I have been so grateful to find a group of families in my area that fully embrace Self-Directed Education and respectful parenting. It truly makes you a better parent when you can spend time with parents that you look up to.
One of these friends had sent us a message after our last playdate, that her daughter hadn’t realized all her playmates were also homeschooled. Her mom said, “Yes! These are your classmates!”. I thought that was a beautiful way to think of it. All these kiddos of different ages, interests and backgrounds coming together to learn by playing together out in nature and in the world. Free to run and explore. What a beautiful classroom the world is!
So it sparked me to make sure Hattie, my 6 year old, knew that these were her classmates. “All those people you saw at the playdate are your classmates!” She thought that was pretty cool and then said “what about the parents that were there?”.
I smiled and said “They are your classmates too.”
One of the beautiful things about Self-Directed Education is that parents tend to shift the paradigm of adults being an all knowing teacher and instead become part of the learning themselves. We understand that there is much we do not know, but that we are capable of learning together with the kids. Also, we respect kids enough to know that they very well (and often) know way more about something than we do. Kids are sought out by the adults to share their knowledge. We are all on the same playing field.
Together this group of self-directed learners (ages a few months to adults!) explore the world together through nature, interesting field trips and life experiences. The adults pursue our own interests and passions while we help our kids do the same. Modeling that we pursue our interests is so important if we want our kids to be active self-directed learners. We respect each other and treat each other with compassion and grace. The learning doesn’t stop because we are adults! When you truly open your heart and mind to believe “There is much I don’t know, but there are so many ways to learn!”, you will find yourself absorbing so much from the world around you.
My classmates are the best and our classroom is beautiful. I am so grateful!
Whether your child learns at home or school, I challenge you to become their classmate and learn together. Don’t stop pursuing what interests you just because you are an adult. Be curious with your child and learn with them. Don’t just teach them facts, help them to see all the ways they can learn. Guide them into understanding that they know themselves best and that they are in charge of their education. Ask them questions to learn more from them in areas that they are experts in. Respect their passions and interests, even when they seem silly or unimportant.
Embrace all the beautiful ways you can learn together! Go out and explore the world. ❤️