Something very encouraging has been added to the right-hand side at the page on negativity.
It came from a chat, in which a mom said she tried unschooling while still being negative, and it didn't work.
One little news item: I'll be speaking in Palo Alto, California (between San Francisco and San Jose) October 1. More details will follow in January.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Something very encouraging has been added to the right-hand side at the page on negativity.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
At the end it's nearly cut off but I said "...separate a person from the world."
Note to interviewers: Don't put me on a deep, comfy couch. I need to sit up!
Here are two recent interviews that I failed to link on my site until today, though they had been announced on this blog earlier. One is print and the other is audio.
"An unschooling surprise: Sandra Dodd is in the house!", by Kim Houssenloge in Australia, November 2010.
Now linked at http://sandradodd.com/unschooling, righthand column
Amy Childs' "Interview with Sandra Dodd," on WhateverAmen.com, October 11, 2010.
You can listen to a 20 minute version, a 40 minute version, or download the MP3.
Links added to my site here: http://sandradodd.com/listen/ and http://sandradodd.com/unschooling
Sunday, December 12, 2010
In various cross-pollinating ways, I'm helping unschoolers meet other unschoolers. Even in India, some people met who wouldn't have if I hadn't been there, and that was fun for me and useful for them.
My plans for the next several months aren't crystal clear yet, but there are some solidifying details. I will be meeting with and hanging out with unschoolers in these places, and details (times and dates) will be confirmed here as they're more definite:
January 2011: ALBUQUERQUE! My house, January.
Julie Daniel's family, Robin Bentley, and several local families are the only ones I know of for sure. Any others?
If you're planning to be in Albuquerque January 7-10, 2011, please come over!
10 Halfmoon, NY
12 Bryn Athyn, PA (that one's a marriage conference, not unschooling)
13 Bryn Athyn, PA (unschooling)
15-17 other Pennsylvania and NJ, being determined this week, but tentatively: Quakertown, Chadd's Ford, Philadelphia and Princeton
18 or 19, NYC (not speaking, just visiting)
21, 22, CT/NY (still being planned)
4-6 Atlanta, GA [AND SOMEONE (someone I hope will write to me again) wrote about me coming to Alabama afterwards***]
24-26 St. Charles, IL (Holly will be there, too.)
***I had a hard drive die on me, and much saved mail poofed away; *sorry!****
June/July 2011, UK/France
London (maybe a small conference)
Edinburgh (maybe not in this order)
Londonderry, Northern Ireland
Baud, Bretagne, France (others who want to visit my friend Helene... she has room for people to stay or camp)
some other to-be-determined visits in the UK; I've also lost some of those contacts. :-/
8-11 San Diego (Good Vibrations Conference; Holly will be there too)
Anyone here who has not yet met other unschooling families, please consider using me as an excuse if you need to, to get to one of these places if they're near you, or if these are crazy-far from you, find something nearer, and meet some others. They don't need to become your best friends for life or anything, but knowing others in person will help you be more confident and less afraid (if you're afraid). And if you're not afraid, and you ARE confident, maybe some other unschoolers could benefit from hanging out with you some!
Friday, December 3, 2010
ACE festival reminder, for anyone who wants to visit Albuquerque next month and hang out with some unschoolers! Meet Julie Daniel and her husband James and her son Adam, from England. The gathering is free except for museum admissions and meals and a place to stay, and transportation, but otherwise Free! (And if you have relatives or friends to stay with, bonus!)
Sandra and Joyce on what real learning looks like:
Finish what you start: Good idea or crazy rule?
