance and gratitude, but concern is healthy when they're on the edge of not being able to provide safety, sustenance, love.
Capn Franko: I was very competitive in high school and college. Second in allaround in the nationals once. That was my best ever.
Sandra Dodd: We can't provide everything people need when they want to become unschoolers.
Sandra Dodd: But we can find ways to be aware of what we can provide and what we can't, and be realistic with them.
Sandra Dodd: Some people promise too much, and make it seem magically available to anyone who wants it.
Sandra Dodd: I think that will do more damage than good.
Capn Franko: Sometimes for a fee. (wink)
SylviaWoodman: Frank, I was just deciding whether or not to say that! 
Marta BP: In this case though, I think it has more to do with a positive outlook or the lack of one. (the case Alex was talking about) I'm not saying that this family doesn't have financial worries, but I think it might have more to do with an inability to see that abundance (maybe due to depression and emotional struggles).
Laura Z: ☁
Robin B.: That's what I was wondering about, Marta.
Sandra Dodd: Membership in the SCA used to cost $10 a year, when I join and it went up to $20 which (in the late 1970's when it happened) was a lot. It doubled! So did just about everything else, in the 1970's. But what I learned from that was that some people, when a prospective member would come by, would say "How much does it cost?" and some people would say "It doesn't cost anything; come over and we'll put you in armor!" or something, meaning we'll let you hang out and play.
Sandra Dodd: But really, to be a member and get the newsletters, it was $20 a year.
Sandra Dodd: Anyone who was told "$20 a year, but you can play a while before you decide whether to join," was happy.
Sandra Dodd: Anyone told "it's free" was pretty resentful when he heard about that $20.
Capn Franko: Attitude is certainly a factor. Some folks who aren't at the bottom of the Maslow pyramid are nonetheless unable to feel "comfortable."
SylviaWoodman: But there were other costs as well - you need materials and camping equipment and calligraphy pens etc etc etc.
Sandra Dodd: So with unschooling if someone has been told "Oh, it's easy; anybody can do it," their disappointment will be hearing no, it's not THAT easy, and some people can't.
SylviaWoodman: And it's not free.
Sandra Dodd: Unschooling's not free either. But sometimes someone says it is. 
SylviaWoodman: That's what I meant.
AlexPolikowsky3: I do not think anybody can do it. Some people just cannot, apart from having enough money.
SylviaWoodman: We've spent a lot of money on different things over this year. Electronics, toys, trips, ingredients, memberships, train tickets, movie tickets....
Sandra Dodd: So we don't know, when someone is balking and hemming and hawing and sputtering whether it's someone we should lean toward or lean away from.
SylviaWoodman: But private school tuition on the East Coast could run 20K.
Sandra Dodd: We can't always tell whether it's someone who cannot, doesn't want to, won't, or whether it's someone who might, could, probably will.
AlexPolikowsky3: I regret the times I was not nicer to my kids, the times I was not patient, the times I was not calm.
Marta BP: Exactly, Sandra...
Robin B.: Me, too, Alex. I regret the times I should have bit my tongue and let things go until a better time to talk.
Sandra Dodd: And those regrets can be universal whether people have anything to do with homeschooling of any sort or not, right Alex?
AlexPolikowsky3: I do not regret any money I have spent on them, for them.
Robin B.: I don't regret any time I've spent with Senna, either.
SylviaWoodman: I think we should lean toward people who have kids and genuinely seem to like them and lean away from people who want to fight about voluntaryism.
Capn Franko: Friends of mine are spending $14/yr per kid for ordinary Catholic school.
AlexPolikowsky3: Yes Sandra.
Capn Franko: Sylvia, you get my vote. Twice!
Robin B.: Yes, Sylvia.
Robin B.: $14 a year?
Robin B.: Cheap at twice the price!
Jill Parmer: I think regrets are such a valuable nugget for new folks especially with young children, it's like a big ol' road block sign or warning siren. And if people are open enough to learning from others' mistakes, they get a boost in their unschooling.
Capn Franko: Yes, Robin. New Orleans, where every parent avoids the public school system and tries to afford to send their kids to Catholic school, not just the Catholics.
AlexPolikowsky3: Yes, Robin. There has never been a time I spent with my kids that I regret or wanted to be anywhere else. The contrary! I have gone out with friends and got home and wished I had just stayed home with them.
Marta BP: That's one of the reasons I'm here, Jill! 
Robin B.: So, really. Just $14? Not $14 thousand dollars?
