Experiences, and Building an Unschooling Nest
online chat, October 24, 2012
pages 123-125 of The Big Book of Unschooling, 2009 edition
(pages 135-137 in 2019 edition)

Transcript added to the site in September 2021 (a bit late, but still good!), so some links are updated, a video was embedded, and I hope those who read it will remember that it was 2012, but that the principles are good all the time, everywhere!

—Sandra Dodd


Sandra Dodd: OKAY!

Sandra Dodd: Hello, people. smiley face

Marta Pires: smiley face

Sandra Dodd: Tomorrow or Friday there will be a video of me talking about creating an unschooling environment/nest.

ColleenP (NH): Hello smiley face

Sandra Dodd: I stalled about doing it until the last minute. It was due on.... October 1, and then I got an extension, and then...

Sandra Dodd: did it this morning.

ivalee: Hello smiley face

Jaclyn Koehl: Where will the video be published?

Sandra Dodd: Sorry.... I went to show it to Holly.

Sandra Dodd: It will be at http://www.doliferightinc.com/teleconfer...

2021 note: That site is gone. It is at SandraDodd.com/video/doright.html

Sandra Dodd: So... Unschooling nest. Experiences

Sandra Dodd: Learning from being and doing.

Sandra Dodd: Maybe there's nothing to discuss. smiley face

Sandra Dodd: It's easy. smiley face

Sandra Dodd: For some people, conferences are the best of experiences. Sometimes vacations, or having people come and visit them from far away.

Sandra Dodd: Sometimes it's camping, or fishing, or building a tree house.

Sandra Dodd: But unschoolers should do more of those things than they would do if the kids were in school.

Sandra Dodd: If you can think of cool things you remember from your own childhood, it might give you ideas. smiley face

Jill Parmer: My kids liked doing things at home more than being on the go. Homebodies. They would go camping and hiking, but I would ruin it if I pushed that too much.

ivalee: I'm here and there today but trying to keep checking in. My 2.5 year old is loving hangers right now. smiley face He saw some shoe hangers near the laundry area and we're comparing them with clothes hangers and tracing both right now. Fun.

Jill Parmer: I felt that I needed to get more creative for things nearby.

Sandra Dodd: I used to like hanging wire hangers from other wire hangers when I was a kid. You could make a mobile.

Sandra Dodd: I'm glad my kids liked museums and zoos and public art and music events.

ivalee: we have plastic and he's constantly building mobiles all over the place with them. I think when my husband gets home tomorrow I'll see if he can create something freestanding that we can hang them from.

Jill Parmer: They loved helping planting in the yard with Steve, and going for walks, and going to the river and lake to play.

Jihong: I find groupon is a good way to try some new experiences for half of the price.

Sandra Dodd: Sometimes there are special events in malls--singers, or dancers doing demonstrations or little fairs.

Sandra Dodd: That's a pretty easy way to get kids out and about. smiley face

Jihong: also my kids like adults stuff, "the real thing": assembling a bunk bed, doll house lately...checking out banks, dental offices...

Sandra Dodd: Yesterday I put something on my site that I had had in e-mail for a long time. It was a description by a mom (a homeschooler in another state) and reading it showed me how very, VERY far unschoolers get from even the homeschooling mainstream. It's at the bottom of this page:   https://sandradodd.com/addiction

Sandra Dodd: The mom describes her daughter's interests in the most negative ways.

Sandra Dodd: So an unschooling nest could be living without any of that kind of critical rejection.

ColleenP (NH): my husband since reading it is still having a fit over the woman dissing Harry Potter - he's even been listing out all the wonderful things about the books, for emphasis when he talks about it smiley face

trista: We are big homebodies, although there are certain things that the kids (6 and 4) want to do. When the time comes though, they nearly always decide against going. I generally do not mind, but it drives my husband batty!

Sandra Dodd: And that same page has something very new and very cool by ColleenP (NH). smiley face

ColleenP (NH): smiley face

Sandra Dodd: Trista, it might change when they get older.

Sandra Dodd: And most 4 and 6 year olds don't go anywhere notable. smiley face

trista: That's what I figure--we are in ultra-Minecraft mode as well (I've learned more about computers in the past two weeks than in the last 2 years!).

