“Like so much of what my sons know and do, Fin did not learn how to craft a bow because someone told him he should learn to craft a bow. He learned because he had no choice but to learn, because his innate curiosity and desire to learn simply could not be overcome. In the same way that we cannot stop children from learning to walk, or to talk, you cannot stop them from learning anything they set their minds too.” Ben Hewitt
A couple of months ago I ordered this book on researching some personal experiences of homeschooling. Something I too am interested in embarking on with my family. When I received it in the mail from the moment the pages were open and I began to read I was totally captivated. I expected a personal account on homeschooling/un schooling yes, but I was inspired on so many levels by this book. Ben so honestly accounts his personal tale of teaching his children off the beaten path. Choosing a life that is less conventional, what he and his wife face emotionally, spiritually and practically in the quest of educating their boys in the natural world. Allowing them to lead through their innate curiosity, instincts and inspirations. I love how honest and brave Ben is through his writing, really being true to his essence, what had them to choose this path and how they have managed to maintain it. Being connected to his family, learning from the earth with respect and love for each other, the family unit amongst nature.
“What is education?” and inconsequently, “what is childhood?” Should It be one thing and not the other?” Ben Hewitt
Maybe it’s where I am at on my journey in motherhood, or even in my life but Ben’s word’s really spoke to me and have resonated with me. Not just about homeschooling but about finding the courage in one’s self to not only go to that place within to recognise one’s truth but to follow it, to live it, authentically. His connection to the land and understanding of his spiritual self here on earth is inspiring. I think it takes a lot of courage to live a life that you uniquely pave yourself, where you set the rules and Ben and his wife not only do that but he has the courage to write about it and put it out there for all of us to share and enjoy.
“Encouraging our sons to think critically is one of the most important aspects of their education; it is also one that foments the most conflict.” Ben Hewitt
Ben doesn’t come across as “selling ” this way of life, nor putting down anyone else’s but simply sharing his story in hope the it will open your eyes and heart to a new perspective. He also admits that he does not yet have all the answers nor does he know the outcome of where un schooling will lead his son’s but is trusting in the process, something I think that we all must do in life. Feel from our gut and trust it, ride it out and honour what that inner voice is guiding us to do today for really that is the only sure thing we have.
I love this courageous,wild-eyed and truthful conversation about parenting and educating our children. Not just academically but spiritually. Even if un schooling is not something you are interested in, aware of, or even care for, as a parent reading this it inspired me to act on my beliefs, trust my instincts more than ever and remember that I am here to guide my children to trust their instincts. I know them better than any other, in a primal and instinctual way. I must, for who better to teach them but the ones whom love them the most and who want to see them flourish into the version of themselves they want to be. To extend themselves to beyond what they perceive imaginable. Essentially if we feel loved do we not feel purpose and meaning? What greater gift could I give my child but allowing him/her to have to space to know themselves, understand and perfect their gifts to go out into the world and share them with others. Whether at school or homeschooled we must remain connected to the true essence of our children and allow them to just be who they are.
“When you take responsibility from a child, he becomes less responsible. And as he becomes less responsible, he is granted less and less responsibility.” Ben Hewitt
This book is one I will re read again and again. I have fallen in love with Ben’s writing style, his genuine and sincere way in which conveys his story from a place of knowing himself and his purpose. It will sit on my bookshelf and be referred to as a guide when feeling overwhelmed or a reflection into the beautiful, real space living consciously. I couldn’t recommend this book highly enough.
“I know they will be frequently frustrated. I know they will often fail. But frustration and failure are as natural, healthy and essential to their development as confidence, success and joy.” Ben Hewitt