This blog is just a baby! While I’ve been blogging since 2006 in Astrology and Natural Health, Home education / Unschooling is my most recent love which is now front and centre of my life, with my children at heart!
I will lovingly fumble my way through this journey along with my community of likeminded mums and families. I simply commit to sharing this journey out of love, to share it with those who yearn to relate in a world where the complete opposite is vastly so normalised and deeply engrained into our culture. This is no easy road, carving it out, but it is an authentic and creative one!
So bare with me while I build a language around this thing called natural learning! It may be what we humanity did to get this far, however it’s a lost art that I’m all about rediscovering!
“Scientists have recently determined that it takes approximately 400 repetitions to create a new synapses in the brain – unless it is done with PLAY, in which case it takes between 10-20 repetitions.” Dr Karyn Purvis
It’s as though in psychology…if you want to bypass the barriers and walls people innately put up…you must drop their defences through the stimulation of joy. This is the exciting nature of the brain according to all of the reading I have done. Similar to vaccines, I have read many studies (even the CDC and government websites) which lead to my decisions to homeschool and not to vaksin8.
I have not always kept a record of my readings however, though the more I discover, the more I wish I had. Sometimes I search for data and information/ studies I’ve previously come across, particularly on the vaccine subject, only to find it no longer available.
This is something we face in the new world of censorship we are in. Facebook, youtube and google are the worst for it now! It it doesn’t fit the mainstream profiteering narrative pushed by the big corporations (big pharma etc), then it’s swept under the rug and anyone questioning is bullied. This has not only become acceptable but is encouraged.
So in defying the acceptable, I urge you to question the wrote repetitious learning style of the conveyor belt schooling system. Forgive me for coming across rude. I know there are wonderful teachers and schools that may be or are the exception but, mostly… I see the repetition focus in schools to be redundant, when learning can happen so deeply when spontaneously autonomous!
It may NOT happen on “schedule” with the “standardised” curriculum… But it happens organically in its own beautiful and individual way! That’s one of the many reasons I choose homeschooling:) Just a thought for now til next time.
Yesterday it was announced that we will have 3 more weeks of lockdown, not 1 as originally stated. This I believe is the longest lockdown in the world over “Covid-19”. So, 5 weeks into lockdown number 2 and I feel drawn to check in to celebrate the wins. Though our Melbourne business is at stake after 12 years of operation… we remain “optimistic”.
Looking on the bright side… this week we celebrate our daughter’s basic reading becoming fluent, her losing her second tooth and riding a bike without training wheels for the first time.
So, while we face a very uncertain future with the incredibly questionable leadership throwing our economy and especially sole traders under the bus… we continue our pursuit of a simple and sustainable life, focused on health and longevity.
Though we now learn that free speech is no longer permitted on social media under the latest terms and conditions updates from Zfuckberg…. we remain connected to our likeminded friends through other means and are thankful for that!
Right now, we are grateful to have the space out in the country that we do…to roam freely without a mask, without the threat of stranger abuse. Though I have great concern for the corruption we see right now, we don’t watch the news and we strive to minimise our children’s exposure to the dark side of all of this.
We are taking all the blessings, reevaluating what and who means what in our lives. We are thankful for our seedlings popping up now it’s Spring. The sunny weather finally returning and the space to grow food that we can eat. This lockdown, we’ve planted several fruit trees and have a lot underway in the yard we’re excited about!
While we are saddened by the many people affected badly by the horrid current events of Victoria and understand why so many want to leave this state… we remain focused…for our own wellbeing, on the bright side. Wherever it is…we keep our eyes on that! Be it our safe place to sleep, food on the table and family cuddles… There is ALWAYS so much to be grateful for!
Let this crappy time be your compost! Take what you can from it and grow! That’s my motto!
The tired old question I hear so often is: Do homeschooled or non vaccinated children have a social (or even financial) disadvantage?
This is something I want to lay to rest. I have been wanting to put this myth to bed for a long time! But first, I want to pay attention to how this desire was given a strong focus for me today!
Below is a comment I made on a post from a home educating parent asking if not vaccinating compromised their child’s social life.
It was a reply to another parents judgment on “anti vaxxers”
It just grated on me the willy nilly nastiness some people display towards people of different values!
