online chat, "Help"
page 19 of The Big Book of Unschooling (2009 edition)
(page 20 in newer/2019 edition)

Sandra Dodd: The topic is a little rough this week for me, because there has been criticism and confusion and insult flying (around me, anyway; cool if the rest of you missed it all!)

Sandra Dodd: And some people who have just come to unschooling have the need to vent about why they want it.

Sandra Dodd: Pam Sorooshian is good at listening to them. I'm not, usually. Sometimes I'm in the mood, but more often I want them to take a deep breath and turn their backs on school and look at the big world.

Sandra Dodd: Hi, Heather and Jihong.

Shan Jeniah Burton: But it might make you feel better to know that this help is the direct result of something you said in my (now totaled) car on the way to Bryn Athyn.....

Jill Parmer: Sandra, do you mean new people need to vent about unschooling? But are they people that want to unschool? Missing something.

Sandra Dodd: No, vent about school or homeschooling--whatever might have happened before unschooling.

Rebecca Allen: Yes, about venting about why they want it, Sandra. I've shifted some with that. It's only helpful to acknowledge and pinpoint what you don't want, if you then turn away from those things and towards what you want.

Sandra Dodd: I think some people tend to recite their woes repeatedly. And for me, I've heard about all the school stories I can hear in this lifetime.

Rebecca Allen: For me, that has been turning away from some people and parenting forums that were leading away from unschooling. Even if that means being more alone.

Jennie: when I was new to homeschooling, I wanted to hear everyone's story about why they chose to homeschool. Now I don't care so much, but I notice that new homeschoolers want to tell thier stories. I think it might be a normal part of the process.

Shan Jeniah Burton: Maybe it wouldn't be helpful or necessary to those who came to unschooling through attachment parenting, because I suspect that lends itself to the perspective shift I needed to make to REALLY grasp what those parents maybe already know.

Jill Parmer: I don't like getting caught up in others' indignation about why they are turning to unschooling. I have a hard time listening to that. I'd much rather spend time in the calmness, sweetness, heading toward more joyfulness.

Shan Jeniah Burton: Jill, yes. That was lovely!

Sandra Dodd: I'm not sure what's best for all that, though, when someone does want to dump.

JennyC: Jill, I think that has to do with age as well. I was much more indignant as a much younger person than I am now!

Sandra Dodd: Maybe asking them to blog about it?

Sandra Dodd: Or to write it down at home and seal it up and look at it again after a year of unschooling. That might be a way to get it out of them.

Shan Jeniah Burton: Sandra, you said something (I can usually remember word for word, but it had been a rough few days, we were lost, and I was getting sick, so this is paraphrased at best)....

Jennie: I like that time capsule idea!

Jill Parmer: I think they need someone in real life, (or a journal, yes) to dump. Someone who knows them and can hear it, and then get a move on.

Jill Parmer: I wasn't Jenny. I didn't ever really like to spend time complaining. I had too much playing to do.

JennyC: all those homeschooling and unschooling ideas were radical and big in my world. I don't think I dumped though, I was reactionary maybe

Rebecca Allen: Shan, the attachment parenting folks I knew were very helpful in regards to peaceful parenting with very, very young children. Infants. After that, there was a lot of talk of control. A lot of talk about labelling kids either gifted or special needs. It wasn't helpful to unschooling.

Sandra Dodd: Reactionary isn't always bad, unless someone moves in and lives there.

Sandra Dodd: (Shan, I know you'll get to that story of the day in Pennsylvania sometime. Jump in when you're ready.

Shan Jeniah Burton: I like to do free writing where I can dump anything that's troubling me in a notebook. Going back to read them later is always personally informative, and shows me what I was hanging onto needlessly.

Shan Jeniah Burton: I'm working on it....really. Dolls and tattoos intervened!

Jennie: The getting a move on part is critical. But it seems like people really need to talk about their "journey" to unschooling in order to move on.

Sandra Dodd: Some do; some don't.

strawlis: I needed to soak it all in...I went to my first unschooling conference the minute I decided to take my kids out of school

heather: I was dealing with a lot of guilt last week. (Talking about time capsule idea). I was having a day where I was having a hard time being happy. So, I looked up some videos of Austin when he was little. There was one in there of Austin when he was about 3 and he is playing in the water doing dishes. He keeps saying, "Mommy will you turnonthe water? Mommy please." I totally ignored him. Being where I am at now, that was really hard to watch.

JennyC: these days, I feel like I've shared our story so many times that it feels redundant

heather: OK I'm still dealing with it. I used to look at that video and think it was so cute. I totally have different eyes now and it breaks my heart.

Sandra Dodd: Heather, do you apologize to him when it comes up again?

heather: for him? or for me?

Sandra Dodd: I have a memory of telling Kirby I didn't want him to go to the store with me. I wish I hadn't.

heather: comes up for him? or comes up for me i mean?

Sandra Dodd: To him for your benefit. When the video plays, if he's there.

Sandra Dodd: It's evidence of growth, Heather.

heather: I'd like to, but I get so emotional when I think about it.

Shan Jeniah Burton: Ok, jumbled tenses.

Sandra Dodd: How old is he now?

Shan Jeniah Burton: What Sandra said was something like this: "I looked at each day with my children as something of a half life. If I weren't there tomorrow, what could I give them today that would help them to survive well without me."

strawlis: I came from the attached parent model...but was shocked at the shift in when my peers kids got to preschool age or when they had their second child

heather: I know and I am grateful for that growth. Where I am at is such a better place to be.

heather: just turned 10.

heather: He told me the other day he loves being 10, that it's so much fun!

Jennie: If you weren't where you are now, Heather, it wouldn't bother you. You'd still be doing it.

JennyC: that is a perfect age for him to understand an apology of that sort!

Sandra Dodd: I remember feeling that way a lot when my kids were around 8, 10, 12.

Shan Jeniah Burton: When you said that, Sandra, it was like sweet clarity rushed in *right at that second*. I was still lost, and couldn't really ponder it deeply, but I KNEW, in that moment, that it was a huge shift.

Jill Parmer: When I need to heal my guilt from the past, I do something to help my kid now, get them something they need now. More focused time from me, or food, or helpfulness in some way.

Sandra Dodd: That if I only had one more thing to pass on to them, what was the most important? Kind of a triage of mothering legacies.

Shan Jeniah Burton: Jill, I do that too! It helps them now, and helps me be kinder with my past "mean mommy" self.

heather: Jill, that's kind of where I went with it.

Jill Parmer: Oh cool, Heather, what did you do?

Sandra Dodd: Holly asked me yesterday what "penance" was. I don't remember why I mentioned it, but we talked about it. And what you're talking about, Jill, is kind of penance.

michele joined the chat

strawlis: I do that helps

Jill Parmer: Yes, Sandra, that's what it is.

