Unchooling thoughts from a de-schooling father

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A little less than two months ago we left Sweden and drove all the way through continental Europe to southern Spain where we are spending our days currently.

Basically right up till the days we left, I was working almost full-time office work, and Alma (our oldest) was at school in the second grade.

Of course, jumping into the car and driving 3.200 kilometers is not something you do every day, so we did do quite a bit of packing and preparing. Never the less it was a very fundamental shift in the family on that day we left home and started driving south. See our map.

I knew I was leaving my “normal” life behind, as the office worker, the main “breadwinner” of the family and as the one not staying at home. All that was changing and the thought of it was very exhilarating at first.

We were all very excited about going on a big adventure, and the trip all the way down to Andalusia went extremely well in broad strokes.

We arrived well in a village just on the outskirts of Malaga, in a house with a wonderful garden filled with orange, lemon and avocado trees, we felt as if we had come to heaven. In many ways we had, very warm and sunny weather, fresh organic fruits and vegetables and a comfortable house to stay in.

De-schooling

Then began, quite slowly yet obviously a process of de-schooling and family adjustment to our new life.

I had a hard time feeling completely part of the family, not knowing all the routines of daily home life, and also lacking the fine-tuned empathy needed to be a balanced and fair parent.

I was used to only a few hours of family time per day (apart from weekends) and this was a big change. Now I was there all the time, and the kids were there all the time, asking questions, needing help, crying, hurting, peeing, excited, hugging… well, you get the picture.

Also, Alma was clearly needing some de-schooling time too. Especially the last 6 months of her school attendance she had been growing farther and farther apart from her siblings. She usually came home from school very angry and tired and very seldom had the energy to be kind to the others (or to us), so her younger siblings had also grown a little apart from her. I was very sad about this and we were very curious to see what would happen once we got settled out of school.

To my extreme joy she gradually (but rather quickly) settled more deeply into the group of siblings, and especially with her two brothers. She began including Vide into many games and play, they are having so many laughs together these days. Alma is now also very close to Nour (our youngest), and she is slowly becoming his favorite for carrying him around the house and discovering together.

This is by far the greatest positive thing about this family travel so far, seeing the kids playing so lovingly and openly with each other, it melts my heart every time I hear them talking or discussing and their laughs are just pure medicine for my soul.

Comfortable in the middle of things

Being a family, close together, is hard work. We have so much time on our hands, but somehow there seems to be so little of it on most days. We sleep in, take our time making breakfast, do some chores, play in the sun, prepare some more food and all of a sudden another unschooling day has passed 🙂

For my self, it feels a lot like I´m on a journey. And I´m no longer at the beginning. I am somewhere in the large middle of things, and I´m starting to feel very comfortable here.

It seems now, that we have found a nice balance in our family, everyone gets to take part in the family life, helping out and doing their things.

I feel so much more connected to the rest of the family. I got quite confused in the beginning (I do get confused easily to be honest) not knowing how to be and where to help. But after almost two months I have been sufficiently de-schooled, and I am now much more able to be the kind of father that I want my kids to have. And I really enjoy seeing life more from the children perspective, it simply just a lot more fun!

1 reply
  1. Camilla
    Camilla says:

    It really makes me so warm inside to read about your days together with the kids ♡ The childrens way of seeing things, and life, is so much more fun 🙂 ♡ Thanks for letting us in! Hugs & Kisses

    Reply

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