AlexPolikowsky3: What is that about vonluntaryism???
Capn Franko: Oh, sorry. $14K.
Capn Franko: per year per kid
Jill Parmer: Me too, Marta. When Addi and Luke were wee ones... at 7 and 4. 
Robin B.: Oh, phew! Not that I was going to move to NOLA.
Marta BP: I was really lucky to have found Sandra and radical unschooling and you guys so early on in Conchinha's life. 
Robin B.: Another thing I regret (and still do, at times) is that I'm a slow learner from my mistakes. I have trouble breaking bad habits.
Sandra Dodd: The regrets collection might be too sad for some new unschoolers, but when do we show it to them? After a year? Two? After they're really regretful too?
AlexPolikowsky3: My kids are happy at home so it does not matter, right now, if any schools are free 
Sandra Dodd: This: "My regrets are that I didn't unschool them in all areas of their lives from the beginning. I hate seeing others do what I have done in the past. I feel like I can give them insight if I am painfully honest with the harm I inflicted on my own kids."
Sandra Dodd: Are some people TOO pushy because they want to make up for their own regrets?
Capn Franko: The vast majority of our regrets are from before we started unschooling.
Sandra Dodd: A kind of "no missionary like a convert" situation?
SylviaWoodman: Oh Robin ME TOOO!!!!
Sandra Dodd: (Except we were all converts.)
Robin B.: You can't do what you don't know how to do. You can regret too much and live there.
Capn Franko: One of *my* (terrible) habits. Living in regret.
Sandra Dodd: Some people magically turn regret to blame.
ChrisSanders joined the chat
Sandra Dodd: They wish they had done something different, so they say they would have if unschoolers had been more welcoming/supportive/acc​epting.
Sandra Dodd: But if we don't guard against it, the few people who can stand to hear people's long tales of woe will be there, hearing long tales of woe, while the others have gone off to do other things. It can be difficult to keep things focused on information and progress and not whiney chit-chat and justification.
Sandra Dodd: So THANKS (looking at the people who are here) for helping other people get it.
Jill Parmer: Eliminate the waste! For maximum efficiency!
Sandra Dodd: I regret times when we've let the discussion go loosey-goosey and then people were frustrated and went away. When it's tight and solid and people go away, I don't regret that as much.
Jill Parmer: It would be wasting energy to spend too much time on the long tales of woe.
Robin B.: Maybe we should put in the pinned post on Radical Unschooling Info: no long tales of woe allowed. Not that anyone will read or abide by it!
AlexPolikowsky3: I sometimes sense some people get upset at me for being too cheery and not complaining about my kids.
Robin B.: Ugh, Alex.
Sandra Dodd: Sounds harsh to consider someone's inability to move directly and solidly toward unschooling as making them "the waste."
SylviaWoodman: Misery loves company!
Capn Franko: I very much appreciate those of you who stick in there year after year having those conversations. I admit I don't have the patience.
AlexPolikowsky3: People went away from that Sandra?
Virginia Warren: I just quit an "unschooling" FB group that had a lot of that people talking being "ripped apart" on Always Learning.
Sandra Dodd: I'm surprised I have lasted as long as I've lasted, Frank.
Capn Franko: It's impressive.
Jill Parmer: I'm talking about experienced unschooling spending too much time on tales of woe, regarding the waste.
AlexPolikowsky3: Virginia, it always amazes me but I have seen people come back and love it there now.
Sandra Dodd: Jill, not on Always Learning, but if there wasn't "active moderation," it could easily turn to that.
Sandra Dodd: It's always just under the surface.
AlexPolikowsky3: I am thankful you have lasted as long as you have Sandra. Very thankful!
Jill Parmer: I think I'm missing where you were going with the idea above. Accidentally off on a tangent.  pooey.
Laura Z: I am thankful as well Sandra! And all of the other "old-timers"
Robin B.: Why do people want hand-holding from a bunch of strangers? I don't get it!
Sandra Dodd: Sorry, Virginia. Some of the people who perpetrate and perpetuate that discussion are the same three or four after a dozen years. And they can't get over it, they can't provide something better, they just kind of sit on the corner and mutter about how mean I am.
Marta BP: What Alex said!
Robin B.: Come for the information; stay for a lifelong change.
Virginia Warren: I hope they do. But I wish they hadn't gotten my hopes up with the name of their group. 
Sandra Dodd: Robin, it's primate instinct to be accepted.
