The September 29, 2009 chat ended up being about What Helps Make Unschooling Better?

and while this isn't an exhaustive list, there are some good bits here!

BeaMantovani: I mean I'm allowed to choose to say it in French (and I can, too ..

HollyDodd: Wow you guys sure do have a lot of freedoms up there, Bea

BeaMantovani: lol

SandraDodd: I'm filling in a questionnaire about unschooling for a site that seems to be collecting details about unschooling methods, but it's a conservative kind of place. So two of the questions... it's not that I can't answer them, but I'm trying for tact and depth.
6. What type of families/students are well-suited to unschooling?
7. What type of families/students struggle with the unschooling approach?
So I thought maybe talking about what helps and hurts would help me answer those questions without so much hesitation as I'm having. Right now what the site has on unschooling is not very good, and she wants to make it better, and I'm glad she asked me. So I want to do a thorough job if I can.

BeaMantovani: families where the parents enjoy being with their children

SandraDodd: I also thought I'd save a good-parts version of this for others who wonder in the future. We have the "how to screw it up" collection.

emiLyQ: Families where the parents are able to have time to be with their children.

Schuyler: Families willing to not have checkboxes ticked or to tick

SandraDodd: I figured I would link this page for part of one of those responses. She said I could put in links. How to Screw Up Unschooling

Alan: Families where children are a higher priotiry than career, high income, or social status

MichelleHuelle: Families who don't have issues about "control".

SandraDodd: What I have so far on the well-suited answer is this:

SandraDodd: When the parents are curious and can find joy in exploring and discussing common interesting things in the everyday world, unschooling can make a lot of sense very easily. Optimism and positive attitudes help. If the children's comfort and joy can be a

Schuyler: Families without students

BeaMantovani: enthusiastic, easy going parents

SandraDodd: high priority and the parents can see the value of letting even young children begin to make choices, by the time the kids are teens they'll have had a great deal of real-world experience in making thoughtful decisions. We don't have to stick to those questions, or to answering the questions for skeptical school-at-homers (DOH!). We can talk unschooler-to-unschooler here, too. Holly, someone pointed out (Robin Coburn on the Good Vibrations list) that you've put "education" for your "industry" on your blogger profile.

SandraDodd: I think one thing that helps is having a house. A detached house. A family here got a visit from social workers last week and then police. They've been living in a motel for five months, usually with shades drawn, kids don't go out alone

SandraDodd: their boy had really long hair and then got it cut, and someone reported they used to have three and then they only had two.

BeaMantovani: why detached house? For noise?

SandraDodd: Or one kid they used to have was gone or something, and then school came and they didn't go to school.

HollyDodd: And privacy.

SandraDodd: Privacy. Noise. Fewer other people keeping charts and graphs about when and whether your kids go out to play?

BeaMantovani: good thing I just moved to a house then ..:-)

SandraDodd: It's not a requirement, but it seems to help. Then kids have dirt to dig in. I know some apartments have dirt and some houses don't. But still. Dirt. Bugs. Plants. Schuyler has an awesome yard with birds and mammals and mystery plants and a pond/swamp in the corner I bet people could fish in. McElligot's Pool kind of thing (but bigger, with ducks and exotic England-birds

Schuyler: We put fish in it, although it's almost dry now Linnaea and I both got stuck in the mud that remains today

SandraDodd: Our yard lately has exotic whiteflies probably laying their eggs for next year (gross) and slugs.

emiLyQ: We moved to the country from a tiny lot in a tiny town two years ago and it's a nice change.

Schuyler: David rescued me and I rescued Linnaea and then her welly

Alan: I can see it now, someone will claim they can't unschool because Sandra said there has to be dirt at their apartments.

BeaMantovani: my apartment in Montreal had a small yard, but it was shared and I think the neighbors might have asked questions, if my kids were school age

MichelleHuelle: Parents who don't mind dirt, noise, and danger at times make good unschool families!

Schuyler: They could bring the dirt into the apartment, maybe

SandraDodd: Me too, Alan, unfortunately.

Schuyler: Or have it on the balcony

SandraDodd: Not if the apartment has white carpets.

Schuyler: You can't have white carpets and unschool

SandraDodd: I think on the lists of positives and negatives dirt should go on positives (a yard fulll of dirt, not a house) and white carpets in the negative.

Schuyler: That's the first rule, isn't it

emiLyQ: We got goats, ponies, and a llama. Chickens and barn cats were here when we moved here. But living in a big metropolitan place like New York City would have its own amazing opportunities.

hahamommy: you can if it's white wool berber!!

BeaMantovani: unless you are willing to let them get stained ..;-) (if you own)

hahamommy: there ya go, making a rule, I'll find an exeption!

SandraDodd: Rich old women with one miniature dog and houseshoes that have never left carpet should have white carpet, maybe.

emiLyQ: Money and time to be able to travel to experience what you don't live amongst.

Schuyler: That sounds like a rule Diana

SandraDodd: I agree with Emily.

Schuyler: money and time sure help

SandraDodd: Travel should be a big one. If you live where it's wet, visit another climate.

hahamommy: money is an excuse, though, it can be done on a limited budget

SandraDodd: I wish we could've travelled more. We had a car and a charge card, but I can't drive a long way. As my kids got old enough to drive they also got jobs and social lives and stuff.

emiLyQ: My wool stuff (blankets, mattress pads, etc) has gotten stained that I no longer dream of putting down wool wall-to-wall carpet.

hahamommy: I had a car and no charge card ..;-) and a love of driving

Schuyler: having visitors from other climes is good if you can't get our out

SandraDodd: Well nobody will have everything we could possibly think of, but I do think it helps for kids to have a place to play where animals are. and a chance to watch birds.

Schuyler: David Attenborough, he's a good visitor

SandraDodd: Did he visit you!?

Schuyler: on the BBC

SandraDodd: Pam Sorooshian had Neil Patrick Harris yesterday. I don't know how or why yet.

BeaMantovani: a city with lots of parks, and a zoo, if not a house ..;-)

SandraDodd: He's from New Mexico.

Schuyler: He's Dougie Howser

SandraDodd: I told Rosie I hoped she told him she'd been to Blake's.

Schuyler: Doogie?

SandraDodd: Vicarious visitation through BBC or PBS.

emiLyQ: I have a love of driving. It doesn't take much money to travel not that far, but to go to Australia or Europe or the US FROM far away -- that takes money even if you travel frugally.

Alan: I think it should be clear that attitude trumps money and resources.

SandraDodd: There's a new series about National Parks I do too, Alan. But

Schuyler: My brother worked with Neil Patrick Harris so I get it by proxy

SandraDodd: when I read about the families waiting in line to pay thousands of dollars to put a three year old in a preschool

Schuyler: him by proxy

emiLyQ: WHAT?! Neil Patrick Harris visited Pam?!

SandraDodd: I kinda resent someone asking to buy my book for very cheap because she can't afford it.

Schuyler: Pam's good company, I think it makes perfect sense

SandraDodd: One reason some people (rant warning, and I will breathe)

MichelleHuelle: We travel in an old RV and stay at Walmarts all over the Western US and it still costs us a good amount.