Sandra Dodd: It soothes and heals your own soul to make a deposit into their account to repay a debit they don't even remember.

Jennie: A mom at Target yesterday was crabbing, crabbing at her kid. She was buying him a lego set. She said, don't take that out of the bag until we get home. He took it out. The mom talks to the cashier and me, "He's got a hearing problem, I tell him not to take it out, he takes it out." So harsh.

heather: It's also a Marvel character

Shan Jeniah Burton: Yes, that.

Jennie: But I was glad I wasn't the kind of Mom who joined in on the moaning. Instead I said, "Well, it IS really cool."

Rebecca Allen: Penance is a Marvel character?

Sandra Dodd: I think that even though our culture isn't very multi-generational, that I kind of do that on behalf of my mother and grandmother sometimes, too. There was a lot of meanness up the line, and it doesn't need to continue.

heather: Rebecca, he is


Sandra Dodd: If I can fill Holly with sweetness, maybe her own children, if she has any, will hardly know any lack.

Rebecca Allen: Sandra, so you give your kids extra sweetness for your ancestors' meanness?

JennyC: hugging him would definitely qualify as some kind of penance!

Jill Parmer: About dumping or complaining. I have a 9 x 12 journal, hard cover. I would draw a picture of someone I might be cranky with and let rip the words. I did feel like I let them go. When I go back and look now, it's kinda humorous.

Shan Jeniah Burton: Somehow, until that moment, I had not seen that as an objective for unschooling, and it was tied in to the way I viewed Miah (who was 9), Lise (who was 6.5), and what they were capable of doing and learning, and where i should have some of my focus each day. There was an almost immediate shift in the way i perceived them.....

JennyC: Journal dumping used to work really well for me and now I focus more on not having something to dump

Jill Parmer: Do you mean you are doing penance for you mother and grandmother? or that you're breaking the chain, Sandra?

Shan Jeniah Burton: It's been about 7 months since then, and i would say that EVERY aspect of our lives has improved, because of that comment.

strawlis: I think filling with sweetness...heals us too.

ChrisSanders: When I've spilled my negative emotions into journals and then much later, gone back to read them. I've felt the negative feelings stirred again and trying to resurface. I don't think journaling necessarily helps me to let things go. Doing nice things for others helps me though.

Jennie: Love that JennyC

Sandra Dodd: Well not that kind of Marvel-character masochistic "penance." Not making myself suffer, but healing my own sorrow or guilt or pain by lavishing sweetness on my children.

ColleenP: I like the idea of writing things down (if you feel the need) and then burning the paper - lets you get it out and then lets it go, instead of having it there to fester over - I used to do that when I was younger, on suggestion from my grandmother who was not a festerer (despite a super rough childhood)

Sandra Dodd: Rebecca, yes on the extra sweetness for ancestrs' meanness. (I was reading on that link.)

heather: When I hear the word penance now that guy pops in my head

JennyC: there is enough real life crazy stuff that can happen, that I don't want to create MORE of it. I can recognize when I'm creating more problems than I'm helping to alleviate

heather: He's one of Austin's favorites at the moment

Sandra Dodd: The idea of living so that you don't have negative things to journal about is a good tool.

Shan Jeniah Burton: I needed to look at my children not as the ages and stereotypes of mainstream society. They had gotten bigger and more capable by far than I was seeing, and i was missing some pretty big chunks of what they REALLY need to know. For instance, they are both friendly (I know you didn't see much of that side of Annalise, Sandra, which is sad), but I had neglected to inform them about certain really important things, like courtesy.

JennyC: I wonder sometimes where people first hear of unschooling. Thinking about the topic.

Sandra Dodd: In the past, not in unschooling context but others, I've recommended that people live so that they never have to lie about what they've done, and to write only what they're willing to have published.

JennyC: that concept, Sandra, has been pivotal in my own writing and unschooling

Sandra Dodd: When making decisions, if regret and shame are considered, and we choose in avoidance of those, life notches toward the good.

Jill Parmer: Yes, Sandra, I've seen you say that and I took it to heart. It's really clean living that way.

ColleenP: yes - live without regrets is the way I think of that - in a way that you don't feel like you want to go back later and change the narrative to make it better than it really was!

strawlis: I like think of a second option and choose the better in any given situtation...very helpful in the beginning

Sandra Dodd: Nowadays, Jenny, I think they hear about unschooling on the radio, or TV, on any old newspaper or website. And often it's the basic "child-led learning" definition.

Jill Parmer: For me personally, I've not used my journal in years, many years. So I think that says I shed the negative things. And when I went back to look, I was very happy that I really had let go of the struggle with some people. That made me happy. I didn't go to negativity again. Plus my pictures were pretty funny.

JennyC: that's my thought too, although, when I came to it, there really wasn't much out there. I found it online and there was really only one place to go for what I wanted. Now there are hundreds.

Shan Jeniah Burton: Now, a few months later, both children are kinder to each other, to us, and to others, they are far more able to see how their actions can affect others, they help more and more willingly around the house, and are a lot less likely to make the type of messes that make it hard to move around the house, they are better negotiators, they are learning to cook and sew, and many more things that are a direct result of MY shifting from seeing them through society's lenses, instead of as the PEOPLE they are.

heather: I don't remember why I bought it, but the first thing I read about unschooling was Parenting a Free Child. I thought it sounded really nice, but certainly not something that could be accomplished

ColleenP: or the "our children are FREE!" definition that I've heard on TV, and that (in my opinion) does unschooling no benefit

ColleenP: heather was typing at the same time I think

heather: I've thought about re-reading it now to see what I think of it

JennyC: That idea of children being free.... Chamille gets a little upset at that notion because she knows, in practice, it's not true at all.

heather: But I'm in the middle of Harry Potter

JennyC: Kids used to be much more free, but then, kids could also be saddled with the workload of an adult

Jill Parmer: The word "freedom" conjures up all kinds of ideas. There is a great sense of freedom in being free from school. But there is no freedom in doing anything you want when it stomps on others' space or things.

strawlis: I like our children trusted and respected better as a slogan

Shan Jeniah Burton: But what really amazes me is that *I* have changed. I speak to them differently, and I treat them differently. I take them more seriously, and I'm not so afraid to talk with them about mistakes....I'm not sure that is what I really want to say....the words aren't quite for the concept....going to think and try to make it clearer.

JennyC: I was thinking of little particulars like driving cars or working for money, or being out late, that sort of thing

JennyC: I can sense my children's freedom from school, but since they've never been, they don't view it the same way

heather: Oh yea! I bought it because I had a general idea of what unschooling was and we were moving to San Fran. I wanted to see if I could ditch the curriculum and focus on exploring. Which is kinda funny because that's what I did, but not because of what I read in that book.

