Tuesday’s Tribute: Sandra Dodd

I discovered Sandra Dodd through the Internet about eight years ago. She is a very well-known unschooling guru, and she has been a mentor to me many times. I have never met her. I have never spoken with her on the phone. I know her through her web site and her Google group. And I look up to her as a thinker, a mother, and a leader. A born leader.

Sandra is one of those people who always seems to know how to cut to the chase. She’s the doctor who can quickly assess your symptoms and match them to what’s ailing you. She’s the plumber who can go down to the basement and know immediately which pipe is bad. She dispenses unschooling advice as easily as a Pez dispenser spits out candy, or so it seems, but behind that effortless intellect lies a quick, inquiring, and ever-evolving mind.

I love Sandra’s mind. I never tire of hearing her opinions, musings, and well-thought-out conclusions. I love her confidence. I love the way she’s a tigress mother to her now-grown cubs. And most of all, I love her dedication to helping others, like me, unschool their children. Because her belief in unschooling is so strong, it sends out ripples far and wide.

To give you an idea of the kind of inspiration and strength Sandra generates with her writing, here is the first paragraph of her Certificate of Empowerment:

As bearer of this certificate you are no longer required to depend on the advice of experts. You may step back and view the entire world — not just your home, neighborhood or town, but the whole Earth — as a learning experience, a laboratory containing languages (and native speakers thereof), plants, animals, history, geology, weather (real live weather, in the sky, not in a book), music, art, mathematics, physics, engineering, foods, human dynamics, and ideas without end. Although collections of these treasures have been located in museums for your convenience, they are to be found everywhere else, too.

It has been my honor to devote my first “Tuesday’s Tribute” to Sandra Dodd — the friend I’ve never met. Thanks for all you do, Sandra.

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