SandraDodd: If not for a huge amount of free unschooling information (nobody even has to subscribe to Growing Without Schooling and wait two months anymore), people would be buying a curriculum to unschool, and it certainly costs more than $25 and shipping. And it's

Schuyler: We get other people to pay for us to stay in London and that keeps our costs down

emiLyQ: Memberships to zoos, museums, local things like that -- we have the International Wolf Center close by and it's a nice place to go int he summer when it's hot (they have AC) and in the winter too (even though we do heat our house.)

BeaMantovani: you could probably travel across continents for cheap if you had time (thinking on a sailboat) you'd need the know how though

SandraDodd: not like I wrote a book to 'get rich.' I'll be lucky if it pays for the website, the chatroom, unschooling.info (which I probably do need to let slide away into the ocean of outdated information) and maybe a computer. You can' go across a continent on a sailboat, can you?

hahamommy: yes @alan! even with cash and resources, families are stifiled... I was sure our seeming lack or less hasn't stifiled what we really want

BeaMantovani: I mean ocean, sorry ..:-)

Schuyler: If it was frozen and you had an ice sailboat... During the last ice age, easy

emiLyQ: Yes - that's for sure. That attitude comes first.

SandraDodd: Bea gets the bye; she's a foreigner. (a foreigner to the English Speaking World-as-we-know-it, which is pretty screwed up, as we know)

BeaMantovani: ..:-)

SandraDodd: So yes people don't need a lot of money, but no, it's not free to unschool.

Schuyler: It's not free to raise children

SandraDodd: Nor to send them to public school

Schuyler: It's not free to put them in school

SandraDodd: My rant has subsided. I feel better.

Alan: it's not cheaper than public school, at the least

SandraDodd: Whew!

hahamommy: The book, along withany other resource out of your immediate finanical reach can be saved for, asked for for holiday/birthday, justified as curriculum expense...

Schuyler: But with unschooling you have to be willing to buy the things that many people would call trifles or plastic crap or whatever

SandraDodd: And sometimes the things that many parents think "school will provide that." Maybe a globe or a good map (though the internet makes them much less "necessary") or other kinds of equipment for science or music, maybe. Sports.

MichelleHuelle: We use Google Earth for maps.

SandraDodd: A kid might want to try archery, and might not want to stick with it for life. (Marty)

HollyDodd: I wish I grew up on a junk yard.

Alan: interet access is big

hahamommy: there's nothing like a globe!

HollyDodd: Actually I take that back.

MichelleHuelle: I found my youngest on the moon!

SandraDodd: ThanK you Holly! (WAit a minute...)

HollyDodd: But maybe I'll work at a junk yard someday

socal77: Drew likes Google Earth, about a month ago I walked into the room and he said "look Mom, I'm in France!"

hahamommy: I've always thought it was fun to look at out-and-about globes to compare to the one at home... I recently noticed Hayden doing it too!

emiLyQ: We get lots of sports stuff at garage sales. Just got a bow and some arrows a few weeks ago. Made a target out of some cardboard boxes stuffed inside each other and Delia drew the target on the outside.

SandraDodd: When Marty first had google earth he was looking for big things like the colliseum and the pyramids. It was cool

hahamommy: I was just gifted a lefty compound bow, eventually we'll have a range next to the air rifle range ..;-) in the back yard

SandraDodd: Diana has five acres.

MichelleHuelle: Nice. We like to look at the area that our friends and family live in and compare their city to ours.

SandraDodd: In Albuquerque it's illegal to shoot things like that in the city limits, and I don't know the details, but some friends have an archery range in a field behind their house. What direction do they shoot, at Steve's, Holly?

HollyDodd: DIANA'S back yard:

MichelleHuelle: That is weird, we were just looking at getting bow and arrows

hahamommy: we don't use but a fraction of it, and still the possibilities seem endless

socal77: I spent the whole morning juggling things that were "not free": camping, shows, comparing the relative cost of driving and paying for parking vs. rail, calling in favors for free tickets...it's an ongoing process

SandraDodd: But if you spend money on a kid's interest, don't try to press them to live there.

HollyDodd: They shoot back towards the house, I think, in Steve's yard.

Jennie: Hello. I'm new here. My daughter will be two next month. I'm currently reading the Big Book of Unschooling ..

emiLyQ: For little kids, my friend just got an amazing bow and arrow made out of PVC pipe and pool noodles at a craft fair. without really registering, if you want to.

hahamommy: networking is an important skill for at least one parent to have. When I can't afford ______________ I can usually find someone willing to share their love of ____ with us

Jennie (Guest15): Yeah!

socal77: Hello

SandraDodd: Shan, any epiphanies or great new stories for us this time?

hahamommy: Hayden wants to learn about auto body work and painting... it'd be silly, even with the means to just run out and get him set up! I can network with the guys at one of the two places within walking distance and find a mentor ..;-)

SandraDodd: Shannon is sparking up some big, quick changes at her house.

ShannonBurton: Diana, love what popped up from you! Had a lot of that this weekend! OOH, yes...someone sent me a great book in the mail...stayed up reading it all night.... =) we have a new kitten.

SandraDodd: Diana, it's small, but he could also mess with refinishing some miniature cars. Matchbox cars or those cool VWs that are about 8" long (I don't know miniature car scale stuff) Just to get the idea of sanding before painting, without committing to a whole seemingly-endless fender.

Schuyler: He could come and help David work on the Volvo He's been sanding and painting much of the summer

hahamommy: he's getting the dripless lesson with backyard spraypainting ..;-) We

HollyDodd: HAYDEN's work:

emiLyQ: If y'all were close by he could come over and experiment on my old real VW bus that needs new floor pieces welded in and lots of body work.

HollyDodd: (linked photo)

hahamommy: we've got a couple of southpark characters and holly's name on big sheets of wood in the backyard

MichelleHuelle: Speaking of being a flexible parent/spouse, I have to run. My husband suddenly wants to go look at a house to buy and my son wants to eat the pie he made. Nice reading you all.

hahamommy: oooh Holly does this mean the richard bach pictures are on photobucket?

socal77: bye Michelle

ShannonBurton: Our elderly cat, shakespeare, disappeared a week or so ago....coyotes around here....

HollyDodd: Make sure the house has dirt!

SandraDodd: Michelle, AWESOME alternatives to chats!!

emiLyQ: that bathtub could use a sanding and painting!!

HollyDodd: They will be shortly, D

hahamommy: Schuyler, you know he'd be there in a minute!

ShannonBurton: lise has been wanting a kitten. She decided black, shorthair....

Schuyler: The flight takes a little longer, but Sandra's working on a hot tub to hot tub connection

SandraDodd: Sorry about yourcat, Shan.

ShannonBurton: we went to a friend's saturday fro a birthday party (we were early, it wasn'rt till yesterday). People near her house had a free kitten sign...i told Lise we could go look.

Schuyler: Coyotes are awful with cats

hahamommy: the portal's a-comin' --my favorite mantra when I'm missin' my far-away friends ..;-)

SandraDodd: I really wanted a shower-to-shower connection between Pam Sorooshian's shower and my house's shower the day after the conference when I was there in so much pain and trying to patch together enough to

ShannonBurton: Sandra...he was a charity cat who would've been homeless without us. he had a good few last years, but none of us was especially emotionally attached to each other.

hahamommy: Coyotes sure think cats are awesome ..;-)

SandraDodd: get on an airplane. I stood there in the hot water thinking about our hot-tup portal plan.

hahamommy: I was sad Holly didn't pick the hot tub as what she couldn't live without ..;-)

SandraDodd: all our cats are charity cats

Schuyler: She could roll it across country

ShannonBurton: SO, I mentionrd the sign to Jeri, the friend, and she brought out her looking-for-a home- kittens.....both black and shorthaired...so humbelina came home with us!

