The Evolution of School
I drove past my primary school just this morning, and as I pulled up, so many memories and feelings came to me. I felt a serene safety in the environment where the trees were abundant and the land was sacred. I felt a strong pull to the library and its treasure box of wisdoms. I remembered some of the teachers who seemed like wizards who would take me on journeys beyond those I could ever imagine.
This was a place that nurtured me, that provided safety, away from the sometimes calamity and emotional uncertainty of home.
In many other respects, it was also a place that taught me to quell the natural fire of my heart and close it to the world. It taught me to people please. It taught me that friendships and achievement were the be all and end all. To hide away behind my academic achievement, and to never test the limits beyond what I was naturally good at and dive straight into my real passions. It laughed at me when I attempted to dive into those true passions.
It expected me to follow the crowd.
And this is what I did.
Now that I’m a mother, I know for sure that this is not what I want for my daughter. I want her to feel confident, free to express and be whomever she pleases, without having to shift to the uncertainty of other’s opinions. I want her to be solid in herself and her own heart’s desires, and follow them wholeheartedly.
The more I research into natural parenting, attachment parenting and natural learning the more I can see that this is truly the way my daughter can live into her true heart.
The experiences in natural learning particularly provides a visceral effect on her being. She is more confident, alive, connected, even within a few short hours of being in a natural learning environment.
As she continues to experience these natural learning and unschooled environments particularly in mixed social settings, and in adult skill-share settings, her imagination, her physical movement, her ability to soak in information through spontaneous learning, and her verbal and logical skill enhances exponentially. She becomes an evolved being. Right in front of my eyes.
So why does it have to be so difficult to access? How can we bring more of these experiences into our every day? Particularly with mixed age groups including the adults?
The way I did it was to choose homeschool, but then reach out to like-minded community to create a coop. People who have researched as much as I have into natural learning, and can see and viscerally feel its benefits on themselves and their children. People who make time to explore a natural environment for hours at a time, with the intention to spontaneously learn, in a relaxed manner.
Kids identify objects and phenomena that they are drawn to, and which become a natural learning focus. They use their imaginations, adults guide them in their questions and their exploration without feeding them a tonne of information. Kids learn patterns, develop awe, curiosity and really delve into their focus, becoming true lovers of learning.