Ideas, Quotes and Affirmations

from March 20, 2009

What unschooling "truisms" or poetic statements have served people well as they make the transition from school thinking to unschooling?

My fav is "Connection versus control". This one line really helps steer my reactions/actions.

Hema 🙂

RAW DUMP of Affirmations chat, awaiting editing to clarify and remove greetings and blaspheming and typos, corrections, etc. But for now, the rougher plainer version:


RVB: "Curiosity is a delicate little plant which, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom." —Albert Einstein
That one was the first quotation that got me really thinking about unschooling.

SandraDodd: Had you seen it before you read or heard about unschooling?

RVB: I was already part of a homeschooling-learning toward unschooling group. And it just seemed to fit us.

RVB: That was weird. All of a sudden everyone disappeared.
SandraDodd: The last thing I saw before the electro-quake there was "Had you seen it before you read or heard about unschooling?"

I was writing something but I don't have it.

|RVB: I do

socal77: hello, anybody here?

SandraDodd: Yeah, maybe. 🙂 socal77: there you are
Schuyler: People are here.
HollyDodd: Does this show?
Schuyler: Is it your slip?
RVB: My Freudian slip?
Schuyler: Holly's slip?
Guest5: slip o'me tongue
RVB: Ah, Holly's Freudian slip!
HollyDodd: I guess it's working right now.
      And I don't get your old lady jokes
RVB: Touche!
Schuyler: Dangit and I was using my best old lady jokes
RVB: Mine, too.
socal77: lol
SandraDodd: Okay... So I was saying someone sent me an e-mail quoting something found with the random page toy (WHICH I LOVE) and said I had worded it perfectly.
And I thought about that and thought it might be as succinct as it could be for what it was, but it wasn't short and memorable.

This was the quote he liked.
If the goal is to know everything, and if each person's internal "universe" is unique, then the order in which the information is acquired isn't as important as the ease and joy with which it is absorbed.
—Sandra Dodd sandradodd.com/checklists

hahamommy: One came up today, while chatting with Schuyler, "Practice what you want to be good at"

So there might be writing that clarifies, but then there are the little things that can be carried around.
Something with a hook, in pop music terms.

SandraDodd: Holly said "Okay, bye guys."
Only she said it with her mouth.
She ACTUALLY "said" it."
So I'm passing it on.

socal77: bye holly Schuyler: Say yes more.

RVB: "It Only Takes a Second to do better"

Schuyler: Or look for the yes before reacting with a no

hahamommy: my faves are all from the Parenting Peacefully recording .🙂

SandraDodd: I like think of it as a just bad moment, not a bad day.

hahamommy: wait for the second, better option.... next time start *there* and wait for the next better option

Guest67: Gil is a woman

SandraDodd: That's the parenting version of "make the more medieval choice

Are you Gil? 🙂

Schuyler: I like that, it makes me picture an inch worm working it's way forward The second better option thing

hahamommy: yes! your "bad moment" comment really sunk in with me!

SandraDodd: It's gillian and not a gil-whatever-o?

Guest67: Yes

socal77: I found this John Holt quote a while back..."Children use fantasy, not to get out of, but to get into the real world"

SandraDodd: Well hi. Sorry about that. I have a male Gil friend who writes to me all the time (twice today already) in Georgia, so in e-mail that really looks even more like a boy;'s name.

That's a good John Holt quote! I have a page of those.

Guest67: Fine -

SandraDodd: So 67...
You can add a name by clicking on the little triangle next to your name to the right
It's not registering totally, it's just making a nickname for the duration of the chat.
Guest67: OK

SandraDodd: Else you'll be 67 which is okay too. You could be Agent 67

Schuyler: Only if she has a shoe phone...
That's an old lady reference, isn't it

SandraDodd: SO I thought it would be good to make a set of quotes people could take (very old lady, but Holly's gone)

hahamommy: "Your concern is appreciated, your approval is unnecessary"

SandraDodd: could take out and have in their heads. Little purse-sized parenting tools!
Whose is "pass the dip" Or what was it? Deb Lewis maybe? Schuyler?

hahamommy: that's Kelly Lovejoy, I think ..🙂

socal77: Kelly, though I have heard variations

SandraDodd: "Pass the dip" is to be used when someone's being critical. It goes after a very brief statement. 🙂 hahamommy: add that to the "How to deal with naysayers" list'

SandraDodd: That's a humor tool (although even a big funny red hammer could be used for real).

hahamommy: and that one squeaks!

Schuyler: Dip is less common in the UK. Pass the sugar for a more international flavour.

Guest5: I'm back - former Agent 67... My computer is crazy

Schuyler: Pass the lemon? Pass the teabag, for the thrifty...

SandraDodd: welcome, Agent 5. 🙂

Guest5: Sorry - I'll be careful now.🙂

Schuyler: There isn't a quick quote, but time in is the idea that makes the difference for me.

SandraDodd: But in many critical other-parent circles "Pass the sugar" would be like "Can I shoot up after you?"

Schuyler: Your time chart.

SandraDodd: ?

Schuyler: Okay, pass the heroin

SandraDodd: OH! time chart.

RVB: When people have given us a hard time about socialization, my husband has responded, "Oh, not to worry. Once a week, I take her into the bathroom and beat her up for her lunch money." That's a longer "bean dip" conversation stopper.

Schuyler: Oh I like that!

hahamommy: me too!

Gil (Guest5): Me too

Schuyler: Would stop many a conversation

JillP: That's the best one I've heard yet!!

Schuyler: Has he given her a swirly?

RVB: Bwaahaha

SandraDodd: Oh my gosh.

hahamommy: they're waiting for her freshman hazing!!