Thursday, November 18, 2010
I was interviewed by Kim Houssenloge. She was in Australia and I was in India.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
New analogy on "filling up" by Joyce (third item):
Another perfect piece of Joyce-thought, on deschooling, and I'll quote it below, but it's also here:
Don't expect right now to feel smooth. The days spent in school are like living with a broken leg. The days when unschooling runs smoothly are like living with two strong legs. But the deschooling phase between them is like living with a cast while the leg heals. It won't be as bad as school but won't be as smooth as unschooling.—Joyce FetterollI'm in India for a month, visiting unschooling families. Notes and images are starting to be collected here:
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Something new by Schuyler about the efficiency of unschooling:
Old page, refurbished a bit, with links to others you might be glad to see again:
something new by Jenny Cyphers, but definitely re-read the others
In case anyone missed the notice last month, the Just Add Light and Stir blog/mailing list is going strong:
A note on using The Big Book of Unschooling as a "ouija book":
Monday, October 11, 2010
Something new about co-sleeping in India, upper right:
Some of the writings that led to the post noted above (new page):
Amy Childs interviewed me recently, and today published short and long versions, set in a very nice page!
Click the photo for its source.
Friday, October 8, 2010
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
One Dad’s Journey Thru Unschooling
Phil Biegler—Northeast Unschooling Conference, Wakefield, MA, August, 2010
(now with photos)
There are also new photos at the dads page, of Ross Bentley and his daughter:
Two additions to "Phrases to Avoid," one at the top and one near the bottom.
Kelly Lovejoy made a great suggestion about responding to critical grandparents. I added it here:
Monday, September 27, 2010
Priscilla Sanstead wrote about her daughter's applications to art schools, acceptance to one, at 16, and decision not to go. The side discussions of what and why are very interesting. That's now here (second item):
New page on Energy (personal, unschooling, learning, living energy):
New page on Robbie taking The Big Book of Unschooling to read as soon as it arrives. (He's seven years old.)
And, he adds, “Tell her my favorite part so far is where someone asks what unschooling costs and she says unschooling is priceless—because she’s right—it sure is!”
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
"Fell in shit and came out smelling like roses" - teenage trouble
Addition to a page about adults looking back at what they've learned from TV.
Dola, in New Delhi, telling what she has learned of the world beyond India (bottom of the page)
Something new on the Multiple Intelligences page:
(at the bottom, something Katherine Anderson wrote last night)
Sunday, September 19, 2010
New online (and it's on my site!)
One Dad’s Journey Thru Unschooling (full text)
Phil Biegler—Northeast Unschooling Conference, Wakefield, MA, August, 2010
It will have photos eventually; when it does, I'll link it here again.
Hema Bharadwaj, on video games, added to this page:
Not new, but new on my site. I've lifted and slightly tweaked a year-old blogpost by Shannon Burton, a beautiful juxtaposition of words and images, about the rules for meals in her childhood, and the way her own children eat.
(Thanks to Kelly Lovejoy for pressing me to help make sure that item was seen by more people.)
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Holly, by Holly, last week
How Much does Unschooling Cost?
Definitions of Unschooling
I've added this quote by Jenny Cyphers:
Just like ALL learning, learning how to live comfortably and happy are really wonderful things. It takes a focus on turning away from what you know you don't like and turning towards something else, that something else that creates happy learning and living. Unschooling really is a shift in thinking and then acting on it.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
A little interview, different from others!
My favorite part is the last section which begins:
5. How have you created such a successful presence/business while pouring your heart into family?
Gradually. It's not "a business" so much as it's a self-supporting mission. (...and I include Keith and the kids in the description and "credits.")
This photo doesn't go with the interview. I took it this morning, because Brenna made the cup. It was given to me for speaking at the Good Vibrations Conference in San Diego last year. And today is Brenna McBroom's twenty-first birthday. Here she is seven years ago: http://sandradodd.com/teen/brenna. I think I'll request an update. :-)
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Clean-up and a video added at Words, Words, Words
Connections: an example (new page)
Dads, by dads, for dads (link to something new by Phil Biegler, up top)
(I could use pictures of unschooling dads, to add to that dads page, please.)
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Alison Potter, of Glastonbury, Somerset, wrote:
We came to the London Unschooling conference in 2009. I loved listening to you, you were my favourite—you made so much sense to me and left me with a lovely warm glow. Thank you for your website full of amazing tales of wonder and discovery and for your love of life and children. Sometimes i need a paper reminder... Do you do daily email reminders too?And so in response to Alison Potter, who already has both my books and who wants more input, I'm launching a series of frequent (perhaps daily) notes.
