Friday, November 18, 2011


Here are some comments about when and natural learning starts to really show, and what it looks like.

New in the middle of this page:
"... That has now changed and he has many interests—baking, voice-acting, chemistry, comedy writing, the Rennaisance (thanks, Merlin and the BBC!), and on and on. He had to find a peaceful home in himself before he could start to decorate it with knowledge."

Without deschooling on the child's part:
"It's all come true...the kindness, the respect, the sparkle."

Monday, November 14, 2011

French translations

Four articles (two by me, one by Pam Sorooshian and one by Deb Lewis) and ten "Just Add Light and Stir" posts are now linked on the French page.

Thanks to Catherine Goudouchaouri, Claire Rakotonimaro, and Edith Chabot, of the UK, France and Quebec, respectively, for these gifts of translation! Please pass the links on to anyone who might want more unschooling input in French.

The new pages are:

Imagination De Deb Lewis - Traduit par Catherine Goudouchaouri
Respirer Traduit par Catherine Goudouchaouri
Pam Sorooshian's "I LIVE THEREFORE I LEARN: Living an Unschooling Life.", a translation by Claire Rakotonimaro
L'école dans ma tête Traduit par Edith Chabot

Also by Edith Chabot, from Just Add Light and Stir:

Photo by Leon McNeill, of Claire and me, last summer, in Baud, Bretagne

Friday, November 11, 2011

1994, 1999 (typical days at my house)

"Out of Pink Crayons"

Transcriptions of things published many years ago, but never on my site until now.

On the day I wrote the first part, Holly was two years old, nearly three. She's twenty years old now. The follow-up was written at the end of 1999 or beginning of 2000, because Holly was eight and Marty was ten. There's only a small window between their birthdays.

There are photos and links to other photos, too. Anyone who thinks of me as the mother of young adults can visit a time I had nap-taking children I could carry around on my hip.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Past, The Future and Now

The talk I gave in London last summer can be listened to while looking at the power point presentation that went with it. Tadaa!

There were two tongue-fumbles, but I put notes at the bottom. The slide show doesn't advance on its own. You'll need to change it yourself. Good luck. :-) [No problem just running it back and forth randomly while you're listening, really.]

This photo is me with Emma Fuller. She was over at my house the other day for Holly's birthday, and said she hadn't seen me since London. This was taken the day before I spoke at the LiTTLe Conference. If they have another one, I'm definitely going back.

Friday, November 4, 2011

UK article and chitchat

I had posted something here that I meant to post at

Something else new but not on my site is a new link to a review of this last summer's London conference: The fourth link is new to the site, and she especially liked Schuyler's presentation.

Just Add Light and Stir continues.

This note is here so that anyone who got an earlier e-mail and tries to follow it back won't be frustrated. :-)
Have a nice November!

Gratuitous photo is of Holly on her 20th birthday, two days ago, in the parking lot after a nice lunch with the rest of her family (minus Kirby) and most of the McNeill's (minus Helene and Sophie, whom we'd spoken with by Skype the day before).

Monday, October 31, 2011

My speaking plans for the next nearly-a-year

Over the next many-months, I will be speaking and hanging out here:

The ALL Unschooling Symposium
December 28-31, 2011
It will be small, but is already international, with a family from Ontario, Canada, and one from Sussex, England.

Tempe, Arizona March 31/April 1, 2012
(no link yet, except the state org: )

Site lost; cancelled for this year.

Life is Good
Vancouver Washington
May 24-27, 2012

Either before or after that, late Spring or June/July, The LiTTLe Conferencein London (if they have a 2012 conference) and so perhaps in Edinburgh, and probably, if the trip happens, I'll speak in Leiden, in the Netherlands.

UPDATES! Addition of France.

HSC Conference
Sacramento, California
August 2-5, 2012
(Site's not ready yet, but will be here later:

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Chat transcripts, More Random Excitement

Directory of chat transcripts, each on one section of The Big Book of Unschooling
To subscribe to chat announcements, join this list:
Chats are gone; yahoogroups is gone.