AlexPolikowsky3: Hand holding and approval and someone saying "OH that happened to me too."
Capn Franko: Robin, it's like a vacation slogan! (grin)
Robin B.: Travel agency!
Laura Z: Virginia there's lots of groups, and people out there who call themselves unschoolers. You get better at wading through them 
Robin B.: I know, but if I want hand-holding, I'll call up a friend or get together for coffee or pm someone. Maybe that's just me.
AlexPolikowsky3: Oh Virginia, it may be the little group that created groups to complain about mean Sandra and invite people to their group???
SylviaWoodman: (Why I believe I was just whining to Robin just the other day.....)
Laura Z: Alex...which one? there's so many 
Sandra Dodd: I whined to Jill for three days.
Robin B.: I'm not interested in any group that doesn't have Sandra, Joyce, Pam & Pam and a few others (you know who you are!). I can't get better information anywhere else.
Sandra Dodd: Sometimes whining needs a special audience.
Sandra Dodd: But there can be too much whining. 
Marta BP: Same here, Robin.
AlexPolikowsky3: I hope it is me you are calling for a coffee Robin. By the way dates are up. Make your travel plans woman!
Robin B.: Sylvia! That's what I'm here for. 
AlexPolikowsky3: Or just come to see me anytime. Fireplace and wine! Winter is coming!
SylviaWoodman: Better to whine in private and cheer people on in public.
Robin B.: I know, Alex. I'm seeing how it might work with Ross's trip to Detroit.
Jill Parmer: I hope I let you whine enough. I just didn't want to let you go too far down that road.
Capn Franko: Whine with wine. Now, that works for me.
ChrisSanders: Do it Robin! ;D
Sandra Dodd: There's "I'm stuck and want to move on, help!" and there's something very unhealthy which is identifying as a martyr or a victim, and building a nest there to live in that hurt, and reciting the wrongs.
AlexPolikowsky3: Sandra, Jill is your close dear friend. Not a board with strangers.
AlexPolikowsky3: Robin!!!!!!!!!!! YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sandra Dodd: Some moms do it about school. They want to tell the story over and over of how the counselor was wrong and what the teacher said and what the principle did.
AlexPolikowsky3: Is that an invitation, Frank???
Sandra Dodd: Telling it the 35th time is not helpful.
Capn Franko: You're welcome here anytime, Alex. Ronnie and I are trying to see if we can have her stop working by next June. Then, after that, we're traveling while the kids live here and do college. We could very possibly cruise by you at some point after that.
Robin B.: Whoo-hoo, Frank!
Robin B.: Alex, you'll probably see them more than I do and I'm 45 minutes away!
Capn Franko: Money. As Cyndi Lauper said, Money changes everything.
Marta BP: -=-There's "I'm stuck and want to move on, help!" and there's something very unhealthy which is identifying as a martyr or a victim, and building a nest there to live in that hurt, and reciting the wrongs.-=- Is there any way to help people who are stuck here? Therapy, probably. As a friend, is there something I can do to help?
Capn Franko: Robin, especially if we go travelling!
AlexPolikowsky3: Is that a promise Frank? I will hold you guys to it 
Sandra Dodd: Marta, I don't know.
Capn Franko: If we can't do the finances for July 2014, we're pretty sure we can do it for 2015.
Robin B.: I know. Now I'm sad and I'll want to live in "Wah, I won't see Frank and Ronnie land" forever!!! Is there a FB group for that?
Sandra Dodd: I do have that therapy page. http://sandradodd.com/issues/therapy
Robin B.
Sandra Dodd: I sent people that page if it looks like they have problems that will really keep them from seeing unschooling.
Capn Franko: We'll return home occasionally. Check on the girls, have a Greybears music weekend...
Sandra Dodd: But they seem to really want to.
Marta BP: Yes, Sandra. I've recommended it and will again on the Portuguese group, even if the therapists are English-speakers.
AlexPolikowsky3: That is what I think, Marta! She needs therapy. Helping her is way more than a group of people can do.
Robin B.: That would be lovely. Okay. I'm healed.
Sandra Dodd: We know people can have regrets, but it just doesn't seem right to say "You'll be sorry" if someone says "Well, I don't know..."
Sandra Dodd: It sounds so... you know.... "You will regret it if you don't change NOW!"
Robin B.: Some people are not sorry they didn't choose unschooling. That's okay.
Sandra Dodd: Sure, that's peachy.
Sandra Dodd: That's not what I'm saying.
