Making the change from school to Unschooling

Friday, February 20, 2009

Ah. Without formatting this, I can't seem to make the column narrower. Sorry. At some point I might run it through Word to get it narrower. What is below is called "preformatted" and is a raw dump, which might be better than nothing. —Sandra

SandraDodd: Ah.  17 people are here.  Let's do it! 
JennyC: Hi 
BJones: Hi 
Julie (Guest37): Hi I really enjoyed the last chat! 
SandraDodd: Let's do an intro moment.  Anonymous people don't need to say anything.  Those non-anonymous, please 
write where you are, what your kids ages are,  and whether they were in school. 
JennyC: Jenny in Oregon, Chamille is 14 and Margaux is 7 
SandraDodd: I'm in Albuquerque, I have three kids who are 22, 20, 17 and didn't go to school. 
BJones: in Arizona, DS 7, DD 5.  Both were in school until September of 08. 
JennyC: never been to school 
joyful: Maryland, 10yo son, school for most of 6 yrs 
Zamozo: Iowa - 17 yo boy, 11 yo girl - always homeschooled 
Julie (Guest37): In MA, I have a 19, 18, who were schooled, and a 4 and 3 who won't be 
HollyDodd: I'm seventeen and I've never been in school. 
JillP: Jill here, my kids Addi 14, Luke 10 
Tammy (Guest22): I'm in Australia.  My kids are 3 and 18 months, obviously never been to school ..:-)  
JillP: Luke's never been to school, Addi when to K and 10 days of first grade 
JennB: Orange County CA, ds10 & dd 8. Never in school. 
JillP: msnbc 
SandraDodd: Tammy, some three year olds are in training school or daycare.  
Schuyler: Norfolk, UK, Simon who is 11 and Linnaea who is 8 neither of whom have ever been in school 
Tammy (Guest22): sad, but true 
katherand: I hve the links on Safari browser.  .:-D  I must have a setting different on Firefox.  I have Karl 5 not really 
school age yet so.... I'm mostly just listening. 
SandraDodd: Julie's situation is very interesting.  I made a joke in a talk years ago about having "a second batch" of kids, 
and she's gone and done it! 
Julie (Guest37): hoping to learn from my past mistakes 
Guest82: Robin, Santa Rosa,California. 17 year old daughter, left school a year ago, son,14, in school 
katherand: Oh yes... Karl went to one week of bonafide daycare (ugh) cried even when not there and I took him out.... 
found an individual carer. 
hahamommy: diana in Oregon, Hayden 10 has never been to school 
katherand: Now he's at home with me and not in any childcare. 
SandraDodd: Okay, so please spot me if I don't get back to any of these.  I think within the next two hours we should try 
to discuss initial separation from the school (if it was a real school), deschooling of the child (even if it was just school at 
deschooling of the parents, 
GailH: gail in Florida,  Logan 15 has never been to school and Brenna 19 in college now went to 1st gread 
SandraDodd: and dealing with outside critics and influences. 
Other general angles from which we should approach this?  Did I leave a big hole in my curriculum for the day?    ----- 
JennyC: curriculums are like big giant black holes 
Julie (Guest37): I think that sums it up 
katherand: Looks good from here not being a curriculum ..;-)  
Looks good anyway 
SandraDodd: We don't have a "guest today" but we have 21 users (Holly just checked).  So just jump in as much as you 
want, and I'll try to sort it all out later. 
With this many people we will undoubtedly roll over each other and get confused.  If you ask something and it doesn't 
get answered, ask it again. 
Things could easily go more quickly than anyone can read, but please just try to surf it and say cheerful. 
katherand: I would say that daycare is a prep for school.. first off. 
SandraDodd: STAY cheerful (or say cheerful, or both) 
katherand: In my opinion 
and experience 
SandraDodd: That's almost amusing, that daycare is training school for pre-school which is training school for 
JennyC: that was the tipping point for us, daycare and school readiness 
Schuyler: In the UK there are targets for children in daycare. It clearly is part of the whole educational system. 
katherand: Yes... lots of rules for BABIES ... ew 
Julie (Guest37): I agree with that... 
SandraDodd: So let's put out our best ideas for moms whose kids are about to leave school or have done so recently.  
What are some ways to make a clean break? 
What mistakes have you seen other families make? 
My sister stayed on the special ed committee even after her kids were home. 
BJones: We let go too soon.  It led to some chaos for a short while. 
JennyC: sleep in and get up happy, make a nice breakfast and go out somewhere non typical for a school kid to be during 
the day 
katherand: As I mentioned, and I know not all kids have the same reaction, Karl cried the entire week he was there.  Part 
of that was due to the separation and too many changes at once but being away from mommy for hours with people 
watching about 20 kids ... bad 
JennyC: let go of labels, good or bad 
Schuyler: Let go of the idea of achieving educational milestones within a year. Avoid the goals for a 4th 
grader pages 
JennyC: scrape off that bumper sticker that says anything like "my child is an honor student at _____" 
katherand: Oops.. anyway.  Playing with Karl in the floor or wherever he was sitting.. on his level. 
standing .. whatever 
Schuyler: Keep a journal or a blog of all that they do in a day so that you can go back and see how much they did and do 
Zamozo: bye - company's here 
SandraDodd: Bye, Chris 
katherand: Bye 
JennyC: try to see the learning in things like TV, while there is deschooling happening 
GailH: Do some traveling...go visit some places in your state or take a road trip if you can to see how big the world can 
be without school 
Schuyler: so that when you get in the funk after getting a Christmas round robin letter of comparing your child to 
someone else's child you can see how much your life and their lives are cool and interesting and engaging 
SandraDodd: And how nice museums can be in the absence of "a field trip" 
Guest93: Hi, I made it to the room.  Thanks for having this chat.  I'm the mom who requested this.  I've got two - 10 and 
8 years.  I've always wanted to do this.  Now it feels good and crazy at the same time. 
Guest26: groan... keeping track for legal reasons 
SandraDodd: Parents never seem to say in Christmas letters "My sixteen year old isn't speaking to us and the 20 year old 
is in rehab for heroin."  
JennyC: oh man, YES, don't "do" field trips with a goal in mind 
SandraDodd: They brag about sports or college, but it's only the "good parts." 
katherand: Let your kids handle older people stuff with guidance as needed ... don't keep that off limits or it's more likely 
to get broken or cried over and so on. 
SandraDodd: Katherand, you mean tools?  hobbies?  Movies? 
katherand: yes 
Schuyler: Don't worry about mess in the middle of an engaging activity, to build on Katherand's comment 
katherand: parents can facilitate the safety of the exploration 
SandraDodd: But unless a kid likes museums, I would hold off on museums if the kid has been in school and if he's old 
enough to know that "museums are educational" 
Guest93: please talk more about de-schooling!!  We are two months into homeschooling, have discovered unschooling, 
which feels like the perfect fit. 
JennyC: I've found that the older my kids are, and the longer we've been doing this, there is more to brag about and less to 
complain about, partially because of my own personal shift to the positive! 
SandraDodd: Okay.  If you're homeschooling with a curriculum or any school-like structure, what deschooling is about 
is putting a firebreak between that and your future joyful life. 
I'm trying to think of analogies, because you can follow that link after the chat, or anytime, to read more 
It's like a cleansing fast 
Or a summer vacation 
Schuyler: Deschooling is summer vacation without chores or expectations of an essay on what you did for your summer 
at the end 
socal77: sorry jumping in late, quick intro...16 yr old son, unschooled 3 years, schooled prior 
Guest93: no curriculum.  We've got family businesses, my daughter is interested in helping with the bookkeeping and 
filing.  My son wants to watch TV and play computer all day and night. 
SandraDodd: but "they say" (people who were saying it before I was ever unschooling) that it will take a month per year 
of schooling to recover. 
I've seen it take less time. 
I've never seen it take more time. 
JennyC: I think it takes longer for adults to deschool their own thinking 
GailH: I think it took a lot longer for me than for the kids  
SandraDodd: Then he should watch TV and play computer all day and night. 
And you should take him food, and make sure he has a comfy chair. 
Schuyler: Make sure you bring him food and drink where he is# 
Guest93: family vacation... I must be doing it right then, cause that's how my son explained it to my husband, who is 
trying to go with my new crazy idea of homeschooling... 
SandraDodd: When Kirby got to the point that he spent more time at his desk and computer than not, we bought him a 
nice desk chair. 