RVB: I think she's the one who'd like to do the swirly to him, sometimes!

hahamommy: getting "pinned" means something totally different at Robin's house!

RVB: Oh, yeah.

Gil (Guest5): Popping bra strap anyone?

RVB: No one would date 🙂
I meant, "dare"
Freudian slips all over the place.

Gil (Guest5): 🙂

SandraDodd: Are there any quicky easy affirmations about chores?
Joyce often says "You don't have to wash the dishes."
I like that.

hahamommy: No one likes a sandwich made by a martyr

RVB: Oh, I like that one!

hahamommy: If you're gonna do something NICE you should probably be NICE about it

SandraDodd: Are those Joyce your yours or whose, Diana?

hahamommy: those are mine 🙂
from a story of making midnight sandwiches for Hayden...
and my need for an attitude change...
I was a bitch about it, I'm sure he could taste it, as well as feel it

SandraDodd: Do I have it already online? (If so, I can add them to the quotes page with links to the originals).

Gil (Guest5): ooooh - ouch

hahamommy: I don't think so, it's a talk I need to transcribe, so you can have it .🙂

SandraDodd: Well at least I could credit it as "from [whatever talk] at [whatever conference, whenever]"

Gil (Guest5): in terms of tasting it - I'm a foodie...

SandraDodd: I need citations here.🙂
(Unless the citation is "I don't remember...")
I think the food is fine, but the biochemistry of the hungry person changes from hopeful to sorrowful, and that makes the food taste worse.

Gil (Guest5): yes!

hahamommy: "When Mama ain't Happy" at Life is Good Conference 2007 www.lifeisgoodconference.com/store. htm (no store anymore, seems, in 2021)

SandraDodd: The worst food taste is when I'm scared.
And being told "clean your plate" can be scary.

Gil (Guest5): yes

Schuyler: Clean your plate because others are starving to death is not only scary but guilt-inducing It's hard to swallow around a big lump of guilt

SandraDodd: There's one! "It's hard to swallow around a big lump of guilt." --Schuyler Waynforth, affirmations chat, March 19, 2009.

hahamommy: "eat this sandwich because your mother trumped up all those stairs and made it for you at 2 am and you should be grateful" is pretty scary, too -- poor guy! I"m glad his forgiveness is huge!!

Einstein's quote yesterday, reminded me of Sandra "I"m no smarter than anyone else, I just stay with problems longer."

SandraDodd: Are you getting an Einstein-a-day quote or something?

hahamommy: yeah, on my google page 🙂

SandraDodd: Cool.

Gil (Guest5): Whee!

Schuyler: Sandra, you have one about cotton candy eaten with joy versus food eaten with guilt and I can't remember it.

SandraDodd: Keith and I were talking about how easy it is to misunderstand unschooling. And maybe it's a little like this biochemical bad taste thing.
Someone's in a situation where she's scared that someone's about to shake the foundation of all her beliefs (or something, as we do) so we say "Let them watch all the TV they want," and they hear "SO you're going to make them watch TV all day?"

Schuyler: I've been debating unschooling versus autonomous education on the UK lists and there are clear misunderstandings going on.

hahamommy: sometimes I think talking unschooling with schoolers is like talking intact penii with circumcised men-- in order to see that there's something better, there needs (in their mind) to be something *wrong* with what's already been done to them

SandraDodd: People jump to the opposite wall instead of wandering into the middle of the room and looking around, or whatever.

Schuyler: On bboth sides
I stuttered

SandraDodd: I sang it!
I've llooked at cclouds from bboth sides nnow...

socal77: I never did a day's work in my life. It was all fun.-Thomas A. Edison

strawlis: On Chores..."own" the need have it clean...and get on with it

Schuyler: that's good

SandraDodd: whom shall I credit? Strawlis?

hahamommy: that's a mantra of one of my voices "This mess is my issue"

Schuyler: asking for help means that they can say no.

SandraDodd: How many voices do you have?"

hahamommy: I put the mormon tabernacle choir to shame!

Gil (Guest5): I know I have at least 3 🙂

SandraDodd: If they can't say no, it wasn't really a question. Versions of that are good for lots of things.

hahamommy: thanks to you, sandra, at least I can use the Volume Control!!

Schuyler: It's a dial not a switch...

hahamommy: and it's like a mixer board: some I louden and some I quiet

Gil (Guest5): 🙂

SandraDodd: So that's chores and food? Do you want to name any more particularly good ones about those? (We can come back, but I thought it might flow a little better if we go kind of topic by topic. And maybe we'll come up with a good list of topics/areas.)

socal77: some more Holt, "Trust children, nothing can be more simple or more difficult..."

Schuyler: Be back in a minute....switching computers

Gil (Guest5): To trust them, sometimes, is to be in a bit of a panic

SandraDodd: "It's simple but not easy." That's from my friend Frank Aon. I've said it several times, but I try to credit Frank. 🙂

Gil (Guest5): I have 1 girl - I worry about the world at large... but that's my gig

Schuyler: If you mind their childhood their adulthood will take care of itself to adopt if you mind your pence the pounds will take care of themselves. [adapt not adopt, or a little of both...[

SandraDodd: Holly used to resent not having as much freedom as her brothers, or about her parents not being as calm about her lateness or wandering the neighborhood. I didn't really want to clarify for her what we were worried about.

Gil (Guest5): right

SandraDodd: So I accepted that she would be a little cranky.

But she's good at reading people and she's fast and loud, so we don't worry as much as we might if she were other ways.

hahamommy: and in hindsight I'm sure she understands

SandraDodd: Yes.
When, before Christmas she was still not home from work at the mall at 3:45 a.m., Marty and her boyfriend Brett and I were up waiting to spring into action.

hahamommy: another "dianaism" I sure wish someone had been sweet to me about

Schuyler: I would have loved my parents being more concerned about me then they were.