AlexPolikowsky3: I like the people that write about their regrets but go on to say how they changed that by embracing unschooling and changing their lives for the best.
Sandra Dodd: I don't care if NObody unschools.
Sandra Dodd: Just so they have options and actually make choices and they don't whine at me as though it's my fault.
Robin B.: Yes, I see.
Sandra Dodd: There. My boundaries clearly defined. 
Jill Parmer: Yes, Alex. The action that moves someone away from the problem and mistakes, toward betterment.
SylviaWoodman: True, some of my friends think I'm an elitist bitch because we unschool.
Sandra Dodd: Interesting, Sylvia.
Robin B.: Some people don't understand that they have and make choices every day, every minute. It *is* that victimhood thing that keeps them where they are.
AlexPolikowsky3: I used to be so excited about unschooling and want to share with everyone what I had learned. Now I help people that WANT to understand.
Capn Franko: My friends understand. Many acquaintances think I'm elitist... for unschooling as well as in general.
Sandra Dodd: I'm guessing that's some kind of projection from moms who don't want to expose their children to the contagion, but they want to blame YOU.
AlexPolikowsky3: I like betterment. 
Marta BP: Yes Robin, sometimes that victimhood thing is hard to break.
Marta BP: I know, I've been there. But I realized, with the help of unschooling principles, that it really didn't help me at all, it only made things worse.
AlexPolikowsky3: OR I am a bitch because I love being with my kids and don't bitch about them or my husband.
Sandra Dodd: Alex, I know what you mean. And for me, I'm scooting away even more. I kind of only want to help people who want to help other people.
SylviaWoodman: I think some of my friends who work outside the house think I judge them because I don't. Honestly I don't think about it all that much.
Robin B.: Isn't that a weird thing? If you're *not* bitching about your husband and kids, *you're* the weird one?
Robin B.: Or the bitch. Sheesh.
Sandra Dodd: Well, you're disturbing "the peace."
AlexPolikowsky3: Hey, if they are happy doing what they are doing, right Sylvia? Their choice!
Sandra Dodd: If there's a complaint session in progress and someone opts out, it suggests/proves that others could have declined to bitch, too.
SylviaWoodman: I once worked at a company where everyone was very cynical and when I was new I was all bright and cheery and eager to work hard yadda yadda yadda.
Sandra Dodd: It makes those look bad, who are really crankin' it.
Sandra Dodd: I find that from other unschoolers.
SylviaWoodman: But I was told either my attitude wouldn't last or I wouldn't last.
AlexPolikowsky3: Yes Robin. I do not understand. They feel , I do not know, judged because their choice is different, or they are not "as good" as me or something,
SylviaWoodman: They called it The Virus (cue the scary music!)
Sandra Dodd: OH, tacky, Sylvia.
SylviaWoodman: (I was there less than 8 months)
SylviaWoodman: (I was slow on the uptake -- and while I know how it felt good for everyone to complain together when we were working late)
SylviaWoodman: Being positive feels much much much better.
Sandra Dodd: It's hard, though, Alex, for someone to see someone exercising an option they would prefer to think they don't have. Or that they really don't have.
ChrisSanders: -=-I kind of only want to help people who want to help other people.-=- How do you prefer to do this Sandra? Private emails? Group situation -- like a FB or Yahoo group of experienced unschoolers who help others? Publicly on existing forums like Always Learning or Radical Unschooling FB group? I ask because I'm helping someone local but could use your guidance.
Sandra Dodd: Chris, I mean here, and on the lists.
Sandra Dodd: The ideas in chats like this will help people who want to help other people.
Sandra Dodd: I'm not as eager to help people who are just toe-in-the-water.
Sandra Dodd: I want to help the eager, analytical, deep-thinking folks.
Capn Franko: I was never much for online groups but Ronnie often told me that even the old unschooling.com would "drift" if the regulars weren't there to keep it on track.
Sandra Dodd: I don't want to help people one-on-one.
ChrisSanders: got it
Sandra Dodd: It's better to ask groups anyway, because you get lots of people's ideas, and lots of people get all THOSE ideas.
Sandra Dodd: But the amount of focused effort I'm going to put into a response will vary with the quality of the question and with the audience.
Sandra Dodd: VERY often when I respond to a newcomer's question, I'm writing for the rest of the audience more than for that newcomer.
Robin B.: Yes, ideas from groups are great. Hand-holding is better one-on-one. Even if your friend gives you a smack upside the head, when you need it.
