page 12 of The Big Book of Unschooling (2009 edition)
online chat, August 31, 2011

The chat this week will concern the material on page 12 of The Big Book of Unschooling.

This page is tricky. It's called Comforts. The link at the bottom goes to But the text is about profound changes that come about in the parents, when unschooling works.

Robin Bentley: I was just reading the Huffington Post article on unschooling. It's better than a lot of mainstream media stuff.

ChrisSanders: It's a good article. I think it's an AP article that Huffington picked up because I've seen it on other publications' websites too.

Robin Bentley: Ah, you're probably right, Chris.

Jill Parmer: It would seem that it would appeal to mainstream...having a 12 year old sign up for college class.

Robin Bentley: Yeah. I kind of chuckled at that. "Our genius unschooling children..."

Robin Bentley: Not that that's quoted, but maybe implied.

Sandra Dodd: That article was different from every other article for a long time. Something was missing, and that was good!!!

Jill Parmer: What was missing?

Robin Bentley: Yeah, the nay-saying professor.

Jill Parmer: ah

Sandra Dodd: No expert with two lame sound bites

Robin Bentley: Exactly.

Sandra Dodd: Interestingly, for late August, the questions haven't been coming so much from brand-new unschoolers as from those who've been doing it a while.

Robin Bentley: That old black magic of school year prep!

Robin Bentley: I still think about buying new pencils.

Robin Bentley: But I love pencils any time of year.

Sandra Dodd: In People Magazine there's an article about the kids in Joplin, Missouri, going back to school in various temporary buildings. I think for them, that might be a BIG comfort, after their town was destroyed. The kids can go and be with kids while the parents figure out how and whether to rebuild. I think with that kind of stress, school could be a good time out for the kids.

Sandra Dodd: And I think there have been other times and places where that was true.

Robin Bentley: Yes. Probably will be true in Vermont.

Robin Bentley: Whenever that happens.

Jill Parmer: Well the kids are used to that. Maybe for unschooling kids, they'd still like to be with their families.

Sandra Dodd: But in peacetime and in plenty, if some people can afford (financially, socially) to experiment with other ways, I think it will benefit schools in the longrun. What we do will matter indirectly.

Sandra Dodd: Unschooling kids might, but school kids whose parents are traumatized, staying home "when school starts" could be rough for the family.

Jill Parmer: yes.

Sandra Dodd: That quote from the article on Finnish schools, about stupid teachers. Sheeesh! They're saying that those kids don't NEED school.

Sandra Dodd: But the guy who said that didn't realize what he had said.

Rebecca Allen: There are other changes happening besides schooled kids returning to school. Amusement parks and outdoor pools start closing around this time.

Sandra Dodd: Disadvantaged kids need great teachers. Kids from stable, affluent families don't need teachers. (Can be taught by stupid teachers.)

Rebecca Allen: That was an awesome quote in that article, about being taught by stupid teachers!

Robin Bentley: Class-ist, though.

Sandra Dodd: So?

Jill Parmer: That'd be a frustrating situation.... affluent kid being taught by stupid teacher. Yuk.

Sandra Dodd: Ignoring realities in order "to be politically correct" is a problem when we're talking about what schools are good for and who can most easily choose alternatives.

Robin Bentley: Doesn't that pre-suppose that affluent families abound with learning, though? And not-so affluent don't?

Sandra Dodd: Not all parents are potential unschoolers.

Robin Bentley: Not all rich parents are potential unschoolers!

Sandra Dodd: Statistically, it's more likely than not.

Sandra Dodd: Did you read the article?

Robin Bentley: I suppose.

Robin Bentley: Yes.

Sandra Dodd: That wasn't a quote.:-)

Robin Bentley: Sorry, what wasn't?

Sandra Dodd: But they had immigrant families to worry about, who needed Finnish still.

Robin Bentley: Yeah, I get that.

Sandra Dodd: And they want them all to be learning a third language (after Finnish and Swedish) by the time they're nine or so.

Robin Bentley: I just read it differently, I guess. It seemed flip, but maybe it wasn't.