ColleenP (NH): my 9 year old sometimes loves to be out and about checking out parks and trails and playgrounds - other times he's more of a homebody. His desire to go out has cycled since he was little - so we go with it and when he's a homebody we get new videogames, and when he's wanting to go out we explore like crazy!

Jill Parmer: Just read it. No wonder the kid wants to stare off into space and listen to Harry Potter. Sounds like the poor kid is living with the Dursleys.

Marta Pires: Sandra, when you were talking about your kids a while ago, saying that they loved to go to museums, etc., they were older than that (6), is that it?

Sandra Dodd: GOOD ONE, Jill.. smiley face

Sandra Dodd: Marta, they would go with me all kinds of places when they were little.

Sandra Dodd: Sometimes it would be with another family, or we would have a visiting kid. That helped.

Jihong: my kids like to go to museums too. One of the biggest motivation is the gift shop at the end of museum smiley face

Sandra Dodd: Visitors to the nest can help.

trista: Any ideas on when Dad is home and wants to be out and about as a family? We've tried bringing computers with us, etc.

Sandra Dodd: it's a good excuse to go to a cool place, having house guests, or playdates.

Jill Parmer: It was hard for me Trista, when my kids didn't want to go, because I liked going out say camping more than they did. When they were younger and would go anywhere, we went a lot. Then they had opinions of better things to do. Now they are older they go lots of places. That middle time was a challenge for me.

Jill Parmer: Hopefully I did good for building a nest for homebodies. smiley face And now as they go out in the world more, it is fun.

Jill Parmer: Are your kids tired when their dad is home, Trista?

Sandra Dodd: Sell it better, Trista? Think of yourself as an activities director on a cruise. Make it sound great. Don't forget the gift shop at the end of the museum. smiley face

trista: No, they'd just rather do home-stuff with him--they love it when he plays Minecraft with them, etc.

Jill Parmer: Right, and I think when you build up some experiences of how much fun they had, then you can remind them of those.

trista: Oh yes, the giftshop is a must. smiley face Hmm, okay, will give the talking it up more a shot.

Jill Parmer: Would they understand how much fun they have when dad plays with them, and that the other way around he loves it when they go out with him?

Sandra Dodd: Someone should create a hotel that does nothing but gaming convention, every day.

Sandra Dodd: Year-round minecraft, or other games different times.

trista: Thanks Jill, that may be a better way to phrase it.

alexPolikowsky: My son goes in cycles too. He has been really into staying home. Unless something that he really finds interesting. Brian (and I) have finally totally relaxed with him wanting to be at home.

Sandra Dodd: I think maybe selling it as a way to do something nice for him might be a way to get them up and out, too.

Jill Parmer: Then make sure the outing is FUN, and when you get home let them play minecraft and bring them food, and be excited for their stuff. And for the record, my recommendation is with excitement of sharing time with family; not guilt.

Jihong: sometimes what I do is not to consult with them. Just get things organized and ask everyone to go at certain time. Most of the times I don't know what to expect either. Since 99% of the times turn out to be great...and I get a good reputation for arranging fun things

Sandra Dodd: I know I push people to get out and see real things, but if you look at a typical.... pick an age. 10 year old— Fifth grade, they probably will have one field trip, if even that. In 5th grade they walked us several blocks to see a movie. Singing in the Rain.

Sandra Dodd: Now people can watch a movie like that on NetFlix.

trista: that's how we've been doing it, but yes, I'm afraid the guilt has creeped in. Time to switch it up.

Sandra Dodd: When I was 10, President Kennedy was shot. Kids only knew what they saw on the news at night. Now when there's news, parents can share as much or as little as they want with kids.

Sandra Dodd: So even without leaving the house, if there's internet, kids have vastly more exposure and access to the world than any kids in school has now or in the past.

Sandra Dodd: If you don't feel like you're doing enough, do more.

Sandra Dodd: Easy cure. smiley face

alexPolikowsky: Yeah. I see all the stuff that my son reads and watches online and shares with us ( sometimes or when it comes up). The internet is amazing.

alexPolikowsky: He also has friends he talks to and even plays pretend on a chat (My Little Pony stories or Vocaloids).

