This Week: Let your Children be the Guide

I am learning so much about letting the kids be the inner guides for what it is that they truly need. Home education aside, this experience of immersing myself to educate my children is teaching me some big lessons about who we are, who I am and amazingly who they truly are.20370551_10155518416923554_1770087107_n

No matter what we may want our children to be, quiet simply, they are who they. We are born with our spirit strong and many of our traits ingrained. Yes we learn along the way but essentially we just are. Sometimes as parents we want our kids to be more courageous, not so shy, have more concentration, be less stubborn….. the list goes on. A lot of this comes from our own experiences and us wanting MORE for them or “knowing what is best ” for our wildlings. In spending my days with the kids I am seeing more and more who they truly are. I am tapping into the intricate parts of their personalities, their quirks and having a deep appreciation and fundamental awakening into what lays beneath the surface of their humans vehicles. For most childhood is such a magical time, where our true nature and greatness is so clear and uninhibited. Maybe instead of preparing them for adulthood we should let them be fully embraced by childhood.

Through simply just watching them and giving them space to be. JUST BE! Not instructing or coercing, just allowing their natural and divine spirit to be, to play, to create. I see how they naturally dance through the world. My motherly instinct wishes for so much for them from this life but my intuition tells me to strip it back and DO LESS. Let them be raw, let them know that I am here to assist, aid, repair and console if they choose but also that they have got this and they can figure it out. Empower them, even from this young age to ask “what is it I need? am I ok? can I handle this?” and what ever the answer may be, know what action they need to do to move fourth. It’s a delicate dance between knowing when to step in and when to step back.

My role as a mother is to guide my children in the paths that they choose. To create the environment and empower their choices but ultimately not to do anything for them but allow them to do it for themselves. Of course as babies we rely solely on our mothers and caregivers, but as we grow and want to know and do more it’s a mothers job to know when to let one go for it. It may be small stuff now, even stuff that seems insignificant but I think that flows on into teenage years, they have and inbuilt understanding, a confidence to do it themselves. Because maybe by being there and doing all the hard stuff for our kids, while it alleviate momentarily, prevents pain and heartache in that instant, long-term it gives them the message that they are not capable themselves. It dis empowers them and tells them that they alone are not enough. We teach our kids confidence by allowing them to do life, make mistakes, fall down and know they will survive whatever is thrown at them on this journey.  Because they can and will.

 

Home education for us at the moment highly revolves around the kids being out in nature a lot! Getting dirty, making something from nothing, playing, finding their place quite literally in the world. Seeing the wonder and beauty in nature, what greater inspiration for the young mind! (for us all really!) We also have set the kids space at home up, so that they are free to read and create art anytime and this also is a big part of what they choose to do. But what I notice that they want to do the most besides play is connect with us, their parents. Both my wildlings ask about and want to connect with my/my husbands passions of art, yoga, nature, writing and music. They want to know more about what we do, why we do it? They want to know about us, connecting emotionally, physically and mentally. My son loves hearing stories about places his dad and I have travelled and how we met, people we know, our passions and dreams for the future. We have these conversations not like adult to child but spirit to spirit, person to person. I want to let them in and for them to know us deeply in this way. I want them to respect us as their parents but also know us as loving individuals. That we too just like them have many dreams for ourselves, our loved ones, our community and the future of the world. Home education is lending itself to our kids knowing who they are, their roots through connection with their loved ones. It’s natures way to have parents/grandparents/ family be your teachers, it is a force greater than us that bestows this treasured and sacred transfer of knowledge and wisdom.  It feels tribal and I am truly understanding my birth right as mother, creator and caregiver. We have just forgotten that all we have to do to be our children’s greatest teachers is to be our greatest selves.

From the beginning of civilisation the elders have taught our children and prepared and nurtured them for the future. Until we have begun a more rigid and formal system to educate our young everything progressed with respect, awareness and acknowledgement for truth and life. The family unit is something to be completely worshiped and maybe as a society we should return more power and support for it. This too for giving new mother, fathers and caregivers help and support. All we support is for them to return to work as quickly as possible.

