The Parental Intelligence Newsletter

29 May 2011

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 20 articles and 9 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!




Stressed out: Studies show babies become anxious if ignored for even two minutes by mother
by Fiona MacRae, The Daily Mail (UK)

They may have barely mastered sitting up by themselves. But six-month-old babies become stressed out when they don't get the attention they feel they deserve.

Read more ...

Trusting your baby to decide when how much to eat is best
by Richard Alleyne, The Telegraph (UK)

Mothers who indulge their babies' demands for food whenever they want it are not spoiling them and are in fact setting them on the right track to a healthy lifestyle, new research suggests.

Read more ...

Breast Practices
by Molly Belmont

It's official. Breast is best.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has long recommended exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, and continued breastfeeding for at least the first year. UNICEF and the World Health Organization also support breastfeeding for the health of both mother and child, and in January, U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin joined their ranks, citing the immense health benefits as well as cost savings (it is estimated that if families followed AAP recommendations to breastfeed exclusively for the first six months, the U.S. would save $13 billion annually).

Read more ...

Is it time to put the EX into Baby Experts?
by Sarah Ockwell-Smith

The past week has seen a flurry of internet mums get in a Tizz about Tizzie Hall's "Save our Sleep" and in particular the decision made by Practical Parenting Magazine to distribute Tizzie's book with their magazine. I have to confess to never having read Tizzie's book so I can't comment on its contents but from reading many comments on Facebook and Twitter over the past week it seems that Tizzie is one of the new wave of parenting experts causing a chasm between mothering opinions - the new parenting marmite manual you might say.

Read more ...

The "Art" of Raising Children
by Jeff Sabo

A couple of days ago, I received an email from someone who stumbled across my blog through a thread on Mothering magazine. They made a lot of nice comments, which I appreciated, but near the end of their email they said one thing that has been nagging at me all weekend:

I'm trying to mold my child into being the best that he can be, but I'm finding that raising a child is more an art than a science.

Read more ...

Ten Ways To Confuse a Child
by Vickie Bergman

1.  If he's yelling, yell at him: STOP YELLING! IT'S NOT NICE TO YELL.

Read more ...

Bullying (30): How to stop parent bullying
by Ronit Baras

Personal development is a good way to eliminate many problems in our society, because it goes through all the levels of change - developing awareness, making a decision to change, creating new habits and living the change. Changing a whole society of bullying is no different. We can move from a bullying society toward a caring, sharing and respectful society using the same personal development techniques.

Read more ...

Start here to read all the articles in the "Bullying" series

Partnership doesn't mean letting kids do whatever the hell they want!
by Lyla Wolfenstein

It happened again. Someone writes an article about how it's possible to parent children with respect, and in partnership. Without punishments or rewards. How obedience is not their goal for their children. How children are people too and how the relationship between parent and child is more important than any "lesson" we think they need to learn. And then the comment flurry begins.

Read more ...

A Question of Identity
by Gal Baras

Relationship friction is as common as relationships. There is just no way to keep everything smooth all the time. Whether you interact with your partner, your boss, your colleagues, your kids or (ahem) your parents, there is bound to be some points when things feel a bit rough, faces turn redder, voices become sharper and all involved wonder what went wrong.

This happens very often between parents and teenagers. Considering what you are about to read, this is not too surprising, actually.

Read more ...

Compulsory: A Child's Right to an Education
by Sara McGrath

What do you think of when you picture home education? In her recent article "Education is not Compulsory," former teacher and home education supporter, Myra Robinson asked this question, but she began with the premise: "The philosophy behind home schooling is wrong. Children's right to be educated should take precedence over a parent's right to withdraw a child from school."

That statement gave me pause. Robinson suggested that the basic philosophy of homeschooling is based in the parents' right to keep their kids out of school. Apparently, however, she feels that this right only belongs to parents who provide an education in the manner of compulsory public education.

Read more ...

Compulsory Compliance: Is Resistance Futile?
by Laurette Lynn

For most parents who are new to home education, one of the first questions is "is it legal?" and "what are the laws?"  We wonder if we are allowed to home educate and under what conditions. We begin to inquire about state requirements and as we find out that each state has different requirements for home education regulations, we begin to concern ourselves with how to meet those requirements.

When I began on this path, after having made the decision to opt out of school, we were living in a state which was considered a 'high regulation' state.

Read more ...

Home Ed is More Popular than School!
by Laurette Lynn

Not yet it's not.  But someday it will be.

I have a vision… I see a day when school is "alternative" and home-based, independent education is the norm.  It is a day where a child's learning is a natural part of their childhood and helping them learn is a natural part of parenting.   I see a day where parents do not rely on a double income because they are not indebted as a result of over consumption, resulting from a system that has conditioned them to believe that they need to over-consume.

Read more ...

What has Changed 01 - Content is Free and Fluid
by Clark Aldrich

Things work until they don't. We need a new manifesto for education. Why? What has changed existentially over the last ten years? Why does education in the 21st Century need to be different than education in the 20th Century?

Reason 01: Most content is now free. Almost all content is fluid.

Nothing changes the education model more than the changes in content itself. There are three pieces to this ...

Read more ...

Just Do the Math!
by David Albert

A group of homeschooling mothers gathered together in a circle to discuss unschooling approaches to their children's education.