Sandra Dodd: They don't seem to be looking for giftedness (from what I read, which easily could be lacking in balance or wholeness), but trying to keep the kids together.

Robin Bentley: Don't they have a third language already? :-)

ColleenP: I work for a Head Start agency - lots of low-income, high-need families would not be good unschoolers for sure - unschooling needs rich environments and people who believe that life is about choices - you don't see much of that in struggling families

Sandra Dodd: One teacher commented about how great the range was when kids first get there.

Andrea: Hi Colleen :)

Robin Bentley: I think the high-need piece is important. I know a few low income families who unschool quite well.

ColleenP: LOL Hi Andrea :)

Sandra Dodd: So quoting from the right page now (I hope): "Not everyone can unschool; not everyone will want to."

Sandra Dodd: Robin, you're right! For some kids they'll be learning a FOURTH language.

Sandra Dodd: My parents were high school drop-outs. I don't think it's "classist" to note that some families have resources and interests and abilities that other families don't.

Sandra Dodd: We have no obligation to try to "open up" unschooling to everyone. It's not easy and can cause hardships in families.

Jill Parmer: It's noticeable that the families who make unschooling work, are the ones that WANT it and continue to pursue it.

Robin Bentley: No, I understand that. I just wonder sometimes if we're making schools only for poor people - people who are only capable of sending their children to school.. But that's another topic entirely and something I didn't really want to bring up at all!

Sandra Dodd: But I think having unschooling around for a few decades will add some facts to the collections of how kids learn. Even if the mothers' stories are rejected for being "just anectodatal," our kids will grow up to vote, to hire.

Robin Bentley: I'll shush about it now.

Sandra Dodd: That's what public schools were created for. Not for rich families. Their kids were already in school or being tutored.

Jill Parmer: Don't think that's going to happen anytime soon, Robin.

ColleenP: Robin, Jonathan Kozol has interesting books about schools and low-income families - worth checking out for sure if its a topic you find interesting :)

Robin Bentley: Good point. Are we going back to that? Ack. I said I'd shush.

Sandra Dodd: Have we ever really left that?

Robin Bentley: Thanks, Colleen.

Robin Bentley: Maybe not Sandra.

Robin Bentley: Anyway....

Sandra Dodd: Does it matter, if you're unschooling?

Robin Bentley: Nope.

Sandra Dodd: Does it matter why you did it? You're one of the people who did it.

Sandra Dodd: So don't make a political overlay on it.

Robin Bentley: Yeah, I think it does.

Sandra Dodd: If I put my kids in school, will that fix your angst?

Sandra Dodd: If we're going to spend our lives agitated about school, we lose the advantages of peace and joy.

Robin Bentley: I'm not angsty. Just thinkin'

heather: The second time I read the book I underlined: If I decide not to say, "I'm ashamed of you" to my son, I also acknowledge that it would have been possible for my mother not to have siad it to me. It might have been pissible for her mother not to have said it to her.

Robin Bentley: Imagine me smiling with a thought bubble over my head "I wonder..."

Sandra Dodd: Sounds jittery and negative, this thinkin' (the part you're writing down, anyway)

Robin Bentley: Maybe it's cuz I have a migraine. Impairs my thought processes. Perhaps I should go lay down :-)

Sandra Dodd: That's a good healing thing for me, always, to imagine that if my mom's parents had had a farm, maybe instead of being migrant workers so much of the time, and if they had stayed in one place long enough to settle, and not been so poor, my mom might not have been so cold and nervous.

Sandra Dodd: Sorry you have a migraine an a smile and a thought bubble. Don't wonder about that stuff. Let's just share success stories!

Rebecca Allen: That line really stuck out for me too, Heather. I thought about that recently when Quinn wanted to wear a badly stained and shredded dress to doctor appointment (eye exam actually).

Sandra Dodd: Did she wear it?

Sandra Dodd: I think I would have said (I remember having said) that going for appointments with people was a time to dress nicely.

Rebecca Allen: She ended up wearing another dress after I explained that it was important to me that people like doctors know that I take good care of her.

