The Parental Intelligence Newsletter

15 April 2012

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 and 6 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!




Do homeschooled kids end up homeschooling their kids?
by Beverley Paine

Yesterday I was asked that, if my children 'had their way' would they homeschool their children. I've touched on this subject previously, late last year because I noticed that it is a question that is occurring more frequently for me. That if my "children's experience of homeschooling is a good one, won't they wish to pass these extraordinary benefits onto their children". And wouldn't it be interesting to see statistics on how many home educated young people go on to educate their own children.

I responded by saying that, while I would love my children to home educate their children, it's something they will work out for themselves. In our situation the partners have not been home educated, so home education is new to them. Their lives will follow paths determined by their needs, not what has happened in the past.

"If they could have their way" assumes that there is a chance they can't - which I don't believe will happen. Home education tends to develop individuals who have considerable self-understanding and awareness, people who know can identify what they need and how to meet those needs, and have a good idea about what they want and how realistic and achievable that is. They use whatever resources are at hand and think laterally about possible resources and tend to actively problem solve - all this helps them achieve what they need and want. They create pathways to "have their way" so to speak.

Secondly I don't think my children's experiences of home education was either 'good' or 'bad' - it was simply an experience that they benefited from in many ways. The educational side of their childhood - how we home educated, what we did, etc - is nowhere near as important to determining the type of adults they have become as their genetic inheritance (personality traits, inherited medical conditions, etc) and the quality of their parenting experiences. Offering them an education free of the confines and restrictions of school simply allowed my children to grow up to be the people they are, not who someone else (including me) wants them to be or thinks they should be.

As parents and home educators we responded to our children's needs as they arose. I think most of us eventually end up doing that because it makes sense and it works and it is what makes home education more responsive with better results than school based education. How we measure those results is an individual thing: my perception of success and benefit will be different from my child's perception, both during childhood and then looking back on it as an adult. For many years people would ask my youngest if he thought home education was better than school and he could only honestly reply that he didn't know: he had not experienced school and was not prepared to make a judgment about it. He was happy learning at home in the way he was - that's all he could say. Would he home educate his children? He says, 'that depends' - he is aware that there will be many factors to take into account when the time comes around to make that decision and that his personal experiences as a home educator are important but only one of those factors.

As a movement home education is beginning to see second generation home educated children but home education graduates are also becoming school teachers and many are opting to send their children school too. I don't see this as saying anything about the effectiveness or benefit of home education, simply that these young families recognise that they have access to a wide selection of choices to suit their needs. At the end of home education most of us define success and benefit differently than how we did at the beginning: we're grateful for the friendships we've created with our children, we're grateful they know their own minds and can problem solve their way through life, that they are autonomous and responsible, we're happy that our choices helped them get there, but we're also aware that what we did is what we did and that they need to carve their own paths through life. And isn't this the whole point of parenting and educating our kids, to get them to this point? I love that my children make their own choices and don't feel the need to emulate my example.

I think it would be helpful to gather all kinds of statistics on home education, how it happens and its outcomes, but mainly so that we can provide appropriately targeted support and build home education community more effectively. As a general tool to assist planning or evaluate past happenings statistics are useful but I am cautious and tend to be sceptical of them.

© 2012, Beverley Paine. Reprinted from Homeschool-Unschool-Australia! by kind permission of the author.

About the Author

Since 1989 Beverley Paine has steadfastly promoted and supported home education as an educational choice for Australian families. Her books and websites aim to demystify education, gently deschooling families so that they may meet their children's individual and unique educational and developmental needs. Her honesty, insights and wealth of experience continues to bring hope, reassurance and confidence to families. Beverley publishes her recent articles, tips and links to resources in her quarterly magazine, Homeschool-Unschool-Australia!


Birth: Medical Event or Natural Process?
by Kim Wildner

Imagine if you will, a woman who has just discovered she's pregnant. If she lives in the United States, one of her first thoughts will likely be that she has to make an appointment with her obstetrician.

From that first appointment the woman usually acquiesces to test after prenatal test throughout the pregnancy. She will likely accept a plethora of interventions throughout her labor and birth that in many cases are, at the very least, uncomfortable or stressful (or both), and in some cases painful.

