Sandra Dodd

I've received a vitriolic rant on the side from someone who's leaving the discussion because I "and my followers" are rude and meanspirited.

This part is interesting, though:

I apologize for not noticing the reading requirements before joining. Perhaps that was because I was doing it from my phone and I am not used to having required reading before joining a chat group. It was quickly made abundantly clear that you are very controlling and do not want anyone posting if they do not subscribe to the Gospel According to Sandra Dodd. Why have a discussion group if you hate other people's ideas so much and have to constantly point people back to what you wrote on your website as if your ideas are absolute fact and everyone else better get in line with what you think?

Yes, I do unschool but I obviously do not subscribe to your radical view of unschooling where children are expected to learn by osmosis and television shows.


She went on to say that I was cold-hearted, mean-spirited (used that term twice in one e-mail) and that I was leading people astray.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, I've had people talking to be at the conference about this discussion, my books, their husbands, their children, my children (many people here know my kids separate from knowing me because Marty has been to this conference at least once and to the area twice, and Holly was in Oregon for a couple of months)... People here don't seem to think I'm coldhearted or mean spirited.

As to sending people to my website, and The Big Book, someone today told another person that what's in my book is also on the web. (She was trying to recommend that the person might want to buy Pam Laricchia's new book instead, which doesn't hurt my feelings as I like Pam L's writing a bunch, and was the one selling them :-) I told them, though, that despite my plan to just quote from each webpage I linked, many of the pages were not my writing! Or they were long and had no easily quotable bit, so probably 80% of the book is original writing.

Lots of pages on my site are quotes from other unschooling parents. The idea that I "hate other people's ideas so much" is odd. I could've maybe spoken by myself last weekend in Massachusetts, but I wanted to meet Meredith (whose writings I love) and we were near Joyce's house (and I love Joyce's writings) and I wanted to give Brie a chance to speak (because I love what Brie writes). They're not the only people from this discussion I've asked to speak when I was in a position to solicit presenters.

When the environment is rich, children learn by osmosis, if the membrane through which ideas pass is their perception of the world. What they see, hear, smell, taste, touch and think becomes a part of their experience, and they learn. And they learn from television shows, movies, paintings, books, plants, toys, games, movement, sports, dancing, singing, hearing music, drawing, sleeping.... as if by osmosis, they live and they learn.

What I don't like is for self-promoting people to bring mainstream ideas here as though they're just as good as unschooling ideas, in this discussion. I don't like people joining the discussion and then insulting ME when I point out there was a request for them to read before posting. Yet I still let some of the posts through. It's hard to tell whether it's kinder to block them in the first place, or to let them through and respond to them.

I do like the phrase "osmosis and television shows," though.


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==I do like the phrase "osmosis and television shows," though.==

My then 6 or 7 year old impressed a teacher once with his knowledge of plankton. She was a bit surprised when I told her he learned everything he knew from Spongebob Squarepants.

He's 8 now and has and is learning to read and spell and write from watching TV, playing video games and using the computer/internet. My 4 year old is doing the same.

Learning happens if you let it.



=== I do like the phrase "osmosis and television shows," though. ===

Me too!

Osmosis and television. What could be better? Oh I know - computer games too!

Osmosis and tv and games, oh my.

I love the concept of osmosis - the idea that it is completely effortless. The high concentration of chemical moves through the membrane until there is an equalized balance on both sides. Immersed in the world of knowledge.

=== I am not used to having required reading before joining a chat group. ===

I see her problem. Really, is this a "chat group"?

I translate that to "chit chat". Maybe I'm being prickly. Is this deeply serious, highly thoughtful group that discusses extraordinarily meaningful and life altering topics in unschooling to be dismissed as something as light as a "chat group"?

Robyn L. Coburn