Sandra Dodd: That it was a little like going to court (medievally and legally both)

Rebecca Allen: I didn't want it to be about "you look like a rag doll".

Sandra Dodd: I used that point too, sometimes. "I have a responsibility to take care of you and make sure you have clean clothes, by law, so I don't want them to think I'm a bad mom."

Sandra Dodd: My mom would have said "Put that clean dress on or I'll blister your butt."

Sandra Dodd: And then gone off muttering about what a brat I was.

Marta BP: One of the great things of being here with you guys is the opportunity to read your everyday stories that remind me that freedom isn't everything goes!

Sandra Dodd: I rarely had more than four or five things to wear, until I was a teen and learned to sew.

Sandra Dodd: Marta, if you're other places where anyone is saying "freedom is anything goes," get away from them. They're just making noise, and not being thoughtful.

Sandra Dodd: My kids don't need to know how my mom was. It means they don't have the contrast, but they couldn't feel it anyway. So I make the sacrifice (in a way) to break the chain.

Sandra Dodd: Right by the belly-button, that spider-or-whatever bit me. I was very nervous.

Marta BP: I know Sandra (well, I now I know) :)

Jill Parmer: My kids don't need to know how my mom was either, but as they get older they see the odd things she says and does.

Jill Parmer: And they ask me about it.

Sandra Dodd: Bad place for a black widow or brown recluse, but seems it wasn't either one, so GOOD! Hooray for me. I hope. I also read about bed bugs, at 4:00 a.m., and went and examined the bed to see if maybe, maybe.... But found none of the many clues I had read about. :-)

Rebecca Allen: Quinn asks me too. She has been very interested in what my childhood was like and if it was as fun as hers.

Sandra Dodd: So after this I might go take a nap. In a different bed without a west-facing window next to it.

Robin Bentley: We'll both be napping, Sandra.

Sandra Dodd: I told Marty some fun stories the other day about playing in the desert when I was a kid.

Rebecca Allen: How is west-facing related to spiders?

Sandra Dodd: In arroyos, getting to follow arroyos a long way, while my dad was working.

Sandra Dodd: Not related to spiders. Too hot to take an afternoon nap there, though. The sun comes on the bed. :-)

ColleenP: My son asks about my childhood and my husband's too - especially after visiting with relatives, when I think it's pretty clear (from things they say) that there are some pretty big differences between his childhood and ours

heather: sorry, you guys were talking about something else. my scroll bar was all the way at the top and I thought the conversation hadn't started.

Robin Bentley: It's good to tell the fun stories, not the other stuff.

Sandra Dodd: Being small enough to go in arroyos that were like mazes, because we couldn't see out. And those are good childhood memories.

Robin Bentley: Welcome back, heather!

ColleenP: he finds stories about needing to clean our plates, eat what we were given, etc. particularly amusing - and him laughing about it helps me do the same which is nice

Sandra Dodd: But Keith said something sad the other day about the way his mom treated him. She died a couple of years ago. I didn't go into any questions, but I said soothing, nice things to him. Tried to.

Andrea: :)

heather: OK sorry again. my page isn't refreshing so it looks like I am the last person to have said something. twice now.

Robin Bentley: Try leaving and coming back, heather. You're not showing up in the chat list either.

Sandra Dodd: He was saying it in the context of appreciation for our kids' peaceful lives and their chances to try out adult situations without having to move out to do it.

Robin Bentley: It's good to talk about that with your partner.

Rebecca Allen: I liked to swing a lot as a child. My husband is picking up a swingset we found on Craigslist this evening even though there is a playgound/park a couple blocks away.

Sandra Dodd: Colleen, that's nice, that you can both smile and laugh, and that he doesn't (in a way) really believe it. Can't imagine it.

Robin Bentley: We got a porch swing because both Senna and I like to swing.

Sandra Dodd: I like swings in yards. We had them, too.

Sandra Dodd: I should get a good rocking chair. We've worn out two of them.

Sandra Dodd: Someday

JennyC joined the chat

Sandra Dodd: Heather didn't come back.

