Ollie is a perfect example of a child who was born to be unschooled!
By four years of age he had his first army issue ration pack, helmet, and blanket given to him by a friend. His interest in the army has grown, expanded and endured over the years. His passion for gear is phenomenal. His knowledge of his passion and it’s surrounding subjects is huge and well used.
Ollie as an 8 year old soldier
Ollie loves survival. He has had a consuming interest in army gear, rations packs, first aid and clothing. His bedroom is bristling with knives, flints, lighters, rope and other survival gear.
It usually looks at though a bomb went off in an outdoors shop.
Then he discovered Survival Kits! Oh boy! Check this out –
If you ever weren’t sure what passion looked like then come and see Ollie in action. He is so sure about what he loves. He doesn’t want toys – hasn’t done for years. He only wants random things that can be use in a survival situation. For years now I have been buying tin foil. cooking bags (good for water carriers), cotton wool, first aid supplies. He is a delight to buy presents for as I get to shop at outdoor shops! He only wears army issue clothing or good quality outdoor gear.
He reads autobiographies, alot of non-fiction survival books, some adventure books, but only those with a strong survival element – like Gary Paulsen’s “Hatchett” series – perfect!
Plus of course Harry Potter!
An 8 year old Ollie as Olivander from Harry Potter. He made all these wands and is selling them.
A few years ago he managed to round up a groups of willing local friends who would allow him to command them. It was his dream he said to have an army to lead. He was in heaven and took the game very seriously, his eyes were seriously glowing and how amazing it was to here a 9 year old saying he was living his dream!
The Captain and his troops
The troops were all in uniform (we have a large supply of army issue stuff). He made them march, salute, take on certain roles around the army camp they created – lookout etc. The other kids all respected him and gave it their best and have often asked if they could play armies. They would go on route marches and practice various manouvers.
Ollie’s dream come true
Ollie has read voraciously on all related subjects. He seems to remember everything he has read, seen and heard about. His of powers of observation are acute.
Bear Grylls? Ollie is his number one fan and could be his second in command at a drop of a hat (except for the eating bugs thing maybe….)
So he knows his knots, his first aid, his wild food, how to make shelters, fires and find water and food in extreme situations.
Professions that interest him are the police, army, customs, and anything ourdoorsy. As a natural leader and great teacher he would do well in a teaching situation.
Another big role model for Ollie is Steve. We have been lucky enough over the years to have “survival school” with Steve and Jenny along with our homeschool group. Various places, ages, skills, activities and games all delivered with a gentle respect for the environment and for our own instincts, senses and love of nature, Check out what Steve does – http://human.org.nz/.
You can see Ollie in the orange tee shirt if you open the wild child page!
Then we have Scouts!
Four years ago, Wayne and two other friends each with 2 boys, started a local chapter of cubs and then as the boys grew, Scouts too. They have built up a great community group and provide a wonderful place for the kids involved to grow.
Cub and Scout mates
For Ollie , Scouts is the most perfect organisation. And he just loves it. He is in heaven now he is a patrol leader and spends alot of time thinking up schemes and plans of things he could do with them. He is such a leader and takes great pride in his patrol. He wants to teach them to march and has researched and read about traditional Scouting practices that he would like to see re-instated. Now he is focused on the Jamboree in a years time.
Ollie as a cub at a Zone activity
He has also started working as a trainee cub leader and takes a big role in teaching skills and organising games with the younger children (Charlie included!) He reads about things other packs do and then gets to try them out. Such a fantastic opportunity for him. He is up late at night writing away – lists of things, planning the next cub session. And he is an avid badge collector. He just bought a new a Scout shirt and has started a Scout blanket for his old badges. He has lists of what he wants to achieve and is motivated to get the work done for a badge.
At a local area Cub trolley derby!
As mentioned previously Ollie (along with Charlie and Wayne) has been doing Tae Kwon Do this year…and just loves it! The discipline, the physical-ness, the class structure, the belt system – they are all yellow belt green tip.
I have learned the following about Ollie in the last 11 years –
He thinks deeply and remembers everything.
He likes time to process things.
He does things intensely and for long periods of time (Titanic 4 months, army 7 yrs so far…)
He loves people and gets his motivation from others.
He is kind and nurturing to younger children and a worthy role model.
His main love languages are touch and time. http://www.5lovelanguages.com/
He is a night owl.
Him and I still cry if we talk about his first day at school and we both are so grateful that he isn’t at school.
He is very sensitive and feels deeply.
He can express himself well.
There are plenty of reasons why he would have curled up and died (metaphorically) at school,. He often thanks me for homeschooling him. He is so grateful for our lifestyle, it makes any hard days so worthwhile to have such great feedback.
Some more photos
Ollie with best mate and cousin Finn on one of many camping expeditions
Boiling up a billy on a hobo stove – pine needle tea as Bar Grylls has done
Ollie entered his first tri-athalon this year and just loved it!
He definitely wants to do some more this summer.
The man and his mountain.
A ten year old Ollie and Mt Ngauruhoe