I've added 88 pages to the random page generator:
They're all new in the past year and some, but many are from this month. Now the random generator has 734 links. Have fun!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Clarity, Skepticism, "Nook" books

New on clarity of thought and expression, lower left:

Skepticism and the nature of unschooling
(skip this if you're in a light and fluffy mood)
I've added to the top of the page, and to the bottom.
The middle part was announced here in August, 2006.

Barnes & Noble has electronic versions of my books on their site now.

Nook Book Version of The Big Book of Unschooling
Nook Book Version of Moving a Puddle

When I first submitted these books to, Moving a Puddle had color pictures, but they advised after that to put photos in black and white. So The Big Book has b&w photos. Bummer in retrospect. At least in the iBook versions, anyway, Moving a Puddle has color images! :-)

Moving a Puddle

The Big Book of Unschooling

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Spouses, Families, Movies, Stories

Schuyler Waynforth, about a forgotten anniversary, and contentment:
(upper left)

Ben Lovejoy, four new pages to add to the one article I had. Three came from "Connections," and one Ben sent me in May, when I was in England, and it was lost in the shuffle until now!
is the directory page, and the newly-presented information is here:

"No Rules-Sir ,Yes Sir" (Ben's life, the military, being an unschooling dad)

A Look Back (movies, families)

Following our Passions to Bonnaroo (music, road trips, relationships)

The Stories of Our Families (the value of storytelling)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Natural Math, Needs, Science

Lyla's story of her son stumping a teacher (unknowingly):

New writing by Joyce on meeting a child's needs (or on the futility of resisting meeting a child's needs):

Schuyler Waynforth, in an article from 2007, rescued just this week from a sinking website, with nice big photos sent directly from Schuyler yesterday!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Moving a Puddle reviews; how to strew; cosleeping

The Connections ezine site will not be maintained by its owner, and I was told to grab what I wanted before it was gone. One month, my first book was featured as a resource, and I've saved that page, with its reviews, here:

A new part, second in, here, on how to strew:

Two new bits up top on the co-sleeping page:

If someone has a good co-sleeping photo I can use there, I'd appreciate it. (I can use more than one.)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

More by Deb Lewis

All new pages, all Deb Lewis!

And if you like these ideas, please consider coming to the ALL Unschooling Symposium December 29-31, where Deb will speak about unschooling for the first time.

Sympathetic, Empathetic, or Simply Pathetic?

Cultural Ideas and Change
How accepted truths (memes) make unschooling difficult to see and believe.

The Evidence of Years: hindsight, milestones, and big differences

Unschooler's Pipe Wrench
"We understand we don't always have a choice about what life brings us, but we always have a choice about how we face it. And we face it wearing big red clown noses."

Not Even Close to All For McNaught

Confessions of a Lawbreaker: "My son Dylan has been voting for years. According to the Twenty sixth Amendment he doesn't have the right to vote until he's eighteen years old, but we amended that amendment, at least in our own minds...."

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Deb Lewis on Monsters; Ren Allen on Snowflakes

These articles are both five years old, but have lived on a site that will be dissolving soon, so I've brought them and their photos and will be bringing some other articles by authors I've been collecting. Sometimes my pack-rat "collect the whole set" nature can benefit others.

How a Monster and a Dead Guy Named Howard Led a Boy to a World of Connections, by Deb Lewis

Crystallized Learning, by Ren Allen

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Praise of Joyce, Art, Science

Praise of Joyce Fetteroll (from India this time):
(Click the image at right for another Joyce quote.)

Something fishy on the art page:

The science page has balls (unless you're on an iPad):

Friday, September 23, 2011

Abundance and Curiosity

Something new by Jenny Cyphers, at the bottom of "Abundance"

New page on the value of curiosity in unschooling parents:

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Magnets for sale

Holly and I made a set of five magnets with photos from Just Add Light and Stir, and quotes—not the same quotes they first appeared with, but some chosen to go with the photos. Quotes and photos maybe be seen in detail at .

We sold all the sets we had at The Good Vibrations Conference, but received a new shipment today. The proceeds will go toward rental of meeting rooms for the ALL Unschooling Symposium in Albuquerque in December. The result of having the magnets on your fridge or filing cabinet might be that might be inspired or reminded to be patient and present. They might also make great gifts!!