Robin Bentley: I have a photo of us, in the winter, when Senna was little and feeling ill. We went out to the porch swing with tons of blankets and moved gently back and forth.

Jill Parmer: Addi likes to hear some of the stories of the not-fun stuff. It's interesting to her.

heather joined the chat

Robin Bentley: There she is!

Sandra Dodd: I feel privileged when Keith shares stories about his feelings as a child.

Sandra Dodd: Those stories are rare.

Rebecca Allen: I love doing that, Robin! We have a rocker bench on our front porch. It's a nice spot to watch rain and snow.

Sandra Dodd: It's like he put it in a crate and hammered a lid on it.

Robin Bentley: With my husband, too, Sandra.

ColleenP: yep he found the "Clean Plate Club" and the idea that we had a chart on the fridge documenting which days we were members just hysterical :)

Sandra Dodd: But our kids have access to their memories.

Robin Bentley: They come out now and again.

Sandra Dodd: Colleen, then he'll get the reference here: /food

Sandra Dodd: As a kid I didn't WANT a big full plate, because I might not be able to finish it.

Sandra Dodd: Sad, sad, sad.

Jill Parmer: Me too, Sandra. I love hearing stories about Steve's childhood. I get to know him more.

Robin Bentley: I could see what his life was like when we visited his parents. Even though the kids were older, there was still the tension that must have existed when the kids were young.

Sandra Dodd: But my kids are pretty happy. And if I don't make dinner one night for some reason, nobody gets mad at me. They just al find something to eat.

Sandra Dodd: That's another modern-days privilege, having a freezer with convenience foods and a microwave.

Sandra Dodd: Fifty years ago, not so easy for people to just get some food.

Sandra Dodd: And it's a luxury that we can afford extra food, rather than day to day grocery shopping.

Robin Bentley: It's a luxury to throw food away!

Sandra Dodd: I really appreciate it. Growing up with very little food in the house, and not being allowed to eat when I wanted to, I like having things just because one of the kids likes it.

Robin Bentley: Yeah.

Andrea: We didn't go grocery shopping late last week because of the hurricane. There was plenty of food even without shopping. That was comforting.

heather: When we first started doing monkey platters I struggled with throwing out what Austin didn't eat.

Robin Bentley: That was the way it was in my house and my mom always made sure she had food that Senna liked, even if she and my dad didn't eat it. Not so in Ross's home.

Sandra Dodd: We used to have a dog. Now, the compost pile gets it.

Robin Bentley: Ah, Gudrun. Is she buried in your yard, Sandra?

Jill Parmer: Comparing the times, at times I thought wouldn't it have been cool if I got to unschool or even homeschool, but I don't think it really would have been possible for my mom...a young mom, divorced within 6 years, and all that went along with that in the 60's and 70's.

Sandra Dodd: No, we left her at the hospital.

Sandra Dodd: My family couldn't have unschooled even though my mom was home, because we didn't have books, really. I had books (some, not tons, and still have most of them)

Robin Bentley: That would have been difficult, Jill. Would she have been a good unschooing mom, do you think?

JennyC: I wanted to homeschool!

Sandra Dodd: Holly just recently read a book (a replacement copy) I had when I was little called The Road to Agra, a kids' novel.

Jill Parmer: No, she would not have been a good unschooling mom.

Sandra Dodd: And then she loaned it to another friend of hers. That made me feel really good, in an odd way. :-)

JennyC: one of my best friends that lived a block away, homeschooled and had the coolest projects ever!

Sandra Dodd: But my mom would have been impatient and sarcastic.

heather: I think school was better for me than for my parents to homeschool me. My mom has a serious mean streak.

Jill Parmer: I have a cool story about this passage, "But those who choose this way of family life will discover that much of what is considered "normal" in our culture is the direct effect of schooling and the negative messages traditionally passed from father to son and mother to daughter."

JennyC: My mom wouldn't have been a good unschooling mom, but she would have been a great homeschooling mom!

Jill Parmer: About healing school effects...

Andrea: I don't know if my mother will ever be able to let go of schoolish ideas.

