Follow-up to HSC Home=Schooling Conference 2001
with booklist and links

As I write this I have just returned from the HSC Home=Education conference in Sacramento. It's Tuesday, August 21, 2001, and I'm still excited. I'm also bubbling over with things I WISH I had said (and a couple of things I said which weren't exactly as I wish I had said them), and plans for the future.

Richard Prystowsky and I did a writing workshop and I meant to pass around a comic strip but forgot — "Ninja Theatre," a strip about simile and metaphor.

It's printed out and taped inside the bathroom door at our house, with other humor, art, and strips. When my kids need to know about simile and metaphor, they'll have a head start.

Copies of tapes of my talk on Unschooling and the two with Richard on Questioning and Writing are available NOW! They're $5 each and shipping is $1.75 for one or two, and $3.25 for 3-6 tapes from T.C.C. Audio, 578 Meadowlark St., Livermore CA 94550 specify 2001, since other conferences have come and gone!!! I doubt they're still available, but for the record:

Names and numbers on my talks and Richard's:

Sandra Dodd
    Unschooling Gloriously Introduced [01 16]

SandraDodd/Richard Prystowsky
    To Question or Not To Question--That is the Question! [01 17]
    Seeing the Writing on the Wall, Even When the Writing Isn't There [01 18]

Richard Prystowsky
    Spiritual education [01 36]
    How to Prepare for College Writing [01 37]
    Are you kidding? Why Would I Want to Write THAT? [01 38]

I've listened to two tapes. Twice I was talking about a past story and used a present tense, almost like the storytelling present in "A guy comes into a bar..." One was about Marty playing ice hockey. Marty USED to play ice hockey, but as I was thinking about eight-year-old Marty, I said "plays" instead of "played." I was talking about talks I used to have with my grandmother, and used present tense that same way. So I must note for the sake of honesty and time-stasis that Marty is no longer on a hockey team and my grandmother is no longer living. I was surprised when I heard myself, because the pictures of those people in my mind as I spoke were perfectly alive, just four and fifteen years ago.

If there are any questions about statements or handouts from the workshops, please let me know.

And the handout from the Questioning workshop I promised to put online for the overflow past fifty is right here:


Sandra Dodd's booklist for 8/18/01 talk on Questioning

These are some of the books that helped me become the parent I am, with the names of chapters listed for inspiration. You can find many books on homeschooling nowadays and they're great, but you might want to read some of the philosophy behind some other people's writings. I didn't put any John Holt on here, only because I assume all those interested in unschooling will have read as much John Holt as they could find. So John Holt (Teach your Own, Never too Late, anything else) and:

The Continuum Concept
"Allowing Human Nature to Work Successfully"

Jean Liedloff
ISBN 0-201-05071-4

How My Ideas were so Radically Changed, The Continuum Concept, The Beginning of Life, Growing Up, Deprivation of Essential Experiences, Society, Putting Continuum Principles Back to Work

2019 note:
Liedloff's book has been discounted, for unschooling, by unschooling anthropologists, and the points made are good ones. Don't read it as a manual, nor even as great anthropology. ALSO the philosophy has been taken up by controlling parents pining for imagined ideals, and wanting to limit their children's access to the culture in which they actually DO live. That missed the point completely.

Whole Child/Whole Parent
"A Spiritual & Practical Guide to Parenthood"
ISBN 0-06-090949-8
Wholeness, Spirit, Happiness, Freedom, Unity, Beauty, Truth, Love       used copies on Amazon
Philosophy and the Young Child
Gareth B. Matthews
ISBN 0-8674-66606

Puzzlement, Play, Reasoning, Piaget, Stories, Fantasy, Anxiety, Naiveté , Dialogues

NEW AND INSPIRING: Any book by Dean Sluyter:
Why The Chicken Crossed the Road and other Hidden Enlightenment Teachings from Buddha to Bebop to Mother Goose
The Zen Commandments: Ten Suggestions for a Life of Inner Freedom

A review of the first one, which appears in the second:

This smart, sassy, and idiosyncratic spiritual resource is divided into sections on cosmic jokes, sacred nursery rhymes, exploding proverbs, and accidental hymns....Sluyter proves to be a subtle and imaginative guide through the contemporary world of pop culture, dazzling us with epiphanies....He provides fresh takes on faith, devotion, grace, being present, beauty, practice, selflessness, forgiveness, simplicity. Like the best spiritual teachers, Sluyter lets light in from many angles—in this case, the wisdom of Buddhism, Christianity, Taoism and more. Why the Chicken Crossed the Road is a surefire demonstration of why play is an essential ingredient in spiritual growth."

I'm adding another review in 2019, because I love this book, and someone nameless who writes very well also loved it.

Thank You Mother Dean

By User, March 11, 2005

Dean Sluyter has an uncanny ability to make the mundane mystical. He takes phrases and songs, slows down time, and holds the words up to the sun turning them over in his hand and inside your mind to extract a much deeper meaning. His deconstruction of Row Row Row Your Boat is worth the price of admission alone. I am as college educated as the next guy and I was giggling like a monkey by the time I had completed the book. Then I gave it to a repairman, a friend of mine, mechanically a genius but completly unread, and he retured it the next morning at 7am because he 'just had to talk to somebody about it, about life, about meaning" and we had a conversation like philosophers over a cup of my horrible coffee. So I say again, Thank you Dean Sluyter. If you are ever in Newport Oregon please stop by. You seem like the coolest guy in America.

As unschooling commentary, I want to point out the writer's use of "I am as college educated as the next guy ..." and that the next guy was not college educated, but willing and able to appreciate the book and to discuss philosophy. 🙂

More on books—various slants