I don’t doubt that we will have moments along this journey where it is hard or we get stuck. I don’t doubt that what we know to be true right now may in the future change. I am open to the fluidity and learning curves of this journey. But if I have learnt one thing on my personal path through motherhood it is, that when you become a parent, there is a guide within you, a compass. We don’t have a manual on how to raise children perfectly, the playing field of how, when and under what circumstances children are born into are uneven and sometimes unfair. Each child is unique and absolutely precious on arrival, we just need to foster, love and educate THE WHOLE CHILD, with a holistic and compassionate approach. We may not have felt ready, we may not even feel like we are enough but we are here shoulder deep in parenthood. Just take a moment, stop and tap into your inner compass, get to know your children’s quirks intimately and follow your gut because YOU do know exactly what your child needs despite what society or anyone tells you, YOU are the chosen one, YOU ARE ENOUGH.

The fresh blog… The diary of a homeschooling mama

I have been re- working my blog this week and it’s slowly reshaping.. I felt like I haven’t been writing as much and have been wondering why? YES YES time, but there is never really enough time for anything right so why let that stop us!

I  guess what it really came down to was I wasn’t feeling really connected about what I was writing. Not so much the content but the topics. So I have decided to get back to really just expressing truthfully the journey of being with my kids day in and and day out and choosing to educate them out of the system. I want to write about us, really connect and share what this journey is for us and how we are kinda making it up as we go. I am learning a hell of a lot about trust in my life at the moment, this theme keeps re-occuring. To trust in life, in oneself, in others. It’s certainly not an easy thing to do and this need to control often arises, but I am really open to trusting this journey and trusting my self as a mother, that I am enough to provide the right education for my children, trust in my partner to walk along side me in co-educating and re enforcing the choices and path we choose, To trust the children to find themselves amongst the freedom of home schooling. To trust life really! ( Cause I certainly can’t control it!!!)

It was only a few short months ago that I quit my job, feeling run down and like I was shuffling kids around from one place to the other and not truly tapping into what they needed. My partner and I decided that despite the financial burden this would create me being at home with the kids was exactly what our family needed for this time. Now we decided as my son was soon to turn 5 that we would “trial” what it would be like to home educate. What it would be for me to be with the kids full time, could I handle it? Would they drive me nuts? Was I enough? Trial how they respond to learning from the life around them.

We have joined a few homeschool activities and groups to feel out the circles, talk with people and connect on their experiences. It’s been such an eye opener and such an empowering time. I love being with my kids, yep all the time! Even the times they drive me up the wall. I feel the most connected to them then I ever have. I can feel the shift in them having me around, like I am a compass as they navigate their space. They feel more settled, more grounded. We have a flow, definately not a routine but the word flow seems to sum it up. We are learning the right amount of time to be on top of each other and enough time lost in our own projects. I am learning little ways to take time outs for myself, like having my yoga mat out and taking moments to stretch and pause. I  also carry my writing books and poetry books and when moments arise that the kids are engaged in play or activities I lose myself in my creative passions, even if for a few short stolen moments, they are my stolen moments. I am learning to give my kids space, to get lost in things they love to do. I guess when I was working I would feel like I would have to fill up every minute of our time together to make it last while I was away, I guess feeling like my presence alone wasn’t compensation enough. It is though, I can see having me around they are more content, they love it and so do I.

It’s totally not all roses and I have days where I get burnt out, I am tired and feel I have very little to offer. Some days where I feel like “how the hell am I going to do this?”. Days where the mess of such a lived in home gets on top of me.. But then I have days where I see something click for them, or I get lost watching them play, or create or simply share lunch and talk with them on how they see the world. I have noticed how often my son now says ” mum I have an idea on how we could make this”, or ” mum maybe we could look up how x,y,z works, or why this happens?” and how is always is enthusiastic about going to museums or galleries, knowing there is some magic piece of knowledge for him to seek out. Everyday is an adventure.

