Introduction by Sandra:
I collect things. When I notice I've collected six or ten passages by one author, it makes me want to create a directory page for it, to give others a chance to enjoy what I've saved.
Clare's writing started bubbling up like a fast, clear spring, in 2015, and I caught quite a bit for the benefit of others who have not yet thought of the questions that Clare's writing can help answer. I hope her thoughts and discoveries will continue to flow for a long time, but even if she decides to do other things with her time and talents, please enjoy some of this:
Clare is the mother of four daughters. They and Sven, the dad, live in Gloucestershire in the UK.
Clare wrote in June, 2015:
I've been unschooling properly for only about two years, but I I feel as though saying I've been unschooling for two years isn't quite right because I've known about it, been reading about it and 'trying it' unsuccessfully on and off for a decade longer than that. That all meant that it wasn't a new concept to me two years ago at all and, happily, it didn't take long to click when I came back to it in 2013. It's as if I just hadn't been in the right place myself to truly understand it or do it well/get it right before then. I had to work through a load of my stuff before I could be in the right place but when I got to the right place, that was it; it clicked and family life suddenly became about letting go of fear and about prioritising joy and connection. Since then, I've been engaging in unschooling discussion a lot in UK groups, which, of course, has just deepened my understanding of it and the real wonders it can bring.
In response to a question from a mother of four-year-old girls:
"What does unschooling look like at this age? "It looks like it does at any age: fun and connection. Do what is fun for them. If you're also working on better connection with them, a closer relationship with them, you'll also start to learn what they may find fun that they don't yet know about. Also do what is fun for you. Learning to help yourself to do fun things will help you realise that your children's learning and richness of life will come from helping them to do things they find fun.
Clare's blog is Unschooling Moments—Glimpses of Joy, Connection and Learning in Radical Unschooling Families
Consider saying 'yes' more often. Don't just say 'yes' without thought 'because some unschoolers told you to'. But *consider* saying 'yes' more often... the rest is here
On a child's recovery / deschooling:
. If you do this healing time well, you will see him flourish; you will see your relationship strengthen and you will begin to really know your son and what makes him tick and you will get better and better at responding to who he really is.
I added some links to a Clare-quote, at Always Learning:
In my experience, our thoughts really do become our reality. Try not to see time out with your children as energy-sapping. Instead, try telling yourself that you become energised by being with your children and actively trying to be of service to them; actively trying to help them do the things they want to do. But don't do these things with your mind thinking 'I can't wait until I can have my me time' or with your thoughts on an economy of putting the 'work' in now meaning you'll get your time later. Don't do things with any energy at all of self-sacrifice. Do it actively with love, with generosity.Sandra Dodd::
An attitude of abundance and gratitude can be as good as a nap. :-)
More by Clare on fears:
I always find it helpful to really pick apart my fears and compare them to other fears I could have and I usually come to the conclusion that I really should just chill out about it all and look for joy, not fear. Fear just gets in the way of everything. And fear itself is bad for you anyway... (Fears)
...the word 'service' has only positive associations for me and is linked with the words 'honour' and 'privilege' and 'joy'. And I think also 'gratitude'. There is nothing richer than making someone's life more joyful and I get to do that at home and at work for the people in our society who need it the most.
On Always Learning, in response to someone who had written
"I've been trying so hard to do the *right* thing, but it seems like I keep getting it *wrong*."Clare wrote:
This means that you're trying to find rules to live by and hoping that sticking to them will make you an unschooling parent and solve all your problems. But unschooling doesn't work that way. Stop reading for a bit and try being more present in each moment. Try looking at every moment and considering which response will be the better one to make. Not the best one, not the right one, but the better one.
"I'm so delighted by unschooling now I feel like I finally get it. My kids, my family, our lives are really fantastic now - I only regret not getting it sooner!"
—Clare, earlier in the year this page was created