Marta BP: Ladies, gotta go :(

Jill Parmer: Steve (dh) and I did a very careful deconstruction of an outer wall of our house, so we didn't have to pay for that part. At a one point in the process I felt very competent because of doing this work. Another time, I felt this lifting of the idea that I can't do certain things, because I wasn't trained in a school. It felt refreshing and healing.

Marta BP: bye bye

Sandra Dodd: Bye, Marta

Rebecca Allen: Bye Marta!

JennyC: I enjoyed watching your house project Jill

JennyC: I had never considered what repairing a 100 yr old brick house would entail

heather: I've been trying to think of things I learned with out a teacher when I was younger. The other day while Monty was driving it hit me! French braid! I learned how to french braid all on my own on my barbie dolls!

Sandra Dodd: And your house is very cool. And now you know how it's made. :-)

Jill Parmer: We did such a good job, and I was very anal about certain aspects. The bricklayer said I should get into historic restoration.

Sandra Dodd: Holly learned on her My Little Ponies, and last week made me a beautiful French braid one day when the heat was bothering me.

JennyC: I learned how to sew, outside of school, on my own

Sandra Dodd: SO! If we get away from shaming and school a while, we become more competent and confident? Or is that coming from the changes in us from unschooling? Or some and some?

heather: I learned how to knit using youtube videos. That one is recent.

Sandra Dodd: YouTube makes anything possible. :-)

Rebecca Allen: I was thinking about taking a sewing class. Mostly to have the uninterrupted time and space, but I think I'll learn better figuring it out on my own.

Sandra Dodd: That and the rest of the internet.

Jill Parmer: I think it is some and some, because I felt some of this in me before unschooling.

Sandra Dodd: Rebecca, you could ask each houseguest you have to show you something.

JennyC: for me, all the things I ever felt truly good at never came from school in the first place, so it was easy to see my own children doing valuable things outside of school

Andrea: Some and some...

Jill Parmer: Ah yes youtube. I fixed my mac laptop one time....all by myself!

Rebecca Allen: That's a great idea, Sandra.

Sandra Dodd: I used to think a good book was important, but now now.

Sandra Dodd: Turning clothes inside out and just looking can be helpful.

Rebecca Allen: I like having some reference books, but you're right that everything can be found on the internet.

Sandra Dodd: Pull one pants leg into the other so it looks like just one pants leg (with the seams showing) and you'll see something you never knew. :-) (Unless you've done that before, or made a pair of pants).

Andrea: I love books. Being able to hold them...still more portable than the internet for us.

Jill Parmer: And also, messing around with stuff. sewing things in a way that seems right to you, and then seeing what works and what doesn't. Makes directions more understandable.

Andrea: And nice to have when the power goes out for a day or two.

Sandra Dodd: I got Holly a sewing book and a sewing machine. She's still using mine, when she sews, but that's okay. The book I bought her came with an electronic version, so she can open up the computer. That will sit. The book won't sit open as well.

Sandra Dodd: I'm better now at making mistakes and screwing something up than I was when I was younger.

Sandra Dodd: Partly my age, partly the unschooling.

Rebecca Allen: I hadn't thought of that! a cookbook stand can help with that too.

Sandra Dodd: If I'm going to tell my kids it's okay to screw up, it needs to be okay for ME, too.

JennyC: it amuses me when I make really obvious mistakes

Sandra Dodd: I used to yell and cry. The other day I did something really messy and stupid, and I didn't even grunt. I just saw it, calmly, cleaned up calmly, and there wasn't any negative emotion.

Sandra Dodd: It's happened more frequently over the years, but i still notice the difference.

Rebecca Allen: Unschooling is helping to cure me of some of my perfectionism. I think that's what has been holding me back from sewing clothing actually. I've been sewing plushies for Quinn. The mistakes are easily forgivable.

heather joined the chat

Sandra Dodd: Rebecca, sewing by taking something apart and copying it can be a good bridge.

ColleenP: speaking of mistakes of sorts, one of my favorite things my son says is "I made laundry" as in when he spills something or drips something on his clothes, he's made laundry - and he sort of sings it triumphantly. Making laundry was not a smiling occasion in my childhood, but for him it's just no big deal at all - I love it!

