The Parental Intelligence Newsletter

30 May 2010

Hi, this is Bob Collier inviting you to 'explore the psychology of happy and successful parenting', connect with bright minds, discover new ideas and sail outside the mainstream for a while without running aground.

All that and more.

In this issue of the Parental Intelligence Newsletter there are 37 article links, 4 video links and 8 notices and items of news. As always, I trust you will find in my latest collection of parenting, education and personal development ideas and information from around the internet something that will make a positive difference to your life - and, through you, to the lives of your children.

Please scroll down to pick and choose whatever is of interest and useful to you.

Thank you for being here! I appreciate this opportunity to be of help to you in your parenting adventure and wish you all the happiness and success you would wish yourself.

See you next time!



"There is a path for each child in his or her own unfoldment, and for unfolding with other people. When these paths are recognized, complied with, and chosen, what follows is less conflict and more joy." - Will Schutz



A mother's touch: Study shows maternal stimuli can improve cognitive function, stress resilience
from PhysOrg

For an infant, a mother's touch provides a feeling of security, comfort and love. But research at UC Irvine is showing that it does much more.

UCI child neurologist and neuroscientist Dr. Tallie Z. Baram has found that caressing and other sensory input triggers activity in a baby's developing brain that improves cognitive function and builds resilience to stress.

Read more ...

Thank you for that item to Rick King via aTLC

Nobody puts baby in a crib!
by Jennifer

My 2 year-old recently informed me that "Sydney doesn't have a bed."  I'm not entirely sure if this is his own observation or the result of overhearing conversations with my mom.  Regardless, my response was "No, Syd sleeps with mommy.  When you were a little baby you slept with mommy too."  Occasionally he still does, although he is relegated to Daddy's side for safety's sake.  But he's right, we don't even own a crib.

The lack of bed seems troublesome to many.

Read more ...

The Shameful Breast
by mamapoekie

I have been thinking long and hard about how people can be offended by breastfeeding. It is often said that it is a direct result of sexualization, that it generated out of everything becoming sexual, which leaves no room for a baby to feed on the oh so sexual breast.

But I fear we might have it wrong.

Read more ...

Breastfeeding Courtesy
by mamapokie

When you see a woman comfortably nursing her child - no matter where she is sitting or no matter how old the child - DO NOT offer her a towel, napkin, blanket or any other device to cover up her baby. DO NOT suggest she goes elsewhere, where its quieter/more secluded/less crowded/...

If this mother is indeed comfortably nursing her child, this means she is comfortable where she is.

Read more ...

Natural Parenting Felt Natural
by Sheryl

I do not have a sophisticated reason why we chose natural parenting.  I can't say that before my son was born, my husband and I spent hours poring over books and reading websites, researching different parenting methods and determining that natural parenting was right for us.

Instead, during my pregnancy, I spent hours poring over pregnancy books - bad pregnancy books even! (although I didn't know it then). 

Read more ...

"One, Two..."
Teaching Through Love Instead of Fear
by Pam Leo

Can you imagine threatening your partner or good friend by counting "One… Two" if he or she did not do what you wanted?

One of the big issues in schools today is "bullying." Parents and teachers struggle daily with how to stop this behavior. Without realizing it, adults teach bullying behavior to children by modeling it when they use the threat of their physical size or power to make children do things. 

Read more ...

Copycat behavior in children is universal and may help promote human culture
from PhysOrg

Children learn a great deal by imitating adults. A new study of Australian preschoolers and Kalahari Bushman children finds that a particular kind of imitation - overimitation, in which a child copies everything an adult shows them, not just the steps that lead to some outcome - appears to be a universal human activity, rather than something the children of middle-class parents pick up. The work helps shed light on how humans develop and transmit culture.

Read more ...

Thank you for that item to Javed Alam

Taking a leap out of the box to see that consequences are damaging and make no sense!
by JoyfulParent

I was talking with an acquaintance the other day and we were speaking in general terms about parenting while also sharing experiences. I didn't know this person very well so I wasn't sure how receptive she would be to learning that my kids never have consequences put on them that my husband and I get to make up. Natural consequences, yes, those are a part of being alive and human. A natural consequence is very different than an arbitrary one. Many, ok most, parents I meet look at me like I am from Mars when I tell them my kids have never been grounded and have never gotten punished. (My guys are 12.)