Sandra Dodd: So the nest-creation part of that is to appreciate the internet, make sure you have access for the kids and that you're not trying to shame or discredit their interests.

alexPolikowsky: Gigi is more on the go. I remember my son at 6 ( Gigi's age) and he was in a way the same. She is doing all kinds of things. He was like that.

ColleenP (NH): the internet is definitely an amazing thing - the biggest meltdown my son had all year was when Google couldn't tell us something he wanted to know. I've never seen him so peeved! Kids I think accept 100% that the internet is there for them - it opens the world to them. And he didn't want it to let him down smiley face

alexPolikowsky: I also remember being a home body than on the go , then a homebody..... when I was a kid. He is pretty much like I was. Dad has a hard time understanding because he was not like that.

Jill Parmer: Appreciations for kids' ideas, wants, activities. I think that is SO huge. And it was almost magical the way it has been reciprocated.

alexPolikowsky: But he really has been sweet and trying hard to not pressure lately. Daniel (MD / Marvin Daniel) even goes out with him sometimes! For stuff he does not care.

Jihong: I will try to reserve a big chunk of time for my son to have for his minecraft or lego or any things he likes to do that requires focus or longer period time after we go out and about

Sandra Dodd: Yesterday we were in a restaurant (me, Keith, Marty and Holly). A song came on. Holly asked when it was recorded. I guessed 1967. Keith said he thought earlier, 1962 or 63.

Sandra Dodd: Marty held his phone up, it identified the song but didn't give a date. He googled up the date.

Sandra Dodd: AMAZING.

Marta Pires: Wow Sandra!

Sandra Dodd: It was Sweet Talkin' Guy, by the Chiffons. It was 1966, so I was nearly right. It has a really great bit of harmonization where the baseline goes Stay--------away from him-----------while the other voices sing faster over the top of it, near the end. I love that song!

Jihong: amazing...the iphone has been a big tool for us. The other day Daddy said he saw a coyote, and I got coyote picture on my iphone to show the kids what it looks like. Cannot live without my iphone

ColleenP (NH): we laughed the other night when Robbie asked a question we didn't know the answer to (about Star Trek) and Robert said "hand me the phone" and Robbie grabbed his cell phone (smartphone) and not the house phone. Because he instantly knows that to find something out by phone in his day and age means to look it up online, not to use a phone to call someone and ask. It was pretty amazing to realize.

Marta Pires: And I love that we can check out what you're talking about right now! smiley face

2021 note: In 2012, I left a link to the youtube video, rather than being able to bring it whole and operational, but Marta went to hear it during the chat.

trista: ah, and the ability to snap a photo of something to remember to buy at the store later has been amazing! That has solved many frustrating trips to the store.

Sandra Dodd: I don't full-out use phones well. I don't have internet on mine. And I don't text well.

Sandra Dodd: One day we were at a movie theater and a young couple had dropped their phone in the dark, after the movie was over. I thought I was really clever to offer my phone so they could find it.

trista: my 4 year old saw a corded phone in a hotel we stayed at and had no clue what it was. We unplugged it and he played with it for 45 minutes, amazed at the buttons and the cord and that you have to hang it up...

Sandra Dodd: What I thought, though, was to use my phone as a flashlight so they could look on the dark floor.

Sandra Dodd: And what they did, being young and bright, was to call their phone and find it by sound and its own light.

alexPolikowsky: I use mine all the time. great tool. Kids can show me music, we can google stuff, play with the satellite images and GPS. Look at the weather. SO much !

alexPolikowsky: WEll Sandra I use mine as a flashlight all the time.

Sandra Dodd: I use my macbook a lot, and my iPad some. Mostly that one gets passed around for games.

Sandra Dodd: Colleen, was Robert going to call a friend and ask the star trek question?

Sandra Dodd: I used to be the friend people called for all kinds of trivia. They would call me from bars to settle bets. They would call and ask for other friends' phone numbers or addresses.

alexPolikowsky: Just yesterday I was talking to Dina Marconi on Facetime with our phones and we could see each other kids., her kids showed me their toys ! (until I dropped the dang phone in the sink full of water!!)

ColleenP (NH): nope he was going to look up about binary numbers -

Sandra Dodd: Now, though, they all just google. smiley face

ColleenP (NH): the Binars were on the episode and Robbie was finding them fascinating smiley face

alexPolikowsky: I call my sister for lots of questions on music and some other things! She has great memory!

