Sandra, I have been reading your Big Book of Unschooling and my 11 year old son started to read over my shoulder. He wanted to read more and took it away. When his 8 year old brother asked him what he was reading he replied 'It's this book that helps parents to be awesome.' That just about sums it up! Thank you xxx
—Nicola Wright

I had a hard time narrowing down what in the book I liked the most when you asked me yesterday. But I think it would have to be this:

          "If your child is more important than your vision of your child, life becomes easier."

Of all the homeschooling, parenting and unschooling books I have read, that line has jumped out at me most of all.

—Karen King

Paperback or kindle, from Amazon.

I've already had lots of personal revelations and healing through reading your book and I didn't expect that when I first picked it up. So my daughter's life is already different and better because of your work.
(from a sweet side note)

Reading your book helped me make my relationship to my husband so much better. I only read the book a week ago and I already see a difference for the three of us. Our daughter is also so much happier because we are.
—Elaine Santana

The story of a moment when the Big Book served well as a Ouija book:
"the...quote leapt off the page at me. Really at me. It got me right between the eyes...and thank god, it buried itself right in.

I can't quite describe the feeling. It was a combination of relief, embarrassment (at my self-centredness), calm, truth, peace, and a whole heap of "well, duh," aimed squarely in my own direction. ...

Without wanting to wax too lyrical (oh, what the hell!), it was like a great big, warm, blankety hug for my soul. Ahhhhhhhhh!"   *  **

Thank you a thousand times over. I am only up to page 60 of your book and I love it so much I just had to tell you :) it's so awesome. There was one page I particularly loved and was going to refer to, but by the time I got to the phone I found many more. I LOVE it! Thank you :)

I knew unschooling was good but your book made me realise how amazing it really is. Most other books or articles I have read have made it sort of wish washy but yours is full on, no holds barred, I love it. My kids will love it too :)
I just loved your book. We have been on this unschooling journey for nine years now, and just when I need it most, encouragement and inspiration seem to find a way to me. Your book is the encouragement and inspiration that I needed most recently, and will return to again and again in the future.
Thank you.
Shannon Chang

Thank you so much for this book. I'm going to order more copies and give them away as gifts. One of my friends who has no children wants a copy, because he read one page and said, "This book is a good book about how to live your life, whether you have children or not." I think he is right.
Although I've only read about 100 pages I feel more confident than I ever have about keeping my children home. I feel supported and sane which are priceless gifts to a parent.

from an effusive testimonial by C. W.
on the Radical Unschooling Info page
on Facebook

REVIEWS or comments, with photos

(click a photo to get to an account)

If the link doesn't work for you, the initial comment, by Laura Z., was   "Creativity at work here. And The Big Book of Unschooling is being used as a book of very important magic for learning!"

My 7 year old discovered the joy of reading to himself (or as he says, "reading in my own brain") last year, and has had a huge appetite for books of any sort ever since. He was so excited that a book about unschooling had come in the mail, he snatched it right up and started reading... and... click for more..., by Colleen P.

Finished your book. Loved it. Will want to read a second time.
I'm currently reading your Big Book of Unschooling - I'm so glad you did this work, because it's easier to read than onscreen (I must say that I read it mainly in the bathroom). This reading has given me a gift that is incredibly precious for a mom of 4 under 10. It has given me ENERGY. Such a positive energy—it is a real blessing. I'm as tired as ever, but it has half the importance it had the week before I ordered your book.
Natalijoi, in the chat, wrote of this book: "It's hoparoundable."
I have been enjoying your book. I usually read it when I am nursing my little girl (Anna- she's 2) to sleep. Tonight she took the book from me and wouldn't give it back. She kept finding all the pictures of your children as babies. She pointed to the picture of Holly as a newborn and said hold her...mine! I want that! Then she said (about the book), "Read it! Read it! "So for fifteen minutes we "read" your book and she savored all the baby pictures. On the picture w/ Marty and Holly in the sandbox she pointed to Marty and said, "That's the kid." Then she pointed to Holly and said "Kid loves baby."

Just thought you would be happy to know that your book pleases all age groups!!!


The First Review:
Note from Sandra, July 12, 2009:

Because Pam Sorooshian was going to write the foreword, I sent the manuscript to give her an idea of the book, about 2/3 finished. I expected advice and ideas, or a "good job, don't forget [this or that]." Pam has given me permission to share what she wrote.

