Complaints and Criticism

These used to be on the feedback page but it got too long.


In the interest of balance and fairness, I've had critics.

SECOND-HAND CRITICISM, interestingly turned:

If you are considering unschooling, please visit Sandra Dodd's site. I've found it to be very informative and helpful.
(That sounds positive, but all around it are quotes of criticism of "humanism" and other problems people on that site had with unschooling ideas.)

I know many have written to me complaining about her style- she's too gruff, she is mean, she is condescending, she is harsh—wah wah wah. She is also RIGHT almost all of the time!   source

I just wanted to say I agree with you 100%. I happen to like the term horseshit quite well. Very fitting actually. Have you ever been over to Sandra's unschoolers forum? If not you really should go check it out. A friend of mine sent me a link to it a couple of weeks ago because she got completely bashed there for making a suggestiong regarding healthy food. I thought that in this day and age nothing could shock me. I was wrong. Horseshit on top of horseshit smoothered in horseshit.

Sandra note:
in context, and I took names out because I'm nicer than they are. Nobody was bashed here. Maybe she meant on a list. And even then, I think some people interpret anything short of "OOOOH! What a good iDEEah" to be bashing.

(Most criticism; some defense of ideas.)


I myself have had a recent disillusion regarding Unschooling, or more appropriately, Sandra Dodd's particular interpretation and representation of the idea, mindset, and practice (the truth of which will not be found on her website but must be discovered through interaction with her). To be more precise, I now question and doubt her representation of it in the face of her inability to afford other adults the same courtesy, respect, and space that she claims we should all give to children.
More of that, but it's much misrepresentation

I am NOT recommending her in the slightest. She's likely done more damage to new unschooling families than anyone else I can think of—though if you're curious, go look at UnschoolingDiscussion (because there can be only one) now at google's groups.

Her stance is much like that of African witch doctors who offer their clients potions and ablutions to ward off machete blows and gunfire: if you have a problem, it's your fault for having not followed the one true path.


(on a list I'm not on)

Oh geez, she scared the bejeesus out of me, I've never been treated so rudely on an email list before. I did go over her website, though and she does have interesting stuff on it but she takes a lot of pleasure in being condenscending to newbies or just plain mean and her rabid followers are the same way. How can someone who touts respect and love be so nasty to fellow adults? I don't get it, I just lurk on her list anymore and look for info that is helpful to me. I wouldn't spend any money or exert any effort to read her stuff, though—she seems very hypocritical to me.

I completely disagree with putting all your energy into making your children happy, and quite franky, putting all your energy into making your children happy has absolutely NOTHING to do with unschooling. I see by your links that you see yourself as some kind of unschooling prophet but honestly, no-one gets to define unschooling for anyone else. There is a loosely held definition of "child-led learning" that many of us incorporate into a lifestyle of accepting that our children can find their own limits in life, but honestly, doing whatever it takes (putting maximum energy) to make a child happy is not

(on the Live and Learn list)

September 28, 2009, I received a barrage of demands that I remove a paragraph from my blog and here (a barrage all from one person). Although it had been anonymous, the author zinged around to the point of saying she might want to publish it someday (when I asked if she considered it a literary work). I left a note on the blog, right above a photo of my entire family with Pam Sorooshian's whole family—six kids all leading really cool lives, all unschooled. Positive and Negative Feedback

There's one too rude to leave here. It has "the F word." Read it only if you're brave. It's here. (I'll add other rudeness there to keep this page from getting too long.)
Those who don't think I'm the devil have been called "Sandranistas," "Doddites" and "Doddoheads," by people who claimed I was scary and rude.

There have been some fabrications created to discredit me too.

In 2019 someone whose name I've separated from writing I expect she will later regret wrote
"Your manner comes across like you are on a high horse,"
"You are so hung up on your guidelines and how unschooling is represented that you dont realize that it also isolates people into not liking the group."
The whole exchange is here.
In late 2017, early 2018, I had some criticism (and then some gratitude, too) for creating a public facebook group to ask questions about and around transgender issues involving children. There are two places where some criticism sits:
Transgender Shut-Up, and
Comments on this explanatory blog post

Main feedback page (mostly positive)


Rude feedback

"Militant cult"?