SandraDodd: So Michelle's new house with dirt, after pie...

hahamommy: she brought a microwave, what's a hot tub after that?!

ShannonBurton: ours, too....

SandraDodd: What else can help make unschooling work?
It has helped here that Keith sleeps as far from the gaming room as possible.

Schuyler: knowing that you don't know everything

BeaMantovani: ok, so ways to accommodate everybody's needs

Jennie:Does it help to have a network of local unschoolers?

ShannonBurton: Jim made the kids pancakes while i was at the dentist....he made them volcano pancakes...i would say a sense of fun in both parents goes a long way!

Schuyler: It could help, but it isn't a requirement. There aren't any unschoolers near us

SandraDodd: It helps some people more than others. Some survive without, but I bet most to all would've rather had others.

BeaMantovani: or at least local homeschoolers?

hahamommy: Local - amazing and fun and wonderful and still pretty new to our unschooling life...

ShannonBurton: This chat helps immensely. AL list, too.

SandraDodd: Oh! I wasn't even thinking of that. So online resources for... ideas?

Schuyler: I think being on the lists helps more than people in real life

hahamommy: we did *ok* without them, relying on fellow unschoolers on Verizon .. and a few families we could visit regularly

SandraDodd: Contact with other unschoolers. That can cover online and local.

hahamommy: Skype opened our world immensely

BeaMantovani: foe the kids though, to have homeschooled friends

Schuyler: I wouldn't have thought of unschooling without the internet

hahamommy: as did XBox Live

Jennie:I learned about it from my LLL leader ..

Schuyler: Homeschooled kids have often been more limited than schooled kids in our lives

ShannonBurton: Enough Tvs to go around (we're working on that).

SandraDodd: Good one, Shan; I agree. I'm empty-nesting it here, practically, and last night was choosing whether to use the big TV but not have a table, or the smaller TV that had a table for the computer.

Schuyler: Not so much now, but that may just be due to winnowing that happens with time

Jennie: How many of you unschooled from birth?

SandraDodd: Use your kids as an excuse to set your house up nicely so when they move out you have luxurious Surroundings

ShannonBurton: Sandra...great idea!

emiLyQ: computers, portable dvd players, etc can be used to watch movies or stuff on netflix. also, iphones can play games or watch youtube

ShannonBurton: Willingness to go out of one's way...Lise asked me to bring her home a brand-new movie, and i did...wouldn't have, a few weeks ago.

socal77: the ability to hold on to things, the idea that you might use this someday

ShannonBurton: Sandra...great idea!

emiLyQ: Jennie I have an almost six year old and a two year old.

Schuyler: Simon and Linnaea have never been to school, but unschooling wasn't really an option until they were school aged

SandraDodd: Jennie, none of mine went to school. For Holly, we were unschooling when she was born (unschooling Kirby, who was five) but I didn't count it until I each was compulsory school age. I try to change my mind about that, but it's hard. Too many people have torqued me off.

emiLyQ: I am just starting to unschool becuase this year is the year my daughter would be in kindergarten. Before this, I was just parenting. ..

Schuyler: Moving on a yes quickly, not setting up lots of just a minutes

SandraDodd: Too many "just a minutes" are bad. My big failures are mending-related. There were things I wanted to do and meant to do that didn't get mended.

ShannonBurton: we were always homeschooling, but with jeremiah, we did lessons and worksheets....eclectic, but i was in control. It didn't work well.

hahamommy: We've not done school here, we've been unschooling 8 years

socal77: knowing what is available in your area, tapping into resources, always looking for new things, activities, ideas

ShannonBurton: Seeing your children for who they truly are, and knowing enough not to try to make them into who they aren't...i wasted a lot of time that way...sorry, jeremiah and Annalise.

Jennie: Did many of you do "mom and tot" type classes when your kiddos were little?

hahamommy: and knowing there's no time for wallowing in *what happened* because you're busy being *right here, right now* and making it better than the last ..;-)

SandraDodd: La Leche League, I think, is all. Not exercise or music stuff. No, Shan.

ShannonBurton: Diana....you are my role model for that one.....we have things in common, and I hope to grow in my ability to fully embrace our sorrows and turn them into celebrations....that helps! =)

hahamommy: I sang a LOT of Raffi and sesame street and Jose Luis Orozco and Mettalica and Elton and danced and danced... for free, at home, at the park, in the car, at the zoo...

socal77: questioning your assumptions, pushing your boundaries, as Pam has said there is a lot of "doing" in unschooling

Jennie: Would you say those classes go against unschooling philosophy?

hahamommy: they're just unnecessary

ShannonBurton: It depends, jenie +). =)

BeaMantovani: I have a question, Schuyler (and others): are your children's friends mostly schooled? Or do they just not play with a lot of children?

SandraDodd: Depends how you act about it and what you believe about it.

socal77: we sing a lot in the car and such as well

SandraDodd: Unschooling can seem kind of invisible

Jennie: Because my 23 mo isn't choosing them, but does enjoy them

BeaMantovani: Jennie: my 4 year old still doesn't do well in structured activities

ShannonBurton: Invisible...yes. i think we're getting to the point where it is...i had a cool two minutes with Annalise while sitting on the toilet this morning!

SandraDodd: Jennie, if you wouldn't make her go if she resisted, that's a kind of choice.

emiLyQ: Jennie I went to public school sponsored mom and baby classes to meet other moms since our LLL meetings had the same 2-4 people every time and I knew them already. .. My kids tended to like them so we went.

JillP: Addi 15, and Luke 11 ...there best friends are schooled, but they have homeschooled and unschooled friends too. the local ones are quite younger than them.

ShannonBurton: She brought in a book (Me on the Map) and told me she found the Washington monument in it. (she saw that last fall in person).

SandraDodd: If you go to a mom/kid class for fun, and to meet people and to have somewhere to go, then it's fine. If you go there because you're afraid not to that's different. If you go there because you think that's the only way they will learn you might take longer to deschool yourself.

JillP: Say more, Sandra please about unschooling being kind of invisible.?

BeaMantovani: Most of Drew's friends are homeschoolers, not all unschoolers...and then there are schooled cousins, but they are family

hahamommy: for me, those situations were tough, as I didn't want to expose myself to mamas talking about less than gentle parenting and future plans for sports and the right preschool... etc. so I avoided them

SandraDodd: Is Me on the Map about the kid in Kansas and the map to her room?

ShannonBurton: So she showed me...we then found the Capitol building, statue of Liberty, Mount Rushmore, the Grand Canyon, and the desert.....
Sandra...that's the one. Love that book.

Jennie: I'm trying to decide how to prioritize our time

SandraDodd: I know, Jennie, I know!
First your child.
Your child's learning
Your child's comfort...

ShannonBurton: Then we talked about relative sizes of things, and paintings done in perspective.....\

SandraDodd: I think sometimes people want us to tell them whether someone or something is or isn't unschooling but sometimes it's not what is being done, but what is being thought.