JennyC: and send him links to cool stuff to check out online 
Julie (Guest37): I have a bit of a hard time because my older ones are in school and college and my younger ones will be 
at home. 
socal77: absoltely, the longer I explore these ideas, the more things I find to question in my own thinking 
Schuyler: Find cool things to show your husband about the games you son is playing 
katherand: I have never put Karl formal school except that week of daycare and I would say deschooling is pretty big for 
us here. 
Julie (Guest37): so, the older ones sometimes feel as if I do not value the education they have, and the hard work that they 
have done 
joyful: I understand the need to deschool, I'm concerned with presenting a "portfolio" at the end of May. 
SandraDodd: I've seen  some parents put the game system in a cold garage or spooky basement and give the kid a card 
table and a folding chair, INTENTIONALLY to discourage it. 
joyful: What will I say, "he was deschooling"? 
SandraDodd: If I had parents like that I'd rather be in a spookly folding-chair corner than up where it's "warm" with 
them.  Not all that warm. 
What will you say to whom? 
Schuyler: Get the Steven Johnson book Everything Bad is Good for You and talk about the joys of gaming and the 
learning inherent 
SandraDodd: Portfolio in May... 
GailH: taking pictures of things you do is a great way to have things to remember when it's time to do a portfolio 
Schuyler: Keep a journal 
SandraDodd: Photos of him doing things, lists of books and movies and magazines he referenced.  List of websites he 
visited to research the games or movies. 
Schuyler: When you talk about ideas, we talked about atomic bombs the other day based on Fallout 3, write it down 
socal77: a portfolio can mean many things, samples of things you did, photos of activities, artwork, brochures from places 
you can be collecting these things as you let him deschool 
Guest93: pictures... journals... I don't want to do anything either!!  I want my summer vacation too!!! 
JennyC: Keep a blog, it's relatively simple 
Schuyler: You took them out of school, you get the job of putting together the things that makes that possible 
socal77: that could be a problem 
GailH: get a plastic box and just toss the stuff in and in May you'll be amazed 
socal77: a blog can be really simple a photo and a capton 
SandraDodd: Sorry I asked that question without having read everything above.  That will happen too. Be patient if 
people ask questions here because they couldn't read fast enough. 
Schuyler: See it as a record of your joyful life together 
SandraDodd: And repeat your questions if we miss them. 
Guest93: I am keeping things in a credenzal, ticket stubs, drawings, etc.  I could snap pics on the cell phone 
socal77: do it in a way that makes sense to you 
SandraDodd: Guest 93, unschooling is work.  It's not vacation for the parents.  
But it can become easy, joyful work 
katherand: good.. then if you want to you could blog notes and flesh them out later. 
socal77: do you scrapbook, do the kids make little things and books and stuff? 
SandraDodd: Don't overdo it.  The records teachers keep are dinky.  Tiny. 
Are you in contact with others in your area who have experience with those portfolios? 
Is there an option besides the portfolio? 
JennyC: Unschooling is like a gift that you give to your kids, you get to find all the pieces and put it together and stay up 
all night and get it ready. 
Guest93: I've seen one that is soooo impressive.  I guess I could tone down my expectations or go check out some 
SandraDodd: Until the kids have recovered from school, they can't want to learn. 
katherand: Oh... is it actually a requirement or hearsay to keep a portfolio? 
joyful: No other option, all the other unschoolers I know have 5 yr olds, the expectation is not the same of that of a 10 yr 
SandraDodd: Until they've had a REAL, real break from schoolish expectations and treatment, they will resist learning. 
They need to heal, and to relax, and to trust that you're not going to put them back in school. 
Schuyler: I love going through photo albums and having a memory come full to my brain. Journals are better for that. I 
don't live where I have to keep a record, and my records are my blog and little things I write here and there. See it more as 
an opportunity and 
less as a chore 
JennyC: They can't want to learn, but when you've got to make a portfolio, you could pretend that they've learned all the 
stuff that you put into the portfolio 
SandraDodd: So honestly, summer vacation shouldn't count in the months, if they quit school in May.  They had that two 
and a half months coming to them.  They earned it.  Start counting in August or September. 
joyful: I've already had one portfolio review, before deciding to unschool, but we were eclectic-no curriculum and they 
gave me a hard time over that 
Schuyler: Don't use the term unschooling 
Make a post-hoc curriculum 
katherand: Who are you reporting to, joyful? 
SandraDodd: Or use one of these: 
joyful: county 
socal77: what state are you in?  sorry if i missed it earlier 
joyful: Maryland 
JennyC: Joyful, it's different in different places, different states, countries, etc 
Guest93: I love writing and could imagine myself writing up a description of our time homeschooling this year.  Maybe 
writing this in June, since something is due in early August.  We just started homeschooling at Christmas 
SandraDodd: Are you in contact with the locals? 
katherand: depending on your state... dunno but you might switch to an umbrella assocation type thing... is that allowed? 
joyful: I am very happy to report that I'm moving to AZ this summer 
SandraDodd: Well then say "We're moving to Arizona" and forget the portfolio. 
JennyC: if you're moving, don't worry about making a portfolio! 
katherand: Yeh! 
BJones: No requirements in AZ except an affidaffit to homeschool... 
SandraDodd: They're not going to put you in jail for not completing this year's "requirements." 
joyful: I'm glad I'm here, you all make me feel better 
SandraDodd: I was surprised, when I was a teacher, that families come and go ALL THE TIME.  Every day.  Last week 
of school, we would get transfer students. 
JennyC: my dad was never at any one school for more than a year 
katherand: SO.... what about guest93?  what state there? 
Guest93: VA 
We can do portfolio or tests 
JennyC: do you have to get a certain score on the test? 
Guest93: good question...don't know 
katherand: or just required to take it? 
SandraDodd: Some families are totally conscientious about not moving during a semester, and would wait to keep from 
inconveniencing their kids.  Others... just moving from Texas to Alaska, willy-nilly, any Tuesday of the year.  
JennyC: if you don't, I'd opt for the test, and toss it in the recycle bin without looking at the score 
SandraDodd: And there's not a damned thing ANY jurisdiction can do about it.  I don't think there's any English speaking 
country where people have to get permission to move to another state/province/county 
Guest93: JennyC, thanks for making me laugh!!  I love your response!!!  Sounds perfect 
socal77: Mine always had trouble with transitions, so we always made changes during "natural" breaks 
katherand: there's a reason for jennyc 's response to trash it. 
Guest93: KAtherland, what is that? 
joyful: We are military, but have been lucky, we haven't moved in 5+ yrs 
katherand: it helps to deschool you and your kids to avoid contact with stuff like grades and things like that. 
Schuyler: If you look at it, particularly while you are deschooling, it will taint your perception of your children and of 
SandraDodd: My sister opted to test her kids when there was a testing requirement (wimpy testing requirement) in New 
Mexico and she needed a teacher to "administer" it. 
katherand: human nature 
SandraDodd: Like the test had to be mailed to that test administrator. 
hahamommy: my kids had a blast with the one and only test that came into our lives... it was Hannah's and Hayden sat 
with her and helped.  I did trash the results without looking. I wanted to keep only the memories of the two of them and 
their "project" 
They were 8 & 6 
reneecabatic: hahamommy-what test did they take? just curious... 
SandraDodd: So I told her I would do it and sign off on it (I qualified for being a formerly certified teacher--how lame), 
but ONLY if she did something to invalidate it 
Guest93: so, right now I am feeling like un-schooling is all about lovin' your kids and trusting them and yourself and the 
SandraDodd: I wasn't going to help her TRULY "test her kids" 
PamSoroosh: Do you guys want to hear something interesting about testing that I hand't thought about before? Rosie is 
right now sitting near me taking a test in a college political science class. 
hahamommy: it was the test provided by the local school district, probably an Iowa Basic-esque test. Homeschoolers in 
SD were only required to take two parts and that's all we did 
SandraDodd: So what she did was to not time it.  They could quit a section before "time" and they could work longer. 
katherand: yes pam.. me me 
JennyC: guest93, trust is a big part of unschooling for sure 
PamSoroosh: Most of the classes at the college give online tests these days. Many of the classes are entirely online, but 
this class is entirely in person, just the tests are given online. 
katherand: i wanna hear 
SandraDodd: And that fulfilled my requirements as a test administrator.  I could still sleep at night. 
I told her "don't look at the results," and she did, and then she had feelings about them. 
hahamommy: guest 93 - yeah, that's a lot of it and certainly what I keep at the top of my priority list 
katherand: hmmm.  convenience, pam? 
