Radical Unschooling

#100 Days of Home Ed…Day 6

After looking this first week at the people involved in PanKwake’s home ed…today…and maybe much of this week…we will look at the where.

Our #HomeCrazzyHome

I might have saved the where for later in this 100 days…except for the fact that…

Today is moving day!

Today, PanKwake, Cookie Monster, and I move into our new home.

This is actually PanKwake’s seventh move in her short life…and I have lost count of the number in my 50+ years…and do NOT want to actually take the time to do so. Let’s just say that at last count I was working on twenty-something…and that was a few years ago.

The longest that PanKwake has lived anywhere was the tiny flat in London…a little over five years. The shortest was three months in temporary housing after we left her dad.

We have been in this house in Swansea since July…so not quite seven months. Fingers crossed we will have much…Much…MUCH longer in the new house. I won’t jinx it by saying anymore though.

This move is directly related to PanKwake actually. Cookie Monster owned the house in Swansea. He had thought to never again move. But then we came into his life…and so too did autism…and dyspraxia.

Dyspraxia may be one of PanKwake’s alphabet soup that I did not talk about the other day. It is a big, fancy, fifty-cent word for…clumsy. Well, not exactly but good enough for government work in this blog. It is one of those co-morbidities with autism.

For PanKwake this translated to difficulty with climbing the stairs here without pounding and making so much noise that it disturbed the neighbors.

When they complained…we did all that we could. But it still was not enough…the support beams from the stairs run directly through the walls into their house…and because these are listed buildings there was nothing structurally we could do to fix the problem.

When the trouble with the neighbors began, Cookie looked at my tear-filled eyes across the breakfast table and said…

A few sleepless nights is the price of loving you. One that I am more than willing to pay. but she and her family did not have that choice.

So we started to look for more child-friendly houses…and found this one.

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It was the first and only one we looked at…and like our love-story though the road to this move has been rocky…it is perfect for us.

#HomeCrazzyHome is a blend of all of us…

For Cookie, it has the historical features…right down to a real life dungeon in the basement. And it needs LOADS of work…engineers love ‘projects’. I figure this is a life-time one.

For me, it is much less fancy…more family, lived in feel to it. In fact, we continue to research its history, but the last family who lived there had seven children…and the one before that had six. Needless to say, I don’t think PanKwake’s noise will be an issue…they had drums and electric guitars.

And for PanKwake…it has space. Lots and Lots and LOTS of space. That is the backyard…which will soon be home to her trampoline…and a play set come spring time. She will also have her room…PinkTopia. A gaming/art/school room (that lovely glass conservatory you see on the right). A gymnastics room. And a play room. Yes, that is four rooms all to herself…our flat in London only had had four rooms.

Which makes the point I was coming to…

Home Education may begin with the word…HOME…but you don’t have to have any particular, fancy set up to do it well. A kitchen table will work just fine.

Honestly, home education is a misnomer. Not all of it happens at home. Parks. Museums. Beaches. Any place and any time can be a learning experience.

But whether you live in a huge place like #HomeCrazzyHome or a tiny flat like ours in London…this move illustrates the essentials…

It needs to be a safe environment for your child and yourself. And I am not just talking about physically safe. When I talk about my home…whether it is that dinky flat or this beauty, I use words like…

Refuge and fortress…

That place where it is safe to just be…YOU!

When you go out into the world…people/society are always going to place demands upon you…judge you. So whether it is a bed-sit, studio, mansion or even a palace…it is important that your home be that one place where you are free to be yourself…without judgement.

And that can be harder to achieve than it sounds. In all honesty, few houses and families do hit that bar. But a MAJOR portion of HOME education in this family entails just that…

Making a house…a flat…even one room…into a safe, refuge where PanKwake can be herself and develop at her own pace. It has not always been possible…but when I faced those challenges…I did WHATEVER was necessary…as quickly as I could…to make it right. And this time…I had an amazing co-conspirator in that challenge. See why I love Cookie so much?

For me…that is the biggest difference…

School is place of conformity…rules, sometimes (often) silly ones…pressure. It is the beginning of your indoctrination into society…the system.

Home education is about learning, yes…but growing…and above all being HAPPY!

Yes, I believe a home should be a HAPPY place…a safe one…a loving one. No matter its size. In that environment…learning is just natural for our children.

 

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