Educating our kids for the future they'll inherit.

Posted by Lauren Carter on

One month ago, we wandered around the corner for a democracy sausage and to choose the government to take us forward into an uncertain future. Voting that day, it felt like choosing the world our kids would inherit. We were full of hope. It felt like so much depended on it, in terms of our response to the climate emergency, and how we care for each other as a community. We were hopeful there would be at least a glimmer of positive change. But for most people I know, the results that day were hugely disappointing. Even my own mum, an eternal optimist, was quite distraught. Friends began looking for ways to create positive change, at a personal and local level. Something we’re all about, because we know the positive impact such changes can make.

For us, it meant taking a moment to think about what more we can do. And explaining to our kids what had been chosen for them. Re-evaluating how we’re living and fighting harder to protect this beautiful planet. But also making sure our kids are prepared for what may come. For us, that also meant examining our home education program and making sure it addresses climate emergency and the consumption crisis. And suddenly the curriculum resources we’d been utilising didn’t seem so necessary any more.

In the same year we began to live waste-free, and after many years unschooling, the owlets asked for a plan. Something mapped out that they could use semi-independently, that would tell them exactly what they “should” be learning. We chose a secular curriculum, and loosely followed it. For the most part they’ve enjoyed it. The history and science learnings reinforcing some things they already knew, and they felt comforted that they were learning the "right things", what their schooled peers were learning. But that shifted for us all last month.
Suddenly, how to write an essay didn’t seem quite as important as how to write a letter to the local MP. Learning things by rote didn’t seem as important as learning from experience. Keeping up academically seemed less important than creative and entrepreneurial thinking and being good humans. Learning about events of the past seemed less important than how to live in the future. We talked about whether university education would be relevant for them and the knowledge and skills they'll need. They're undecided. And although
it may seem like a dramatic response, as a family, we decided to let go again and embrace the way of learning we started out with. To trust and keep talking, and working on our passions, and keep learning about nature and how to live as part of an ecosystem, with less harm. But also a long list of practical skills needed now and into the future.
So far, our list is full of skills like baking bread, chopping wood, mending holes in clothes, fixing things, pruning fruit trees, learning how government works, learning about local indigenous plants, animals and people, catching the bus, and finding out about alternative currencies. Each of the owlets has popped their own ideas down and they’ll all be working towards doing each these things independently. Some of them they’ve already mastered. Some of them are in our book! Some are in our Seedlings eCourse, which we're doing again. Some of them we adults are yet to master, so we’ll be working on them too, and adding to this list as we go on. This sits alongside their individual interests and passions, all the books they like to read, the things we like to do and learn about for fun or necessity. We’re making the most of every minute, but also slowing down where we can. Learning what matters, together. Learning from life, and for our lives, now and into the future.

~ Lauren. x

climate solutions permaculture unschooling waste-free

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