SandraDodd: And it doesn't matter whether the feelings are "my kids is behind" or "my kid's so smart!" or "my kid is 
profoundly average."  It's still harmful. 
hahamommy: more about trusting the NOW more than anything ..:-) being present in the present 
PamSoroosh: So - she is sitting here, she has 45 minutes to take a test. She's looking at the questions and then skimming 
through her textbook and googling around the internet to find the answers. 
JennyC: and trusting that they actually are telling you what they really want and know 
PamSoroosh: This is OKAY with the teacher - this is how he expects the test to be taken. 
hahamommy: Pam - I bet she's far more resourceful than her peers ..;-)  
PamSoroosh: He figures that being able to FIND the answers is what matters, not whether they've memorized the 
JennyC: that is an awesome way to take a test! 
Schuyler: What a fantastic understanding of knowledge and not needing to memorize to prove understanding 
PamSoroosh: She's great at googling and skimming . 
socal77: I have found in many an open book test, that if you did not understand the material going in, all the resources 
could not help you 
Schuyler: Important skills 
BJones: How do you all deal with critical family?  At this point we are just trying to make sure we have connections and 
trust with our kids that we didn't before.  We've only been non-school since September and family is getting critical... 
katherand: That's the way I did online tests or anything.  IT's  a resource!  The internet.  .:-D  
Schuyler: In the UK tests have to be given with proctors watching. 
PamSoroosh: socal77 - somewhat true. She's been to all the lectures - she understands the material in the overall sense. 
Schuyler: At least in David's experience 
PamSoroosh: Yeah - schuyler - used to be here, too, but no longer. 
hahamommy: I remember, and sometimes say aloud: Your concern is appreciated, your approval is unnecessary. 
Guest93: yes, what about critical family? 
JennyC: I try to ignore critical family! 
PamSoroosh: this is abig change in the last 2 or 3 years. 
JennyC: it depends on how close you are to critical family 
PamSoroosh: anyway - my point in bringing it up is that what is being tested is a very different kind of test-taking skill. 
katherand: BJones.. the fewer particulars they know the better for you and your kids. 
JennyC: if they live out of state, ignore it and change the subject 
hahamommy: One can gently remind folks they've got *their* family to screw up in whatever way they choose, as you 
can for your *own* family .:-D  
PamSoroosh: not the usual old test-taking skills - how to decide whic multiple choice answer to pick. 
socal77: that is interesting, thanks for sharing, Pam 
joyful: I haven't told family we decided to drop the homeschooling thing to just live our lives 
Schuyler: It's researching as opposed to memorizing 
BJones: We are trying to ignore.  My DH says not to worry but I have no closeness with my family so the closeness we 
had with his is something dear. 
hahamommy: never underestimate the power of "Please pass the bean dip" 
JennyC: let critical families know that they should do some research before they talk to you, if they have questions 
hahamommy: or "Really? You think so? Why?" 
SandraDodd: BJones, please check back (if you're not on the chatnote mailing list) because there was a chat a couple of 
weeks ago about what to say to relatives.  I haven't mined it for the good parts yet. 
JennB: Critical family has a way of lessening their importance over time.  A relative my children used to enjoy. Then 
continued to test them each time she was with them.  The children opted not to spend time with her anylonger. 
PamSoroosh: BJ - I only let my close family come to understand unschooling slowly, I didn't try to explain it to them all 
at once. 
Guest93: okay, so my kids woke us up at midnight fighting over the TV.  My son was yelling at me.  So, my husband 
banned him from TV until he starts to treat me with respect.  Sister also got banned for 3 weeks. 
JennyC: i love the answer a question with another question! 
SandraDodd: I would say "Thanks.  I'll think about that." and "If this stops working we'll put him in school" 
Guest93: They are still doing computers and exploring the dark hours of the night with those. 
JennyC: what was at the core of the fight? 
hahamommy: Sandra's also been known to advise asking them to put their concerns in writing, for later review 
BJones: I was saying we were homeschooling and not talking about unschooling at all; knowing they wouldn't get it.  
Very big school is best end all etc. 
Guest93: Peter wanted the TV all to himself. and the living room, late at night.  Sophia wanted some of the late night TV 
SandraDodd: About circumcision, I offered my mother-in-law the books we had read before we decided not to circumcise 
Kirby.  She was a nurse, head of intensive care ward. 
She said "You have to get him circumcised," when she saw that he wasn't. 
She didn't ask, she just said "have to." 
So I put bookmarks in the applicable places in four books, and said "Here's what we read, do you want to read them?" 
JennyC: how can banning something help them navigate a peaceful mutual sharing of the TV? 
SandraDodd: She said "Well, I'll read them, but it won't change my mind. 
Kirby was a week old. 
Schuyler: How old are your children Guest93? 
Guest93: agreed.  This is more about how to deal with my husband than with my kids 
SandraDodd: They were staying in their camper elsewhere in town. 

Guest93: Sophia is 10 and Peter is 8 
SandraDodd: She brought the books back the next day, set the pile down very politely and said (NICELY) Well, things 
have changed a lot since I was in nursing school." 
BJones: At a ballgame DS read a sign and DH said," look you can read.  I think you just need to trust yourself more."  
BIL was there and now is questioning our homeschooling ways; DH mentioned unschooling and now BIL is questioning 
whether unschooling is even 
SandraDodd: So when we decided to let Kirby stay home and she asked, I said I had some books she could read, and she 
said, "That's okay." 
katherand: jennyc said: how can banning something help them navigate a peaceful mutual sharing of the TV? ....  I say 
that without freedom to choose they can't learn how to navigate anything 
hahamommy: Funny, Sandra, my grandmother and I had similar conversations... circ and "blue" milk being deadly 
(human milk is blue-tinged generally) 
Schuyler: If Simon and Linnaea were staying up late and got into a fight that woke us all up, I would stay up with them or 
they would need to find things to do in their own rooms, quietly, once I'd gone to bed. 
hahamommy: she loved that I had information to stand on 
and hasn't challenged me much since 
Schuyler: I do stay up with Simon and Linnaea often. 
SandraDodd: About four years later we were out to dinner with all the kids and she said "Are you going to have him 
tested?"  I said no.  She said "How will you know if he's behind?" 
Schuyler: And they can get loud with excitement or frustration. 
SandraDodd: I said "I know he IS behind in some things, and he's ahead in some things." 
Schuyler: Because I'm present I can help deal with the tense moments that come up 
SandraDodd: And that was the last time she asked anything like that.   And when Kirby was 17 or 18 she wrote a letter 
and said the homeschooling had worked well and Keith and I had done a good job.  Woohoo!  It only took 12 years. 
Schuyler: And help them to be quiet if David's gone to bed 
Once someone has gone to bed it trumps someone else's right to make a joyful noise, or a loud noise of any kind 
hahamommy: I did the same for Hayden and Sleeping Scotty the other night.  A loud boisterous game of Halo on Xbox 
live ..:-)  
Julie (Guest37): well, my children want a bath, so I must hop off 
Schuyler: Yay! HeyHay Halo! 
socal77: My mom is just starting to ask and explore unschooling, yesterday she read a link on Sandra's site that I had left 
open...over lunch, she said "so what is this strewing thing I see mentioned" 
Schuyler: Bye 
Julie (Guest37): i look forward to reading the transcript...thanks 
hahamommy: I'm glad I stayed up to revel in the joyful noise! It was LOUD and glorious ..:-) ' 
Guest93: homeschooling and healing - one of the reasons I started this...too much yelling in this house in the past, too 
much running around and homework and racing to bed and hustling in the AM 
SandraDodd: Guest93, get another tv. 
katherand: bye julie 
JennyC: my mom gets homeschooling, my sister homeschools, but she doesn't get unschooling at all 
hahamommy: guest93, it has been an incredibly healing journey 
Guest93: That's their solution.  Sophia has some of the money.  Peter wants to chip in.  I like that idea. 
Schuyler: It's a good solution 
hahamommy: a lot of giving up those things you were denied as a child and put on a shelf for "when I'm a grownup, I get 
JennyC: can you remove the ban on the tv? 
Guest93: I need to convince my husband of that... 
katherand: Someone posted a link for getting eMac on eBay for $100 if there any left.  .:-D  If you need extra computers. 
