Some information on Dayna Martin

This was a 2011 comment to a blog post by Kelly Halldorsson, about problems her family had had with Dayna and Joe Martin. The post was down for a while, and then up with a password, but here is my contribution to that collection. The original post is linked below. Dayna had told Kelly that she and I used to be friends, and that part is quoted below. (Dayna has also told people that she and Ren Allen used to be close friends, but that I had turned Ren against her; also not true.)

Sandra Dodd says:

January 22, 2011 at 4:27 PM

There are things in the blogpost that are quite untrue, and they’re things Dayna wrote about me. The first time I heard of Dayna was in 2006. Someone sent me a blogpost from a list (not private, but I wasn’t on it). Someone had posted a link to my site, I think, and Dayna responded something like “Some of us have gone beyond John Holt and Sandra Dodd.” I don’t think I have that e-mail anymore, but if anyone does, I would like to have it for the record, and so I can quote it properly.

Someone wrote and asked me who that was, and I said I had no idea. So the first time I heard of Dayna, she was using my name to bolster herself. “Here’s the starting point: John Holt and Sandra Dodd. I am beyond that.”

There was a followup in which Dayna wrote to that list:

I wanted to post to say that in my last email ‘checking in’ I mentioned that many of us have moved past Dodd and Holt. It wasn’t a very good way to phrase what I was meaning. I should have written that many of us have inspirations other than or in addition to Sandra Dodd and John Holt. Of course they are some of our biggest influences! If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be here.

I wanted to be clear in what I meant because once I reread what I wrote it sounded like I didn’t like them or something or didn’t want them discussed. How the heck could we have a RU list without discussing them? I am not anti-Dodd or Holt! Yikes! I love em, I swear!

When I said that this list wasn’t for “Sandra Dodd” style discussion, I meant that the Moderators here are not trying explaining/argue what Unschooling “is” like most of the larger lists do. I was trying to share that this wasn’t so much a “How to” list as much as it is a “we are already here” list. Am I making sense? I don’t think I am the type of person that could be as good as Sandra explaining things anyway

I hope this clears up my last checking in email. I suck at expressing myself sometimes. Thanks for bearing with me as I learn the ropes.

Thanks ~Peace & Love, Dayna

So that’s what I knew of Dayna in 2006. Distant, second-hand, her using my name.

“…this wasn’t so much a “How to” list as much as it is a “we are already here” list. Am I making sense?”…

It made sense to me, in that she was setting herself up as someone who had nothing at all to learn about unschooling. I don’t know how old her oldest child was in 2006. I didn’t ask or need to know. I knew that I had never heard of her, and she was using my name to establish herself as equal or above in knowledge of unschooling, or in experience, or something.

I kept doing what I had been doing for a dozen years before that, and it continued to have nothing to do with Dayna.

The incident of the gathering above (where Dayna says that she and I were friends and that Holly and I were going to stay at her house) was in 2007. Holly and I had been invited to speak in Maine, just in homes, following a scheduled trip to Minneapolis. I had said maybe we could add the Maine trip to that one. But the details never totally came together, so Holly and I went to the Minnesota conference in September 2007, stayed with the Traaseths, had a great time and came home.

At the time the discussions were in progress, though, in May 2007, I got an e-mail from Dayna saying if we would come and stay at her house as one of the stops, she would pay both our airfares completely. I have those e-mails. It was a request from someone I already didn’t trust, about something I never agreed to do.

Although Dayna suggested she was in on the planning, she asked me for the e-mail address of the person coordinating it. So she was NOT in on it, it was a bluff. I didn’t give her the e-mail address, but said I would forward the request.

The e-mail address from which she had written turned out to be one that had been used on a Maine list (unschooling or homeschooling list, I’m not sure, but the list on which those proposing that I might come up there had been discussing the plan). Someone using that address had joined and claimed to be a teacher looking into homeschooling or some such. When my contacts in Maine got the e-mail I forwarded from Dayna, they recognized that address.

So what I knew at that point was that even if I did go to Maine, I didn’t want to go to Dayna’s house, and that Dayna wasn’t being honest and straightforward about who she was.

