Sunday, December 23, 2012

Helping out, Joy, guarding speech

Karen James, a Christmas tree, a child surprising his mother...

My article "Rejecting a Pre-Packaged Life" is in the new issues of Pathways to Family Wellness
Here is a facsimile of the page as it is beautifully formatted there (click to enlarge).
In the magazine, though, on its facing page is a beautiful image of paperdolls, each painted differently.
Here's where it already was on my site: It was printed last year in the magazine of Kirkhope, Ettrick and Yarrow Parish, in Scotland. It is the most reprinted of my articles; it's fifteen years old.

"Left to his own devices," addition, up top to the "Phrases to hear and avoid" page

click the image for more

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Colleen, Pushpa, Zach (updates on people)

This was sitting as a draft for over two months and I'm not sure why, but I will use Robbie Prieto's nativity scene as impetus to send it out.

Colleen Prieto, Robbie's mom, thoughtful writer (a new collection)
Click the photo for larger view with comments.

Pushpa Ramachandran, Veda's mom, and a speech pathologist

Follow-up on young adult Zach Sanders, and an essay he wrote about his journey from school-at-home to unschooling and on to being an outstanding university student (see the link on the writing page, righthand box, about his current position).

Monday, December 10, 2012

An anthropology paper on unschooling

Don't forget Just Add Light and Stir (or if you've never heard ot it, there y'go).

I've added the report below to my page with links to interviews:

Unschooling; How Learning through Living Leads to Happiness by Sarah Turner, for Principles of Cultural Anthropology (330) at the University of New Mexico in 2012. (Rose Sorooshian was also an informant. She's not named, but those familiar with her will recognize the parts that are about her.)

The direct URL to the anthropology paper is:

(Only read this if you like academic reports. :-)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Bonding, Benefits, Living with Relatives

New, upper right, by Jenny Cyphers on frustration with a young child

Benefits of the Always Learning discussion list (some new writing)

New on living with relatives, by Alex N.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Deschooling, Scooby-Doo, Smurfs

New by Robyn Coburn, up top on the deschooling page:

Scooby-Doo, Frankenstein, and a Big Storm, by Colleen Prieto (new page)

Smurfs (bottom of "yes again"—new writing)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Addiction, Unschooling video, School bell story

New on the "Thinking about Addiction" page, top and bottom both:

On another site, a five-and-a-half minute video of me talkinga about unschooling:

Questionnaire from 2009, that I had failed to link on my interviews page.
It has a good story about the first time Kirby and Marty heard a school bell.
and it's been added here:

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Minecraft art, etymology, humility

New title art:

New links near the bottom of the etymology page, to tons of stuff online about the history of English:

Thoughts on Humility: How can humility help a parent to deschool, and to appreciate children?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Three French pages, Rebellion, Scottish Snakes & Ladders

Three pages translated by Catherine Goudouchaouri:
Voir et éviter la Négativité
Attitude et apprentissage naturel
Phrases à écouter et à éviter

Something new by Meredith Novak, at the bottom of the rebellion page:

A Scottish Parliament resource on the Snakes and Ladders page was lost to us because their site was revamped, but I asked whether it was still available, and corresponded with one of their agents; those links and a better image are restored there now, lower right:
There's a Gaelic version on their site as well.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

New interview, new resources

A blog I keep with others (who rarely-to-never post) is
Homeschool News and Muse

There are links to things there in the recent past that aren't on my site, but they're well worth visiting and using!!