 I'd love to get one for Karl one of these years. 
hahamommy: for example, grownups controlled the television show selections when I was a kid. so I thought, "When I'm 
a grown up *I* will get to be in charge of the TV!!" I've given that up, so that I can be in partnership with my children. A 
lot of healing 
JennyC: Diana, I still don't get to pick the shows I want! 
socal77: we hold a family meeting to set the DiVR on monday nights 
hahamommy: DVR, how did we live with out it!! <3 
has saved my relationship 1,000 times ..:-)  
JennyC: only sometimes, and it's usually because I've said, "can we find something that all of us can agree on?" 
PamSoroosh: i even stay up with the teenagers sometimes, when I think they're kind of feeling rowdier than usual, when 
they have other kids here who are a little louder than mine. I stay up and keep the tv volume turned down and remind 
them that their dad is trying 
to sleep. 
katherand:  .:-D  I pick *sometimes* now but still mostly I let Karl help me decide what we watch on TV 
hahamommy: and closed-captioning -- I leave it on so I don't have to shush anyone when they're nearby ..:-)  
katherand: He loves to share 
emiLyQ: I'm the one that posted a link to the emacs:|66%3A2|65%3A12| 
katherand: being an only child. 
PamSoroosh: Our house isn't great for someone to sleep while others are awake and noisy. 
SandraDodd: Having a TV ban while you're just getting into unschooling won't kill them.  Find other things to do. 
(the aforementioned strewing page. ) 
hahamommy: Hayden called me back from Yoga and asked me to come home and be with *him* instead. We curled up 
to American Idol together, all snuggly. Fair trade 
JillP: Our house isn't either, Pam, and I'm trying to help everyone with that.  We have creeky floor boards...old houst. 
SandraDodd: For little kids 
socal77: Drew gts frustrated with closed captioning, he says he can't watch and read at the same time, he finds it 
That's a heck of a list, created in a chat like this! 
emiLyQ: We bid $100 and got it.  We have it, and it's faster than our old OLD iMac, but it's still not as fast as my 
daughter would like.  She still uses my computer to play Pixie Hollow and Webkinz and Bella Sara especially.  But hey, 
it's great for $100. 
PamSoroosh: When I stayed at Sandra's house, I was sleeping in  a room near the big group of kids playing games and I 
could hear Kirby reminding them once in a while, that I was trying to sleep. 
Schuyler: Headphones help 
Guest93: so... here's another question - I teach dance classes a couple of hours each week.  My kids can handle taking 
care of themselves while I scoot out to teach, especially in the early AM, when they are usually sleeping in 
emiLyQ: My 21 month old loves the eMac - he is getting the hang of the mouse.  And I highly recommend AlphaBaby -- 
just google it and download it (it's for Macs only) 
SandraDodd: say again how old they are, please, guest93 
PamSoroosh: They learn to be thoughtful, but they don't learn all at once. It was too much to expect a 10 and 8 year old 
to alwasy get along and be quiet during the night with no adult presence. 
Guest93: nearly 11 and  just turned 8 
PamSoroosh: So - it means the adults "failed" in that case, not the kids. You have to adjust your expectations to reality. 
Guest93: my 11 year old is a mothers-helper and has studied babysitting on her own for 2 years now. 
SandraDodd: I would go to bed with one young child awake, but not two.  I'd stay awake until it was only Marty, or only 
socal77: we went to see the movie Persepolis, and although he followed the story, he could not keep up with the subtitles 
SandraDodd: When they were older and we were in a bigger house it wasn't so important. 
Holly went to see Aimee (what was it, in French? Amilee?) and that was a mistake 
I was whispering in her ear the whole time.  Not fun. 
JennyC: guest93, what was your question about leaving them when you teach class? 
Guest93: yes 
Schuyler: Babysitting for money is different than getting along with your brother at night when you are tired 
SandraDodd: But let's let Guest93 ask her question. 
joyful: babies are waking up, must go, thank you all 
SandraDodd: Bye, joyful 
socal77: bye 
Schuyler: Bye 
Guest93: okay, so supervision at night, when kids are tired.  What about during the day, when mom needs to teach a 
dance class? 
katherand: being responsible for siblings also sucks... because you're always it if you're the oldest or the one expected to. 
bye joyful 
JennyC: have you set up a dynamic where the older is responsible for the younger? 
emiLyQ: I am whispering in my daughter's ear (she's only 5) for movies, subtitles or not, just to explain stuff to her.  It's 
way way more fun to be at home and be able to pause, go back, talk about what just happened, etc. 
Guest93: My question is, can I leave my kids home while I teach a class.  I am gone and back within two hours. 
Schuyler: What happens at home for your kids? 
JennyC: how do your kids feel about it? 
Guest93: Kids are nearly 11 (and studying babysitting all the time) and just turned 8 
Schuyler: I don't know if you can. 
Guest93: they like it. 
JillP: Do they get along fine when you are teaching dance? 
katherand: can they contact you easily? 
Schuyler: I have a 12 year old and an 8 year old, I don't leave them home alone for 2 hours. 
socal77: the laws on that are very local specific 
JennyC: I think it will also depend on the laws where you live 
Schuyler: But that is about how well they get along 
Guest93: They entertain themselves with TV, computers, legos, 
socal77: and it really depends on the child 
Guest93: they can contact me easily and I can contact them. 
they get along very well when I am not here... intereseting! 
Schuyler: Sorry, almost 12 year old. I keep aging Simon 
SandraDodd: Holly couldn't read this fast so she left.   I told her not to feel bad; I can't read all this either 
katherand: Do you have a setup for who they can contact in case of emergencies?  Besides 911? 
JillP: Me eithere, Holly! 
Guest93: Yes, dad. 
JennyC: I've had to scroll back a few times 
SandraDodd: Right.  If it's legal and your kids have an option to get an adult there quickly if they need one, I wouldn't 
personally balk at it. 
emiLyQ: Me either - I am scrolling back up.  Can someone just tell me if they can see this?  I don't expect a response to 
what I'm writing, but I don't even know if it's showing up.  ..:-)  

katherand: ah.. ok.  I read too slowly so I see where you said they can contact you 
socal77: emilyq, I see you 
katherand: yes emilyQ 
SandraDodd: Holly really wanted to stay home alone when we first moved to this house.  It made me nervous, but I 
would walk over to Hollywood Video or the grocery store, and hurry back, and she felt very grown up.  She was seven, 
eight. It was scary for me, but 
Schuyler: I see emilyq 
katherand: i see you 
SandraDodd: wonderful for her 
JennyC: I started leaving my kids alone in small half hours increments when Chamille was about 11, which would've 
made margaux 4 or 5 
emiLyQ: ok, thank you! 
Schuyler: David and I go walk the dog together, so 30 minutes. 
SandraDodd: I'm not recommending anyone totally go against the law, though! 
Schuyler: Things have ended in fights, though, so it is always a decision that is made in that moment on that day. 
SandraDodd: Unschoolers need to carefully follow laws that could get them in trouble (I say, officially). 
Guest93: We started with small amounts of time and being close by.  They seem to do great. 
SandraDodd: I quit registering my kids to homeschool before Holly was school age. 
Guest93: where do I find out about the law, in regards to children at home alone? 
JennyC: the law here is very ambiguous, no age specifically stated, just recommended that 11 is the age that one can be to 
watch other kids 
SandraDodd: Holly has never been registered.  I don't mind saying that now that she's at drop-out age.  
So I wanted NOT to get in trouble for some petty thing that would cause the county to check us out carefully. 
socal77: your city police agency...there may not be an official policy 
emiLyQ: We live out in the country which in some ways is safer, but we are half a mile from our nearest neighbor, 
making it hard for our kids to get to help if they need it.  If we aren't here, we'd be 10+ minutes away at the very least. 
SandraDodd: So I advised the kids to be circumspect when they were out in public, and not to make so much noise we'd 
ever get a noise complaint, 
Ask others on your local unschooling list or google it? 
If there are babysitting classes in your area, their websites might have the law 
katherand: police stuff could be online to read... look up your local law there or do you know anyone who could do it for 
JillP: Question about sleep changes in 14 & 10 year old, if I may now.... 
emiLyQ: Sandra, why not just register her?  Were there requirements you didn't want to fill?  Luckily the laws in MN are 
easy, especially if you have a BA degree -- which is about the most useful thing my college years have done for me yet! 
JennB: I researched the ages local a while back and the best I could come up with was as long as they are under 18, if 
something happens, then the parent is at fault. :sigh: so not the clear cut answer I was looking fo. 