The BOOOOOOK is amazing. I'm SO excited. It is fantastic—it is the unschooling book that I've always dreamed of. Seriously!!! It is absolutely superbly wonderful. It is so FULL and clear and --- people are going to go nuts over it!

I can't possibly express how much I love it - I'm ecstatic. Thrilled!!

I cannot WAIT for it to be available.

Thanks, Pam!

Some other comments:

I am so ecstatic to have received your Big Book of Unschooling a couple days ago - I can't put it down! I have been reading your website and the Always Learning list for a couple years now (although I have yet to post anything). This book is like the icing on the cake since my husband and I can pick it up and read it anywhere. I love how it is organized, and I refer to different pages depending on my question or concern. There are pages in your book that bring me to tears. Your clear and logical words have helped our family tremendously!

My book arrived a couple of days ago and I've carried it around like a treasure sharing it with everyone that has come into the house. Brenna keeps stealing it and quoting from it so I may need to get her a copy :-) It is so wonderful and reminds me of all of you. I love everything about it! I wish I could buy a copy for everyone I know.

—Gail Higgins

I read the page called "Comforts" aloud to my husband and we both cried.....good tears—it's very powerful writing.

—Renee Cabatic

I received Sandra Dodd's Big Book of Unschooling in the mail the other day, and not only was I impressed with the neat wrapping (tissue paper around the book — I felt as if I was opening a birthday present!) but I was beyond impressed with the experience of having the book. It is exactly like holding Sandra's unschooling website in your hands, which is what she wrote it was intended to be. It is a household necessity. Like a toothbrush! Or a flashlight! Yes, it's just like those two things, because you need it during ordinary times and during emergencies.

Thank you, Sandra, for compiling the depth and breadth of experience found on your site into this book. You have done unschoolers a great service, yet again.

—Susan Gaissert

PLEASE NOTE, for 2019 and later: When I sent books from my house, I wrapped them that way, but now they're all coming from book dealers.

Tell Marty he was right: your book has found a place of honor in our bathroom. 🙂 —Jennifer Fink

note from Sandra: You might need to read the intro to appreciate that.

Jen later wrote more:
Sandra Dodd's son, Marty, is right: her Big Book of Unschooling makes an excellent bathroom book. Broken down into small, manageable bits, Sanda Dodd's Big Book of Unschooling is inspiration waiting for action. It's accessible, welcoming—and the perfect antidote for parental self-doubt. Her commonsense words help you let go and trust and enable you to enhance your sons' lives in ways you may never have imagined.
Intro to this [backup copy on this site]

Got my book over the weekend. Just wrote about it on my [facebook] wall. It's a gem, Sandra, I'm worshipping it just a little bit! —Zann Carter

I love the look of your book. Like your son, Marty, said about this book, I believe it is a great book to just open and read ideas in an unrestricted manner. I've always loved your website, but I find this book helpful as I can refer to it anytime without going to the website to search for my question. I can even see a purpose for having a few copies in different rooms! Thank you for collecting, writing, and sharing such great ideas. —Beth Moore

More notes about "just open" and other random factors.

I love that big book. There may be more blog posts... —Flo Gascon

The Big Book is awesome. I've read a lot on your web site over the years, but having your words flowing clear and clean and more linearly in the book is a different experience. It's deeper, more emotional. The connection is cleaner somehow, more personal. —Brad Holcomb

The November 2009 edition looked like this:

Gail Higgins (one of my favorite unschooling moms) wrote in public, of that edition:
I love everything about this book starting with just the way it looks! Great cover art and I like that Holly was so involved in that. It is the book that I consistently recommend and even after all this years unschooling still will pick it up and open up to a page just because I know that I will love what I read.

Links to Reviews:

Review on Indian Association of Homeschoolers site, by Pushpa Ramachandran, August 2012

at "When Kate Blogs"
(also at Kathleen O'Mara's Reviews Sandra Dodd's Big Book of Unschooling)

"Beginning with the profoundly accurate statement: "Neglect is not unschooling." I was drawn into this book so entirely that I didn't want to put it down. This great read was over so quickly. Well, quickly for 350 pages. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole book."

what Bob Collier wrote

In paperback or kindle: from Amazon

Moving a Puddle Learn Nothing Day

Sylvia Toyama spotted the book (yellow cover) on the shelf behind Mayim Bialik, in a video made at her house. Facebook, public post, 6/8/2017

I don't think they were able to continue unschooling, but they did, at one point.