Hellena Post - Creatrix

I've tried on so many uniforms and badges that now I'm just me - mother of 8 children and all that entails, flowmad, and human animal parent. Writer of this living book of a blog, philosopher, and creatrix of hand dyed and spun crocheted wearable art. I gave up polite conversation years ago, and now I dive into the big one's.....birth, sex, great wellness, life, passion, death and rebirth.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Unschooling for everyone....

Having some amazing unschooling moments recently....now I've got over myself as being the 'teacher', I'm learning as much as they are about the things their interests are leading us all too! Balthazar using his potty for the first time becomes learning about positive reinforcement, reading a kids book about a snow plough turns into a discussion about lighting the methane gas in the permafrost in Siberia.....and walking on the beach becomes a physical demonstration of the weather patterns in a mountain range in Argentina. They're comparing what they see in documentaries with what they see around them all the time, comparing the liquid of air to the liquid of water, to the liquid that moves really slowly of the earth....

They play and make things everywhere they go, and create fun wherever they are.

No props needed, no text books or tests, just life experiences and comparisons and input.    A day spent trying to work out drainage on the driveway, become a huge example of how the two rivers of the Amazon come together and blend their different colours.

Having a big argument turns into a conversation about what we can make from the things we find in a small radius on the ground, which becomes building a village – the process of which was incredible. First Lilly made a garden with a bark fence, dug up soil, and leaves stuck in, and all roads radiated out from that, then Spiral made the pit for the pit toilets and put in the water tank, which was an upside down pot, then we all made houses and dwellings from bark and sticks, and Griff made a dwelling for the elders out of stone, then we all moved on to the hole in the ground under the grass tree that we decided was the hole of the bunyip, so Griff made a sign that said 'Alfie the bunyip lives here, please respect', and we dug a swimming hole with a bark bridge over it. Currawong came along and made a mountain out of leaves and bark, more roads were put in to get to it all, and Griff designed a dwelling that led to some serious discussions on the community about potential building concepts, which pleased him no end.

And we're starting to record our stories and what we're learning in a big black book, and the kids are right on the money with making it real and factual and truthful, remembering details that might have eluded me.  We've had a tremendous and huge amount of joy visiting the Botanic Gardens in Adelaide, spending whole days observing and experiencing the park in parts.  One day was spent smelling all the roses, and oohing and aahhing about the colours.  And another was spent in the Cactus Garden.

And they've also been learning a lot about animals, and in particular chickens.  They've taught themselves how to pick them up, and encourage them to sit on shoulders, and find every thing about them a complete delight.

And sometimes all they need is some clay or mud, and they can make a game out of that too.

When I leave them alone to learn, I'm astonished about how their minds work in so many fresh ways. How their lateral thinking seems to have no bounds, and their creative solutions to everything they come across is endlessly amazing. How everything they see triggers memories of similar things they've seen before. I know I keep labouring that point, but it's really struck me that all the very best things I've learnt for myself in my life have been learnt from a combination of life experience and comparison. We read our kids stacks of books, but there is a huge difference between the attention they give books, and the attention they give us when we're telling them something 'real', or a story from our lives that applies to what's happening at the moment. Being left to their own initiation, I'm amazed at how purposeful and driven they are to create and learn! Self motivation is a wonderful thing to observe....

And it strikes me that it really is unschooling....not so much for them as for US! Learning to let go of what other people think, the ways that we've been taught to learn, thinking that we're more knowledgeable, or should be in a heirarchical position and 'teach' them. Thinking they have to have 'outcomes' or ways to prove to other people their intelligence, which is what they do naturally in every conversation they have. And the big one of course, letting go of needing to run with the pack of mainstream culture, and really taking pride and delight in our path less travelled and what it teaches us all on a daily basis...


  1. are you a jeannine parvati baker fan, dear madam ?my name is babz covington , i am a mostly retired midwife from america.i homeschooled my kids and truely they were unschooled before it was a concept. i now have graduated to midwifing the dying. i am blessed , feels like you are, too.

  2. Isn't it great living the process of unschooling. So awesome to read about your experinces.

  3. Babz I love you:) Glad we 'met' on facebook. And Ariad, so glad you think so, cause you inspire the hell outta me!! Hopefully we'll meet up at an unschooling conference sometime...


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