The learning is practical, it’s tangible, it’s connected. They are learning through constant engagement with the world around them. I have learnt so much about my role as a mother and learnt so much about myself in the world, through these few months with them. I feel in so many ways I have been so unclear about how I am mean’t to guide these children. I think for a long time I had fallen into a pattern that I thought was right because many others around me were doing the same. It certainly wasn’t wrong but it wasn’t me, wasn’t us. I guess I hadn’t really connected with what it was that I wanted to pass onto my children and in spending this time with them I am discovering that more and more. I am more secure in myself as a mother, not worrying about what others may think or say of how I choose to bring up my children. This has been something I struggled with a lot in the early days of motherhood, feeling such judgement in even a few passing words from others. I really feel I am enough for my children, I don’t always get it right, I am in constant learning as well, I am full of flaws. But I am enough!

So I hope this gives you a bit more of a feel of the new direction of my blog.. I’m just gonna tell it how it feels really. I hope that, that’s enough for you to keep reading and sharing with your friends xx This experience is all about following your authenticity and heart so I really hope you follow and join this journey with us.

Sending love and light All

Ax

Botanical Gardens… Learning opportunities in every adventure….

As we are very early on in our homeschooling journey I feel no real pressure to enforce learning. The kids naturally do it, crazy thought, we all do! Through their busy and inquiring minds they ask many questions, they initiate ideas or adventures, they probe for information. I guess what we do as parents is provide opportunity to seize a moment, to pursue an interest that is expressed or facilitate learning where we possibly can. Although parents, we naturally do all this from our children’s births, so it feels like a natural progression. We love seeing these little humans achieve and evolve. We will do anything to see them reach their fullest potential, it’s just what we do.

We are all so unique, diversity amongst our culture is imperative to our survival. So why does it feel like the agenda of the education system is to fit us all in a box? Do we dare to unbox ourselves? Crazy thought and unfathomable for some, but the more that I look at the current set up and weigh up what the “pros” are to it, I see less and less value in a system that is not set up with a holistic approach and the absolute wellbeing of the child’s mind, body and spirit. It’s set up for productivity and box handling.

Our goal for our children is to create a space where they can find themselves in freedom, security and in the time they need. Just when I begin to worry that we may possibly ruin our children for life (as the scary world can make you believe), they show me in action why we want to pursue this path. They remind me that they have given me the absolute honour and trust in me 100% as their mother to guide them and I too should trust in their strong and courageous spirits. Both so different, both so loving but both on a strong path of push and pull.

We recently visited the Botanical Gardens in Sydney amongst this AMAZING autumn weather we have been indulged in. I watched the kids interact with the trees, climbing them, connecting with their enormity and wisdom. They saw so many different plants and creatures. We talked about the colours, textures, botanical names and sheer beauty that nature reflects. At one point my son was gathering all the fallen materials of sticks, leaves and bark and creating an artwork on the side of the footpath of the nature around him. No one told him too, he was inspired by what he was experiencing and followed an impulse from that creative spark, that lead to inquiry and the fulfillment of that inquiry. That right there is what I think I want to teach my children, what I what their education to be built on. To look at the world around them, the beauty and horrendous and let it inspire you to do something great. It maybe a small artwork now but that work will evolve and change with what the inspiration maybe. With the level of engagement and interaction with and amongst the world as that relationship matures. To be inspired by what you see and feel needs to be changed and improved and to promote and fully engage in what resonates and stirs passion within you. That is what we, us humans are here to do right?

So even something that may seem small like a stroll through the park can invite all sorts of learning on an emotional, physical and spiritual level. Kids are so intuitive, so adventurous and so beautifully carefree and creative. Let’s not squash that by setting boxes to tick,  grades to meet or potentially “fail”, or timeframes to live within. Let’s be encouraging an environment that promotes and fosters self-awareness and assertiveness a love for learning and life. A connection and respect to family, the earth, life and yourself. Let’s give our kids the space and time to reach their fullest potential whatever wonderful, weird or wacky way that might be expressed or even and hopefully a combination of  all and more!