Sandra Dodd

Colleen, do they know this song by Flight of the Conchords? It has a binary solo.

alexPolikowsky: plus the phone saves us with games, music, netflix and more, when we are somewhere and have to wait.

alexPolikowsky: keeps the kids happy.

Jihong: talking about new experience: in the last couple of days, my husband and I switched our cars since he wanted to take my car in for service. Kids love daddy's car, playing with it and marvel at it for a long time. Now we may really switch cars smiley face Changes bring in new experiences

ColleenP (NH): awesome nope haven't seen that song — very cool!

ColleenP (NH): just showed it to Robbie — he can't stop smiling! His eyes were big and wide thru the solo part smiley face

Jihong: I wonder how you guys start your day: usually have a plan, or it evolves?

alexPolikowsky: Jihong it depends. WE may have a whole day planned or we may have one thing planned. Still it is flexible. We may cut an outing short or stay longer. We may have planned to go to the library but the day is too beautiful and we head to the beach

Sandra Dodd: We usually have one or two things planned and then we add on to those.

Sandra Dodd: Or plan around those.

trista: Good question Jihong—we talk about things we'd like to do the night before. But come morning, everyone likes to snuggle up with their activities and the other plans (unless they are some of our favorite weekly activities (i.e. swimming on Wednesday nights) usually go out the window.

ColleenP (NH): we sometimes have plans, sometimes not. Plans usually involve doing things with friends or having playdates — if it's going to be just the 3 of us then we decide fairly last minute what we want to do most days

alexPolikowsky: Today Gigi wanted to go to the local co-op and carve pumpkins and see friends there. Daniel did not. We are open for the afternoon. Tomorrow she goes horseback riding at 3PM. But we have no plans other than that. That does not mean we are not super busy playing, witht the farm, cows, home, games, making stuff, reading, there are always lots to do. Specially at the farm. We may need to run to Fleet Farm (a huge farm store like a super Walmart) and get things for cows or the pony. Our days are never empty of things to do!

Sandra Dodd: We've always talked the night before about who needs to do what the next day. We still do.

alexPolikowsky: we do too. just kind of checking with each other.

alexPolikowsky: Friday we have a Halloween party, WE have two Halloween parties on Saturday.

Jaclyn Koehl: Playing with fire right now..... Unplanned but great! smiley face smiley face

Jihong: ic...similar to our house smiley face

Sandra Dodd: I want to go to Fleet Farm.

alexPolikowsky: I will take you there! It is awesome~

ColleenP (NH): Fleet Farm sounds like Tractor Supply, but bigger and more awesome?

Sandra Dodd: We don't have any chain farm stores.

Jaclyn Koehl: As a kid I loved seeing the chicks at the farm store

Sandra Dodd: I suppose it might be because we live in a desert. smiley face

alexPolikowsky: OK but now a little rant. I see a lot with homeschoolers that take little kids to lots of places way over their heads. I am not saying do not take them. But do not have expectations, Even things that they loved they may forget most of it. That is OK. Kids will get things out of something differently at different ages.

Sandra Dodd: We have feed stores and tack shops (usually combined) but not chain stores and they're never very big.

ColleenP (NH): we have a very small tack and feed and supply store in our very small town - it's an awesome place to go explore as it has everything from muck boots to rabbit food to handmade slippers to hooks and chains of all sorts... very cool

Sandra Dodd: Rant noted and approved. (or whatever...) smiley face

ColleenP (NH): it's like the things there have been there for 30 years just waiting for someone to find them :)

Sandra Dodd: From now on when I travel I will try to go to feed stores. smiley face

alexPolikowsky: just because you went there when your kid was 3 or 8 what they take away and their experience is not going to be the same thing as an older child

Sandra Dodd: I went to churches for a while and still should, and will in Portugal.

Sandra Dodd: I went to one in France, but not to a service.

Marta Pires: We've got tons of churches Sandra!!! smiley face

Jill Parmer: When I travel, I try to go to ethnic grocery stores. smiley face

laura zurro: the churches in Portugal are supposed to be beautiful Marta

Sandra Dodd: Local grocery stores?

