Sunday, December 21, 2008

TV, relationships, enthusiasm

Sometimes when I'm dusting a page off, repairing links, putting in the trees art to link to my main page instead of the gate that opens and closes, I notice that a page is exceptional and has probably been forgotten. Here's one. It's so old that it was put up when there were limits to the length of a page, and I had it split into two. It's restored as one, has new margins, links aren't underlined, and even if you've read it before you might want to read it again.

It was a discussion at, on TV, in 2001.

"Yes! It is absolutely about putting the relationship first."
(first item, left column, Beth Fuller)

Roya Sorooshian, on her summer internship in Alaska and her job with Project Independence
Roya recently finished a degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies

Saturday, December 20, 2008

being online, parenting mindfully, myths

Justifications for Being Online to learn about Unschooling
(not new, just obscure)

NEW and exciting:
Ren Allen and I gave a talk in October 2005 and you can listen to it here:
The text will give you some context, or you can just scroll down and play the talk.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

TV, sleeping and religion

What a two-year-old wants to photograph
"Now I see the flowers and my DD2's joy."
(second item)

More added to the section on sleeping—a directory page and information on co-sleeping.

Just the beginnings of a page about religion.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Lists of good ideas

The ABCs of Unschooling, by Mary Gold
It's not new, but it's refurbished, and might be new to you!

Principles of Unschooling, by Pam Sorooshian
It's not new, but it's new on my site.

Deb Lewis's list of Things to Do in the Winter
It's not new at all, but it's nearly winter and there are lots of people who haven't seen it.

"MOVIES AS A PLAYGROUND, as tools, as portals
...sharing movies with our kids"
Not brand new, lately updated, and has lists galore!
(That Heath Ledger example was given a couple of years ago. I was thinking of the connection between "10 Things I Hate About You" and "The Patriot," which isn't the Civil War at all, but there are way more movies about the U.S. Civil War than about the American Revolution, though the recent mini-series on John Adams parallels it without many battle scenes.)

Wishlists for Unschoolers
Maybe you have the need to give a gift to an unschooling family, and that has ideas!

Gifts for Guys to Buy
"Some people are just not cut out to cruise the Barbie aisles. Luckily there are alternatives and you were probably going there anyway...." Not a new article, one of my oldest, pre-webpages, so it's here for being obscure and not often dusted off and brought to light.

[Gratuitous snow photos from some other year]

Monday, December 1, 2008

Pam Sorooshian, magic and learning

Pam Sorooshian has written something wonderful which I've called "How to Be a Good Unschooler" (and she didn't mind)

Magic on TV, and TV on the internet, and magic in other guises

and it's linked from the TV page too

and from juggling

To the right are some images from July's Learn Nothing Day. Because I got some new photos today, I gathered up what I could find and built a show. I also moved the notes and comments from last summer onto their own page:

Monday, November 24, 2008

reasons, young adults, reactions to limits

Reasons to Home School
(new new, but new to my site!)

What about after they're not teens anymore?
(If you have stories to add, send them!)

Personal account of the ill effect of limiting sugar:
(bottom of the page, but maybe read the whole page; it's short)

7th Anniversary of the AlwaysLearning List

The Always Learning List is seven years old and thriving.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Knots, credit, French translation, and German article-to-be

A new page: Knots—Small, large, actual, rendered, real and imagined

The Certificate of Empowerment is been translated into French

I had five months worth of my geocities website fees paid last spring by kind donors whom I've credited here:

I have a new article that will be published in German first, and that's all noted there too. After they've published it and after their next-after-that issue comes out, I'll put it on my site.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

a clean canvas, the richness of life, peace with teens

Gratuitous photo of the moment:

Quiche (mushroom, and ham and onion in half)
and cookies (oatmeal/pecan/chocolate chip)
Katy Jennings, at the bottom, about the benefits of providing clean spaces.