JennyC: For my kids, school is simply there, and it could be a choice if they wanted it. They really don't feel like they are free from school trappings because they have no idea what that feels like

Jill Parmer: I think "trusted" and "respected" need to be sussed out too. Many school parents think they respect their kids. And from what I've read on unschooling boards and lists, it that to just trust your kids, was confusing without more explanation or specific scenarios.

JennyC: which is kinda cool

Sandra Dodd: I think Parenting a Free Child is pretty good. If people go by the title more than by what's recommended, it seems maybe it could be misleading, but aren't they the same kinds of things still talked about in unschooling discussions everywehre?

Shan Jeniah Burton: Maybe this: NOW, I approach problems involving them more the way I would a friend or acquaintance. I let go of "being Mom" and instead try to address the problem objectively, to work through what went wrong and what would need to happen to make things better - not AT them, but WITH them.....

Sandra Dodd: Shan, that all sounds good, about the changes in your family.

JennyC: that is the practical of partnering with your kids

JennyC: working together to reach a goal

JennyC: even if that goal is to get dinner made

JennyC: and someone else wants to go to the park and now

Sandra Dodd: "trust your kids" really doesn't make much sense all by itself, especially when people have a child who was in school until midschool or highschool. Those kids can be wound up and ready to launch beyond the horizon.

Alex P joined the chat

JennyC: and most parents really don't trust their kids

JennyC: not in practice

Shan Jeniah Burton: It IS good.....I am still learning, and old patterns can still crop up, and yet, it's like a breath of fresh air in our lives, wiping away a lot of inconsequentials I was hanging onto. They are 7 and 10 now, and neither is little. I had somehow missed them GETTING to that not-little place.

Sandra Dodd: I trust mine, but we started QUITE early on that.

JennyC: I trust my kids

Sandra Dodd: Keith and I are going for an overnight trip this weekend. Holly was originally going, but her boyfriend's brother's having a birthday party.

Sandra Dodd: Marty was going to be here.

Sandra Dodd: There's nothing to worry about. They won't do things they wouldn't have done if we were home.

Sandra Dodd: Shan , like what? (" a lot of inconsequentials I was hanging onto")

Shan Jeniah Burton: Especially with Annalise, because she is our youngest, and the pregnancy was desperately wanted and high-risk and there was a chance she might not survive long enough to be viable at, for way too long, I saw her as my "little girl". But that girl is too big to pick up, now, and it was past time I stopped seeing her through the story of how she came to be.

Jennie: I think this John Holt quote about trust is so true: "To trust children we must first learn to trust ourselves...and most of us were taught as children that we could not be trusted."

Sandra Dodd: Yes, but there's more involved in trusting anyone. He's not talking about trusting them with your debit card for a month.

Sandra Dodd: (I have kid I could trust with my debit card;

Sandra Dodd: but some people don't)

JennyC: there are 2 parts to the trust thing. Trusting that kids will learn and trusting that they want to do the right thing

Sandra Dodd: The trust John Holt was talking about it a sinful trust.

strawlis: Jennie I was just thinking that...unschooling my kid over these past 5 years has help me trust myself more...and make better a better person

Sandra Dodd: He was talking about humanism. The idea that humans have an inate desire to be and to do good.

Shan Jeniah Burton: Sandra, I think I had a lot of hidden, preconceived notions about what "kids" of certain ages could and couldn't do. Those ideas were getting in the way of really seeing JEREMIAH and ANNALISE, two individuals who happen to be certain younger than me ages, and are capable of what THEY are, not what society expects they can or can't do.

Sandra Dodd: And that people want to learn, and will learn.

JennyC: which goes against a huge part of cultural upbringing

Sandra Dodd: And, seemingly, it goes against evidence, against what seems obvious, in a culture centered around school.

Sandra Dodd: Kids seem to avoid and reject learning.

JennyC: school kids need rules

JennyC: lots of them to keep them under control

Sandra Dodd: So for unschoolers, I guess helping them figure out early the difference between learning in a natural way and "school learning" would help.

Sandra Dodd: Does help.

ColleenP: Jenny the way I think of it is that schools need rules, to (try to) keep kids under control - the kids don't need the rules 😉

Shan Jeniah Burton: I trusted Jeremiah with my debit card last week, to order a vintage Kirby game download for the 3Ds he saved up all spring and summer to buy. He went into my bag, got the card, used it, retrned it, and informed me I did actually have a bit of cash in my wallet, which i had forgotten. He could have taken it, or ordered more than we'd OKed, but he knows money is stretched after the car accident, and he is worthy of my trust.

Sandra Dodd: Shan, what might you have heard from unschoolers earlier that might have helped you see your kids from the inside, from alongside, rather than through the lens of age-appropriateness (or however you want to rephrase all that)?

JennyC: and once people can see that, then maybe they can see that a kid can also be trusted to know when he's hungry or tired or full

JennyC: well, yes, Colleen, but school place the rules there because it is the view that kids NEED them to get along

JennyC: and LOTS of people grew up with that and still believe that to be true

Shan Jeniah Burton: Age-appropriateness seems for what i might have heard earlier......I'm not sure, because I thought I WAS seeing them that way, and I didn't notice the lack until your words....

ColleenP: yep I agree I just think it's interesting, rules and how even though they're not too effective, some folks keep piling them on

Sandra Dodd: Kids DO need those rules to get along, when they're brought against their will to a room with that many more people in one place.

strawlis: I think just reading people's post about thier lives help me negaite the ageism that is so prevelant...the joy of 14 year old playing with dolls, ect

Alex P: I think one of the big things that some parents are afraid is to loose the learning "window" that they have heard all their lives about, That if they miss that oportumity the kids will never learn it or learn it right.

JennyC: yes Alex

JennyC: that is a big deal and it places an unnecessary urgency on parents of young children

Shan Jeniah Burton: Maybe more focus on infants, and how they learn so much before adults can or think to try to control that learning.....If I had SEEN their infancies more clearly, instead of spending so much time trying to "enrich" them and checking off milestones, maybe i could have seen it sooner.....

Alex P: exactly Jenny!

Jill Parmer: Right, Alex. And what will help newcomers will be the stories of people who got things outside of the timeframe of the mythological window.

Sandra Dodd: Strawlis, I think that's helpful, too. In and around school, there is pressure for kids to do what the other kids are doing, including rejecting previous interests, and younger kids and their interests. Aspiring to be like older kids, shunning younger kids....

Sandra Dodd: And unschoolers can drop all that

Alex P: Shan parents fears are a biggie, fear their child will not learn to read, will become obese, addicted, will never be able to write, will be bad consumers.