SandraDodd: I had called the store every hour and a half or so, and she reassured me that she really was fine, and they'd be done before long.

hahamommy: when I feel conflicted about the things Hayden loves and I don't

SandraDodd: Schuyler, this might be worth looking at. I wish mine hadn't been so short-leashed with me.

hahamommy: it's like Holly's got her very own security detail

SandraDodd: But compared to some of my friends I had lots of range. Not in deciding when to be home, but in the kinds of places I could go, at least.

Schuyler: One is about not trusting and one is about not caring, I think it is good to care and to trust.

Gil (Guest5): I was allowed a lot of *reign* because my Dad trusted me to take care of business

SandraDodd: I don't know if we can think of a principle that would help the over- and the under-attentive parents all. What's "just right"?

Maybe having good relationships with them and making time to talk about what they're thinking and wanting and all helps create the "just right"

hahamommy: it's so dependant on the kid.... and what they need what's "just right" for Hayden, wouldn't be close to "just right" for Hannah

Gil (Guest5): My Dad and I had that trust

Schuyler: Just right is about knowing your child, it's about spending time with them, it's about not thinking that what was good for one child is good for another among other things.

SandraDodd: "to care and to trust" is good.

Gil (Guest5): yes

hahamommy: a willingness to find each child's "just right" is another sign of successful unschooling willingness*

socal77: I have used this phrase, but I don't know where I got it from, "bringing the world to the child and the child to the world"...anyone recognize it?

SandraDodd: Mine, I think.

socal77: oh ok then

SandraDodd: Pam Sorooshian: sandradodd.com/pam/howto

It's from former strewing discussions. If she were here she might say it was mine (It sounded like mine 🙂 )

socal77: it seems to go over well in even the most conservative circles

SandraDodd: Yes. It sounds like a gifted program IP. 🙂

Schuyler: I think all of this takes time and that's often the thing that leads to misunderstanding in unschooling. People think it is the easy way, that it isn't something that takes investment of any kind. But it takes lots and lots of time. Lots of being together and exploring and talking and hanging out

Gil (Guest5): Ayy Yayy Yayy

hahamommy: This discussion is so timely, I want these thoughts reinforced before seeing MIL next week ♥

Gil (Guest5): So NOT easy

hahamommy: It is much like a CD at a bank, you invest and invest and wait for the intrerest to accumulate

Gil (Guest5): for a *newbie*

hahamommy: It's *not* easy, it's a lot more work than tradtional life... and worth it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Gil (Guest5): oh, yes!

hahamommy: for someone like me, for whom traditional life was always a goal I couldn't quite meet, this is much more authentically *ME*

SandraDodd: So recently I used the analogy of priming the pump, and that once the learning is flowing it's not hard work.

Schuyler: And that may be the key ingredient that people don't see as part of the mix.... Sorry, my keyboard isn't working at the moment

SandraDodd: But maybe I'm wrong, in a way, and that it's practice that makes it easy. Muscles that make it easy to work that pump handle. 🙂
Maybe some of both. 🙂

Schuyler: or it is working at this moment, but not in all of the previous moments

SandraDodd: It's not hard for me to play recorder anymore.

hahamommy: yes! in that "practice what you want to be good at" kind of way

Gil (Guest5): Priming the pump - yes

SandraDodd: What I'm doing on the recorder would be very difficult for some other people.

Schuyler: If you leave the pump for a while you have to prime it again

hahamommy: I want to be calm and happy and responsive, so those are my "focal points" throughout my day/week/life .. 😉

SandraDodd: What I'm doing with my kids might be hard for other people, but it's easy for me. And it gets easier.

hahamommy: yes, schuyler, and it feels like "starting over"

Schuyler: I think it does get easier, but maybe it's like energy budgets

RVB: "The monotony of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind" Albert EinsteinRe-evaluating, sometimes.

SandraDodd: Part of what's "easy" though is that the kids help me, too. And darned if they haven't started really, truly helping each other!

Schuyler: The more you use it, the more you have to use

RVB: Argh. Not supposed to go together.

hahamommy: and the more you WANT to use it!

RVB: I'll do the quotation later.

SandraDodd: Is it good up to the end of Einstein?

RVB: Yes. Then I was saying in terms of starting over: Re-evaluating, sometimes.

Schuyler: I think when you have to re-prime the pump you can get pissy about it. Thinking it was supposed to get easy, but not noticing you walked away for a while and the learning stopped flowing.

RVB: Yup. Sometimes, its self-recrimination, not just annoyance of having to start over.

Schuyler: Or thinking like this unschooling thing just isn't working because you are having to do soooo much work

SandraDodd: If that's true, though, then prime the pump isn't a good thing to use to help new people.

hahamommy: there's where the martyr can sneak in!

SandraDodd: Maybe
People seem to think sometimes that they can set a timer on deschooling and declare it to be done. Or they can rush it along.
I used to make bread like that.

Schuyler: It may become less of a quick term when you think you have to keep pumping the pump to keep it going

SandraDodd: If the book said let it rise for half an hour, I looked at the clock and not the dough.

RVB: Sometimes, I think "it's so easy, there must be something wrong"!

hahamommy: how'd you kill your inner martyr, robyn?

SandraDodd: Mostly because I hadn't been around yeast bread and didn't know from personal experience what the dough should look like. Like nursing babies. When people tried to nurse who hadn't ever really seen it done...

SandraDodd: Sometimes I look back and wish I'd done this or that more with my kids.

