I’ve been a freelancer and an entrepreneur for years, doing the things I enjoy, most of my working life. I’ve been lucky. And I’ve been brave, some have said. But it’s not really that, I’ve just always wanted to do things that inspire me.
Now I’m planning to homeschool, unschool to be precise, our kids. Unschooling essentially means that children study the things they’re truly interested in. They study in their pace, in the way they find best for them.
There’s a lot of freedom there. Too much? Will we ever focus on one thing? Will we ever get anything done? I hope so!
To avoid being breathless with all the freedom, I make plans and schedules. I write down a few major goals and deadlines. Something like this: ‘Start a nature club for kids by February 2016’. (Start small, maybe, but start anyway.) Or ‘Make 50 pieces of hand-made soaps for the xmas shop by 1st of December’.
Just recently, to my own surprise, I found myself stressed out. And I still am. Not about one single thing in particular. Not about anything special. Just your general “am I doing this well enough, have I missed something, is everyone ok” kind of thoughts that well up at night.
As a mother of small kids, there’s always more things to do than time to do it in.
And I never get to sleep quite as much or as well as I’d need.
So I’ve cut my to do list. In half. I’ve made a deal with myself to add more things only next year.
(Though I have added ‘more meditation’ and ‘walking in the woods’!)
I’m trying to be reasonable, and kind, to myself. And I will not, by and large, plan on ventures that don’t excite me. (See, even the tasks often thought unpleasant, might motivate, after all.)
So. What inspires me? What inspires my family, my children?
On most days I am sparked by the following:
- Nature – wilderness, rewilding, spending time outside, in the garden, on the hills, in the woods. Hiking! Picking mushrooms and herbs, or just enjoying the scenery and doing photography
- Reading – about gazillion different topics, such as eco building, gardening, unschooling and education as a whole, self-sufficiency, life in the wild, history, etc. (we have a nicely built library by now)
- Arts and crafts – we focus on ‘seasonal’ things, right now we’re making soaps, decorations and such for a xmas shop at our inn
- Gardening – one year I’ll actually have something there, this summer we managed to grow a couple of tomatoes and a bit of salad, I’m dreaming of flowers and muuuuch bigger crops!
- Writing – notes, new posts on blogs, making plans
- Photography – all the time, everywhere!
Now, those are activities, then there are ideas and notions such as feminism (with kids), freedom, rewilding (video link), unschooling. Raising children free and gentle – call it aware parenting, gentle parenting, or free range parenting. And these, big ones:
‘World without money’
‘World without borders ‘
And kindness. Peace. Love.
I’m not always sure how these things come to life in our small and simple everyday world on the mountain. But I do believe these are the things that got me here. And I’m as grateful for it, as I am surprised.
Most of all, I’m all the more determined to follow my path, intuition and passion.
What inspires you?
Whatever it is, I wish you strength, wisdom and patience to follow your heart’s way.
5 Comments Add yours
Thank you for that ❤
Hugs from here!
I unschooled my two boys and am so thankful we did. As my children had attended school until grades 4 and 6, they had some serious decompression to go through. My oldest first decided he wanted to watch all kinds of daytime TV, thinking he’d missed out on something while in school. I wanted to insist he turn the TV off but decided to give it a week. It didn’t take that long before he announced that he didn’t know how people could sit around watching this junk. Anyway, after a short period where they weren’t sure what to do with themselves, a result of being told what to do every moment in school, they found new interests and were off learning and exploring. I could never have created a lesson plan that taught them as much as they learned on their own simply from curiosity. Good luck to you I know your children will benefit from this time.
Thanks so much! This kind of stories and comments is exactly what we need, all of us planning to unschool, or already doing so. I really feel, both for having read about it quite a lot, as well as simply intuitively that this will be a good thing for us all in this family. But living in the society, you are left also with a lot of unanswered questions and A LOT of critisism. Just have to stay strong 🙂 So thanks for taking the time to share your story!
You are welcome. The experience brought our family closer together as well. I have the luxury of being able to look back and see how that decision for us ended up affecting the children. My boys are now 28 and 31 years old. Both admit that they would not be where they are now if they hadn’t been allowed to unschool. And it was never an issue when it came to employment with one exception. My oldest wanted to join the military and they made us jump through hoops. The Navy and Marines outright refused him because he didn’t graduate from an accredited school. But that was the only issue we ever had.