Monday, January 3, 2011

learning all the time

So I have two new followers in my followers 'collection'… My boy and my girl, who have decided to join the Land of Blog!

Welcome, "Kitty," and "Squibs." It is lovely to have you here!

I love what my kids have done. I love how excited and creative they were today. They worked on their blogs all day, politely taking turns because we only have one computer with internet access (and are we the only ones? I'd really like to know!). They were unstoppable.

And, they were so pleased with themselves.

I was so pleased for them. I felt incredibly full, like I was just fizzing with Pleased and Proud. Because they were so focussed and inspiring and creative and beautiful. I could swear they glowed from the inside out.

And it made me think of what my girl asked me this morning.

She said:

"Are we still on holidays?"

"Ah," I said.

And I got all philosophical.

I said, "It depends. If 'holidays' mean simply a holiday from school, then yes. In fact, you're on holiday every day!"

"Not me," said my son. "I do maths and english. I do school work. A lot of school work!"

[and I should mention that it's work he's chosen to do, 'cos he's my schedule and curriculum boy :) ]

"Ah," I said. "Yes, you do. So if 'holidays' mean a break from doing that particular maths and english work, then yes, we're on holidays until you start doing it again."

"But," I continued, "If 'holidays' mean a break from learning, then we're never on holidays!

Because we are ALWAYS LEARNING. Including me, and especially kids, because you're all so curious and full of energy. None of us ever stop learning!"

If I'd had a podium nearby, perhaps my hands would have waved about, at this moment in my speech. My voice might have risen, and I might have looked out to the audience expecting some applause.

As it was, my kids nodded. And we moved on. I think we ate breakfast or laughed at something in a book. Life continued. As it does!

But the conversation stuck with me. It made me ponder.

(and my husband would laugh if he heard me say this. He'd say, all tongue-in-cheek, "What you? Thinking? Pondering? No. That's not you at all!")

Yeah, I've thought about this issue a LOT. Especially on our journey through the Freedom Experiment. Because it's been so eye opening and I have learned so much.

I think many kids (and an awful lot of grown-ups) have been taught to believe that Holidays and Learning are separate. As though in the Holidays—this magical, mystical time of no schedules and no specific place to be—your brain takes a break. As though the only way you can learn is by going to School, or doing Defined "School Work."

But people never stop learning or being able to learn. They simply can't help themselves.

There are people who'd say, Nup. I'm not learning in this moment, waiting at the lights. Or at my dead-end job or while I'm cooking dinner. There'd be kids saying, I'm not learning while I'm waiting for the school bell to ring or while I am on detention.

There are people, kids and grown-ups, who give up, as though learning is beyond them or past them. There are also people who go for years to school and university and come out feeling empty, as though no learning happened.

Sure. Learning can seem far away if you're scared or bored or disillusioned. Or if you aren't open to how it can come.

But, I say to you, sweet listeners (oh yeah, I'm back on the podium!),

Your mind never stops.

For those who don't realise, or have given up, or have tried and been disappointed, your mind takes things in, always. It makes connections, it ruminates, always. You are learning, all the time.

The learning just might not look like what you expected. It may not fit the box you (or others) built for it.

I know that for us personally, our lives (especially during 'School time') look completely different to what I imagined or planned, even a year ago. In fact, until I started homeschooling, I didn't realise—or pay attention to the fact—that learning happens everywhere, and comes in a kaleidoscope of shapes, sizes and colours.

I never knew that when you pay attention, learning dazzles you with its light.

As I watched my kids today—on their Holidays—open an email account, navigate their way around a blog site, edit and upload photographs, use a drawing application, write straight onto their blogs or painstakingly type pages of hand-written words into the computer, plus edit, format, and co-operate with each other (all the while, chatting and sharing and laughing together), I thought:

Here we are.

Absorbing, embracing, loving, living.

Hardly aware of our minds buzzing because it's just. so. much. fun.



(and now…I'll back away from the podium, and let you all be on your way!

Except my two beautiful kids and husband of course… They'll probably have to listen to me and my thoughts a few more times :) )


  1. How true this post is. The longer I HS Kei, the more I realize how much I had missed 'learning' things. Isn't it great!

    I can't wait to read Squibs [Harry Potter?] and Kitty. I will let Kei know. I am just giddy with the thoughts of our kids reading each other and getting to know each other.

    YAY for blogs and friends. :)

  2. We only have one computer here, too!

    I love this post. We just had a whole discussion here yesterday about what "a lifestyle of learning" means. It was fascinating to hear their thoughts.

    I'm jealous of your house top-to-bottom cleaning, too! That's amazing!


I love hearing from you! Thank you for your heartfelt, thoughtful responses—they lift me, and give me light.