We have been living on the road for a while now, and things have started to feel a lot more comfortable. We are finding a flow and simple rituals are forming naturally, which is beautiful. I am beginning to notice all the small things in life that light me up. Moments, where I find organic fruit and vegetables being sold in the middle of nowhere on the side of the road, hours searching for shells and sea glass that are washed up on the shores, the clear night sky where for the first time I can see the galaxies, and speaking to locals at country markets who are more interested in a good ol’ yarn than selling you’re their offerings. It is these small simple moments that bring me so much joy, they make my heart burst, and being able to share these experiences with Lucas and Phoenix adds another layer that I just can’t describe.
In the ‘real world’ as people like to call it, Phoenix would have been starting school this year or Kindy (as he is a July Baby he can't officially start school until 2022 unlike all the other kids born one month before him), and we often get asked how he is going learn on the road. I think Penelope Leach, a research psychologist and one of the world's leading experts in child development said it best when she said:
“ For a child, there is no division between playing and learning; between the things he or she does just for fun and things that are educational. The child learns while living and any part of living that is enjoyable is also play.”
When it comes to interacting with other children and ‘Socialising’ that the school system is supposed to offer, I seek comfort in the fact that Phoenix has the opportunity of tuning into himself first, understanding who he truly is at the core of his being, letting his personality and interests flourish first rather than it being influenced by other children or teachers. I feel at peace knowing that we can, for a while at least, shield him from the pressure of shaping and moulding himself to fit in. The time for that will come and I hope when it does he knows himself well enough and is strong enough in his self-belief systems to handle life and the people he comes across with ease and grace.
I can’t tell you how lucky I feel to spend each day with Phoenix, in play and on adventures. I often think that this time together benefits me more than it does him. He teaches me so much and reminds me often not to take life so seriously, to kick off my shoes, jump in the puddles and just have fun!
Recently we have been taking photos of animal tracks, drawing them into a book and then finding out what they are and making notes. We do the same with leaves, flowers and trees, learning what we can eat and what we cannot in nature. We collect stones, shells and feathers for hours! Then Sometimes he will just be happy sitting drawing, reading with me, or working on his activity books learning numbers and writing. The days are 100% dictated by him and what he is interested in. The most important thing is that they are fun and stress free.
“Nature teaches us simplicity and contentment because in its presence we realise we need very little to be happy.” Mark Coleman
I think it is safe to say we will continue following the un-schooling approach to his learning and get him involved in as many forest school and bush kindy days as possible. It is in these environments I see him light up and have so much confidence. Nature is home to him, it is where he feels safe and calm. He understands the wildness around him more than he does 4 walls, robotic routines and rules...much like his mummy.
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