Monthly Archives: April 2013

STUFF….

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I feel as though I have been on a de-cluttering mission for a couple of years now.  If it is not beautiful to look at or I haven’t used it for 6 months/one year…then out it goes!

Very interesting process and great for letting  go.

Now we are packing up, the kids are packing up their rooms (in case Wayne can get a boarder in…) and it is a good time to be doing it.  It feels as though when we return we will be different.  New phases will be entered, old ones no longer relevant.   Childhood toys not needed, unused birthday presents moved on, new posters on the walls….This physical clearing is a good symbolic gesture which says…”Change? Bring it on!”

Change is good.  I love change.  I love the new.  Life is no static entity. We are born to be dynamic, to grow and change like the planet does and  like the whole universe does.  If we stagnate  we die.  If not physically then emotionally or spiritually.

“Apples and kingdoms ripen and fall and nothing matters, nothing at all”

So back to ‘stuff’.  I am really impressed that all three children have said to me this week how they are looking forward to living out of a small pack, having a simple life with less stuff.  Charlie was even reading about the stone age the other day and said how great it sounded and how he would like to live more that that!!  I totally get what he means.

Charlie collects bones, corks, stones, small tins, souvenir spoons, teddies and has a small empire of Star Wars Lego.  Yet he will happily travel and live without all that (although he says he will be collecting stamps and spoons on our travels….).  I know he will make do with what  there is at the time.

Ollie has the contents of a not-so-small survival/outdoor shop in his room, plus now his prepping so we are talking about 6 months supply of food, water, medical and toiletry items….

Hannah’s room is like a museum.  Her walls are covered complety with interesting bits and pieces, she has collections of hats, scares, belts, bags, two huge book cases full of books…..

Yet she is excited about the idea of packing it all up.  I love that.
I feel so grateful that the kids are embracing this adventure and have the understanding that stuff is just that…stuff, nothing really important.

I know full well that the second we step on the plane all  the things we have left behind will seem unimportant, none of us will be hankering after any stuff we didn’t bring.

Wayne did mumble something about getting a skip bin in while we are away…

Some strong unschooling words

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I have copied this from Dayna Martin’s blog, The sparkling Martins.

Radical Unschooling is NOT Permissive Parenting

Posted: 21 Apr 2013 08:22 AM PDT

Over the years, Radical Unschooling has been mistaken for “permissive parenting,” and many judgments have been made about it based on this misbelief. The truth is, Radical Unschooling is an extension of Attachment Parenting philosophy and is a very hands-on, involved approach based on connection, rather than control. The philosophy is about being a child’s partner and focusing on their true needs and helping them get what they want in life through partnership and love, rather than the traditional focus on training a child through behavior modification to meet the parents needs for compliance and obedience.

Radical Unschooling honors the child’s needs just as much as the parents, and a side effect of that is that children grow up learning that everyone’s needs matter equally, not just those in power. After all, children learn what they live!

Most people do not know of any other options, other than control. The only other “logical” thing they know is what our collective culture knows, is that it is being hands-off, or permissive if we are not punishing, or controlling behavior of our children. They view anything other than traditional parenting as neglectful, or lazy, because they have never learned another way. The “experts and authorities” in our culture have done a very good job at selling people the need to be controlled, themselves.

Those raised in an authoritarian paradigm were told that it was all “necessary,” and done for our “own good” and that it was done “out of love.” It was confusing to be trained to meet the adults needs around us. Our behavior was all that mattered and having negative intent assumed from us chipped away at our self-esteem. Being told that power and force was necessary and without it we were not loved or cared for, is one of our cultures biggest lies and one that has been spoon-fed to us for generations. It has become a collective belief.

Our culture indirectly tells us that being nice and respecting children is neglectful and lazy. People do not realize how brainwashed they have been to believe this message! They also do not see that this lie has been passed down for so long, because of the mental anguish it would cause us all if we didn’t buy into this idea. People aren’t ready to see that the disrespect and mistreatment wasn’t necessary for their “own good.” People do not want to face the truth, because it won’t allow them to go on controlling, punishing and training their children any longer and it will force them to finally validate the inner knowing of injustice that was prevalent in their own upbringing and do something different and dare I say, better.

Radical Unschooling is not easy, nor is is lazy. It takes time and effort to find ways to meet the needs of everyone in the family and respect everyone equally! It takes listening, problem solving and critical thinking. It takes patience, understanding and discussion. Some people in our culture don’t want things to change and evolve, because they still want to force others to meet their needs, rather than taking the responsibility to meet their own. They will be very resistant to honoring the basic human rights of children. They desperately want to hold on to an authoritarian paradigm because without it, they need to step up and take full responsibility for their own needs being met. Many will still choose the easy road, of forcing children to obey them, but it is not without dyer consequences to their relationship and connection.

