We normally think. A lot. About everything. But as the years pass, we sometimes do not really reflect on unschooling for a long time. We do not get up in the morning, thinking: “today, we will not send our children to school, today we will unschool”. We get up and live, without giving schooling a thought. Not a first, nor a second.
So, it’s been funny. To go back to the basics, answering the standard questions, giving basic explanations – but from a new point of view, since time has passed, and we are in a different place.
We get up and live, without giving schooling a thought. Not a first, nor a second.
And, yes: Another thing. I was caught with my guards down, caught in a technical mistake, as we made the video recommending to avoid supermarkets because I said something in the line of “… and there is an element of unschooling, as we speak four languages at the market …”. A reader of mine asked: “But isn’t it all unschooling, isn’t that the point of it all? Everything you do in life, counts equally as part of life and in that respect as part of the unschooling?”
Well, yes. And no. Yes in the respect, everything counts equally. Everything we do is part of our life, and something we chose to do because it is important and we want to do it. No, in the respect, that, even as unschoolers, we do set goals, and we do study. There are things, we want to learn, and as travelers, language has top priority. We REALLY want to learn languages as fast and as precise as possible. And as such, we focus on the situations, where we can improve our language skills. So, there are situations, that are more focused on learning moments, than others.
It is complicated. And vulnerable. Another highlight of our process of unschooling came to us this week on Facebook. Facebook can be a blessing and a trap, we avoid it sometimes, and dive into it at others. The funny thing this week was, someone was reading a post with the line of comments, I (and my co-homeschoolers) made four years ago. And I saw, how we have really changed and learned over the years.
My post back then was about the envy of those who have peace with their method. Now, we are full blown unschoolers and we fell very much at home in the choice. The inner work we, the parents, had to do to let go of the fear and the social construction of education, has been done, and we are stronger.
This is a very interesting part of the unschool choice: We, the parents have to work with ourselves in order to set our children free, and in the process, we also become stronger and freer.
The inner work we, the parents, had to do to let go of the fear and the social construction of education, has been done, and we are stronger.
The equality of the children
We still sometimes feel the fear: “Is this too crazy, will the children be lost in the world, are we ruining their lives?” Over the years, it has become easier to reality check the emotions. We look at our family, at our life, at our children, and most importantly: We talk to them.
The most important thing is trust
“Unschooling is mostly about the relation”, I once heard an experienced unschooling father say. In my experience, parenting is about relation, and maybe it is all the same. In my experience, the trust between me and my children is the most important currency I have as a mother. If life as a parent is to be authentic and fun and fluent, and if we are to take good care of our young, the most important thing is trust. If I can not be authentic, I am not trustworthy and we can not work together as a strong team. If I can not be authentic, I do not get to live MY life, while the children grow up. I have to be strategic, I have to play a role, and I don’t want that. Not for me, not for them.
I have made it a habit to talk to my children about what is going on, no matter, what it is. And in the case of the unschooling, it has been a great force. Whenever I feel doubt or fear or just a bit of worry, even wondering, I will go talk to them, and carefully listen to what they say.
Nowadays they usually tell me to go have a cup of coffee and a break, and that the only thing they need (and don’t have enough of) in life is more cake. They are used to it, and so am I. The doubt basically shows its face, if I am really tired.
“The only thing we need, is more homecooked cake”, the children say
About core values
More seriously, we all know, our life is too important to be lived being strategic all the time. There is no way, we want to live our days based on some weird fear, doing what everyone else does, just in case we were wrong when we listened to our vulnerable hearts. Rather will we embrace the moments of doubt, and set free all of our hours to do the things, we find important and of value.
We know, our days are wonderful and meaningful, all of them, and we know that learning is basically a by-product of a life, lived from the heart. We know also, that if there is something we want to know, we can just study it. Just like we do at the moment with the Latin languages.
Embrace the moments of doubt
Our core values and goals are in place, and even though they are sometimes changing a bit, we know what we want and can always ask ourselves: Does this activity support my core values, is it pointing in the right direction? If not, we let go and adjust. If it takes inner work, we do inner work.
We have now been on the road for 6 months in the bus. It is 9 months since we left our home in Copenhagen, and 6 months of buslife. The 3 months is one month in Andalusia for perspective, sunlight, friends and fun and 2 months of bus renovation. Anyway. The base-less life has been 9 months, the traveling… well, that is a question of definition.
Is worldschooling different from unschooling from home? Well. To even separate education from life is quite hard with this lifestyle. In my native language, Danish, we have 2 words: ‘dannelse’ and ‘uddannelse’. The first being the formation of the person including the things he learns intellectually and the skills he acquires socially and manually, the latter being the formal education often done by an institution of some sort and with a formal revision, exam-style. The interesting thing is the difference. The difference in the value and perspective. As unschooler, I value the ‘dannelse’, and a lot of that happens differently when we travel, compared to when we lived in one place in Copenhagen.
The difference is mostly that we get inspired by our changing surroundings, the hunger to know something more, which we truly have (and also had in Copenhagen), is being fed by things just happening around us. We do not have to search for it in the same way. Culture, languages, history, nature – when we change location there are so many new questions, we try to cover them all. We take any opportunity to learn, and that is fun in a new way while traveling.
All of the new people we meet fill our life with so many new perspectives, vibrations, ideas, smiles, knowledge
A huge part of this is languages. It is huge. And it is fun. We work at the moment with English, Catalan, Spanish (Castillan), French. While traveling, learning languages does not come for free, but it is surely more fun and easier.
Another important thing is the people. It is the most important, but is it worldschooling? I do not really like the terms worldschooling and unschooling, because they include the word: schooling. I like the word ‘dannelse’, and sure: all of the new people we meet fill our life with so many new perspectives, vibrations, ideas, smiles, knowledge.
We are freer, we have more time, we are together, we feel closer to each other and to the pulse of our life.
The most important thing, of course, about traveling and living, is the fact, we are all together 24/7. The nomadic lifestyle has given us daddy back, the time we get to spend as a family has exploded with not just the 40-50 hours more every week, but more importantly with the new perspective, the new basis: we are together, we share all of the moments, we are a union. Even when he is working, he is around, and he joins many processes, reads many wiki-things and stories, makes a lot of fun and life is so much more complete in this manner.
So, yes. It did change when we left. We are freer, we have more time, we are together, we feel closer to each other and to the pulse of our life.
I shall stop the reflections on the unschooling subject, which is impossible to cover fully and let you enjoy the gallery from week 13 in Catalonia. We try to share our experiences weekly with these galleries, but it has been hard to find the time to do the work. There is so much living to do!