A xx

Field Trips – Wollongong 

This weekend we extended our weekend, due to Anzac Day and headed out of town . We’ve have had a couple of science museums on our radar in Wollongong for a while and so we decided as it was Miss 2’s b’day we would celebrate as a family on a little adventure.

We didn’t really get Little A any gifts (she managed to get so many from family and friends anyhow). We have decided that we would prefer to give the kids more experiences over material gifts for birthdays. So we try to encourage this as much as possible.

I had seen somewhere, probably in my constant, addictive googling! That there was a kids only museum in Wollongong. THE KIDS EARLY START LEARNING SPACE. I thought this sounded pretty cool and as Mr 4 loves going to museums and anything science based, (and Miss 2 loves anything her older brother likes), it’s been on the radar for sometime. We decided to get there as early as it opened and I think this was a good idea because by lunch time it was pretty packed. We went on a Saturday but it was the tail end of school holidays so that could also be a factor. The space was awesome in the 3.5hours we spent there, the kids were busy and engaged the whole time. There were many different areas and it catered for many different learning abilities. I loved how hands on it was. They run shows throughout the day also. We didn’t get to either of them as the kids were “too busy”. Some of the activity areas included an area for human body where you could brush oversized teeth, human body puzzles, books and charts. Felt wall hanging where you could move body parts, human body torso, that you could take body parts in and out of to discover where they were positioned in the body.  The shop and cafe, this was probably by far the kids favourite area. My kids LOVE creative, imaginative play and being able to get their own shopping trolley fill it up with groceries, take it to the register was right up their alley. There was a little pizza and sandwich making space, like a cafe restaurant and the parents could take a seat and the kids could come over take your order and make some food. It was super cool. They also had a giant mouth and esophagus that the kids could crawl through and see how the food travels. Another highlight with its burping and farting noises! There was a huge pirate ship to play on, a building site to get right into and loads of musical and dress up areas and activities. Like I said we were there for almost 4 hours and if the kids weren’t totally exhausted we could have stayed longer as they loved it. The cost of entry was $60 for 2 adults and 2 kids. I would highly recommend this space if you live near, or visit regularly the Wollongong area. Even if you are passing through its definitely worth a visit.

The next day we visited THE SCIENCE CENTRE AND PLANETARIUM. When we heard there was a planetarium in town we knew without a doubt that we had to go. Mr 4 has had such a strong interest in space, planets and all things astrology for some time now! When we told him we were going he was pumped. The planetarium does a few shows daily and it’s really worth a visit. You are looking up into space and seeing constellations and then go on a ride through space with some alien friends. It was super cool and miss 2 and mr 4 both sat through the 1/2 hour show without so much as a peep. Actually so did mum and dad!!

The science centre also runs a bubble and balloons show. Which was fantastic. It again goes for approximately half an hour and is a demonstration and a few experiments. Mr 4 got up and volunteered to be a helper in an experiment which was great to see. Usually not so confident in standing up in front of a crowd like that. It really showed me how when a child is engaged in something and has that wanting to learn they will. They will let you know when they are ready.

The actual Science Centre itself was also pretty neat. There were many displays and it’s set over 2 levels. Lots of hands on and tactile learning to be done. Some of the displays included bee keeping, the effects of earthquakes, dinosaurs, parachute/gravity, electricity and magnets, plus so much more! I also loved watching how Miss 2 and Mr 4 navigated the space so differently, they both went on everything but were getting different things from it and that was really cool to see. Again we spent another half a day here and the kids were very much engaged the whole time. My recommendation especially with little kids would be to check out the show times online before you go and arrange your visit around that. Again the cost of entry was $60 for 2 adults and 2 kids. I would also suggest taking your own lunch as the cafe is full of snack type food and not a lot of healthy options.