A richer life:
(not a new page, but I hadn't announced it before)

There's something new by Joanna Murphy here, about teens:

I hope you enjoy these, and if you find any broken links or typos, please let me know!

Some other new and some improved pages are being tweaked and polished and will be announced soon.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Facets, Transcripts, Screaming

When Corn Grows Wild:

Gratuitious photo, of some corn from the birdseed that grew without attention, photographed on the hood of my car last week.

Jenny C / Jenstarc on what makes unschooling work (upper right)

Kelly Lovejoy, right under "transcripts":

"I want to scream!"
That was three years ago. I wonder if she's still screaming?

That last one's not new, but it's obscure and in cleaning up my "life" section (non-academic aspects of what will help unschooling work—the things kids learn that they would've learned at home anyway), I thought this one might be a good sample of the greater section, which is here:

There are many links out from that, and not all have been upgraded, but many have. I've tweaked and updated many pages this weekend, few of which were worth announcing, so I'll let that screaming about chores page represent the batch.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Always Learning, John Holt, Joyce Fetteroll

The images are the misshapen mulberry leaf from my back yard whose portrait lives at AlwaysLearning; Joyce meeting a prairie dog; Joyce and Kathryn and several Albuquerque bike-trail prairie dogs.

The Always Learning List has a new page on what it's about.

In summer, the description of that list was changed, and that's documented here:

Several of the John Holt pages have been dusted off and upgraded. Deb Lewis is the author of much of this, and John Holt of some of the rest:

Nobody Sees Backwards

Right and Left

Stress and Perception

A Life Worth Living

Because my "Joyce page" was linked in this month's issue of Parental Intelligence, I checked all the links and so it has that new-car smell (figuratively speaking)

More images of Joyce's recent New Mexico visit

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Teens, Shakespeare, "Housework"

New writing by Ann Carlson on benefits of unschooling when the teen years arrive (second bit in the main column):

New bits (videos, bottom) and clean-up, Shakespeare

First item after the introduction on this page: something by Schuyler about priorities.

Thanks for reading. Please pass these links on to anyone you think could use them!

Sam Rockwell and Kevin Klein as Pyramus and Thisbe (Bill Irwin as "Wall," who is also Mr. Noodle on Sesame Street)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Good Vibrations Conference Site is open


The conference was a good one, and some of the talks are preserved. The photo link below might not work anymore, but the photo and a link to other talks from that conference is here:

Holly took a photo of me especially for the Good Vibrations Unschooling Conference web site, and it's here:

It's nearly a year away, but it will be the first time I've spoken near San Diego. I've been in Long Beach and that area before, and Sacramento, and Tempe (near Phoenix)and will be again in March '09), but haven't spoken in the San Diego area. I'm looking forward to it. I hope Kirby will be with me, but it's too far away to know his scheduling requirements. If he can't go, I hope Holly can.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

sweets, principles, what it is

True Tales of Kids Turning Down Sweets
New story, second item, in which a three year old hands back half a honey-ball in favor of pickled garlic

New intro page on principles
"I was all, 'what is all this rules vs. principles stuff anyway?' Now, in my unschooling, it seems like the most important part."

These pages were spruced up a bit and I thought it might be a good time to send their links out again for anyone who didn't know about them or who had forgotten about how much can be gained by just re-centering on the basic concept:

Holly took this photo of me and Keith, and animated photos I took of her and her boyfriend Brett, above. more

Friday, September 26, 2008

bad words, TV, following your heart

A link added to the page on Language
about "Bad Words"

Unexpected Learning and TV has been spiffed up and a brief video of Jackie Chan talking about TV has been added

"Follow your heart"?
Joyce Fetteroll does it again.

An unschooled teen's viewpoint:
"Leap of Faith," the text of a May 2008 presentation by Dagny Kream

It's possible to subscribe directly to all these blogs now: (Dodd house) (media announcements) (ideas for the sake of ideas: strewing and exploring)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

respect for children, change in the parents

Something new to this page (not newly written; something Ren wrote a
while back):
(at the bottom)

New at the top. Important throughout.

