How trusting your child to make their own decisions and follow their own path can allow them to process and release trauma, and educate and inspire others.
As some of you know, our son unschooled himself from Senior Kindergarten almost exactly 4 months ago! And today, he return to school like nothing had happened. His classmates cheered his re-entry, his teacher is happy to have him back, and he is smiling. So many lives have been changed by his need to leave, and then to return.
I used to hold my breath, and not want to share stories until I am certain that they will turn out well. But do you know what? Life isn't like that. Life is fluid, it changes, and it is important to be able to go with the flow.
Interestingly, in Soul Contract, 4 (his 4 months out of school) is the number for Trust, Flow, and Children. And the classroom he was in, and many other synchronicities at his school, kept showing us the number 13 (my Soul Destiny in Soul Contract), which is the Divine Feminine, Unconditional Love, Wisdom far beyond what you can see, and it is also always paired with the 4 (Trust, Flow, and Children), because 1+3 = 4.
I'll be honest. When he decided to leave school (given his reasons, and what I do for a living), I was behind him 100%. When he decided to go back to school, especially given how the adults at the school were treating us as a family, I was a little sad.
Thankfully, because I am a Divine Healing practitioner, I was able to do a 20min session on myself to "Let it go" and embrace the new and beautiful gifts that always come our way when things change and we have to let go of something we love. Bring it on!
Through this experience, I learned a lot about unschooling/self-directed learning, and that there are many people out there who disagree with the amount of pressure that society and school puts on children. See Race to Nowhere.
I met some wonderful people, who have provided amazing guidance, and have shown me that there is another way to do this and to treat kids.
I highly recommend:
Erin and her team at We Learn Naturally (which includes City School, Learning in the Woods, and the upcoming The Barn School). They know how to treat, respect, and develop children like no one else. Using the concepts of Non-Violent Communication, Its Ok Not to Share, and more.
Nikki (the former parent educator) at the Oakville Parent Child Center (OPCC), has been extremely supportive and influential in my parenting journey. Literally bringing Dr Gordon Neufeld, Attachment Parenting Guru, into our lives.
The OPCC Preschool program, especially Deirdre, for their ability to see the best in kids.
The YMCA afterschool program, who didn't skip a beat. They immediately said "even if our son is not going to school he is welcome in their program". His afterschool teachers saw clearly how the Kindergarten program was putting way too much pressure and direction on the kids. Which is why many of their staff decided not to work in the Kindergarten class, and many are educating themselves further so that they can come back with avengence to stand up for the rights of kids!
ROCK (Reach Out Center for Kids) are amazing, in that they have no vested interest in diagnosing children un-necessarily, in order to get them into their programs so they can maintain program funding, unlike other agencies, who will remain unmentioned. It has been an honor to work with them, both with my son and with my business!
And last but not least, the Oak Park Neighbourhood Center has been such a blessing. The founder Michelle Knoll works tirelessly to support our community. Like Erin from We Learn Naturally (above), on many occasions, Michelle made herself available to talk me through the issues I was having with the school, and things I could try with my kids while I was homeschooling them. She opened her doors not only to my family, but to my business as well, and I am so grateful!
All of these people/establishments do a fabulous job to stand by their values of treating children with respect, while not making the parent feel bad for their parenting choices.
Its unfortunate that people who respect kids are few and far between. But I am grateful these people and establishments exist, and I wanted to share their information with my readers, in case you ever find yourself in need of some advice or support you can trust!
I found it very interesting, how, when our son unschooled himself, a lot of people offered advice and judgments that were actually not supportive at all. Several people suggested that he get assessed for a learning disability or that we try different tricks to try to get him to engage in the learning. I even attended a workshop on Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS), which a lot of schools use. You can also hire someone to go into the school on your behalf and ask for them to apply this technique. But, CPS, though it is kind to let the child have a say in the problem solving, is still forcing the child to do what you want, and not really allowing them to have a say in what they want.
It is their life and they have a right to have a say!
I am not saying I don't do a little happy dance too when I get my child to do something he/she said no to before, but I find it is much better when it comes from a place of their own willingness, and not from any kind of trickery on my end.
I know, all of the advice others offered came from love. But there is nothing wrong with our son. Our son simply demands to be treated with respect. This may be hard for some adults to stomach, but he has rights! Good for him for learning this lesson so soon in life!
Us allowing him to unschool himself, did the following:
It allowed him the time needed to process the trauma he experienced by being mistreated at school
It allowed our family to educate ourselves and become a united front behind him
It got his sister out of childcare and back into the home (not that there is anything wrong with childcare, but she is very happy to be home)
He was able to show others that the "impossible" is possible.
He was able to see he has a choice in life and we have his back!
Here to Step into his Power with Integrity,
Blow Away Other People's Resistance to Stepping into their Gifts,
Find his Own Truth and be Resilient enough to share it, and
Create a Space for Others to Laugh and Heal.
Honestly, this kid is amazing! They all are.
I couldn't be more proud of him, or my husband, who came around the long way, in order to join our Team.
I am also grateful that the school has now come around and is treating us with some respect and love.
Its concerning that my son voicing his concerns was not enough, and that my voicing my concerns was not enough. It was only when my husband got involved and sent an email with his name behind it that their tune changed. A few friends suggested that I keep my thoughts to myself when it comes to the school, as they felt "speaking up will get me nowhere". It shouldn't be this way.
It shouldn't take a man, standing behind his wife, standing behind their son, for people to listen and treat children with respect!
But, in our case, and in any case, I am so glad it happened this way. Everyone learned a lesson, and our family became a united front.
Love and Bless, Strong Family.
If you are interested to learn how you can become a united front as a family, without the fear society will put on you when you do things the way that works best for YOUR family, feel free to get in touch for a free 15min, no obligation, consultation here.
Love and Blessings, and Happy Parenting.
MSc Psychology, Stress and Health
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