It's all come true...the kindness, the respect, the sparkle.

From: Betsy
Subject: Thank you!
Date: November 8, 2011 8:17:12 AM MST
To: Sandra Dodd

Sandra,

Every couple of years I get an urge to thank you...and I've got it again. : )

Seriously...there really aren't words to tell you how much someone I've never met has made our lives so much better.

I started reading unschooling lists when my oldest son was a toddler. That guy will be 10 next month. It's all come true...the kindness, the respect, the sparkle.

He's played on a baseball team this year for the first time (all of them public school kids--most of them extraordinarily delightful). One of the moms helps in the dug out, and told me the other day, "Sam is the most polite child! He's the kind of boy I want (my son) to hang around."

When the other children strike out or make errors, there's my guy rubbing their backs and telling them, "That's OK, you tried your best!"

I mean, really! I laugh because if they only knew what "freaks" we are, you know?! Don't make him do anything, don't punish, whatever it is that people are SURE produces kind, polite children.

Our youngest son is 6 and he's just as amazing--in different ways...but just as cool!

Here's a funny you might appreciate...both kids have/had spells of not wanting to brush teeth. Pretty common, as you know. We did so many things that you and other unschoolers talked about....lots of brush/paste options, talking it through, etc. etc. Finally, we just let it go and there wasn't a lot (if any brushing). I kept recalling the many conversations I had heard of worried mothers and the the reasurances of wise/experienced unschoolers to simply TRUST. So we did (though I worried to myself more than I'd like to admit).

Years later the kids are brushing, flossing, rinsing, etc. on their own. No cavities to date.

The other day we were in the line at the grocery and I said, "You guys want to do something fun after this?" Both suggested Chuck-E-Cheese. I responded that Chuck-E-Cheese was not my first choice (distance, cost), and would they be willing to pick something else fun. Response: "How about the DENTIST?" LOL!

Several people in line around us overheard and simply could not believe their ears. I mean....who says that?! Can you imagine? These kids are amazing and their outlook on life (and dentistry--lol) is absolutely breathtaking.

One of the other amazing perks of all this is that by being kind to them I've healed a lot of hurt from my childhood. I don't know how it works, but it does.

I'm really beyond grateful that I found unschooling and your practical, wonderful advice--no hoo-y woo-y, complicated stuff....just very concise, simply put, and right to the heart of the matter.

THANK YOU!

You have made a world of difference for us. Truly.

Warmly,

Betsy Shepard

Sam (9) & Eli (6)

Surry, VA

Sparkly unschooling ideas

Another mom (Rippy D) wrote beautifully, and also a dad, saying "sorry." Other feedback, good and some bad.