Learning

Unschooling : a voyage of discovery

No fixed destination, no time to be back. A trip of a lifetime.

Unschooling, a voyage of discovery.

Full speed ahead in a definite direction, or meandering and drifting where the wind blows.

The deck can be busy and bustling, or quiet and serene. No barking of orders or rotas on show, though the mess has a menu and the food’s looking good 🙂

A mixed bunch, the crew, varied in age, and in skill and experience. Little in the way of required routines, no set hours or chores or jobs they must do.

Yet seeming at ease, sharing the load, relaxed and contented they work as a team. Yet each on their own journey, alongside one another. They look out for each other, chatting and cheery, at least most of the time 🙂

Some seasoned sailors among them for sure. And a captain, at times hard to pick out from the crew. Up on the deck, in the midst of the action, supportive and resourceful, looking out for the crew.

Familiar and trusted, the captain’s their guide. Pointing out landmarks and places of interest. Preparing the crew for the weather and the wildlife. Sharing the customs and laws of the lands, and stories galore of what’s happened before.

Yet while they’ve travelled afar and seen much of the sea, the captain’s aware there’s much more to explore. And even returning to well-known lands, there are bound to be changes they cannot foresee.

And so just like their crew, the captain is curious, and eager to learn. A network of captains and crews on the sea they can ask for directions and help on their way.

The captain and crew are loyal and close, been together forever and yet it all seems brand new.

With freedom to choose and support from their captain, the ship’s a safe space for all of the crew. In tune with each other and checking in lots, their rights to decide, their judgement respected. Kindness and calm are a feature of life.

Supporting each other to follow their dreams the captain’s beside them, yet scanning ahead and strewing their path, highlighting horizons they might not have seen.

The captain is watchful, checking the fuel and the ship is sea-worthy. An eye on supplies and stocks running low. Watching the weather and conditions at sea. Aware of their bearings should they need to refill, face a storm or just fancy a change of direction.

Mindful of the model they want for the crew, the captain respects and values them now, and knows that one day, sooner or later, they might choose to captain a crew of their own.

Chances are offered, with willing support, to learn more of the ship and the lands they explore. Without pressure or timescales, few demands on the crew. Yet naturally time passes and each of the crew assume more of a role in sailing the ship and directing their course.

Sometimes it’s rough on them seas that we love. There’s sadness and tears, anger, frustration and fears. None of them perfect and all make mistakes. But rather than declaring disaster has hit, pooling their knowledge and sharing their wisdom, the captain and crew keep their faith in each other.

Willing to say when they’re sorry and admit they’ve messed up, knowing deep down that adversity enriches the trip. Feeling closer again, offering a hand and asking for help are encouraged, embraced and part of the deal.

The weather, the landscape and the sailors will change, but they’re in it together and know that with time, and with effort, attention and care, they’ll each find their own way and get where they want. So onward they sail, in the ups and the downs, peaceful and joyful and enjoying the ride.

Fancy a voyage like this? Or maybe you’ve already set sail 🙂 I’d love to know where you are on your journey and if this sounds anything like your experience?  

If you’d like to know more about natural learning, unschooling or home ed in general, please take a look here. I also write about respectful parenting and kindness, for ourselves, our children and the world 🙂

If you like what you read, please consider subscribing and be the first to know each time there’s a new post on the blog.

Thanks for reading. Until next time… happy week all 🙂

4 Comments

  1. Sophie says:

    This is such a cool post! Love the imagery of an unschooling family as a crew on a sailing adventure together. “The weather, the landscape and the sailors will change, but they’re in it together and know that with time, and with effort, attention and care, they’ll each find their own way and get where they want.” Love the bit about the captain as the guide, at times hard to pick out from the crew ❤️

    1. Hayley says:

      Am so glad you liked it Sophie. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. Much appreciated 🙂

  2. Hayley, this is such a fun way to look at things. I love the metaphor of the ship and crew. “But rather than declaring disaster has hit, pooling their knowledge and sharing their wisdom, the captain and crew keep their faith in each other.” I love that! Thanks for a smile and some food for thought.

    1. Hayley says:

      You’re welcome Erin, so glad it made you smile 🙂 Thanks for your lovely comment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.