What if it all made sense? How worldschooling changed our life!
Storm loves to be on adventures in our mini-van.
How to live like no one else, and yet feel completely normal
When I wake up in the morning, my first thought is of coffee. In that sense, my life is just like everyone else’s. I have my morning coffee, and I enjoy it with great pleasure.
From then on, and the rest of the day, our life is mostly not like everyone else’s lives. It’s not like we want to be very special and interesting, it’s like we want a very special and interesting life. Everyone should be free to make their own lifestyle decisions. And they are, some just don’t know.
Step one: unschool and flow
Anyway. The thing is, we unschool. We were lucky enough to stumble upon the idea of unschooling ten years ago, and we thank the universe and all of its gods and angels and vibrations and whatever language you speak – for that.
You see, the idea of unschooling speaks to the basic idea of living in flow, which I actually have always been fascinated by. I was lucky enough to hear an interesting lecture about the phenomenon of flow when I was just 13, and I have been studying the principles of flow both in theory and practice ever since.
It’s all about letting go
Being an academic from an academic family, it was not in the stars that I would come to be an unschooler. And the journey of trust, fear, flow, joy, and love has been wild and is ongoing as I sit here on a beautiful summer morning in Copenhagen, Denmark, and sip my first-morning espresso.
The thing is that it is easier to do like everyone else. It is easier to believe that, what I did, my children should do. It is easier to have a plan that you believe in and just follow it as best you can.
From the outside, unschooling can look like a weekend every day. And Worldschooling, the next level, the even more meaningful idea – can look like a vacation every day. But actually, it is nothing like that. It is completely different.
Step two: face your demons – survive your darkest hours
Our Fiat Ducato - somewhere in Germany
You see, sometimes it does not make sense. Sometimes, usually, late in the afternoon, I find myself (and my family) somewhere, exhausted and hungry, in a place without good organic food, with no shower and no completely clean clothes, no power on any battery, that is personal AND electronic, missing my friends, feeling a little nauseous and a little afraid.
And I look at my children and ask myself: What the fuck have I done? Why don't I make sure they are clean and well fed, with their hair nicely brushed and their toenails all white and nice, with shoes that fit, all eating cabbage and having a good education and a nice bank account?
The very adventurous example of marple, mountains, and rain
This can happen in our homebase in Copenhagen, or it can happen somewhere while traveling the rest of this wonderful planet.
I particularly remember when it happened in Levanto – Italy. It had been raining for days, and we lived seven of us (plus the dog) in our mini-van. We had seen beautiful Cinque de Terre – there had been hours of sun, but not enough to let everything dry out; we were tired and had been on the road for weeks. As we still ate gluten at the time, we had been living off bread for four days, not able to find something really good to cook from and not really able to cook because of the rain. A loose-loose situation, one would think.
When everything is damp and the sun is gone.
Practice mindset yoga: Believe without becoming insane
It takes courage to overcome situations like this. It takes a mindset of wanting to explore, live and problem-solve. It takes a family united by shared values and dreams; it takes tolerance and perspective. And it takes a special skill: To focus on turning the whole situation around and believing in the possibility that this situation, too, is holding a present.
This particular Italian experience made us book an Airbnb for three nights so that everybody could have a bath, wash their clothes, cook and eat real food in a real kitchen, sit indoors on a real sofa and write blog posts, draw pictures, and watch a movie, have a conversation and a great laugh. We found a real and huge supermarket on the way so that we had good stuff to fill our bodies and drove to the apartment close to Pisa.
The Carrara Mountain and European History
It turned out to be one of the most interesting experiences of the whole Autumn in Italy – as we landed close to the mountains of Carrara. It is a story in it’s own respect, but the short version is that most of the marble that was built in European marble, like churches and famous statues, is from Carrara, and that it was a mind-blowing experience to visit the mountain, where marble has been cut out for centuries – both nature and culture exploded in our heads, and we were all totally blown away – in the magical moments of the day we drove through the mountain, but also reflecting on the church in Pisa, and some of the wonderful artwork created by the Carrara marble – Michelangelo’s David and Cristus by the danish sculptor Thorvaldsen. Amazing.
There is no present like the present.
Anyway. The thing is that it does make sense. To do something most people don’t do. To live through the days or moments of doubt and frustration so that life can unfold and surprise you and the world can be amazing and surprising.
But it takes a lot of inner work, it takes courage, it takes conversations and reflection, and it will cost you the safety of everyday life and the fact that you know a lot of people living just like you, having problems like yours, and ideas like your own.
The wonderful marble mountains of Carrara
It’s not about unschooling – it’s all about life.
In our family, unschooling is a journey, and I do not declare myself the most experienced unschooler by any means. But it makes sense to me to share our story and our style – I have been doing it in Denmark (in my Danish blog), and it looks like there is a great interest and a lot to share.
Learning is a byproduct of living.
The way that we live now is based on trust. We do sincerely believe that life makes sense and that the whole school/learning scenario is a fake, distracting people from real life – that learning is a byproduct of living, and that curiosity, courage, flow, love, and …. yes: love is the key to a well-lived life AND to everything else: Health, Wealth (whatever that means), Progress, Balance. You all just add your core values.
And when the earth is shaking, and our trust is tired and hungry in the rain, we still trust. Trust that this is the right thing to do, that it is, in the end, better to be a little tired in the rain than to never go on The Journey, better than staying home and living the routine of Everyday Life.
The many moments of life
Trust that the lifestyle of WorldSchooling is the most exciting and meaningful way to spend our hours on the planet, and that the adventure is always right around the corner – except when you find yourself in the middle of it, breathing a sunset or a new perspective or connection on life, letting a mood or an atmosphere or scent sink deeply into the cells of our experience, our existence, our lives.
Living fully every day, every minute
It’s not like a weekend every day. It’s like never having any weekend time; it’s like showering is just as important as blogging, singing, or serving a customer – it’s not like vacation all the time, but like living a life, you never need a break from.
May the sun shine on you
Have you heard the latest podcast episodes?
🎙️New episode out every Thursday 🎙️
#35 Jen Keefe | Unschooling and Mental Health: A Parent's Perspective
Da Ladies #3 - Navigating Social Challenges in the Unschooling Journey
#34 Erika Davis-Pitre | Homeschooling as an Answer to Race-Based Educational Inequalities
Where are we now?
Want to stay up to date with our travels and podcast? Then sign up for our weekly newsletter