Please don’t call someone not vaccinating an anti vaxxer! We have a right to autonomy just as people have a right to choose who they enter intimate relations with! If vaccines work, there’s no need to worry about anything is there?
Also, be careful… you may be insulting parents who no longer vaccinate due to the death of a child or a permanent brain injury (from the neurotoxins/heavy metals being injected).
Vaccine injury is well beyond a fever and rash as the name can mislead. There are thriving non vax / home ed communities everywhere, not participating in much of the toxic consumerism and systematic indoctrination, hence we choose to also homeschool quite often.
Also, some may not vax due to DNA of animal tissue & aborted fetal cells in some vaccines, let alone formaldehyde and many more poisonous toxins, even without considering the lack of long term, or even short term ie zero double blind placebo controlled studies ALL other TGA approved drugs undergo) to determine chronic health implications (ie childhood diseases now prominent that were hardly found prior to manufacturer liability exemptions)… which is an ethical AND safety issue to say the least.
People have the right not to inject foreign DNA in their children’s bodies, manufactured by companies with NO legal liability should permanent irreversible damage eventuate in the event of an adverse reaction. That’s what VEARS (the organisation / reporting system is for!
Now for the subject of not/no longer vaccinating potentially causing a financial (even health) disadvantage…
To the parent who asked if no longer vaccinating her children would cause health issues, similar to discontinuing antibiotics, and if no longer having her children up-to-date would mean no government support…
I’m really glad and grateful you messaged! No, vaccines are not like antibiotics. The sooner you stop the better for their immune system and long term health. Big statement for the majority to digest yes. See the book Vaccines and Autoimmunity (where the immune system attacks itself).
We see a vast array of autoimmune diseases now unlike ever before. Is it any wonder, given the push for vaccine compliance?
Yes… contrary to popular (misinformed) belief. I’ll write more on this topic another time.
See all the chronic health issues that exist now, that never did prior to the explosion of the “schedule” once the high courts gave the manufacturers protection from any litigation…because they were being litigated out of business prior to that! They cause so much damage.
No mainstream media will cover this though. They would lose big sponsors!
There are HUGE Vic / Melb – and Aus wide local communities of such families where many have injured children or like me, chose not to vax from the beginning. There is no need to worry about the government’s money/ support as it is literally only $27 per fortnight that you’ll be missing out on…its a supplement A or B, cant recall exactly.
It’s NOTHING compared to the price so many people pay for their children’s health bills especially longer term:( I have many parents you can speak to in the community.
I know that’s a hard pill to swallow for many. Apologies for any non intended offence! I know we all choose what path we choose, IN ORDER TO protect our children!
You’re NOT alone! We’re mostly just hiding out of fear of being bullied / defamed / attacked (happened to us in real life) by the people who have been indoctrinated. The extreme pro vax can be quite vile towards those choosing other paths. Thanks for messaging! It really warms my heart!
So glad you have an open mind!
Again…it’s nothing. People don’t realise it’s only that $27 per fortnight they miss out on. I say quit 1 thing on your shopping list and it’s covered. It’s easy to be creative when your family’s health depends on it:)
Let’s be clear, this is NOT what homeschooling for most of us actually looks like! This is not the rich social freedom that we homeschoolers usually enjoy or have the “privilege” (choice) of. Many, if not most homeschoolers have a rich face to face engaging social life. Obviously that’s not possible right now during another stint of legislation enactments.
I just thought I would share this experience in the hope that it helps even just one other family feel like they’re not alone right now, when it’s easy to seem that way. Especially as a minority within a minority within a minority 😉 Let’s face it, school is very much a sold system… people don’t need convincing of this seemingly traditional norm.
So my purpose here is to communicate the benefits of homeschool life, as hard as it may be for some (friends and family) to understand and accept. There are many stories of disagreements and comments made that are intended to “question” a homeschooling parent’s “different” choice.
Some people may assume that a certain way of life within homeschooling is not well considered, but I’m here to say that ones choice for example:
Not to focus on “reading” for it’s own sake as a priority, but a holistic and natural eventuation of pursuing passion… Is not for lack of thought…but deliberate intention not to focus on one academic skill at the expense of other developmental aspects of wellbeing.