Two new bits, upper right:
(Also a new guessable address for that page. The old one, unschool/
gettingit, will redirect.)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Radio References, World, "Support"

There are comments and links, about that podcast interview I did here:

I've lifted and preserved a blogpost that compared me to Dr. Laura:
(and there's a link to the original blogpost, so you should probably read it there)

There are several additions and updates to the regional group links:

For possible future use when people complain that the Always Learning list or UnschoolingDiscussion isn't "supportive," I have created a self-serve, interactive support site on which people can stay as long as they like.
Take it as seriously as you wish to. Click at your own risk.

Here's a spooky picture of Holly and me at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, at a display on the history of computers

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Podcast and conferences

Kim Campbell will interview me Monday, September 8 on her Relaxed Homeschooler podcast. The show is 90 minutes long. I'll be in the last hour. It starts at 9:30 at my house (mountain standard time) but if you go to the page you'll have an opportunity to get notification and it will know your own time zone. So go there before the day, and again then!

(It's here.)

Two conference appearances are confirmed for 2009 and another couple have been mentioned as possibilities (news as it arrives).

March 7-8, 2009
HENA 2009 Conference
Tempe, Arizona
All my kids will be there, and Pam Sorooshian and all of hers. This is a big deal, never before seen, and probably a once-only happening.

September 10-13, 2009
Good Vibrations Conference
San Diego/Del Mar, California
Flo Gascon's new unschooling conference!

Friday, August 29, 2008

"Unschooling" (the word itself)

What inspired "Unschooling" as a term? I have written a report (with videos and images):

Monday, August 11, 2008

Mindful of Words, housekeeping, "Autodidact"

How important are words? When they're all you've got, they're all-important.

There's a new link on the chores page
concerning hiring or bartering for housekeeping

An unschooling dad (with the help of his daughter) has made a techno/electronica style song called "Autodidact." It's instrumental except for that word. It can be heard or downloaded free from MySpace. There is information and a link here:
and a link at the music page

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Restrictions, guns, multiplication

A quote from the toy guns page has been added at the bottom left of

Three photos have been added to the "peaceful kids with toy guns" section at the bottom of

There's a new multiplication story on the times tables page, by Lisa W.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Yes, and Winning Images

Jenny C. wrote something about saying "yes" which has been added here:
(to the left of "My Favorite Word," the green box)

Winners of the Learn Nothing Day image contest

Animal: Mark, at greenraven.blogspot
Mineral: Flo Gascon and Camille Lavallee at sumbthucker.blogspot
Vegetable: Anza Firetail at deviantart
Video: MD and Alex Polikowsky at YouTube

More information is here:

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Learning about Learning, and House Concerts

Madeline wrote something wonderful a few days ago at
It's not technically on my site, but a link to it is.

Trying to Take a Break From Learning

Sandra Dodd's Learn Nothing Day has arrived! Unschoolers everywhere are finally taking a break. Kids who go to school get many breaks. Now we get one too.

So... how is it going? Well, my kids are at a fort-building camp this week and are staying with their cousin so I can tell you that they are not participating. Gillen told me on the phone that he is taking notes about this fort they are building so that he can come home and build one here. I am hoping he will then teach me to build a studio in the yard.

As for me, I have failed, as I knew I would, and am learning about all of the back-logged thoughts in my head that are having room to be heard in this quiet house.

There is no such thing as not learning. I challenge you to try! That is what makes our chosen path - unschooling - so delicious. We are learning all the time, even when we are "just" having fun, doing what people might term extra-curricular activities and even when we are quietly doing nothing—just letting what we have learned marinate and giving it space and time to morph into something new.

Six years ago, when I was reading about unschooling on discussion lists for the first time, I was intrigued by the idea that kids' natural curiosity, accompanied by committed parental support of their passions, could start them on a journey that would teach them everything they would ever need to know. Having embraced this philosophy for over five years now, I see that it is true. The more I trust that they know what they need, the more they thrive.