Guest54: This is Ginger...

hahamommy: I recently saw someone who nursed to the clock instead of the baby... it was weird!! probably made more weird by my investment in my kid. If it's worth being done, it's worth being done joyfully f

SandraDodd: You can add your name, 54, if you want to. Or you can stay incognito.

RVB: Not sure I have! But I remember the advice to do what I'm doing, joyfully. That removes the guilt or resentment. I'm sure there's a quote about that, but I can't remember it.

SandraDodd: The triangle right past your name gives you an option to put in a name for the length of the chat. If you want to.

ginger (Guest54): Thanks!

RVB: Oh, I wouldn't put "if you want to" after "it's worth being done joyfully" 🙂 🙂

SandraDodd: This seems to be the cliff edge where some people see martyrdom, though---some kind of cynical view of that "doing joyfully" means. If it's "not fair" (I'll edit out the greeting/explanation parts, I hope.🙂 ) or people aren't "Doing their share" and that, martyrdom and whininess set in.

hahamommy: I even see a bit of Snow White in the quote... though I don't mind, she's a good one to channel while cleaning up .:-D

SandraDodd: Because there are LOTS of pithy sayings out there that make people resent being generous.

RVB: For me, though, it was turning my resentment around. That's where the martyrdom comes in for me.

SandraDodd: Give us a f'rinstance if you can. Snow White is all joy and virtue.

socal77: Yesterday I attended the town hall meeting with President Obama, he was speaking about the economy and he said that we as citizens don't have a choice as to whether we pay our kid's tuition or save for retirement, (I am paraphrasing here)...and I was...

SandraDodd: Because she came from a dysfunctional family, maybe. 🙂 (joking)

socal77: sitting there thinking, "well of course we have a choice"...

hahamommy: It's like I shifted my own perspective on my own quote... I used to get pissy when I'd think "Oh I wish someone had been sweet to me about this" and now I get so excited that my kid will not be so quick to think that same thing about me he'll have someone who is sweet about the things in life he loves... I could be a martyr about it, instead I'm so grateful for the opportunity

SandraDodd: Enlightened self-interest, Diana. You're investing in your own emotional retirement!! 🙂

hahamommy: heck yeah! (same reasoning we used cotton wash cloths and warm water for diaper changes!)

SandraDodd: Keith has a mouthy brother who blew his own family relationships. He's affable and chatty so I like him okay, but when he comes anywhere NEAR giving me parenting advice, he's in imminent danger. But I try to be jolly with him because I feel sorry for the doofus he is, and he's always been nice to me.

hahamommy: that's pretty enlighted -- to not carry over other peoples' opinions into your relationship with him

SandraDodd: One day we were joking and talking and I said something about when my kids are taking care of me, and he stopped and turned and in full-out seriousness said, "Our kids aren't going to take care of us." It was weird.

RVB: Sandra, did you want a f'rinstance from me?

SandraDodd: I just looked at him with a clearly vague negative. I didn't agree with him, but I didn't clarify. Yes, RVB/Robin, I do. But that won't keep us from talking through it. Go ahead. (Sorry... that's how chats roll (over each other).)

RVB: Yeah, wasn't sure. I've got one!

SandraDodd: So I was telling Pam Sorooshian what my brother in law had said and she gasped and said "MY kids would take care of you!" 🙂

Schuyler: My kids are looking forward to getting to hang out with you. Simon asked today how long you were staying for...

SandraDodd: But sure enough, Gerry's kids will never, ever take care of him. He said no as much as he could, what little they saw of him. When his son asked him for help to buy a car, he said NO. Do it yourself. I happened to know that that very week he (the brother in law) had borrowed money from HIS dad. So the 50 year old borrows from the 85 year old, and tells the 20 year old NO.

hahamommy: I'd have to tell him, maybe not *you* --hee hee

RVB: Michelle isn't particularly interested in cleaning up her room. I used to rant and rave about it when I took over her space, while *I* the martyr was doing it for her. Now, I realize a few things. It's her room and I ask her if it's okay. I happily do the work and she helps, now and again. I can see that my attitude shift from martyr to someone who wants to help, is helping her, too. She won't have the same attitude about chores as I do.

SandraDodd: All my kids have gotten better at keeping their own rooms clean. Marty is the worst, which surprised everyone.

When they all shared a room, it did seem that Marty was getting the brunt of Kirby's collections and Holly's baby stuff. All spread out, though, Marty's not so organized himself.

SandraDodd: Once a month or so he reorganizes.

ginger (Guest54): Martyr is usually attached to an expectation. Expectations always bite me.

SandraDodd: Yes. When my kids help me they do it happily, and it's a gift. They feel like they're doing me a favor and I feel it too! That can't happen when the messages are "you owe me" or "it's about time"

hahamommy: Hayden struggles with cleaning of any kind, especially the big clean that includes rearranging furniture... too much uncontrolled change in his life, he likes to control his envrionment as much as he can... so we work together

SandraDodd: She won't have the same attitude about chores as I do.

RVB: Uh, huh. Unrealistic expectations, old parenting-tape expectations.

SandraDodd: I was quoting but I launched too soon. And Diana said

ginger (Guest54): I have one who allows me to see I have expectations...and change those! strawlis: I often think about how I'll feel taking care of my Mom....when the time comes, I wouldn't want whats floating in around in my head,,,,to be what my child might feel...in the case of coming to care for me.

SandraDodd: Hayden won't have those same feelings (whatever they were; I can look later and fix this PLACEHOLDER FOR QUOTE)

hahamommy: It's tough for me to muster up the excitement outside of my initial gust of excitement, easier for me than him, though and that's really important to remember!

