homeschooling · Life Skills · natural learning · Parenting · Unschooling · World schooling

More reasons to home educate… Thinking outside the box

“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.”

― John Holt , Teach Your Own: The John Holt Book Of Homeschooling

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.

homeschooling · Life Skills · natural learning · Parenting · Unschooling · World schooling

The Answer to the Question: Why did you choose to home educate?

It’s not easy to answer this question in passing! For a start, there are 100 if not thousands of reasons why I chose to home educate. My short answer was “I never imagined it any other way. Mostly for the freedom to travel and road school, but for many reasons.” Maybe I was keeping the cards close to my chest.

I edited the first paragraph to include my actual answer when someone pointed out how my original paragraph could have been interpreted vastly different. I did say it was no light decision. What I meant by that was…I’ve given this enormous consideration. I have great strength in my certainty. I sure hope to convey that…which “in passing” is not going to do the subject justice!

For one, I feel learning outside a school classroom, can be much less limited! I also feel you have far more potential to integrate into society outside of school than divided and segregated with a focus on conformity. I’m no fan of conforming for it’s own sake!

There are also a great many articles I have read that have done a beautiful job of explaining the benefits and advantages of home “school”, so I’m mindful that I really want to “do it justice” when I share the beauty of home ed to the outside world. But for now, I just want to scratch the surface. I guess that’s why I began this blog as well.

Aside from keeping a home ed journal for potential audit purposes, I wanted to keep these precious memories close at hand. Besides, I find that when you measure something, as in “keep a track of it”…you are more mindful, present and aware of it, AND you can see your performance, record the journey of changes and growth!

It’s a simple success tool that I’m really beginning to have respect for, using it in my own life more and more as I grow older. I’ve grown to LOVE spread sheets! Something only recent, BUT something I never thought I would…in a million years! This is also teaching me, that the love of learning just takes you to places that others find it hard and laborious to attain. You know…things like “maths”.

See when you love something…you naturally want to learn ALL about it! And numbers, language, history and EVERYTHING…every other subject are what you WANT to know ABOUT this topic that you LOVE! If you love Growing food and Self Sustainability for example, you are going to want to learn all the plant names, history of their discovery, distance to plant their seeds, how long it takes to grow and fruit.

Everything (every “subject”) IN REAL LIFE… is intertwined….NOT separate! Thats…in a nutshell, MY reason for home education (not school). But outside that nutshell, it’s many, MANY reasons that I chose home education! I won’t call it home school if I’m being honest! Because I’m not choosing “school”. I’m not bringing school into my home. I’m choosing something different. I’m choosing real life.

You have freedom to go MUCH deeper into a subject you’re taken by when you’re the driver behind the wheel of your own learning. You don’t get a bell that drills the message into you that “nothing is important enough, not to be interrupted by an outer authority”. What does a bell teach a child about their own autonomy? I want my children to REALLY learn that their say…matters!

Yesterday, my 5 year old suggested we just “ask” the supermarkets to stop using plastic! So simple! But WOW! So…I did just that! A seed was planted! Who knows where this fire in the belly may lead? She now knows that her ideas…can impact change in the bigger world! And I love that! She did NOT learn that on a superficial level! She owned that! It was HER learning…NOT my curriculum!

Stay tuned as I feel a part 2 coming on! That’s all for now…but it’s not “all”.

homeschooling · Life Skills · Parenting · Unschooling · World schooling

Birds of a Feather Fly Together

Please stop saying how important “socialisation” is for children and how that’s the important thing about school! My beautiful homeschooled (unschooled) friend messaged me today with yet another mention of this common misconception from a nosey stranger when learning of her homeschooled child.

Do people even KNOW who they’re sending their children to school to “socialise” with??? I mean STOP, pause and PONDER THAT for a moment! Just a moment! Do you know that old saying “Birds of a feather fly together”? Well I feel it comes in very handy right about now! First…the teachers firmly insist that class is NOT for socialising! Children must wait until the bell rings to say it’s lunch time to be free to chat (with their mouths full;)

I love the birds of a feather saying, because it’s a stark reminder of just how influential the company you keep can be! And besides, why on earth would you want to send a child to school for the sake of being “normal” and like everyone else? I for one, don’t actually care for that! What is normalised for your family, is not what is normalised in mine and that to me is perfectly ok, in fact honouring of nature…in being perfectly uniquely “you”, true to YOUR family!

See this socialisation thing bothers me. I want to play a part in the company my child keeps while so vulnerable and young because you don’t get that time back! When you send your child to school, you have zero control over who they are surrounded by each day for the most part of the week and year/s! Get your head around that!

When you are living life WITH your children, you can be there to help them understand the world, digest it, unpack it and process it in ways that prevent your children from carrying subconscious baggage from unknown sources that potential hinder their confidence and clarity.

I just thought I would bring this up, because I for one have had enough! The “socialisation” concept of schooling is like the herd immunity concept for vaccination! It’s nonsense! What if…I don’t want my children to become immersed in what is now becoming so normalised? What if I want something else for my children? What if my vision is vastly different for my children to that is society’s definition of “normal”?

Ponder that for a moment. Would love to hear your thoughts on this!

Unschooling

Home & Self Education, Beyond Schooling

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It’s called “Homeschooling” but I much rather call it education. For the purpose of communicating to strangers who constantly ask if my child attends school, being 5… we simply call it “homeschool”. But to those not just passing by, I will gladly fill you in on how it’s so much MORE!

Why Unschooling?

  • I call it Natural Learning. I don’t get why “natural” is a trigger word…but it is so let me explain.
  • Natural learning just happens when we do what we love! It’s when we cannot help but learn because we WANT to!
  • Natural because it’s harmonious, honouring nature and how we function on a mind-body-spirit level…holistically.
  • Unschooling because it’s not school at home. It’s home education, consciously chosen to be different to school.
  • But…my focus is not on school…or teaching. It’s on “learning”. My focus lies in knowing and supporting my children and their learning. This is where a class full of 30 children with 1 or 2 adult authority figures will never match up for me personally.

 

Why blog about it?

  • As a Victorian homeschooler, we need to keep a learning journal for auditing purposes.
  • I want to keep these special memories somewhere.
  • I want to inspire others who may be wanting to know HOW this can be done, without being overwhelmed, seeing that you can do this and STILL be human…like me;)

This blog is here to follow our journey of learning together. I am so excited about natural learning and “home” education because I love learning too!

I can so I will. I recognise some families don’t feel they can or simply don’t want to pursue this path and I respect that. I am just here to share my own inspiration, not to put other choices down.

My purpose is to keep and collect resources here for other unschoolers. I am so thankful for those that share on the world wide web that I am learning from every day…that I too cannot help but want to share so that others too, can relate and take something away from our family’s journey. So thanks for being here!