26 November 2012

unschool monday :: free

Big Owlet. Poet. #unschooling #poetry #owlets

Big Owlet has discovered poetry. It seems to have followed on directly from her fascination with jokes. She's very quickly used poetry to express her own view of the world and to accompany her drawings...

It's very gradual and slow like that, Unschooling. Before you know it there are things they have picked up and are doing without you even noticing...

Like when they learned to walk and talk and sit and draw and read and... It's all gradual and each time there's a point at which you notice that they can do that new thing, that they get it...

But it doesn't happen overnight. There's a process and it's different for each child. I suppose that's one of the scary and exhilarating things of making space for learning to happen outside of a measured school system. There's security in measured and organised learning. But there's a huge amount of joy that comes from watching your children discover new things for themselves as they explore their world and exercise their freedom.

Big Owlet feels free. She loves the life she lives and she expresses that regularly. But there is one sadness for her.

That everyone else can't be free too.

She wishes that "every child could try unschooling, for one year at least, so they can see how great it is". It's not an entirely selfless wish. She does feel lonely at times. As a hugely independent and sociable kind of girl, she adores spending time with lots of friends, and at this age, we notice that the pool starts to dwindle as friends go to school or move away. We fill her days with as much activity and friendship as we can manage, but it's not always possible everyday. The gaps we fill with skype and Minecraft contact with friends far away who are "free" too. And we are working to grow a community of big kids around her... but until then, it is wonderful to read her thoughts as she expresses them and see that she is happy with who and where she is in the world. It's all a parent can hope for, really.


  1. Beautiful! Both the poem and your description of how allowing our children the freedom to follow their bliss - and the fear that entails!

    I know that my DD is on a minecraft server for homeschooled/unschooled kids, I am wondering if it's the same one? I think my DD may be big owlets age or slightly older, if she ever wants to skype or catch up online, I'm sure my dd would be happy to. She finds it hard too; there aren't many homeschoolers here and we live a 1/2 hour drive from town.

    Anyway, my email is yeshedawa79 at gmail dot com.

    Thanks again for another great unschool monday.

  2. I find it sad to think that unschooling isn't where Kira's heart lies. I know she is itching to get back to school, to be with her friends (in fact I just asked her, if she prefers school to being at home and she said yes. But her school isn't normal!). We've enjoyed this term of freedom, it has really helped us reconnect and it has given me huge respect for her passion for learning. I've found it stressful, though. I have so little time, and I feel like I'm parenting in a half-arsed manner, especially the middle child. I know as a child I would have LOVED the freedom of being unschooled. And I wonder if middle will want to try it out at some point (right now she wants to be with her big sister). Kira would LOVE to be penpals with Big Owlet, she is loving this long-distance interaction and even if she can't be part of the Minecraft when she is back at school I know she'll still want to write to her.

  3. I love her poem and the joy behind it!


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