Sandra Dodd: Maybe the raggedy stained dress could be copied. Maybe not as fancy.

Jill Parmer: Addi did something stupid and scary to herself yesterday. She told me right away, she was a tiny bit shaken, but she was telling me calmly. I stayed calm and listened.

Sandra Dodd: Colleen, that's cute!!

Rebecca Allen: Yes, Sandra. That will be my first clothing sewing project.

Sandra Dodd: I love that we live in a calm house.

ColleenP: Yep I smile every single time - and of course my husband and I have taken to saying it too :)

Sandra Dodd: Do you have a seam ripper?

Sandra Dodd: If not, I'll mail you one.

Andrea: Jill...pajama pants are an easy first project.

Jill Parmer: She seemed to want to talk about it so she'd never do it again. And I told her a few things about why is was ok that it happened that way, and most likely couldn't have gotten worse.

Andrea: For clothing

Rebecca Allen: I do have a seam ripper! Thanks for the offer.

Jill Parmer: Maybe you are talking to Rebecca?

Andrea: Oops, yes!

Andrea: Sorry.

Rebecca Allen: What did she do, Jill?

Sandra Dodd: Pajama pants and costumes.

Sandra Dodd: She might not want to tell, Rebecca.

JennyC: costumes yes!

Sandra Dodd: Costumes don't need to last for years, and with little kids they couldn't anyway.

Rebecca Allen: I'm okay with hearing no. :)

Sandra Dodd: Holly was a flower fairy one year, and the skirt was petals, rounded, and I didn't even hem them. Just cut and she went.

Sandra Dodd: So it wasn't a long-term shirt.

Rebecca Allen: All of Quinn's outfits are costumes, so that works!

Robin Bentley: That's been a cool thing for me, making costumes. I've bought two sewing machines, ( I haven't machine-sewn since middle school).

Jill Parmer: She used a sharp knife to cut something open, a difficult thing to open, and the knife scratched her wrist. It scared her, and on top of that she had seen a show where someone intentionally slit their wrist.

Robin Bentley: The designing and figuring-out, then putting something together has been really satisfying.

JennyC: even someone whose been using knives for years and years will occasionally mess up

Serah joined the chat

heather: Today I made lunch. It was hummus with pita,some left over potato salad and a green salad. I looked at it and knew that a year ago I would have put alot of that back because it was too many carbs. Today I looked at it and really didn'thave much of a reaction other than recognizing that it would have set me off a year ago.

Sandra Dodd: What helps me (as with food) is being able to afford more cloth if I ruin the thing I'm working on. When I was young, I couldn't.

Jill Parmer: She sort of knew as it was happening that a knife wasn't the best choice, and the way (direction) she did it wasn't the best choice.

heather: and everything on that plate I made from scratch.

Sandra Dodd: Nice, Heather! The whole story.

Serah: Hello all

Rebecca Allen: My chef friend has hands that show his mistakes!

Sandra Dodd: I'm glad she wasn't wounded much, Jill.

Serah: sorry I'm late - we are celebrating Eid today and i have a few minutes to check in to today's topic

heather: It was nice!

Sandra Dodd: I stabbed my thigh with an xacto knife, cutting a box open toward me. :-)

Robin Bentley: Serah, what do you do to celebrate Eid?

heather: It was food. And good food! That I made. I'm glad I don't obsess like I used to. That helps me and Austin.

Sandra Dodd: I wish Holly was here! She read that off the calendar this morning and asked me what it was and I didn't know.

heather: And my husband

Sandra Dodd: But she's off at a yoga class.

Serah: Well, after a month of fasting - there is a whole day of FEASTING :-)

Jill Parmer: That is cool, Heather. Being happy with your lunch and noticing that things have changed for the better, it sounds like.

Robin Bentley: Of course! The end of Ramadan.

Serah: lol yep :-)

heather: definitely

Robin Bentley: Whoo-hoo!

Robin Bentley: I can try to imagine what you might be eating, but tell us.