SandraDodd: I was glad when my mom died. That's a harsh one.
I don't suppose I'd mind if my kids were glad, if I'm old an in pain or something. But wishing I'd die sooner than later, that would be harsh.

hahamommy: That one's stuck in my head - I don't want Hayden to feel the *wrong* parent died :'(

strawlis: Yes...thats why this trust, respect is so worth the muscle

ginger (Guest54): I think it's great to see it from others' perspectives too. One of the inlaws says all the time how he's glad to see us breaking the mold of a disfunctional family.

hahamommy: connective parenting

RVB: Yeah. I was sad when my mum died and glad when my dad died. I don't want my daughter to be glad I died, unless I was in pain. So, ensure the relationship is strong, now.

hahamommy: NOW - it's all you got!

SandraDodd: Ginger, that's great, to have a supportive parent in the mix!

RVB: Yup. I remember that when I think of you, Diana.

ginger (Guest54): He's not actively supporting...but at least he sees a change!

SandraDodd: My mom was supportive of me as a mom, almost always. She would say I was a good parent.

But she could cause me more work than little kids did. More fear, more grief, more irritation.
And she wasn't even being honest with me.

hahamommy: she knew where all your buttons were hidden!
I see Hayden, at 10, pushing some of my buttons and the thought, now, makes me giggle...
I'm his social experiment .😊

ginger (Guest54): I was just going to say the same thing!

SandraDodd: So what about sleep? What ideas help with overcoming conditioning about "time to get up" and "bedtime"?

hahamommy: sometimes I dance the way he expects and sometimes I catch myself and surprise us both!

RVB: 😊

ginger (Guest54): My boys definitely know my buttons...as I know theirs. So I guess it's still a choice as to how we respond.

hahamommy: Stepping back and asking "why do I think that?" really helped with Hayden's sleep patterns

SandraDodd: A Pam S quote:

As we get older and our kids grow up, we eventually come to realize that all the big things in our lives are really the direct result of how we've handled all the little things. ** —Pam Sorooshian, June 4, 2007

ginger (Guest54): Absolutely. Well put.

hahamommy: usually, it comes back to school-think ans school-needs... I imagine myself having had this freedom and I want my kid to have it , so he can tell me what it's like to always have it!!

SandraDodd: It helped me, about sleeping, to see that they were learning when they were awake.

socal77: I liked that one too...

ginger (Guest54): I have noticed they sleep more when I just let them decide when to do so.

SandraDodd: If my priority was learning, I couldn't opt out of learning just because of the clock. Sometimes there were other reasons, but when there weren't, I reminded myself that the purpose of sleep would still be fulfilled when they were tired and went to sleep happily

hahamommy: I met a successful attorney who told me (when Hayden was 4) that he had gone to night school - never a class before 12 - and worked on his own from 12-8 -- there's more to the nightshift than warehouse work!!

SandraDodd: Going to sleep contentedly is one if the best feelings in the world.
It hardly ever happened to me as a kid.

RVB: Going to sleep when you feel the need for sleep.

hahamommy: me either... another of those sacred, sacred gifts ..😊

RVB: I remember hours of just laying in bed, waiting for sleep to come.

SandraDodd: And you could've been doing something fun or interesting or productive!

RVB: Yeah.

SandraDodd: Well that's what DVD players and laptop computers are for. 😊😊

hahamommy: in the summer we had an 8 pm bedtime... the neighborhood kids would still be in the street playing and we'd be in bed....

RVB: And it wasn't because my parents forced me, but that I had to get up for school.

SandraDodd: I bet you received assurances, Diana, that those parents' kids didn't care anything about them.

hahamommy: not becoming more connected to my parents, that's for sure!

SandraDodd: I used to be told those kids with more freedom than I had were going to end up in trouble, or in jail.
So I guess I'm supposed to be grateful to my mother that I don't live in prison.

RVB: Heh, heh.

hahamommy: My grampa told me not to play with the boys across the street because jumping off the garage onto mattresses would cause one's foot to land in one's mouth

SandraDodd: Only those years of her rules were more like prison than anything else in my life has been.

hahamommy: I watched ALL DAY and not *once* did it happen!! they were fun and grampa was an asshole -- that's what I learned!

SandraDodd: So your grandpa's foot was in HIS mouth, but adults don't like to admit it.

hahamommy: And they were creepy kids, in hindsight, he had lots better reasons to keep me home!

RVB: Maybe he thought scaring you was better than telling you they were creepy.

SandraDodd: There's a thing from Twelve-step programs, not an affirmation, but a useful self-check that could help with sleep and food and all: "How important is it?"

Schuyler: We've walked around neighborhoods where the bedroom curtains are drawn against the light at 7pm so that children can go to sleep.

hahamommy: probably... and probably reciting some old Dutch proverb whose meaning got lost in translation
Yes, sandra, stepping back and seeing the Big Picture helps with many many things
especially food!

SandraDodd: What about academics? Any good English proverbs we can recommend to other unschoolers? 😊

hahamommy: looking at a month's consumption for nutritional balance is much better than looking at a day

Schuyler: I so remember lying in bed and not sleeping for hours, racing the clock to sleep and the clock always winning. I sleep now easily, and when I don't I read or play DS or do something else. Simon and Linnaea fall asleep as I never could. I love that I can

SandraDodd: One of my mentors, Carol Rice, said "As long as he can read a menu by the time he goes on a date, I'm not worried."

Schuyler: give them a place to do that.

ginger (Guest54): I find watching my child grow and learn - run circles around my brain - the best way of being ok with what he eats.

mindyh: I just joined...sorry I'm late .. 😊 I have a few things I have used that I wanted to share...I hope I'm not too late!

strawlis: Truism..... " Learning is everywhere" you can't avoid it

SandraDodd: Go ahead, Mindy: Unload what you've brought.