Read more ...

Some home truths on a woman's right to choose
Michelle Meares, The Daily Telegraph

Home birth is not about being selfish. It is about safety and choice. In the UK, women have this choice and it is supported by the government and medical system. In New Zealand and the Netherlands, women have this choice. More than 29,000 babies are born at home with midwives every year in the US.

This debate is not about home-birth women versus hospital-birth women.

Read more ...

You aren't STILL Breastfeeding?!
by Pinky McKay



Read more ...

How Does Attachment Parenting Foster Independence?
by Charise Rohm Nulsen

I would like to share a secret that belongs to attached parents around the globe: Attachment parenting, also known as natural parenting, is a fantastic way to raise independent children.

Read more ...

Buy This Introverted Book or the Kids Get It (and BTW, my book, "Privilege of Parenting," is not the same as my blog)
by Bruce Steven Dolin, Psy.D.

To my regular readers I apologize for a post about what you already know.  I truly love and appreciate my blogging community, but I realize that there are those with whom I chat and cross-read posts, and there are those who happen upon this site when searching for information about how to help a child or troubleshoot parenting.  This post is for you, the readers who don't know me, but who are trying to do better with your child.

Read more ...

No More Timeouts, No More Tiger Moms: How to Discipline Your Kids by Disciplining Yourself
by Mayim Bialik, Ph.D.

A major component of Attachment Parenting is what's known as Gentle Discipline. Here's what people say about it: "Gentle Discipline only works for small families, at-home moms, mellow kids, inhumanly super-patient moms who must possess alien DNA." You name it, I've heard it.

Read more ...

10 Things That Are More Important Than Discipline
from Positive Parenting: Toddlers and Beyond

Parenting is a very complex task. If we're not careful, we will become too focused on one aspect and let the others fall by the wayside. Many times, I see parents who are intently focused on discipline, and I'm talking about the traditional use of the word here with regard to modifying behavior. Sometimes we get very caught up in "What do I do when..." or "How do I get my kid to..." and we lose sight of the bigger picture.

The truth is that there are many things that are more important in shaping our children than the methods and techniques we use to modify their behavior.

Read more ...

Stop Panicking About Bullies?
by Vickie

Nick Gillespie, at the Wall Street Journal, says we are worrying too much about bullying. There is no bullying crisis, he says. Parents are too overprotective, he says. Things are getting better, he says.

Read more ...

Natural Antidote To Bullying
by Laura Grace Weldon

Children are drawn to challenge themselves. They need to take risks of all kinds-physical, social, emotional, intellectual-in order to grow into mature self-reliance.

Where do such challenges most naturally occur? Outdoors. As detailed in Last Child in the Woods, when children spend time in natural areas their play is more creative and they self-manage risk more appropriately.

Read more ...

Imagine Something Better Than School
by Laurette Lynn

Imagine a life that is not prescribed, predetermined or prearranged in any way. This means a child will not automatically be bused away from his parents, at the tender age of four years (sometimes younger), into an automated process that will influence, nefariously design and ultimately shape the rest of his life.  Instead, the child will continue to enjoy drinking in their world and all of the information in it, in the natural and thirsty way that children do.

Read more ...

A World without Schoolteachers
by Richard F. Miniter

The Kindle and Nook may make for not only the most important advance in reading since Gutenberg, but also, quite likely, a major lesson in unintended consequences.  Especially for the educational establishment, because for the first time in history, Americans should be able to envision a future without public-school teachers -- indeed, a future without public-school administrators or state departments of education with their rigidly enforced, politically correct social-transformation curriculum. 

Read more ...

Why the School System Isn't Educating Your Children (And What to Do About It)
by Nancy Vogel

The Industrial Age changed the world forever. Today, we're surrounded by the effects of it, which to us seem 'normal' and permanent. But the world wasn't always like it is

Read more ...

IKSWAL: Interesting Kids Saddled with Alienating Labels
by Thomas Armstrong

Imagine living in a world where everyone was a flower instead of a human being. In such a floral society, it's likely that the psychiatrists would be roses. Now, imagine that the psychiatrist calls in his first patient: a lily. "Hmm," says Rose. "I can see that we might have a problem here!" He looks Lily over carefully and then gives his diagnosis: "I'm sorry to inform you that you have PDD, otherwise known as Petal Deficit Disorder." Lily leaves, saddened and anxious, and the next patient, a bluet, comes through the door. Rose gets out his magnifying glass, examines Bluet minutely, and then declares: "I believe that you have GD, or Growing Disability. You really are much too small!" Bluet exits, feeling punched down a few sizes. Finally, a giant sunflower comes through the door, and the psychiatrist doesn't even have to conduct an examination: "This flower clearly has Hugeism! Unfortunately, it's genetic, and there's not much we can do about it."

Read more ...

Everything you know about curriculum may be wrong. Really.
by Grant Wiggins
What if the earth moves and the sun is at rest? What if gravity is just a special case of space-time? Following both counter-intuitive premises revolutionized science and ushered in the modern world. Could a similar counter-intuitive thought experiment advance education from where I believe we are currently stuck? I believe so.

Read more ...

Why It's Not Important What "Those Guys" Think About Homeschooling
by Wendy Priesnitz

Recently, popular speakers and writers like Seth Godin, Sir Ken Robinson, and not so recently Alfie Kohn, have been concluding the educationally obvious: Our school system is broken. However, as eloquently as they identify the problem, they do not take their analyses to what I would call their logical conclusion and encourage unschooling and homeschooling. In fact, they are often downright dismissive about it. I am baffled that people who claim to be innovators and proponents of creativity can admit that the institution of school provides a poor educational and social experience and not be open to the unschool alternative.

Read more ...

How Homeschooling Saves Taxpayers Money
by Tavia Fuller Armstrong

According to the National Education Association, over the past 10 years the average spending per student in U.S. public schools has increased dramatically, the ratio of teachers to students has increased, and the overall number of classroom teachers has gone up, too. Spending per student rose a whopping 43 percent, from $7,676 to $10,976 from 2002 to 2012. Over that same period, the number of classroom teachers grew by more than 7 percent, but the number of public school students rose by only 4 percent.

During the past 10 years another change has been taking place in education, one that has contributed greatly to the improved teacher to student ratio and the increased number of tax dollars available per public school student.

Read more ...

How to Help with Math without Teaching
by Donna Vail

Children are born with the innate nature to self-educate. It's only when he is conditioned otherwise that makes it difficult or seemingly impossible. It's absolutely imperative that you do not "teach" your children. By standing in front of your children, teaching and telling them how to work their math; you are depriving them of the opportunity to learn problem solving. Instead of helping them learn as you intend, they actually become dependent and immobilized, only able to work as told.

Read more ...

Happy Birthday John Holt - "Patron Saint" of Unschooling
by leftyparent

John Caldwell Holt was born on April 14, 1923, part of the "GI Generation" and interestingly the same year as my mom and my partner Sally's parents, plus the same place (New York City) as her parents.  There is just the briefest reference to his young life in his Wikipedia biography, but somehow he developed a profound humanist critique of the rules of engagement between adults and youth in our society, one challenging our whole conception of human development and education, including how they are reflected in the social institution we call "school".  The further evolution of his thinking led him to become perhaps the progressive "patron saint" of homeschooling and the inventor (or at least the framer) of the concept of "unschooling".

Read more ...

Unschooling is how adults naturally learn
by Lauren Wayne

I first heard of unschooling, I think, when I was pregnant with my now-four-year-old son, Mikko, and it was immediately familiar to me. How was this possible? I had grown up attending traditional U.S. public schools through high school, and then went on to a private college. So, no, the concept of self-directed learning had become familiar to me later: in my adult education classes.

Read more ...

Unschooling is the open source way
by Carolyn Fox

The words unschooling and open source often make people take a step back. But if there is any mode of learning that fully embraces the philosophy of the open source way, it is unschooling. Some even use the phrase open source learning to describe unschooling. Both unschooling and open source are revolutionary concepts based on freedom of choice. They encourage us to rethink and reassess what, when, where, how, and why we learn.

Read more ...

Link Between Violent Computer Games and Aggressiveness Questioned
from ScienceDaily

There is a long-lasting and at times intense debate about the possible link between violent computer games and aggressiveness. A group of researchers from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, are now questioning the entire basis of the discussion.

Read more ...

The successful leap from adolescence to adulthood
from Born to Learn

Of the many papers written on the topic of how we learn, John Abbott's story of Lieutenant Peter Puget remains the most popular.

Read more ...

Laurie A. Couture Responds to Unschooling and "ADHD" Questions from Anderson Episode
by Laurie A. Couture

Here is Part II of me discussing my appearance with my son, Brycen on the Anderson daytime show. Below I respond to some of the common questions and comments raised during and after the show.

Read more ...

Why Don't People Care that Antidepressants are Toxic?
by Ian White

Today's post I take from a small section of my book Beat Depression the Drug Free Way: Getting Better by Breaking the Myths. This little piece reflects a concern that many, if not most, therapists have for the general apathy that people seem to have for just how much damage SSRI antidepressant drugs can do to the brain.

Read more ...


Emotions In Balance

Emotions In Balance is the website of Ian White, author of Beat Depression The Drug Free Way: Getting Better by Breaking the Myths, originator of Af-x® Therapy and the only person ever to write an article exclusively for the Parental Intelligence Newsletter (which you can read here).

Recently, the Emotions In Balance website has had a rather stylish makeover that makes it a more helpful and more awesomely informative place to visit than ever before!

Take a look at it here

Homeschool-Unschool-Australia! magazine

New from Beverley Paine.

"A quarterly collection of recent writing published by long-term home educator Beverley Paine on her on websites, blogs, and online support groups.

The content reflects her keen interest in promoting home education and respects and honours the many different approaches families use to enrich their children's learning experiences.

Every week she reads, reflects and responds to the hundreds of posts and emails she receives and collates her responses as well as information about resources and approaches into this very readable 40 page or more magazine.

Her style of writing is friendly, supportive, honest and frank and above all else clearly demonstrates her passion for children and learning.

Dip into her three decades of parenting and educating experience!"

Subscribe for a year and save 25%, or purchase individual issues.

Beyond School: Living As If School Doesn't Exist

"This is homeschooling pioneer Wendy Priesnitz's long-awaited fourth book about life learning (also known as unschooling, radical unschooling, whole life unschooling, or self-education). Beyond School is a collection of seventeen essays about how families and individuals can live and learn without coercion or struggle, and with trust, respect, if school doesn't exist. Together, they create an impassioned but well reasoned case for a different way of helping children and young people learn about today's world while becoming equipped to live in tomorrow's world."

Please visit for more information

Free to Learn

"five ideas for a joyful unschooling life"

An excellent new book from Canadian unschooler Pam Laricchia for anyone thinking about homeschooling or unschooling. Pam has been writing on the subject of unschooling for many years and here she shares the five "paradigm-changing ideas" about learning and living that freed her family from the limitations of school. This book also contains substantial amounts of parenting wisdom! Did I mention it's only $2.99?

You can read more about Free to Learn here

Conscious Parenting & Natural Learning Conference 2012

"Join us to celebrate empowered conscious parenting and natural learning choices!

Our aim is to provide enriching experiences and to inspire families wanting to live more harmoniously and consciously while living and learning with their children and partners."

Welcome Stranger Holiday Park, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
Wednesday, 8th August - Friday, 10th August 2012 (inclusive)

Suffolk Beachfront Holiday Park, Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia
Saturday, 11th August - Monday, 13th August 2012 (inclusive)

Visit for all the details

Sandra Dodd World Tour

Unschooling legend Sandra Dodd (and colleague Joyce Fetteroll) are planning a visit to Australia some time in 2013. Brisbane and Adelaide are currently 'pencilled in' and I'm hoping it will also be possible to add Canberra to the itinerary. If this is of interest to you, please go here to subscribe to the updates.

The link below has details of Sandra Dodd's speaking appearances generally:

Thank you for reading the Parental Intelligence Newsletter!

The next issue of this newsletter will be published on or about 29 April 2012

Subscribe now and stay in touch

Published by Bob Collier, Canberra, Australia  

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

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