The Parental Intelligence Newsletter

7 August 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 13 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!




Doctors Say More Women Should Give Birth at Home
by Amelia T.
Britain's Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (RCOG) recently declared that too many women are giving birth in hospitals.  Fewer than 10% of the U.K.'s women give birth at home or in a midwife-led clinic, a practice which RCOG President Dr. Anthony Falconer said was "not acceptable, nor sustainable."  In a report, the RCOG recommended that the National Health Service invest in more facilities led by midwives, and encourage only women with complications to give birth in hospitals.

Read more ...

Why African Babies Don't Cry
by J. Claire K. Niala

I was born and grew up in Kenya and Cote d'Ivoire. From the age of fifteen I lived in the UK. However, I always knew that I wanted to raise my children (whenever I had them) at home in Kenya. And yes, I assumed I was going to have them. I am a modern African woman, with two university degrees, and a fourth generation working woman - but when it comes to children, I am typically African. The assumption remains that you are not complete without them; children are a blessing which would be crazy to avoid. Actually the question does not even arise.

Read more ...

You did that where?
by mudpiemama

So I've done it like 10,000 times, possibly a bit more. That's about 200 days straight if you were to add up the hours I have spent doing it. I've done it in all sorts of places too. Some places like one might expect, at home, in the bedroom, on a lounger, chair or couch. In the garden I'm sure plenty of times and at the table too.

I confess I have often, very often done it when out and about.

Read more ...

Grow Younger and Happier
by Ronit Baras

It is amazing what we can learn from kids. Inexperienced and naïve, they have some truth they were born with and I wonder if we can borrow this naivety from them, until we also grow our happiness.

Do you not feel sometimes that "growing up" also means losing something?

I do!

Read more ...

Competition, Perfection or Happiness
by Gal Baras

This week, Ronit and I had a discussion on the difference between competition and perfection, or rather between being competitive and being a perfectionist. We were talking about how happy we were that our children were neither of those now, although they had been when they were younger.

This got me thinking that many parents raise their kids to be competitive or to strive for perfection, not realizing there was a third alternative, which helps the kids build their self-esteem and lead a relaxed and happy life. So I wanted to share with you my take on all 3 options and what you can do for your kids through your parenting and personal example.

Read more ...

by Teresa Graham Brett

One of the themes of the work I've been doing this year is the idea that we have all that we need inside of us. We so often look outside of ourselves for validation, love and acceptance. We have been trained in a culture and society that conditions love and approval on behaving in particular ways and we learn to look outside of ourselves for affirmation that we are worthy.

What does it mean to be whole?

Read more ...

Believing: The Neuroscience Of Reverse Truths
by David Krueger, M.D.

While my children's adolescence cured me of most of my theories, a few fundamental ones survived, and are even more boldly illuminated against the backdrop of passing years.  One of these survivors is the principle of reverse truths.  In traditional science, truth is arrived at my proffering a hypothesis, then accumulating data to prove or disprove it; the data force the conclusion.  Reverse truths work the opposite-the hypothesis or belief creates the data. 

Read more ...

How to Write an Article About Current Parenting Styles
Eight steps to becoming a popular parenting author
by Alfie Kohn

1. To maximize the chance of getting your article published, be careful to make exactly the same argument that shows up in every other article on the topic. It sounds like this: "Parents today refuse to set limits for their children.  Instead of disciplining them, they coddle and dote and shield them from frustration in order to protect their self-esteem.  The result: a whole generation of undisciplined narcissists with a sense of entitlement that will eventually crash into the unforgiving real world." With enough padding, you can easily expand that 50-word summary into a lengthy essay without adding anything much of substance -- and without saying anything that hasn't already been said in umpteen other articles and books.

Read more ...

I Invited My Children To This Party
by Vickie Bergman

I am not the boss of my family. I didn't hire my kids as employees, to follow my orders and make me look good. I don't have a job description in mind for them, a list of responsibilities and tasks they are expected to perform, in return for compensation. The food, shelter, and other things my husband and I provide are not part of a salary. The love we give is not the benefits package.

It's more like I'm the hostess of a party.

Read more ...

Unschooling: It's Like Riding a Bicycle
by Vickie Bergman

If being in school is like riding a train, then traditional homeschooling is like riding in a car. Your parents are driving and you get to sit with your brothers and sisters if you have any. But other than these two common elements, the details of the car ride can vary greatly, depending on your parents' views on education.

You might have parents who buy a curriculum, which resembles the timetable similar to the one used by the school train. Your mother might take on the role of "conductor," and insist that her car keep up with the train. She might not let you have much say as far as how fast to go or what the stops will look like. You might spend as much time in the car as schooled kids do on the train.

Read more ...

I Am Learner
by John Connell

I am learner.

Just as no one can see the colours I see, just as no one can hear the music I hear, just as no one can feel what I feel when I hold something in my hand, and just as no one can sense the world as I perceive it around me, no one can teach me.

No one can teach me.

Read more ...

Underlying tension for millennials against standardized education
by Judy Breck

The way Millennials live their lives - creating their own iPod playlists, designing their own Facebook pages grates against one-size-fits-all, industrial-era public education policies . . . . The preceding words are adjusted to education from a point made this week by conservative columnist Michael Barone:

Read more ...

Gamification Time: What if Everything Were Just a Game?
by Katia Moskovitch, BBC

One more step, and a tiny creature will cross the bridge and get to safety.

Just one more step - but letters do not match, the fragile structure blows up and the brown mole falls into a digital abyss.

But as Juha Valtamo, a 21-year-old Finnish student, correctly types the next word that appears on the screen of his laptop, another mole happily reaches the destination.

Digitalkoot may sound like a typical online game - but there is more to it than just building bridges and saving moles.

Every time players complete a level, they help with a real-life task - digitising huge archives of Finland's National Library.

Read more ...


Now Available for Free Download: The Edupunks' Guide!

"WHAT: The Edupunks' Guide, a 100-page free ebook

WHEN: Available for free download August 1, site with community features launches in September

WHO: Anya Kamenetz, author of Generation Debt and DIY U, named a 2010 Gamechanger in Education by the Huffington Post; first book sponsored by the Gates Foundation

WHY: A first-of-its kind resource for the future of education: a comprehensive guide to learning online and charting a personalized path to an affordable credential (or no credential) using the latest innovative tools and organizations. Real life stories and hands-on advice for today's students, whether you're looking at college for the first time, going back for a credential, or pursuing lifelong learning."

For more information and/or to download a copy please visit

Top Unschooling Blogs

"50 great blogs to learn more if you're interested in unschooling, or to connect you to other students and families if you've already made the decision to take an alternative route for schooling."


Sandra Dodd talks in Edinburgh‭

"Sandra Dodd is a popular,‭ ‬prolific and high-profile unschooler from New Mexico,‭ ‬USA.‭ ‬Through her speaking,‭ ‬writing and website,‭ ‬she has inspired many home educating parents to enjoy learning and living alongside their children.

On Saturday‭ ‬21st May 2011,‭ ‬Sandra gave two talks for parents about "unschooling" (better known in the UK as "autonomous home education").‭ ...

Both talks were recorded, and are available here for downloading as podcasts (mp3 format), which should play on anything (PCs, Macs, iPods, etc)."

For more details please visit

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 21 August 2011

Subscribe now and stay in touch

Published by Bob Collier, Canberra, Australia  

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

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