AlexPolikowsky3: Yes, Frank. Nothing like having the clear voices some of you have. I have gained much from it.
Sandra Dodd: Every group will degenerate if someone doesn't really rein people in and chase trouble away.
Jill Parmer: I love a good moderator!!
Sandra Dodd: Every party will turn to empty platters and empty bottles at some point, unless someone is actively cleaning up and replenishing.
Robin B.: It usually takes me a long time to craft a response I'm happy with in any group. I tend to try to find links instead.
Robin B.: Or I go on and on and on. 
Sandra Dodd: I enjoy some on-and-on-and-on and some links.
Sandra Dodd: Balance. Tension. 
AlexPolikowsky3: Different voices and points of view can bring awesome ideas to the table.
SylviaWoodman: But to some extent crafting a response is more for me -- clarifying my thinking than it is for the readers.
Capn Franko: Yeah, Robin, I'm slow and verbose. Not a good combination for things like this, where rapid typing and thinking are needed.
Sandra Dodd: Are you sure, Sylvia? 
Sandra Dodd: Some people really like personal stories more than anything else.
Marta BP: I don't think people understand and value the hard work that goes into moderating discussion groups.
Robin B.: I have to say that being a moderator has helped me not take everything so personally. I'm not there yet, but I'm not as worried about nameless/faceless people hating me and me being upset that they do.
Sandra Dodd: OH, right... wait. I re-read. I see what you said. I thought you mean that it was more beneficial to you than to others.
AlexPolikowsky3: Yes Sylvia, writing has probably helped me more than it has others. Because of the nature of the discussion and how Sandra keeps a tight crew, I learn so much.
Sandra Dodd: Your intent is to clarify for yourself, but the secondary effect is you let others look over your shoulder as you were clarifying, and that's pretty generous.
Robin B.: That has helped me as well, that clarifying of what I really mean and believe.
Sandra Dodd: I don't have a lot of regrets about unschooling, or about discussions of unschooling.
AlexPolikowsky3: Yes to what Sylvia wrote!
Robin B.: I have more regrets about my parenting than about unschooling.
Sandra Dodd: I wish we had spent more money on the kids, but Keith loves to save money and pile it up in the bank, more than to spend it, and because he was going to work every day it was very important for me to guard his right to pile money up to make himself feel safer.
Sandra Dodd: So now I spend money on the kids. 
ChrisSanders: I regret being too hands off with Zach in his mid-late teens.
Sandra Dodd: I just finally found some mirrors for Marty's jeep when the doors are off. And he just put the doors on his jeep while the mirrors were on their way from the supply company. 
Sandra Dodd: Next Spring, Mirrors!
Laura Z: You've got that right, Marta! Nor do they often realize that's time from someone else's family or life being given for free.
Marta BP: Yes, Laura.
SylviaWoodman: Right sometimes when I'm having a hard time justifying spending money on the kids I remember that they don't have my parents any more to dote on them and that I better do it for them.
AlexPolikowsky3: Yes, Laura. They will complain sometimes they were not answered the way they wanted.
Robin B.: That's why people set up their own FB unschooling groups. So they can get the answers they wanted to hear.
AlexPolikowsky3: Me too Robin. My parenting was good, with my daughter's birth it failed and it has taken me a lot to get back on the horse.
SylviaWoodman: (Meaning if they were alive they would for sure buy them this item or get tickets to take them to see this performance or have that experience.....)
Sandra Dodd: Does that work for them, Robin? 
Laura Z: Robin, I have the same regrets - although I feel fortunate that Caitlyn is still young and I have groups like this to challenge me to be better.
AlexPolikowsky3: Still fall off here and there. But I get back on it fast. I do not let regrets take me down.
Robin B.: I don't think so. At least not to the point of understand unschooling. It's more a mutual admiration society, I think.
Capn Franko: "I'm sorry" may not be a panacea but it's pretty damned close. Our girls have appreciated it when Ronnie or I said that after we screwed up.
Robin B.: Like I said, sometimes I'm a slow study. I know I have the power to change, but sometimes it's been harder than I thought.
Robin B.: I say "I'm sorry." It has helped.
AlexPolikowsky3: Yes, Frank. I had to learn to say I am sorry and mean it.
Robin B.: My aim is to do fewer things to be sorry for!
Capn Franko: A good thing to aim for!
Jill Parmer: Dang, Robin, that can be turned into a great suggestion. 'Start your own private-secret-one person facebook group! And listen to yourself yammer all you want.'
