Learning to fly!

I love watching your wings stretch out and shimmer and flex  ...  you are gorgeous in flight."
... Taking in full skies ...

We chose to educate our two boys - Alex and Callan - at home through 'delight-directed' teaching.

Why did we make this decision?

I have to say that I have a million more reasons in my heart than in my head...
Sometimes it is so hard to express something that is this important in your life. Most of the time I say:  "Because I can!".  In a nutshell - it is a lifestyle choice: I am able to choose our quality of life.  A loving, nurturing and secure environment where they have been understood and encouraged, praised and accepted is more important than the achievements they were recognized for at school.  It is important to us to instill a love of learning that will grow with them for the rest of their lives. We want our children to understand that it doesn't matter what they grow up to become but who they grow up to become. 

We want them to know:  Who they are is enough and always will be!;  It is possible to be perfectly at peace with yourself and happy with the way life is at the moment, in the good times and the bad;  It's good to take risks and learn from your mistakes;  It's good to believe that you can do anything, and to deal with disappointments along the way.
This is what we want to equip them with to cope in the 'real' world.

Our learning is encouraged through a combination of Waldorf (recognizing a spiritual element in all life), Montessori (love so many aspects about Maria Montesorri) & the Regio Emilia approach ("Niente senza gioia" - nothing without joy!) as well as many elements of the 'unschooling' approach! Before I make it sound too serious - we spend many,many rainy days in bed snuggling and many more sunny days outside adventuring! 
So many incredible individuals have inspired me along this journey:  firstly Callan & Alex, John Holt, Sandra Dodd, Rudolf Steiner, Cathy Koetsier, Howard Gardener, Albert Einstein, Susan Schaeffer Macaulay, Mary Griffith, John Taylor Gatto, Maria Montessori, Thomas Armstrong, Susan Wise Bauer and many other individuals with incredible insight.
I came across this beautiful poem once and it stuck in my mind ever since. It confirmed that the 'throwing children in the deepend' method is not the way I want to do things:

                                                                       The Swimming Lesson
                                                                                Mary Oliver
Feeling the icy kick, the endless waves
Reaching around my life, I moved my arms
And coughed, and in the end saw land.

Somebody, I suppose,
Remembering the medieval maxim,
Had tossed me in,
Had wanted me to learn to swim,
Not knowing that none of us, who ever came back 
From that long lonely fall and frenzied rising,
Ever learned anything at all
About swimming, but only
How to put off, one by one,
Dreams and pity, love and grace,
How to survive in any place.
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