It’s the small choices that matter…

Something major has shifted in our homeschool rhythms in this lockdown. I was thinking, I don’t think I have ever spent this much time at home in my life. Like literally ever! We have barely left the house except to get our mail from the post office and to pick up bits from the shops. As much as there is so much I miss mostly hugs from loved ones! I am finding I am becoming more in tune with the rhythms of nature and the land around me. I am feeling renewed I am sleeping better, more calm and connected and have really let go of ideas of being constantly busy and therefore have given the kids permission to as well.

spending time in nature has been therapy…

I mean don’t get me wrong in comparison to most peoples days rushing around with children ours are pretty gentle in comparison, one of the reasons I love this way of life. I try not to over schedule and leave lots of time and space for the children to play and get lost in activities. That being said this has been a whole new layer, I have really wanted to support their mental health and with all the restrictions on them at this time really allow them to make their own choices on how they spend their time. They have had more free range on screens and allowed to watch movies and tv if they feel all day. Initially at the beginning of lockdown I had really big anxiety surges, had days where I felt like I needed to rest in bed for half the day. I needed to regulate my nervous system and allow my feelings to just come up and out. We have had a lot of uncertainty in our personal lives, like many and it really knocked the wind out of me. I actually had a realisation that sometimes I’m trying so hard to be positive that I bring on my anxiety by not allowing myself to feel the genuine feelings of worry, pain, hurt… ect A real self realisation of it’s ok for all the feelings to be present and surface. We need to let them come through and out of us right? Sometimes I need to just feel sad, upset or angry! I also thought about the kids, instead of trying to keep them busy and positive constantly, perhaps they just needed to decompress in moments too. Is it so bad to get lost in a film, or play some video games to self regulate? Why is it ok to get lost in books and art for instance but not on screens? I really had to sit with this as I realised I wanted to just watch a movie and switch off the negative news, or chat with a friend online to feel connection, why would I hold different standards for these guys?

even just being side by side, in each other presence feels like connection…

In all this I realised how at times what I expect is so much, what everyone has expected of children throughout this pandemic is so much! They have unmet needs, they are trying to self regulate on the shifting carpet and all I hear is things like ” I cant get them to listen”, “they won’t do their school work”, “all they want to do is play all day”… yeah because they are kids just trying to be kids! Their whole worlds have been turned upside down too remember. It’s a lot to expect them to just get on with things as if these ever changing rules don’t apply to them. It’s a lot for them to feel the loss of freedom, friendship, connection and yet literally not have a say in how they can respond. I have felt more grateful then ever that we homeschool. Not because the education part is all set up, but because the relationship part is. We spend a lot of time together and so we have been on a journey of learning not only how to find rhythm with the education aspect of home education but with learning how to relate and meet everyones needs emotionally too. It’s actually the biggest part of the journey thus far. Different ages and stages and making sure everyone feels they can express themselves and be heard. We always have open conversations about how everyone is feeling me included. If I’m feeling overwhelmed around the house with washing or chores, I ask for help and I explain that even small amounts of everyone contributing means I can spend more time doing the fun stuff. We talk about in order to live this path we all need to work as a team.

I have observed so much within myself at this time and learnt to be more kinder to myself then ever before. The slow and easy pace has given me space to actually observe within myself how my nervous system has been responding and show myself some kindness and compassion and in turn have the capacity to show that even deeper for my family. We can’t do, be or give to another what we can’t do, be or give, to ourselves. So we continue to try and be the best individuals we can. Instead of looking at them on the screen and thinking “should I tell them to get off?, how long have they been on it ?” and feeling like I need to control and dictate how they are choosing to spend their time. Instead I look at them, notice what’s happening around? Are they all huddled around giggling at movies Otis has edited of them being crazy? perhaps this is a deep moment of connection, are they deeply absorbed in a film, movie, documentary or cartoon that is bringing them joy? are they creating something in a deep state of learning? Are they absorbing music or trying to find an answer to a question? Before just jumping to a conclusion that they don’t know what they need, before breaking up something that could be magic and inserting my know it all self in there?? Asking myself how can I connect with the over this? Is this an opportunity for me to see what they are enjoying so much? To know them better, understand them deeper? Am I missing an opportunity? could I drop what I’m doing and sit and have a cuppa watch the movie with them? giggle with them? learn with them?