ShannonBurton: Made me think about all those times I said, "Don't bother me, I'm peeing!"

SandraDodd: And that's too esoteric for some people to think about. Add to lists: Let kids talk to you while you pee.

AussieTammy: I have a similar story, Shan.

SandraDodd: I'm not typing well; sorry

ShannonBurton: Jennie - prioritize in favor of fun and joy when you can. Classes are for joy in new things, not to become skilled....

Jennie: Like gymnastics (we just started them) where the teacher requested everyone line up and my daughter ran in circles to explore the equipment...i didn't want to "make her" line up but didn't want to irritate the teacher ..

AussieTammy: I used to use my nightly shower as "me time". I would get annoyed if the kids came knocking on the door while I was in there. Then I realised how much more joyful it was for all if I just let them in.

ShannonBurton: We play shower door games and towel games.....

SandraDodd: I bought the set of books that went with a whole philosophy of "literacy" called What your First Grader Needs to Know and stuff. I got them to see what the deal was, and to have a book in case someone said "So what do you think 1st graders are doing these days?

AussieTammy: And now most nights, Caitlyn brings in a puzzle and sits on the floor of the bathroom and plays while I shower. We talk lots. It's one of the best moments of the day.

BeaMantovani: Jennie, don't go to gym class
find other ways to meet kids

BeaMantovani: I have the same problem with my 4 year old

hahamommy: there's another necessity: a willingness to irritate a random stranger on occasion, to avoid hurting your relationship with your kid

emiLyQ: But I wouldn't let my kid interrupt the class for everyone else. I'd encourage her to line up so she can try out the equipment and if she didn't want to, I'd see if we could come back and explore the equipment later without a class going on.

SandraDodd: Because when I was in first grade we were learning about our newest state, Hawaii. [NOTE: I started to write Alaska, and should've, because Hawaii came when I was in second grade, and showed up in the geography curriculum when I was in fourth, but it was in Weekly Reader before that.]
And hearing about how people might go to the moon someday

ShannonBurton: Sandra...I admit to making jeremiah sit through lessons from the firat two of those books.

SandraDodd: and those books never intimidated or pressured me.

socal77: A moment ago Drew wanted to tell me about his Halo game, I was thirsty, I said, "walk with me while I get a drink, I want to hear what you are talking about" and he followed me into the kitchen

SandraDodd: I used them just to get ideas. I would never have "made lessons| or made anyone sit through anything, but I'd look in there and think "Oh yeah!" about something I hadn't thought of bringing up before. So they were memory joggers for me. But people in discussions would say "I wouldn't own those books; no one else knows what my child needs to know."

SandraDodd: They were all bristly and paranoid, as though the books' presence in their house could compromise their safety or their unschooling.

ShannonBurton: i haven't looked at the one that would apply this year yet. There doesn't seem to be much need, but, if I do, there will be no lessons!

SandraDodd: So if someone asked whether those books would hurt unschooling... they weren't hurting mine. : It wasn't the books, it was what people believed about or did with or feared about the books.

ShannonBurton: They hurt mine - except i wasn't aware enough to do it yet.

JillP: So it depends on how you use them and / or think about them, is that what you are saying, Sandra?

Jennie: couldn't the kids pick up those books and read parts that interest them?

SandraDodd: Maybe, Jennie, but they're not very interesting in that way.

ShannonBurton: Awareness and presence...those will be essential, i think.

PatchworkGirl: I look at books/curriculum materials, etc., as materials & if anyone finds something useful, great

SandraDodd: They're just text.

JillP: ah, I see above

hahamommy: but you can leave, which irritates the other parents and sometimes the coach who feels the kids need to be made to_____________. they can be annoyed, we can be gone ..;-)

Jennie: i taught 5th grade with that...i know

SandraDodd: `Diana, you talked about willingness to irritate random strangers. Maybe. Some unschoolers seem to look for opportunities to irritate random strangers. It's embarrassing to me.

hahamommy: not in that *free for all* way, in the "I don't care if you think I'm babying my kid by not forcing X" My kid

Jennie: we are very sociable...so the class is not needed for that

hahamommy: s opinion is more important

Jennie: just thought she'd enjoy the equipment...being so active

socal77: I love books, I rarely leave a thrift store or anywhere without at least one new to me book, but they are just a part of the swirl of resources we have at our disposal

SandraDodd: Yes, Jill. It's believe and action, not the Gymboree or the educaitonal video game. I hoarded and gathered books for years. None of my kids had that need.

JillP: I'm not understanding? what's an example of unschoolers looking for opportunities to irritate strangers?

ShannonBurton: Some people are looking for reasons to be irritated by children....any kids will do. i do try to model polite, respectful behavior when we're out and about (at home, too), and my kids seem to "get' that most times.

SandraDodd: It wasn't so healthy, in my case. It was like making up for childhood hurts. And now I have thousands of books that will have to be sorted and taken somewhere or sold or burned. Recycled like trash. It's not as sad for me as it is for Holly.

ShannonBurton: sandra....I'll pay the postage for the really cool ones! *bwg*!

SandraDodd: See, Shan it's deciding which you would think were cool. Nearly impossible to guess.

hahamommy: and what do I do? show up at her door with a book for her collection. Cause I knew she'd keep it.

socal77: I read them or loan them, or gift them, or have them around for later, it depends on the books...I kept all of my college texts from my major

PatchworkGirl: you could do artsy things with old books if you want to

HollyDodd: Oops, mom.

SandraDodd: I've seen some book arts.

PatchworkGirl: or maybe use the covers for other stuff

SandraDodd: What, holly? What have I screwed up now?

hahamommy: I just got a book, specifically for Artsing up it's a leather embossed cover that says "I DARE YOU"

SandraDodd: I can't desecreate books very easily.

HollyDodd: Oh nevermind. My mind and my computer both glitched at the same time.

SandraDodd: Oh. I feel better. In an odd way.

ShannonBurton: Another thing that has helped me is to be on the lookout for things that will fascinate my kids....let me explain a bit... Diana......love it!

Schuyler: my firefox is fading out so I'm reconnecting through internet explorer

SandraDodd: Jill, I think some unschooling moms like to freak the schoolies (working back through a "freak the mundanes" and "freak the straights" history of the verb "to freak"

PatchworkGirl: LOL Diana!

socal77: Oh speaking of artsy books, I bought a cool readers digest craft book from the seventies at the swap meet for $1

SandraDodd: Some unschoolers like to be different in a public "happenin'" kind of way

ShannonBurton: I used to try to interest them in things i thought they should be intersted in. Shifting my focus to what interests them is a new and evolving skill.

SandraDodd: Another notable change in Shan! Tell us more. There were lots of how to books in the 1970's. I have some.

BeaMantovani: those are people who would find other ways to stick out if they weren't unschooling though, I would think

Jennie: i think mom and tot classes are designed to be like pre-preschool in terms of structure. I don't feel the need for the structure, just want her to have opportunities to explore art, food, gym equipment, etc.

SandraDodd: Probably so, Bea. But I was reminded by Diana's suggestion to be willing to offend strangers on behalf of the kid.

ShannonBurton: In the last few days, i have googled the largest planet (jupiter; we weren't sure), camouflage because Annalise wanted to see the pattern (found a cool one of pink leopards and women so cool it's my new desktop), and watched the same thing on NatGeo twice

SandraDodd: I've had people be kinda that way in my house, letting their kids do things I didn't think were cool, kind of to test my limits as an unschooler. It's not nice. It's not courteous. It's not unschoolig; it's posturing bully-stuff.