I expose them to a lot of possibilities and they pick and choose. They expose me to new ideas and pursuits as well. They talk and I listen. Sometimes I talk too much, and they don't listen and that's always a sure fire way to create a road block to relationship and joyful learning. Things go much better when I shut up more and really listen.

Sorry to talk so much on learn nothing day. I am embracing my failure to not learn and am recommitting to trust this process even more completely from here on out.

And a different thing:

Monday, July 21, 2008

Dads, Obsession, Sleeping

I've added some blogs of unschooling dads here:
If any of you know of others that might be added, please let me know. Thanks.

Focus, Obsessions, Hobbies
Page updated, new title art by Holly (not hand done this time, but something she knows how to do that I don't.)

Because of KT's Learn Nothing Day post, I added photos of her kids to this page:
If you click them you can see her original post, which leads to Learn Nothing Day, which leads to a long list...

Well here:
which has a growing list of sites and blogs with a link to Learn Nothing Day, which is only two or three days away (two and a half at my house while I write this, and maybe two if you read it Tuesday morning). There's a lot of reading to be had on those links!

The Learn Nothing Day contest has some entries in, and I figure other images will be made on the day itself and sent afterwards. My plan is to have the entries gathered and available for viewing by the 28th, and winners announced by the 31st.

Thank you all for your interest in my own personal obsession!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Messes coming and going; Attentive Parenting

Children picking things up for others
(new story at the top)

"Attentive Parenting," with links to similar things

The first Learn Nothing Day images are in:


"When I move thru your site, I feel like a child in a candy store, or like I'm in a fantastic meandering castle with hidden secret rooms and magic doors to new realities."

Melissa Dietrick wrote that. She's the translator of the Italian Learn Nothing Day page:

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Photo/Image Contest for Learn Nothing Day

Learn Nothing Day Photo/Image contest with four categories:

Animal, Mineral, Vegetable or Video

Each image submitted should include the Learn Nothing Day logo/art. If you buy a t-shirt or magnet or notebook or something, that could be in the photo. Time is running out, so order soon to get things by the 24th!)

Alternatively, the image in a variety of sizes may be lifted freely for use:

  • Animal: The photo/image should have at least one animal of some sort, and the logo.
  • Mineral: The mineral is... a mirror. Silicon as in glass. Or silicon as represented by a computer. Mirror or computer (not pottery or bricks or sand or rocks, though they can be there secondarily, of course, in any of the photos). And the logo.
  • Vegetable: Plant(s) and the logo. The photo can also have people, animals, whatever... but having a botanical element is the ticket.
  • Video: The logo in a video or animated gif or flash cartoon or something. An image that moves, and that I can put on a webpage.

More details (contest rules and suggestions and pep-talk and disclaimers) are here:

Thanks for reading!!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

"Common knowledge"

This was posted on AlwaysLearning by DaBreeze21/susanmay15. The first part is something I wrote:

-==It goes against "common knowledge," but if common
knowledge were worth a damn, wouldn't this culture be a paradise of
mental health and joy, with empty prisons and long-lasting marriages?

This quote is GREAT! Made me smile, laugh inwardly and outwardly and I
think that it should be posted somewhere, anywhere, carved into a
granite mountain, or flown in the sky, maybe cut into a cornfield by
aliens... somewhere where lots of people can read it! :-) And I think
that it is a pretty gosh-darn good argument to have at my fingertips
whenever someone is questioning parenting methods that are counter to
popular beliefs... thanks Sandra!

This is as close as I can come to carving it into a mountain.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

A Day Off is coming, FINALLY!

After years and years of learning every day, here comes a holiday for unschoolers!

It's less than a month away now, so start thinking of how you can be ready for this momentous, first annual day of leisure for learners.

Learn Nothing Day

The art above is by Sandra (me) and Holly Dodd (my talented daughter).