ColleenP (NH): that's why I'm loving Robbie's interest in old cemeteries - so much more fun even for me than museums. Not that museums can't be cool - but being in a museum is sometimes sort of like being in a classroom - it feels a little removed from Real

Sandra Dodd: Or places that sell American stuff?

laura zurro: Jill do you have grocery stores near you that are ethnic?

Marta Pires: They are Laura!

alexPolikowsky: I will take Sandra and Jill to Fleet Farm!!

Sandra Dodd: I loved seeing an import-food shop (very small) in India that had a section of American food. Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup.

JennyC: I like the little side of the road curio/antique stoes

Sandra Dodd: And in England they sell Lucky Charms cereal. And Aunt Jemima waffle syrup and pancake mix.

alexPolikowsky: I got Mideastern food stores here.

Jill Parmer: Like TaLin in Albuquerque, or local Asian and mexican stores. It seems like every city has some sort of ethnic grocery stores.

ColleenP (NH): we went to Paris when I was 13 — I most remember churches, gargoyles, and the McDonalds that had all the same items as home but all in French on the menus — it really, really stuck in my mind how cool that was!

Jill Parmer: Ooh, I want to go to that, Alex!

alexPolikowsky: and I can take you to an Amish farm store too. Small and sells some stuff in bulk, Pretty cool

laura zurro: In Argentina the price of food from the U.S. was insane and was in the "speciality" section. Much of it wasn't much more than just American brands

Jill Parmer: We have a Middle Eastern. grocery, it's in a gas station convenience store. Really cool.

laura zurro: Alex so are you giong to show all of us around if we come to MN next Spring? It's on my list of possibilities smiley face

Sandra Dodd: Jihong if you come to Albuquerque there is a big Chinese market.

laura zurro: Colleen it's very interesting but in France they call the "meal deal" the "menu". It took Stephane a long time to stop asking for the # menu smiley face

Sandra Dodd: It's Ta Lin, that Jill mentioned, and it has all kinds of imports, but half the store is Chinese and Vietnamese stuff.

alexPolikowsky: Gosh I could!!! There is a world market up in the Cities closer to the conference

laura zurro: if we come we have to make a trip out of it smiley face

Sandra Dodd: Laura, the conference site is NW of Minneapolis and Alex lives an hour or more from there.

Sandra Dodd: Oh. I thought you meant the ranch store

Sandra Dodd: Laura, that would be cool. smiley face

laura zurro: oh all of it Sandra smiley face ranch store, her farm, any and all cool things smiley face

Sandra Dodd: St. Paul has a good children's museum

alexPolikowsky: The Ranch store is just 8 miles from my house. just on the other side of the hill.

ColleenP (NH): I saved the paper tray liner (that had a bunch of the menu items listed) for a long time, til my mother convinced me to toss it. I shouldn't have let it go - it was a fun reminder of Big Macs overseas smiley face

alexPolikowsky: Yes it does! and a great Science Museum too.

laura zurro: see because as I've said I'm either 14 hours due East or due South of either ALL conference smiley face

alexPolikowsky: Lots of things up in the Cities and there will be some cool people that homeschool/unschool there to give great tips.

alexPolikowsky: Plus you can go to the Mall of America! Lots to do just there.

alexPolikowsky: An inside park, an aquarium , legoland, American Girl store, and many others.

Sandra Dodd: Colleen, I recently laminated a SubWay menu from India.

Sandra Dodd: I'm on your side. Next time, laminate it and call it a placemat. smiley face

Sandra Dodd: Mall of America is very cool.

ColleenP (NH): THAT would have been a great idea!!

laura zurro: oooh are you that close to mall of americas

Sandra Dodd: Movie theater, tons of food (including cheese curd, a mysterious local thing)

Jill Parmer: <<<Sandra Dodd: If you don't feel like you're doing enough, do more. > > >
As I paid closer attention to my kids, and less about what I should put into them, I found it easier to find ways to do more. Like lingering longer at an ethnic grocery so they could look around, and finding things that would relate to their favorite games, or their interests.

alexPolikowsky: Yes Jill great points!

JennyC: Yes, Jill, that's exactly how it works here!

JennyC: and making a point of trying new things

Sandra Dodd: Sometimes what I did for my kids was to protect the privacy or quiet of one of them.

Sandra Dodd: Usually Marty.