ShannonBurton: So I could show Annalise the porcupine intestines they showed for only a few seconds....

SandraDodd: It's not helping kids learn how to be in the world.

BeaMantovani: explore those differently Jennie, not in a class

Jennie: i have to go...little one's up thanks all!

SandraDodd: Maybe, Jennie! Like pre-pre schoo..

ShannonBurton: Bye, Jennie.

SandraDodd: Thanks for being here. Have fun with them!

socal77: Bye Jennie

BeaMantovani: speaking of pre-school, I know a lot of people who homeschool pre-school.

ShannonBurton: Porcupine intestines are not that interesting to me. To Annalise, intestines of any kind are a lifetime love.

Schuyler: I can remember, very clearly, being embarrassed about something that Simon or Linnaea did in public. Going out with their hair unkempt, having them cry in a public place or scream.

SandraDodd: I've been listening to Stephen Fry read The Order of the Phoenix

Schuyler: It took a lot to start looking to them instead of looking at them Looking after them, maybe.

SandraDodd: And being reminded of how really cruel some women can be while they smile and act sweet.

ShannonBurton: Schuyler...i have justr recently started to get comfortable with having the scruffiest kids around.....

JillP: How How did you get a Stephen Fry version?? I've been looking!

Schuyler: I watched a woman at the grocery store sit and calmly try and help her frustrated and hungry daughter I complimented her on her patience and her care

ShannonBurton: But they almost always have the biggest grins and sparklingest eyes fo all, too.

Schuyler: and she said that it was her fault for bringing a hungry child to the store I was so impressed

ShannonBurton: Schuyler....That is great.

SandraDodd: That Dolores Umbridge was... y'know. Horrible.

socal77: Oh I found it: it's called Readers Digest Crafts and Hobbies: A step by step guide to creative skills; it has cool sections on pottery, and painting, and basketry, and lots of other cool stuff

JillP: Wow, that's cool Schuyler.

Schuyler: It took me a long time to get that they get to make the choice about their hair and their clothes

SandraDodd: Got it from Schuyler in England. And I'm kicking myself for not thinking of buying others at the airport on the way out.

Schuyler: I give them information

SandraDodd: I got two of them. THANKS AGAIN, Schuyler

Schuyler: I help them know what is appropriate and where and with who But they get to make the choice

JillP: ah right, you went to the source. I'll keep looking or go to England.

SandraDodd: Cool, Schuyler, that you talked to that mom at the store and she didn't say "MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS"

Schuyler: And I've learned that food is really important to have to hand or quickly accessible At Waitrose (love Waitrose) the staff came and checked her out so that she could go sit with her daughter

JillP: Food is so key.

Schuyler: Nobody censured her

ShannonBurton: what is helping me is remembering my owen childhood, and how few choices i had, and how it's led to feelings of being trapped so often. I had extremely long hair....it was never cut until i was almost 14.

Schuyler: Nobody looked aghast or said that she should shut her child up

Marcy (Guest74): so willing to be embarassed is good for unschooling?

SandraDodd: Maybe learning how not to be embarrassed!

ShannonBurton: My hair was long not because i chose that, but because my father loves long long hair on women.....but my hair is thick, and dry, and curly and very prone to be wild.

hahamommy: Our library had the Stephen Frye versions for download, Jill --I got 'em all .:-D

Schuyler: Brad Holcomb said once that people don't really think about you that much

Alan: Are there cultural differences re: thinking people should shut hungry kids up?

Schuyler: I thought that was a wonderful understanding

hahamommy: ooh the evil face, sorry! I forgot again!

SandraDodd: My dad didn't want us to cut our hair either, for some vague biblical reasons, even though he didn't go to church.

ShannonBurton: So I soent eternities standing by my mother's dresser while she yanked and tugged and combed it into braids....

SandraDodd: We had vestigial religious restrictions.

JillP: ooh, Diana, wonder if I could get remote library access to your library.

SandraDodd: Yeah, Shan....

hahamommy: yes, willing to put your kids ahead of your reputation for being betty crocker ..;-)

Schuyler: Thinking that a crying child is something you shouldn't have in public, maybe

SandraDodd: Braids, me, mom, before school.

ShannonBurton: And she pulled it back TIGHT and it always hurt my scalp. Then little wisps would wiggle through, and I'd have this laughable mane around my head.

SandraDodd: Well I don't think a crying child is something people "should have in public," but neither will yelling at them or jerking them around or threatening them keep them from crying.

hahamommy: I've got long hair now, longest in my life... mom always hacked my hair off and called it a "shag" usually after a bad Toni perm experiment I didn't want D':

ShannonBurton: Sandra - and before detangler.

JillP: I like the idea of how not to be embarrassed in situations. To be calm and hang in there with your kids when they need you.

SandraDodd: Yikes, Diana. That's way worse. I think principles help in all those situations. WHY are you home with your kids?

hahamommy: so does breathing .:-D

SandraDodd: What choices have you made, exactly? And "to unschool" isn't it.

ShannonBurton: So when Lise says she wants hers "wild and free", It's a gift I'm giving that she may never know the worth of...and that is so cool!

SandraDodd: Something lke "To be with my kids anytime they need me" or

Schuyler: I suppose it is about deciding what is embarassing. Yelling at Simon or Linnaea is way more embarrassing then sitting with them and helping them deal with whatever it is they need to move through

SandraDodd: "To help my kids get along in the world" or

hahamommy: I chose to give up my right to be the bully I'd been waiting to be since being bullied through childhood

PatchworkGirl: I'm home because I didn't feel like school was meeting their needs for sleeping,e ating, etc

SandraDodd: "To find learning everywhere."

ShannonBurton: "To have the joy of watching their becominng."

hahamommy: to know that *Hayden* isn't mini-*anyone* but HAYDEN!

SandraDodd: Unschooling is helped by parents willing to break the cycles of punishment and shame

PatchworkGirl: and I didn't like them being gone for so long

Marcy (Guest74): to be willing to set aside what i know is right what i thought was right

emiLyQ: I'm home with my kids (and my husband is too, amazingly) so we can just be here to see as much of it and be as much of it as we possibly can.

SandraDodd: Marty is a mini-Keith no matter what I try to think or how I squint at him.

PatchworkGirl: if i'm up in the morning, I'm always glad that my kids aren't getting on the school bus at 6:45 am

JillP: I don't think you need to keep crying kids in public, but if they get cranky or crying for what ever, you can help them get home or to a calmer place, or abandon the plans and do something else.

ShannonBurton: "to let their minds and selves grow unfettered by others' concepts of how they should develop."

hahamommy: a willingness to make kids more important than politics (ie - I've been in Wal-Mart *for Hayden* and still work to make this a Wal-Mart free world)

ShannonBurton: Annalise is a mimi-me. i delight in those parts of her i know so well....and also those parts that are nothing likr me!

SandraDodd: Diana, I think unschoolers should let childless people "work" for things like "Wal-Mart free world."

Schuyler: It's called Asda here, so a Wal-Mart free world is just a name change away....

hahamommy: see, so she's really Annalise, with some mama here and there ..;-)

ShannonBurton: i just promised my kids Crocs just now, even though i don't like them.