Schuyler: Apparently only Maryland and Illinois have laws limiting the age a child can be when left home alone 
JennyC: police don't always know the answer to that question, at least they don't here, lots of folks have gotten the wrong 
info asking the police about the age to stay at home by themselves question 
katherand: emily!Q once a child is registered they may be followed up on. 
socal77: what was your question JillP? 
JillP: Addi at 14 is now starting to stay up really late into the wee hours, and Luke 10 has started to stay up with her, but 
he seems tired.  I feel like he's being dragged into  teenage sleep patterns as a young guy.  Need some ideas. 
katherand: unregistered children aren't in the system. 
SandraDodd: At first I wanted to avoid the testing requirement.  When the testing requirement was gone, I did it kind of 
as an experiment and to prove a point 
JillP: To help him settle or for me to not be overly concerned. 
katherand: well.. probably aren't in the system.  dunno 
SandraDodd: I knew the law well, and if I'd been challenged, the legality was that I had 30 days to register from the time I 
received a specifically mailed letter from the state saying I was not in compliance. 
Never got a letter 
katherand: how much space do you have jillP 
emiLyQ: Ah, gotcha.  If there were things I didn't like about the laws, I probably wouldn't register my kid(s) either.  I am 
waiting until she's 7 as it is, since that is the age she's required to be in school. 
SandraDodd: Different states are different, but I'm in New Mexico and it was a risk I was willing to take to make a point. 
JillP: space? 
Guest93: Thank you everyone!!  My son is ready to play on the computer now, and I am going to make a delicious 
meatloaf for dinner.  Until next time... Love, 
SandraDodd: Shows how much attention they're not paying.  AND I'm not hardly being subtle or hiding out, y'know! 
Elli!  A name!  Bye 
Schuyler: Can you set up Luke in a comfortable place for while he's hanging out with Addi? 
katherand: area and space between them... are they in the same room and no place else to spend the evenings? 
JennyC: bye Elli 
Schuyler: It's fantastic that they want to hang out together, I should have prefaced with that. 
katherand: by guest93 
JillP: Yes, Schuyler, but sometimes they play on the comp together....and Luke's eyelids are drooping but he keeps going. 
SandraDodd: What a great chat today!  This is a world of information, in one hour. 
So... can we talk about deschooling for parents for a bit please? 
JillP: And I htink Addi likes having the company, so kinda using him? 
SandraDodd: Why should parents deschool, since they've been out of school a long time (maybe) 
JillP: ah sorry took it to another theme, I cna do this later....the sleep thing. 
SandraDodd: OH!  Sleep.  Sleep now. 
Then deschooling.  Sorry 
katherand: BEcause they weren't unschooled, SAndra..  that's the main reason. 
emiLyQ: I'm leaving also - Delia wants to check on her horses at Bella Sara now that I mentioned it.  ..:-)  "And brine!" 
she says - she's reading as I type.  Bye! 
JillP: No worries at all. 
katherand: bye emilyQ 
Schuyler: Because you bought into the whole school thing as a child, in your formative years, it is hard not to see that as a 
necessary evil 
Sleep, though 
Does Luke mind being used? 
If he is being used. 
JillP: hmmm, I don't know??  I'll check. 
Schuyler: Simon and Linnaea often want each other's company just for company 
JillP: Itt's just that he seems SO tired, 
reneecabatic: Can Luke nap, to make up for the sleep loss? 
JillP: Yes, Luke can sleep in. 
JennyC: could Luke have a comfy nest, while staying up, where he could fall asleep and stay asleep if he wants to? 
JillP: They're still sleeping now. 
Schuyler: With his computer easily acciessible? 
JennyC: I stayed up till 4am last night with my oldest and she just got up now 
JillP: Yes, Schuyler comp easy access all that is fine.  *I'm* worried about his seeming tiredness and pushing (way?) 
past that. 
Schuyler: That's good that they are still sleeping 
Would he be less tired sleeping the same amount at a different time of day? 
or night? 
JillP: Yes, they seem to be getting enough sleep. 
Schuyler: Is food easily available that late at night? 
JillP: a bit selfish here, but I miss playing with them in teh day. 
JennyC: perhaps it's not related to staying up late? 
Schuyler: Say that. 
Tell them you miss them 
SandraDodd: I think young teen boys are cranky sometimes just from growth issues. 
Schuyler: That's a cool thing to say 
Luke isn't the teen, though 
JennyC: but nearly hitting puberty 
JillP: Luke is 10, (3 months to 11) 
JennyC: aww, what Chamille calls the fart and penis joke age 
JillP: They can get food, although I could do more to have more stuff made for more readily access. 
SandraDodd: They get uncomfortable and stinky and restless 
JillP: Ah yes, stinkiness is there. 
Schuyler: I like fart and penis jokes 
SandraDodd: I had to learn to like fart and penis jokes. 
Schuyler: I'm 40 
JennyC: me too, Chamille, then said, they never do grow out of that do they? 
Schuyler: South Park helped, I'm sure 
SandraDodd: Holly and her boyfriend have an entire fart-based relationship, and they're long past being 10. 
JillP: We're heading into another phase maybe, and I've not been quite ready or know that it was here or somehting like 
JennyC: it's great that he's got an older sibling to help with the staying up late transition 
katherand: LOL I grew up in a fart joke -free zone... and when I married I jumped directly into the a whole bunch of 
in-laws and a husband who are in the zone.  .:-D  
JillP: That' s a good way to look at it Jenny.  They are 99% helpful to each other at night. 
katherand: It sounds really cool Jill 
Schuyler: That's a fantastic way to look at it. 
JillP: I'm an early bird...and I 've been trying to do things with them at night, but I feel a bit wiped. 
katherand: Brian finally got a lighter schedule so he has been spending time up with me and Karl.  We like that a lot. 
JennyC: that part is hard, but be thankful that they are on the same schedule! 
Schuyler: Linnaea is changing her diet from a heavily starch based diet to a much more protein based one. She's eating 
chicken these days. She was a vegetarian for a long time 
katherand: Work schedule for those who don't know Brian is the dad. 
PamSoroosh: Jill - maybe try to change your own schedule at least a little to accommate theirs.... 
JennyC: mine are on different schedules because of the 7 yr age difference 
PamSoroosh: I have done that. 
JillP: I'm pondering and fearing making two sleeping time s for myself to participate with them more. 
PamSoroosh: I'm definitely an early bird. 
I love to get up really early and go outdoors.... 
JillP: me too. that ' 
PamSoroosh: but I stay up late with the kids pretty often. 
JillP: 's my favorite time...with the dogs! 
PamSoroosh: it is very very valuable time. 
katherand: 2 sleeping times Jill? 
Schuyler: Food change could be a part of the transition to staying up later as well. 
PamSoroosh: so - i take naps. 
SandraDodd: When it's just me and Keith, we get up at 6:00 and go to sleep at 10:30, but with the kids, I stay up late. 
JillP: yes...getting up early for myself that's just me....and napping in the day to stay up late with the kids. 
Schuyler: You could go with the tropical schedule of getting up early and having a nice long mid day siesta 
JennyC: Sometimes I've had to stay up late and get up early to accomodate my kids, but they are usually generous 
enough to let me take a midday nap 
socal77: ah, siesta, I loved that part of Italy 
reneecabatic: Chris (dh) is early bird and misses Xander and XuMei during the week but they make up for it on the 
weekends--playing all day together 
SandraDodd: Keith did NOT like being quiet so the kids could sleep at first.  Still, the other day, he said "Don't shush 
me."   But  he did see the value of letting them sleep, and appreciated that they let him sleep too 
JillP: Ah great idea, Siesta!! 
katherand: Imiss that about my month long visit to Mexico, Socal. 
JillP: I'm going European!  And my hubby can get that the idea might not be so hard on him.. 
JennyC: are there still people here that want to talk about deschooling? 
socal77: Mine is definitely a night owl, and I am a morning person, sometimes makes for a tired mom 
reneecabatic: I am interested in deschooling myself 
JillP: Thanks for all the ideas and the detour into sleep...back to deschooling for the chat. 
Tammy (Guest22): I want to talk about deschooling too 
katherand: ME... JennyC  I'm in the midst of it and it is sneaky.  Just when I think I've done sufficient deschooling... 
there it is in the form of how school desocializes us in many ways. 