RVB: I love what Carol wrote about reading. It was my go-to article when I worried about late reading.

SandraDodd: I'll put the raw transcript up until I edit it better.
sandradodd.com/r/carol (what Carol wrote)

Schuyler: Simon's been watching Two and a half men lately and the dad was quizzing his son about Magellen. The son said "I don't need to know that it's extra credit." The dad said "What if you need to know it later?" and the son said "I'll learn it then."

SandraDodd: She still gets an occasional piece of fan mail/thank you letter about that.

Schuyler: I thought that was a good exchange

SandraDodd: I'm really glad.

hahamommy: remedial math classes existed long before unschoolers!

mindyh: We say the cornerstones of our lives are trust, freedom, and respect. We give the kids freedom to explore what they want, the trust that they know what is important to them, and the respect of valuing what they love to do.

SandraDodd: He could watch Animaniacs to learn about Magellan!
"Whoopy ti-yi-yo
Oops, Magellan,
Your fun little journey's become a nightmare...

SandraDodd: There really should be a movie, with helicopter shots of the ships, and Magellan played by....

Schuyler: David and I squinted at each other trying to remember when Magellan would have circumnavigated the globe

SandraDodd: Clive Owen. I want him to be Magellan.

hahamommy: I remember being VERY excited to know about explorers... then being really really angry when I found out the true impact they had on the world at large -- not a balanced education, in my not so humble opinion!

SandraDodd: I object to "balance" anymore. It's starting to piss me off, what passes for balance.

hahamommy: oh, not clive! I'd not like him to be eaten by natives!! I'd think more like Jim Carrey, so it'd have a happy ending .. 😊

ginger (Guest54): 😊

RVB: Yeah, no kidding!

SandraDodd: Keep writing, Mindy.

mindyh: I feel like I'm a bit off...like you guys already had this discussion...I hate being late!

hahamommy: balanced.... a very biased education, then .😊

SandraDodd: We have 20 minutes. Dump your load. Seriously. Lots of people will read this later. Or you could send me your favorite things and I'll add them in a sidebar if you want!
Journalism is supposed to be balanced, but here's how I've seen people balance unschooling articles over and OVER and over. Some unschooler spends hours with a reporter. Reporter almost seems to vaguely understand, after hours.

JillP: Sandra, will you say more about what pisses you off about balance. What provoked that? I've always seen you write about balance. This has my curiosity piqued.

SandraDodd: Reporter (or the editor) asks two experts "what about this unschooling thing?" gets two stupid quotes, and that is "balance."

JillP: ah.

An example added later, 2023:
An example of journalistic balance. I was interviewed at length, and "a professional" was asked whether unchooling could work. It happened to me several times, but in this example, I was "allowed to win."
Debating How Kids Learn

SandraDodd: "Balanced history" might be the same way, I figured. 😊

mindyh: Okay...I don't remember when I heard it, but it stuck like glue and became a mantra for me...When they want it, or need it, they'll learn it...no coersion, no tests...they just learn it because it becomes important to them.

SandraDodd: What we get of history is sometimes mythology or propaganda, for the younger set, and for older people who seem to care more (or might care more) a backstage tour of the mythology and propaganda set. It's harder to keep things under control with the internet, which is great!

Mindy, I've seen that with my kids. They learn it when they have a need to know it. And they learn it quickly.

JillP: That's what Gorbachev said too.

JillP: about keeping things under control and the internet.

SandraDodd: Holly would like to have better handwriting, but she knows she couldn't have liked to have had it from writing at school all the time

ginger (Guest54): To help me with my own expectation dumping is this quote: by Ajahn Shah:

Do everything with a mind that lets go. Do not expect any praise or reward. If you let go a little, you will have a little peace. If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of peace.

hahamommy: I love when Hayden organically finds something (that perhaps i could have just told him) and it's applicable to him *right now* in a way my factoid might not have ever been

SandraDodd: Ginger, that's good.
Yes, if anyone brought quotes, let's have 'em. Or send them afterwards.

RVB: I remember someone saying that all the math one really needs to know can be learned in about 100 hours, when one's ready to learn it.

ginger (Guest54): I know that to be true... In my own experience...

SandraDodd: Diana, I like to hear stories of when moms found something applicable a month or a year after they read about it on an unschooling list, or they hear it at a conference and they file it away under "Stupid ideas," and later, in time-release fashion, it blossoms up and saves them from some odd situation, and then they're persuaded in the absence of the original speaker or writer. 😊

JillP: I'm not good at keeping quotes, but what I've done to save my favorite things is keep my own private yahoo group and I forward posts there that really strike me, with headings that I can search for.

hahamommy: oh! I just heard something math related on NPR -- math/arithmatic is how we manipulate numbers, advanced math is how we *talk about* manipulating numbers

SandraDodd: Poor numbers. 😊

Schuyler: There is a huge variation in what is academically important from one country to another. Knowing that there is difference in not only delivery but also in message demonstrates that academics is mutable

JillP: I also search Always Learning when I've got a pressing need, and I've found some great stuff from years ago!

SandraDodd: Jill, that's brilliant. Thats what I could do with the e-mails I want to save to mine!!!! I have too many e-mails saved because there's one bit in there I want to quote on my site but I'm not sure what page to put it on yet.

hahamommy: It's more about knowing how to find the answers, than having all the answers already

SandraDodd: That way they won't be cluttering up my poor old computer.

mindyh: Oh, I have used an anology before, to get people to understand the ridiculousness of forcing memorization of a random fact at a particular age...What if, at the age of 25, we were all required to learn how to change the oil in a car. It doesn't matter

SandraDodd: Even from state to state.
And from decade to decade.

socal77: some of my local friends have a small group like that, it's my stream of consciousness spot

ginger (Guest54): This is a great example of how I feel about 'education'. If you know where to find it, it doesn't matter if you remember every detail.