It is September 2, 2010, and I've been a mother since 1986. My three children are safely and happily grown, without school, and there are things I can share with others.
To subscribe to (maybe) brief daily e-mails:
.... [yahoogroups info removed, because there's a better way to subscribe, at the blog itself]
at the related new blog, subscribe by RSS feed.
Thank you, Alison, for the kind words and inspiration.
Monday, August 16, 2010
New Page: Learning about values and coins in and around games
From 2002, an article by Kathy Ward, newly transcribed and available again after some years.
An addition to the page on Phrases to Hear and Avoid:
Friday, August 6, 2010
New page on owning and washing dishes:
Additions to the valuable "gradual change" page, nearly halfway down
Pam Sorooshian and Leah Rose
"The leaps I've tried to take always seem to leave me feeling shaky and uncertain that I'm on the right track. When I inch forward in baby steps the ground feels solid and I know I'm heading in the right direction." ~Leah RosePartnership with children
Lyla Wolfenstein and Pam Sorooshian, second section
Friday, July 30, 2010
Added another good new story, at the bottom, by Pam Sorooshian.
Jenny Cyphers, on finding abundance in simple ways
Breathing (and abundance), right side halfway down, Glenda and Leah Rose:
A quote from that:
I took a deep breath, and as I inhaled I felt my whole being kind of slide into place—it was weird, almost a tangible sensation—and suddenly I felt completely peaceful.
(I'd ignore the one about bubble blowing and early language,
unless you turn it around...)
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Several new accounts of kids helping with housework, for fun, to be nice!
"House" fan gets mom a new diagnosis:
New writing about saying yes, by Jenny Cyphers.
And below that is a story of when Kirby was little and "cross pollinated" some piles of armor, and tripped over a string. The story builds up to other things. The nice young man about 30 who is mentioned in that writing was my friend Leif Ivarson (Bill Hammond) who died last week and so for my friends who knew him, I'm noting that.
(an SCA memorial page for him—on my site, but not about unschooling)
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
HSC advance-registration time has been extended (JULY 18! Do it today if you've been stalling), and there's a cute video preview/advertisement for the conference. I have it here, with a list of my own presentations:
Teens who came later to unschooling
Not new, but spruced up.
Same and Different: Easy answers and second looks
Many answers that seemed obvious to us in childhood look different in the light of years and experience.
Monday, July 5, 2010
These things are not "on my site" directly, thought what's quoted below will be at some point.
The schedule for the HSC conference in Sacramento is online. Kirby and have been added in to a discussion on video games (Rose Sorooshian is the organizer; her boyfriend Daniel is the assistant organizer, and then Kirby, Pam Sorooshian and I have been invited as add-ons. That's at 4:00 Friday afternoon.
My 2:00 Friday talk is "Partnerships" (in case the typo confused you).
I'm presenting something every day, sometimes two or three things.
There was a piece on TV in Spain on the evening of July 4, and it's linked here:
Renee Cabatic is the mother of nine-year-old twins and has two new stories about their bodily awareness:
That was sent to the Always Learning list, and I'll quote it on my pages about eating, later, sometime. I thought it was too valuable to risk losing though, so I'm putting it here.
2 sweet stories about sweets
We were at a bar-b-q party and a 5 yr old friend dug into the cooler, pulled out a coke-a-cola and asked his Ma could he have it.
She said, "Heavens no, especially with that chocolate cake on your plate."
She then looked at me asking, "How do you do it?"
I told her, "I don't restrict what my kids eat," and pointed to their plates. XuMei had watermelon, strawberries, green beans and chocolate cake on her plate. Xander had chosen salmon, corn on the cob, watermelon, strawberries and a root beer to drink.
Later I was telling Chris (my spouse) the story and Xander, who I thought was asleep in the back of the van, perked up and said, "The trick is, there is no trick."
At a second party the next day a Mom friend was having an upset tummy and she asked XuMei what she might do to feel better. XuMei said whenever her tummy hurts it's one of two things: either she is hungry or she needs to poop. The Mom friend was impressed because she felt the cause of her upset tummy was having over eaten the desserts at the potluck. She commented to me how great it was that XuMei had such a healthy relationship to food. XuMei has no need to over eat.