JennyC: unschoolers can drop all of that IF they see it and understand it

JennyC: some parents want documented PROOF that it will work

Sandra Dodd: If they write those fears down, and check back in a year or two or three, maybe it will help them leap to the next level.

strawlis: yes..that might be the problem..I'll try to be more aware

Sandra Dodd: They should look at documented PROOF that school works.

JennyC: not some silly anecdotal stuff written by a bunch of moms

Sandra Dodd: it works if "works" doesn't involve health and happiness. It "works" for 20% or so of the kids.

JennyC: right, that's obvious to ME, but not necessarily to newcomers!

Sandra Dodd: When people come wanting "proof" and not anecdote, I'm just as happy to have them turn and go back to school, or to buy a curriculum.

JennyC: even if a kid reads early in school doesn't mean he won't be put in writing 90 remedial class in college

Sandra Dodd: I have no patience with people wanting me to sell them unschooling as though it were a vacuum cleaner and they have other stores to visit before they decide.

Sandra Dodd: If they don't want it, they don't deserve it.

Jill Parmer: Right, if they can't use their own brains to think things through, and make thoughtful choices, this isn't going to be the place for them.

Alex P: parents fear their kids are going to be behind too. Is this about the parents insecurities ?

strawlis: that why I encourage many to at least try to get on gathering/ conference...there is nothing like seeing it...rooms full of happy, healthy kids

JennyC: there are about 15 remedial writing classes at one of the local community colleges and they were ALL wait listed

Sandra Dodd: Wow, Jenny.

Shan Jeniah Burton: Alex, I totally agree. And, over the last months, Annalise has exploded in her ability to read, Jeremiah continues to be heavy, but to lean out in growth spurts and display a good understanding of his own basic nutrition and exercise needs, there seems to be no evidence of addiction to anything except maybe laughter, Jeremiah, who didn'tr really write till 9, is writing and typing at his pleasure, and BOTH kids are very discriminating consumers (Miah does tons of research before he buys anything!).

Sandra Dodd: And that's what Marty's wanting to take, even though he's taken English 101.

strawlis: I think it's cool that he wants too

Sandra Dodd: Alex, I think the parents don't want to fail as parents.

ColleenP: unschooling is (to me) very happiness based - when kids play and explore and interact with and in rich environments with caring adults (and other kids) they can't help but learn - and that evidence might be anecdotal - but if a parent wants a "program" or philosophy where the learning is first and the rest (happiness etc.) is side effects, I think it's a tougher starting point

Sandra Dodd: I think they remember the shame and sorrow of kids who are "behind" and they don't realize that all that was school, and outside of school it doesn't exist.

JennyC: Marty might have an easier time getting into a higher level one... with so many people needing to get into the remedial ones!

ColleenP: I'm not sure if I wrote that as clearly as I'm thinking it -

ColleenP: but I think where parents are starting from really impacts where they can get to with unschooling

strawlis: Very clear colleen.

Sandra Dodd: If they're wanting to use happiness as a carrot or reward, then it won't work. That's true.

Shan Jeniah Burton: It was, in my case, about thinking there were age-imposed limits on what kids could do. Because Sandra woke me up, I began to see all the ways each of them is not "typical" for mainstream ideas about age and ability.

Alex P: Yes Sandra. I get that. I do not either but why can't they see the children differently? Why do I see my kids and their learning and some cannot, even after reading about how children learn and how they can catch up (if they want) with school ??

Sandra Dodd: Oh. Carrot reminds me of this, which used to be one of the first things I showed anyone. Maybe I should bring it back out to the top level on my website so people can't miss it.

ColleenP: school to me is "learn this and that in this way and that way, and then you can be happy (college, job, career, etc.)" - unschooling to me is "live happy and full, and then you will stay happy and full"

Sandra Dodd: Colleen, if you're right, that where parents are starting impacts where they can get, then do you think there's an advantage to letting them tell their whole story to unschoolers when they first show up, so they can be advised better?

JennyC: but Colleen, some people just don't WANT to be happy

Alex P: they do not know how to sometimes Jenny

Shan Jeniah Burton: I had already seen it in their learning patterns, but hadn't carried it forward into basic life skills. If I knew where the block in my mind was, that could help others.....I'm just not sure what PREVENTED me seeing it sooner.

Alex P: They may not have had happy parents

JennyC: that's what AHA moments are Shan

ColleenP: nope Sandra I personally don't, because my personal experience is that what's past is past and though it's there in the background, bringing it to the front of your mind (and life) won't usually help you move forward

JennyC: it will keep happening, even when your kids are 18 and 15

Alex P: If the parents are unhappy, negative and complain a lot maybe the child cannot see how they can be happy and grow up like that as adults? just a theory

Shan Jeniah Burton: =) oh, GOODY!!!! Because I really love that sudden POP! of getting something iI hadn't, and the way it opens up life......

JennyC: I don't think it's just a theory Alex, I think that really does happen!

strawlis: maybe if it help them figure out why they are stuck

ColleenP: Jenny I agree - many people don't want to be happy - or wouldn't know happy if it bit them on the proverbial nose - but unschooling is a leap of faith, or a leap in the direction that maybe happy is the point after all (and not grades or titles etc.)

JennyC: I was hoping you'd say ass...darn it!

Jihong: I don't see my children in terms of "age appropriate", but I do expect more from Orion( 5) when he was Makena's age (almost 3). I suspect I am doing the same now because he is always older than his younger sister. Anybody has the same issue and how to overcome that? for example, Makena is almost 3 and I feel she is a little baby. but when Orion was 3, I expected him to be a lot older than he was because a new baby came

Sandra Dodd: So it will help new unschoolers for other unschoolers to steer them toward happiness and joy.

JennyC: yes for sure Sandra!

Sandra Dodd: Jihong, that's the way it happens, with firstborn children. Try not to feel too guilty.

JennyC: how could that hurt anyone?!

ColleenP: I think focusing on the now and looking toward the future is much more useful to unschooling than dwelling in the past, yes!

Sandra Dodd: And the youngest gets to be the youngest forevermore.

strawlis: i think so

JennyC: and 5 is still a baby too

JennyC: a bigger one, but still so young

Sandra Dodd: I suppose it could be hurtful if they think there's nothing but party, party, laugh and joke.

Sandra Dodd: Some people might get stuck in the idea that if they are partying, their kids are learning.

michele: some people don't value happiness as much as others. my husband says it makes him happy to have a good job and be a responsible member of society. happiness seems to self indulgent

michele: that is a big roadblock for us

JennyC: maybe that's why I got it, I'm not a fan of partying!

