Homeschool, Unschool, Life School, World School.
My daughter, Adaya, doesn’t go to school…. because the Earth is our School….
Many people have asked me recently, how do you do it? Well, anyone can do anything if they learn about it – just like anything you want to learn about right? And that is just the biggest thing I believe it takes – trust. Trust that your child will learn what they need to learn, when they need to learn it, in the way they need to learn it.
I am more ‘Natural Learning’ with Adaya, or Unschooling than ‘forced’ learning… we don’t have a schedule, we don’t have set times and days we learn set things. Yes, we pick up the reading, writing and maths books from time to time, but it is definitely not forced everyday. And, she learns more from day to day life about reading, writing and maths than what we’ve covered in the books that is for sure! Yes there are curriculums you can follow – and sooo many to choose from at that. And yes I have the Christopherus/Steiner Curriculum, but again, there is not forcing at this time at 9am sit down and learn this. No. It is not like that.
I always remember when I first began this homeschooling journey with her, she did two weeks of Prep and I took her out. That was enough for me to remember that when she was born that actually I had ‘forgotten’ I had always wanted to homeschool her! To be free to learn what she wants when she wants. Due to society’s pressure, family pressure and my own internal school structure, I did force times and days of learning the school book work when we began after de-schooling from Prep. Yet, I was getting stressed out so of course she was (am I doing enough with her? Is this right thing to be learning? All those new thoughts and stresses of is this right content? etc etc).
One day, we went for a big bike ride/run before ‘schoolwork’. Before we turned to come home she reluctantly got on her bike to ride home. “Whats going on honey?” I asked her. “It’s just I don’t want to do schoolwork ever again!!” Quietly shocked and not knowing what to do with that response I said, “Let’s talk some more about it when we get home.” Simply because I needed to contemplate what I needed to say! Once home I asked her what she meant when she said it. “It’s just reading and writing is just too hard.” Seeing her little self say those words and hear the pain it seemed to be causing internally for her, I responded, “That’s okay honey, we can learn another way. Let’s leave it for now, you will know when you want to read and write okay?” She had recently turned 5 years at this time. That day, she spent all morning watching movies and we played together in the afternoon. It was a Wednesday.
That night, I was doing the dishes and she excitedly came running in, “Look look mum!” Holding up very proudly, she had written letters on her magnadoodle board. That night, she spent from 6:30pm-9:30pm on her iPad learning to read with the Reading Eggs Program. Without me even saying or pushing one word to do so. I said trust right? Trust – is the most important factor in this lifestyle of homeschooling/unschooling/life school that you choose – it is trust. Trust that your child knows when they want to do things, read, write, ride a bike, sleep, eat. Your child knows. How much do you trust your child enough to let go and be the supportive guide and not the teacher? It is the inner deschooling process and letting go of society’s pressure and influence that is the hugest factor in this lifestyle.
This is the beauty and the deep purpose for me of living this way that we do. Because a child that is ‘given the reigns’ in their own choices, is a child who is connected to their inner truth, knowingness and heart. And it is these children that change the world by Being.
And it is a lifestyle. It sure is. We wake up when we want to wake up (although I enjoy getting to bed early and getting up early as Adaya usually wakes around 8:30-9am and I can get my things done before she wakes to then spend time together). I feel gratitude many many days living this way when I hear all the neighbours getting ready for school and work and leaving and the neighbourhood is quiet after 9am.
“Oh, but what about Socialising?”
It is quitely amusing how people comment this question to me, without directly asking… sharing ‘how we do school without school’ and mentioning the meet ups, ‘Oh, well that is good for socialising, cause they need that don’t they.’ Hmmmm….. There is well over 5,000 members on private facebook groups all over Australia and over 1000 of them just on the Sunshine Coast alone for homeschooling, unschooling and then individual locations around the place as well. In the beginning – we burnt out for meeting up with people! It got tiring meeting so many new people and gatherings. There are play meet ups, science meet ups, craft meet ups, you name it, there has been or is… there are so many things to do. I literally jumped into so many of them at the start, then after burning out from them, realising that we need only do what our little family needs and enjoys. Sounds simple and ‘of course’ doesn’t it? Well, societies pressure to ‘socialise’ and be in school and the family pressures around me, I fell into the trap of having to do all the ‘school’ stuff.
Until I took a step back… and realised the only ‘school’ we need to do is Life School. Trusting that what I do is enough, that what we do as a family is enough. From having a close nit neighbourhood of children, adults and the elderly that Adaya interacts with daily, to the creche she is in with different age children, to the Surfing Mums meet ups with different age children, not to mention the shopkeepers whom know us well, to Horseriding lessons and everyone there, to the things we have stopped, like swimming lessons and gymnastics, because we needed a break to LIVE and BE in OUR life as it is. And if you knew the truth of socialising, you will know that BEING with your family is enough. As Ram Dass says, “If you think you’re enlightened go spend a week with your family.”
There are many things I could talk about with our lifestyle – and it is just that. To live this life, it is a lifestyle and a way of BEING. If you have questions, would love to hear from you.
Some of my favourite websites include: