We were living in the centre of Barcelona when my eldest son (now 13) was born. Our house was on a pedestrian passageway, and across from us was an elderly Spanish woman called Maria who would often sit in her doorway making lace. She was a cheerful and kind neighbour but would frequently voice her … Continue reading Independence goes at its own pace
Something I often come across in unschooling groups is how alienated people can feel when they choose this path. And I admit that in quieter moments my mind does sometimes wander into Utopian dreams of living in a supportive community of likeminded people. In this green and lovely place, adults and children alike would be … Continue reading So, where’s that tribe?
My partner is away for a few days, so life is just that little bit more orderly. When there's another adult here it all feels so spacious. One child wants to go out? No problem, there's still another parent around for the others. Since we're both pretty much in charge of the hours we work … Continue reading Looking for the win-win
Entrepreneurship is a natural part of life in this house. Just about every day someone comes up with a new idea for making their fortune, or one of the ideas that has been buzzing around a while takes on a new angle and springs back into life. I've always loved putting ideas into action. When … Continue reading Children and the natural business of life
One of the most challenging aspects of unschooling for me was letting go of conventional paradigms about gaming, and screen time in general. Paying attention to my children has allowed me to see how enriching much of this activity actually is. Each of the children engages differently with games and screens. E does some gaming, … Continue reading Thoughts from a 13-year-old gamer
I thought I'd start some posts about what our average days are made of. I chose Monday because it still feels like a minor act of rebellion not to wake up stressed at the prospect of the week ahead. Ever since my school years I've associated Mondays with either heroic energy or a slothful desire … Continue reading So, what did we do today?
People often ask how I get anything done when I'm with the children at home. Surely, life is too chaotic for me to be productive. Is unschooling chaotic? It can feel that way sometimes. Five people moving to their own rhythms in the same place is bound to have its moments. The absence of imposed … Continue reading Unschooling and being a productive person..
We came back to Spain a week ago, after visiting family for Christmas and New Year. I love to be with family and old friends in the UK, but it's good to be back here too. Barcelona in January always feels good for the soul. And, here on the hill, where we can watch the … Continue reading Slow living
I'm writing this post on the morning of New Year's Eve, at my mother's house in the Yorkshire town where I grew up. We come here at least twice a year and it has become a home from home for my children. As British/Argentinians born in Spain, their sense of belonging in the world is … Continue reading New Year’s resolutions
Society seems to have created an odd hierarchy of children's activities which, at first glance, is there to help us parent better and ensure our children go on to great things. Sitting at the top are the worthwhile activities (reading, playing an instrument, doing a craft etc) and, lurking at the bottom, are the time-wasters … Continue reading When everything means something