Always shenanigans…. ALWAYS!!!

In this time and space it’s easy to get lost amongst the weight of it all. We are all doing the best we can, facing some pretty big stuff that quite frankly no one knows the answers too. We are all dealing with so much that is out of our control, but what I have found so useful is to concentrate on the small things within my control. To make choices in those seemingly small spaces that feel aligned with the sort of life I want to be living, the sort of mother I want to be, the sort of change I want to create and watch it grow. When I think about my life, those big moments stand out, you know the highlights but the true treasures that are encased in my heart are the small moments, the ever so seemingly small choices I made to get to those highlights. It’s all the small stuff that leads to the big moments, the small choices accumulate and they are what truly shape us, the stepping stones on life’s path, they are what define us in the end. So my friends just take a breath, focus on the small choices, moment by moment, one by one….. show up how best you can in that tiny window of time, be kind to yourself and keep dreaming up where the moments of now will allow you to flow.

Love and light

A x

New Paradigms

Yesterday I uploaded an igtv story and in the last 24hrs I have had such a beautiful response. I have felt conflicted about showing up in the social medias spaces for along time because if I’m honest I find my already fragile nervous system feels like it can’t keep up. Although yesterday I realised a few things. I have my opinions about whats going on in the world, I guess as we all do at this time! But I don’t post to much about it on my page because I set this space up as a way to share something different, a place of hopefully inspiration. In sharing our journey perhaps opening up peoples minds to another way, an alternative to what the mainstream has told us is the right way and the only way…. A peek into the possibility if we follow our truth that things can be different and thrive in new and wonderful ways.

The garden is blooming and I am feeling the wisdom of nature guiding me at this time…

I am a big believer in what you put out you will attract and raising the vibe in an already fearful state feels more productive to me then being right or perpetuating fear. If people want information on whats happening out there, there is a plethora of places to seek it out for both camps. Showing up in my truth gives people permission to do they same. It’s fucking hard work guys, this being human you feel me!?? I realise I have been running from these spaces as a freeze state response and I know I am more than capable to share honestly and be authentic despite what others think of me, or their opinions. If I am operating from a space of being authentic.

I have seen the genuine response to my post and realised that when we are showing ourselves honestly, it resonates and it opens ups space for people to share, be heard, be seen and be real. I had so many wonderful open dialogues with people who shared their stories with me and were just wanting space to be heard, that post allowed them that. Telling me their experience and I heard them openly even if it differed from my own.

We are being called to step up in new ways, transform and through the unknowm…

Taking the leap into homeschooling has become far more then a journey of education for my children. It has showed me the depths of who I am as individual. It has made me face my fundamental beliefs, always mirroring within the relationships with my loved ones my truths, my lights and darks. It has liberated me, challenged me and thrust me to live in a deeper and fuller way. I actually think that before I started homeschooling and then un schooling, I don’t think I had beliefs and opinions that were truly my own. I was always trying to “do the right thing”, “behaved correctly”, “not be to opinionated”, ” not be too controversial”. My beliefs were of those that were acceptable to my family, my education, my religion, my society…. I dare not stray… AND THEN I WAS LIBERATED THROUGH THE JOURNEY OF TRUSTING MY CHILDREN’S INNATE WISDOM, WHICH GAVE ME PERMISSION TO CONNECT AND TRUST MY OWN INNATE WISDOM!!! BOOM……