Jill Parmer: Are you the Heather, that has Austin, who's had some medical food issues?

heather: yes

heather: that's me

Jill Parmer: Wow, now that is an even cooler story!!!!

heather: medical issues. the food issues were mine that I pushed on him.

Robin Bentley: Oh, I remember that, Heather. Cooler, indded.

Robin Bentley: indeed

heather: I mean, I guess that's not the whole truth.

Robin Bentley: Serah, is there anything special you have to break the fast?

Sandra Dodd: I cut my leg and had a patch on my overalls leg for years to remind me. But twice in the past year I've been opening a box with a knife and Marty once and Kirby another time advised me on a better direction or angle, and did it really sweetly.

Jill Parmer: Hmmm, Rebecca, I wonder if I want to tell Addi about your chef friend...she might be interested. :-)

heather: He quit eating when he was a baby and we put a g-tube in for nourishment. so, he has some food issues from not eating anything for years.

heather: We went the therapy route to fix that. I'd go back and change that if I could.

Sandra Dodd: Does he still have the tube?

Jill Parmer: About saying things sweetly....( and this relates to the "ashamed of you" part of the Comfort page...

heather: Now we are decshooling food.

heather: Still has the tube.

Sandra Dodd: Does he like shakes and smoothies? Lassi?

heather: He uses it at night to supplement

heather: He doesn't:(

Sandra Dodd: Not yet.

Sandra Dodd: :-)

heather: Wait!!! He picked out a smoothie mix a the store the other day!

Rebecca Allen: I'm sure he's mostly careful or else his hands would be worse, but he gets distracted sometimes and under pressure and makes mistakes like the rest of us.

Sandra Dodd: Doesn't yet is 180 degrees more positive than "doesn't like."

heather: right :)

Jill Parmer: Addi played with a ball (for sale) at the grocery store yesterday, and when she tossed it back in, it went on the floor behind the display. I told her to put it in and maybe had a curious look on my face. She's always been a stickler for doing the right thing. So it surprised me. She got really mad at me and said she was embarrassed.

Robin Bentley: That's a really important phrase, Sandra. "Doesn't yet." Because so many expectations are part of school-culture.

Robin Bentley: Keeping up with classmates/grade levels/whatever.

Robin Bentley: I was thinking about that the other day. Senna doesn't yet cook or make a lot of food for herself. She doesn't feel "self-sufficient", but neither does she need to.

Jill Parmer: Maybe I wasn't sweet enough about it with Addi. I'm sorry she felt embarrassed. I thought everything was hunky dorey right up to that moment.

Robin Bentley: She would more likely be expected to in school-world, at 16.

heather: Yet is a great word!

Serah: sorry i was back reading....

Robin Bentley: Living as unschoolers allows our kids to grow up as quickly or as slowly as they're meant to.

Serah: we tend to not be too traditonal, break fast with things like fruit smothies and dates

Robin Bentley: Yum.

JennyC: Chamille is that way about doing laundry. I had told all the older kids that they needed to each do one load of laundry a week and Chamille pleadingly asked me to do her laundry instead. She said she really liked it when I did her laundry and that she'd be willing to do just about anything else I needed but not that

Robin Bentley: I *love* dates.

heather: Well, I guess can be a great word. It can also be a word meant to put you down.

Rebecca Allen: Jill, maybe she felt chided? I think it's pretty cool that she was able to talk with you about her embarrassment and that she felt safe enough to do so.

Serah: traditionally there are lots of fried foods and sweet treats

JennyC: I was surprised by it because she's so competent in everything else and laundry seems easy to me, but daunting to her

Serah: like samosas, pakoras.

Robin Bentley: What do you mean, Heather, about it putting someone down?

Robin Bentley: Oh, I like those too, but in small doses!

heather: Like, "You haven't finsihed that yet?"

Serah: dates are good beacuse they are very nutrient dense and healthy

Sandra Dodd: I am bad with names and faces, so introduce yourself twice. :-)

Jill Parmer: Well have a great time everyone.

heather: Is anyone else going?

Robin Bentley: Jill you aren't going?

heather: Here

Jill Parmer: at Good Vib.

