The Parental Intelligence Newsletter

12 June 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 22 articles and 7 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!




Our Children: The Sons and Daughters of Life's Longing for Itself
by Chris White

Our children are aimed at a star of their full potential. Life has an intention, a gift for this world, and that gift is our child in their fullness. The primary nourishment and support our children need for this journey is love and security which, when present, set the stage for all forms of learning and maturation. And fortunately, life has endowed us as parents with all of the necessary tools we will need to assist them on their journey.

Read more ...

Nature's Intent for Parenting and "Educating"
by Laurie A. Couture

Nature's intent is the only parenting advice and "educational curriculum" we truly need. Our parenting challenges, concerns and choices can become so simple if we consider, "What is nature's intent for a child's holistic development?"

Read more ...

Gentle Nurturance=Gentle World?
by Laura Weldon

Those of us who are parents know full well that gently nurturing a child's growing body and mind isn't always easy. Sometime days it feels as if good parenting requires sainthood. But gentle nurturance is the way that we adults constantly demonstrate, in hundreds of seemingly insignificant ways, that a child is a person worthy of love and consideration.

Read more ...

Ronit's Parenting Bible: Change
by Ronit Baras

Recently, I discussed the concept of a parenting bible with a group of parents in my workshop. A bible, they all thought, was full of gems that everyone must follow. I told them that as soon as they argue about it, it is no longer a gem. I believe that in parenting, there is no "one and only one" bible and what is a rule of life for one parent may not be for another, so there is no point arguing about the rules.

Read more ...

Bullying (quite possibly the longest blog post EVER)
by Lisa Russell

I doubt many children see themselves as bullies, just as many parents, teachers, bus drivers and kid sitcom writers don't see themselves as bullies. Subjecting people to a constant evaluation of their actions (while ignoring other aspects of their development, namely their preferences, dreams and skills you can't see them making a living with) is just plain rude, including the labeling of certain behaviors as "bullying." Call it what it is, rude. When we stop tolerating and teaching rudeness- on all fronts- and stop dividing the different flavors of rudeness into "parenting" and "bullying," recognizing that being mean to other people SUCKS, then maybe it won't be such a problem.

Read more ...

Nothing wrong with feeling bad
by Gal Baras

Everybody feels bad sometimes - sad, lonely, upset, worried, even angry. OK, except Tibetan monks, maybe, but only after 20 years of meditation and a strict diet of warm water. The rest of us sometimes feel bad.

The problem with feeling bad is not so much that we find something hard to deal with, but that we have been brought up not to feel bad, so we feel really bad about feeling bad. That, of course, makes everything worse, because now, we are feeling bad about ourselves and blocking ourselves from processing and letting go of the original bad feeling.

Read more ...

Is It A Boy or a Girl?
by Prabhakar Ragde

Twitter is my link to the zeitgeist. It's where I learned of the Japanese earthquake and the death of Osama bin Laden. But I also learn about many less momentous events and situations, such as the one described in an article in the Toronto Star about a Toronto couple who weren't announcing the sex of their third child.

The article went "viral", exploding on both the Web and in traditional media, eliciting much ignorant reaction from anonymous readers and only slightly more nuanced expressions of concern from so-called experts. Back in my Twitterverse, some of my tweeps offered their own 140 characters of acerbic comment. I argued back, more confidently than usual, because I had something they didn't: empirical evidence.

Read more ...

Boys Will Be Boys-Even When They're Unschoolers
by Peter Kowalke

When I was born, my mother had this noble idea that she would raise me free from the clutches of societal gender roles. I would play both with trucks and dolls. I would be comfortable in the kitchen and in the garage. I would cry but also be strong like a rock. You get the picture.

This would be possible partially because she homeschooled me; I wasn't in an environment that forced gender roles on me. Like Rousseau's Emile, I would develop naturally and unmolested by the silly notions of gender usually foisted upon us by school and other institutions.

The experiment took an interesting turn, though.

Read more ...

Growing Up to Be Awesome
by Jason Kotecki

One of the goals of any good parent, I think, is to have your kids grow up to be awesome.

And by awesome, I don't necessarily mean popular. Or rich. Or having a job with a fancy title.

Read more ...

Objectification of Children: Sharing Their Stories
by Teresa Graham Brett

I was challenged (positively) by a reader to think about how sharing stories about the children in our lives results in those children being objectified. It was a great conversation that made me reflect more deeply on the idea of "ownership" of children, and our right as parents to appropriate the lives and stories of children for our own purposes. I feel grateful to this person for the opportunity to explore the issues of whether or not I am, in fact, exploiting and objectifying Martel and Greyson, as well as invading their privacy as a result of this website and my book.

Read more ...

10 Questions to Help Gauge the Quality of Your Child's Education
by Linda Dobson

Does your child awake on weekdays well rested and eager for the day's learning (education) to begin? While it seems to be a standing cultural joke, it's also a lie that all children dislike learning. It's not the learning (they are natural born learners), it's the schooling; it's the way in which schools go about "distributing" education.

If your answer to the opening question is "no," it likely will help your child and your family a lot to begin pondering the following 10 questions. There are no quick answers. These are definitely questions to "sleep on." It might be helpful to print them out so you can refer to them more than once. Let them help you gauge the quality of your child's current education process.