SandraDodd: Vague dramatic political causes get between parents and children. They steal time and energy children need. Let other people do it.

hahamommy: oh, there's that, too... postponing those soapbox issues for when the kids aren't acutely needy of you

Schuyler: Crocs are one of the first shoes that Simon has really enjoyed wearing

JillP: I wanted my kids to have crocs because they are so easy on and easy off, but they don't like them.

Schuyler: We bought them first in Australia so they remind me of climbing under waterfalls and things Oh and giant black skinks

ShannonBurton: Diana...yes...we're wearing the same face, and many personality traits, but she is for sure herself, and not me.

Schuyler: and great paper airplanes I like crocs, even though they aren't comfortable on me

socal77: there is a balance, I have no problem carrying around pre-packaged convenience foods in a cloth grocery bag

SandraDodd: For people who have joined the chat later, I'll make a list from this of the "what helps unschooling" points. There's a lit already of how to screw it up.

ShannonBurton: I have a mental block against plastic shoes from the "jellies" days...but they donn't, and so they will have Crocs.

hahamommy: Politics and religion, they'll both be there when you get back around to supporting them ..;-)

SandraDodd: sandradodd.com/screwitup

hahamommy: No need to rob your kids of YOU to focus over there

SandraDodd: Holly's gone from the chat.

ShannonBurton: Someone on Facebook told me yesterday that if I "let" my 8yo watch South Park, I should ask him questions during so he doesn'rt end up Republican.

SandraDodd: Shan I'm looking and blinking and wondering whether you meant something different.

BeaMantovani: is south park republican?

ShannonBurton: And "informed" me that it's not for kids his age, and there are objectionable and disturbing things on it.

hahamommy: oh shan! tha's a joke here, we've left Republicanism as the last rebellion, I hope H gets in while they're still rich .:-D

ShannonBurton: Nope,,,that's what this childless person who doesn't know me or my 8yo said.

PatchworkGirl: my kids watch south park... i'm looking forward to when Netflix instant adds closed captioning in 2010 so I can understand what they're laughing about if it's not visual

BeaMantovani: you can tell your kids I spent new years eve of 98 with the writers of South Park in Beijing, China,because it's true

SandraDodd: What the Terrance and Phillip was that person on Facebook talking about!?!!

PatchworkGirl: Bea, cool!

ShannonBurton: i said he knows well what is disturbing (keenly aware of what minor chords mean on TV) and i wouldn't want people interrupting my show to spoonn-feed what i should think to me, and that i trust and respect my 8yo.

hahamommy: If your kid watches South Park, he may grow up to be 11 and spraypainting art in the back yard with teenagers (mine did!)

BeaMantovani: I didn't even know South Park at the time because I had been in China the previous year

ShannonBurton: Gee.....a fate truly and clearly leading to delinquency.....!

PatchworkGirl: i love the idea of spraypainting art in the back yard teens or not! .:-D

SandraDodd: Were they in Beijing finding little Chinese slave kids to animate their cartoons?

ShannonBurton: Bea...too cool!

BeaMantovani: lol

hahamommy: me too!! What a blast! We can't wait till someone shoots and we get to say "You killed Kenny, You A$$hole!!"

Schuyler: If your husband watches South Park he may laugh so much that he can't see through the tears

BeaMantovani: no, they were visiting their old Japanese college roommate

Schuyler: (mine does)

BeaMantovani: who happened to be the friend of the girlfriend of a friend of mine

ShannonBurton: This person failed to understand that I don't have "an 8yo boy". i have Jeremiah, who has a love of the absurd, cartoons, history, and general silliness....and who is 8.

SandraDodd: I'll tell Holly.

emiLyQ: I was just complaining to my husband that I with they would make a South Park without all the toilet humor so that I could enjoy it because I just really am not amused by it. I watch the episodes I really really want to see, but it would be neat if Trey and Matt made a funny show that didn't involve so much... poop and stuff.

JillP: don't watch the WoW episode, the poop part is ....well, gross.

Schuyler: I've had a hard time with some of the episodes, but most of them just make me laugh

ShannonBurton: I also said what he's learned from South Park, Family Guy, and his new favorite, Married...with children.

Schuyler: I love the WoW episode

hahamommy: alright Bea, you may be out-cool-ing me ..;-)

JillP: yeah, it is funny!!

Schuyler: I love the giant Guinea Pig episode

hahamommy: I had to throw in my "I met matt groening" story to cover your southpark nye story!

ShannonBurton: I have't seen a lot...it's on at 1am here, and they repeat a lot fo them...but jim and I have loved the ones we've seen.

Schuyler: You can watch them on comedy central on-line I think You can't watch them here, but I think you can see the episodes just aired on-line

ShannonBurton: I met Bruce Willis and walter Croinkite when i was a waittress at the Old FAithful Inn in Yellowstone (and thar's all I got).

Schuyler: in the U.S. I met Diana Jenner and Sandra Dodd

SandraDodd: I'd love to see Bruce Willis and Walter Conkrite having dinner together.

ShannonBurton: Schuyler - thanks...and I'm deeply jealous of who you've met.

Schuyler: And Matt Ridley

SandraDodd: Well thank you, Schuyler, for putting me in with somebody famous

ShannonBurton: walter Cronkite was rude. Bruce Willis was very nice (and I'm not really even a fan).

Schuyler: And David Waynforth, that was my favorite published author

hahamommy: ..

BeaMantovani: I'd love to meet Diana and Sandra some day

hahamommy: ...didn't you sleep with David, schuyler?

BeaMantovani: and Schuyler too ..

JillP: I met Wally Schira when I was little, my dad told me he was famous, I didn't know anything about him. I offered him my mud pie.

Schuyler: I did, I was such a groupie

SandraDodd: There must be something brave and toilet-humorish about New Mexico and Colorado.

hahamommy: bea, you'll get us all through Holly in your home ..

SandraDodd: We have all that crazy recent rude cartoon universe coming from people here

Schuyler: I love that Mike Judge's dad was an archeaologist at UNM

hahamommy: great, now "bungholio" is in my head! .(h)

ShannonBurton: i want to meet you all.....

Schuyler: We have Beavis and Butthead comics in our bathroom

SandraDodd: Hey, I had to look him up. Astronaut.

Schuyler: My brother wrote them both!

hahamommy: I have moronothons on tape!

ShannonBurton: A goal of mine.....gonna break my performance annxiety one day and sing with Sandra.

hahamommy: wait, your brother wrote *B&B*??? oh man...

ShannonBurton: I have a Monkees marathon on VHS.

Schuyler: I have the Beavis and Butthead video game with the Hock-A-Loogie special game Yep, he is one of the unofficial creators and he created Daria with his writing partner

hahamommy: oh I miss her!

Schuyler: the spin-off

hahamommy: Hannah had a Daria book when she was little

ShannonBurton: I'm not up on beavis and Butthead.

JillP: gonna go jump with Luke, brb. So glad there's notes coming for this chat.

Schuyler: It's a bit dated now

hahamommy: we're old ..;-)

Schuyler: You can get it on DVD thought along with the Monkees

ShannonBurton: I'm ripening!