Coming back to our first week of lockdown number two in regional Victoria…
Though I don’t and won’t be sharing ALL that we as a family do outwardly, behind “closed doors”, there’s much that happens in our home that one would consider learning oriented. By human nature, it’s hard to stop this drive in a healthy home / individual!
Personally, my home education choice is about being free to focus on what matters to US as a family! This is largely understanding nature, health, sustainability and emotional wellbeing (communication skills / body language etc). After all, people “say” much more than they think!
I have found this knowledge, also having studied a Diploma of Holistic Counselling, to be an enormous confidence builder! To enhance my trust in my own intuition. This is something I feel that homeschooling parents really need. Especially given we are not merely relying on a “curriculum” to deliver our children’s education.
So let this be a moment of recognition that yes, it does take a great deal of energy and mental input to homeschool / unschool your own. You must be present to and observant of, in order to support your children’s natural curiosity and interests (thereby facilitating learning) constantly!
But let it also be a realisation that you need to be an example for your children, which can also mean demonstrating self care and slowing down. So take this time to tune out (or “in”, depending on how you look at it), to preserve your own mental health to a degree. Yes, you can’t do this completely in this world…but give it a good go! It’s not all about “producing” and wearing “busy” like a trophy!
Let this time be about REST…not “rest-riction! Focus and perspective can change everything! For now…I hope you’re keeping well! Take care til next time!
I just thought I would share this lockdown experience with you as a “home” “schooling” 😉 mum. I know many other home educating families have found these conditions quite challenging.
Sooo… I’m just going to share all of the wonderful things that I’ll be doing as sometimes I forget where I came across some fantastic resources, and so as not to waste them in “isolation, I am choosing to share them here for anyone who might like similar inspiration:)
I’ve just come across this website in my weather focused activities. THOUGH we are mostly outdoors asa family, and I do feel that rather than just reading and talking about it, my children are well versed in “experiencing it” as little wildlings… I felt that a little crafting around this would be great fun.
My oldest who is in “grade prep” / preschool / kinder, depending on where you are, already knows the seasons intimately! She’ll tell you what the trees do and when as our life is centred around nature and the seasons. Plus, this month i have invited her to do her own phenology wheel alongside me.
Finally having a printer again, I’ve copied the bare wheel for her (and for future months), so we’ll be doing that also. Now I have come across, through my art inspiration search…a lovely “weather tree” that I can’t wait to begin colouring in next year!
So, I thought I would share an example I’ve come across here on the Magical Childhood website I’ve just found. so you can get the idea of the template.
You also may or may not have seen my recent social content, so I just wanted to recap a couple of AWESOME finds!
Firstly what I’m truly grateful for is having only JUST welcomed 2 new pet rabbits into our family, before the new government recommendations were applied to our area. We also recently built a cubby for the girls, which is another timely blessing!
Back to the awesome resource that I really wanted to share!
Especially for the “Activity Based” Homeschoolers / Unschoolers: Keptme is an app I discovered only recently! If you’re in Victoria like us, then the record keeping of learning can be beautifully applied to the vic curriculum! It’s AWESOME!!
I’ve only just got started but am over the moon about it! Thanks to one of the mums in the Homeschooling Littles group, asking how some of us keep track of our littles learning, another mother shared this fantastic resource! I am already loving this app, especially the feature of applying the different learning areas to the activities your children participate in.
Why? Not because I need that reassurance. If you saw my #800hoursoutside post, you’ll know I’m certain of my child’s learning (as most of us un/ homeschoolers are). This I love: for acknowledgment- which I feel to be valuable!
Plus, we homeschool parents call the moments of reflection somewhat of a #payday … as it’s so rewarding when you see the results of efforts! People think “unschooling” is a lack of education but it’s the opposite! It’s a focus on a child’s interests!
And supporting learning THROUGH them so it’s enjoyable in itself! Anyway, check out the app! I’m loving it only having discovered it a few days ago!
That’s all for now:) Take care and I look forward to catching up (virtual or otherwise) real soon!