Ma to Xander and XuMei (9)
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
a new link on the dads page:
Living and Learning as a Father in an Unschooling Family
Drew, unschooling father of three, writes about unschooling from the point of view of a teacher (and more).
"Getting kids (and spouses!) to appreciate what you do," by Joyce Fetteroll
(Originally on Family RUNning; link is on the page there.)
Image and text in the area of Monkey Platters ("We call it a rat plate.")
Another beautiful image added to the Cake page, from Melinda Gates (top righthand column):
Notes on my planned events and activities:
Saturday, May 29, 2010
More movies that remind an unschooler of unschooling:
Anne Mills list, at the bottom (and other lists you might not have seen lately, or ever)
Something by Lyla Wolfenstein:
"a message to parents of teens: the illusion of control - a fairy tale of truthful proportions"
This isn't new, but it is obscure and still interesting. When I put Lyla's piece up, I cleaned up a few corners and bits of the teen pages. What I did mention in a discussion at the time, but didn't mention on the page, is that someone who professionally worked with teenaged employees through a school program was very impressed with Kirby (not knowing he hadn't ever gone to school; that would have made a difference to her opinion, I think, but I don't know what kind of difference).
Something about service, by Vanessa, right-hand column here:
In early 2011, January 7-10, a home-ed family with a five year old boy will be visiting in Albuquerque, and others are invited to come and hang out. The first of the details are here:
It won't be a conference with a site and speakers, but an opportunity to meet others informally.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Alysia woke up to several clean rooms "as if the cleaning fairies had come last night."
Physicality; when kids need more activity
A collection of ideas from Pat Robinson (aka wuweimama)
Review of The Big Book of Unschooling (with comments on the web page, as well)
Friday, April 30, 2010
Lefthand, halfway down, James on formal education and unschooling
New (third item) on eating in peace:
I wasn't sure where to put it. I don't have a page on sad stories (nor do I want one), and there's a joy to it to, in a way.
New (second item) on abundance:
New article, 4/30/10 in Life Learning Magazine (online magazine)
http://www.lifelearningmagazine.com/1006/index.htm (by subscription)
A sound file of a presentation of similar material will be added to the site soon.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Password/le mot de passe: goodidea
Discussions en ligne en français sur le thème du unschooling
les lundi de 9h à 10h heure du Québéc (15h à 16h heure de France)
et les mercredi de midi à 13h (18h à 19h heure de France)
Monday 3:00-5:00 Mountain Daylight time
Friday 10:00-noon Mountain Daylight time
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Deb Lewis comments on whether people can or cannot choose freely to eat something sweet:
and so a link to that page was added to the Deb Lewis page
Unexpected learning from TV, longterm report
To make up for a wildly unfair commentary on this site, one of the editors spoke with me by phone for half an hour, and then gave me a list of questions based on that conversation. Except for the intro, title and questions, it's my writing.
On the Thinking Sticks blog the format has been changed so that each article has suggestions for other links within the site, and the left sidebar starts off with the blogs of unschoolers. I've added some other blogs. If you know of a good blog by a radical unschooler that's not there, let me know. Thanks!
Coming in May, an article-version of a talk I've given two and a half times called variously Unforeseen Benefits of Unschooling or Unexpected Benefits of Unchooling. I wrote it for Life Learning Magazine, which isn't published on paper anymore, but is a subscription online (or printable PDF) magazine. Click the advance-cover image for a table of contents for the upcoming issue.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
A new bit here:
Some adjustment here:
New quote added to random quote generator here:
I can spend my energy on limiting my child's world so that he will be safe and happy or I can spend my energy on helping my child learn the skills to navigate our world himself so that he will be safe and happy. I think the latter has a better chance of success in the long term. —Eva Witsel
(It's in there, too.)
Two new things on the Kirby page to back up all of the above:
The first has notes on a comic for which Kirby's appearance and name are lifted (changed a bit, but based on Kirby).