SandraDodd: Few of you have the angst I have from having learned the fact that there are 32 counties in New Mexico, only to revisit the matter years later and find out there are 34 now. WTF? I LEARNED that number. Leave it alone.

Later correction: There are only 33. I could have saved a bit of distress by double checking. Cibola County, 1981. Keith and I were really busy in the early 1980s.
SandraDodd: But most people older than I am learned 31, because Los Alamos was a very new county. But that was THEIR problem. But nobody ever suggested to us that there might be more counties created later.

mindyh: ...if we own a car, or if we will ever actually change our own oil. We would be required to learn how to do it, and and be tested by a government agency to make sure we learned how to do it.

hahamommy: in our favorite xmas song "I want a hippopotamus for Christmas" we changed the word Teacher to Google. 😊

socal77: or city to city, almost every district does things a little different

Schuyler: David has medical students who can look up drug interactions using an iphone tool. It means that they don't have to memorize it, they can be right every time. It's great.

hahamommy: because that's where *we'd* find out that hippo is a vegetarian . 😊

strawlis: "Let's google it,' is by far the most repeated phrase in our household!

socal77: or imdb it

ginger (Guest54): I laugh about geography all the time. My kids see a different map of the world than I did.

mindyh: Schuyler, my sil [sister in law] works for a company that posts all that drug info. for the doctors to look up.

hahamommy: I think it was easier when we grew up and asia was merely china and the ussr with a couple dangling countries for decoration ..😊

mindyh: Okay, I have another one....memorization and regurgitation is not the same as learning something

SandraDodd: Carol Rice-McClure's husband (now ex, but then not) was a firefighter. We got a tour of the Hazardous Materials truck once, when Kirby was little. They had a library in there, of books.
And yeah, the internet doesn't always work out in the boonies, and maybe cellphones won't, but those guys have killer radios. And they could get way better info than out of a book, and faster than they could figure out which book and turn the pages, probably.
The world changes.
That might be something to use as defense against relatives, and to remind us that we do not know what our kids need to know.

socal77: There was an article in our local paper called artificial intelligence, it was about books that people lie about having read; War and Peace, and 1984 were at the top and the bible made the top 5

RVB: I proudly declare I've not read any of them, cover to cover.

SandraDodd: I haven't read War and Peace.

mindyh: yes Sandra! There is no way we can know in advance all things that our kids might one day need or want to know.

hahamommy: I just found War and Peace on audio and I was tempted... I still have to look at *why* I think I need to have "read" that book

SandraDodd: I read the Bible when I was a teen, 13, 14. It's boring and irritating and full of nasty, violent crazy stories no one ever wrote a sermon about!

hahamommy: librivox.org has the Bible on audio, too 🙂

SandraDodd: I can't believe people bothered to write those things down by hand ONCE, let alone over and over.

ginger (Guest54): And it's all man made...without those other books.

RVB: I read "Anna Karenina" instead of "War and Peace" because I wanted to.

ginger (Guest54): A collection of stories

SandraDodd: But someone assured me on Always Learning the other day that no, everything in the bible was about peace and love.
I let her have that delusion.

hahamommy: bwahahahahahaha

RVB: No, really? She hasn't read it.

SandraDodd: Pam Sorooshian told me later she was braced for me to come back about it, but I was silent. She hasn't even read 1/4 of it, no.

RVB: Even I know that!

SandraDodd: Neither have a lot of Baptist ministers, I'm sure.

hahamommy: It's easy if you only read the happy parts!

SandraDodd: Or when they get to the insane parts they probably move their eyes faster to avoid the devil and call it reading.

ginger (Guest54): What happy parts?!

Schuyler: The Glad Texts. A Pollyanna reference

RVB: I only know two people who have read it cover to cover - you, Sandra and a friend who is a biblical scholar.

SandraDodd: Note to future readers: I'm not apologizing. Read it, all, whole, and then argue with me.
I'm sorry I read it.

hahamommy: I've read it all... it was traumatic!

SandraDodd: Honestly. I could've been reading Doc Savage or Superman.

hahamommy: I re-read some scary parts when I picked up "Harlot on the Side of the Road." The kids know that the naked guy downtown wrote the Psalms . 😊

SandraDodd: I bought a Catholic bible recently and was reading one of the books I never heard of. Worthless. But at least the notes said not only was it not in the Hebrew or protestant collections, but it was of questionable authenticity. Huh. I read a couple of chapters and let it rest in peace.

RVB: Maybe they're only reading the New Testament. A kinder, gentler God....

hahamommy: (Sioux Falls has a statue of David by Michaelangelo) The book of "Wisdom" Sandra?

RVB: Michaelangelo went to Sioux Falls?

hahamommy: sho'nuf! we got his Moses, too . 😊

RVB: Bene!

SandraDodd: Woohoo, Diana. Is it made of crushed limestone like that Parthenon in Memphis? that's cool.

hahamommy: He was, uh, erected when I was in the third grade -- the scandal!!!

ginger (Guest54): There's a parthenon in Nashville, too

SandraDodd: RVG, it was the New Testament I had cited (and brought a clickable link),

hahamommy: isn't there one in vegas, too ??

RVB: Ah, told you I hadn't read it all!

SandraDodd: OH, then Nashville. Sorry. Somewhere near I-40. I was just passing through and stopped there to see the museum stuff.

ginger (Guest54): I can't wait till Lego Land has one...

hahamommy: I think david's marble...