“It might surprise parents that, according to the literature, children under seven are supposed to be in child-led,free play environments.” Nathan Willis, Neuroscientist
This above quote is from Nathan Wallis who is a Neuroscience educator. I really love it, not because I’m trying to justify my choices. My older “school aged” child knew the alphabet a few years ago, writes her name and knows her colours as well as basic numbers.
It’s not excusing my lack of appreciation for academia. I myself was reported to be “academically advanced” at the age of 9 and refused to be put up a school grade to stay with my class buddies. I share this because I don’t feel the education system for the most part, is open enough to embrace new ideas.
The fill in the blank type focus of schooling is something that can frustrate me, because what if a student / child has a different concept or way of perceiving certain subject matter? Why is that “not correct”? Why must certain subject dictate the hierarchy of a child’s learning focus for equal portions of time throughout childhood years?
Is outsourcing not a valued skill that we need in this modern age? Can a certain subject be collaborated on from external expertise as a useful entrepreneurial quality? Why must we have equal strengths that reach only shallow depths instead of allowing full self directed immersion to dive deep into one particular interest?
These are the questions I have for the current education model. There are so many life skills not nurtured in the fixated focus on early academics, including and certainly not limited to emotional intelligence, empathy and negotiation.
Why must children learn to read in preschool? Do their parents no longer read to them at this age? Are adults no longer with children to help them find their way at this age? Why must subjects be separated rather than integrated into project and activity based / real life learning that is experiential and ultimately more lasting in memory than regurgitated random facts.
My question is, why not value free play and the beauty it beholds for children so young? Why not allow this time for them to discover for themselves so that their experience and memories remain with them…. rather than forgotten simply because they had no (or little) real personal meaning to them, in a class room environment.
My natural inclination is to just let childhood be beautiful! Learning comes! When it’s needed, applicable and developmentally embraced! Children are curious by nature! You just need to nurture such qualities when the flicker grows strong! Just a little of the voice inside for today. Thanks for reading!
We have changed our name from The Natural Learner Unschool! After a while of pondering what we actually feel can accurately encompass and symbolise the essence of how we align ourselves, we emerge as Inspiration At Play.
Because we are not a rejection of school, or anything really. We are all about freedom, autonomy and choice. We are not “anti” anything. What is “right” for you may not be right for me. We are all so unique and this is what calls me to emerge from my recent hybernation, coincidently aligned with the divine interventions of the Universe (Covid-19 lockdown).
Inspiration at play is something that came to me after contemplating many other names! But this one simply “landed” on my heart! I felt it right away. Why? Because when something is “at play”, it is sometimes “unseen” however it is very much the driving force, influencing and directing energy in a certain way…at the heart of how it unfolds.
Inspiration is something that drives every aspect of my life quite strongly, especially parenting and “not always at” Homeschool. The word itself means it comes from within. It is self directed, organic and uninfluenced by extrinsic “motivations” such as coercion or reward.
This is not about “not” or “un”schooling for us. It’s about not being coerced in ANY area of life. In recognising that, I wanted to open this blog up to a more encompassing perspective on life holistically. Because the focus for us as a family…is NOT “school” or any other social system, structure or cultural norm. It is about whats true for US, not rejecting anything that is true for others.
This is a philosophy that has emerged for me recently as global crisis unfolded. For my own mental health, I “decided” to opt out of the paradigm. There are theories and perspective being born and adopted from all facets. But one thing became clearly apparent.
Much of this became highly divisive! The energy of rejection, repulsion, conflict and opposition gave rise to hostility, even in my own mind. I was lost in the “information vortex” and overcome with a “fighting” spirit! Immediately recognising this, I paused and decided to switch off! It’s not what I “want”. It’s not inspired or inspiring for me…so I shifted my focus.
This is what this name change signifies for me! A transcendence and elevation to new ways of being. Instead of absorbing the Covid Global Crisis news (tell-a-vision programming) and social scrolling, I’ve abandoned the “too much information” sources, long ago…AND reclaimed my soul!
Inspiration has taken over and my gratitude for life has exploded! This is the WHY behind the name change. We ARE Natural Learners…We DON’T use school. But we are more than these choices! We are multi-faceted and highly inspired! We are inspired!
