I love enjoying places where families on the free-learning path can meet one another, give and receive support, and share in the fun. I want to foster those spaces everywhere, and hang out with my tribe. Not just unschoolers, either, but people of all ages, races, genders, orientations, and walks of life who are embracing their creativity, creating community, and encouraging each other to be their own best self!
I saw a lot of happy kids up at this year’s Life Rocks! Radical Unschooling Conference in North Conway, NH. Why are they happy? Well, of course, only each individual can know those inner reasons. But my speculation, after years in these types of supportive and freedom-loving communities, is that it’s because the kids are pursuing their own interests. They’re doing what they love.
Unschooled kids can, like adults when we are at our best, organize their own days as they wish. They can create balance based on a wide array of interests and pursuits. They work at the things that fascinate them, and play with ideas, materials, and experiences all the time. They are figuring out their best ways of learning, through trial and error, and in cooperation with others in their family, group of friends, and wider community.
ElvenTiger, now 15, loves to go to Life Rocks! and see friends from all around the country. They hang out, swim in the pool, play games like Werewolf, stay up late making up witty puns and then spreading them all around the conference tribe. They talk and laugh and share their interests with one another.
The younger kids, too, looked like they were having a fantastic time. Lots of running around, laughing, joyful shrieking. To be sure, there were tears and upset times of conflict too, but those faded quickly as the little ones were supported by their parents and the other moms and dads. There were nerf gun wars, field games like tug of war, and lots of fun toys and crafts to choose.
Come to think of it, it wasn’t just the kids, either. The adults were having a lot of fun, too! We are busily unlearning the “rules” we were taught earlier in life, and sharing stories, laughs, and wisdom.
When people of all ages are encouraged to explore their own passions and interests, they flourish. Think about it in the context of your own life – when are the times you felt absolutely giddy with happiness? What were you doing? How were you being supported and loved, by yourself and others?
Hey, tribe, keep on rockin! Find those spaces where you can truly be yourself. You’re part of the peaceful revolution. You know who you are! And you rock!