JennyC: happiness is overflowing and infects others to do and be better

Sandra Dodd: Michele, would the link above help your husband, or help you point out the flaws in that? Maybe he feels that way about "happiness," but what about joy?

strawlis: I think sometimes they can't see or trust the learning...cause they are full of fear of the links to stories. blogs of older unschoolers helos

Alex P: I am not a partying person either

Sandra Dodd: Does he think UNhappiness is a good spur toward more success? (Probably not.)

michele: yes, i saved and printed in and will leave it on his desk

Shan Jeniah Burton: Jihong, that is very much how I felt about Annalise (almost 3 years younger than Jeremiah). It's gotten a lot better the last dew weeks, since I realized that she is 7, and that was the age Miah was when we started unschooling. Somehow, her getting to that same age helped me to realize I need not to look at her as the "younger one" but only as herself, at age 7 and a bit, learning and growing and strong and capable in ways that have to do with who she's always been and is becoming, and not through the lens of her older brother.

michele: ha, no

JennyC: I don't see it as self indulgent at all, but maybe it's because our happiness has caused really desperate and needy kids to find us and seek out our help

Jill Parmer: -=-So it will help new unschoolers for other unschoolers to steer them toward happiness and joy.-=- I think if you did this and they were coming from school, it would be a scary chasm leap. There's got to be something about that learning is happening too. It's not all one thing.

Sandra Dodd: Blogs of older unschoolers haven't impressed me yet. I'm sad that so many of them were not unschooled the way we did it, or that they're a little whiney and going to college.

Jihong: when I kiss Makena (I kiss her a lot, because she is so kissable). Orion would say, mama, how about me? why don't you kiss me. I am making an effort to "baby" him. He likes that. I think seeing him as a bigger brother sometimes backfire and it seems I put unnecessary burden on him.

Sandra Dodd: Maybe I just haven't found good blogs-of-older-unschoolers.

michele: he is seeing a difference in me and the kids so it is a step

Sandra Dodd: Baby him!!

Sandra Dodd: find times to talk to him about when he was a baby, about his birth, about when you used to carry him around all the time. It will probably be a big, comforting boost to him, Jihong.

michele: yes.

ColleenP: photos too Jihong - do you have photos you could show him of you loving on him when he was a baby?

Sandra Dodd: So, Jill. We need to reassure them kids can learn, and that the environment needs to be happy for that to happen.

Jill Parmer: Yes, smooch him.

Alex P: Jihong both my kids love to hear stories about when they were babies.

strawlis: I think they want examples.. and Sandra your website and resources do that so well...seems I lot want thier hands held during that leap of trusting

Jihong: Good idea, Colleen

JennyC: I found myself giving someone advice that I didn't want to give advice to and I thought to myself, what would Sandra say... it was an odd moment for me, but it worked because you helped me be patient and look outside of the situation when I've been stuck in some big dramatic upheavel

strawlis: a lot ment to type

Jill Parmer: Yes, I think for newbies that reassurance would be very helpful, about learning and happiness and joy altogether. Not partying, and not "show me your work". A balance and mixture.

JennyC: that had nothing to do with anything really, except that babying a 5 yr old is a way to be patient in the moment

Shan Jeniah Burton: So maybe what I am trying to get to the heart of is that each of us truly comes with our own set of strengths and weaknesses, and that these aren't as much a function of age as they are of personality, genetics, physical ability, the number of adaptations that can be made to make a goal attainable.....

Rebecca Allen: Jihong, Quinn sometimes asks me if I kissed her a lot as a baby. I think she's telling me she still wants lots of kisses now.

Jihong: also when there is conflict, I often side with Makena, which I think makes things worse...I am working on it. It is the biggest challenge right now. :(

JennyC: I think age still plays a role in that Shan

Sandra Dodd: Jihong, now that she's starting to talk, maybe look at this page. It's too soon, in a way, but not entirely.

ColleenP: I think in a perfect world, those new to unschooling would link with unschooling mentors, and spend time with those mentors seeing how their children play and live and learn - seeing success in person I think would have such an impact... but that's a perfect world - I for one don't have an extra wing in my house to bring folks in to watch Robbie play

Sandra Dodd: If you let Orion tell his side without Makena there, it might be helpful.

JennyC: I had kids young and there is a marked difference in how I raised them when I was young than how I would do it now

Sandra Dodd: And at least one person who's dying to be such a mentor isn't the best of examples.

Jill Parmer: SO true!

Sandra Dodd: It might be one of those things that is cancelled out by someone really WANTING it. (Like holding elected office.)

ColleenP: if that's who I'm thinking of, I totally agree!

JennyC: that works in theory Colleen, but I've been the unschooling mentor sort of person and it doesn't always play out great for the mentor

strawlis: haha

Sandra Dodd: True. Jenny had problems, too.

Shan Jeniah Burton: When Annalise (who loves wildlife, anatomy, and genetics, and has most of her life) was 5, my sister wrote this, "Why does a 5 year old need to know about DNA?" That seems to sum up the thinking I needed to get away from, that there were certain things not "needed" for certain age groupings. I got it about what they learned that was intellectual, but not how it applied to life as a whole, iff that makes sense.

ColleenP: right that's the trouble - what works on paper doesn't always go so well in the "real world"

strawlis: so how do we reassure with out coddling?

Sandra Dodd: That's another problem this week, for me--people assuming that unschooling discussions are about friendships, or that friendships should decide unschooling belief. I'm aghast. It suggests that I have no integrity, that I'm saying what I say to make or keep or impress my friends.

Jill Parmer: I think new people need something to try, and they need to NOT drop all rules at once, but they go there. I'm looking for something that's doable/tryable without jumping into the place where long time experience unschoolers are.

Jill Parmer: at the moment.

Sandra Dodd: Or it's someone trying to get me to change what I'm saying to keep her "friendship."

Sandra Dodd: Reassure a child, strawlis, or a new unschooler?

Jihong: Thank you, Sandra. That is good point. Sorry for being off-topic.

strawlis: new unschooler

Jill Parmer: It's very clear in your writing Sandra, that you are not that way.

Sandra Dodd: Colleen, what do you mean "what works on paper..."

JennyC: personally, I don't think you CAN reassure someone without coddling. I think each person should be responsible enough to understand what they are doing if they are going to unschool

ColleenP: I meant what works in words (the idea of mentors) doesn't always translate well into practice with real people

Sandra Dodd: Wait, wait. "Coddling" is an insult word.

Sandra Dodd: Why are we talking about "coddling"?

JennyC: it's not a choice to be taken lightly and lately it feels like people do take it lightly. It pisses me off sometimes when I think about all the work I did to understand unschooling and education, that people would just jump in there without all the work and call it good enough\

Jill Parmer: I just realized a problem with unschooling conferences. People go, and they see all these other people "having a great time", and it becomes like school you want to be part of the group. And it leans more toward friendships than unschooling. I really think that derails new people.