Read more ...

Who WOULDN'T be School Phobic?
by Sarah Fitz-Claridge

'School phobia' is a dreadful label for some children's perfectly understandable response to being compelled to go to school against their will. They are not phobic, any more than a conscientious objector is a coward; they are refusing - and in most cases very nobly. Over the years, I have spoken to many worried parents of school-refusing children. The outrages these children have been subjected to in the name of 'education' disgust me.

Read more ...

Some Montessori Myths
by Marc Seldin

There are so many myths about Montessori. On a trip to Vietnam I once encountered a public school principal concerned that Montessori wouldn't work there because, she said, "Montessori is all about the individual, and here we believe in cooperation." I have heard the opposite, too, of course. A father from Texas told me with perfect seriousness that the big flaw with Montessori was that "the kids don't have to learn anything, they can just ask another kid for the answer." Besides, he told me frankly, he didn't want his son at a school where "they just sit and talk all day." In contrast, a few months ago I met a mother who happened to visit a normalized classroom at a period of intense concentration. She decided that she didn't want her child in such an "eerily quiet" environment.

Read more ...

'The education system is so bad': Angelina Jolie on why her six children are better off skipping school
by Debbie Emery, Mail Online

School is out forever for the Jolie-Pitt kids.

Not only are they blessed with Hollywood's most glamorous parents, they're also lucky enough to have a mother who doesn't like schools. 

The Oscar winning actress thinks that the education system is so bad that her children are better off staying at home.

Read more ...

The Homeschooling Legacy
by Linda Dobson

Once upon a time, a caveman pointed at a plant and grunted for his son to take a look - the world's first homeschooler. To date there are no records of a troglodyte who thought it would be a good idea to gather all the little troglodytes together in one cave, far away from field and forest, to review stick drawings of those plants that, if eaten, could kill you.

Read more ...

A Brief History of American Homeschooling
by Linda Dobson

Many regard homeschooling as a new educational phenomenon, but that is simply a reflection of the bias of our times. If somehow we could help our caveman see into the future, he would regard government-sponsored schools as the variant, as would the majority of his descendants at least until the middle of the nineteenth century. Until then, the mostly agrarian American society lived a family-centered lifestyle; education happened at home, if only by default.

Read more ...

Unschooled: How One Kid Is Grateful He Stayed Home
by Sam Fuller

With summer on the horizon, many teens are looking forward to a break from school and tests. But for Sam Fuller of Albany, Calif., not much is going to change. Fuller is part of a rare minority of home-schoolers who call themselves "unschooled" - a more unstructured, self-directed form of home schooling. There are about 2 million registered home-schoolers in the U.S., a number that grows by about 10 percent a year.

Read more ...

The Unschooling Philosophy
by Joyce Fetteroll

Please, please, as someone new to this all. What exactly is unschooling philosophy? And what do you base this on?? What are some significant resources for its roots???

Read more ...

How Unschooling Works
by Joyce Fetteroll

Real learning is how they learned to speak English. If you can step back and look at it objectively, they don't consciously learn to speak. It's just there. They absorb how others use it. They play with it. They pick up a piece and use it as a tool to get what they need because it's better than the tools they had been using. (They realize "ook" gets them milk more efficiently than crying.) They never think, "Oh, English is useful. I need to practice and get better at it." They just use a variety of tools (including English) trying to get what they want and get better at the tools that work best as a side effect.

Read more ...

Unschooling and Academic Education
by Sarah Fitz-Claridge

The implication of saying that there are things children must learn to study is that the children may not want to learn them, because they won't know that they are valuable until later. But if you can't enumerate them all, then how do you know, when you are forcing your children to do one of them, that you are not preventing your children from doing another? Also, if you can't enumerate them all, how do you think the children are going to learn the ones you are unable to enumerate? In fact, I believe that not only can you not enumerate them all, but you can't KNOW them all, that you can't even know a millionth part of them.

Read more ...

University of the future is here
by Louise Williams, The Australian

The way Bill Gates sees it, the university as we know it is an endangered species.

Read more ...

by Robert Fritz

Recently Fred R. Lybrand, author and friend, sent me this quote from Charles Dickens: "The whole difference between construction and creation is this; that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing
created is loved before it exists."

We usually think of love responsively: they met, they fell in love. First the situation must exist before one can experience love, exactly as Dickens describes. But the writer loves the book before it is written, the filmmaker loves the film before it is shot, the architect loves the building before it is built, the engineer loves the software before it is programmed, the choreographer loves the dance before it appears on stage, the painter loves the painting before paint is on canvas.

This is not how we have been taught to think about motivation.

Read more ...


Homebirth Dads

"This innovative video production presents unique insights about homebirthing from the point of view of dads who have already experienced it. In this video a cross section of dads candidly answer questions about their concerns and considerations. Men considering home birth rarely have the opportunity to ask other men about their experiences, this video bridges that gap and allows you to get the answers that you are seeking from the comfort of your home. The perfect video for anyone considering a home birth."

Find out more at

Quick Facts about Psychiatry

"While posing as "authorities" on the mind and mental health, psychiatry has no scientific basis for any of its treatments or methods. Presented herein is specific evidence debunking several of the main claims and methods of this pseudo-science."

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 26 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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