Two interviews by me on a blog in India:
Mommy Labs interviews of Sandra Dodd

Also in India, a video by Hema Bharadwaj [whose family has visited my house for the Monkeyplatter Festival (not FOR that, but it was created for their visit)] and whom I visited in 2012. She's talking about food, and brags up my food page with feeling:
Hema Bharadwaj on food choices Hema's Food Chronicles Part 1

Pam Laricchia has big news on her Living Joyfully site—a newsletter and an introduction-to-unschooling series.
Living Joyfully Newsletter

On the blog Zenhabits, Leo Babauta wrote a really nice intro to unschooling last week:
Beginner's Guide to Unschooling

I rarely post to that other blog. It's saved for news items and "outside" articles. But this week has been busy, busy, busy in a wonderful way for unschoolers!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Audio books, Little tools, saving memories

Deb Lewis's responses to someone who didn't want her kids listening to audio books so much

Little Tools for an Epic Life, an article from the California HomeSchooler, June 2012

Brie Jontry shares a collection, and temporary art made from it; Clare Johnson sent sweet comments.

That page leads to a spirituality page that was announced a year ago, but now it has a cool title (and some of you might have missed it before or forgoten about it since).

The photo is by Holly Dodd, and if you click it you'll go to a Just Add Light and Stir post.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Sound files, 2012 interviews

Little Tools for an Epic Life
Three notes on sounds files newly available as individual Mp3 downloads (one of Pam Sorooshian, and one of me, interviewed by Michelle Barone this summer): (upper right) (beginning of third section) (upper left)

While you're at any of those links you'll find other things, so this is probably
enough site news for today.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Nest, Sweets, Learning without reading

New writing on "Building an unschooling nest," by Connie (otherstar) near the top:

Julie tells of Adam ordering his own food, and what happens if a child is allowed sweets.

Learning without Reading is the new name of an expanded page, with a new story and a couple of older ones.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Gift-exchange (fund raiser) and New Title Art

Just nearly a week left of the September gift exchange. I haven't done this before, but it's been fun, so I might do it again next September.

There are a few more coming, but here's what I have thusfar on title art this month:

Monday, September 10, 2012

Local groups, Months, Past/Future/Now,

Ideas and experiences on forming a local group

New art by Glenda and Andrew Sikes, and a page you might not have known about

Addition to an older page, on my 2011 London talk, where there's a recording you can hear free (and now commentary on that talk by someone who was there):

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Typical day, zen, generosity, Thinking Sticks

A Rich and Varied Life for a Six Year Old (new to "Typical Days")

Very short zen story about ability.

What can happen if parents are very generous with their children?

Thinking Sticks as used in writing workshops:

The art is a link to its home, and was done by by Robert and Robbie Prieto as part of September's gift exchange in honor of the second anniversary of Just Add Light and Stir.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Learning untruths, new interview, conferences past & future

Some of the things we learned in school aren't true anymore; some never were.

I was interviewed by a blogger in India:
Learning for Fun: Interview with Sandra Dodd – Unschooling Mom for 22 Years!

Follow-up pages for HSC Conference talks in 2012, an index page and four topic pages which will eventually have links to purchasable recordings (maybe): Follow-up Notes, HSC:
Happiness Inside and Out
Deschooling: How and Why?
Unschooling Very Well
Why Radical Unschooling?

I'm speaking in Florida (with Holly, and possibly a bit of Keith), October 14 – 18, 2012, Treasure Island Florida

Two Always Learning Live events are ready for registration!
Albuquerque, December 27-30, 2012
Minneapolis, May 2-5, 2013:

Monday, August 13, 2012

Abundance, Reality and Portuguese translations

Additions (bottom) to the reality page:
...and here's my record of having created reality:

New example at the bottom of "abundance":

Portuguese translation of one of Pam Sorooshian's pages and two interviews with me:
Princípios do "Unschooling"
Porque fiz “unschooling” com os meus três filhos
Uma Entrevista com Sandra Dodd, 1998

If you know anyone who reads Portuguese, forward this on!
Marta Pires (in Portugal) did the translations, and Alex Polikowsky (from Brazil) did a pass to help polish them up.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Responding to others; strewing;

New page, new writing by Rippy Dusseldorp about how to respond to people who ask about your lack of a curriculum, with links to several other (mostly forgotten) pages that had ideas for dealing with relatives and friends

More clarification and examples, on strewing:
(More by Colleen Prieto)

Thoughts about finishing what you start (with links to logic, choices and how to unschool, and with new writing in the righthand column, also by Rippy Dusseldorp)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Spooky scary "Screen Time"

I'm going to let this one have its own announcement post because it's just so overwhelming for some people.