Jill Parmer: No, we're not.

Jill Parmer: Kids aren't into it.

Sandra Dodd: Hey, I don't see the beginning of when the story about Aly came up.

Robin Bentley: We're not either - off to anniversary trip to Hawai'i.

Sandra Dodd: Is her mom involved in something public soon? I can edit this out

JennyC: no, her mother won't see this

Sandra Dodd: But Jill, you could visit your sister.

JennyC: and I don't care either

Sandra Dodd: I'll edit it out anyway.

Sandra Dodd: But why did it come up?

Robin Bentley: About complaining people?

JennyC: seeing past the sweet high voice

Robin Bentley: Oh, right.

JennyC: and seeing something different

JennyC: Chamille always sees

Robin Bentley: Jill and Chris, will you be coming to Life is Good next year? Sandra will be speaking :-) Oh and of course, anyone else who'd like to come. Jenny, you're a given, I hope.

JennyC: of course!

JennyC: already booked a room

Robin Bentley: Gotta get more experienced unschoolers there.

Sandra Dodd: OH. Okay.

Jill Parmer: Yeah, seeing that Sandra was speaking, would be a factor for me.

ChrisSanders: Probably not -- well, hadn't considered it. We're going to ALL though. Just booked our train tickets yesterday!

Robin Bentley: What, not precious me?

Jill Parmer: I really like listening to the more experienced presenters.

Robin Bentley: Hooray! I'm working on it, too.

Robin Bentley: ALL

ChrisSanders: LOL, I booked a room at this year's LIG and then forgot to cancel my reservations. Ouch! $90 down the drain.

Jill Parmer: Well, Robin I don't need a conf to see you. I'd rather plan a vacation for that! :-)

Robin Bentley: Yikes Chris.

Jill Parmer: I don't like that I have to share people at conferences! :-P

Robin Bentley: True enough. We should do something!

Andrea: Sandra, do you think ALL will be an ongoing thing?

Sandra Dodd: I would like for it to be, but it depends how many people come to this one whether Keith will ever back another one. I think I will lose money, and I'm apparently not very good at promoting a gathering.

Sandra Dodd: Any help would be very helpful.

Sandra Dodd: :-)

Sandra Dodd: I'd like for it to be a regular thing, and for me not to travel so much as for people to come to me, seriously.

Sandra Dodd: But I don't know.

Sandra Dodd: I have no interest in running a three-ring circus with tie-dying workshops and all.

JennyC: NM is a draw for me already!

Sandra Dodd: I like discussions, and I think most people like the party.

Andrea: I would love to see NM.

ChrisSanders: I prefer discussions

Robin Bentley: Snort!

Sandra Dodd: It's pretty beautiful especially if you drive in.

Andrea: And attend an unschooling gathering

JennyC: I like the discussions and my kids just like to play around with other kids, they don't care so much about workshops

ColleenP: discussions are awesome - playing is awesome - circuses not my favorite :)

Robin Bentley: "Three-ring circus with tye-dying workshops"

Sandra Dodd: We'll have two rooms for gaming, one for younger kids, and the hotel rooms, and a couple of restaurants, and the outside.

Andrea: Maybe we could go on a road trip together, Colleen :)

Andrea: No circuses other than those created naturally by four children...

ColleenP: LOL Andrea wish we could - next year would be SO much better than this December is going to be!!!!

Andrea: Yes, this December is out for us.

JennyC: I'm going to go make food now! Bye all!

ChrisSanders: Zoe and I are bringing friends -- who need to think about doing some more deschooling

Sandra Dodd: I'm going to hobby lobby now. :-)

ColleenP: maybe we can convince Sandra to come back to New England :)

Robin Bentley: Bye, Jenny!

Andrea: Sandra...I will post the link on our local group page.

Sandra Dodd: Probably, Colleen, someday.

Robin Bentley: Bye all. See you next Wednesday!

Andrea: I hope so, too.

Robin Bentley left the chat

ChrisSanders: bye all

Sandra Dodd: Thanks, Andrea.

ColleenP: excellent - thanks for the awesome chat today!

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