Sandra Dodd: He's not as extroverted, and sometimes I would arrange for him NOT to need to go anywhere.

alexPolikowsky: we do that with Daniel.

Sandra Dodd: Still, sometimes, I do that for Marty.

alexPolikowsky: What works for us is that he can stay home while dad is working because dad is just outside.

Sandra Dodd: Part of Marty's particular nest-need is more privacy than others need (except Keith, who will watch TV or movies in the bedroom to get his own private time)

JennyC: Margaux has requested a day of sitting on the couch and watching TV today and a fire in the fireplace

Sandra Dodd: Today, Jenny?

JennyC: yes

Sandra Dodd: Is it cool enough for a fire there?

Marta Pires: What if there's 3 homebodies in a family of 3? smiley face

JennyC: yes

Sandra Dodd: Marty used to declare a pajama day once a week.

ivalee: I wonder for those of you who tasted McDonald's in other countries. Did it taste the same??? I tasted an "American Meal" in Thailand and it tasted nothing like here in Florida... Even the soda was completely different. I loved Fanta in Thailand but not here. smiley face

alexPolikowsky: And we can leave him home for an hour or so. But I really do not like that for safety reasons. Uncle Brad is usually outside too. So he is not really home alone. I am just a worry wart

Sandra Dodd: Then, Marta, I'm very glad that there's an internet. smiley face

Marta Pires: smiley face

Sandra Dodd: Who's Brad? A real uncle? What kind?

laura zurro: there are definitely differences in foods

JennyC: John is going to stop at the store on his way home to get marshmallows for her to roast, so I won't start the fire until it's dark

laura zurro: even Coca Cola from Mexico tastes different...much better and now available in U.S. smiley face

Jill Parmer: Find things to bring in, Marta. When your daughter is older, you can say where some of the things come from and venture out to them. And make sure there's enough/plenty of home time.

alexPolikowsky: Real Uncle. Brian's brother.

alexPolikowsky: He is Brian's partner in the farm. His house is up the hill .

Sandra Dodd: Cane sugar.

ColleenP (NH): I remember in France thinking the McDonalds tasted better - my sister and I called it "fancy" at the time

Marta Pires: Yes Jill.

Jill Parmer: Both Addi and Luke would like to do some of things for cooking, cutting up vegetables or favorite parts of cleaning. For the bathtub, I have a lovely smelling cleaner and they would like to do that.

laura zurro: I remember being a kid in the late 70's and going to "eat out" at Arthur Treachers and McDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken

alexPolikowsky: For MD if he goes out too many days in a row he needs a day or two to recover. That is when he is on the go. Lately he is not so that is not an issue.

Sandra Dodd: Yes to all of those. Arthur Treacher's Fish'n'Chips. But only when we were in the big city (Albuquerque). Every wide place in the road had a KFC in those days.

Jill Parmer: When I've been in other countries, I didn't want to eat any American food. I was so enamored with the foreign food and wanted to try as much as possible.

alexPolikowsky: That is me Jill!

Marta Pires: I lived in the US with my parents and brother for 4 years (I was 8 when we came back to Portugal) and I clearly remember going to Paris some years later (I should've been 13, maybe) and going to MacDonald's and thinking "this tastes just like the ones we used to eat"! I brought napkins and Coca-cola cups and ketchups back home, Colleen. smiley face Same with Pizza Hut.

alexPolikowsky: WHen I went to France I wanted french food!

Jill Parmer: Foreigners would say to me, you don't seem very American.

ivalee: While in Thailand I visited a remote pondside restaurant. The director of the school I was teaching English at yelled out to the staff. "Bring KFC for us!" I think he thought I would be impressed. It was sweet and silly at the same time. smiley face

alexPolikowsky: But I remember as a child there were many foods I did not like and that I love now, Palates do change so do not worry about kids having only a few food they eat. They *may* change.

ColleenP (NH): Arthur Treachers!! I was obsessed with hush puppies. When my parents got divorced my dad took us to dinner once/week - I always voted for Arthur Treachers smiley face

Sandra Dodd: Jill, I think they're used to east-coast and Texans.

ivalee: although it was just fried chicken, although much much tastier than KFC

ColleenP (NH): Marta - awesome!