Too fast, Addiction, Leiden follow-up

Too far, too fast (new page)

Addiction? False claims of "addiction" and how to prevent the real deal:

Follow-up page from the gathering in Leiden
A Day in Leiden with Sandra Dodd

Thursday, June 21, 2012

"Appearances" and opportunities in person

June 30, I'm speaking for a full day in Leiden, the Netherlands.

July 15, I'm speaking for a full day in Ashford, Surrey, UK

August 3-5, I'll speak each day at least once at the HSC conference in Sacramento (Pam Sorooshian, too, and maybe others who are on this list)

October 14-18, Florida, with Holly Dodd, speaking with me once.
Keith will be there too, but not speaking.)
There are only 10 days to get the early bird registration for the first Florida
Unschooling Conference- Un in the Sun! Rates go up on July 1st!
The Florida Unschooling Conference | Un in the Sun
Florida Unschooling Conference – Un in the Sun!
October 14 – 18, 2012 Treasure Island Florida

December 27-29, Albuquerque (with several people from this discussion!)

2013 will have

Minnesota (in April with Jill Parmer and Alex Polikowsky)
Lisbon (May, with Joyce Fetteroll and Marta Borges Pires)
Selkirk, Scotland (with Joyce Fetteroll and Julie Daniel)
Probably near London again with Joyce Fetteroll
(possibly other places too, but I'm listing the most committed)
In fall, two or three cities in Australia with Joyce Fetteroll and Schuyler Waynforth
Yes, but in 2014, March and early April.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Physicality, Integrity

Addition of ideas posted by Meredith Novak:

More information and links on the role of integrity in unschooling:

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Unschoolers and college; the effects of strewing

Pam Sorooshian, on the graduation from college of her three daughters:

New page on the effects of strewing:

Monday, June 11, 2012

Videos, travels

Ainhoa Pérez found a typo that was keeping people from getting to the third transcript Katherine Anderson did. The portal is restored. And the reason it came up is that Ainhoa is in Spain and is working with a friend on a translation of those transcripts.

I'm at the campground where families from France and Switzerland are gathering for three days of hanging out with two presentations every afternoon. It's raining. I'm staying with the organizer, Claire Darbaud, and her children in a two-bedroom cabin with a kitchen, living room and big porch with another table and chairs. It's all made of plastic, has sliding doors, lots of shelves and storage, comes with dishes... very cool. I'll put photos on my blog at some point.

Photos and reports of my travels so far are here:

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Blake Boles, video about *me* (and his book)

This is in reference to a donation to the project to fund Blake's new book which launches June 8 (tomorrow!)

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Gradual Change, Solitude, Choices in French

Gradual Change, second item new, by Pam Sorooshian:

Time for Solitude, new page inspired by some writing by Connie Coyle

French translations by Catherine Goudouchaouri:
(First paragraph, translated on the same page; Pam Sorooshian's words)
(of Robyn Coburn's Expectations )

Clicking the image will take you to a post at Just Add Light and Stir.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Book Discounts

#1 because I'll be away from home for ten weeks or so, beginning tomorrow, I'm going to disable book orders from my site, but

#2 you can get them from, and they have a special until May 18 (link below), and

#3 you can order directly from Amazon (without shipping, if you have an Amazon Prime account).

Direct Amazon links:

The Big Book of Unschooling

Moving a Puddle

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Minecraft, Nest, Add Light and Stir

Learning from Minecraft
a new page joins the Minecraft page you might already have seen, but for the benefit of new readers...