Ignorance is comfortable and easy. Facing the truth causes great pain to our culture, but it is here and staring us all in the face. Children’s rights are next on the human rights agenda and it is happening, right before your eyes.

So many of us are saying, Radical Unschooling is not permissive parenting! It is not lazy, abusive or hands-off. This lie can not be passed down any longer, because an uprising is happening and children and teens are seeing the option for kindness and respect themselves through the eyes of others being raised with more respect and human rights. You can’t repress a conscious, aware generation. The lie can’t survive in a culture that isn’t buying into it anymore.

In the above diagram, you can see where Unschooling falls in the “Compass of Parenting.” I hope this helps you see that there is a lot our culture has yet to learn and those of us walking a path of loving and respecting our children as humans beings and not property. It is truly raising the bar on so many levels, and many people aren’t ready for it yet, but awareness can’t be stopped. We are here to share the truth and open the door for understanding a more respectful, peaceful way to treat children that is modelling and creating more peace, love and connection with the world.

Are you ready?!

How I am staying healthy

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I knew it would be potentially stressful  at this time leading up to a big adventure. Nothing worse than rushing around to get away on hoilday then getting sick when you stop. Been there, done that.
My biggest thing is that  I get so excited and my mind goes crazy at  night thinking of booking numbers and which tee-shirt I should pack,  etc, then I am tired and can get run down…

So when there is anyone sick around me or I feel slightly under the weather at all  I take echinacea.  This is wonderful stuff.  I get ours at The Herb Farm which is a lovely 30 minute walk  away so doubly good for me. –

 http://www.herbfarm.co.nz/

Then I try to be taking a super food of some sort.  Especially a change of season, big things happening etc….So I am having bee pollen.  This is just in little granules and I sprinkle on or mix it in with my breakfast.  This is amazing stuff too.  I certainly feel as though I am taking some energy enhancing drug.   It makes me feel as though I could do anything. leap buildings with a single bound, lift cars,  take off travelling with my kids…..

I like the idea of taking one superfood at a time, having  a break, trying  another…but exceptional circumstances call for  upping the energy levels so I am having spirulina everyday too! (in a smoothie)

I am also doing a herbal body cleanse. (Is this sending my body mixed messages??)

I have some anti germ oil –  a blend of essential oils from The Herb Farm, which smell divine.  This is good for breathing in on planes to counteract all the germs in the re-used air.

The latest advice for jet lag is to take massive doses of Vit C so I have two large jars of that for us to munch on during our flight.

Deep breathing.   Very good.  Recommended.

Exercise.  Ditto.

Affirmations like – I will handle it.
All is well.
It is all happening perfectly

Gratitude.

I am not usually so pre-emptive.  But I feel I need to take enough to keep me going for a couple of months, all those Roman ruins to see….
And I figure it is a kind of insurance for a solid month of kebab and baklava eating….

Two weeks ’til Turkey

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We have only two  weeks to go until our BIG trip.

It is so very exciting and all consuming it has been hard to write of anything else…

Yesterday we picked up a stash of newly minted Turkish Lira – brand spanking new.  As Ollie said we will look like rich tourists if we flash that around so will have to rough them up a bit!

There are so many Kiwis who have travelled in Turkey.  I have firmly divided people into two camps – those who have been before and those who have not. The latter frown slightly when I tell them we are off to Turkey for a month, then instantly say “be careful!’ then
” isn’t there a war on there?” and then
“a month, with kids….??!”

Those  whohave been smile widely and sigh, along with me,  “only a month…?”
“are you going to….?” yes!
“what about…” Oh definately yes!
Then I get the best ever travel stories, mostly revolving around Turkish delight, baklava and the warmth and kindness of the Turkish people.

Mmmmm only a month…oh  yes a month!

So everything is being packed & repacked, loads lightened, then added to.
Some friends who are over in Europe just emailed to say they have three changes of clothes each and that is too much!
Half your clothes, double your money…I know, Iknow…..

We are taking a Banjo-ukulele though….

We are hitting the send-off period now which consists of the following…

1 “lazer tag” session for boys and friends
1 cousin staying for a week
1 early morning (ANZAC day) march  – Scouts and Cubs
4 Storytelling sessions at local libraries – Charlie and I
1 Celidh our band is playing for – me calling dances for the first time…
1 Harvest  festival with homeschool friends
1 Girls night in/bon voyage party for me and my friends
1 garden needing quite a bit of pre winter work…
1 leg wax (that is me, not the kids)
1 4 and a half month trip with three kids to pack for…..

Yep I think that just about covers it!
I have novels to read when it gets too much and need to remember there another world out there, just waiting for us.