Schuyler: I'm past the first blush a bit But not much

ShannonBurton: i want the Monkees movie Head...but everyone thinks it's porn!

hahamommy: I've got a monkey who's tummy plays the theme song ..;-)

Schuyler: That must be uncomfortable for the monkey

ShannonBurton: That's cool...i had some old 45's for a ehile. while.

SandraDodd: It cannot be that watching Beavis and Butthead is helpful to unschooling. There are young children here

ShannonBurton: And i saw them in the 80's...second row...no Mike, though.

SandraDodd: Cornholio and his bunghole.... Halloween special. That was a hoot.

Schuyler: Learning about Gwar and the excitement of fire

SandraDodd: But back to what's actually helpful...

socal77: sorry, Drew and I got sidetracked watching a clip of the south park world of warcraft episode

Schuyler: very helpful things

SandraDodd: Two things at once is helpful.

hahamommy: ah, but finding the value in Beavis and Butthead helped me get understand my hubbie, and later, I used the same skills for Hayden's different-than-me television viewing

SandraDodd: Yeah, I know. But it sholdn't need to be on the checklist for Bea and her two little girls. Be willing to see what your children are interested in.

socal77: >>

SandraDodd: yeah, multitasking...that's what I was doing ..

SandraDodd: Be openminded.

Schuyler: Looking to your child for what is valuable to them

vesperti: Hi everyone! Kerrie from Australia here, this is my first chat. Glad to be here. Can I ask how much longer his session will go for? It's 8.30 am here in Aus, Tuesday.

SandraDodd: 25 minutes

ShannonBurton: Being willing to answer questions honeslty helps...we just came clean with annalise about santa...brb.

Schuyler: Like loving South Park through David's laughter

SandraDodd: Longer if some people want to stay longer. And anytime any of you want to make a side deal to meet in here, the room sits between times and you're welcome to use it. When I was in England I'd use it to talk to Keith and Holly.

Schuyler: I was far more willing to watch it with him watching it than I was to sit and watch an episode on my own

hahamommy: I like Mythbusters *so* much more when Hayden is there ..

vesperti: Oh great! Thanks.

SandraDodd: I watched Desperate Housewives without Holly last night and it wasn't very good.

ShannonBurton: Looking at all our resources as shared has helped us a lot.

hahamommy: It was good to watch it here with her, remembering that I started watching it because I loved it when we watched it all together at your house... I wanted that, too so I started watching DH

SandraDodd: I used to watch 24 with Kirby before he left and it wasn't fun without him.

hahamommy: For that real bonding with Hannah, though, it was Project Runway

socal77: My favorite shows are always better with people I care about... like a good meal

SandraDodd: Shan, resources like what? Money and tvs? Time?

Schuyler: Hannah is important to my unschooling Knowing that now is all I've got, that's a huge part of getting unschooling of being the right family/student to unschool

hahamommy: Hayden's was Avatar! we loved watching that together -- looking forward to the movie!

ShannonBurton: jeremiah found Star Trek: The Next generation last week. i was gonig to introduce him to it....but he beat me to the punch. watching it with him when irt was his idea was very cool! money, Tvs, space in the house, time....

hahamommy: Schuyler, I just sent Hannah with Richard Bach (jonathan livingston seagull author)

ShannonBurton: DIana...Elijah is why we unschool.

vesperti: Another Project Runway fan here! Although my children are very young (4 and 1) so they're not interested. So I watch it alone once they're asleep... it would more fun with some company!

Schuyler: His son is on the family running isn't he?

SandraDodd: Richard Bach abandoned his kids. Did you ask him about that?

ShannonBurton: Wish we'd had the inspiration to do that with his ashes.....

vesperti: Come to think of it, there aren't many tv shows we watch together.

hahamommy: I know about that, I know he is flawed and human ... and still growing and learning

hahamommy: for me, that's more important than having it all together all the time

Schuyler: I love watching things with Simon and Linnaea I loved watching Teletubbies with Simon and Mr. Bean with Linnaea

hahamommy: You're getting some of Hannah's Shan

SandraDodd: Shared experiences at a kid-level.

ShannonBurton: i love Patrick stewart...fabulous voice, and I have a thing for balding guys....although a beard would make him cooler.

Schuyler: It was cuddling and chatting and playing with fingers and hands and singing the songs and feeling wonderful together

SandraDodd: Because I shared my kids' interests, they were willing to seriously consider mine. Straight out, straight across.

ShannonBurton: Diana =). we will give her some adventures, and she can also hang out with Elijah under his tree.

SandraDodd: Nothing fancy or mysterious about it. I treated them like interesting people who knew things I wanted to know, and they returned that. It's the big missing link, I think, in traditionally parenting.

Schuyler: I've shown kids other than my own kids things that I thought they would enjoy and they've wandered off as soon as they thought they could get away with it Or some of them, the ones who know that anything an adult shows you is a trap.
But Simon and Linnaea trust that I'm not gonna trick them with something

ShannonBurton: Sandra...I'm seeing that, too.

Schuyler:

vesperti: Can I ask a question... I think unschooling with collapsed boundaries can hurt unschooling, and I am struggling with that right now. I came out of a bad relationship and now the effects on my relationship with my kids are apparent.

Schuyler: I was showing my nephew Eddie Izzard's French bit#

JillP: Yes, Sandra, treating them like people in talking and doing and all things.

ShannonBurton: they really want to know what i'm up to, now...they didn't use to.

SandraDodd: Vesperti, can you give an example?

vesperti: Eg my 4yo son keeps trying to pinch my bottom or lift my skirt up, etc, and although I repeatedly say ''Please stop that, I don't like it'' it's like he doesn't hear me. Because for so long he saw his Dad do similar.

SandraDodd: Say "STOP." Or "DON'T."

Schuyler: At 4 you could probably sweep him up and distract him into something else

SandraDodd: talk to him in more explanatory fashion later, but not in that moment. Anytime you're "repeatedly" saying anything, it's not working.

ShannonBurton: Don't wear skirts for awhile, maybe, so there's less temptation.

socal77: Bye everyone, I am turning the computer over to Drew....

SandraDodd: But making a big deal out of it could be bad too. It might not be about his dad at all. My kids used to go inside my skirt when I used to wear big skirts

JillP: bye Cindy

ShannonBurton: 4yo's are often at butt level...he won't stay at that level.

SandraDodd: when Marty was little.

vesperti: It usually progresses to that Sandra, as I get frustrated, my words get shorter. Instead of allowing that progression, I should just start with the firm, NO or STOP.

SandraDodd: It was just the skirt was like a big tent, and he was shy. It wasn't insulting or sexual. Right. Start there.

JillP: Sounds like he doesnt' know it might not be appropriate, he's not doing it for the same reasons your husband did. probably

SandraDodd: Maybe you don't be frustrated if you stop him first and find something else for him to do, or stop him by turning and tickling him and picking him up, but later in private tell him some things are private. Or "Hey, what are you doing?"

vesperti: True.. I am just assuming that's the reason. Because he does it when we are home alone too, not out so I wouldn't think shyness would be it. And he does it with a cheeky grin, as if it's a game, just as his Dad did.

SandraDodd: and spray him with water or something so totally subject-changing that you're deflecting the energy.

vesperti: Yes, I will stick with jeans for a while I think! lol

Schuyler: Maybe it bugs you more, too, because it reminds you of your ex?