SandraDodd: About Jesus telling his disciples to leave their families and come with him. And not to go say goodbye, just let's go.

hahamommy: he's pretty smooth . 🙂 yeah, that part, that part irks me...

SandraDodd: One guy wanted to go bury his father and THEN follow Jesus. Jesus said he had to choose.

socal77: When I was in Italy, I spent a whole day in Florence looking for the statue of David only to find out that the one I was looking for in the square was a copy and the real one was in the museum we passed when we first arrived in town...

hahamommy: then someone reminded me that he was, before his promotion, a human being, flawed like the rest of us .🙂

Schuyler: Jesus is so not cool. His dad would smell. He should have at least let him put salt on him.

RVB: Ewww. I did miss that part.

SandraDodd: I guess other people buried the dad.

hahamommy: Joshua is pretty cool... and his friend Biff, too .🙂 Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, The Christ's Childhood Pal

Schuyler: Salvation or parental burial, talk about not working for balance

SandraDodd: I wasn't mad at Jesus, I was just pointing out that Jesus wasn't all pro-family as some people like to think.

hahamommy: they're delicious ..😊

SandraDodd: Spun in translations, and in the "best parts" collections of each cult, sect, church and denomination.

ginger (Guest54): All mixed together in a nice little bundle to control people with...

RVB: And public relations was alive and well in biblical times. I like "Life of Brian" myself.

[blasphenmous jokes mostly excised, 2023]

SandraDodd: We are out of time, and I'm sorry we devolved into a frenzy of whatever it was.

hahamommy: again, a great reference book I'm so glad I've read!! When the kids went to AWANA for a while, I was fine with the whole "separate experience" part of it.... but when the minister told the kids that Jesus willingly picked up his cross, without complaint,

hahamommy: and died... I wondered which book *he* was reading! So we came home and I read from our bible... not the same story, sorry dude!

SandraDodd: If anyone finds good, short affirmation-type statements I can add to the collection I'll have after I edit this, I will give them a good home.

SandraDodd: And if anyone hasn't seen my new randomizing portal, please look!
sandradodd.com/random (later, I mean)
Bo King did that art. Very nice of him.

RVB: Yeah, it's cool.

SandraDodd: I didn't even order the engraved metal door. He threw that in for free. 🙂

hahamommy: those future unschoolers under your wing, sandra, like bo... amazing people in the making, and amazing parents to come!

ginger (Guest54): YEAH! What she said

SandraDodd: He'll be a good dad if he gets the opportunity.

JillP: Bye all, Luke and I are off to Kung Fu. :::waving::::

mindyh: John Holt...."Learning is not the product of teaching, learning is the product of the activity of the learners."

SandraDodd: Have fun, Juill!

hahamommy: bye!

Schuyler: Bye!

ginger (Guest54): Bye

RVB: Bye!

SandraDodd: Mindy, I might put that quote two places--one with Joyce's article on "products of education." and on the holt quotes page.

mindyh: Flannery O'Connor: "Total nonretention has kept my education from being a burden to me"

socal77: talk to everyone later, bye

SandraDodd: Bye, and thanks for being here!

RVB: I have a couple of things to send, Sandra. Some of them are long, so you may not want to include them. I'd like you to see them, though.

SandraDodd: Mindy, keep on as much as you want. I'll wait. 🙂

strawlis: I like the Holt quote that speaks to not teaching, but fostering a love for learning...as we can not know what will be relevant.

SandraDodd: Okay, send them as long as you want! Thank you very much. sandradodd.com/joyce/products

mindyh: Those two were John's contribution to the conversation...Thanks Sandra. Sorry again for joining late.

SandraDodd: I'm glad you were here. You can read the other if you want. I'll put it up in a rough, ugly form soon.

Schuyler: Gonna go watch people die on Halo3. The random page is very cool. I hadn't been before. Glad you put up the link.

hahamommy: Remember "Meatballs"?? okay, you old ladies will . 🙂 I always think that pushing Hayden to learn something before he wants to will result in that kind of mutiny : it just doesn't matter, it just doesn't matter, it just doesn't matter

SandraDodd: I'll watch Meatballs just to get your old lady reference. (hee heeee)

Schuyler: I don't remember Meatballs. I want to remember it though. Drat.

SandraDodd: I'll put it on the netflix list

mindyh: I like rough and ugly. I like going back and reading the transcripts.

Schuyler: G'night.

SandraDodd: I like edited a little big--spellings and rearrangement of lines so it doesn't look like something was referring to someone when it wasn't.

hahamommy: bill murray at summer camp

SandraDodd: Have fun, Schuyler, in HaloLand

hahamommy: bye schuy

hahamommy: I see all of this wisdom I've acquired now being passed down to my younger cousins (Trisha had baby #2 on Tuesday) who are growing in to far more gentle parents than I even was in the beginning

RVB: Sweet.
Where they'll be when their kids are 10 is impossible for me to imagine!
if you think to fix my spelling, I'd be mighty grateful!

SandraDodd: It's so cool when people do get it.

hahamommy: Trisha may never unschool or even homeschool... and yet her relationship is already on such a healthy track, I only see it getting better and better

mindyh: Yeah...a whole different world.

SandraDodd: And school isn't so bad when the parents are really on the kid's side

hahamommy: the best of the worst case scenario ; 🙂

SandraDodd: any better's better than no better.

hahamommy: that's a great slogan!

SandraDodd: OOh. I should collect tongue-twister affirmations! Bye!

A better tongue twister

Any better's better than no better.

Ideas, Quotes and Affirmations
photo by Robin Bentley