I didn’t out her at the time. I thought maybe she would eventually communicate openly with other unschoolers and not be so isolated and separate. I still didn’t know anything about her family or her children, and I hadn’t asked, because it didn’t matter. We were not friends, as she stated to Kelly.

As to this, quoted above:

“Once the show came out, and people began to know who we were and started turning to me with questions everything shifted with Sandra. As time went on and I became more and more of an advocate, she began doing the same love/hate thing with me. It hurt so much because I had the utmost respect for her.”
That is delusion. There was no love, there was no hate. I didn’t hurt her.

That was 2007. There have been other instances of falsehood and misrepresentation, of backpedalling, denial, and of posting reactionary things that are subsequently removed.

There are other claims above that are not true, concerning Ren Allen and Pam Sorooshian. I have known them since 2002 and 1996, respectively.

I will save this writing (because blogs and their comments aren’t always long-lasting), and add other notes and e-mails in a place that isn’t fully public, with a code to keep it from being found by search engines. It’s not there yet, but will be here:

In 2020, I removed the no-follow code, so it could be found. It's old; Dayna and Joe are divorced. There are still people reporting harm from their information. I won't always be around to defend my own work.

Having documented this much, it’s worth keeping it available. When a person’s reliability and honesty are in question but they’re accepting money based on undocumented claims, that can sometimes become fraud. I’m not saying there is fraud, and I’ve never given Dayna any money. But from my point of view it’s worth keeping records because if statements such as those above continue to accumulate, there could be libel or slander to consider.

If anyone has evidence of Dayna having using terms such as “Doddonians,” I would appreciate a a copy of e-mail or other dated evidence, please. I’m not going to do anything with it but save it in case the situation escalates.

I have one letter with evidence of plagiarism (and not even plagiarism of my own writings). Those are worth collecting as well.

Now I’m going to the post office to mail books, and then will help Holly move her bed, and to think about other things.


Then Joe Martin posted, with a false e-mail (which had been done before, and has been done after):
internet user 1 says:
January 23, 2011 at 3:40 AM

I have to say this is a scary place to be, I see 2 people keeping track of one persons movements like a stalker, with saved emails and posts form messages boards. Going back years.

What did you do with all of this stored information? Share it with friends or just hold on to it like hoarders? I think it is a really strange way to go through life keeping score on what was said with a time line to follow. I say wash your hands of this whole mess.

You all look like fools pointing fingers at another when you should be pointing in the mirror.

No wonder this Dayna felt the “jealously”, you were stalking her.

Your all unschoolers right? So a unschooler is one that is kind and respectful of children? But a total bitch to fellow unschoolers? That may be doing what you have done, spread the word about unschooling. I would say I am late to the party here but listen party is over.

I see this Sandra person has a blog or group page or what ever. Who gave you the crown to unschooling? Did you take it from someone else like you fear Dayna is from you?

Also from what I have read here and I might have missed it. If you were so close before this why not reach out with a phone call or a email reply? You just go off your medication and post things like this? You must not have been a true friend at all. A true friend would have wanted to know more. IMO

I saw on another other post you are talking with sponsors? I for sure would not want to have my company involved with a person that would do this type of thing to another. You may want to rethink some of your post before setting up your big meeting.

I think my kids might be better off in school with the bullies, then with you people.

I have an idea go be with your kids.


Kelly Halldorson says:
January 23, 2011 at 10:26 AM

internet user 1,

First of all it’s hard to take accusations seriously from someone calling themselves, “internet user 1″ but I’ll address this one time…


That is quite an accusation. There was no stalking, certainly from our end. The Martins were the ones who followed us through their son’s facebook account and kept track of what we were doing through friends after they had supposedly blocked us.

As far as our parenting, we’ve been with our kids. If you are so inclined take a look here ( to see some of what we’ve been doing with our kids while this whole thing has been going on.


Kelly Halldorson says:
January 23, 2011 at 11:00 AM

“internet user 1″ — please know your IP address is recorded when you post here. and your IP address, interestingly enough, comes from the lakes region in New Hampshire. and it strikingly similar to the other two IP addresses Joe Martin used to post on this entry.

internet user 1 says:

January 23, 2011 at 12:33 PM

It was sent from “the lakes region in New Hampshire”

Family sticks together, what more can I say when I come to my families home and read all of this crap.

