So you’ve chosen to ‘unschool’ your kids!
Unschooling is a valid educational choice families in many countries are free to make. In Australia, unschooling is legally permitted, provided you meet the state’s requirements for registration, which is certainly doable. That being said, the number of people choosing to unschool their children is still small compared to the majority, so it can feel quite isolating. It takes a certain amount of courage to step outside the system and follow your own path, listen to your own instinct, and prioritise the passions and uniqueness of your children. Welcome to the ‘road less travelled’!
Aiming for Attunement
One of the key tenets of unschooling that really helps families thrive is attunement: tuning in to each other, being on the same wavelength, really connecting and ‘being with’ each other. If you’ve come from a more traditional, authoritarian, controlling background, this can be a scary thought, and the process of moving from one style to another can be a little unsettling for everyone. But it is definitely doable! I’ve done it myself! It can feel unattainable at times, and we can mistakenly think it’s about being ‘perfect parents,’ but it’s more about developing an underlying philosophy and principles to guide us through this wondeful life.
When things aren’t going well…
As an unschooling parent, you may find it difficult to get help and support when things aren’t going well. You may be worried that the naysayers will say “I told you so”, or that others will simply say “Put them back in school and everything will be better!” You may feel increasingly isolated, struggline with shame, confusion and uncertainty, wondering how to turn your ideals into your reality. You want more connection and peace in your home “like everyone else must have”, but you’re not sure where to turn to for non-judgmental empathy and support. You want someone who gets it, someone who will help you live you want.
Hi, I’m Karen
One of the greatest joys of my life is my role as ‘mum’ to my four almost-grown children, with an extra one who was earth-side for only 9 short hours. Parenting has been my passion since before I became one, and homeschooling became the perfect way for me to live that out! My oldest two children went to a small country school for 3 and 5 years when we were living in a christian community in the outback (I’ve had an interesting life!) before we finally began homeschooling in 2005. It quite literally felt like coming home.
Traditional homeschooling lasted for about 7 days in our family before I stumbled upon ‘unschooling’ and suddenly I knew I had found what I’d been looking for. I was finally free to focus on relationships and connection as I supported my children to follow their passions and curiosity, developing into the unique individuals they wanted to be. This doesn’t mean it was perfect, and life certainly threw some challenges our way, but through it all, my focus remained the same: relationships, connection and passionate pursuit of interests.
As my nest began emptying, and my marriage sadly ended, I finally began my decades-long dream to study counselling and here I am! I offer counselling services for unschooling parents, combining my lived experience, my passion for parenting, and my skills as a counsellor, to provide an unschool-friendly therapy space for you.
My passion is helping parents increase attunement with their children through secure attachment & connection, tuning in to their own and each other’s needs. My fees are currently discounted while I finish my counselling internship, so it is a great opportunity for unschoolers-on-a-budget (aren’t we all?) to access affordable therapy (until December, 2019) after which it will be a full-fee service.
I see clients face-to-face in Melbourne (Boronia) and can also do sessions online, Australia-wide. I will work collaboratively with you to meet your goals and help you through the difficult parts of life, as you work towards living the life you value. I provide a supportive, empathic, understanding environment for you and can also work with your grown unschoolers (18 and above) if they are needing extra support.