So we loved this as a bit of a birthday get away and treat for my daughter. It was heaps better than presents that she wouldn’t remember and it was not only educational but a lovely chance for us to connect as a family. The kids were pumped about the adventure to get down there, the thrill of sleeping in a hotel and getting to out and visit heaps of fun stuff! The greatest moments are those shared amongst our loved ones. I love sharing experiences where we are learning together.. Being able to watch my kids and see them grow not only in a literal sense but in a spiritual sense is such a divine gift.

Please if you have any questions don’t be afraid to ask or if there is anything else you think i should add let me know!

 

Many blessings xx

Project Painting Pots and Sowing Seeds..

This week we have set ourselves a little project to paint some terracotta pots that we have bought and plants some seeds for herbs and strawberries. I wanted to break this down to show how one project can cross so many activities, subjects, discussions and interests. Also how both my 2 and 4.5yr old are learning different things from the same project. This project idea sparked from, as many do the enquiring and creative mind of my 4.5yr old. He asked if we could grow something and I was surely open to that.

Firstly we have gone on a shopping trip to buy what we need. (Generally if I have the time I will try and source things second hand or try to make things as sustainable and cost effective as possible). So we put together a list: (O isn’t writing as yet so I write the list with his guidance and input.) When doing things like this I always ask if he knows how to spell a word? or things like “what letter does he think peppermint would start with?” to keep him engaged and co creating as much as possible.

*Seeds, 8 pots,  8 pot dishes, soil, watering cans, spades. (we have our arts supplies of paint brushes ect at home so we don’t need to purchase these)

When we get to the shop we find the pots, I get him to count them as I put them in the trolley. His sister joins in. I ask him a few questions like “ok so far we have 5 pots in the trolley in order to get 8  how many more will we need?” He counts up and replies 3! Awesome a pressure free maths lessons right there! These things are not preconcieved but seem to spontaneously happen, organically the questions, answers and knowledge seems to flow.

We continue to collect everything on our list, letting the kids be as hands on as possible as this is their project. We collect everything and manage to get ourselves and our bits and bobs into the car and home.

When we get home I put my youngest down for her afternoon nap. I then set O up with his paint, brushes and the pots and tell him to decorate the pots anyway he chooses. After doing one he asks if I would join him and help him with painting some of the pots. I sit with him and start on one. Then he asks of help to paint a galaxy. I tell him ok lets do it together. I ask him to paint the pot black and after it drys I will paint some planets and we can paint some stars together. So we do. We do lots of different patterns and O is getting very confident in mixing colours and experimenting with making different shades, depths and layers. We continue to paint and make each pot unique and different.

After my daughter wakes up from her nap we check the pots and they are dry so we decide to get our potting mix, tools, seeds and watering cans out so that we can plant the seeds. All 3 of us each grab a pot and start to fill them up. Lil A loves any excuse to get dirty but I am noticing how well she is digging the soil and then placing in the pot. It’s so interesting to see how much she learns and absorbs from her older brother by just watching and mimicking what he does.We fill all the pots up. I had written down the names of the herbs on paddle pop sticks and laid them all one the floor and all the seed packets next to them, in no particular order. I then asked O to pick a packet of seeds and try to find the corresponding paddle pop stick. So after he matched correctly he could open the packet, pop the seeds in, cover them, water the soil and then place the paddle pop stick in so we can remember which pot is which. He goes and does this for each of the packets until he is done. Meanwhile I am showing Miss A how to use the watering can and she is having a ball adding extra water to the seedlings. We all then help to pack away and clean up all the mess we have made.