The second is a place to collect unschooling-related notes, starting with something I wrote about a presentation he gave in Arizona last year. He'll be at the HSC conference in Sacramento in August, helping me with a workshop or two, and being on the young adult panel.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
People protect their children from what? How?
Addition to Building an Unschooling Nest, by Joanna Murphy
Improved Chat Room Entry:
The chat topic on Friday, April 15, 2010 will be helping our older teen/young adult unschoolers with their traveling and adventures.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
New images (slide show, lower right) on Peaceful Kids with Toy Guns
Scientific playing of video games (new link, top:)
New link on TV page, to "Revolution in a Box," first link, bottom right, on outside links:
(Thanks for that link to Colleen Paeff, and for the other news and photos to Crystal Miller.)
Sunday, April 4, 2010
With the permission of Flo Gascon, organizer of the Good Vibrations Unschooling Conference, the following 2009 recordings are made available to hear on my site. Each has the description of the talk from the conference site, and the biography of the speaker at that time. I'm really glad these details and images won't be lost when that site is gone!
Unschooling and Math, Pam Sorooshian
Roya Repeating Herself, Roya Sorooshian
Connections, Sandra Dodd
Transformations, Sandra Dodd
In Pursuit of a Passionate Life, Jeff Sabo
Teen and Young Adult Panel, Ronnie Maier, Moderator
Radical Thoughts for Radical Unschoolers, Miranda Demarest
Friday, April 2, 2010
As a footnote to a facebook post where Kelly Lovejoy asked Holly Dodd about a game Holly mentioned, ended up making a page of instructions and samples of a pencil and paper game, writey-drawey:
A quote with a link to a longer piece of writing, on the page about regret for not unschooling sooner:
Added a note and link about the harm of spanking or punishment, from Lori, on the Always Learning list:
Also added to that page: a link to the No More Spanking discussion list, run by an unschooler:
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Tentative but likely:
June 4, afternoon or evening, Montreal
June 7-10, Great Big Happy Life Unschoolers' Conference Retreat
Camp Vacamas - West Milford, New Jersey
Saturday, March 27, 2010
I was looking for a place to save a quote from Jill (from the chat), and some discussion about children hitting and throwing things. I searched for "hit" in the place where posts can be edited, and only found these:
Biscochitos, and Hitler
I should add photos to the bizcochitos.
But here's where the other things went:
http://sandradodd.com/attitude, which has enough links to keep anyone busy for an hour or three, so don't forget your kids.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Something new by Joyce Fetteroll, at the bottom of a page you might not have seen at all (or lately):
Principles (It's not just another word for "rules"!)
Direct effects of watching television (new writing by Deb Lewis, at the bottom):
and that reminds me of Jacki's daughter Hannah's experience, in the box at right on this page:
TV, Learning, Choices and FOOD—How Unschoolers Watch TV
If the photo has been used before, it deserves to be seen again!
Two things on breathing:
Schuyler Waynforth's account of learning, in Japan when her children were very young, the value of learning to calm herself:
http://sandradodd.com/breathing (bottom of the page)
and the transcript of a chat on breathing
Thursday, March 11, 2010
There's a peaceful, warm new image on the sleep directory page, lower right, with a link to its home:
Following a question concerning people taking teens out of high school to unschool there right near the end, other ideas and links were added here:
How playing with My Little Pony inspired a career in science:
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Find more videos like this on Soundtrack Fans
A teen boy out with his mom; what's "the secret"?
(all new page, which inspired all-new index page)
The problem with "Support"
I want to help support people's KIDS, not supporting the parents to do as little as possible for their kids. So back to the beginning, with that.
Friday, March 5, 2010
A new quote by Joyce on balance and what unschooling is, 2/3 of the way down on the right:
Some kids flit from interest to interest instead of having a single obsession. More will be added to this page, but here's a start:
A girl was interested in fashion design and her mom told her she needed to study math from a textbook. Unfortunately, the mom told the Always Learning list. This page is also still being added to, but here are ideas for things to do for a girl interested in fashion design, and the things she could learn from that interest.