Read more ...

What if?
by Jess

What if as a parent you could not use any sort of punishment with your children? What would you do?

Read more ...

Bebe Choco And The Spoiled Child
by mamapoekie

There seems to be a bit of a conflict about what makes a spoiled child.

When - in Belgium - people talk about a spoiled child, they most often are talking about a child that gets a lot of material things (and often is void of parental time or affection) - the 'my super sweet sixteen'-kind of girl or boy (strangely though, this is most often used to designate girls).

Yet, when people warn parents they might be spoiling their child, on the contrary, they are most often talking about affection, attention and time spent with that child.

Read more ...

Rigging Kids' Brains for Happy Memories
by Christine Carter

By putting neuroscience into action, we can help our children experience-and remember-more good times than bad.

Read more ...

7 Ways To Teach Our Kids to Live Their Dreams
by Lisa Delzer

I'm a big believer in teaching our kids by walking our talk. They are watching and paying attention to everything we do. Everything!

If you have doubts about this, all you have to do is spend a day with my 2 year old. She mimics everything, trying it out for herself, seeing how it feels, making it her own.

All through life kids do this..

Read more ...

Thank you for that item to Denise Deeves

The 9 year old Microsoft genius
by Anna Coren, CNN

Marco Calasan is the youngest Microsoft systems engineer in the world, holds four Microsoft certificates and has written a 312-page book on Microsoft's Windows 7.

Read more ...

Jessica Watson
by Gal Baras

In case you have not heard, Jessica Watson is a 17-year-old girl from Australia who has recently sailed around the world in a 10m (30') boat (a sloop). This is by all means an outstanding feat and can be deemed very inspiring for young people all around the world.

Read more ...

Loving Children
by Simon Webb

Home educators vary tremendously in their aims and methods for achieving those aims. Some are like me, parents who are getting restless if their child cannot read by her second birthday. Others are not bothered if their son can only write in large, scrawled capital letters at the age of twelve. Most fall somewhere between these two extremes. All however have one thing in common; they like their children and enjoy their company.

Read more ...

by Jeff Sabo

At various points in our journey, we have referred to ourselves by a variety of different labels: AP, unschoolers, radical unschoolers, life learners, take your pick. Personally, I gave up on labels a while back because I found them unnecessary - certainly, I did not need a label to validate the life we've chosen, and I don't need the additional pushback from others that goes with calling myself an "un-" or "radical" anything. For us, our life choices are not badges of honor; they are simply the way we live our life, hour to hour and day to day. When I think about how to best describe the way we live, I think about it in terms of freedom - the freedom of thought with which we seek new experiences, the freedom of the heart with which we pursue passions, and the freedom of spirit with which we approach our lives each day.

Read more ...

We inherit - and we also become
by Joe Bower

Some would have us believe that we don't become. We are.

And while it would be ridiculous to suggest that anyone can literally do or be anything they want to, it is equally as foolish to see our abilities as set in genetic stone.

Read more ...

Children under 3 can't learn action words from TV -- unless an adult helps
from PhysOrg

American infants and toddlers watch TV an average of two hours a day, and much of the programming is billed as educational. A new study finds that children under age 3 learn less from these videos that we might think -- unless there's an adult present to interact with them and support their learning.

Read more ...

Biologically, the necessary order of learning is: explore, then play, then add rigor
by Clark Aldrich

Look at the process by which children learn to swim.

First, children are introduced to the body of water, be it the ocean, lake, or swimming pool. New young swimmers initially (and accurately) perceive the water as a scary, foreign environment. The "educational" challenge at this stage is simply to get them to enter and move around in this strange world (technically, to navigate, manipulate, and communicate).

Read more ...

What is Learning Freely?
by Kent Eaton

So many discussions regarding categories. styles, methods and techniques of Home Education and curriculum vs no curriculum, etc. often miss the essential point of what learning is.

Read more ...