SandraDodd: Sometimes people try to keep school in their lives and also unschool, but it won't work. 
katherand: RIght Sandra 
JillP: ((side track....Luke just got up...and I hugged him...	I think he grew a few inches last night)) 
reneecabatic: what do you mean--keep school in their lives?   like school friends? 
katherand: IT doesn't 
SandraDodd: You need to be either far from school (physically, emotionally and mentally) so that it's a small thing in the 
distance and not a looming foreground boogie-man 
katherand: AW... Jill.  SWEET 
SandraDodd: But you can do it and we have lot of ideas 
hahamommy: I've had to *start over* many many times, lots of deprogramming of knee-jerk responses was necessary 
BJones: Sandra, could you give an example of trying to keep school in your life and unschool? 
socal77: I have friends that I can bounce ideas off of...soemtimes just when I think I am clear in my thinking, they will 
bring up an issue or something I didn't consider 
SandraDodd: trying to keep a kid in school sports or music, or working around the school schedule. 
JennyC: question everything, especially all the "have to's" 
SandraDodd: Maintaining the thought that a child is "in fourth grade" 
katherand: For me, school in our lives is also the culture of people who are no longer in school. 
BJones: okay, got it. 
SandraDodd: Trying to pay attention out of the corner of your eye to what the kids his age in school ar learning 
JennyC: That has surfaced around here, grade levels 
SandraDodd: Using terms like "school night" and "Semester" 
BJones: How do you help your kids not worry about what grade they are in? 
hahamommy: ...considering books based on grade levels/reading levels instead of interest 
Schuyler: One thing that really changed my perspective on school was living in different places with very different school 
SandraDodd: banish school words, for a while, from your thoughts.  When they come up remind yourself that your kid 
is not IN school so it's inappropriate to think of (whatever it is) in those terms 
JennyC: BJones, it depends on how long they were in school and how long they've been out 
katherand: ah .. i just thought that may have been the reason for resisting the word bedtimes ... as related to school 
schedules and then work schedules. 
SandraDodd: And at first it might be awkward and embarrassing and frustrating and feel unnatural, 
JennB: not thinking in subjects was a difficult transition for me 
SandraDodd: but after a while it will seem unnatural when someone asks you when spring break is or something. 
JennyC: JennB, that was hard initially too, for me, because it had been soooo ingrained into my thought 
SandraDodd: When Kirby was little I consciously refrained from using "subject" terminology at all with him. 
reneecabatic: we have school friends, all around us in our neighborhood---my kids know when school is in or out 
SandraDodd: He eventually picked it up from others, but I did NOT say "history" or "Science" 
BJones: So, i probably shouldn't worry about it now.  I don't mention grades anymore but when people ask DS responds 
but he has only been out of school for 5 months... 
Tammy (Guest22): How do you keep school away when it's everywhere?  My 3yo watched one episode of Sesame Street 
which showed kids at school, and now she keeps talking about "going to school". 
katherand: For us it's how people use performance evaluation and work ethic talk which bleeds over into all the 
relationships in the family.  Does anybody know what I mean? 
SandraDodd: I would talk about Egyptians or knights or cowboys, but wouldn't say "and this is part of history" 
JennB: dd, who has never been to school, played endless games of school with her imaginary dogs. 
JennyC: you could answer the "what grade are you in?" with the age of your child and let the asker figure it out for 
SandraDodd: We would talk about rocks and bugs and start without ever suggesting they were "all the same thing" (And 
they are NOT 
JennyC: when Chamille was little it was Arthur that got her thinking about school 
katherand: Tammy .. Karl does the same thing.  THey will learn about school culture from the periphery and we talk 
about it from time to time.  We pulled out an actual school desk for him to play on.. which he made a fort out of with a 
blanket.  .:-D  
SandraDodd: I would say "He's ten, so I guess he'd be in the fifth grade."   Kirby has a july birthday and so did I, so I 
always knew what grade.  I was always "the right age."  Holly and Marty have November and January, so I wasn't being 
coy when I said "I think." 
I was never really sure unless I counted on my fingers. 
Holly was telling me yesterday that she's been saying she would be a junior, but that she was confused about the names 
of the high school classes, and she had to count too. 
Someone told her no, a senior, because she was 17, and she said she had a late birthday and whoever it was (someone 
where she works) said "it depends what state" and that she/Holly started to get cranky then. 
JennyC: Sometimes, to make a point, I'll say it depends on wether we are going by "school" grades, or how the law is 
written.  that really confuses people 
SandraDodd: They were arguing about what grade she would be in as though it really mattered. 
And it really doesn't! 
Tammy (Guest22): We've talked a little about what seemed exciting to her.  She liked the idea of a backpack and having 
snacks and toys inside.  We can do that at home. 
JennyC: someone who is 17, is still 17, no matter what grade they are in or not!  people skip grades and are held back all 
the time 
SandraDodd: I just remembered, when Marty was little and wanted to have an answer to what grade he was in, we would 
go by age like Kirby, so his "grade" changed on his birthday in January.  It didn't last long. 
katherand: In our state you can opt to go the year before or wait until you're a year older than most of the kids.  I was a 
year later 
SandraDodd: Yes.  My kids wanted lunchboxes. 
And a bus ride. 
JennyC: mine too, and we did both of those things 
reneecabatic: this came up with the optometrist--he wanted to know what grade XuMei was in because that would tell him 
how many minutes a day she should be reading?!?!? 
SandraDodd: We got to ride in a real yellow schoolbus once, from a park and ride to the zoo for a company picnic and 
they were THRILLED 
Marty was four or five, so Holly probably wouldn't remember. 
katherand: Yeh... we make it fun here Tammy.  He has books in the bottom storage of the desk. 
JennyC: we got the same thing with the optometrist too 
SandraDodd: I have ridden a yellow school bus thousands of times, so it was hard for me to get enthusiastic about the 
glory of it all. 
katherand: We rode on a school bus when Karl was about 3 1/2 
SandraDodd: We've done city bus when we didn't really need to, just so they could have the experience of waiting and 
then getting in to be surprised at who's in there. 
It wasn't a surprise with the school bus.  Same kids year after year. 
(for me, anyway) 
JennB: as much as dd played "school" she still didn't want to go. By playing she got to be the teacher, the pricipal.  She 
held proms and lots of meeting.  Lots and lots of meetings. 
katherand: Then transit bus lines when he was older. 
Schuyler: School buses here are old tour buses, regular looking buses. It's harder to want that. 
JennyC: I basically figured out how many hours a day Chamille played her gameboy and gave the optometrist a rough 
estimate about how many hrs she would "need" glasses 
SandraDodd: Parental deschooling has to do with catching our own thoughts about expectations by age 
reneecabatic: Xander and XuMei thought it was the coolest thing to NOT wear a seatbelt on the bus 
yes! i did the same thing --only it's her iTouch screne she looks at! 
SandraDodd: And with reviewing (quietly) our own internal vision of what school was good for and what we gained from 
it.  Some people encapsulate school as a single memory, either good or bad, and don't look at the details. 
socal77: public transportaion can be an adventure...buses, trains, trolleys 
katherand: Jenny do the glasses not work after a certain amount of reading?  What IS that? 
reneecabatic: "our own internal vision of what school was good for and what we gained from it. "-----this is where I am 
stuck----I honestly thought I had a good experience.... 
JennyC: I didn't really get it either, but I think it may have to do with eye strain and how the child had been handling it 
previous to glasses 
katherand: MIne experience was yucky a lot of the time.. but most often it was just boring. 
JennyC: i had a decent experience too, but it really did feel like a huge waste of time 
katherand: But many people like school. 
reneecabatic: school was way better than home for me...... 
JennyC: it was a mixed bag 
socal77: that's the key I think, make home better than school 
Schuyler: There were parts of school that were fantastic. 
JennyC: by the time a was a teen, it really felt like a waste of time 
Schuyler: That didn't make the awful stuff good, though 
katherand: Me too Jenny. 
reneecabatic: not just better than school----make home fantastic! 
SandraDodd: I loved school, but it helped to to think back at how much I did learn on my own. 
And how much of that the teachers took full credit for.  
BJones: School was great in college for me.  I made lots of connections with my professors but younger years were not 
so good and i have no really good/strong connections with my mom/dad and brother that I might have if not for all the 
school time. 
JennyC: i don't think anyone wants to be idle for years, especially if they are inspired with energy and ideas, which teens 
SandraDodd: It helped me to look back, too, and realize how many hours were just being there, not learning 
socal77: most of my interests in school were on my own time 
Guest48: Hi everyone I have just "dropped in" from Australia.  New to HS and with my 14 year old son and needing to 
"unschool" my own head. (Parents both were teachers!) 
katherand:  .:-D yeh Sandra.  I read constantly and I *know* the teachers didn't do that. 
