When sending your kids to school is just not working out anymore

 

Perhaps it is time to jump?

Whilst sending our children to school I had a nagging feeling that I wasn’t telling the truth, to them or to myself.

Do I have to go to school?

Fake me; Yes

Real Me; (No)

Do I have to wear this uniform?

FM; Yes

RM; (No)

Why Do I have to learn this stuff if it doesn’t interest me?

FM; You Just do

RM; Actually you don’t…

 

I had this feeling that I was lying, that I was dumbing myself and my kids down in order to fit into a system. Nothing seemed to me to have changed from when I was at school and that was many many moons ago, we are talking 30 years ago!

I couldn’t understand why there was not a bigger shift. It felt like I was looking for a change that wasn’t there, yes there were more computers, more technology, but it that was not what I was looking for. For me it was like time had stood still, I was about to repeat history with my own children. They were stepping into a space where the child must learn as much as possible, as quickly as possible, as efficiently as possible, the child is like a box to be filled, a chart to be ticked. Within this system I will have to coerce, check, support (whether I agree or not), collude, concur, accept that this is it, this is the way our kids are going to learn and I will have to do that for years and years.

After the glorious years of freedom, where we spent time nurturing their creativity, enjoying their toddlerhood, relishing in their newness to life, what happened? What was going on? Why were we tying neckties around their throats? Making sure their nails were short, their hair didn’t touch their collar? Making them read at such a young age when they were clearly uninterested? Why was I accepting everything that was being given to me? Was I prepared to say yes to all this when at a gut level sending them to school did not feel right?

Well, obviously I wasn’t prepared to say yes and due to how it played out with their behavior neither were they. So I am here to share with you why, how and what we are doing on this incredible, often challenging, fun, magical, sometimes exhausting, loving, colourful unschooling journey.

 

An excerpt from ‘Jump, Fall, Fly’

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About the Author

Lehla is an illustrator and an author of books, she has written for The Guardian. She trained as an actress at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She wrote The South African Illustrated Cookbook, The Lovely Book for Wonderful Women and she illustrated a kid’s book by M.J. Amani called ‘Excuse Me, I’m Trying to Read’ and also ‘I am Me, You, Us and We’ by Caroline Trowbridge. Above all she is a mother to three fast growing kids, she juggles her time between them and working on new books and projects. She has recently co authored with Anthony ‘Jump’, Fall, Fly – from schooling, to homeschooling, to unschooling’ Her art work can be seen at http://lehlaeldridge.wix.com/lehla-

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