It’s been an interesting time this lockdown, such a range of emotions and a wild time to be alive that’s for sure. One thing is for certain, I have been so so grateful that we have been home educating before this pandemic struck. It’s mostly had minor disruption to our days and we have had the added benefit of Dad being home more and everyone has just sunk into this lovely stream of being home together.
I feel for so many trying to juggle working and homeschooling at the moment. It’s a tough gig to try and meet the requirements of employers and teachers with no support ( oh and get dinner on the table too!). So many people have said to me how do you do it? I have to have a little chuckle because the thing is what we are doing here and what majority have been plunged into are two very different things. We in no way try to replicate school at home, here we are trying to lay a foundation for active and engaged learning, inspired by the children, led by their interests and supported by us their parents. What does that look like exactly? Well each day is different, each season things shift and change and the thing is every family culture is going to express and guide differently. You have to get comfortable with the unknown, the uncertain and instead of fear it, wildly embrace it.
“What is most important and valuable about the home as a base for children’s growth into the world is not that it is a better school than the schools, but that it isn’t a school at all.”
― John Holt
A few main things have recently been cemented for me as I observe as the world is in complete upheaval, in particularly about this home learning journey we are on. Children need their parents, need the closeness of their families more then our society really supports. Home is our safety net, is our base and from here everything grows, from here we are rooted, supported through our fundamental foundations for life. Its this micro ecosystem preparing us for how we will walk through, engage and embrace the world and when its unstable, we take so much longer to find our footings in life.
My role is not to be their “teacher”, I am here to support and inspire, when I can learn to support myself and further keep myself inspired I have such a depth of love, nurturing, experience and care to offer my children. Self care is some real IMPORTANT SHIT friends !!! Not just massages and getting your nails done type stuff, but really resting, getting enough water, consuming positive and inspiring literature/movies/ online content, also pulling away from the stuff that isn’t enriching your life. Expanding your knowledge, meeting new people, trying new things, cultivating an inspired life, deep breathing, stretching, moving dancing and all the things this human life has to offer. I lead by example but that doesn’t mean I am perfect (farrrr from it infact). I often make mistakes daily in fact but I try and own it in an honest and vulnerable way. I try and break the cycles within myself so I can break the cycle of passing it forward and honestly I’ve had to learn to let go of a lot of my ideas of perfectionism and high standards I create for myself, so that I can be more compassionate and more present. So I can honestly meet the child standing in front of me. It’s ok not to be a perfect parent all the time, actually showing our flaws and imperfections, makes us more accessible, more relatable and more approachable to our children.
“It’s ok not to be a perfect parent all the time, actually showing our flaws and imperfections makes us more accessible, more relatable and more approachable to our children.”
This time in lockdown 2.0 has offered me so much insight and made me see how my mother’s intuition to go on this journey has been the right one for our family. I have witnessed how even amongst the chaos of what is happening externally the children have felt safe to express their concerns and fears yet have a resilience and grounding in the home setting. I realise we have co created this beautiful little cocoon for all of us to feel safe. We have adapted quite well and the guys always seem to have things to do, even when they are seemingly doing nothing at all. They are always supported to explore the things that arise for them whether that be emotionally, intellectually, academically and it’s normal to flow through the ups and downs of tackling new situations. Actually I would go as far as to say this time at home has elevated their creativity, stretched their imagination and made them more resourceful…. and in the spaces of not much happening inspiration has blossomed. Our culture praises the constant and busy stream of ” doing “, we feel that productivity equals direct success. We have imprinted this on our kids and they are obsessed with being busy too and ultimately held prisoner by “success”. This time has really highlighted how it’s in the space, the nothing, that we find us, or perhaps reconnect to our spirit, our truest nature and can expand into and extend the edges of what we think we are capable of. We have the capacity to create from our limitless and infinite potential.
Otis and Amika have been loving creating and writing screen plays, spending afternoons brainstorming ideas, figuring out costumes, writing scripts, discussing lighting. They have loved doing art tutorials and refining their creative skills, documenting their ideas and feeling through creative pursuits. They have loved doing science experiments, exploring big ideas, big concepts together. Planning movie days and having pyjama parties, they have been excited to cook their own snacks, look up movie reviews. Even in just a simple thing like reading a movie review, it just extends into writing shortlists of movies they want to see, make cosy spaces to watch their movies, menus for their movie experience. They imaginations know no boundaries.
They have been exploring being in the kitchen and I am seeing them develop skills in different ways. Otis is loving experimenting re creating his favourite foods and is moving around the kitchen so comfortably and confidently. I am witnessing this young boy at the beginning of morphing into a young man. Amika is loving having more independence, making her own snacks and meals. Feeling more excited and confident that she can do all these things for herself. The kids had been taking music lesson before lockdown but being home and just have the time and space and freedom to sit tinker and explore their instruments has been like watching magic. It’s a whole new approach to learning… cementing this idea for me that with enough time, space and guidance we can learn anything. This intrinsic motivation has been propelling them forward and deeper. Oh and the time wandering around lost in play is what I adore watching! Its such a heartwarming thing to witness. I often see Otis climbing a tree and chattering a imaginary game aloud, or Amika singing and dancing off wandering around the property somewhere dressed in fancy dress and then the little army of 3, running around playing together or snuggled so close on a big couch sharing a big blanket giggling away with their own little code language.
Even in lockdown we are creating magical memories, perhaps some really memorable definitive moments that the guys will reflect upon with fondness in years to come. Maybe they will not look back at this time with drudgery and misery because we are creating this little bubble of safety here. There is this little cocoon of love, exploration and adventure. It’s such a reminder that we are the creators of our world, of our days and our lives. our minds can often trick us that happiness is beyond where we are right in this very moment. That what energy we put behind something, the lens we choose to see it through is really how it will be. Sure there are many factors and things can be stressful for us parents trying to navigate finance, employment, information.. ect. BUT this is also an invitation for extra precious time together with our children, a chance at deepening our relationships in our homes, exploring simplicity, gratitude and learning to communicate better. Honestly it may be a one in one hundred year opportunity…. take it!
With love and gratitude Amanda x