We are again blessed to have a guest post from one of our awakened business owners, Leah Napleton, from EssentOILY U. In this post Leah shares with us what her homeschooling day is like, and what she hopes her children will achieve as a result of being homeschooled. Read on for Leah’s insights……
There has been almost nothing about the past 12-18 months that we can say has offered the opportunity for ease and grace on a day to day level…UNLESS you intentionally and consciously created that.
One of the aspects that many have decided on is home/unschooling their children. As a family we were already doing this and I know that for a time, nobody had the choice, (ah the joys), but I’ve seen a lot of families grow together through these uncertain times, and take a step back to realise what’s most important.
Before I start, I just want to say this: whatever decisions that you make for your children are just that. They are your choices to make and my purpose in this blog is not to discredit anyone for those. I understand that not every family has the means or opportunity to homeschool and I feel grateful and blessed that our family can work within these parameters fairly easily. It’s also not for everyone.
So why DID we take this route? I could talk about this a LOT! Suffice to say that I don’t necessarily believe that having children sat in a classroom learning what a government wants to condition our children to know is the healthiest start in life. I don’t believe that ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to the innate nature and characteristics of how our children evolve and grow, and I don’t agree that our kids should be corralled into a train of thinking and then tested and judged on that.
I have my own thoughts and ideas of what school could look like that would create a space in which individual strengths, passions and interests were nurtured and acknowledged for children to thrive. More on that another time though!
My aim here really is to share ‘our typical day’. Now, that in itself is making me smile because we really don’t have typical days. The joy of home/un schooling is that we have freedom. So. Much. Freedom. I think it’s easy to feel pressure of what a home ‘classroom’ should look like because we’ve been conditioned to believe learning means sat at a desk, writing and repeating what we’re told. I honestly believe this is bullshit.
My children are learning constantly. From counting and doing maths with pegs when we’re putting the washing on the line, sorting them into colours, taking some away, grouping them into 2’s, 3’s, etc to shouting out letters that they see as we drive down the road. EVERYTHING can be a learning experience, depending on the perspective we take.
What’s vitally important for me is that they LOVE it. I want them to have a desire for knowledge and a hunger for learning in WHATEVER form that takes. I want them to feel safe, confident and appreciated. Their thoughts count too, remember.
I also want them to have life skills:
- Being able to grow/forage their food from seed, nurture it as it grows then cook wholesome, nourishing meals
- Feeling confident in using natural, safe, effective products to be proactive and accountable for their health and healing
- Regularly checking in with their emotions, & their heart in mindful, intentional ways
- Knowing and owning their strengths and standing fully in their zone of genius
- Connecting with nature, being at one, understanding cycles in plants, animals – feeling at ease with the great ‘circle of life’
Can you imagine the power in these skills? Yes the maths, the English, the geography, the history, the languages, etc but the above are important in terms of how we evolve and who we become. No more bowing down, no more pigeon holes and no more fear of being fucking incredible.
So what do our days look like?
Well we get up and do our morning routine (see previous posts) and then we like to start with a mindfulness card, affirmation card or intention card – sometimes all 3! It helps to give us an intention/mindful focus on during the day that we can actively drop back in with at various points
Lilly also loves a bit of baby yoga to start her day! Arthur sometimes joins in and loves it, other days it doesn’t appeal to him at all and he’ll tend to get his building blocks out.
We really got into foraging over the past 12 months (there is NOTHING that’s going to stop me being autonomous when it comes to decisions for my family!). The morning is a great time to go out doing this. It’s not too hot and the plants aren’t dry and fully opened.
We often have themes for our weeks/months and we follow the seasons and natural cycles of life doing this. One of my favourite sites in the whole world for excellent resources based around nature and nurture is Gabitat Emporium. Check out the link below and use the exclusive code to get your discount from Gaby – I promise, you won’t regret it!
We also have year passes for the local Ocearium, Wildlife Reserves and zoo (not the typical, cruel kind) so we spend a lot of time there WHEN it’s open. (They’ve all been shut for months on end because of the shitshow)
Afternoons are often spent in the kitchen or garden/veggie plot making and creating, either with home grown veg or what we’ve foraged in the morning.
Lilly and Arthur also LOVE playing with and learning all about crystals. Again though, learning colours, grouping them into types, how crystals are formed, where they re found, counting them, memorising them. There is just soooooo much learning in here for them and it’s FUN!
A simple truth in our house is that pretty much everything can be a learning experience and that’s how we intend it to stay. We have so much joy around it too and don’t get caught up in the constraints of ‘should do’s’. We share a closeness and that, ultimately is the most scared gift in home/unschooling. Full disclosure: this does NOT mean that they’re aren’t certain days where one or all of us don’t feel like having a complete meltdown but guess what?! That’s LIFE. There are ups and downs and having an expectation on our children to ‘get up and get on with it’ when we, as adults, have off days is just not reasonable.
On that note, I’m away to finish a butterfly mobile we’ve been working on this week. I’ve popped some useful links below to sites that I enjoy and use and will probably add some more over time too. In the meantime – ENJOY the gift that is home/unschooling!
Home ed resources
- https://gabitatemporium.com – use code: BLOG20 to get your discount on my favourite site!
- Corbettmaths and Corbettmaths primary.
- Holly’s English Hub has some activities
- Pawprint Family do free activities
- Theatre of Science is great for science. Home ed live class on Tuesday (repeated on Wednesday) with supporting worksheet.
- Create! Art School Club do free sketchbook lessons.
Leah Napleton is an Empowerment Mentor & Wellness Advocate. You can contact her using one of the links below.
If you liked this post, you may be interested in reading homseschooling – the basics.