Monday, February 22, 2010
New quote from Schuyler Waynforth added to the page on negativity. How to become more positive in the moment, and then in the long term!
Success with Later Unschooling? A link corrected.
(Thanks to Pamela Knapp for finding the problem AND finding the correct link for me!)
TV page, another corrected link.
PRESCHOOL TELEVISION VIEWING AND ADOLESCENT TEST SCORES
Eva Witzel found that the PDF for "Preschool Television Viewing and Adolescent Test Scores" had been moved to a new URL, and she sent the new link to me. It's all fixed now.
Amanda Horein found many links broken at
Most of them were geocities sites, which were all taken down (after a year of warnings) last year.
While I was in there, I added The Mahogany Way, a ning for mothers of color:
Thursday, February 18, 2010
If you would like to share a photo of your child or your children for use in Unschooling: The Movie, please go here to read more and for an e-mail link, already filled out with permission to use the photo:
A new page on what to consider if there is frustration in a marriage:
It will be expanded, but the list of considerations that's already there is by Glenda Sikes.
I can tell you how this is about unschooling, but not in one or two lines. It's about the connections that both unschooling and the internet makes possible, about what kinds of people become unschoolers, and about looking back, and forward.
If anyone reading here was in Cambridge (England's Cambridge) in the 1980's or knows people who were, maybe forward that. I'd love to have more on the page. Memories. Photos, maybe. Posters.
If you're on Facebook, please check out a new group called Radical Unschooling Info, the purpose of which is to help provide good unschooling resources to anyone who comes by there. I created the page, but many others are contributing to it. Come and help us out if you want to!
Friday, February 12, 2010
In Europe there is a campaign against spanking. The one-minute public service announcement video and a news interview are both here:
and it's been added in the bottom right corner of the page about spanking
Deb Lewis wrote about her son's reading having a great leap from watching Godzilla with subtitles. It joins another Godzilla article, with a link to a slightly revamped wolfman and monsters article, with kid art:
Friday, February 5, 2010
I'm grateful for gratitude. Thanks for this thank-you:
Susan May has documented some specific changes in her life and thoughts,and credited me, Pam Sorooshian, Joyce Fetteroll and others. It's not on my site, but it's partly about my stuff, and it's worth a read.
There's more, for supporters of his Unschooling movie project. You can still subscribe to that if you want to, and see more video here: http://unschoolingmovie.info/
None of that's actually on my own page, though, so I hope you don't mind some news that's not directly at SandraDodd.com this time. I did touch up the index page a bit lately, and I try to remember to update the main unschooling page when the blogs change. And there are a few new quotes on the random quotes generator, and some new ones on support! So though these aren't radically different, there are tweaks and improvements here:
Saturday, January 30, 2010
"As we get older and our kids grow up, we eventually come to realize that all the big things in our lives are really the direct result of how we've handled all the little things." —Pam Sorooshian, June 4, 2007
New page on starting to unschool later:
A new review of The Big Book of Unschooling, by a two-year-old (kind of) here:
(not kind of a two-year-old, but kind of a review!)
The discussions on the Always Learning list have been intense of late, and the side benefit of intensity is really good responses. Schuyler's been posting, too, for those of you who missed her. If you're on and haven't been reading, maybe check out the past few topics.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
New page on the damaging myth of "sugar high":
New search tool, which searches unschooling.com, unschooling.info, Danielle Conger's "Connections ezine," Joyfully Rejoycing and my site:
Later note: Abandoned again. It's okay.
The old Unschooling.info site had decayed and then found its demise, but I was given the name and the keys and it's being remodelled here:
My original hope had been to mine the message board for the good parts, and I did get some, but folders were mysteriously disappearing though the settings said they should remain. It was dismaying. But here's an opportunity to have a general resource site for different kinds of unschooling in one place, perhaps, depending who contributes and volunteers.
Not all the pages are working yet, and I'm not in a huge hurry, but did want to keep all the thousands of links out there from hitting a dead end.
Anyone interested in helping or keeping up with the progress should subscribe to this yahoo group: