Hello (again)!

Hi, I’m Linda, mum in a school free family. We’re fast becoming alternative too, so I guess this is a freeschooling / lifestyle blog.

I first started Shells when my daughter left school in year 4, to start homeschooling. Mainly to connect with other school free families, and to share our experiences. Then Shells went on hiatus while I ran a business from home for two years. During that time, my son left school too, so now my pre-teen and teenager are both school free.

missed writing Shells!

I feel more passionate than ever about our school free life. It has changed everything for our family. Our mindset. The things we believe about life. Our determination to be present with each other, and to intentionally choose how we interact with our planet, and community.

I’m also passionate about eating real, whole, organic food, free of processing and toxins.

Here’s an overview of where my family are now:


We’re school free.

When my children left school, I did too. I was a teacher.

My husband is a tireless crusader for being “actually school free” and for giving our children the authentic life they deserve. It’s hard for this ex teacher to unlearn school, and to navigate all the doubt and mixed messages about how to ‘do’ school free life.

There’a a lot of judgement within and without the homeschooling community. I am saddened to find this. I hope I can be a positive voice for any free schooling mum, or parent, who is feeling judgement or self-doubt. Stay strong, mumma! (Or papa!). The only “right” way to do this is yours and your children’s way.


We’re organic.

We’re organic in more ways than one. First, our school free journey is organic and constantly changing. Like trying to grow organic veggies without the pesticides we’ve come to rely on is a challenge, going school free after the formal schooling mindset we’ve come to rely on can be hard. We have a lot to navigate. Lots of doubts. Lots of judgements. Lots of trip ups. Lots of laughs, too.

Second, we deal with autoimmune disease. After years of dutifully following the ‘food pyramid’, rarely feeding our kids fast food, and eating our leafy greens, we nearly lost one of our beautiful children to an autoimmune disease. The disease is not caused by dietary habits, it’s environmental. The biggest environmental factor we can find in our children’s lives is the food we consume. How it’s grown. How it’s sprayed. How it’s stored and processed. How it’s labelled to look like real food even when it isn’t. We’re looking into our pantry. Deeply!


We’re going off grid.

Yes, ouch! But with all conveniences. Our off grid house will harvest electricity and water from the sky, instead of from the beautiful earth.

And we’ll have internet. Not sure how yet, but watch this space!

Why are we going off grid? Electricity prices are rising. The planet is suffering. We are employed by the debts of our family home. We’re grateful for our home, but not for the fifty percent of our wages, and therefore time, that it takes to pay to live here. Our true home, we’ve decided, is our life with each other. We feel excited to let go of our attachment to our conventional city house, and to build sustainably and mortgage free.

So, off grid we go, with a bit of travelling thrown in.


We’re seeking authentic, planet friendly, neighbourly ways to live…

We questioned the school system and found an alternative. Now, we’re questioning everything we’ve come to accept about the structures of our society and lives. And the answers are coming up… well, alternative.

Humans used to live differently. Our cash based structure is kind of new. And honestly, we think this money centred existence has had it’s day. It isn’t working. Most people in the world are poor, many are suffering and dying with the planet, and the over consumption of the opulent (yes, I know this includes me – a middle class first world dweller), is unsustainable.

We have to pay for our children and our elderly to be looked after.* Does that sound sad to anyone else? We all have better things to do. We won’t actively contribute in our community unless we’re paid – we’re so time poor that we couldn’t if we wanted to, and the hate cultures growing up inside our disconnect are heartbreaking. If my children work to care for the earth or other humans regardless of money, my legacy as a mum will be complete.

I’m thankful for the advances we’ve made as humans. Time to keep advancing and re-evaluating, perhaps?


The topics you are likely to find here:

Shells are free. We (our family) also want to free:

  • our conditioning
  • our time
  • our pantry

I’m writing about living school free, toxin free, and close to nature. Reclaiming your time, living intentionally, and eating real food.

I will probably write about failure.

We are novices, moving off grid. The chooks are bound to escape at some point. We are living school free, when all of us are schooled. We’re bound to have to rub out and re-write along the way. We already have.

Hopefully, our failures are part of our rich, real life. They have been so far. Two negatives can equal a positive, right? If you’re failing sometimes, in the arms of your authentic life, then you’re living it.

That’s what I want to share. Our real, school free, toxin free, authentic life. I hope other mamas, or people considering some of the lifestyle choices that my family are taking, will find some inspiration and honesty here.


*The people who do look after our children and elderly deserve every dollar they get, and much more. I am not questioning them, their tireless work, or their worth.I am questioning our current systems for living.




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