SandraDodd: Maybe tell him, seriously, that there are parts of him that aren't okay for people to touch while he's still a little boy, and don't make it scary or "bad," just solemn and informative

ShannonBurton: jeremiah is serving cider to Lise and i. I'm seeing a lot more generosity from both kids.

SandraDodd: Maybe he needs more touch. I think more touching, more hugging, more lying down together maybe, if he's touching you more than you want to be touched.

vesperti: Those are all helpful suggestions, thanks. We do have alot of positive touch, we co-sleep and snuggle up reading books and playing games alot... but it's always good to be mindful of these things, just in case. And Schuyler, yes!

SandraDodd: Can you rock him to sleep more?

JillP: My hubby , when he was a boy swatted his step mom on the butt, because he'd seen his dad do it. He was doing it for fun and connection and to be a part of.

ShannonBurton: Yesterday, in a bathroom with Lise, she let mr go first, "Because I feel like being generous to you, Mommy!" A 5yo who knows and understands what generosity is is a cool thing.'

SandraDodd: Oh wowl. That was a wow about Jill's husband's step-mom's butt; sorry. Your bathroom got in the way. (Maybe the conversation isn't so far from Beavis and Butthead and South Park after all!

ShannonBurton: Sorry...bathrooms can do that!

SandraDodd: )

Schuyler: Linnaea used to kiss David and I with smooshy mouth kisses when she was little because she wanted to kiss like we kissed each other

JillP: It wasn't sexual or anything. He got shamed for it, but for me it was cool to hear what he was really thinking about it.

vesperti: I think you could be right there too. All those old feelings are bubbling up. I still carry some resentment probably, and it is being directed to the wrong person. What coud be innocent child stuff is giving me those feelings of being violated again.. I probably need to work on that alot.

SandraDodd: A yard with dirt, parents willing to spend time and energy and some money on/with kids, explore and support kids' interests, travel if it's doable...

ShannonBurton: Kerrie (you're Kerrie right?)....

Schuyler: A seize the day attitude

SandraDodd: Probably, vesperti. Maybe he's old enough to talk about it. But I have a friend, grown now, I've known since he was a teen.

ShannonBurton: i have felt very trapped by my children's needs and desires....it goes back to actually being trapped in childhood.

SandraDodd: He looked like his dad, sounded like him. Grew up hairy like him. The parents divorced when he was young and he stayed with his mom, and the more he got like the despised ex, the more his mom seeme arbitrarily to react badly. His other siblings were sisters. He was turning into his dad like a slow-motion werewolf. So be careful of that kind of reaction, please, vesperti

ShannonBurton: The willingness to open up to new things and ideas...even scary ones,,,,i tie-dyed with the kids last monday...blogged about how I'd avoided it, because of the specific steps - I'm more seat of the pants....

vesperti: Interesting Shannon... something to ponder. Will do, Sandra.

ShannonBurton: And yet, once i knew what to do, it was a lot of fun. we plan on doing it regularly.
Kerrie - maybe breathe. when he pinches or swats, use Sandra's deed huffing breath before reacting.... [note from Sandra: I didn't notice this during the chat, and I don't understand "deed huffing breath" and it might be a typo for deep huffing…. "Huffing" isn't the important part, though. SandraDodd.com/breathing]

Schuyler: Oh, I know one, seeing this as a gift, this unschooling. I get to both experience the gift of doing it and give the gift to Simon and Linnaea Because it is a gift I don't get to tell them what to do with it.

vesperti: Cool, tie-dying is good fun! There are lots of ideas to get different effects online. Like sewing, using stones, etc.

SandraDodd: It's a gift they couldn't get from anyone else. How did the tyedying turn out, Shan?It's hard for me to be patient enough to really fix up the cloth and leave it in the dye long enough I like dye-dipping, I guess.

Alan: Sandra's draft mentioned optimism, I think that's important.

ShannonBurton: We just used squeeze bottles this time...we did a sunhat, a tshirt, and a rocking sheep with fake "wool" we bought Lise at a yard sale....

Schuyler: optimism is important
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ShannonBurton: sandra....www.memismommy.blogspot,com has the pictures....

SandraDodd: The expectation of joy. I guess that's optimism

vesperti: What helps me, is humility. At first the idea of saying to my kids ''I don't know'' was scary and hurt my pride. I've come a long way! I'm ok with saying ''Shall we find out together?'' now.

JillP: and the attitude that they are interesting, and life is interesting. I love that.

ShannonBurton: I'm not patient, either.

Alan: conversely, a lack of negativity

JillP: At least the expectation that you can handle things or come up with solutions.

ShannonBurton: being open to changing plans helps...like the day the kids didn't want to go to the thrift store a week or so ago, and we played with ponies and went to the playground instead...what a great day we had!

vesperti: JillP... love that too. ..

Schuyler: Patience is important. I've grown a lot in patience.

ShannonBurton: Letting go of expectations (jeremiah and GBA on playground, and not forcing him to "not waste" the playground when he was already doing what he wanted.

Schuyler: going with someone else's flow is really hard

SandraDodd: I think some people want to have both optimism and cynicism. It doesn't work so well, though. Cancels out.

JillP: My kids have really helped me with patience, I didn't think I had it in me before I had kids, now people comment on my patience. It's so much more fun with kids that way.

PatchworkGirl: had to redo the window

ShannonBurton: Patience is one I'm still learning. breathing helps a lot.

Schuyler: But the results are often so much better than forcing them to go with my plans

BeaMantovani: I lack patience with my husband, I'm working on that

ShannonBurton: Oh...i know my Biggie!

PatchworkGirl: i'd love to travel with the kids, but we've had enough uprooty stuff this year and the kids just want to stay put

vesperti: Yep, flexibility & open mindedness. I often pack swimsuits and hats even when we're not planning on a beach day. We are 5 mins from the beach and sometimes a library trip ends with us all frolicking in the water ..

PatchworkGirl: patience is a biggie for sure

hahamommy: it helps to remind myself patience isn't a runout-able commodity, it's infinite for the asking

PatchworkGirl: it's good to be flexible!

AussieTammy: Kerrie, where in Aus are you, if you don't mind me asking? ..

ShannonBurton: getting used to a new definition of "clean!"...some of oyu know how i used to be, because i posted it on the AL list.....

SandraDodd: Flexibility is huge. A rewewable resource, patience.

hahamommy: the more you give, the more you get!

vesperti: hahamommy- that's a good one! I used to hear my mothers words coming out of my mouth ''My patience is wearing thin!'' but how could that be, when patience is infinite!

SandraDodd: I'm going to quit, folks, because I don't really feel good. I'm sorry Holly didn't stay.

hahamommy: She's busy eating fresh rice krispy bars ..;-)

SandraDodd: Please feel free to stay, and if good things are said, please e-mail them to me. I've kept what's up above this.

PatchworkGirl: this afternoon, we got back from lunch & some window shopping with a friend.. my son wanted to go back into town (1 mile away)... at first i was like "nah i don't wanna" but

ShannonBurton: Getting past thinking they know what messes they've made, and are doing it to make my life harder, has opened me up like nothing else.

hahamommy: bye sandra! thanks thanks thank!

PatchworkGirl: then I decided "let's just go & walk"... because the animal shelter was in town doing spay-neuters & such…

vesperti: Take care Sandra, hope you're feeling better soon.