Going school free is changing us. We are having to discover our natural ways to live because we no longer have the school, work, retire, die structure to rely on. We no longer want it. Why would we? It’s a petty staid existence that has been sprouted as some kind of holy norm, but that goes against every ounce of our instinct.
When you discover that real learning happens outside of school, you also discover that real life happens outside of the routine you’ve been conditioned to accept. And then you have to define your life, because there’s no longer anyone defining it for you.
When I applied for exemption from school for my children, I hadn’t cottoned on that I would be going school free too. School routines and constructs are no longer a part of any of our lives. It didn’t take us long to realise that the values no longer apply either. We’re not living by other people’s values any more.
Now, we have to live intentionally. We have to find our natural rhythms, and priorities, and choose them. This has been an epiphany. Why, at this age, and after eleven years of parenting, am I only now choosing my life, and to honour my children’s spirits, dignity and rights?
Instead of brooding in regret and guilt over this, I have chosen to be grateful.
I am grateful that:
I have chosen to reclaim my children’s childhoods. Their ‘childhoods’ are their lives.
I have chosen to share this Now time and this beautiful world with them.
I have chosen to reinstate their right to touch the earth and discover their places and ways upon it.
I have chosen to touch the earth with them, and discover the spiritual change that brings.
I have chosen to redirect my energy away from the daily grind that saps it from me, and from our family.
I am grateful, no, elated, to witness the tree branches grow bare around me as old leaves fall away then to watch those same trees fill with light. I am grateful for the cold air and for the fires it causes us to light.
Yes, spring is a time of renewal and growth, but autumn and winter come first. I am grateful to be bare of everything I know. It’s an important part of this crazy new growth. I knew my children would have lots of unlearning, or deschooling, to do. This is a time of unlearning old ways and mindsets for me too. How beautiful it is to slow down, re-energise and stomp on piles of autumn leaves with my children.
I am grateful that I am now required to live.