"Not possible," homeschool mom proclaimed glumly, shaking her head.

I had just explained how the Sudbury Valley School - a democratically managed, child-directed learning environment that has been around for almost 40 years - has demonstrated repeatedly that a child could learn math - all of it grades K through 12 - in eight weeks. Average (if there is such a thing), normal (never met one), healthy children, hundreds of them, learned it all, leading to admissions to some of the leading colleges and universities in the nation.

Read more ...

Childhood Math Adds Up for Grown Homeschoolers
by Peter Kowalke

Grown homeschoolers discuss their relationship with math then and now.

Read more ...

A Grown Unschooler is an Oxymoron
by Wendy Priesnitz

I love hearing stories of people who learned without schooling as children (we call them "grown unschoolers"), and how it has influenced their adulthood ...

And I'm always happy to meet people like my daughters who grew up without attending school. But, recently, I was in a less than positive mood when I met a twenty-something young man who proudly identified himself to me as a "grown unschooler."

Read more ...

Unplugged Education - It Is Not Homeschooling
by Laurette Lynn

For most of us, when we hear the word education, it automatically creates a mental image of school and books and papers and we instantly associate the term with school. Similarly, when we hear the word school, we think of books, teachers, desks, chalkboards and a building filled with students, sounds of bells, images of backpacks and busses and the cringing thought of homework and tests. Take it a step further with the term 'homeschool' and a vast majority of the population automatically associates that term with 'strange, weird, bizarre, outcasts, unsocialized, cooped up" etc... Some of us know better and hence associate the term homeschool with books and papers and grades etc - but minus the chalk boards and busses and building, and of course minus the 'homework'. For many home educators, this would be an accurate image for what homeschooling is for them - school at home. However, for a growing number of families, the word school does not at all describe what they have discovered or the lifelong learning they are enjoying. What's more, these are the families who have come to the conclusion that the word education is not synonymous with the word schooling. As a matter of fact they are two very different ideas.

Read more ...

How the Internet is Revolutionizing Education
by Courtney Boyd Myers

As connection speeds increase and the ubiquity of the Internet pervades, digital content reigns. And in this era, free education has never been so accessible. The Web gives lifelong learners the tools to become autodidacts, eschewing exorbitant tuition and joining the ranks of other self-taught great thinkers in history such as Albert Einstein, Alexander Graham Bell, Paul Allen and Ernest Hemingway.

Read more ...

Why the Future of College isn't on Campus
by Kate Fridkis
I was unschooled. The first time I sat in a classroom was in college, and I learned a lot there. I still remember the names of some Native American tribes from my Native American History class. I made some good friends. I got summa cum laude.

But mostly I learned how to be bored. I learned that I was supposed to be bored, because lectures are boring, and you're not really supposed to interact.

Read more ...

Going to Harvard from your own bedroom
by Merlin John
"In the online world you don't need to fill buildings or lecture theatres with people and you don't need to be trapped into a lecture timetable," says Peter Scott, director of the Open University's Knowledge Media Institute.

Read more ...


When Am I Allowed To Hit Someone?

A flowchart with a message that caught my eye - "It seems like this is what our society tells us about hitting ..."


Born to Learn

"Born to learn is a fun, thought-provoking series of animations that illustrate ground-breaking new discoveries about how humans learn."

The Teenager's Guide to Opting Out (Not Dropping Out) of Outdated & Traditional School

A free guide for teens co-authored by Lisa Nielsen and Laurette Lynn.

"The Teenager's Guide to Opting Out (Not Dropping Out) of School from Lisa Nielsen, veteran educator and author of The Innovative Educator blog has been created to provide directions and encouragement for teens who are ready to direct their own education and get started in a happy and successful life without school. The guide has an introduction from author, blogger, and radio host Laurette Lynn, The Unplugged Mom who advocates for and supports parents who are ready to unplug from the compulsory government system of education.  The guide covers important topics like: Why opt out?, Successful People Who Opted Out of School, the Law in Your State, Others who have opted out, Alternative education options, Attending a good college without going to high school, Exploring, discovering, and pursuing your passions, Building your personal learning network, Creating a Personal Success Plan, and Developing an Authentic ePortfolio."

Find out more at

The LiTTLe Conference in London (Learning Trust, Trust Learning)

June 11, 2011

Dragon Hall 17 Stukeley Street, Covent Garden, London, England

Visit for the details

HSC Conference 2011: Adventures in Homeschooling

August 4-7, 2011

Radisson Hotel, Sacramento, California, USA

Find out more at

15th Annual Rethinking Everything Conference

September 2-5, 2011

Sheraton Grand Hotel, Irving, Texas, USA

For more information about the conference program, please visit

Good Vibrations Unschooling Conference

September 8-11, 2011

San Diego, California, USA

Get the details at

Australian Unschooling Conference Retreat

October 28-November 1, 2011

Airlie Beach, Queensland, Australia

Find out more at

Always Learning Live Unschooling Symposium

December 28-31, 2011

Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

Find out more at

Thank you for reading the Parental Intelligence Newsletter!

The next issue of this newsletter will be published on or about 12 June 2011

Subscribe now and stay in touch

Published by Bob Collier, Canberra, Australia  

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

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