Public school? Private school? Homeschooling? Unschooling?
by PhD in Parenting

I want to preface this post by saying that I am not an expert in the field of education. I have done some research on this topic, but it is not comprehensive and may not even be representative. However, my readers have been asking me for a long time to share my thoughts on this topic and those requests have increased since we began our temporary stay in Germany, where homeschooling is illegal.  In the interest of full disclosure, as this may colour my thoughts on the issue, I went through the public school system in Quebec and we have chosen a small private language-focused preschool/elementary school for our children, which our son has attended for the past three years and where our daughter will be starting this September.

Read more ...

Grand Blanc Board of Education considers possibility of virtual high school
by Allison Bush, The Flint Journal

Grand Blanc High School potentially could see an increase in its number of students in upcoming years, but those students might never step foot inside a classroom.

Principal Jennifer Hammond gave a presentation to the Board of Education on May 17 about adding a possible virtual high school, which would provide online education to homeschooled students in the Grand Blanc school district.

Read more ...

Thank you for that item to Linda Dobson

Virtual schools soon reality in Mass.
by James Vaznis, The Boston Globe

The schools would have no desks or lockers, not even a cafeteria to trade gossip over a plate of chicken nuggets. Instead, students could take classes from the comfort of their homes or a neighborhood coffeehouse, as teachers convey lessons via the Internet.

This is a snapshot of virtual public schools in Massachusetts, which could open as soon as this fall, enabling hundreds of students to take all their classes online.

Read more ...

The Future of Learning Institutions in the Digital Age
by Michelle Pacansky-Brock

Over the past several years, I've found myself aligned with K-12 bloggers and educational theorists who seem to be light years ahead of higher education in keeping their finger on the pulse of learning trends of young students and stressing the critical need to shift our tools and pedagogies to engage and educate this new generation. And, may I add, that I've learned tremendously from them! However, what has amazed and frustrated me is the fact that this "new generation" of Millennial students that are generally the focus of new learning studies and new approaches to pedagogy is now entering their 30s. That's right -- several graduating classes of Millennials have already cycled through our colleges and universities and we, the pontificating professors holding all the answers, are just beginning to rub our eyes and realize that a semester in our disengaged lecture halls offers fewer learning moments than a five minute customized search on YouTube.

Read more ...

School of the Future: Unschooling Education
by Christopher Kennedy and Cassie Thornton

School of the Future is a project about what a school can be. This un-school will facilitate a model of apprenticeship and collaborative learning that questions what we know and how we learn.

Read more ...

Truth About the Legality of Homeschooling: One Parent's Demand
by Attorney Deborah Stevenson

Nothing makes me angrier than a lie, except when a lie is repeated so often that people believe it to be truth. I'm sick of lies, distorted truth, spin, and revisionist history. Can we just get back to reality? Can we just hold people accountable for their purposeful distortions?

Can we just set the record straight?

Read more ...

Homeschooling Myth #3: Mom Needs to Be a Teacher
by Linda Dobson

Those  of  us  who  started  our  homeschool  journey  with  school-at-home were  usually  under  the  spell  of  this  myth,  too.  Our  conditioning  led  us  to believe  we  had  to  don  yet  another  hat  and  stand  at  the  head  of  the  class pouring forth facts, acting as we presumed teachers are supposed to act. There  are  two  misconceptions  rolled  into  this  one  myth. 

Read more ...

Unschooling: A Life of Freedom
by Sara

From the time Bella was born, Matt and I knew that we wanted her to have a rich life experience…and that it wasn't going to come from spending 7-8 hours a day at school. And even though we were not homeschooled ourselves, it was something that we were excited about and embraced with open arms. But the term homeschooling is quite broad and it became somewhat overwhelming to navigate our options. As Bella approached that "magical age of 5″…we felt pressure to make a decision on a curriculum and get busy learning.

Read more ...

Unexpected Benefits of Unschooling
by Sandra Dodd

As I write, my children are 18, 21, and 23 years old. They are in Quebec, New Mexico, and Texas. I have time to review the effects of nearly twenty years of living without school in our lives. There were some unforeseen joys, and they continue to arise.

Read more ...