The next day I sit down with O and chat about our project. We are both curious to see which seeds will sprout first. I ask him if he thinks it would be a good idea if we track there progress over the next 4 weeks? He is pretty happy with that idea so we do up a very basic little chart and plan to track and monitor the progress of the seeds. He already has the responsibility of watering them but now he can take special note of any changes while he does. O then asked if he could take photos of the pots this week and then also on the following weeks to keep a visual log as well. I thought it was a great idea and gave him my phone to do so. On the back of the chart I drew up for him he also practiced spelling some of the herb names. He is a perfectionist and so I try not to push with his writing as he always thinks its not “neat” enough, or ‘good’ enough. I always tell him it takes practice and just try to encourage him to write words here and there as long periods seem to get stressful and distressing. He is only 4.5 and can spell some basic words but I can see the pressure he puts on himself already, I certainly don’t want to exaserbate that so I find sometimes it’s better to give them space to come to things in their own time. When the readiness and willingness is there. I just try and create the space and opportunity for the learning to occur when they are ready to take it on.

So that is that, we will keep an eye, water and tend to our little baby seeds for the time being. We will also monitor and record whatever happens and put together a little poster of our findings at the end. But I hope you can see how when a child has an inquiry or interest in something that you can extend on that, in your everyday life and they can learn across many different subjects from one small project. I feel like things like this, pop up all the time in life and we just allow space and encourage the kids to follow and find out the answers to their own questions. They can express their learning in creative and artistic ways, psychical skills, literacy and numeracy skills and also fostering a connection to life and the earth while learning without pressure. Meanwhile we are learning and growing as a family and individuals, side by side in a loving and nurturing environment.

 

Hope this inspires you with a little project of your own! Learning can come from any interaction, any interest, any moment all you have to do is tap into it. Let the child guide you x

blessings to all

 

 

Standardised testing what is it that we hope to achieve?

I am not anti school, nor is it that I have disregard for educating my children. It’s actually the opposite I am very invested in my children’s education and that’s exactly what has lead me to consider and approach home educating my children.

I think school could be amazing and I am sure there are many that are, but I don’t think one stream of education can possibily suit and get the best out of every single individual out there. Sure I had a pretty decent education in a mainstream setting but I always wonder if I had been given the chance, allowed the time and space to evolve creatively and academically, supported and nurtured allowing one to just be, how different my path could have been. I have no regrets as it’s all a journey and process but it’s only now as I open myself up to “un schooling and natural learning” that I realise the true value and wealth in it. We are born with the natural desire to learn and we should want to learn for life unless that is beaten out of us by what people define education to be. By the dictation of facts and fictions, rules and regulations that make up our days by what we have now become to know as necessity, mainstream education.

One of my main dislikes in the education system is the constant evaluation, comparison, competition and utter anxiety brought on by the relentless standardised testing. This model seems completely unnecessary and who is it really benefiting?  Why exactly do we need to mark and rank our children? Are we not just putting them in a box and telling them what their capabilities are and not really allowing them to truly reach their potential and then some? And what about those kids who excel at things that they may not get the chance to be tested on? We all have different gifts and talents, we are not meant to be perfect at everything so why not just allow children (and adults for that matter) to just love what they love, to focus and channel their energies on that?

Are we scared that if we don’t constantly monitor or control our children grades that they will fail out their in the real world? Do these grades really indicate how “smart” our kids are? How capable they are? Time and time again we hear of people who have succeeded in life coming from an unconventional upbringing, having little to no education (or education how we define it), even people who didn’t attend school or were “drop outs”. They were not constantly tested or evaluated. They followed their interests, passions found a persistence in learning all they could to ultimately rise above and beyond. People such as Aretha Franklin, Quentin Tarantino, Bill Gates, Ringo Starr, Richard Branson, Doris Lessing, Enzo Ferrari just to name a few and there are many more. All succeeded without finishing or attending school, all household names who have changed, moulded and guided the way in their chosen careers and areas.