A full set of five is $10 (including shipping); individual magazines, with shipping, are $3.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Confidence, Principles, Unschooling without Labels

Addition to the "Confidence" page, something Meredith Novak wrote on Facebook.
(top of the page:)

Principles, something new by Joyce up top, and links added at the bottom.
This page could be a new starting place for the site, with a week's worth of reading.
Perhaps too intense for beginners.
Definitely a time for "Read a little, try a little, wait a while, watch."

In light of another spate of arguments for diagnosing and labelling children's "shiny differences," Chris Sanders wrote about traits her daughter had that needed time, attention, and unschooling, rather than professional "help."

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Magnets for sale

Magnets for sale now!

Photos by Sandra or Holly, quotes by Sandra, photoshop artistry by Holly, webpage by Sandra...

Magnets by Sandra and Holly Dodd

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Minecraft, Needs, Math, Dice Games

A new page on Minecraft, and parents not only accepting and supporting, but sharing a child's fascination with a game.

That link and another new one are added up top here:

A five year old is being sneaky; a parent is being an obstacle.
Joyce and Jenny C responded:

New, about cows, Barbie and My Little Pony, on the math phobia page:

Games with dice that can be played out and about, by Pam Sorooshian (bottom part is new)

My Just Add Light and Stir blog was a year old yesterday.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Co-Sleeping, Priorities, Control

New quote by Vickie Bergman, and link, lower left; general page cleanup.

Something new, about mid-page, by Caren Knox, about Priorities and unschooling:

I'm reminded again how much I like the titles Holly did for me a few years back.

New by Schuyler Waynforth, up top on the Control page:
and another Holly title:

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sugar, Spouses, Law of Attraction

Two new bits on kids and sugar, both by Annie Kessler, one she wrote on facebook, and the other she wrote to me so this will be a first-ever exclusive peek! :-)
They toggle back and forth, so you won't need to read the two pages to find them, but you might want to!

Gail posted photos and words about a hike she and Broc took together. It's sweet and inspiring.
I linked it here:
It's not so new now, but I forgot to announce it; sorry. Those attending the Good Vibrations Unschooling Conference in San Diego next month can hear Gail and Broc in person.

I was asked for what I had written on how "the law of attraction" can hinder unschooling. I've found two things and put them together here:
If others remember where other discussions are, or have written something that could be added to that page, please send me a note.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Teens' jobs / force / "kind of" unschooling

One new example on teens getting jobs (upper left):

"Force" (not Yoda and Luke, but people feeling powerlessly "forced" to do things)

The idea of "kind of" unschooling has been being discussed at facebook. I don't like the impermanence of facebook. I know nothing is permanent; many large collections of unschooling writings are lost to us. But facebook discussions aren't even "permanent" for a week. So I saved things written by Sylvia Toyama and Schuyler Waynforth here, where there were already some great ideas stored:
(the page has also been cleaned up otherwise, and links added at the bottom)

the photo is a link to a recent Just Add Light post

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Needs vs. Wants, limits & controls, beck and call

Writing by Joyce, me and Meredith added to "Thinking about Needs"

Deb Lewis on limits and controls (right-hand column):

Not being at someone's "beck and call" has been added to the "phrases to hear and avoid" page.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Unschooling is like...

Vickie Bergman let me share something she wrote, with her photos.
Unschooling: It's Like Riding a Bicycle
and it lends itself well to links to some other inspiring things.

Always Learning Live Unschooling Symposium
Albuquerque, New Mexico, December 28-31, 2011
Information will be added to the FAQ pretty continuously, and to the blog.

Book ordering pages have been revised to discourage direct sales from outside the U.S., and to include eBook versions.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Recordings of two talks in Edinburgh, May 2011

I knew these were there, but today is my first "you can slow down" day since about April. I'm home from eight weeks in Europe, have spoken at the CHN Expo in southern California, and Kirby's 25th birthday party has passed successfully.