For me personal 
JennyC: are you still teaching? 
SandraDodd: Guest48, I'll put this up raw as it is.  Few of us have been able to keep up with it.  
So it will be rough reading, but at least not flying by. 
reneecabatic: i guess I bought that I was taught to read and other stuff and I need to really look at all those assumptions 
SandraDodd: And then I'll extract good parts in a sidebar, and links. 
JennyC: As a teacher, you get to see first hand all the ugly school stuff that happens! 
SandraDodd: Those links at the right are live and you can get there without going out of the chat too. 
JillP: ((gotta play with my kids!  will read the rest in transcript.  Thanks all.)) 
reneecabatic: bye 
JennyC: by jill 
BJones: agreed renneecabatic.  I thought I was taught to read but as I look back I realized I just learned on my own 
SandraDodd: Renee, I learned to read in first grade and it did seem to me and the teacher as if she had taught me. 
katherand: bye jillP 
Everybody does, BJones 
Schuyler: I think a part of it is that it feels like a necessary evil. If so much of your day was spent in school, surely there 
must have been value in doing that. 
Bye Jill 
SandraDodd: And that must happen to LOTS of kids who happen to be on the edge of figuring it out or being able and 
interested when "the teaching" happens.   But I have friends whose parents were full-on neglectful and inattentive who 
learned to read when they were 
three or four at home 
and they didn't know how. 
ANd I had friends who really tried to read, in school, and didn't get it until they were 8 or 9. 
katherand: I don't mean there isn't any help and no suggestions that clear the way to reading. 
JennyC: all learning is internal, only the person doing the learning gets to own that, but teachers and schools have to 
justify what they do, so they claim to have done it, and that it can't be done without them 
SandraDodd: Unfortunately, they got years of shame and certified "failure" along with it. 
People justify their own pain 
Schuyler: I know a few school kids who get angry at me for not letting them believe that school is necessary. They don't 
say that in so many words, but they get frustrated about the unfairness of Simon and Linnaea not being in school 
SandraDodd: When I was teaching, I remember aiming my presentation at the middle ten of 30 kids (or the middle 8 of 
Schuyler: I think it is easy as an adult to fall into that idea 
JennyC: we get that too schuyler! 
SandraDodd: I figured that for any one piece of information ten already knew and ten didn't care or woudln't get it, so I'd 
aim for the middle 
It makes sense. 
BJones: yes, I didn't learn until at least 8.  I was labeled dyslexia but when I really became interested in reading in middle 
school (when I was home for a year ill) at age 13 is when I really learned to read and enjoy. 
SandraDodd: It happens with marriages too, though. 
reneecabatic: we get that too--they say the reason Xand X don't read is becasue they are homeschooled 
SandraDodd: Keith and I go on separate "vacations" (weekend this or that) and it doesn't seem fair to friends whose 
jealousy or financial "keep it even" record keeping won't allow for that 
katherand: what's that Sandra? 
Schuyler: Drat, accidentally logged out. 
katherand: OH. 
Schuyler: Keeping tabs in a marriage, I can remember doing that. 
katherand: Not sure what you mean sandra 
JennyC: tit for tat 
Schuyler: I think equal can be such a false thing to maintain 
SandraDodd: Or one family will be all loosey-goosey about friends of other sexes and still get along, and another family 
gets stressed because "it's not fair" 
katherand: what happens in marriages happens where else? 
JennyC: schools try to promote equality, but it doesn't really exist 
SandraDodd: jealousy and resentment in other marriages. 
Schuyler: I was writing about jealousy from kids who had to go to school 
SandraDodd: Neighbor kids feel a resentment about my kids having freedoms 
and it challenges the core of the "truth" of "you have to go to school" 
socal77: I have seen parents try to do that with siblings, fair is not always equal 
katherand: Got it.  I understand now. 
SandraDodd: but I was saying that happens in other ways, in life too.  Comparisons of marriages. 
JennyC: we've had very uncomfortable parents of neighbors, in the hot seat after their kids find out that it's legal to not 
have to go to school 
SandraDodd: One guy won't like that the neighbor's wife lets him have a motorcycle, or lets him go off for fishing or 
hunting or skiing with guys. 
socal, I think that's a really important point. 
We lucked out with our kids. 
They never counted. 
They didn't count time or money 
JennyC: ooo, that's an interesting trigger for me the whole "let them, or let you" stuff 
BJones: DH and I were recenlty talking about how trying to teach kids to read at such young ages might actually keep 
them from seeing and learning in other ways.  When you don't read you use so many other facilities to figure things out 
that stop when you believe 
reading is the only or best way to learn. 
SandraDodd: But when they were little I would ask them "Is it okay if we buy this thing for Holly even though it's more 
expensive than what you got when it was your birthday?" 
JennyC: that's been true for us for sure Bjones 
SandraDodd: And they were always "Sure." 
katherand: Hmmm..  a professor friend of mine (art professor) had 2 of her 4 kids drop out because they got impatient 
with school.  She reluctantly homeschooled them.  THey did little if any work and they are of course perfectly fine with 
SandraDodd: And in some years one kid has had way more spent on him, but there hasn't been jeaslous and resentment 
I'm glad of that. 
Schuyler: Simon's has really shown me how much learning isn't about reading 
SandraDodd: If anyone here who hasn't seen it and is thinking of deschooling for parents, look at this at some point 
There are almost visceral feelings in people about books and the value of the printed word. 
katherand: WE don't count here either.... we talk about there's plenty to go around or we can get more next time we go to 
the store. 
SandraDodd: That's worth thinking about at odd moments for a year or two.  
reneecabatic: X & X know much of their pokemon cards from having heard it once--I have to reread the card every time I 
use it 
SandraDodd: It's so ingrained in us it's hard to even talk about it at first 
Schuyler: Simon too 
He knows the Harry Potter books better than I do from listening to the. 
He listens so much better than I do. 
SandraDodd: There are some good stories of things Holly did better than her same-age already-reading friends in theatre 
and girl scouts 
JennyC: pokemon was a huge huge part of Chamille's life when she was younger, it really shaped who she is as a person, 
and helped her understand soooo many things 
There's a page linked there called something like the advantages of late reading 
socal77: Drew still relates and compares lots of things in terms of pokemon 
katherand: Visceral is also in categorizing food, Sandra.  That's the biggest thing I've heard most often in real life from 
homeschoolers and parents in general.. with the most tension around it. 
JennyC: food? 
SandraDodd: Probably the reaction such parents have from SEEING potato chips is more unhealthy than a kid eating a 
whole bag of them. 
JennyC: that's been my reality with real life other unschoolers that I've met, they really can't get over the food issues 
SandraDodd: The judgments about "good food" and "junk food" are as likely to destroy a person's peace and health and 
soul as anything else. 
reneecabatic: who knows the name of the book that talks about the printed word relating to the patriarchy?--I can't 
remember it and it sounds interesting--came up on ALways Learning the other day 
JennyC: Chamille has her own ideas of what foods are healthy and what foods aren't 
BJones: DD wants to take a bath.  Have to go but I look forward to reading the transcript.  Thanks!  Bye! 
SandraDodd: We're three minutes from quitting time anyway 
JennyC: bye bjones 
SandraDodd: the other day some of us stayed in the room another hour or nearly so 
Schuyler: Simon and Linnaea really prefer homemade potato chips these days. They have the option to eat any chips 
from the store, but they like sweet potato and regular potato chips that I've fried in our deep fat fryer 
SandraDodd: and I felt bad because three hours is too long for people to be away from little kids 
Schuyler: I'm not fully away from the kids while I'm doing this 
reneecabatic: i can stay -I am not fully away either--in and out ..:-)  
SandraDodd: I'm not going to throw anybody out, but I want to say that from here on out "doesn't count." ' 
Schuyler: I've gotten sodas and found pencils and shown off pictures of baby animals 
JennyC: me either, I've popped in and out and scrolled through to catch up several times 
reneecabatic: i jumped on the tramp! 
SandraDodd: Thank you So much for being here. 
katherand: Yes.. Jenny.  Karl adores yogurt and the other day he said it makes his stomach feel hungrier.  WHich I could 
relate to with the tendency my side of the family has (which I have too) to make lots of stomach acid 
Schuyler: I do very little without interacting with Simon and Linnaea at some point. Certainly not for 2 hours 
SandraDodd: I'm going to hang out a bit too, but probably not feel so responsible for making sure everyone's happy. 
