Why we choose to homeschool, and not put our son in nursery
Our son is almost 1,5 years old now. He is the most magical thing of course. Curious beyond measure, extremely stubborn, strong and wilful. He is intelligent and has an inspiring determination. He is also reflective, contemplative, observing, sensitive, loving and generous. It is such a rich experience, getting to be part of a human beings every day life from the day that they are born and take their first breath in this physical time-space reality. Both from the perspective of being his chosen mother here on earth. As his primary caretaker, his source of food, safety, love, warmth and support. But also from the perspective of getting to understand humanity and spirituality better. I am grateful for the insights. And daily we are learning to live this life together with more ease, depth and flow.
My belief is that our consciousness and our soul is much older, much more immense, than the years we define by how many hours we have breathed in this physical body on this physical planet. I believe that the spirit of what constitutes my son Rowan, as an example, has come to this earth with his own mission. He, as everyone else, is a divine being, which is purely non-physical at the foundation. That non-physical being, or consciousness if you will, is pure love at the core. It knows love as being the only thing that is. We conditioned adults can sense a glimpse of that infinite, blissful love and deeper awareness when we are utterly present and connect with our child during for example breastfeeding. And to a greater extent during deeper states of meditation, or when working with a healing plant medicine. The spiritual path towards awakening leads you in that direction, but it requires immense discipline and focused work, so most people don’t get to experience much of this innate bliss while they dwell in between life and death. I can write more about the bliss state in another post if you like.
So when we then are thrown into this world through birth, and get to put on our earth costumes, we slowly but surely forget where we come from (the divine, perfect, love-consciousness from which everything and everyone originates). We get conditioned from the very onset of our lives. We are given a name, we need to adhere to one specific gender and its specific rules, we live with parents that live in a certain way, have certain beliefs and ideas that we adopt and make our own. Later on, we also get conditioned by the kids we play with, the school and teachers we happen to go to and come across. The TV programs we watch, commercials and the myriad of conflicting messages from society that we absorb. It’s not an easy world to navigate for anyone, let alone for a little child.
Children are most vulnerable before the age of 2, when they operate from the delta brain wave state. There isn’t much rationality in what they do during this period, and the child relates to everything in a primitive instinctual way. It is important for us to honour that period of Rowans life, and be there for him, in exactly the way that his primitive self requires. If closeness is what he asks for, then that is what he will get. If he is hungry, he will be fed. We guide him and offer suggestions, but his needs are always our priority.
Knowing just how sensitive a small human beings psyche is, we naturally seek to offer him as much warmth, love, connection, peace and harmony as we can. There’s never a TV on in the background, I think this is my tenth year of living without a TV in my home. We rather play, dance, read stories, sing, play/listen to music and spend time outdoors. Being present, listening to his cues is so important. Never rushing, taking our time with everything. Letting him decide the speed of things so that he can learn in his own tempo. I think I can count the times that we have had to rush Rowan in any way, on one hand. We live with peace and a slow rhythm. Nothing else seems worthwhile. In our family we do everything we can to offer each other as seamless everyday experience as possible. Nurturing the art of giving instead of taking. Simplicity before consumption. Cultivating presence. There is nothing more important than our time together.
Rowan has slept in our bed since the first day of his life. Our traveling this past year has taken us to 22 countries in 14 months, but our daily routines are pretty much the same anywhere we go. We have our morning and bedtime rituals. We eat all of our meals together, and we have a little ritual for that as well. We divide the time in between sleeping and eating into 30 min work/30 min play shifts, so that Rowan always has one of us to play with. We use phones very minimally when we are with him. We encourage him to play by himself, build his own things, and wander around in the garden alone sometimes. Always with us being nearby. If there are playgrounds or parks, we make sure to get out so that he can socialise with other children. The one thing that we do miss, is for him to hang out with our family and closest friends and their kids. The only downside with creating a new life on the other side of the world. But on the other hand, we can really build our trinity and the comfort, love and connection that we are able to cultivate when it’s only us.