I believe we are in a time that is calling us to think in different ways, open our minds to new ideas and open our hearts with compassion and grace. Humans are curious by nature, I witness it every day within the smaller souls that circle me. Our potential is infinite, our capacity greater than we can fathom. What does it take to birth in a new paradigm? It takes great trust and faith, it takes us to come back home and connect deeply with nature because there are so many answers hidden within the veins of the leaves, roots of the trees and rhythm of the ocean. It’s been here far longer than us, it has supported us and we must reconnect back to it, my word she has been calling us home for such a long time. We must trust in the wisdom that resides deep inside our cells, the inner questioning that arises and if you take time to stop, pause and listen you maybe surprised to find the answers in those spaces of quiet. It takes courage to follow up, to dig deep and trust and follow up on the intuition that is guiding you. Perhaps it doesn’t turn out the way you thought but I bet with hindsight you will realise it was exactly what you needed. Or perhaps it does turn out exactly how you dreamed… imagine!

Bask in the beauty of the natural world around you… listen as she whispers wisdom through your veins

I keep thinking as we are birthing in a new paradigm, the alikeness of birthing a child. The sensations of the contractions when I laboured with my babies and the depths of myself I faced to meet them. The intensity sitting right alongside the peacefulness. The building of sensation, the peak and then as the wave subsided, I would catch my breath again and return to this earthy state. Until the transition of the complete ascension into the altered blissful being. I didn’t just birth a baby in a moment, it was a process. It took courage, strength and trusting in my body and preparing my mind. I feel like at this time I am birthing again, allowing those sensations through me, working not to attach to them but feeling all the sensations and then returning back to the breath, gathering myself before the next wave. In those moments I wasn’t thinking to far ahead but I was simply present with what was. I don’t think I have ever been more present in fact. Here we are birthing in the new and with that is a shedding of the old. A letting go, a process. Here we are birthing in a new way of being and with that come waves of sensations, deep trust and faith. We are all here together in this time with intent and reason. We are here to experience the full width and depth of this human experience. So take this time to ask what is the future you want to call fourth, break down the systems within yourself that have shackled you and never be afraid to dream the greatest of dreams….

I send each of you love and if your here reading this I hope this has landed with the love and compassion it was intended.

Beautiful Marigold- symbolism “Flowers of death and grief”

From the Simplest Ideas Big things grow…

As I write this I am watching the kids use old cardboard boxes and packing material to create car tracks for Ziggy’s matchbox cars. I am reminded once again how we are learning in every moment of life’s experience. They are experimenting with different materials, adjusting heights and weights, lengths and widths. Working with balance and creativity, creating structure and stability, problem solving in the moment as encounters occur. But perhaps to some they may be just playing or even just making a mess with a bunch of scraps.

To see the world through a 2 year olds eyes what wonder we would experience.

I am observing my 9, 6 and 2 year old work together. Noticing how my 9 year old is gently communicating the ideas to my 2 year old, because he is having an absolute blast! How my 2 year old is attentively watching his older siblings on how they are making things work, then mimicking and trying ideas of his own, offering suggestions and materials. How the diversity in age is actually helping them grow awareness and skills and brings a whole new dimension to their experience. They don’t always get along, I mean for anyone who has lived with a toddler it takes a lot of patience and the older two can get frustrated. I actually don’t expect them to get along constantly because hey who does? We are all ebbing and flowing through this rollercoaster right! They love each other’s company but they do spend a significant amount of time together so there are bound to be build ups of friction. Plus we are in lockdown which can add another layer! I can see how this interaction with multi age groups, not just within our home but in our wider community is a chance to make older children more understanding, empathic and caring. For younger children its an opportunity to learn and observe more mature behaviour.

Playing together is learning together…

If I am honest I am a sucker for new resources. Not because I want to spoil the kids but there is a such a buzz and excitement when there is new material to explore. I think in the home setting having materials available to explore at your own will is apart of our flow, it’s enticing and encouraging of play and learning. As we follow no structured curriculum, it also gives the children more autonomy over their time and energy and where they would like to direct it. I am very conscious about the “stuff” I bring into the house but as I sit here once again such a beautiful reminder that actually the learning just happens even without the stuff, they create it, kids are adventurous and curious and will find the magic in everything as long as we cultivate the setting and go along for the ride.

