The Five W's

Follow-up Notes to HSC's Unschooling Symposium, October 2013
Sandra Dodd

The five W's Rudyard Kipling:
I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.
That part of a longer poem has been used out of context for over a hundred years. The full poem is below, and is associated with "The Elephant's Child."

This was first published in 1900, and was part of the collection Just So Stories, in 1902. This scan is from a 1912 edition.

It is said to refer to his daughter, Josephine, who was born December 29, 1892, in Vermont, so she might have been seven when the poem was written.

The description of that presentation, from the program:

The Five W's - Sandra Dodd

Attendees might be new to unschooling, or might be those who are in a position to help others who are new. One method of inquiry and of explanation that goes back through rhetoric of the Renaissance, and philosophers in ancient Rome and Greece, is sometimes called "the five W's"--Who, What, When, Where and Why? Sometimes "How?" or "By What Means?" has been a #6. The kind of information new unschoolers think they need doesn't often end up being what they actually need.
There were no recordings that day.

What and Why?

The when is now, the who is you,
the where is where you are.

The remaining questions are
what are you doing, and why?

If you don't know what you're doing, it might be good to relax and reconsider. Start fresh, and with purpose.

If you don't know why you're doing what you're doing, that could be reason enough to take a break.

photo by Lisa J Haugen

Help on my site

(links to many articles for new unschoolers): SandraDodd.com/help

Logic and unschooling

Twenty Questions, with some explanation and links to games you can play against a computer online.

Daily quote, link and photo, easy to subscribe to: Just Add Light and Stir

Why "screentime" is a problem (and why the word should not be used, unless one also uses "cloth time," paper time" and "door stuff"): Screentime

24 Core Questions for Self-Directed Learners- ANSWERED from a blog called Raising Miro on the Road of Life.

It's a set of responses to 5-W questions they found on yet another blog. 🙂 Their "Why?" is only lightly answered, because (inefficiently), the original set contained the question "What are my goals?" (which strikes me as the heart of "why?")

Q&A from October 2013

Things asked at the symposium that could use links:

Are video games addicting?

Pam Sorooshian's article on Economics of Restricting TV Watching of Children

The balance between these two is the perfect place to be. Just Do It, but do it gradually.
Gradual Change and the complementary Do It: If you're going to unschool, do it now and do it well.

Who can unschool?

What is unschooling?