I was working on a Just Add Light and Stir post. I thought there had been a page about seeing a child directly, but I didn't find one. What I did find was several good uses of the idea, on different pages, so I thought a collection might be worth having.
The idea is mine; the quotes are mine unless otherwise indicated. I say so because there's been some plagiarism lately, and I don't want these things lifted and claimed by others. I DO want them used happily by parents to make their children's lives better.
Turn away from the school and look directly at your children.
A huge shift for my deschooling was that I wanted my kids to be like certain kids I was reading about on the old unschooling.com message boards. And when I had that thought, it shocked me. I realized I was not seeing my kids as who they were, that I was still wanting them to be....something else. That shock was enough to make me banish that thought and look directly at my kids and play with them and have fun with them.
Living in the world peacefully and respectfully are good places to begin to focus when new to unschooing. The best advice I was given was to look at my son. Not at ideals. Not at freedom. Not at school or no school. Not at labels. Not at big ideas. Look at my son. Be with him. Get to know him deeply. And, then to read a bit about unschooling. Give something new a try. See how it goes in the context of our real day to day life.
I still do that. I'm still learning.
First photo by Karen James; second by Julie Daniel
Pam Sorooshian, in a 2009 chat/interview, wrote:
Every time someone starts thinking they should do something because someone else said it was a good idea, they should stop. And they should think right then about their own child and about whether it is a good idea for that actual real child. When people call themselves experts, warning lights should probably go off.
Real expertise shows itself by the good ideas, the modeling, the understanding you get from them. Real experts don't need to call themselves experts or promote themselves as such.