Title: Sandra Dodd's Big Book of Unschooling
Author: Sandra Dodd
Purchase at: SandraDodd.com
Sandra Dodd's Big Book of Unschooling book is intentionally written for the radical unschooling parent, however, any parent who wishes a better relationship with their child, better learning strategy and just an all around calmer household would do well to mine this resource for the jewels within. It is unquestionably about parenting in a loving way.
Employing short essays to frame and focus on particular aspects of child-led learning, assembling a child focused household, Sandra Dodd’s book brings the concepts and the practice of unschooling into spotlight for the reader.
Inspired by the Open Classroom model of learning practiced in classrooms during the 1960s and 1970s, as well as the writings of John Holt and others, Sandra Dodd trusted the theory that humans are innately curious and left to their own they will inquire and learn a variety of information and skills with which to thrive. She determined to raise her children in this way.
Dodd uses examples from her own life raising three children in New Mexico, fulfilling her desire to create an environment supportive of free learning and free thinking as previous educators only hypothesized about doing with classrooms full of children.
Part One: unschooling is arranging or strewing for natural learning to take place. The 250+ essays bring the reader from neophyte to understanding of the process. Part Two: gives insight and a behind the door kind of information about an unschooling family.
Beginning with the profoundly accurate statement: “Neglect is not unschooling.” I was drawn into this book so entirely that I didn’t want to put it down. This great read was over so quickly. Well, quickly for 350 pages. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole book.
I especially like the way Sandra Dodd presents each issue. Each short essay, most a page in length, poses questions, gives ways to find the answer or examples of results. Because the answers are different for each parent and each child, there are no hard fast answers. Someone looking for answers in a Dr. Spock style: if A happens, insert B; would do better building a piece of furniture rather than raising a child. But parents who are truly looking for a better way to parent can’t help but learn from this book.