I took some time to say what I felt

mws says:

January 23, 2011 at 2:47 PM

i wish you would post her blog entry, too. i cannot believe how much i have read of this… i love how your blog reads like a super contemporay epistolary novel, i guess. keep writing.

Sandra Dodd says:
January 23, 2011 at 3:16 PM

So “internet user 1″ is related to Dayna, yet referred to her as “this Dayna”? Pretending to be someone other than he is?

-=-I see this Sandra person has a blog or group page or what ever. Who gave you the crown to unschooling? Did you take it from someone else like you fear Dayna is from you?-=-

I am “this Sandra person.” I do have a blog and a group page, but I’m sure you know that. There is no “crown to unschooling.” There are reputations made and lost, though. There is nothing Dayna can take from me. She cannot change my experience or the happiness of my children.

As you’re related to Dayna, perhaps you’re also related to Joe (if you’re not yourself Joe), please mention to them that a reality show might be a supremely bad idea for people who don’t want their photos on the internet.

-=-I have to say this is a scary place to be, I see 2 people keeping track of one persons movements like a stalker, with saved emails and posts form messages boards. Going back years.

I have letters from both my grandmothers, nearly every letter I received after I was grown and in a position to keep them safe, and a few from when I was younger. I have letters from my dad, who wrote very little. I have letters from my mother and it’s a comfort to see her handwriting. I have notes my children wrote me when they were young, and their artwork and favorite toys.

I have folders with letters from friends, some from childhood, some now deceased. Sometimes I have sent the folder to a surviving spouse or child as a gift so they will have the post cards, photos, letters and greeting cards I received from my friend or their family over time. This is not the sordid crime you would like to suggest it is.

I didn’t “keep track of one person’s movements.” I kept correspondence in which I was involved. There’s nothing odd or wrong about that. There IS something wrong with anonymous posters coming and suggesting that I’m a stalker or don’t spend time with my children.

-=-I have an idea go be with your kids. 

My daughter helped me with the comment above, from yesterday. She remembered the problem with the e-mail/name falsification. Some people never pretend to be anyone else, and use their real names. I always have used my real name online. Other people tend to pretend to be others. It hampers their integrity.

I spent hours of time with my kids yesterday. Every day this week, actually. But I wrote about last night here:

You can go badmouth me there on my blog, if you want to, anonymous internet user. Or perhaps you should go and be with your children, and write about that. It would do many more people good.

Kelly Halldorson, The Sparkling Reality of Friendship, January 19, 2011: (WayBack Machine preserved copy from March 8, 2011.)

end of quote from blog comments
This page is one tiny part of a very large website (over 1000 URLS) on ideas for unschooling parents. I resisted giving the Martins so much attention as a page on my site, but they have hurt other people since I decided not to.

Plagiarism, dishonesty, bullying and fraud have been repeated with other people and other writings and other families. When I refuted something small in public in 2012, a bad review was added to my book's listing on Amazon, from New Hampshire, saying the book was disorganized and made no sense. It was later removed. If I kept it somewhere, I will bring it and quote it, but I suspect it to have been Joe, as it is his MO to write something and then remove it and deny that it was ever there.

Or it's possible that Amazon took it down. I did click to complain that I thought it was the husband of Dayna Martin, whose book was also listed, and who had threatened one of the reviewers there.

I don't feel the need to share everything I've collected. People have e-mailed me over the years saying they suspected that Dayna wasn't being honest, and I've said "You're right, she's probably not being." Some have sent me reports of plagiarism, from "The Secret," and from food blogs, in addition to unschooling quotes. Much of what Dayna posts disappears suddenly, and so evidence isn't easy to keep.

later note: In 2013 I did collect others' rerports. Most is set so that it's not searchable by google. It was an attempt to be courteous. The main page, though, is public and links directly or indirectly to the others.
It's not all I have, still. And the problems didn't end after that.

When Parents have Issues How to Unschool Just Add Light and Stir