So here are the links to talks you can listen to right there, or possibly download to your own devices, and they're free. I wish I hadn't spoken so quickly, but there it already is. :-)
from which I lifted the following:


Both talks were recorded, and are available here for
downloading as podcasts (mp3 format), which should play on anything
(PCs, Macs, iPods, etc). Each talk is split over two files; please note
that these are quite large files.

Morning talk: Unschooling information and inspiration
  • Many ways to create an environment in which natural learning can
Afternoon talk: Unforeseen benefits of Unschooling
  • Some surprising outcomes of‭ ‬20‭ ‬years of unschooling

The talk was held in the Augustine United Church on Bridge Street:

Here's part of one of the audiences, and I don't have a photo of me speaking, but the backdrop was this:

Another day that week I spoke in a smaller place with a statue of Buddha behind me.

My photos from a few days either side of that day are here:

Monday, July 25, 2011

Moving a Puddle as an iBook, in color

Moving a Puddle is available on iTunes as an iBook for iPad, iPod or iPhone. I've downloaded it and the photos are in color.

I have heard that the iTunes version is only available in the U.S. but I'm not sure if that is so, or how long it will be true.

An electronic download of the file is available from, but it won't do the tricky format changes and notes and all of an iBook.

The Big Book of Unschooling on iTunes:

and on as a downloadable file:

Monday, July 18, 2011

New search function, Wednesday chats

I came to pass the hat, the collection basket, the international-coins jar.

The search function quit working on my site, and delivered an irritating error message if people tried to use it, trying to blame them and their computer. What happened, I think, was that Google custom search changed over a year ago and I didn't notice. Without a working custom search, my error message and my search page were worthless.

The new options were to have advertisements, or to pay $100 for a clean search page. I paid. It occurred to me that some of you who have used and appreciated my site and its search functions might be willing to help me with that unexpected cost.

Another slighter expense is the chatroom. I took off the time I was in Europe, and intended to pick up the Monday and Friday chats in August, but looking at the calendar, one mid-week chat would be better for me, and I will start Wednesday chats this week. The chatroom costs by usage, and is $15 every few months. (It would be free if I didn't mind strangers wandering in, or having advertisements pop in on us.) UPDATE November 2011; it's $12+ a month.

If it would make my begging any more effective, my birthday is near. OH! Rather I should say it's nearly Learn Nothing Day!

Donations may be made by PayPal to or by paper (check) to the address at I vow to use all money received for the purpose of providing access to an expanding flow of unschooling information.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

An interview

It's past now but...

I was interviewed by phone, and there is a sound file for sale. It was a pretty good interview, honestly, and so even though I don't make any of the money, I can happily recommend it. :-)

The description is above, and the order page is here:

Monday, May 9, 2011

Being Present, as partners, with appreciation

Lissa commented on ways to be present and focussed with young children. Bottom right:

New intro to being a child's partner:

Kelli Traaseth wrote about Alec turning 18 (while his sisters are 16 and 14), and allowed me to add it here:

Monday, May 2, 2011

Feedback, Fears

The feedback page is updated a time or two a month, but I've had several in a week and thought that might be worth noting.
(new things are in the upper left)

"Fears can magnify anything way out of proportion." About the fearful danger of parental fears.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"Ridiculous" and spoiled kids

The problem with saying "That's ridiculous!" when people are discussing unschooling

Spoiled kids, and about what can happen if you buy young children too many toys

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Change, a little more change, "again, again!"

How can a person change? How long does it take to change?

The main unschooling page now has the current "Just Add Light and Stir" each day, thanks to automated internet widgetry.

Sometimes kids want to watch the same thing over and over. Me too!
Some things work in video, or aurally, that don't work in books or in writing.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Book Sale (shipping discount for the next two weeks)

Until recently, Europeans (and Canadians, NZ, Australia—anybody outside the U.S.) needed to give me a lot of money for international shipping, but now Lulu has production centers on other continents. GOOD! [April 2011 is over.]And they have a shipping sale until the end of April.

Please check this out.

I also intend to have books with me in some places, at £9 for Moving a Puddle, and £15 for The Big Book, but for anyone interested in buying one directly now, with $4.95 off the shipping costs, I've collected details and links here: