My family and I have a very special lifestyle. We do unschooling.
We are world travelers who are interested in exploring the world and knowing cultures in depth. As our travel is increasing, we have been met with two very prominent questions. I have finally decided to answer them, and let me put this up front:
Katie and I are well educated, professional social workers with many years of experience dealing with kids. We know the Western educational system inside and out as we worked there professionally.
The first question that we have received is – how do we make sure that our kids are getting the right education? We practice unschooling with our children. We are not Christian Fundamentalists who have a problem with other kids who are potentially bad influences to ours. We just have a problem with the education system.
The conventional education system only forces the kids to learn specific information.
The kids learn it, write it all out in a test and then… forget most of it. I believe that learning is not limited to just 4-6 hours of school, it happens every minute – right from the time we open our eyes, to the time we go to sleep. We let our kids learn whatever they like, whenever they like.
So why separate learning time and free-time??
Our job as parents and teachers is not to tell them things they are not interested in and force them into becoming a person they are not meant to be. This is not how learning works at all anyway.
First of all it is about trust. We don´t have to force our kids to learn – EVER!
Our kids deserve trust as they are like sponges. They soak up every piece of information there is, if it is concerning a topic they are interested in.
And believe me when I say: They are intereseted in so many different things.
And they also deserve respect. The respect that concerns their very soul.
They have a plan inside them, and that plan needs to be explored and expressed.
By forcing them to learn and BE something that is not in their plan, we interfere big time.
Now I am not saying that the normal school system is making it impossible to unfold according to their individual god-given plan, but I do believe that it can make it harder.
So here is what we do:
We provide them with materials so that they can explore their interests, their likes and passions. We keep in the background after having set some basic rules to create a sacred, protected space for learning. We keep in the background, but always be aware so we can be there with full presence when they have questions.
This is pretty much flipping the system around.
As a family we do not have a lot of possessions, but most of what we own is learning material and books. We give our children all the material and allow them to get in touch with themselves. We lay down the rules and allow our children to explore for themselves. We also give our kids a lot of practical learning, if they want to learn about the elephants in Thailand, we go to Thailand and let them be close to the elephants, observe them and learn everything that they want to. Just like other kids of their age, my kids can read, write, speak different languages, and do mathematics and logic.
As it gets more complicated we will get support. Depending on the interest of my kids, I will make sure that they get all the training that they want.
The second question that I am faced with is about my social life. Many of my subscribers want to know if we have a social life at all, since we are travelling so much and are never at one place. The different places that we travel to are our many homes. Travelling makes us a lot more socially compatible. It leaves us with absolutely no choice but to socialize. We keep in touch with our friends around the world and maintain relationships that actually matter. We also always go back to some places to catch up in the real world with friends and family.
I think the lifestyle that I give my kids is getting them ready to face almost any situation that they encounter. Maybe they will not necessarilybe big doctors, engineers and won’t take up big posts in big buildings, but I trust they will definitely be very passionate and most and for all:
They will know who they are, where they stand in life, what they want and plain and simply; Be happy