Thursday, 12 February 2015

repost: Our unschooling beginning

In the few months since our little miracle, Layla-Rae was born, almost a whole 10 years after her big brother and sisters, I have been in awe of our other three children and how they were once little babies and are now closer to adulthood than they are to infancy.

Whereas we once had a house full of three little barefooted hippy children running around in tie-dyed cloth nappies, painting the walls with their mummy's water colours and attempting to make pakcake mix on the hardwood floor (while I was in a coma-like sleep after caring for three under-fours all day!) our weekends are now full of first dates, sleep overs, and violin rehearsals.

Whereas we once had a lounge full of toys strewn all over the floor, finger paintings so copious that they had crept from being only on the fridge to decorating all of our walls, and furniture that sagged close to the floor from one too many 'monkey's jumping on the bed', our lounge was now littered with musical instruments, dirty football boots and school bags stuffed with homework and school newsletters. 

And as I have nursed Layla and watched my big babies growing up before my very eyes, something has shifted inside of me. 

Whereas my days pre-Layla had been filled with working and studying 18 hours a day to create 'a better life' for our children and their future, as an 'older' (non-teenage) mother I appreciate how fleeting childhood is, and desperately want for time to slow down just a little. Even though I have just finished my degree and everybody keeps asking me "when I will be returning back to work" my first priority is taking this time to be with all of my four children.

...just so that we can have time to talk a little more

...appreciate each other a little more 

..have a few more days filled with giggles and paint on the walls, trampling sand all through the house and dribbling ice cream on the kitchen floor 

...and a few less days filled with work and study, traffic lights and homework

At the moment I am not so concerned with routines, schedules, baby milestones or weekly weigh-ins. But I am absolutely obsessed with afternoons on the beach, and whole days spent at the park.

... swimming until sundown

... kidnapping my children from school for long weekends when they should be doing 'more important' things such as studying or finishing a chemistry assignment

I dream of running away to an island, home-schooling our children, and spending 90% of our day kayaking near the reef or writing messages in the sand.

Because I know that one day Layla's days will be filled with classrooms, homework, first dates and dirty football boots, and there is plenty of time for that...

but that time is not today...

On a side note - it has been three years since I wrote this post and every dream expressed in our pre-unschooling days has come to fruition. We essentially packed up our whole lives, moved across the state and ran away to a beautiful coastal town where our days are often spent swimming, reading poetry or novels, surfing or kayaking. There are no chemistry assignments and plenty of messages have been left in the sand...

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