So I guess what I’m saying is it’s easy to overthink it all, the curriculums, resources and experiences. When our perspectives broaden, we take a mindful approach to just notice and observe what they are doing and how they are doing it, We will surely see learning taking place. It’s not quantifiable, you can’t box it up like school based subjects, you may not even be able to test it, but it’s there unfolding within the framework of the child creative mind. There is always opportunity for us adult’s to have input and invite other ideas or to extend the learning through suggestions but even without it they are gaining valuable knowledge, sparked from their internal compass. What a gift!!

Love and Light Amanda

Lockdown 2.0

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 is loving his kiwi box subscription.

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.

Writing screen plays with real life inspiration, Amika pretending to be a cat so that Otis can get ideas for his script.

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

So here we are…

So finally I have put this space up and in action…. Who knows how often i will post?, but I love documenting even simply for myself the ebbs and flow of our heart centred learning days. Call it what you want home schooling, un schooling, education outside the system, natural learning… I am not too fussed to squeeze into some category, we just do life our way as we all should right?!

Kids have been working in the veggie patch that we are slowly creating… sowing seeds on so many levels.

I love to look back even sometimes just as little as a few months and realise how much they have grown, changed, evolved… time seems to whip us up and carry us forward and before we know it the little people we once cradled are no longer and we are face to face with a new version of the same beautiful soul, also a new version of our mother selves has evolved to meet the child that stands before us. It’s a wild ride hey!

We don’t strive to do extra ordinary things but somehow this magic happens and we go on the most extraordinary adventures, even in our backyard or kitchen.”

I love seeing how free the kids are to explore or not things that they are interested in and also not to waste their energies where they are not so drawn to. That they can spend days at a time reading or creative playing or snuggled on the couch watching movies. We don’t strive to do extra ordinary things but some how this magic happens and we go on the most extraordinary adventures, even in our own backyard or kitchen. The days are a mixture of full and slow, busy and nourishing, we tailor our lives to what suits the stages we are at. In the 4 years of this journey thus far we have changed and moved through so many seasons and experiences and learnt alongside each other. My eyes have been opened so wide along with my perspectives of what is possible if we are just left to be. In so many ways I am on this journey alongside them and perhaps they are miles ahead because I have so much conditioning to break through, attachments to let go of and deep learning experiences to be had. They are there already there…

Always loving to explore and experiment

“In so many ways I am on this journey alongside them and perhaps they are miles ahead because I have so much conditioning to break through, attachments to let go of and deep learning experiences to be had. “

A few things have led me here, blogging I mean, lots has led me here to home education but Ill go into that another time. Mostly the desire to move away from social media. I am just realising the more I am away the more present I am in my life. I also feel like social media triggers these anxious tendencies that seem to be deeply embedded in my cells and as I try to move towards a sense of wholeness within, I can feel these places aren’t safe or serving me. I want to place my energy towards spaces and energies that feel aligned and where I want to flourish. I am in this big transition within myself and un schooling has led me to this place, I guess from the outside it may seem like I am a completely different person to who I was 10 years ago but in fact I am more myself and stripped back now, then ever. It feels like I have tried on many hats, explored difference pieces and parts of myself, mostly the parts I thought people might like better or that would please people, but now here I am just sharing more from this honest space of truth.

So I hope if you are reading this that you endeavour to follow along… I would love to have you on this journey and perhaps you are on your own journey and our journeys may beautifully collide… I hope you find this a place of inspiration, possibility, adventure, honesty and exploration not only into the inner working of our world but your perceptions and beliefs around what makes you and your family live a life that is truly joyful an authentic.

Blessings A x

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