Is it from a government or education body that these streamline tests are enforced? Is it more about lifting the schools/education departments profile to justify the money spent to attend? Making it enticing for you to spend your cash, investing in your children future. When you think about it what purpose does ranking children have to benefit the child? None really. We all know where our strengths and weaknesses lie and if we don’t life surely presents opportunities to highlight them. When the time comes you will step up to the challenge but in the meantime I don’t think placing a child in the top class or bottom class does anything beneficial but pigeonhole them and create stress and anxiety to either maintain or keep up before you get left behind.

I want school to be about fostering a love for learning, building a safe environment to grow, learn and tap into your truest potential. Not the constant barrage of testing and the environment of encouraging unhealthy competition. We need not promote to compete with anyone else but yourself. We are not here to be better than others and rate our worth against theirs, more to be the best we can be, to reach our greatest potential. To tap into our gifts and talents and utilise them. For me as a mother I don’t need the constant reassurance that my child is performing on par with his peers, that he is the best or worst at something, that he has the potential to reach great things if he can manage sit still in a class and reiterate information that most likely won’t serve him throughout his life and will be forgotten. I want my child to be the best at being them they can be. The spelling, the math they will learn it when they need not under our projection of what our needs and wants are but when they need and want to know. I want them to have a passion to seek information as they need it and utilise to tap into their desires and goals. I have come to learn in my own life, that we will get there, there being wherever we want that to be. All in which  we need to know is within us and for me showing a child the path to connecting to that is far greater than any knowledge that a school can provide.

“The medicine for my suffering, I have had within me all along.” Bruce Lee

 

 

 

 

Play doh Sundays

As we woke this Sunday morning I myself was quite tired but happy to have had a bit of relief from the heat overnight. The weeks have been hot down here in Australia as to be expected at this time of year, but upon waking to a overcast and cooler morning I truly felt grateful.

We pottered around the house with usual Sunday morning activities, breakfast, play it was a gentle to start to the day. We started talking about what we wanted to do for the day and as the drizzle of rain continued outside we decided something crafty might be fun. We wanted to use what we had at home so to the cupboards we searched and then we googled. After googling a little we thought making some homemade play doh might be fun. Although we had most the ingredients but not quiet all. So Dad and lil O made a list and under took the mission of the 10 minute drive up to the shop for some salt and food colouring.

We sat, all for of us and started to measure and follow the recipe we had found online. It was lovely to watch both kids so engaged and having a ball using their hands to knead the doh.As  we made red play doh first, it is O’s favourite colour it opened up a discussion about primary colours and secondary colours. Also questioning if we mixed this colour with this colour what would be the result? There is something so grounding about making something with your hands, feeling it, plying it, creating it and enjoying it. It’s a special gift to give your children to make your own things, not always store bought. Their is such a sense of achievement and joy.

Time flew by and we had such a beautiful family morning doing something that was inexpensive, kids loved it, we connected and engaged, we learnt something and the thing I was most pleased about was that both kids seemed to connect and enjoy equally. It was one of those moments that kinda happened organically and felt like such a beautiful space to be present in. It’s really something special to connect as a family, to get into a rhythm in which you are all in sync. I find with small children this can be challenging at times as their are so many variables and ultimately they are just dealing with so much (as are we generally.)

Here is the recipe we used

PLAY DOH RECIPE

2 cups plain flour

1 cup salt

1 cup cold water

1 tbs oil  (we used vegetable oil worked great)

2 drops food colouring or as needed ( we used a bit more )

  • optional glitter  we added this in at the end for some fun it did get everywhere but had a cool affect

PROCESS:

  • Combine plain flour and salt
  • Add water, food colouring and oil. Mix well till combined
  • Knead till you can roll in a ball
  • If consistency is too wet add more flour
  • Add glitter if desired

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I highly recommend doing this with your kids and I would love to hear or see how you go so please comment if you try and like it. Take some time time to play and connect, enjoy and watch the little souls shine. You may even relax and have some fun too.

Peace

 

Empowered to Home Educate

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.

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Please get behind  events like this as it is so important to show our support and connect within our community.

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.