Is Unschooling a First World privilege?
by ruralaspirations

In an unschooling forum I frequent, someone asked whether unschooling was a privilege for the wealthy and those who live in 1st world countries. This was actually something I had given some thought to a while back and I wanted to share my thoughts on the subject.

Read more ...

Avoid the Stockholm Syndrome
by Clark Aldrich

The premise of the future of education has to be that of parents being able to choose from a variety of models. Ironically, today's lack of choice makes some parents of children in school systems both more supportive of a single school framework and less convincing.

This is due in part to a situation quite reminiscent of the Stockholm Syndrome.

Read more ...

My Daughter's a High-School Dropout and I'm Totally Okay With It
by Ericka Lutz

It's graduation season and the irony, in my household, abounds.

You see, I teach graduate students at one of the top universities in the country, the same university where my husband was a professor as well. I've authored five parenting books, and I write a column for a parenting magazine. I'm often quoted as a "parenting expert." This is a home where bookshelves line the walls, where we eat dinner together every night, where we run to the dictionary for definitions of words we don't know.

My daughter Annie grew up in a hotbed of education. But high school didn't work for her, so I encouraged her to drop out. I'm proud of her for making the choice and I'm proud of myself for supporting it.

Read more ...

Thank you for that item to Denise Deeves

The Real Value of College
by Kevin Carey

With Jacques Steinberg's piece in last Sunday's Times  (Plan B: Skip College), the "Is college really worth it?" meme seems to be in full flower, in part because it's an interesting issue and in part because the media has a fatal weakness for novelty and counterintuition. But most of these discussions suffer from confusion about what question they're actually trying to answer. In roughly ascending order of importance, here's how various people are framing the issue:

Read more ...

Technology brings education to you wherever you may be
by Ray Irving, Times Live

No so long ago, the very notion of a distance learning MBA would be regarded with disdain, the chief argument being that it lacks face-to-face contact. But as technology has progressed, so too are those perceptions shifting rapidly.

Someone with first-hand experience in this is Ray Irving, head of learning and resources development at Warwick Business School in the UK.

Read more ...

The funeral is now history for none-net knowledge
by Judy Breck

Because networks laws naturally and eagerly organize knowledge, essentially all (yes all) knowledge studied in a K-20 superior education has made its way into the open internet - and students who are not allowed to use the net knowledge are cheated.

Read more ...

21 Things That Will Become Obsolete in Education by 2020
by A Faire Alchemist

1. Desks
The 21st century does not fit neatly into rows. Neither should your students. Allow the network-based concepts of flow, collaboration, and dynamism help you rearrange your room for authentic 21st century learning.

Read more ...

What makes mobile learning ubiquitous?
from Mobl21

The term ubiquitous often appears in conjunction with scholarly articles on mobile and communication devices and more specifically, mobile learning. This post will help us understand more about this term and why it has become so relevant in the field of mobile learning.

Read more ...


Y'all Busted

Rapper Chill E.B. comments in rhyme on "The ADHD Fraud". Click on the information box (with the two downward pointing arrows) below the video for the lyrics.

"Out of America's 58 million school children, over 8 million (roughly 1 in every 7) are prescribed psychiatric drugs that cause violence, suicide, and which have been linked to an increased inclination towards substance abuse in later years.

Psychiatrist receive $21 billion a year prescribing powerful psychotropic drugs to children for ADHD - just one out of over 300 so-called "diseases" and "disorders" which have never been clinically proven to exist."

Watch at (4 mins 35 secs)

The song is available as an mp3 download from this page at

Sir Ken Robinson: Bring on the learning revolution!

"In this poignant, funny follow-up to his fabled 2006 talk, Sir Ken Robinson makes the case for a radical shift from standardized schools to personalized learning -- creating conditions where kids' natural talents can flourish."

Watch at (16 mins 48 secs)

"Democratic Education: Foundations & Principles," a talk by Isaac Graves

"Democratic education is on the cutting edge in contemporary educational philosophy and practice.  This workshop provides a concise overview of what democratic education is, its common threads, goals, and key elements followed by painting the big picture of democratic education today.  This is a highly informative and short (twenty minutes) presentation followed by questions and answers."