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Screwing it up, Learning, Eating, Italy

How to Screw Up Unschooling

New story on Late-night Learning

New link to a PBS program online about problems with food controls added here:

Italian links added here:

There's some new stuff here, and something beautiful by Pam Sorooshian:

Unschooling's second cousins

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Yes, Why, Considerate Children and more!

I've been saving this hoping to add more to a couple of those pages
before sending. I will add more, haven't yet, and when I do I'll
send the links again.

Here's the news:
A graphic representation of thoughts about saying yes to children.
For the visual thinker!
(For everyone. By Katherine Anderson.)
I especially like the links on this. I like the way they look, and I think that if someone read that page and those six links, it would change their lives enough for them to improve their children's lives in wonderful ways.
Something new there.
Your Own Model of the Universe
Thinking I might have the only webpage in the world called "Considerate Children," I went to check. Just google, just one search. Results 1 - 10 of about 199,000 for considerate children. Of those first ten, seven were describing the traits of particular dogs. "The breed does fine with older considerate children" and such. One was being critical of a child (but not mean; slightly sarcastic, not bad). Two referred to an Emily Post book called Emily Post's The Gift of Good Manners: A Parent's Guide to Raising Respectful, Kind, Considerate Children

Second page had an article in Japanese, but in English it said "Considerate Children to Be Educated ..." I don't think it's a public article; can't read Japanese anyway. Two on the Emily Post book; the rest about dogs.

As comparison to the 199,000 hits for "considerate" and "children" even on the same page, I thought I'd look up "brat." I don't like that word, but I'm guessing there will be more than 199,000 occurrences.
Ah. I was right:
Results 1 - 10 of about 31,000,000 for brat

And so based on that, I hope my page on considerate children will continue to grow. If any of you have stories of your children being considerate that would help some of those millions of people who might never have considered it possible, please send them to me. I'll get it if you reply to this list (and it won't go through to

An update and comment on rude feedback:
Joy truly is invaluable.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

2000 article newly available

I've scanned an article from the local paper. It's eight years old, but hey.... I didn't have a scanner then. For a while, after it was new, it was freely available online, but no more. (Now it is again, in a home-job fashion.)

There are two other articles I had already scanned, and some of you might have missed them the last time they came around, but now they're linked on another new page:

Friday, May 16, 2008

Addams Family, "Doddian," Allowance, Movies

First part of the first episode of The Addams Family is quite an unschooling extravaganza, and I had just the place to put it!

"Doddian"—I've become a footnote AND an adjective. Cool!!
Read the solution essay, too.
has links to his essays easily found from my site.

Allowance never had its own page before. Now it does.

On the movies page I'm adding lists of movies that might be good for discussing relationships. There are three lists:
relationships between younger children, between older children, and between children and adults. They're in the righthand column.

There's some more positive feedback, some in Spanish, and I put the most fun negative feedback I ever got on its own page, because of language (use of "the f word," in reference to MY LIST! How shocked should I be? Yeah, not very...).

I've been spending lots of time outside in my gardenYARD, in case I seem to be less productive online lately, but most of you are probably busy outside too and didn't even notice! (It can't be "garden" for not having rows of food (I have decided). Maybe a flower garden, but nah... yard.)

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Food, Math, Kirby

New writing, lower left:

News on an unschooler who chose school, and how his math went
and it's linked at, beginning of the links section on the left.

Recently on the Thinking Sticks blog:

REAL libraries
Food, History, Fun!
Numerals and Counting
Mystery Art

Keith, Holly and I visited Kirby in Texas:
Birds in Texas
Holly [one morning]
Kirby in April
Monday with Kirby
Twinkies, Texans and Tortoises

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Rebellion, Successes, "Help!" and Myths (not the good ones)
I had forgotten about this, so much so that when someone asked a straight-out question about rebellion, I didn't send this link. I found it in fortuitously accidental fashion (as usual).