Peace

Our Life’s Teachers

As I tap into myself more and really look around me I have come to realise that I have surrounded myself with my teachers. Some have been placed in my life and others I have sought after, few I have stumbled across. At different points I have attracted different teachers to help me learn the lessons I have needed to for that time and space in my life. Teachers aren’t always positive people or role model material, sometimes quite the opposite but they are present to help us understand the lessons on our journey.

We are all but human trying to decipher this unique experience and through connecting and interconnecting we learn and attempt to figure it all out. It’s overwhelming, epic and abundant on so many levels. I feel blessed for the teachers I have had in the past all the good and not so because when I look around at the people I have, my teachers who I intentionally have in my life I feel like I am learning and growing as a woman and human being in depths like I never have before. It’s from those previous teachers who I have allowed to shadow negativity on me that I have learnt the lessons that have empowered me not to go back to that but forward, not go low but high and away from the dark and towards the light. To let the light workers in my life, for me to watch, admire and model on. Some of those beautiful souls have been there from the beginning and I really understand how lucky I have been to be born into a loving family, have my siblings and family who have guided me continuously and lovingly. Accepting me flawed and yet lovingly human.

I have realised some of my greatest teachers have been much younger than me, much older than me, sometimes we have barely spoken a common language, they have been people that I have met so briefly but their impact imprinted deeply, I have come to realise that sometimes people are placed directly in your path with intention and reason. Sometimes you wonder why, or brush them off as you having nothing to learn from them but in hindsight they bared great gifts of knowledge, wisdom and insight.

I look at my two young children now how my baby mimics her brother, watching him intensely, admiring him and his skill, adoring him. My son has learnt patience, compassion and tolerance from his little sister and they continue to teach each other on a psychical, spiritual and emotional level. They are one of each other greatest teachers and as I watch them grow and learn from each other, I too am learning, reflecting and finding a great understanding in this connected experience. That we are all great teachers  of some kind to people we know we have impacted and others we don’t even realise. We are also students learning and growing from the people we place in our lives intentionally and for those who have been placed in way we must stop and take note of the lessons they bring to us, in order for us to grow and create the change in our lives.

My children are teaching me daily and through the lessons they have taught me I am a much better person, I can only hope I can return the knowledge and that i can be a woman, mother and teacher that they to can learn from and want to emulate. For the meantime I indulge in watching them learn and grow, change and mould into the beautiful light beings they are! What joy there is when we learn and teach along side each other.

Love and light all xx

Making the light rail

He is the king of craft and loves painting. From as soon as he has been able to create with glue, scissors, paper, paint and whatever he can find around the house he has. We don’t watch a lot of tv in our home, mostly on the weekends we allow the kids to watch movies and abc channel (so we can all have a bit of a break!) but as soon as he saw the Mister Maker show he was obsessed.

And so it begin the world of craft and art has opened up for us and the kid is on fire. We save old food packaging and boxes, toilet rolls and newspaper and store them up for when inspiration strikes. Sometimes we get our inspiration from blogs, books or instagram but a lot of the time Otis will say I want to make a …. and off we go to try and make it out of what we have at home. It is a nice way to engage with the kids and really just let them do their thing and explore their creativity.

We have noticed how much enjoyment he gets in playing with his handmade toys and gets a real buzz in a way in which the store bought toys don’t measure. He let’s his imagination run wild and off he goes into space, the human body where ever he desires. It gives him a confidence in his ability to create, to make a plan and follow it through. He has a real passion for science and Space is a really big interest for him and has been for some time. Also the human body, transport and food are subjects he is commonly drawn to. So a lot of our projects have been covering these topics.

So last weekend Otis woke and decided it would be a great idea to make a light rail (tram) he decided to paint an old  milk bottle into one. We have made many transport and spaceships but I was really impressed with his technique in this and although it was simple to execute it was something achievable on his own. Craft and project based learning doesn’t always have to be complicated it can be so simple and they love it.

What better way to spend the weekend then creating with loved ones. Hope this little video inspires you…