New bit on Building an Unschooling Nest, third section or so, Caren and Pam:

Just Add Light and Stir has over 1000 e-mail subscribers not, and over 400 by other blog-notification means.
My daughter Holly created a facebook page for Just Add Light, after I used one of her friends' photos (David Jio)
and yesterday I used one by her boyfriend.

The facebook page is here:

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Breathing, socialization and cake

Something new, about yoga at work, and parenting is work!! (Work you can't well leave, so the info can be very useful, right away.)

Socialization, new link to an outside blog, upper lefthand photo (in the "all photos are links" section)
and I put something short there (top) from a talk I gave.

Cake (new cake by Marin Holmes, first in the lefthand column)
The page is about what cakes represent, and the juju of cake sacrifice, but the art is just FUN!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Child's partner, Portuguese, and a poetic rant

Addition to being your child's partner, a quote of Schuyler Waynforth, which quotes Pam Sorooshian and links to something she wrote. (The new material is the second item on the page.)

There is a page for Portuguese translations. At the moment it has five "Just Add Light and Stir" entries, but there is a translation of an interview in its final editing stages, and that will be added when it's ready.
Marta Pires is the translator, and also the organizer of a gathering in Lisbon a year from now at which Joyce Fetteroll and I will speak and also, I hope, Alex Polikowsky (who lives in Minnesota but grew up in Brazil)

Alex wrote something this week that I've saved, too, to help when people think unschooling is doing nothing. It's the theme of recent days, and she has said it quite strongly.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Bonding, refreshing, noisy peace

This page is NOT finished, but Schuyler wrote something worth reading all by itself, and I can add to it later.

Big Noisy Peace, a sound file, is in two places on my site now, free to listen to there or to download:

The sound files page is cleaned up a bit:

And part two of the Peaceful Parenting talk from years ago is easily available to hear freely now, here:

Just Add Light and Stir has nearly 1000 subscribers now. You can click the photo to go to a recent entry, with a quote from Deb Lewis.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

gradual change and chores; gathering in Massachusetts

Christina Daharry, about the benefits of moving gradually away from chores, quoted on two pages:
Gradual change, and "Making the Shift" (in the chores section):

OH! And I used the same background as one of those pages for the website for the ALL in May gathering, May 18-20, 2012:
Always Learning Live Unschooling Symposium:
Four speakers, in Massachusetts, camping event near enough Worcester that people can get a hotel room if necessary (and there are some bunks).
$60 for one attendee, $100 for a family, rope-climbing activities on Sunday

the photo is a link, too

Friday, March 2, 2012

Pets, One thing leads to another, Sugar

The "pets" page from the Big Book, and something Pam Sorooshian just wrote:

Julie Sweeney, up top of the page on young adults

Sugar and young children, something new up top by Deb Lewis:

Saturday, February 25, 2012

ALL in May (symposium in Massachusetts)

If you're in that area, please pass the link on to other locals who are already familiar with my site, Joyce's or the Always Learning list.

May 18-20, 2012
Always Learning Live Unschooling Symposium,
a short session in Massachusetts!
YMCA Harrington Outdoor Center (near Worcester — map)

Although it's too soon to make a paid reservation, I expect it will be about $100 per family, or not much more. Maybe less. We need to know more about expenses and the expected turnout, SO... if you know you might be interested in attending, please e-mail me:


Monday, February 20, 2012

Growth, marriages, babies

New page: Growth

New quote and link on "Divorce (Prevention of, for Unschoolers)"
It's near the bottom, and begins "Couples whose marriages are sick are often skittish about seeking help."

Middle item on babies learning

Monday, February 13, 2012

Little Gems, Reality, Texas, Joyce in German

Tiny bits of great writing

Would you rather live in the stone age, or live now?
(Hint: You don't actually have a choice.)