Jill Parmer: So true, Alex. I've noticed my own palate change.

alexPolikowsky: Even as adults. My best friend used to not like anything different. I think she started trying and liking different foods after 35!

Sandra Dodd: Me too

Jill Parmer: Ah, yes, Sandra.

Marta Pires: True, Alex.

Sandra Dodd: And as an old lady, I see things I should not eat if I'm going to be out and about. smiley face

Sandra Dodd: There are foods to eat at home, and foods to eat before getting in a car or plane.

alexPolikowsky: I see parents rush to want their children to experience everything while they are little. It is ok to try new things when they are older and adults.

ColleenP (NH): we mostly ate Chinese food in France - Chinese, a couple times to McDonalds because of the novelty, and lots of escargot - my dad laughed about the Chinese but it was like comfort food for 2 kids away from home, even though it wasn't "American" food

Sandra Dodd: Lots of kids have experiences they totally forget.

alexPolikowsky: Great point Sandra!

laura zurro: I've always loved trying different foods. My dad used to give me a hard time because I was always making "gourmet" stuff as a kid but it was cool. Caitlyn has already tried more things at almost 6 than I tried at 30

laura zurro: oooh Colleen the Chinese food in France is so different and SOOOO delicious

ColleenP (NH): "Lots of kids have experiences they totally forget" - I wonder about that lots lately - I don't remember tons of my childhood, and I wonder if Robbie will remember more of his - if when we go places or do things or spend time together, it'll stick with him. It's interesting to think about.

Jill Parmer: I thought I was being such a good wife/mom, making all different kinds of meals, until poor Steve said, can we just have meat and potatoes, and nothing fancy.

Sandra Dodd: Colleen, are you forgetting things because you were young, or the things were routine, or you were stressed?

alexPolikowsky: Just this week at girls scouts the mothers were talking about learning a second language and how they needed to get their kids to learn now or else.... I told them I spoke 4 languages and learn 3 of them as an older teen or adult

Sandra Dodd: Keith has stressful-childhood failure to remember.

Sandra Dodd: I remember lots.

ColleenP (NH): I wonder that Sandra - like peopel will talk about their childhoods and remember so much, and I remember so little. And I'm not sure why.

Jill Parmer: And now years later I found out that he ate Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch everyday from age 5 to 15. Wow!

ColleenP (NH): there was a lot of stress and that could be why

Sandra Dodd: But I have a blank when I was 13 because my mom left. So for me, seeing that one hole and knowing why.... then my memories are vivid again, after she came back.

laura zurro: Colleen I have quite a few memories that I want to remember and do, but lots I don't. I do wonder how much Caitlyn will remember

Jill Parmer: I don't remember a lot from when I was a kid, either, Colleen.

Sandra Dodd: Digital photos help.

ColleenP (NH): my parents split up before I was 13 (I don't remember how old though) and a lot of chaos happened before and after - maybe that's why. I am glad I am not the only one :)

Sandra Dodd: Blogs might help, like photo albums that can be in lots of places at the same time.

alexPolikowsky: MY sister remember stuff I do not. More then me I think.

Sandra Dodd: It's a good safety valve people have, not to remember trauma

Sandra Dodd: And some people just have freakishly good memories. Holly used to.

alexPolikowsky: That is why I am back to writing on my blog. Just for my kids to have pictures and memories.

ColleenP (NH): Robert was thinking that - that seeing SO many photos of one's childhood, like kids now will have might help with memory. There's just one album of my childhood and I have it as my mother said she was going to throw the photos away so I grabbed them and made an album before she could. I am so glad Robbie has a different childhood than I did smiley face

laura zurro: I have the blank too around a time that was very traumatic but I remember bits and pieces. I think I have more blanks from middle school on

Jill Parmer: I ran into a Junior High teacher years ago, and he said that I would remember him from History class. I told him I never took that class, and he said, oh yes you did, everyone did. I have absolutely NO recollection of it.

Jaclyn Koehl: I see my little ones remembering aspects of events or places even though they can't recall a full memory. It is more like something connects that they were curious about or something neat gets repeated and that is interesting or a smell is familiar.

Sandra Dodd: Holly turns 21 next week, November 2. But this Saturday she's having a birthday... show. Music show. Music groups at the music venue she likes best.