Sandra Dodd: It has derailed (or wrong-tracked) some older people.

Alex P: Shan a great video about genetics I saw yesterday for your daughter:

JennyC: coddling is a negative put down

Shan Jeniah Burton: Jenny, yes, age plays a role.....but not the one i thought it did. For instance, when we attended Rock The Campground in 2010, I kept the kids with me, or very near me, or they were with other parents I knew or visiting somewhere I could get to. A month later, at NEUC, there was so much going on that they naturally flowed into their own patterns and ways of spending time, sometimes with me, and sometimes not. They were capable and ready for...and almost certainly could have enjoyed a lot more independence while camping. I was keeping them close because *I* felt they were "too young", not because they WERE too young.

JennyC: okay, so how can newer people be reassured, maybe they can be....

Jill Parmer: Jenny all you're saying above, yes yes, I get, and feel similar. Is there something between reassuring/helping and coddling?

strawlis: I ment by tell it ok that your doing it this way...kind of way

Sandra Dodd: Encouragement.

JennyC: my standby is blunt honesty, but that irritates people

Sandra Dodd: Reassurance without.... hand-holding?

JennyC: yes to encouragement!

Sandra Dodd: By "Coddling" do you mean that they would become dependent on your telling them the next step, and the next?

strawlis: I think encouragement and choices

JennyC: like it is some set of instructions to follow, a formula for unschooling success

JennyC: yes, choices

Rebecca Allen: Sometimes irritation is what people need. It might not make them like you, but if they are ready they will think about what you've said and make changes.

Shan Jeniah Burton: This summer, at the campout, jeremiah went to the lodge, got a map and a marker, and circled all the places he wanted to be able to find - friends' campsites, bathrooms, a tree growing out of a rock....then he took off on his bike and came and went as he chose, checking in as he wanted.

Jennie: When offering help to new unschoolers, I think it is important to detach yourself from the outcome, much as you would when offering an activity or something to your child.

Sandra Dodd: Rebecca, I guess that's my specialty. :-/

BeaMantovani: lol sandra!

Alex P: Yep Sandra you got that !

JennyC: People say that about you Sandra, but I've never been irritated with the things you've said.

Rebecca Allen: It's not a bad thing, Sandra!

Shan Jeniah Burton: I think there's something in that "if they're ready". If they're NOT, they won't hear it, maybe, the same way I didn't hear sooner about seeing my children as themselves without the lens of 'age-approriateness" superimposed upon it.

ColleenP: I think confidence plays in too - when some people read what's online (facebook, or the unschooling lists, etc.) and they're not very confident, they hear insult when it's not intended. I might not always agree with everything someone says about unschooling, but I don't get insulted - I can happily say "nope I don't agree" without taking it to heart - it helps

Alex P: Things you said have made me stop and really really think!!!! That can only be good!

Rebecca Allen: Maybe friction is a better way to describe it. Irritation might be too negative.

JennyC: when people would say "oh that big meany Sandra...", I'd be thinking back to what ever exactly could they mean by that!

JennyC: but aren't you glad that you heard it anyway Shan?

JennyC: even if you didn't "get it" right away, a seed was planted

Shan Jeniah Burton: Jenny,absolutely!

PamelaCorkey: I used to get very frustrated by having my words and phrasings challenged -- I thought it was nitpicky and petty. Then I realized it truly was not. I became more careful in my phrasing and over time realized I was becoming clearer in my thinking and there had been nothing nitpicky about the challenges of experienced unschoolers.

Jill Parmer: Yep, Sandra has really made me think. And I love that.

strawlis: I don't think it's a bad thing either...that's ok ish...hope that's more understandable on my coddling issue

JennyC: didn't you call that a time release thing Sandra?

Shan Jeniah Burton: yes. And then Sandra came and sat in my car and watered and fertilized that seed, and BAM!

Shan Jeniah Burton: Pamela - me too!

Jill Parmer: Right Pamela. It is frustrating getting through something hard. But on the other side, I feel so competent, and confident.

JennyC: Joyce is really good for new to unschooling ideas. She has a way of taking each little piece of information and logically parsing it out

Sandra Dodd: "Time-release information"

JennyC: yes!

strawlis: I don't think it ok to say "that's ok" and hand hold

Shan Jeniah Burton: Sandra - something that I REALLY valued when you were here was that, before you offered ANY advice or insight, you asked me if I wanted your comments or just wanted to hang out.

Sandra Dodd: OH this morning on Always Learning, Joyce and I turned out to be responding at the same time to the same post. As soon as I posted mine, I saw hers. I sent her this note:

Shan Jeniah Burton: That made it my choice (and I wasn't about to waste the resource you represented)....

Sandra Dodd: Your response was so calm and clear. Mine was such a frothy rant.

Sandra Dodd: (I'm adding quotes to that in the transcript.)

Alex P: I have only one other family that really unschools in my town and she has met Sandra and Holly when they come to MInnesota and she said she learned so much from just watching Sandra and Holly's interaction. That is what I would love to see more. People like Sandra and others with their kids.

strawlis: colleen...confidence is a biggy...

Shan Jeniah Burton: And it was a VERY difficult, off-balance, cabin-fevery, too-busy, kind of week. I wish in a way it hadn't been, but, by seeing us at what was close to our worst, you gave insights that were packed with power and value.

Alex P: I agree Strawlis. Cnnfidence is a biggie!

strawlis: but that comes with trusting and trying and stretching some more

Sandra Dodd: I don't get the point Strawlis is trying to make. I need a translator. How can we reassure without coddling?

Jill Parmer: Sandra, you do get that the frothy rant is easier for some to read, right?

Sandra Dodd: No, Jill. really? I figure Joyce's is like primary colors in solid, washable blocks.

Alex P: I have had some great people in my house like the Waynforths and that really was awesome and helped me a lot.

Sandra Dodd: And mine's all crazy melty-clocks and devils

Shan Jeniah Burton: I'm thinking maybe that humility plays a big part. I'm remembering how hard it was, thinking we had this unschooling thing down, and then Sandra coming, it being such a hard few days that I cried more than once, and hearing that there were some BIG pieces of the puzzle that we were missing.

Jill Parmer: Really truly.

ColleenP: I agree with Jill - I like straightforward (if frothy rant can be considered straightforward... I'm thinking it is!)

Alex P: you got a creative mind Sandra with the way you picture your words.

Shan Jeniah Burton: I had to really "suck it up" to not get defensive (well, not cripplingly defensive, anyway).

JennyC: I saw that post come through last night before I went to bed and I almost responded, but didn't because I'd been thinking too much and didn't want to muddle it all up in garbage

strawlis: I think on some other list ...there is too much of "it's ok that that you do blank". and not enough of " if ya want to get this, you have to blank"

Sandra Dodd: Pamela, I'm glad you stuck around long enough to see what all that "seemed petty/semantics" stuff actually was. Thanks for the review of it here today.

