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Why we decided to unschool the kids

I have always been curious of unschooling every since I heard about it on the news years ago, when my daughter was 3 but like most media news they over exaggerated the title - it went something like this -

These kids are raised with no tests, no books, no bedtime , and no school they are even allowed to eat pasta with peanut butter sauce if they want to- but what caught my eye was the son in the background hammering at some some metal in a forge he built himself , he was a very talented self taught blacksmith using knowledge he learned himself - I think he said that YouTube was like university , everything he needed to learn and had learnt he found on there in the one place.The other children on the program all had learnt English and maths skills naturally at their own pace, and other various cool things. But what it was - was they all looked happy and connected as a family, who embraced unconventional living without fear of others judgements. So that was the first time I heard about unschooling, and it had always been on my mind ever since, then - I thought that's how I wanted to raise my children ,them to learn from what they were passionate about, !

But just like everyone caught in the mainstream trap I willingly sent my children of to school, of to the unknown

I dreaded the days of my children attending public school, not just all the nonsense that school required, but all the baggage it came with - all those hard laboured lunchbox packing hours-when nothing gets eaten, but still comes back with yogurt open and everywhere! all the teacher meetings- where they like to tell you your child needs to do speech therapy on the second day of kindergarten,or your 7 year old needs to practice his sight words more because he says cat for car all them early nights because you have to get up early in the morning - no Netflix bingeing there ,All the heartbreaking tears and the I don't want to's, The thought of this will last the next 10 plus years, having to live by a routine which is something I can not do and send my children off for literally half of the day more times a week then having them at home with me and their father just did not feel right or natural.

It didn't feel what being a parent should be like or what parenting should be about. Taking away a childhood in exchange for 4 walls and a desk. 

2020 then came covid19

So 2020 came, covid spread to Australia - NSW went into lockdown and parents were given the opportunity to home educate .We were given learning packs for each week, from the kids class teachers. I remember thinking while looking at these huge bundle of pointless paperwork, what the heck, why is my 6 year old learning what coins are on a piece of paper, 10c 50 c $5 . etc, why is my 8 year old daughter learning bee anatomy also from a piece of paper. Why is my 7 year old son learning distance of a pool to a house also on a piece of paper. All these real world things my children were being forced to learn from a textbook instead of real life experiences, felt unnatural, what better way to prepare my kids for the real world than having them actually spend time in it I thought

School learning felt so forced and was it really necessary to learn all these huge piles of paperwork, when you are 6, 7 and 8 years old. So of we went trying to fit and complete these lessons designed by the teachers into our day, Lets just say we failed. - and purposely only completed the ones we had to send through to the teacher for the day , to get our marks or better yet get that awesome well done sticker.

Its funny now to think how the school system bribes children into having to learn for rewards, with grade marks, shiny stickers ,a student of the week wall picture and those silly merit awards at school assembly's. I now see how this was dismissing my children's ability to love and want to learn for the reward of learning itself

Anyways 3 weeks in

And hundreds of loose papers everywhere , 3 children who just wanted to play and enjoy their time at home and 2 exhausted parents, we called it quits - " the trying to learn school- like at home " kinda quits. Forgot about trying to do all the paperwork , trying to please the teacher, and trying to force the children to learn. - It was time we embraced this opportunity of no school and no work .I blocked the teachers number, put all the papers back into a folder in the loungeroom cupboard - that was it out of sight , out of mind ! We were in lockdown but could leave for exercise purposes. So that's what we did we

"exercised "we went to the beach , the kids went surfing all day, we explored the beach caves, rockpools , went on 2 hour hikes, went beach combing, bush walking , kayaking, we hung out like a family and enjoyed having longer discussions then ever before. It was awesome . My youngest son learnt to swim by learning to surf and being in the ocean everyday within this time. We had all learnt so much from each other, out on our adventures and from natural daily living , there were maths, science, English, history, geography topics coming up naturally every day it was great . Even my son ended up learning his money skills as well within 2 weeks, from having pocket money to go into the shop and buy a lolly after every surf - he did not need to do hours of filling out worksheets. I knew we were onto something great, something real..

School was returning

The 2 -3 months of home educating was coming to a end and we were being forced to send the kids back to school ! - I was not letting " the once in a lifetime home educating (covid lockdown ) be for nothing. It was a sign -a nudge for me to embrace something I have always felt passionate about but was always to lazy and afraid to take the leap .I believe everything happens for a reason and that was for us as a family to embark on a unschooling journey, to get of the mainstream education train once and for all so that's what we did.- I quickly researched and done all my home-school registration paperwork, following the Unschool - natural learning philosophy, the process takes time in NSW ( 12 weeks )so unfortunately the kids had to go back to school until I was approved with my registration certificate, believe me I tried every trick and trade I could to get a exemption from them attending but the school were being doofas's and the kids had to go for another whole term ,but here we are a couple years later ,embracing The Unschooling life and loving every day of it, there is no two days the same, Each day comes and goes and the kids do and learn what they want. We are together as a family. We are learning side by side.

They get to live a childhood they deserve and learn how nature intended - naturally..


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