SylviaWoodman: Ah FB has such an effect on me I'm looking for the "like" button Robin!
Sandra Dodd: SO we want to help new unschoolers move into unschooling in such a way that they have fewer things to regret.
Capn Franko: That's my blog.
Capn Franko: (wink)
AlexPolikowsky3: I like to say I do not worry. I mostly do not. I have moments. It is not that I worry my son wants to be home all the time, I worry I screwed up and that is WHY he wants to. I have to stop, connect with him and I have even asked if he was happy. When I see he is then I can exhale.
AlexPolikowsky3: LOL Jill!
Robin B.: Jill, I was thinking that myself!!!
Jill Parmer: Yeah, but you are interesting and cantankerous, Frank, and it's not a secret blog.
Capn Franko: No, it's not secret, merely obscure. (grin)
Laura Z: Robin, maybe it's because so many of these things are deeply ingrained in us? I still find myself doing the things that I said I wouldn't do again or sometimes opening my mouth and saying exactly what I don't want to say.
AlexPolikowsky3: ^^ what Jill said
Laura Z: Great idea Jill 
Robin B.: Yes, Laura. Habits. It takes more than just awareness. Awareness plus seeing clearly how you want to be helps.
AlexPolikowsky3: Laura. Stop. Close of mouth. Deep breath. Think, choose better or choose to shut up at that moment.
Sandra Dodd: Laura, it's easy to be our moms-on-a-bad-day if we're hungry, tired, angry, lonely, sick...
AlexPolikowsky3: I am so much better at it now. I think I may have said things I regret 2 too many times this year but I am getting better.
Robin B.: Having those conscious steps (that you think about) can change the habit. Soon they are subconscious steps.
Sandra Dodd: It's Maslow all over again, bottom of the list. Hungry? Not feeling secure, safe, loved? Cannot dwell at or think at higher levels at that moment.
Sandra Dodd: I could NOT shut up around Holly a while back. We're both trying harder.
Robin B.: Sometimes we forget that we have the same issues as our kids (hungry, tired, lonely, sick) and so do our spouses!
Sandra Dodd: I was feeling drained and lonely and resentful for most of the end of August, most of September.
Sandra Dodd: Pissed off, dismayed.
Sandra Dodd: Exhausted, betrayed.
AlexPolikowsky3: Yes Sandra! Being hangry! (hungry+ angry) it is a hard one!
Robin B.: Sandra, isn't it wonderful when you can talk about that with a child and resolve to be kinder to each other? Senna and I have done that.
Sandra Dodd: It would've been more wonderful if we hadn't needed to.
Robin B.: I'm so sorry you were feeling that way....
Laura Z: And other unschooling parents have the same things too  It's easy to think we're the only ones who go through this.
Sandra Dodd: She was having social problems, physical problems, emotional problems. Me too!
AlexPolikowsky3: {{hugs}}}
Sandra Dodd: And there we were, stuck together.
SylviaWoodman: Oy!
Sandra Dodd: And we are of similar temperaments, and not in a good way, when it's both low-cycle, volatile, at once.
AlexPolikowsky3: And with all that she was amazing pulling out and helping with your birthday present 
Laura Z: Yes she was!
Robin B.: Yes. I totally understand that, Sandra.
Sandra Dodd
Yes. 
Jill and I used the remainder of that Garduño's card last Thursday night. Very nice. 
SylviaWoodman: Yay!
AlexPolikowsky3: Awesome!
Sandra Dodd: And we also ate at Los Pollos Hermanos.
Robin B.: Next Albuquerque ALL, can there be a Breaking Bad tour? 
Sandra Dodd: (At the "actor" that plays that restaurant.)
Sandra Dodd: Robin, maybe.
Sandra Dodd: At least a couple of drive-bys on the way to the Tram.
SylviaWoodman: No way! It's a real place????
Sandra Dodd: Between the hotel and the base of the tram, people could see the car wash and Walt's house and the dam without really going out of the way much.
Sandra Dodd: It's Twister's, a burrito/burger place.
AlexPolikowsky3: I think my biggest regret in parenting, the one that makes me sad that I cannot make up for is my son's circumcision. I wished I had done more research. I did not.
Sandra Dodd: It's a particular one, in a kind of rural, farmish neighborhood diagonally across town from here.
Robin B.: I wanna go to Blue Sky Donuts, for sure.
Sandra Dodd: It's a chain. There's one across from my house, but it's not the right one.