Shan Jeniah Burton: If people can't do that, if they can't get to a place where they can consider the words of more experienced unschoolers without taking them as damnation, maybe those people CAN'T be helped, because they ONLY want to hear what makes them feel good and competent (even if they aren't really there yet).

JennyC: that's because there are a lot of people who don't like to be told what to do, the very idea of being told what to do is OFFENSIVE, so they won't tell others what to do either. It turns into this "do whatever works for you" thing.

heather: I've been invited to lists after a "ya want to get this. you have to [blank]" on Always Learning offering to coddle me instead.

Sandra Dodd: Shan, I agree. Some people want camaraderie or strokes. And while they're being petted like cats, who's taking care of their kids?

Jill Parmer: But Jenny, no one is telling them what to do.

Sandra Dodd: Heather, there are a couple of people on Always Learning solely for the purpose of inviting people to a list where they badmouth me. A whole list! About ME!

strawlis: that's what I mean sandra the petting

Sandra Dodd: Who's taking care of *their* kids!?

JennyC: if only people could see that Jill!

JennyC: Sandra, Chamille could relate to that!

heather: I told them I was pretty happy despite my fear not being soothed. I wanted change and it was happening there so I wanted to stick around.

heather: That's kinda crazy Sandra!

Jill Parmer: That's gutsy, Heather. And I think that is one of the traits that is essential to unschooling working.

Jihong: Sandra, everytime I read your response on always learning, it cracks me up. You have such rare ability of getting to the point so fast and accurately. It sometimes offends people or make them defensive. But if people can go beyond that, they can benefit so much. Your response needs to be read more than once over a period of time

Sandra Dodd: I haven't heard that they're helping people at their list, not helping them get unschooling. Maybe some are, but mostly they like to dance around the bonfire and chant about how evil I am.

JennyC: that whole thing, big bad Sandra, happens to Chamille, big bad Chamille. We wonder why people give her so much power

ColleenP: A long while ago on a radio show I heard the host get frustrated and she gave a little speech, the basic point of which was that people tend to ask questions they already know the answer too - because they're looking for reassurance not real advice - that's a little harsh but I think of it sometimes when I read people asking things like "but if I just leave him be, will he REALLY learn to read?" - in their heart they know "he" will - but they're not ready to accept it in their brain

ColleenP: answer to - not answer too... oops!

Shan Jeniah Burton: I am actually THRILLED you came, and that it was a hard week (although I wish it hadn't been, too, and there had been more of the laughter and conversation, because that part ROCKED. You are FUN, and funny!) . A lot of growth has resulted from your visit, about things others might not even have noticed, much less seen problems with.

strawlis: so clear choices, example of how thing could work...may help those who need reassurance and maybe a check in like how'd that work for you?

JennyC: because that's what it does, it makes you this big powerful person with close to super human abilities to DO all these things

Sandra Dodd: thanks, Shan.

Shan Jeniah Burton: You said things like, "you're using too many words, and they've stopped listening. Try five words or less." And I did, and still aim for that goal when I need to be heard.....and they hear me more, now. =)

Jill Parmer: I've been on our regular homeschooling list (because I got bullied out of the local unschooling list), and I post about unschooling here and there, thinking there are people in the background that might really want unschooling. But I'm a little insecure in that idea. Any thoughts?

Shan Jeniah Burton: And I had not been even a little aware of how i was framing things in this way, "I don't like it when you..." I was totally making it about me, and my emotions, rather than just stating that what they were doing was not a good idea, and why.

Jennie: I have a problem with those who expect others to "check in" with them. I've seen it happen where new folks expect more experienced folks to provide some kind of service. even though there are meetings, park days, all kinds of places and spaces for them to access. they expect others to seek them out and make sure they are OK

JennyC: this is a conversation that Chamille and I have had many times over! She gets banned by some parents for simply being herself, speaking her mind, while being polite about it but some people aren't ready for it and they don't want to hear it

heather: Jill, I was really annoyed when I got the message offline. You remember that scene in Charlie in the Chocolate Factory where the bad guy(can't remember his name) pulls the kids away into the shadows and whispers in their ear and promises to give them what they want if they get the secret to the gobstoppers? Yea, that's how it felt.

Jennie: slugworth

strawlis: or let us know who that worked for you

heather: thanks

PamelaCorkey: It makes me upset to hear that there are people out there devoting their time to badmouthing you Sandra. You have been one of the most important factors in my transition to unschooling and have been a critical force in changing my family's life from sad and stressful to happy and joyful.

Jill Parmer: I agree with Pamela.

JennyC: Jill, my experience says, just spend your time elsewhere

Shan Jeniah Burton: So do I. But I confess to LOVING the frothy rants, Sandra.

JennyC: the local homeschool lists, people don't really want unschoolers there, they want people that can give curriculum advice and advice on how to best get kids to do X, Y, and Z

Sandra Dodd: Thanks, Pamela!

JennyC: that's *my* experience

Jill Parmer: Thanks, Jenny.

Sandra Dodd: I try to take it as a compliment, sort of. Not from them but evidence that I'm doing something useful.

JennyC: and I got bullied off our local unschooling list too Jill, so I totally get it!

Jill Parmer: Heh, heh, Pamela.

Jennie: Well, folks, SOME of us have anniversary dates to get ready for. until next time!

JennyC: that's what I try to tell Chamille too Sandra

Shan Jeniah Burton: Oh, enjoy!!!!!!

Sandra Dodd: Hope it's good, Jennie.

Jill Parmer: Sandra, you are SO doing something useful. I am so appreciative of your work, and I get very stressed when people are mean to you. Because I know you don't have to do this.

JennyC: yes, happy anniversary!

Alex P: Happy Aniversary Jennie

ColleenP: Sandra you're leading people to think and that's always a good thing!

Sandra Dodd: So.... Jill, I think if you're on that list and mention unschooling occasionally, it's a service.

Alex P: Sandra you rock!

Sandra Dodd: Thanks.

JennyC: and if you do mention unschooling and booed out, ignore the naysayers

Sandra Dodd: I think what new unschoolers can use is pointers to the better information, and perhaps pointers away from the worst.

Sandra Dodd: Or at least pointers to.

Sandra Dodd: And the suggestion that worse exists.

JennyC: don't get sucked into an unschooling argument in a homeschool forum

Jill Parmer: I don't push unschooling, although people know I unschool. I ignore a lot, and I toss out some ideas sometimes. And I think I'm the only person in the state who really knows the laws.

Rebecca Allen: In the state?