Which is the whole point I guess.

The mini world of a boys club

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Charlie has been devouring Secret Seven books and along with  American comics set  in the 1950s (Tubby and Lulu) has developed a huge passion for having a club.

With two local (homeschooled) friends he as made up a club.

They have a name, rules and quite a charter by the sounds of it.  There are plans for a clubhouse to be built upon our return from Europe.

They have been meeting under the house in the “base” there, but have decided that they are too big and want a real clubhouse!

At Easter they had a club Easter treasure hunt (sorry I cannot reveal the club name it would be hazardous to my health…).

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Here they are receiving the instructions for the first clue.

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All very into fariness they had turns reading and picking up the clues.

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The trail took them all over the place….

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But of course they won out in the end with the loot!

I love seeing them so intensely organising a mini world.  They have the rules, the structure, the same things they see in the adult culture around them, mirrored in their own corner of the world.

This age is amazing, they have just got the freedom to step out alone, bike around the village together, go the the local pool together free of adults.  And for a few  years this is coupled with imagination and the joy of seeing the world through their child’s eyes.

So exciting for them.  I remember my own club I had at 10yrs.  It was a “sneaking” club – a bit like what Charlie is into now, spying.

We had badges, a treasury, meetings in our secret hut and used to go off around the community on missions.  Such fun, until adolescence sneaks up and pushes it all away.

So long live the Club and I look forward to the building of the new club house in the spring when we return….unless Wayne wants a nice winter project….!!!.

Living in the NOW

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So here I am three weeks and 3 days out from our big trip.  I spend hours a day in Turkey already….should we go to Troy?  Is there a train instead of an overnight bus?  Oh wow look at those ruins…we must go there (note in my book…)

When I look up there is washing to hang out, meals to make, children to talk to…and thanks goodness for that.
Are the kids interested in  how much a Gallipoli tour is? No!
Do they care whether or not we plan to visit this place or that? No!

They are masters of living in the present.
While I am already packing up a lot of stuff and thinking ahead they remind me to be here, today.  They are still totally enjoying being here.  For them our trip isn’t happening today, so it is out of sight and out of mind.
They have no interest in looking at maps with me, or reading up the history of the places we will go.
(I know this will happen when we are actually there.)

I have been returning from my morning walks realising I have been in Europe in my head the whole time….
So even though I am a great believer in visualisation and in dreaming up your future, I am well balanced by my kids who keep me grounded in the joy of daily life as well.
Hannah says there is no point in getting all excited now, she says it is too exhausting to sustain such excitement for so long.  And she is  so right.  I know how excited they will all be.
Charlie says he will pack the day before we go.

I am feeling pretty exhausted.  Too much emotional energy and excitement.

So I am off to ground myself, cook something, read a book to Charlie, go for a walk and smell the roses…..

Just think I will be walking by the Bospherus in 4 weeks….

No more unschooling….

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No doubt you know how much I don’t like the label “”unschooling” or any label for that matter…I guess that labels can be handy at times  they act as a a marker for others, a flag a “shout out.”  This can be really helpful if you want to connect up with others quickly who may be on the same journey as yourselves.

I have always felt as an “unchooling” parent that one of my main roles is to take my children out into the world and to bring the world to my children.

There is a term that fits this too -“World schooling”  that really appeals to the traveller in me and even when at home I feel we are world schooling.

However there are many folks out there travelling with their children who use this term to describe the education their children are receiving.

And in 4 short weeks we are joining them!
We are embarking on a big adventure and I feel I can confidently say that I will be  “worldschooling” our kids!

We are off to Turkey for a month, Switzerland, then England for the northern summer!  (home via Paris and Bali in September…)

Yeeeeeeha!
This has been a big dream of mine for a long time and with growing children (two of them now adult fares) I had a strong sense of carpe diem, this is the time, now or never…..

So we are off soon.
This accounts for my lack of blogging as I have been booking and researching online for weeks now and it has been all-consuming, not to mention totally exciting!
With the tickets booked, most friends told and my committments here handed over to lovely friends I  feel as though I can breathe out and really wallow in the pleasure of anticipation.
(For me this is  right up there with   languishing in a moonlit outdoor bath filled scented oils – with  a big dose of andrenalin thrown in!)

I really feel so excited I can’t believe the actual adventures of travel will be better than this anticipation, this  gear buying,idea collecting,trial packing,internet booking,map reading bubble I am living in.

I am so grateful and appreciative of Wayne who is supporting this trip, even though he will be staying here.  I am awed by his support of something that has so much potential stress for him.   Thank you!

So there may be some pre trip posts….and then plenty of during trip posts too….
I have a feeling I am going to just love “Worldschooling….”

Enough with the labels though, I will just stick to
” adventuring.”