Since “quitting” mainstream media and social scrolling, I have completed a lot of autonomous online training myself, which I feel is a great example for my children! I’ve done many things I have always dreamed of! I’ve achieved SO much of my long held aspirations! I literally completed several online training accreditations in further natural therapies modalities.
See, my absolute LOVE of learning is rich and deep! THIS is what I am committed to instilling in my children in non coercive ways. And THAT is what I feel is key. Offering a respectful learning environment to foster a natural, organic curiosity and self directed atmosphere of self development. That’s my hope for and commitment to my family!
No, my children don’t “miss out” on the social wellbeing that so many believe is only offered in school class rooms. In fact it’s not the kind of restricted social interaction I seek for my children, limited to their own age for the majority of their childhood!
What I seek for my children is a natural, not engineered social setting so they may interact with all ages, all walks of life, meeting NEW people all the time…learning how to make NEW friends and gain confidence in doing so, BECAUSE they are given the opportunity.
No…homeschooling does NOT mean your family sits at home all day during school hours, doing the exact same thing school classrooms do without the other children. Many, if not most, choose home education to be “different” to school. In fact the quality of home education means 1 hour is equal to a whole day of sitting in a classroom!
I’m reading The 5 Hour School Week at the moment. It’s based on “The 4 hour Work Week” principles written by Tim Ferris. I read that book about 15 years ago and loved that too! But at this stage in my life, the 5 hour school week is a fantastic book… I’m loving it!
Coming back to our societies ideas around home education…It bothers me when people assume we are at a social disadvantage! It’s just not true! We have the freedom, living in this day and age, to make friends so easily! Our online community is incredible! The sharing of resources is abundant!
Learning is DIFFERENT to what it was when school was introduced! This is why I love “home” school! You can do it ANYWHERE! It’s not confined to four walls! You CAN talk ANYTIME you want! With whoever! In class…you cannot!
The confidence this autonomy instils is incredible, being one of the many millions of reasons I personally choose home education! So I just want to leave it here…for now anyway. My point is…home educating families, have the freedom to interact with those THEY choose! Therefore the QUALITY of their social life is much richer, for their is true purpose that brings these people together.
Out of common interests, passions and choice. Homeschoolers know they need to treat each other with respect or they simply won’t maintain the relationship, dissimilar to being in school with the same people for years! You know that your relationships are built on mutual respect in homeschooling, because you are “choosing” your friendships.
Just some food for thought. I recently came across someone who talked of a child not being able to go to kinder (NJNP), as a disadvantage (socially)…BUT I just want to say, it’s NOT the only place you can find community! It’s not the only place you can gain social wellbeing.
The world is a big place! People are everywhere! If you don’t have your community, village or tribe yet…create it! That’s my philosophy! It always has been. This is one of my inspirations behind unschooling (home education). School is just not quite what I personally imagined for my family, for a multitude of reasons. Learning quality being one. But that’s for another blog;)
To the homeschooling / home educating parent who meet with disapproval for their choices by friends, family or strangers,
I hear you and I’m with you! It’s unsettling and at certain unexpected moments, can inflict subtle self doubt. BUT…I’m hear to share something that I keep sharing with other parents over and over. These are 2 of my favourite quotes that I feel apply perfectly well to this situation.
“To the wrong person, no words are enough. To the right person, no words are needed.” Unknown.
and “When the voice and the vision on the inside become louder and more profound than the voices and opinions on the outside you have begun to master your life.” Dr John F Demartini
See, I feel they apply so well because so many people give unsolicited advise and unwelcome opinions, beyond just a helpful balanced perspective. Sometimes subtle, sometimes not so much. Sometimes it may be in the form of a question, designed or intended to plant a seed of self doubt. I hear these stories a lot!
My solution to this… Is to meet any sign of doubt with certainty the exceeds it tenfold. You do NOT need to explain your choices as a parent (homeschooling or not) to anyone else. Wait for the 10% chance each year of being audited. By all means, do prepare records for that. Keep your journal and note your learning experiences…But don’t feel the need to “comfort” others or console them in any form…in order to make THEM feel comfortable with your home educating choices.
It’s easy to feel the need…I have been there a few times even with strangers. One polite teacher in the park once said after hearing my tone…”that’s ok, a few people homeschool now don’t they”. She must have heard my hesitation to tell her…since she’d already disclosed her profession.
