Sunday, October 3, 2010

An Unschoolers Focus

Radical Unschooling is a very present-based philosophy for most families. The focus is on the joy, partnership and connection.

Children are naturally living in the present and rarely focus or worry about the future in the way that most adults in our culture do.

It's interesting to me that our culture raises kids to be so future focused. We then spend years as adults trying to undo this mental mindset through yoga, meditation and self-help books to convert us back to our natural way of being, which is to be more Present.

I feel that Radical Unschooling is the most natural, Zen way for children to live. When we never take this default way of being in the present away from children, they never have to go through all that so many of us have to do to get back to the state of being that feels so good and so natural.

Yes, my kids are different in the sense that they are very Present. They do not worry about the future. I wish that more kids in our culture had this choice. Some parents may be afraid of that and may not want to live a life outside of the mainstream because they don't want their kids to stand out, or be different from their peers. Many parents worry because they don't want their kids to get made fun of, hurt emotionally in some way from not thinking and living in the same way as other kids their age. This worry is the perfect example of a "fear-of the future" based mindset, which is our culturally conditioned way of being.

I am proud that my kids are different in their focus on life. They have a depth of happiness and self-worth that I did not know until I was an adult. Through Radical Unschooling we never take away this very natural way of *Being* from our children. Their inner guidance is respected, trusted and never silenced by others agendas. They are pure and unfettered. What others think of them isn't a concern in the way it was to most of us as children.

I know in my heart that that happy moments lead to happy days, happy weeks, happy months and happy years. A joyful, fulfilling life overflowing with self-love is the result of a happy childhood. When a child is able to live in Freedom pursuing their passions and interests with non-judgment and support they have so many opportunities for growth and expansion. I never worry about my children's future. This sounds crazy for some people to hear. My trust is so strong because the "future" is now.

Here are a few things that Devin created this week. The first one is a painting he made on a wall in our basement and the other is a type of origami.

The focus in his art brings tears to my eyes. I am so grateful that his Life and own happiness is a focus. Not performance, or rewards, or what others think. He is living in a state that many of us are striving to later in life. I truly believe that for us, Radical Unschooling is the most natural, organic and authentic way for our children to live. It enables our kids to always stay connected to their Source with unwavering self-love. When their cup is overflowing, they have so much more love to give to others.


Anonymous said...

I am looking forward to when your kids grow up. I know it's not your focus, but I can't wait to see what they become- it's why I gave them that book that one Christmas, I really think they have it in them. What do you mean they're "different"? I work at the children's museum, and trust me all kids (all people) are way different. Even when I do school tours and the kids are in the same class in a school. No two of us are the same.

Whollyraw said...

oh dayna, visiting your blog is like hearing you speak (at the goldcoast conference) i love your presence and the love that flows when you write and talk. your kids are beautiful and i am so honoured i was able to meet you all....big kisses, from Holly

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Bona Fide Mama said...

one thing that helps keep me from worrying about the future of my children (with an exception of my son's future b/c he is about to have a bone marrow transplant and i cannot help but worry that he won't have a future) is looking at myself. i find that i went to college, studied hard, graduated top of my class, and yet it didn't do anything for me. i know i would have been better off doing anything else, as long as it was authentic. so i don't worry. what is there to worry about? they will do what they will do and if i don't push or strongly suggest any particular path, maybe they might actually be successful!

Anonymous said...

Having read your post. I’m struggling to keep tears from coming out of my eyes. I have a younger cousin who still has that sense of presence in her. Last time I was with her it was utterly amazing. She just moves gracefully from one activity to the next, never concerned (unless an adult is pushing her) about time. I think we could learn a lot from our children about how to live in the present moment. Being a musician, I struggle with the question of whether to go professional or not. Going professional would mean putting myself under the tyranny of the clock. Under the tyranny of the all mighty dollar. I fear I might forget why I started making music to begin with.

Children of Eve said...

Yes! What a terrific and important post. I tend to view time in that way: moments--->days---> weeks--->years, which is probably why I am usually happy. The futrure (unknown) bogs people down and they never fully enjoy the "now".

The Innovative Educator said...

This is oh so true! I hate hearing in schools that we are teaching reading, writing, math, science, etc. etc. Educators should be teaching students not subjects...or better yet, supporting students in their learning. What's more important and to the point of your post is that we are not teaching these subjects to students. Students are already readers, writers, artists, scientists or whatever it is they happen to be doing. They are not these things tomorrow. They are these things today. Another great post and great insights. Thank you.