The Parental Intelligence Newsletter

22 August 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 links to 25 articles, 2 videos and 14 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!



"A child educated only at school is an uneducated child." - George Santayana


Are You Programmed at Birth?
by Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D.

The most influential perceptual programming of the subconscious mind occurs from birth through age six. During that time, the child's brain is recording all sensory experiences as well as learning complex motor programs for speech, crawling, standing, and advanced activities like running and jumping. Simultaneously, the child's sensory systems are fully engaged, downloading massive amounts of information about the world and how it works.

By observing the behavioral patterns of people in their immediate environment-primarily parents, siblings, and relatives-children learn to distinguish acceptable and unacceptable social behaviors. It's important to realize that perceptions acquired before the age of six become the fundamental subconscious programs that shape the character of an individual's life.

Read more ...

Thank you for that item to Marion Badenoch Rose

Freedom Of Choice, To What Extent?
by mamapoekie

Freedom of choice generally concerns individual choices. Legislation jumps in to ensure that your choices as an individual do not harm another individual's freedom.

When it comes to parenting, the choices we make are not merely choices that influence ourselves, they are choices we make FOR our children, parenting choices are choices made by one individual over another individual.

Read more ...

There's No Such Thing As Extended Breastfeeding
from Woman, Uncensored

When I first encountered the term "extended breastfeeding", I was curious.  When I learned the reasons people do it, and the benefits, I quickly saw the logic behind it.  For months I had been watching my first daughter, a toddler at the time, suck down bottle after bottle of whole milk, and I couldn't help but feel that something was wrong.  I shuddered over the unnatural crap in this store-bought milk and I hated seeing her desperate attachment to something artificial.  When I found out that her pediatrician had flat out lied when he said "She HAS to have cow's milk at a year old", I was furious.  I had let a stranger dictate my parenting decisions to me, and I hadn't even thought to question it.  We had breastfed successfully and happily for a year, and I allowed that to end for no real logical or medical reasons.

I finally came to realize a few things that should have been glaringly obvious to me from the get go.

Read more ...

Thank you for that item to mamapoekie

Attachment And Separation: What Everyone Should Know
by Dr. Peter Cook

Many human troubles would be lessened if the emotional needs of infants and young children were better understood in our society. This applies particularly to attachment needs and the effects of separating infants from their parents.

Read more ...

Unconditional Love
by Barry Philipp

Raising a child with unconditional love means that no fear is created in parent-child interactions. To love unconditionally simply means that parents accept their children completely and without restrictions or stipulations. There is no spoken (or unspoken) message causing the child to think he has to be something other than what he is in order to be loved. The need for unconditional love begins at conception.

Read more ...

Only children not so lonely
by Zoë Corbyn, Scientific American

It is a widely held stereotype that children who grow up without brothers or sisters may be "oddballs" or "misfits." But new research undermines that notion--suggesting that any deficiency that does exist in only children's social skills when they are young has disappeared by their teens.

Read more ...

Waves of interest
by mamapoekie

Children's interests come in waves. They can start off unexpectedly and then quickly take on autonomous dimensions in a heartbeat. They can take on such extreme proportions it can seem as if there is nothing else left. They can just as quickly vanish, or they can remain, as a part of the undercurrent.

These waves of interest can be very scary to parents, especially when these interests concern the axis of evil (TV, video games, ... the non accepted or 'in moderate quantities only' pastimes) or when it comes to food.

Read more ...

I've Walked Many Miles in Your Shoes
by Jeff Sabo

Back when I was firing people for a living, I received some expert advice on how to approach these "final meetings" with compassion. The advice was pretty simple, actually: "Never forget that you have had weeks or months to get comfortable with this decision. You've talked about it, tried to help them improve, and made a very thoughtful determination. But it will come as a shock to them. Where you had weeks to prepare for the finality, they have had seconds. Respect the fact that people rarely respond well to new ideas, especially ones that seem crazy to them."

Read more ...

Where all are equal
by Dana Nekich-Fuller, Sydney Morning Herald

At Currambena Primary School in Lane Cove, children choose what they want to learn, wear plain clothes instead of uniforms and call teachers by their first names. They have an equal say with staff and parents on how the school is run and receive individual assessments instead of competing against friends in exams. Oh, and there's no principal.

Read more ...

Thank you for that item to Brett Snelson

Duke prof gives controversial 'no-grades' experiment an A+
by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed

When Duke University's Cathy Davidson announced her grading plan for a seminar she would be offering this semester, she attracted attention nationwide. Some professors cheered, others tut-tutted, and others asked "Can she do that?"

Her plan? Turn over grading to the students in the course, and get out of the grading business herself.

Read more ...

10 Places To Get A Free Education from the Top Rated Schools in the World
by Tammy Camp

The debate over the value of education as it applies to success in the entrepreneurial world is as varied as it is passionate. Some say that classroom learning is an integral part of real-world application. Others say that you learn nothing studying theory, and that the only education worth acquiring is from the school of hard knocks.

New opportunities, however, may make the debate obsolete. With the advent of free online courses from some of the country's top universities available online, you can quench your thirst for greater knowledge, without committing to full time schooling or lifetime debt.

Read more ...

Thank you for that item to Denise Deeves

Schooling the gaming generation
by Judy Breck

Once established education shakes itself loose from its analog preconceptions - and someday it will - digital gaming will play a big role in future teaching and training. For now, the military, not the educators, are inventing this new venue for learning.

Read more ...

Real learning is found in children not data
by Joe Bower

Anything that's worth learning is worth doing in a context and for a purpose.

This takes time because learning is messy and real learning is really messy, and yet today's test and punish accountability is squeezing this kind of learning out. Ironically, it is the skill & drill kinds of learning that standardized tests measure that are taking precedent over real learning. This is exactly why parents need to be concerned when they see rising test scores.

Read more ...

What if schools had to make kids happy?
by Jeff Cobb

Here's a simple (though perhaps not easy) proposition: Let's value schools based on their ability to help produce happy adults. Not adults who can pass certain tests, or display mastery of those skills that we (in the U.S.) are worried other countries are trouncing us in, or even adults who possess college degrees, but rather adults who are well-prepared to live fulfilling lives, doing work they care about and contributing in positive ways to the communities to which they are connected.

I've probably already lost the cynics and defeatists by the beginning of this second paragraph, but for everyone else, I'm betting the idea sounds at least vaguely attractive.

Read more ...

Dogs: An unusual guide to school reform
by Marion Brady, The Washington Post

Driving the country roads of Scotland, Ireland and Wales, I have sometimes been lucky enough to be blocked by sheep being moved from one pasture to another.

I say 'lucky' because it allows me to watch an impressive performance by a dog - usually a Border Collie.

What a show! A single, mid-sized dog herding two or three hundred sheep, keeping them moving in the right direction, rounding up strays, knowing how to intimidate but not cause panic, funneling them all through a gate, and obviously enjoying the challenge.

Why a Border Collie? Why not an Akita or Xoloitzcuintli or another of about 400 breeds listed on the Internet?

Read more ...

Thank you for that item to Kelly Dunlap Lovejoy

Will it ultimately be students who force a change in schools?
by Clark Aldrich

One of the conversations I often get into is, "what is going to really drive changes in schools?" As we discussed , it is not going to be easy. (Home and unschoolers are driving innovation in childhood education outside of the industrial school system, but that will not translate to pressure on the schools for decades.)

Read more ...

The schools up on the pedestal are so far from being good enough, or even worthy role models
by Clark Aldrich

One of the biggest signs that home and unschooling are necessary to jump-start innovation is seeing what schools are put up on a pedestal today.

Read more ...

Deciding to Home-School
by Lisa Belkin, The New York Times

Chandra Hoffman has decided to home-school her 8-year-old son Hayden once this school year ends. She certainly didn't make this choice to fill her "free" time - her first novel, "Chosen," is coming out this fall, and most authors clear their calendars for an event like that. But her overstuffed calendar - and her son's - is precisely the reason she is making this choice.

Read more ...

Thank you for that item to Laureen Hudson

by Paideia

As the world is rapidly changing and schools lag behind, many parents are taking their children's education into their own hands. This morning in the New York Times Parenting blog, Chandra Hoffman describes her choice to home school her eight year old son this year. Her personal decision mostly comes down to her want to actually connect with her beaming, bright and cheeky son, rather than constantly falling into the role of nagging parent. Other parents feel strongly that the school, as an institution, has a damaging effect on children. And frankly, most schools are not preparing students for the world they live in. I believe that much of this has to do with the exacerbated American trend of our last two presidencies, standardized testing.

Read more ...

Is Unschooling Working?
by Jeff Sabo

The other day, I received an interesting email from an unschooling parent who said that their partner expressed some concerns that unschooling may not be "working." That's a really fascinating concept. I could not help but focus on that word - "working." How would we define working in our own family? What kinds of indicators or assessments would we use to determine whether or not unschooling works?

My initial inclination was to dismiss the topic out-of-hand; I mean, of course unschooling works, right? But the truth is that it is incredibly difficult to resist the temptation to measure whether or not unschooling is working.

Read more ...

Learning behind closed doors
by Susan Gaissert

One of the profound lessons I've learned from unschooling is to let people be. Children, especially. I'm not just talking about hovering or helicopter parenting, although I'm certainly not in favor of that, either. I'm talking about letting kids go into a room and close the door without worrying about what's going on in there. Unless you have probable cause to think your child is a drug addict, what's going on is probably educational, certainly valuable, and most definitely none of your business.

Read more ...

Set Your Kids Free For Some Free Range Learning
by Jenny Williams

Learning is everywhere. It is constant. This one bit of wisdom is one that I keep with myself, always. It helps the kids see that the world has a lot to teach them, and new knowledge can come at any time from anywhere. Being more isolated than most students and teachers, homeschoolers also seek out wisdom, inspiration, support and advice from books and online. There are dozens of books out there on the topic. Some are how-to books, others are stories about one family's experience. Depending on what you are looking for, there is a homeschooling book out there for you, even if your kids go to conventional school.