Since then, my remedy for meeting others doubt is to simply unveil an authentic flood of enthusiasm and certainty. I love to point people in the direction of the industrial purpose of schooling and how we have evolved far beyond that. That I feel school systems are largely outdated and that socialisation is not a concern when you have a community around you and unlimited time to engage with all ages and kinds of people.
I also feel it’s great to mention the teacher student ratio and the immense superiority of 1-1 attention ESPECIALLY with a parent and child (who like each other’s company), who understand each other’s language and values system. It’s easier to “explain” something when you know the person well.
In a class room, individuals and their creativity get lost. That’s just a start! I could continue all day, but by then, the conversation usually lads to acceptance lithesome level of understanding or insight. Outside of a classroom, learning is unlimited! Without a curriculum, learning potential is unending!
Above all, my answer to this common problem I see parents of new homeschoolers like me having is…go back to my favourite quotes above! I live by them and feel these are largely my driving forces behind my choice to actually homeschool too.
“Children learn from anything and everything they see. They learn wherever they are, not just in special learning places.” John Holt, How Children Learn
“Leaders are not, as we are often led to think, people who go along with huge crowds following them. Leaders are people who go their own way without caring, or even looking to see, whether anyone is following them. “Leadership qualities” are not the qualities that enable people to attract followers, but those that enable them to do without them. They include, at the very least, courage, endurance, patience, humour, flexibility, resourcefulness, stubbornness, a keen sense of reality, and the ability to keep a cool and clear head, even when things are going badly. True leaders, in short, do not make people into followers, but into other leaders.”
It seems to be a custom in our culture to ask young children how old they are before jumping to the next question…do you go to kinder / school. We have now been asked several times by teachers in particular, which is not surprising given it’s what they do.
Yesterday my 5 year old was asked “do you go to school”? to which she replied “No.” Then, to the next question, which was “will you be going next year?” she simply stated “No.”
Well, to be fair…it WAS a yes or no question! It seemed to be all the man was interested in. When I comforted the family (with similar aged children, which was another reason for the keen interest) with a short explanation of “we’re home “schooling”… he expressed surprise. This was immediately followed by THAT question. “Why did you choose to homeschool?”
And so again (I thought…I better get used to this) … I replied with a comforting and non offensive, much abbreviated explanation I often give to strangers. That was… we like the freedom and plan to travel / road school. I stated that was my “short version of the answer and said there were MANY reasons we are choosing to.
He replied with…”Oh I could never homeschool… my children wouldn’t listen to me. They don’t listen to me now.” I laughed. Matt simply said… “just listen to your children”. THAT answer RIGHT there is what (in my mind) is wrong with “school” thinking! It shouldn’t BE about jamming things down children’s throats…talking AT them ALL DAY. This is one of my “bones to pick” with the system.
School is not so much about the children’s experience as it is about “programming” them to perform “average” reading, arithmetic and writing. That’s easy enough to learn at home! What OTHER reason is there to send a child to school and AWAY from the real world and ALL the people in it from ALL ages, generations and walks of life?????
We did laugh though that it seemed to be teachers with children the same age asking us the same questions. But it lead me to want to dive deeper into my answer here. See, our choice to home education / “unschool” (take the school out of learning and education), comes from our desire to allow our children’s own curiosity to direct there uninterrupted learning.
See, when a bell rings every 30 minutes or so to move onto the next “subject”, we give children a strong message that – what they are learning is not important enough to continue right now. We interrupt them and don’t “allow” them to dive deeper if they choose. With a class full of 30 or so children, how can a child be certain to feel comfortable enough to ask the questions they have.
What about when they don’t even have the “time” to ask those questions because there simply wasn’t enough time that lesson or because of one reason or another, they forgot…because there was just so much going on in the class… distracting them from their own independent thinking?
That’s the big one for us as parents! We want our children to “think for themselves”, as opposed to simply learning to conform and obey to “pass” or meet “standards” or “fit in”…all while forgetting their own curiosity. There are just so many reasons we CHOOSE to home educate / unschool. Freedom to dive deep into learning is one of them.