Why what? Why anything—why this. Why that. Why not?

Why do people unschool?

These aren't all from the same place or timeframe, but it's intended to be a little mosaic of the thoughts and circumstances that have led various families to unschooling. —Sandra Dodd

The Five W's

  • Who
  • What
  • Where
  • When
  • Why
For unschooling, the greatest of those is "Why?"

Go there and see how Rudyard Kipling has been quoted out of context for 100 years.

Thoughts on How to Read, and Why

School, tradition, and odd marketing have messed up people's perception of reading, and their ability to read for right and true purposes, in direct and useful ways.

Why not read directly and honestly, for direct and honest reasons?

(several accounts)

A Good Question to Ask

When people change directions concerning their children's lives and learning, sometimes they ask what they should do and how they should do it.

A better question to ask is "Why?"

photo by John Hooker


Every time you feel the urge to control a choice, you can ask yourself "why?" and begin to question the assumptions (or fears) about children, parenting, learning and living joyfully that you are holding on to.
—Robyn Coburn

photo by Sandra Dodd

Clarify / "Why?"

One of the finest ways to clarify a concept is to explain it to someone else. It’s one thing to passively understand (at least momentarily in short-term memory) how to tie a clove hitch or to make waffles, but to really know the thing you need to have done it so much you can do it while you’re sleepy, in the dark, in a wind storm. Or so much that you could pass the secret skill on to another person. Be prepared for the most important question of all: “Why?"
photo by Sandra Dodd

How will you be?

How will you be, as a parent, and why? What's keeping you from being the way you want to be?
photo by Bea Mantovani

Amy Childs introduced a podcast on principles with this (with my emphasis):
Principles and priorities (rather than rules) create the framework by which unschooling can work.

When you’re saying Yes or No or Maybe - the big gigantic question is WHY. This can help with decisions about how to be with your kids and probably with decisions about everything else too.

And there is lots more good reading on Sandra’s site about rules and principles. So go read some of it!

The 15-minute podcast is embedded on the "Living by Principles" page of my site. There are a couple of review/comments from when it was new, there, too.

Sandra Dodd, April 2001:

There are some homeschoolers who are so obsessed with the evils of school, the unfairness of some bygone situation or other that they or their children were involved in (or relatives, or friends' kids), that they cannot live a day without reliving that incident, emotional package and all. They obsess on school. They homeschool Because of School. When asked about homeschooling, they talk about school.

That can happen with religion, too. A Profound and Abiding avoidance of religion is still a life lived in the shadow of religion. Religion can ruin a life even if the person doesn't go to church.

If it is horrible, turn away from it and prove that life can be lived purely and sweetly without it. If life is lived in reactionary response to a thing, the thing is still the centerpiece of life and thoughts.

Discussion here and an older part of that is at the link at the top of that page, where it says Archive..., which unfortunately starts in the middle. I'm glad there are still some archives to be found of all that, though!