There are additions to these pages:

New title art (by Holly) and rearrangement; deletion of deadish links.
(still working on that one)
This one looks fine on my Mac, but not so good on the kids' PCs. It's readable either way.
NEW (but not on my site): Two thirds of the way down is a link to something new by an unschooled teenager in Iowa, about parenting and video games. He interviewed me for it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

comparisons, a Spanish translation, Marty's bad poem

Lisa W. wrote a really good summary of what relaxed homeschoolers might do that unschoolers don't
and it inspired me to gather links to similar things I already had (which I have done)
and to put up other comparisons (which I have not yet done, but will).

"Cómo criar a un niño con respeto" por Sandra Dodd...
That is "How to Raise a Respected Child," translated into Spanish by Laura Mascaró, who says she might make a few changes after her brother reads it, but it's there in its first-pass form, and I love the phrase "ese día de panqueque-forzoso." Sounds way better in Spanish than the original "...that forced-pancake day." In Spanish it could be a cool movie title. In English... eh, pancakes.
Laura links the original.

Marty wrote and recited a *terrible* poem in St. Louis a couple of years back and that has been enshrined here:

For photos at my house recently: Unexpected Beauty (and some flowers)

Thanks for looking!


Thursday, April 3, 2008

anger, time with kids, change, internet joy

A page that time forgot (or at least I forgot it) now has something new from Schuyler:

Commentary on "Precisely How to Unschool"

"It's Getting Easier," by Melissa Hice, right-hand column:

Exciting internet uses (a page with quite a bit of Australian connection)

Extra other:
New Way to Walk at the topics blog,

Photos of Marty and Holly at the top of the Sandias,
(on my blog, and also there;
Kirby as a baby jack-in-the-box, and my 24th wedding anniversary (same post, those two).

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

toy guns, small words, magic window

Another peaceful kid with a toy gun:

A new song is added to the "small words" collection, a page to note ancient language in modern literature.

Magic Window
The congruence passed when Marty turned 19, but the magic remains.

It's been busy lately on the Always Learning list, which usually leads to more page additions and new pages. Things will slow down again before long, I'm sure.

Monday, March 24, 2008

peace, spouses, museum, bongos

New material, up top:

Spouses—how unschooling can improve relationships

Your House as a Museum has been touched because I found the bongos,
and cleaned up the format.

The aforementioned and long-previously mentioned bongos:

Holly took that photo a few days ago.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

dads, times tables, math (and a typical day)

This is a problem: "dads, times tables, math"

It's misleading. None of those three had anything to do with either of the other two. Fun, huh?

I left them there because that's the order in which I added the links to draft, but seriously, they're unrelated.

And so, to the links:

new bits and clean-up on the dads page

new stories about multiplication (the scary "times tables"), and some
older stories moved from a more obscure page to this guessable-link page

The Return of Linda Wyatt! (with updates, for the front page of the
math section, which has always featured Linda's writing)

There's a new "Typical Days" account, in photos:
(Those are Amanda's girls to the right.)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Noisy Peace

Not news on my site, but of my words elsewhere.

Sandra Dodd - A Loud Peaceful Home The Victoria Home Learning Network of the Greater Victoria area (British Columbia, Canada) has quoted me extensively and linked to my site. If you have friends or correspondents in that area, send them this:

They didn't link to this page, but I can!

I like the bio that was with that, so I've brought it here for fun.

Sandra Dodd is the mostly-peaceful mother of primarily-peaceful children, in a generally peaceful home in Albuquerque. Her dog is at peace with her cats. Sandra once taught Jr. High English, in a long-ago age, but met Keith Dodd and they lived happily ever after (so far so good).

Monday, March 10, 2008

history of words, Donovan, criticism

A new quote and some page clean-up on Etymology: Unschooling Kids and
the History of Words

New pages just today which will have more info later: (not so directly unschooling, but
for a big current interest) (directly unschooling, but

Recent words on the Lyrics game: left, music, magic

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Russian Nesting Dolls

Nesting Dolls, some history, a Sesame Street segment, and tie-ins to ecology and other big issues. Art, history, politics, humor. USSR meets Flight of the Conchords on Sesame Street. (Your comments and links are welcome there!)