Read more ...

Defeating Adultism
by Wendy Priesnitz

There are many "isms" in our vocabulary - racism, sexism, and so on - which address discrimination on the basis of things like ethnicity, economic status, gender, sexual orientation, age, and physical abilities. Many of us try to overturn these "isms" in our own lives and in the broader culture. One "ism" that isn't so often dealt with - even by progressives - is adultism.

Read more ...

Psychology Studies Biased Toward Western Undergrads
by Christie Nicholson, Scientific American

A recent and exhaustive meta-analysis of scientific data shows that top psychology studies tend to make conclusions about human nature based on samples taken solely from Western undergraduate students.

Read more ...

Negative Self-Hypnosis - Comparing Yourself To Others
by Adam Eason

This incessant habit that so many people have, of comparing one's self with another is one of the very best ways to induce despair and is one of the most effective ways that I have encountered to give your self esteem a hammering.

Read more ...


Whip 'Em Out!

"Breastfeeding: Join the Boob-olution!"

Watch at (2 mins 18 secs)

Learning Styles Don't Exist

Professor Daniel T. Willingham, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia on the subject of "learning styles".

Watch at (6 mins 54 secs)


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

Homebirth: A Midwife Mutiny

The blog of South Australian midwife and homebirth advocate Lisa Barrett.

Visit "The Cafe" to view some Absurd Birth Scenes from the silver screen!

Were You Once A Baby?

What is a Baby?

Four Live, Interactive TeleClasses with Suzanne Arms and Rebecca Thompson.

"This series is for parents, grandparents, childcare providers, babysitters, and anyone else who loves and cares for babies and families with a baby (midwives, doulas, birth educators, students in psychology, child development, etc)"

Find out more at

The "Con" of Controlled Crying and Other Infant Sleep Myths

Free Teleseminar from Pinky McKay, Internationally Certified Lactation Consultant, Baby Massage Instructor and author of the best selling book Sleeping Like A Baby.

More information at

Great Quotes About Learning and Change

A Group Pool on flickr. Currently 302 contributions from 451 members - thought provoking quotes plus some gorgeous photographs.

View at

Public Education: Start Again

"If you could start the system called public education over again from scratch with no preconceived ideas of what it had to look like OR accomplish, what would it look like?" - Stephen Dill

Find out more at

Thank you for that item to Julia Pollard

SelfDesign Global

"When Brent Cameron, founder and Executive Director of the SelfDesign Learning Foundation, and his six-year old daughter, Ilana, began the 'Wondertree' experiment in 1983, he didn't know that his work would lead to a total shift in how we think about learning and how learning is supported and accomplished. For more than 25 years, the Wondertree Foundation (now renamed the SelfDesign Learning Foundation) has nurtured over 5,000 children to become compassionate, self-aware, self-directed young adults who, in this time of great change, are focused on making their communities and the world a better place. Where the conventional school system fails our children and families, SelfDesign offers breakthroughs in self-awareness and world-and-community-awareness."

Discover the full story at

Unschooling Rules now available on Amazon!

The book of the blog from Clark Aldrich - "A Thought Leader in Evolving Education, Business Analysis, and Media through Simulations, Serious Games, and other Virtual Learning Environments."

More about that here

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

Rethinking Everything Magazine

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

UZOMA Black Unschoolers' Conference

Monday, 7 March - Wednesday, 9 March, 2011

Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

"Uzoma is a Nigerian Igbo word which means 'the good path' and reflects the journey that all unschoolers embark upon when they choose this inspired method of education. It is our belief that a society can only experience freedom when its children are loved and respected as free people. Our mission is to help families learn about and share in this journey of becoming free.

The Uzoma Black Unschoolers' Conference (UBUC) was created to be a forum for unschoolers of color to meet together, build friendships, support one another, share resources, learn from experienced unschoolers of all backgrounds, and to discuss relevant issues that affect us in our unique experience."

Find out more at this Facebook page

Rainbow Divas Home Education CAMPFEST 2011

Tuesday 22nd to Sunday 27th March, 2011

Wymah Valley Holiday Park, Bowna (near Albury) NSW, Australia

"Our aim is to create a National, Annual Event in Australia that will meet the needs of ALL Home Schooling Families.  Our Festival is an opportunity to showcase the talent, skills, interests and passions of our Home Schooling Community.

Our intent is to promote and foster the skills, interests and knowledge of our National Home Educating community, and allow the passion of this information to reach as many Home Schoolers as possible.  At its heart, we believe that Home Schooling is a lifestyle, chosen by families for the enrichment of the entire family."

Please visit for all the details

Thank you for reading the Parental Intelligence Newsletter!

The next issue of this newsletter will be published on or about 12 September 2010

Subscribe now and stay in touch

Published by Bob Collier, Canberra, Australia  

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

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