Watch at

Sal Khan

"What started as algebra lessons for his cousins has turned into a world-changing project. Hundreds of thousands of users worldwide have benefited from Sal Khan's friendly, accessible Youtube videos explaining math, science, and other subjects - all at

Sal has a vision of teaching the entire world, for free. His not-for-profit Khan Academy has the mission of "providing a high quality education to anyone, anywhere." In this outstanding Gel video, Sal describes the elements of the good experience he's trying to create."

Watch at (20 mins 5 secs)

Thank you for that item to Steve Kaufmann


Neuro-Linguistic Programming: Liberating Parents

A new and different parenting book from Australian NLP Consultant and Life Coach Keith Gilbert.

"... this is what Liberating Parents is all about.  It is training for parents so that you can learn the essential processes for creating, maintaining and enjoying mental and emotional health and wellbeing. And when you have these skills and use them on a daily basis then you become a model for your children of a balanced, creative and free individual… which is exactly what you want for your children!"

My favourite parenting book ever.

Visit Keith Gilbert's Neuro Linguistic Parents website for more information

Join the Liberating Parents group at Facebook

How I Parent

A short and hopefully useful instantly downloadable FREE ebook about how I've parented my own children.

Read more about that here 

Guiding Stars of the New Parenting Movement

Be sure to download your FREE copy of my Guiding Stars of the New Parenting Movement ebooks while you're here if you haven't done so already.

These ebooks are FREE with my compliments and are packed with valuable insights and useful ideas to help you in your parenting adventure.

Volume 1 - an introduction to the work of Michael Mendizza, Robin Grille, Laura Ramirez, Jan Hunt, Pam Leo, Pat and Larry Downing, Alfie Kohn, Marc Prensky, Kali Wendorf and Jan Fortune-Wood:

Download it from here  

Volume 2 - an introduction to the work of Aletha Solter, Kim Wildner, Naomi Aldort, John Travis and Meryn Callander, John Breeding, Scott Noelle, Beverley Paine and Alan Wilson

Download it from here

A review of Sandra Dodd's Big Book of Unschooling

A review of Sandra Dodd's Big Book of Unschooling by unschooler Kelly Halldorsen.

Read it here


Saturday, July 10 - Saturday, July 17, 2010

At The Hop Farm, Paddock Wood, Tonbridge  Kent, England

"HESFES is the Home Educators' Summer Festival. Children who are in school are also very welcome.

It is run by a cooperative of volunteers and is non profit making and entirely self funding.

Now in its 13th year  the event will once again see people from all over the UK and abroad come together for a week of fun."

Get all the exciting details at

14th International Rethinking Everything Conference

Friday, September 3 - Tuesday, September 7, 2010

At the American Airlines Training & Conference Center, Fort Worth, Texas, USA

"Founded 17 years ago as the Rethinking Education conference and officially morphing in 2009 to Rethinking Everything, we're setting bright new standards for progressive families ...

At the heart of Rethinking Everything is the awareness that the most important way we can effect positive, enlightened change in the world is by entirely rethinking the nature of childhood and the environments we create to support the THRIVING of children and their families."

Get all the exciting details at

Touch The Future Overview of Rethinking Everything

"If there was ever a perfect union it is between Touch the Future and the annual Rethinking Everything (RE) Conference, held every September in Dallas, Texas, USA. As of January 2008, Touch the Future is serving as the nonprofit sponsor for this unique and powerful event."

Read the complete Overview at

First Ever Australian Unschooling Conference Retreat

Friday, September 3 - Tuesday, September 7, 2010

At Tallebudgerra Tourist Park, Tallebudgerra Creek, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

"Come together with other natural learning families for the first ever Unschooling Conference in Australia! Join us for connection, community, support and fun!"

I will be speaking on the Saturday morning, September 4.

Get all the exciting details at

Thank you for reading the Parental Intelligence Newsletter!

The next issue of this newsletter will be published on 13 June 2010

Subscribe now and stay in touch

Published by Bob Collier, Canberra, Australia  

Email: bobcollier[at]parental-intelligence[dot]com 

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