Sandra Dodd: AH! We could buy donuts for the conference, maybe.
Sandra Dodd: They're not very good. But they're pretty
Laura Z: Which conference, Sandra?
AlexPolikowsky3: Albuquerque.
Sandra Dodd: Rebel Donuts is the name of the shop.
Robin B.: You just dashed one of my reasons to go, Sandra! I'm a donut connoisseur!
Robin B.: Don't ever say "they're not very good"!
Sandra Dodd: The blue stuff isn't good on donuts, just pretty.
Robin B.: Oh, I see. 
Marta BP: Oh my, donuts too? I am so going to try to make it to that ALL in 2014!!!
Jill Parmer: If you're a donut connoisseur, Robin, you will be disappointed. Regular donuts with frosting, and blue rock candy on top.
Robin B.: Alex, got any good donut places near you?
Jill Parmer: But they are fun to look at.
Sandra Dodd: (Robin... everything near Alex smells like cow poo..... Don't tell her.)
AlexPolikowsky3: You will have to do a pit stop in Minnesota, Marta. That is obligatory!
Robin B.: Oh sigh....
Robin B.: Bwahahaha!
AlexPolikowsky3: My husband is a huge donut eater! I will have to ask.
Robin B.: We always said "Smells like money" - I grew up in dairy farm country.
Capn Franko: To bastardize John Denver, "Thank God I'm a city boy!"
SylviaWoodman: Wait, Alex your husband can't taste anything!
Laura Z: LOL When we moved to the country as a kid, we used to hang our clothes out. The first time they spread cow manure at the farm next door made us a lot more careful of when we did it!
Robin B.: I'll have to bring my own....
Marta BP: If I go, I will try Alex!!! I know it'll be hard for you to go to Albuquerque, right?
Sandra Dodd: NOT obligatory, Alex. WAY expensive to get from MN to TX or NM.
Ann Rousseau left this message 3 hours ago:
My regret is not getting here sooner, I'm just reading through here and trying to catch up.
Sandra Dodd: Cheaper for you to come to New Mexico by yourself to see them than for Marta and Constança to come.
AlexPolikowsky3: I love the smell of manure!!! .... You get used to it. But really not downtown where the Conference is. Just out in the country where I am!
ChrisSanders: Rochester smells like cow poo?
Sandra Dodd: Very legitimate regret, Ann. 
Ann Rousseau joined the chat 
Sandra Dodd: If you click "join the chat" you can ... never mind.
ChrisSanders
Robin B.: I like the smell of manure, too. We're weird, Alex.
AlexPolikowsky3: Dang, Sylvia you are right. But they will have the right texture and will look good =P
ChrisSanders: I like the smell of cow poo way better than pig poo.
Robin B.: Horse poo is lovely.
Robin B.: So, maybe you're regretting coming to the chat now, Ann! 
AlexPolikowsky3: Sandra, she can come from Portugal to Minneapolis down to Albuquerque!
Jill Parmer: ....here goes the chat....
Robin B.: These groups - they always degenerate. 
Capn Franko: Jill FTW!
Ann Rousseau: With all this poo talk... Fortunately I love manure talk.
Jill Parmer: All that poo chat...
Robin B.: Jill, get your hammer.
Jill Parmer: You mean my gavel?
ChrisSanders: I knew the son of a hog farmer in college, his car reeked of pig poo. Rick has photographed at hog confinements -- hard to wash that smell off of photo equipment. Blech!
Laura Z: Ha, I love cow poo smells but not the stuff that's sat and fermented all winter!
Robin B.: Yes. Gavel, hammer, sword.
Marta BP: I wanted to visit Jihong in Dallas too, Alex. Constança loved playing with Makena and wants to visit them! 
Robin B.: Pigs kinda smell like humans.
AlexPolikowsky3: Sandra started. I was being good and not talking about any farm related stuff.
Capn Franko: Stale beer, vomit, urine, and magnolia blossoms. Ahhhh... *That's* how a place should smell. (wink)
Ann Rousseau: I do have a sort of regret question if that pulls the chat back round...
Robin B.: Frank!!!
Robin B.: FTW!!!
Ann Rousseau: it has to do with regret in talking to people about unschooling.
Robin B.: Ann, go for it.
Laura Z: Marta, we're about five hours North of Jihong.
Jill Parmer: Go, Ann.
ChrisSanders: Laura, where are you?
Ann Rousseau: I sometimes feel it (unschooling) is like a secret door that you have to find on your own and i don't want to give the code away.
