On Sunday I attended the second day of the 2-day expo Raising Happy Kids, Connected parenting and Home Education Conference. I wasn’t really sure what to expect to be honest but I went with an open mind and hopes of getting some of my questions and concerns addressed about home education.
Well let me just say I wish I had gone to both of the days, as it was such an amazing event. I totally got my questions answered and feel more empowered in our decision to home school. The energy was lovely, the conference was full of great information and speakers, and it was a lovely place to connect with other people on the same journey as my family and myself.
One of the things that really appeals to me about home schooling is the tribe in which you connect and journey with. Although I am very early in the journey I really hope to meet some like-minded friends and connect with the community out there. The conference really opened my eyes to the diversity within the home schooling movement and although peoples motives for choosing this path differ it’s all for the same outcome, to raise happy, healthy and connected children. What better way to bond, right?
It really does make you question though why this movement is on the rise? Each year more and more Australians are choosing to home educate their children. Mostly removing their kids from mainstream schooling and deciding they can give it a go. In fact Australia has the largest number of home-schooled children/families per capita in the world. I personally think people are waking up to a flawed and dated system that is sold to us as a complete necessity in order for our children to grow up “educated” and “whole”. This in actual fact couldn’t be further from the truth.
It also made me really question my motives for why I personally want to educate our children from home or world rather. I had obviously thought about this before and we (hubs and I) have discussed it in great depth but this really gave me a chance to clarify. After pondering this is what I came up with,
1. A connected family is one of the greatest gifts I think you can give a child; I want to engage emotionally, mentally, physically as much as I can daily with my beloved little ones. Watch and engage with them as they grow, support them daily helping them to tackle what may arise. Surrounding them with love and allowing them the space to be children for as long as possible. Then allowing them to grow and flourish into young adults, the kind they so choose to be.For them to learn amongst the world in which they will live, grow and contribute too.
2. I feel the current education system in regards to how and what is taught is extremely dated, un useful and un necessary on a lot of levels. A lot of what we learn has no real application or translation into the world around us. Why should we be dictated to what we should learn? Why not allow children to follow their passions and interests and let the learning occur naturally through life? Why not invest a love of learning, for life so they can go and seek the knowledge they desire to create the life they so choose to, to create a world they want to live in not the broken one that we are so sadly passing onto them. A life that will be purposeful and passionate because it comes from a place of authenticity.
3. We as a family seek a slower pace lifestyle, we as parents want to connect with the kids and pass down our knowledge and support to them, we want to be there for them not just after hours but always. Teaching the children about nature amongst nature not from a text-book. We want to teach them about their community whilst being in their community, we want to allow them the time and space to learn in their own time and rhythm not being “boxed” into an A B C. Or teaching them to compete with others when really they should only need to compete with themselves, to better themselves. Why do we need to test children to tell them or us how intelligent they are? They, us, we are all capable of brilliance if we are given the chance to tap into it.
4. I would like to teach my children about spirituality and connectedness, in a way in which will allow them to be able to go and seek the knowledge they desire to find out their truth, their reason and connection to this earthly experience. I want to teach them how to deal with emotion, stress and anxiety and to look after their health. To care for their bodies, mind and spirit. To love and treat people with kindness and respect. Not that by teaching them at school this will not happen, but it’s that the importance placed on the simpler of teachings gets lost amongst the hard strive for academic success. The pressures now more than ever are intense and weighty.
So all in all attending the RHK expo was so great because it took some of the fear away from something we will surely be judged negatively for, but ultimately we feel, my husband and I, this is the right choice for our family. But I leave you with this as what I have come to know through my experience, whenever you set out on a journey, if at the centre of your intention is pure truth and love you will never go wrong. For we must keep our intentions pure and the rest will fall into place. Trust!
For any of you home educating, natural learning, un schooling peoples out there please I’d love to hear from you and connect. For anyone this has sparked an interest with please share your thoughts. Also if you get the chance to attend the RHK expo in either Queensland or Sydney I highly recommend you do, home school or not it’s beneficial to every parent.