JennyC: that's too bad Jill. I think everyone should be aware of their local laws

Jill Parmer: Ah, hadn't thought of that Sandra. About pointing away from the worst.

strawlis: I lend out both your books and your's Sandra is the 1st site I send anyone who shows interst

Jill Parmer: Yes, Rebecca, is that too arrogant of me?

Alex P: I once pointed out how I thought an article posted on my state wide unschooling list was not something to aim for and got a few friends upset at me. Specially a close friend that is not even an unschooler.

Alex P: People are weird!

Shan Jeniah Burton: bothers me when unschooling is tied to something else. There is some of that in the local groups we belong to here....indigo children, Abraham, Law of Attraction....I think it confuses things and maybe just provides an alternate lens to see kids through rather than seeing them.

Rebecca Allen: Just made me chuckle. I think I get what you mean though. So many give advice about the laws that simply does NOT equate to what is in the laws.

JennyC: NO thanks to indigo children!

ColleenP: Sandra I've sent even the most conventional, non-homeschooling (never mind unschooling) parents to direct links on your site to read about media, sibling rivalry, etc. and so they've been helped to be kinder gentler parents even without being unschoolers

Jill Parmer: Or maybe I should say, who posts the correct laws.

ColleenP: and if they've clicked around and learned more, then all the better!

Jill Parmer: Right Rebecca, you said it better.

JennyC: I had some woman talk about indigo children and apply it to this kid we know that is just a complete social moron, an ass, to put it bluntly and my thought was, "wow, if that's what an indigo child is, then no thanks!"

strawlis: My local HS group is not at all open to's good for a cool event or two once in awhile

Shan Jeniah Burton: Jenny - I'm with you. Two very interesting children live here, but they are pinkish to brownish beige, and NOT indigo!

JennyC: that's what I use our local homeschool list for, local events and news

ColleenP: just had to go Google indigo children - the world is an interesting place!!

JennyC: don't drink that cool aid Colleen!

Sandra Dodd: Sorry... I was talking to Marty and Ashlee. I'm behind.

ColleenP: no 2 sentences in and I'm all set with that

ColleenP: LOL

JennyC: "somebody's poisoned the water hole"

heather: OK, I'm off again! Thanks for another great chat. I hope to see you next week.

Alex P: Sandra do you remember that unschooling mom who wanted advice on a peaceful divorce and got really mad you told her that if she could make it a friendly, amicable , peaceful divorce she would work on NOT getting a divorce?

JennyC: bye Heather!

Shan Jeniah Burton: The kids here are the regular Earthbound type. Law of attraction...nope. No way we attracted the death of our second child. It happened. Things do. Law of Attraction seems a way to look down one's nose at anyone having a problem, because of course they MUST have attracted it.

Shan Jeniah Burton: And, worse yet, it doesn't help unschooling. Looking at possibilities does.

Shan Jeniah Burton: does.

Sandra Dodd: -=-JennyC: NO thanks to indigo children!-=-

JennyC: what steers me clear of LOA is the idea that abused children somehow brought that on themselves

Shan Jeniah Burton: Jenny and Sandra, I just remembered i wanted to thank you both for the piece on abundance.

(Jenny's part is quoted at the bottom here: SandraDodd/abundance/)

Alex P: She also was the one who had a big bruhaha years ago in our local state list with Kelli Traaseth. She is still saying she is going to get a divorce but is also asking around for curriculum and such. Definetely not usnchooling .

JennyC: clearly!

ColleenP: yes law of attraction is scary stuff - I read some stuff about law of attraction and the tsunami and oh goodness - not good!

Alex P: That is how I think too Jenny! How can kids do that to themselves? It is BS~!

strawlis: I think it's important to say that there are benefits in unschooling conferences...I know that it has help some Dads move closer to getting hubby was one of them at our 1st Live and Learn 5 years ago...friendship shouldn't be the goal.

Shan Jeniah Burton: Summer is travel and birthday season, here, and we had some unexpected expenses (car got towed in Philly, tent poles left behind, stuff like that)...then, three weeks ago, our family car was totaled, and we were in tighter financial straits than we've been in years.....

strawlis: Most of our friend are not even homeschoolers

JennyC: I end up focusing my energy on my kids first, connected with specific people and then specific talks

JennyC: and if you can get through that Shan and still smile, it helps make you a stronger better person and your kids can see ways to get past struggles, rather than relying on manifesting those things

Shan Jeniah Burton: And the kids and I were homebound for a couple of weeks. We aren't close enough to any store to walk, so I did lots of abundance-making (no bake cookies, walks, biking, ball playing, having friends over, getting rides to friends' houses and co-op.

Shan Jeniah Burton: That post was just what we needed to renew after a couple of weeks like that...we have a car now, and are catching up the things put on hold, and, in a few more weeks, things should be in a saner place.

JennyC: and if you can find the abundance when your first thought is to feel lack, when you DO get your car back, you can feel a hundred times more abundant

PamelaCorkey: I was just reading about "Law of Attraction" and let me say this -- if my primary early encounters with unschooling were wrapped up in this new-agey, touchy-feely bullshit I would not have looked any further.

JennyC: That's true for a lot of people Pam, especially many dads who work normal-joe jobs and want to feel and be more normal

PamelaCorkey: It scares me to consider that anyone would look at unschooling and find this.

michele: LOA i meant

Shan Jeniah Burton: Yes, Jenny. This week, I took them to Toys R Us, because they had a Pokemon promotion where Miah could add a gift Zoroark to his game. The day before, Lise showered our smelly dog by herself (her idea). We scrounged $5 as a thank you, and she was able to choose a Littlest Pet Shop for her collection. Then, at the grocery store, we added soda and M&M's to the list. It's been lots of little gifts of time and small tokens, and we all weathered the worst of it well.'

michele: I read Aways Learning everyday and LOVE it. (thanks everyone)

PamelaCorkey: Always Learning is amazing.

Shan Jeniah Burton: Wow! Jeremiah just folded a whole basket of laundry, and, this morning, Lise got up before him and cleaned his room.

strawlis: thanks...I'm usually not free on Wed this was fun

Rebecca Allen: I enjoy reading your edits, Sandra. I don't think they necessarily need to be in order, but I like that you have labeled them with the page numbers.

strawlis: where do you put the edited chats

Shan Jeniah Burton: I like the edits, too.

michele: Thanks ladies. I really enjoyed listening.

Sandra Dodd: /chats/bigbook

Shan Jeniah Burton: If I remember, I will be back next week!

strawlis: thanks and bye

Sandra Dodd: Okay. Have a good rest-of-the-week!

PamelaCorkey: Bye all!

In the Big Book, that page links to:

The Big Book of Unschooling Directory of the Big Book Chats Chat Transcripts on other topics