Friday, February 29, 2008

a new typical day, sleeping, and worms

Sandra Dodd's home for wayward worms

added to Typical Days


Coming Soon:
(well the worm-house page and photos are there, but the home isn't yet occupied) The worms were delivered Friday 2/29. More photos sometime...)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

criticism, defense, gradual change and marginal unschooling

...and a great definition of unschooling, and something new on morning glories.

Those who read AlwaysLearning have already seen it.
I was criticized and defended.

A reminder about making gradual changes (new page)

What isn't unschooling? (new page)

The best summary of unschooling I've ever seen, added to the right here:

A video (I didn't make it) of how morning glories twine, added here (thanks, Rue!)

I realize I've had lots of updates in the past week. It won't last. For a while, I was only working on SCA pages. I'm going to Arizona on the weekend to speak in Tempe ( for a few days I won't be online at all. Don't be afraid that I'll send this many updates all the time.

The photo is by Holly. She put it on my MySpace.

Thanks for reading!


Friday, February 22, 2008

an eight-year-old error

I was browsing through Moving a Puddle because Holly's reading some of it for the first time, and a friend of hers might be reading it. I found an error.

"Damn it!" I said to no one. Marty came in.


"A typo. Well, not a typo. An editing error." I read it to him. It's on page 42

In a very kind voice Marty said, "Well your life will be over soon and you won't have to worry about it."

"Thanks!" I said brightly, and I meant it, because honestly—how much do I beat myself about something that two editors missed and I missed and that doesn't harm anyone's safety or progress?

Marty said "I'm just here to help." But honestly he did help.

My big error is in having adverbs which should've been changed to adjectives when I re-wrote some part of that middle phrase:

It’s about how people learn—how easily and effortlessly natural learning is, and how difficult-to-impossible “formal education” is compared to the real learning that goes on every day of a person’s life.

DOH! should be "easy and effortless"

Here's all I can do at the moment. I can put that article online with the corrections. It's one of the essays that hadn't been anywhere but in its original publication (in Enchanted Families, a local newsletter for homeschoolers) and in Moving a Puddle.

Now it will be here:

Thursday, February 21, 2008

dyslexia, being fascinating, and getting jokes

Interesting fallacies on dyslexia added here, about the fourth item:

It was sent for this page, so I'm going to link them both:
Even though nothing's new there, some of you might not have seen it (or not lately).

A pair of articles got separated in space and time but are together and more easily available.
"To be Fascinating at Cocktail Parties" and "To Get More Jokes" are

Sunday, February 17, 2008

John Holt, movies, early TV

New intro/comment on the John Holt index page:

New movie recommendations at the top:
and reminder of the page
MOVIES AS A PLAYGROUND, as tools, as portals ... sharing movies with our kids

Amanda documented her "explore" on the history of TV on the Always Learning list, and I saved it here:

Friday, February 15, 2008

Three little bits

A dozen new quotes have been added to the rotation here:

A new article is linked here:

I've started a page for the general question of "what about the violence?" and it will have more links soon, but for now I wanted to list it for the sake of the art, done by Bo King who also did the trees on my unschooling index page.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Susan G. wrote:

-=- When I'm tired and tempted to wallow for a few moments in some self-centered thought, I force myself to get up and place myself back within the family circle. It's infinitely better than the other choice, because I soon forget why I wanted to wallow in the first place. There's something written about service being the antidote to suffering . . . I don't mean "service" like martyrdom, but like involvement, interaction, being there for and with the family. It always works.-=-

I wanted to save it but I didn't have a perfect place for it, so I made one: Please pass this on to anyone who's wondering about unschooling. It's yet another good "front page" to the information I've been collecting for years now.

