Joyful nutshells


  • "Instead of feeling like you need to struggle, just stop and look at your son and think, "Right now what can I do to make his life a little more interesting?"" -- Pam Sorooshian
  • "If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in." -- Rachel Carson
  • One easy way to decide how to be is to picture clearly what would make things worse, and then not do that. -- Sandra Dodd
  • Formal learning is being certain you can't let go of the side of the pool. Unschooling is paddling around in the deep end :-)
  • The unschooling philosophy is that people will learn what they need to learn by living life freely and joyfully in an environment that's rich enough for them to both explore their interests and stumble across new interests.
  • ... in the last week the light bulb went on. It entered my being.. Unschooling is about respect.. Discovery.. I get it.. It works.. -- Kathleen (gehrkes)
  • The goal of unschooling is not education. It is to help a child be who she is and blossom into who she will become. Learning happens as a side effect.
  • My schooling not only failed to teach me what it professed to be teaching, but prevented me from being educated to an extent which infuriates me when I think of all I might have learned at home by myself. -- George Bernard Shaw.
  • Now think about it, if you are a young person without much life experience are you going to get more out of asking a question about something you don't know about, or answering a question that someone hopes you've memorized the answer for. -- KarenO

Living Joyfully

  • Q: Won't what children learn affect what type of adults they will be?

  • A: What if they learn "Would you like help with that?" because that's what we model for them?
  • What do the kids learn when you force them to pick up their own stuff and refuse to do it for them? They learn to be ungenerous with their time, and unhelpful (with other people's stuff). They learn to be more selfish, not more responsible. -- Pam Sorooshian
  • When it is given freely and received gratefully, joy lives in every heart. -- Maya Angelou
  • Doing work because you feel you have to isn't any more a virtue than completely ignoring it. -- Dawn of NS
  • I wanted to add something - especially since you were really feeling so awful about this --- there is NO academic subject that is important enough to risk harming a parent-child relationship. NOTHING is more important than your relationship. There is no work - school work, housework, yard work, or anything else, that is more important than your relationship. ALWAYS put that first. -- Pam Sorooshian
  • "There is SOME impetus that makes us LOOK for answers when we feel something is not just right. And if you don't have that impetus, then you are just not ready for the answers yet." -- Anne Ohman
  • I have evolved from mostly desiring a peaceful home to mostly wanting a peaceful relationship with my daughter while I help her grow to her potential... I even discussed with my husband that if anyone asks, we should consider ourselves doing a long-term "family homeschooling project" on communication, parenting, and child development! -- Melissa Zietlow
  • We shouldn't impose a decrease in someone else's joy in order to increase our joy.
  • Rules are Don'ts and No's, Principles are Do's and Yesses. Instead of Don't hit, Be kind. Instead of No yelling, Talk nicely. You get the idea, it goes back to basics of human interactions. Get rid of those things and work on the person/people. Principles have more to do with the spirit of people, the soul, and rules have more to do with externally controlling spirits and souls through ideas of what others think it should be. -- Jenny (jenstarc4)

John Holt

  • Even in the kindest and most loving families two year olds must be reminded a hundred times a day, perhaps by words and acts of their parents, perhaps by events, by Nature herself, that they are small, weak, clumsy, foolish, ignorant, untrustworthy, troublesome, destructive, dirty, smelly, even disgusting. They don't like it! Neither would I. Neither would you.
  • In a nutshell, people whose lives are hard, boring, painful, meaningless -- people who suffer -- tend to resent those who seem to suffer less than they do, and will make them suffer if they can. People who feel themselves in chains, with no hope of ever getting them off, want to put chains on everyone else. -- John Holt, Teach Your Own, Introduction
Last updated: April 2009