Thursday, December 12, 2013

Exciting times to be alive

It's almost bed-time and I've got a bazillion Christmas presents to wrap, but it's been so long since I've posted on here that all the posts I want to share are bubbling up inside. I thought I'd better put pen to paper (or fingers to keys) before I pop.

I'm pretty excited about life right now. A lot of good things are coming together and I wanted to share a couple of these with you.

I'm currently reading up on unschooling and am pretty sure that's the way we're going to go with the kids. I've decided to trial it at least, until L is 6.

Paul has often said he wants to unschool our kids but I didn't really know what he meant by that. I've often mulled over the idea of homeschooling, but always come to the conclusion that I wouldn't be good enough at it.

Then I watched the following videos and realised I didn't want to send my kids to a traditional school:
Hackschooling makes me happy, 13-year-old boy blows the myth of "public education" out of the water
Do schools kill creativity?, TED talk by Sir Ken Robinson
Changing Paradigms, animated video based on a talk to the RSA by Sir Ken Robinson
Homeschooling/unschooling is not something I ever thought I would be able to do and it has taken me by surprise that I'm getting so excited about it.

My hope is that by unschooling my kids I'll be able to:
  • nurture their individual interests and passions
  • encourage a life-long love of learning in them 
  • give them more of my time in these crucial early years
My friend Elizabeth sent me links to her favourite unschooling websites, so I'll share them with you in case you want to find out more about this way of life:   Including Pam Larrichia's wonderful book, Free to Learn
A happy outcome of my research into unschooling is that I have stumbled across the book, Strong-Willed Child or Dreamer. I'm part-way through it and it's already helping me to understand my girls and myself in a way I never thought possible. It turns out we're all sensitive dreamers.

Here's the description:
Your child may be a sensitive dreamer if: he forgets to follow instructions, no matter how clear and simple, she craves praise and positive attention, yet refuses to conform to what's expected, he tells more than his share of fibs and tall tales. If you recognize these actions in your child, you know the frustration of turning to parenting experts for advice only to find the systems don't work, the rules don't stick and strong boundary setting makes the situation worse. The creative-sensitive dreamer is not the strong-willed child. Get this book and learn how to parent your special needs child who is principle-oriented rather than rule-oriented, highly creative, overly sensitive and frustrated at a world that fails to live up to the ideal.
That pretty well sums us up (although I don't tell fibs or tall tales anymore - my principles don't allow me to. I feel churned up inside if I think someone has misconstrued what I've said or thinks I'm lying).

Strong-Willed Child or Dreamer is helping me understand the things that have often baffled me about my girls, and it's also helping me understand my own quirks, oddities and strengths. Yay for life-changing revelations.

OK, I'd better call it a night.

What are your thoughts on education in the modern era?


  1. Thanks for this! I'm keen to join the conversation. I'm a huge fan of unschooling (in theory - my boy is only two!) and live in Welli.

    And thanks for all the links!

    My favourite unschooling blogs are Nothing by the Book, Undogmatic Unschoolers, Buffalo Mama and Adorable Chaos.

    I've posted about it here:

    Fun times ahead, eh?

  2. Very interesting I hadn't heard of unschooling before. Makes sense but I think I need some sanity too (aka I lvoe my kids but man I love kindy days!) he he. Good on you Mx

  3. Hi Emma
    I just wanted to encourage you on your Homeschool journey.
    I have been reading your blog for a few years now. You encouraged me to get out into my garden even though I had littlies in toe.
    We moved out of Wellington 4 years ago. We are now in the Wairarapa. I milk our Jersey 2x daily, we have chicks for eggs, chicks for food, we raise our own lamb and beef, and we now have a very large vege garden.
    I have 4 boys from 15y-9m, we have homschooled them all the way through. I absolutely love it, it is tough, but the rewards way outweigh that.


    1. Melanie, I just saw your comment today - 3 months later. Whoops. Thank you for sharing about your gorgeous sounding farm and homeschooling. What are the rewards you see from homeschooling? Bless you! Emma

  4. Hey Emma, love reading your thoughts! thanks for the book recommendation - will be getting that to see if i can figure out my Ayala!
    I love your enthusiasm and passion for your family :) I couldn
    t home school but did wonder about it too. thankfully Shanna, who just finished her first year of school, had a completely fantastic start and the school was able to give her far more opportunities and support than i ever could. Ellie Moe xx

    1. That's wonderful Ellie! I think I will try and be a fly on the wall at our local school one day to see what it's like and whether it could work for Lily or not.


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