I can hear a lawn mower off in this distance on this sunny spring day. (Crazy! I know!) It seems much too early in the year for such warm-weather sounds, but we’ve been launched into a spring explosion in Vancouver and I suppose the grass must be growing, too. Oh, Spring is here!
I always forget how quickly it comes on in Vancouver, one day it’s gray rain, then bits of sun, and then all of a sudden the blossoms of the trees are opening and the streets are now lined with sweet smells and lovely blooms, and it takes me much longer to walk anywhere- as I’m stopping every 10 feet to smell or peak at some blooming thing. My inner child and outer adult can’t get enough- I love spring. It seems so magical to me, this interconnectedness, this process that is season’s changing. I watched my tulips and crocuses pop up a couple weeks ago, the green bits just pushing forth- I didn’t notice the change in weather at the time, (it all seemed so rainy and gray and cold) but apparently the subtle changes are felt through the dirt into roots and bulbs and send messages for things to start moving. The plants and bugs and birds all know when to go, and what to do, through the subtle messages from the great system that is nature.
And with the coming of Spring, it has inspired discussions of growing our own family- D and i have been talking about this great system, and how we fit into that (either by choice or circumstance). How does the current system we have created for ourselves as humans actually separate us from this system of nature- how have we lost our connection to the subtle messages? And perhaps with the hope for survival of humans on this planet so precariously balanced in the hands of the current and next generations, we ask ourselves how would we want to raise children to support, protect, love, and feel connected to the planet, as a part of the system, instead of experiencing themselves as apart from it?
I have been reading a great deal about unschooling, as there are quite a few good blogs from families that have made the commitment to support their children in a self-directed education that takes place outside of an institutionalized, curriculum based system that is the modern school system. Abundant curiosity is a natural gift we all born with, but so few manage to retain it beyond the 13+ years of institutionalized education. I know this discussion around schooling choices can be a contentious topic, so I’ll just leave this fairly open for now… I’ll just say that Dustin and I have begun our discussion of what kind of education we want for our (someday) children and how we want to support them in their adventures on this planet, that they might grow up into joyful, independent, thoughtful, compassionate, curious adults.
Oh, I know this is all very funny to some people- as we don’t even have kids, not even pregnant. But D and I are starting with the end in mind, and trying to work backwards to see what the process might look like to get us there, if, and when we end up with children in our lives. So I like to think we are right now working to extract our own personal attachments/expectations with the old system of education, and trying to “deschool” ourselves- we have the opportunity right now to imagine what it could be like, to think creatively about unschooling- to considered ourselves as parents supporting our children as they go through their youth freely, and to trust and believe that the process of learning is never separate from the experience of living and that children will naturally gravitate towards learning new things. As the couple of nerds that we both are- this idea is a fairly natural concept for us to grasp, as we both have a love for research and consider ourselves life-long learners. Speaking of which, I’m still doing the research on unschooling, but I’m pretty excited by the idea of it. (and looking forward to a good conversation with the parents on this one, hint hint.)
One other thought- with all the strife, conflict, and disaster around us that is a result of the man-made systems of economics, politics, consumption- all of which are built on the philosophy of limited resources, destruction, and what’s mine is MINE… Well- how could I NOT want a different option for my child, with the simple knowledge that we MUST build different ways of interacting on and with this planet- this MUST happen if we hold the hopes that we can actually find a way out of the awful situation we find ourselves in.
And a shout-out to my favorite unschooler- I’m truly inspired by Bronwyn and her journey on this planet.