Sandra Dodd: But she just read on facebook that the teenaged daughter of the owners is in the ER, having had a seizure and been unconscious. She doesn't know how long the unconsciousness lasted.

Sandra Dodd: So there's a possibility her show won't happen.

Sandra Dodd: But if it does, there are three hours of birthday party with punch and pizza and pickles (hmmmm.... all "p" stuff)

Jaclyn Koehl: or sometimes we will look at a picture and they'll remember something else about the day ..something they saw from the car or what we had to eat. Memory is interesting...

Sandra Dodd: Keith and I will be running and serving and straightening. Then it switches from a party to a show, we put the food away (for legal reasons, the venue can't charge if food is being served) and then it's $5 admission for the rest of the evening, but still a show of Holly's design and organization.

alexPolikowsky: I hope the girl is OK and that Holly gets her party!

Sandra Dodd: So her 21st birthday bash is before she turns 21.

Marta Pires: I don't remember much of my childhood either. Since I've become a mom and I've been closely analyzing what I do and as I think about how my parents were with me (looking at how they are with my daughter), I can see that I probably had a very controlled childhood. We probably couldn't touch anything, let alone explore. "No" was the most frequent answer to anything we might ask. So I'm guessing that's probably why I don't remember a lot. I probably had to stay put most of the time... :-\

Sandra Dodd: I point that out because for many American kids, 21st birthday only means drinking.

Sandra Dodd: On her actual birthday, she and her boyfriend will double-date with Marty and his girlfriend at a sushi/sake place.

Sandra Dodd: And she needs to be at an all-day choir lock-in rehearsal at 10:45 the next morning, so she probably won't stay out late.

Sandra Dodd: Thank you for letting me brag about my kid.

alexPolikowsky: That is sweet Sandra. She does not need to go binge drinking.

ColleenP (NH): that sounds like an awesome way to spend a 21st birthday!!!

Sandra Dodd: If Amped can't be open on Saturday, we'll have some of the bands here at the house, in an abreviated version of it.

alexPolikowsky: Brag away.

Marta Pires: Cool, Sandra!

laura zurro: I have a question...how far is everyone from Little Rock smiley face

Sandra Dodd: 14 hours, I just read on this chat earlier. smiley face

Sandra Dodd: I don't think anyone in here is closer. Ivalee is UK? Trista I don't know.

trista: I'm in Albuquerque.

Sandra Dodd: OH. 14 hours. smiley face

laura zurro: nah Ivalee is near me now in Florida smiley face

Sandra Dodd: Too far from Little Rock.

laura zurro: Jill you'll be closer now smiley face

Jaclyn Koehl: I like hearing about what unschooled young adults are doing....

Jill Parmer: That is really cool about Holly's party plans!

trista: It's driveable--my kids actually do better on long roadtrips than across town.

alexPolikowsky: very far from everywhere

trista: Agreed Jaclyn!

Jill Parmer: smiley face Laura.

Jill Parmer: Hope to meet you at one of the ALL symposiums.

alexPolikowsky: up up close to Canada but still far from there too!

Sandra Dodd: Well... don't drive to Little Rock. Come here: http://allunschooling2012.blogspot.com

ColleenP (NH): I was curious so I checked - 25 hours smiley face

Sandra Dodd: Holly and I are going to do some more party prep. I'll be back next Wednesday! Thank you for being here. Stay if you want to, or use the room anytime between weeks.

Marta Pires: Thanks Sandra! Great chat, as usual!

Marta Pires: Bye everyone

ColleenP (NH): bye Sandra and all - thank you for chat!

trista: Yes, if our Christmas plans to return home fall through, we'll definitely be at ALL. We went to a trial day in Sacramento this year and loved it, so are excited to possibly hit up ALL.

Jaclyn Koehl: Thanks!

Jill Parmer: Bye all, thanks for the chat. Fun day.

trista: Thanks everyone for the input!!!

ivalee: Yeah, Florida girl here but hope to be out on the road again sooner than later. :)

alexPolikowsky: Going to go bed calves so they can sleep cozy and dry!!! Gigi is calling me!!!!!

In The Big Book, those pages link to:
Learning to See Differently (SandraDodd.com/peace/newview) and Building an Unschooling Nest (SandraDodd.com/nest)

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