Unschooling and Authentic Living

Sometime before Christmas, Lara commented "I like how I am, I don't want to change it" in regard to her ASD. This, of course, is just how we want her to feel. She has a condition, a disability perhaps, to deal with, to live with, and sometimes it makes life difficult, but she is perfect, just as she is. (If only the rest of the world would recognise that and accept it!)

That comment, along with some other things the girls had said, and a couple of unpleasant encounters with schooled children happened, and then someone asked me how to sum up unschooling for an article they were writing. The best I could come up with is learning how to live life as it should be lived, not learning to conform or to follow a career or life path because it's safe or expected. Choosing to follow your real passions and interests, and being true to yourself.

That old adage, what other people think is none of your business is also apt. Our free-thinking, quirkily dressed little people are wild, a bit crazy, and full of adventure and fun. Our three daughters are living authentically, doing just as they please all day long. Many adults have to spend years unshackling themselves from ‘the norm’, enabling themselves to embrace authenticity and freedom in life through self-belief, meditation, coaching and even therapy. Our girls are doing this from the very start.

There is no-one to tell them they can’t do a thing, or they’re not old enough, or it’s too difficult (those conditioned school children in parks and soft plays notwithstanding!). They know right from wrong, treat others as they would be done by, and hold ‘be kind’ as the highest dictum, but beyond that they do what they want to do. Often it’s me that needs to have faith that they can and will and are, deschooling myself as I go!

For many adults, finding our authentic self is a goal. A goal that goes way beyond working to buy the right phone/house/holiday/handbag/designer clothes/whatever and means finding what’s real, what fulfils your own beliefs, ambitions, values, and core truths.

So often people go through the system, work the 9 to 5, commute, do the daily grind and never question, never stop to smell the flowers, watch the clouds, be themselves. No wonder the majority of people rate themselves low on happiness, or find it in arbitrary things like shopping, drink, drugs etc. Most people’s lives seem dedicated to getting enough money to buy the stuff to keep up appearances, to impress, to buy into the expectations and conventions.

What if we could be authentic and our true selves right from the beginning? I know three little girls who are.

You might also like:

On Rejecting the 'Norm' and Seeking Simplicity
Unschooling and How & Why We Home Educate
The 6 Realities of Home Education

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