Schuyler: By Bjones 
SandraDodd: JennyC, I'll put it up on the page soon, just as it is, all crowded and frantic.  
katherand: I'm hopping up and down and getting behind and scrolling back and trying to read through the jumps when 
something else is posted.  FUN!  .:-D  
socal77: I am going to go, nice chatting with everyone 
JennyC: bye 
Tammy (Guest22): Has there been a chat about food?  Or will there be?  I'm really struggling with food issues/how to 
unschool food. 
Schuyler: Bye 
JennB: bye 
katherand: IT was fun Sandra 
Schuyler: What are you struggling with? 
SandraDodd: Tammy,  next week is open.  Pick a day and time and we'll talk about food. 
(and now's fine too, but a food chat would be a great idea 
katherand: bye 
JennyC: unschooling food, I don't think you can, but the idea of giving choices is all part of unschooling and will 
naturally extend to other areas of life, like food 
Tammy (Guest22): This time works well for me.  It's Saturday morning here, so hubby has the kids 
SandraDodd: And have you already been through some of this stuff? 
and seen what's on joyce's site 
Schuyler: David, very tentatively, says he might be able to come on 
JennyC: watching the foodnetwork has been amazing for food lovers here 
Tammy (Guest22): Yeah, I've some of it.  I think I need to reread and keep absorbing it. 
sorry, read some of it 
katherand: Cool schuyler 
JennyC: yeah David! 
SandraDodd: You don't "unschool food," but children can learn to know whether they're actually hungry, and even what 
kind of food their body needs, if they have the chance to do that. 
katherand: brb 
SandraDodd: Too many kids are "made" to eat when they're not hungry, and prevented from eating when they are. 
JennyC: school does that! 
SandraDodd: It keeps them from learning about their own bodies and health. 
Tammy (Guest22): I think we're okay as far as only eating when hungry.  It's more the foods my 3yo is choosing. 
SandraDodd: To join the chat? 
Schuyler: You also can set up weird food relationships by describing some foods as good and others as bad 
katherand: well maybe I'll just go... Sandra will you consider putting this food convo in with the other chat stuff?? 
Schuyler: To join the chat, is that to me? Yes for David 
SandraDodd: I think the first assumption when I say "don't call things junk food" 
JennyC: the neighbor girl uses non seethrough bottles so that she can bring juice instead of water because she likes it 
better, but they are only allowed water 
SandraDodd: (yes, k) 
is "OH, Sandra's kids eat nothing but junk food." 
Tammy (Guest22): I'm really trying not to label food as good or bad. 
SandraDodd: I can't reach through the internet and thump them. 
They can't see my house from there. 
But it's still stupid. 
reneecabatic: i 've heard parents call some foods "real" and what does that make the other food? 
Schuyler: Your 3 year old will have different nutritional requirements to you. 
SandraDodd: It's a total "either/or," dualistic view of the world. 
katherand: Thanks and BYE all!!!  IT was fun 
SandraDodd: EITHER a person eats all organic healthy food OR he doesn't. 
Tammy (Guest22): But I really struggle when she has a whole day where she doesn't eat much more than potato chips 
and ice cream. 
SandraDodd: And "doesn't" in their fearful minds has to do with MoonPies and RC cola 
JennyC: bye Katherine 
Schuyler: Brain development at that age takes very different  good than adult requirements 
food, not good 
reneecabatic: imaginary food---sounds good to me 
JennyC: some days my youngest will eat potato anything all day long, and then the next day she eats a lot of other things 
Schuyler: Simon had a day where he ate, oh I don't remember what, but it was one thing and it bugged me. 
Maybe it was ice cream, maybe it was something else. 
And I griped to David and he said, he'll eat something different tomorrow, let it go. 
And he did. 
reneecabatic: ice cream has protein! 
Schuyler: Simon wasn't on a daily food requirements schedule 
He was on a much larger scale of meeting his nutritional requirements 
JennyC: put nuts on the chocolate sundae! 
Schuyler: Time scale 
Put bananas underneath 
Tammy (Guest22): she does love nuts! 
SandraDodd: If you think of children in other parts of the world and what they might have to eat, or of adults you know 
who grew up very poor, and yet they lived, it's easy to put it in better perspective. 
JennyC: and cherries on top 
Tammy (Guest22): not so big on the fruit though 
Schuyler: Yummy bananas and ice cream and syrup and nuts and yummm 
SandraDodd: When I was in school we had "health" every year and they talked to us about balanced meals, every single 
And they talked to us about rickets and scurvy. 
Schuyler: I don't like fruit on it's own much 
SandraDodd: PUHLEASE!!!  I'm not in the British Navy in 1870. 
reneecabatic: LOL!!! 
Schuyler: Rickets is on the rise in the UK 
SandraDodd: or whenever they were having scurevy problemw 
Among unschoolers, scuyler? 
reneecabatic: really? why? 
JennyC: drink some orange juice or pickles or salsa with chips, bam, survy has been avoided 
SandraDodd: among families with access to food? 
Schuyler: Lack of Viatmin D from sunlight and is affecting women who wear burka (spelling?) 
Vitamin D 
Tammy (Guest22): Speaking of food, we're going out for breakfast, so I need to go get ready.  Thanks everyone!  It's 
been fun! 
reneecabatic: Ah! 
Schuyler: they aren't getting enough sun 
SandraDodd: Where is it breakfast?  Australia? 
Tammy (Guest22): yep 
SandraDodd: Saturday in Australia. 
JennyC: well, vitamin D is really important 
Tammy (Guest22): Just gone 9am here 
SandraDodd: You're so advanced as a culture!  
Schuyler: Where are you in Australia? 
SandraDodd: Have a good breakfast then! 
reneecabatic: enjoy breakfast! 
Tammy (Guest22): NSW 
Schuyler: Pretty 
At least near Queensland 
Tammy (Guest22): ok, thanks.  bye. 
Schuyler: I haven't been further south than the border area 
JennyC: bye tammy 
SandraDodd: So in a way it's not England that's the rickets problem, it's  wearing burkas near the arctic circle. 
Schuyler: Yep# 
And not having the vitamin D fortified milk that I always drank as a child 
SandraDodd: I was surprised at the sun coming up at 4:00 a.m. in east yorkshire, 
And even when Keith was in Minnesota, the difference in the angle of the sun is way different 
JennyC: that is early 
Schuyler: And in winter it sets at 4 pm 
SandraDodd: It would still be light in Minnesota when we were getting sundown here sometimes.  UNNATURAL (or 
totally natural, while I had defined what I was used to in New Mexico as "natural") 
and that is the problem with deschooling. 
We come to believe "schoolyears" are natural. 
I talked about that there, I think 
Schuyler: I can get lost in existentialism thinking about how much is artifice. 
SandraDodd: People who live equatorially aren't milk drinkers generally anyway, so the sun does it for them 
JennyC: i wish i had more sun! 
SandraDodd: The word "Artificial" was a huge compliment to an artist in the Renaissance. 
JennyC: and i'm not a milk drinker 
SandraDodd: It meant "lifelike" 
I do milk (nw european ancestry) AND sun (Albuquerque) 
JennyC: really?  i didn't know that 
about artificial 
SandraDodd: I am Vitamin D-ified 
That's right. 
I said it. 
JennyC: i need to be! 
it must be said outloud to get it, which I just did 
funny funny 
SandraDodd: Anyone have any other quesitons? 

kwesitrons   (robot voice ..:-) ARE THERE ANY QUESTIONS? 
I need to get back to the exciting disaster that is the Always Learning List today 
And maybe take a hike around the yard first to shake off the tension of a chat going by at 110 mph 
But you guys can stay here and talk behind my back if you want.  
Schuyler: I need to change a hedgehog's bedding 
And move toward bed myself 
SandraDodd: This chat room is here all the time, so if you want to bring your friends and have a chat of your own, here it 
Thanks again, all of you! 

Schuyler: The day may be dawning in Australia, but it's ending here 
SandraDodd: Heat of the 3:00 afternoon here 
reneecabatic: thank you! so much! 
Schuyler: G'night

This chat is at the request of Elli, who wrote " I am 2 months into homeschooling my 11 and 8 year old and would love to hear from others!!"

If there are particularly good suggestions made, I'll bring them here later. For those needing ideas about deschooling, check, and for new unschoolers: