How to read

March 13, 2013, I posted this on my facebook page:

From the unschooling chat just a minute ago:


I wish I could tell everyone that if there's some part of Sandra's site they think they "don't need" to read, READ IT FIRST. Read it twice.
I commented:
This is cool. At the end of the chat, Virginia was telling us the story of the miracle of the doughnut holes. They used to buy them, but tell their girls not to eat them, they were for the morning.

A few months ago they stopped being so controlling about food, and the last time there were doughnut holes, the girls didn't want them. The chat went on to:

Sandra Dodd: The "don't open now" part means you didn't think this page was important: Economics of Restricting TV Watching of Children

VirginiaW: Ha, I thought I didn't need that because I never restricted games or TV

For anyone who comes by here and is the least bit confused, here are references and source:

True Tales of Kids Turning Down Sweets

the post on facebook, March 13, 2013

the "Moments and Mindfulness" chat transcript

Virginia's writing in slightly larger context:
Back when I was first reading your site, the were two big sections I didn't read because I was sure I didn't "need" to.

"Food" because I thought I wasn't controlling food. 😐 And "deschooling" because my kids never went to school.

I wish I could tell everyone that if there's some part of Sandra's site they think they ”don't need ” to read, READ IT FIRST. Read it twice.

Your bad ideas are trying to defend themselves by tricking you.

I have said that I designed my site as a prairie dog village, in which every entry has at least two exits. By entering and making choices of "next" links, one will explore in a logical way.

Amy Childs wrote, as an intro to an interview once:

I’ve relied on Sandra Dodd‘s enormous "prairie dog village" of a website in my own unschooling journey, and have referred dozens if not hundreds of people to check it out as well. Since it (both unschooling, and the website!) can be overwhelming at first, new unschoolers are recommended to start here or here.
The links are to and

The interview (a recording playable there, or for download) and more of the intro are at Interview, Sandra Dodd (by Amy Childs)

Another analogy was of an apothecary's shop, or a pharmacy.
No-one is ever likely to read my whole website and I don’t ever need them to. It’s not written to be read from one end to the other any more than a pharmacy is intended for someone to start at one end and eat, drink or inject every substance in the whole room.
It's not made to read whole. It's made to discover gradually, as needed.

Some discussion of that is at I've read your whole website, and..."

Rippy Dusseldorp wrote about the Always Learning list, but it applies to most of the discussions and collections:
For me, this list is like being in a graduate class at university about unschooling. A rapid flow of ideas, critical examination of those ideas and the encouragement to really think your thoughts through. Fortunately, it is a free university run by expert volunteers that make sure the discussion stays firmly on the philosophy of unschooling, attentive parenting and what will help unschooling and what will hinder it. I learn every day how to have a better partnership with my children and spouse, how to connect, inspire, trust and help. And now that I have learned how to read without my emotions interpreting the emails for me, the message is consistently the same - be loving, gentle and sweet with your children, *be* with your children, live joyfully.
Rippy Dusseldorp
Before Rippy settled into her peaceful understanding, she was quite spooked by the information and tone of the discussion. You might want to read the whole account here:

Learning to read on the list
photos are links

Read a little, try a little, wait a while, watch.