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.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Learning At Home

There are so many ways of learning at home.  So many people willing to tell you the rules and the do's and the don'ts.  I came across this beautiful photo blog post the other day, and it inspired me.....

We first put our feet on the path when we had a little Griffyn, nearing 5, and his best mate and side kick Lilly, who was always ready to don a cape or a sword, or to play dead.

Life was so uncomplicated and free range.  Playing with Henrietta Chicken Pants The Skirt Girl, or coming along with us in the bus, to all the places we went, in the living of our lives.

After shopping through South Australia and Victoria for schools, we all came to the decision that we'd rather stay together, and homeschool.  Or unschool us, in particular, while we learnt from idle parenting, slow parenting, self organisation, Sir Ken Robinson, and life experience.

We've observed and learnt from neuroscience and ethnopaediatrics and attachment parenting, and realised that it's all about bonding.  Bonding is given nowhere near enough attention, as it's the glue that holds us all together.  

Bonding is what the roman empire, who is still in control of our planet by the way, learnt early how to disrupt, break, and undo, in order to keep their conquered lands conquered.  

Bonding is what our indigenous ancestors knew in their relationships with their families, lands, animals and homes.   Bonding is what glues all our groups and people together.  It's what we're prepared to fight and die for.

Instead of going off to a special place to learn, with a whole bunch of other unattached children their own age, we stay together and bond as a family.  We find that we're all learning all the time, in everything we do, and with everyone we meet.

We started off being such purists, wanting them to eat only organic, never watch television, have no gadgets, be sheltered from the world.

But we learnt that through forbidding things, we made them far more tempting.  Balance is essential in everything.  Especially as they're going to venture into the world where everything is possible.  We need to prepare them.  

So they play, and negotiate, and self organise, and flow around each other and around our life situations, and feel their way into interactions with family always at their backs.  

As our family kept growing, there was always someone to play with, someone who was patient, and something going on.

We've always lived in rural situations, on communities, or with family, trying our best to live and share with other people.

Which has brought out the best and worst, in us and other people.  And taught our kids a lot along the way, about relationships, and sharing, and projection and denial.  

But we've been there for each other, as a big tribe or mob.

Our kids spend a lot of time laughing and playing and telling each other stories, and we support them in their interests, and follow as far as we can down the rabbit holes with them.

Whatever we're doing, whether it's making, learning, gaming, playing or crafting, it's likely we'll have company.  We like doing things together.

We've also learnt about how amazing it is to have a father as part of our lives, not off working and seen on weekends.  A dad who's part of everyday life and living and learning.

We've learnt from animals, most especially about life and death, from our environment and surroundings, we've learnt from documentaries, Google and Youtube, games - both on screen and in real life, we've learnt from everything we can lay our hands on or imagine.

Even watching tends to be a contact sport.  They know all about product placement, and marketing strategies, and how much it will challenge us if they sing us some ads.  

I really love what Michael Leunig had to say about learning from life.

"Well they learn, you see, children want to learn.  I think healthy children just, you can't stop them learning and so you've got to provide, it's a matter of provision.  You create an environment where they are keen and eager to, and curious, and so, for instance, my daughter, Minna, loves her horses.  She has a couple of horses and the horse is the teacher at that point.  When they're walking across the paddock, paddock is the teacher, the snake that crawls in front of them is the teacher.  When they're helping fix a fence or fix the pump, that is the teacher.  Children's eyes go to things, they sparkle when they see something, so you say, "OK, we'll go there.  We follow that".  You follow things."

He also said at the end of his homeschooling process,