There are some little folding pictures cubes, and however you unfold and re-fold, it's still a picture on each surface. My unschooling website is starting to seem like that to me. Magic Folding Cube

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Unschooling in France

Homeschooling will soon be better known in France, thanks to an unschooler named Sylvia Martin-Rodriguez. Please look here to see the cover of her soon-to-be-released book.

Links to translated articles are here: Those won't be in the book, but are on a website maintained by Sylvie and her friend Jeanine Barbé, at which there are some other translations of English-language unschooling articles.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

"I just never knew that I had to change..."

New piece at "Getting It" (upper right)

"Unschooling is giving me a chance to reflect on my own life as well as seeing the changes in my daughter. We spend a lot of time together, and there are days we still have our little difficulties. I just never knew that I had to change as much or even more than she had to change." —Wanda (in North Carolina, writing on the

There's more before and after that, of Wanda's epiphany, which came from some unschooling and some re-reading of John Holt!


Monday, February 4, 2008

Teens and standardized tests

New page with accounts of a few problems teens have had with testing. From these stories, you can advise your own teens when a test situation comes along, perhaps.

The page has been linked three places:

It might seem a symptom of disorganization that I have a page called "teen" and one called "teens."
It might be, but they're so different I wouldn't know which one to abandon, and I like the pictures, and people guess at pages, so it's fine with me that they're both there. I'm sorry for those who twitch at redundancy.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Advice generator (kind of)

In the side-column to the left I've added a quote generator, but the quotes are fairly generic. They're standard advice from the UnschoolingDiscussion list and the AlwaysLearning list (and others). Some are specific to people (Pam Sorooshian's "nest," Joyce Fetteroll's "Yes" and my "strewing"), and they're all easily discovered by anyone wanting to read more by searching here:

Thursday, January 31, 2008


Joyce Fetteroll found a fun article. It's a review of Steven Johnson's Everything Bad Is Good for You, but is fully informative on its own. Here's a quote and the link is below.

It doesn’t seem right, of course, that watching “24” or playing a video game could be as important cognitively as reading a book. Isn’t the extraordinary success of the “Harry Potter” novels better news for the culture than the equivalent success of “Grand Theft Auto III”? Johnson’s response is to imagine what cultural critics might have said had video games been invented hundreds of years ago, and only recently had something called the book been marketed aggressively to children:

Reading books chronically understimulates the senses. Unlike the longstanding tradition of gameplaying—which engages the child in a vivid, three-dimensional world filled with moving images and musical sound-scapes, navigated and controlled with complex muscular movements—books are simply a barren string of words on the page. . . . Books are also tragically isolating. While games have for many years engaged the young in complex social relationships with their peers, building and exploring worlds together, books force the child to sequester him or herself in a quiet space, shut off from interaction with other children. . . .

But perhaps the most dangerous property of these books is the fact that they follow a fixed linear path. You can’t control their narratives in any fashion—you simply sit back and have the story dictated to you. . . . This risks instilling a general passivity in our children, making them feel as though they’re powerless to change their circumstances. Reading is not an active, participatory process; it’s a submissive one.
I've added that to my video games page:

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Score! and counting sheep in prehistoric languages

I've changed the name of the topics blog to "Playing with Ideas," and the current topic has to do with counting sheep, historically, traditionally, and can lead in as many directions as you help me take it!

Anyone having trouble with the concept of "strewing" might be helped by those topics, and those who are totally into strewing already should have fun!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Walls, connections, feedback

Walls, as a new topic.

Here's how "walls" got there: I wanted to see if there's been any commentary "out there" about a radio interview I did lately, so I went to look. Didn't find any, but found some mentions of me or quotes on other people's sites and blogs. I collected a few to put here, on the feedback page.

One of those had a very cool set of photos about The Great Wall of Target. I didn't save it, but the most powerful tool I've ever used, Google, found it for me again when I read something about a bass guitar line on a Rolling Stones song and remembered I hadn't posted to the topics blog for over a week.

I went to the list of topics Deb had recommended, and one was "walls," and so there it all came together!