AlexPolikowsky3: Marta, come through Dallas, leave through Minnesota. 
Marta BP: Really, Laura?
ChrisSanders: I'm about 10 hours north of Jihong.
Marta BP
Ann Rousseau: And then feel some regret like I'm not "helping" enough.
Capn Franko: I'm about three days Northwest of Jihong.
SylviaWoodman: I know what you mean. Unschooling doesn't actually need evangelists.
Laura Z: Chris - Little Rock, AR.
Sandra Dodd: Ann, I don't mind that opinion. Too many people can be a problem.
AlexPolikowsky3: And I am just like 3.5 from Chris!
Ann Rousseau: Ahh, that's what I wanted to hear.
SylviaWoodman: In fact lots of us might be happier if Less people called themselves Unschoolers.
Capn Franko: I second Sylvia.
Laura Z: Yes, Sylvia.
Robin B.: I third it.
ChrisSanders: All in favor, "aye"
Jill Parmer: :::gavel bang:::
Robin B.: My hand is up!
AlexPolikowsky3: I do not go around telling people I unschool.
Marta BP: I'm gonna need 6 months and a whole lot of money to tour around the US, visiting all my unschooling friends!!! 
AlexPolikowsky3: Oops
Ann Rousseau: I am an anti-evangelist unschooler. No one knows why we are so content.
Heather Booth: I've been quiet, but here. Now I need to go get Austin some food. Thanks for the chat! See you next week.
Robin B.: I have never said we unschool, always homeschool. I only talk about if people ask specific questions or seem to need clarification.
SylviaWoodman: I've been recently "outed" as an unschooler and it's awkward sometimes.
Jill Parmer: :::waving::: See ya all.
AlexPolikowsky3: That is OK Ann. I help in the lists. In person I have local unschoolers, or people who call themselves unschoolers, and I do not go trying to change their ways.
Jill Parmer left the chat 
Sandra Dodd: So each person should find their personal sweet spot between keeping unschooling secret, and going door to door like a pair of Mormon boys.
Capn Franko: Time for me to go have lunch. See y'all next time I stop by.
Laura Z: I used to want to tell everyone what we did. I've learned to just stay quiet. Been working great.
AlexPolikowsky3: Bye Jill!
ChrisSanders: Just today I told a mutual non-homeschooling friend that another unschooler and I are homeschoolers of the "same ilk" -- don't use the word unless necessary.
SylviaWoodman: Ok, Harry wants a turn on this computer so I'm signing off for now. Thanks for the chat!
Robin B.: Bye!
AlexPolikowsky3: Bye you all. Going to check on my twin calves. And smell some manure!
Marta BP: Alex, think about coming to Albuquerque!
Marta BP: (in 2014)
Robin B.: Snort, Alex. And I do mean it!
Laura Z: So glad there will be a 2014 ALL in NM.
Laura Z: Maybe we'll be able to get there.
Marta BP: That would be really cool, Laura!
Robin B.: Yes, if we don't make it to MN, then ABQ is likely.
Laura Z: Of course Alex will be pulling my leg for there too.
Sandra Dodd
It's 2:00 and I'm restless so I would like to go now.  Thanks for being here, and thank you for the help, Marta!
I'm sorry I wasn't confident and enthusiastic enough to risk ALL in 2013. It seemed I had waited too long, and people were going to California or Texas or were broke or agitated. And I was agitated enough for all of us. 
Marta BP: Now I really *have to* make this happen somehow. 
Laura Z: No worries Sandra, it's been a long year for you 
ChrisSanders: Little Rock - Rochester = 12ish hours; Little Rock - Albuquerque = 13ish hours
Marta BP: Thank YOU Sandra!
Laura Z: LOL yes I know Chris.
ChrisSanders: ;D
Laura Z: I've looked at both.
Marta BP: Gotta go too.
Robin B.: That's okay, Sandra. You can't do everything. I'm so glad you do what you do.
Laura Z: And it's crazy how it's almost the same. Hopefully no moves next year.
Robin B.
Marta BP left the chat 
Ann Rousseau: Good bye, thanks!
Robin B.: And I'm off, as well. Bye, all.
Robin B. left the chat 
ChrisSanders: Bye Sandra, thanks.
Ann Rousseau left the chat 
ChrisSanders left the chat 
Laura Z: bye Sandra
Laura Z: bye all gotta let dog out and go pack
Laura Z left the chat 
Sandra Dodd left the chat