I've added a new Texas statewide unschooling group to my world links pages.
has been added to

One addition to the recent collection of German translations. The first one, under Joyce Fetteroll:

I lifted the image from the Texas Unschoolers page!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Dads, Eating, Phrases, Sleeping

Dads, unschooling, issues

A new article (2008) linked at
An Italian study reported in the British Journal of Nutrition, "Influence of parental attitudes in the development of children eating behaviour"

A new example added to "Phrases to hear and avoid" (up top)

Three new photos of sleeping children added to the "slideshow" at

Monday, February 6, 2012

College, active play, priorities

Second on the left, April Morris on unschooled teens going to college.

Physical play (new page), a few small things by various people:

Two new things to the left of the first box, and three things inside that box:

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


For the first time in a long time, I rearranged my index page:
I moved the SCA stuff elsewhere (link at the bottom of the middle section) and put a remote feed to Just Add Light and Stir, which will update itself every day. Otherwise, it's about the same.

I've moved notifications of speaking to its own blog. Some of the links are to other blogs, but that's because some events are run by others, in other languages, and because I'm really enjoying having a blog particular to international trips, so I can keep my photos and exciting news there.
Planned talks in the next two years (some more solid than others): MA, NJ-maybe, OR, France, Scotland, The Netherlands, England, CA, FL, NM, Portugal, Spain, CA-maybe, Australia, India.

Because other people's webpages disappear, I'm starting to try to save any translation of my writings (or Joyce's, or Pam's, or others of that ilk) that I come across. I have collections in six languages, with hints or promises of a few more. French, particularly, is really ratcheting up. There will be some Portuguese translations created in preparation for June 2013 (Joyce is going there with me).

The page for that is called "translation":

Monday, January 30, 2012

Labels, Languages, ALL Unschooling 2012

Something new by Jenny Cyphers at "Problems with labelling children"

An attempt to gather and preserve translations of unschooling writings:
(Yet another site has disappeared, and though I retrieved some with the Way Back Machine, some will likely be gone forever.)

There will be another ALL Unschooling Symposium in Albuquerque this December, and you can subscribe there to receive updates on that. The schedule has been published, and I'll start taking applications in a few weeks. Attendees will be expected to be members of the Always Learning discussion list (at least one of the parents), and to be familiar with Joyce Fetteroll's unschooling site and mine. It's not a gathering for beginning beginners.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Adam Daniel, Limits, Netherlands & France

Some of Adam Daniel's presentation in Albuquerque from December 31, 2011:
(Adam is six years old and was one of the speakers
at the ALL Unschooling Symposium.)
the photo is by Tim Mensch.

French translation
of "Limits"

Plans for speaking in the Netherlands and in France:

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sugar, expansion, courage

Photo of Deb Lewis by Tim Mensch,
Albuquerque, December 30, 2011
Addition of a story about how many sugar cubes one child will eat, given a full box:
(third bit down the page)

Twinkies and blueberries, second small bit at the top:

The principles that make unschooling work can expand into all of one's life. Sylvia Woodman gave me permission to share something she wrote about her feelings as her mother was in intensive care. I will link a small bit from which you can choose to see more or not.

Deb Lewis, on Becoming Courageous

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Issues, speaking

Expansion of "When Parents Have Issues"

Summer plans (speaking in Scotland, England, the Netherlands and France in 2012)
If you're interested in that one, please subscribe there, upper right of that page.

I'm speaking in Vancouver, Washington in May; in Sacramento, California in August; somewhere in the NE U.S. sometime in the fall. Information on the first two:

There will be another ALL Unschooling Symposium in Albuquerque this December, though registration isn't yet open.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

"Choix," food in quantity, dads

La Valeur des Choix
Catherine Goudouchaouri's translation of "The Value of Choices" (a page with various authors) (new)

Several translations of Just Add Light and Stir posts have been made, and are linked here: (additions)

Bingeing and hoarding (lesser variations of those, and food, and unschooling) (new)

Dads (a paper-folding story of now-grown unschooled man) (addition)