I believe that the more connected, safe, peaceful, natural environment, free from too much noise and distracting stimulus that a child gets raised in, especially during the first 7 years, the more connected they will become to their own inner world. And the easier will they be able to relate to and trust their innate strength and intuition. We mediate daily and even if Rowan himself doesn’t sit down to meditate yet, he is learning early that there is always a time for connecting to self, to the inner world, and that there is time for reflection. It has been important for us to introduce Rowan to the natural world from the very early beginning. Being outdoors, swimming, spending time with animals, discovering plants and the food that grows from earth. Knowing how much healing powers nature and the earth possesses, it is crucial for us to live in close relation to it. Nature connects us back to our source. It helps us remember where we come from.
Breastfeeding is the greatest gift, being able to nurture my child through my own body. Being there for him during this primitive and formative time of his life. I will continue to nurse him until he is at least two years old, if he still wants it then. And will then make a new evaluation whether to continue for a while longer. We want our son to get introduced to the world slowly, and in a safe manner. It is crucial to us that he gets to be as close to us as he needs and wants. It’s a very intuitive way of parenting. Whatever feels right, whatever brings most harmony, warmth and happiness. Another thing I find tremendously important of course, is the quality of food Rowan eats. Organic, homegrown or locally sourced produce. Free from pesticides and heavy metals. No sugar, gluten or factory farmed meat or dairy, which are all linked to a great array of problems in our brains and bodies, and especially toxic for small people with such sensitive brains and nervous systems. It simply would’t be possible to offer all of these very important things if we had to leave him to a nursery or other caretakers.
Later, between the years of 2-7 is when children soak up information like a sponge. This is when they are in the theta brain wave state, and the child’s subconscious is fully open to programming during these years. We adults can enter the same brain wave states in deep meditation or when we are hypnotised. So it is almost as if your child lives in a constant state of hypnosis during those years, being programmed by anything that happens around him or her. Whatever the child is exposed to during those formative years, will become the base of their understanding of the world. This is a period when the brain has the most plasticity, which means that the subconscious is extremely formable. I mentioned that we adults can enter this brain wave state during deep meditation and hypnosis, and that’s why those are two good tools for unraveling old traumas and suppressed pain, and reprogramming old conditionings, later on in life.
If we look at myself and Rowans father as two examples. Tevi was bullied from a very early age in life. These experiences have left deep wounds within his psyche, created beliefs, coping skills and behaviours that have hurt him in different ways all throughout his life. My mother on the other hand, was only 18 years old when she gave birth to me, and she had to give me away to an orphanage when I was 3 years old. The longing, disappointment, the pain, and later the suppression of those traumatic events and feelings, have shaped much of my world view. It is not before now that we are older and consciously aware of just how our early life traumas have shaped us and our belief-systems, that we can work on opening up to more of the pain, exposing the buried memories, and doing our practices to heal the wounds so that we do not pass on our limiting beliefs and fears onto Rowan and our potential future children. Universe had it that we both would meet, so that we could support each other on our separate healing journeys, as our individual traumas mirror the other’s in a very interesting and helpful way (but more about that in my book!).
It may be tempting to think that you as an adult are in charge of the quality, condition and direction of your life, but the truth is that at a subconscious level, most of us are living out patterns and programs that we learned from others during our formative childhood years. These programs often stand in our way to living life fully. They express themselves in insecurities, fears, limiting beliefs and twisted world views. If you live with any reoccurring conflict or limiting belief in your life, it is important to look into the past to learn how you can change direction and open up more fully, so that you can experience life with more love and less fear, moving forward.
We all have gone through things in various degrees. But the important thing is what you do from this moment on. None of us have to be slaves to old conditioning and belief systems, to fears and insecurities. We just need to open up and begin to reprogram. It’s especially important for parents to work with our subconscious programming, so that we don’t pass our limitations and fears onto our kids.
Sometimes we joke and say that we are just two broken human beings that will do whatever we can to not damage our child. But in all seriousness, whatever we can do to create as safe and peaceful early life for Rowan, we will do. It is our duty and the greatest gift in life.
Rather than seeing it as Rowan needs to begin school at a certain age, we are growing organically with him, and always gauging what new information and knowledge to introduce into his life. Likewise as not putting him in a nursery, we aim at teaching him everything we know at home, in combination with selected home schooling material from Waldorf potentially. But for now; play, nature, food, connection, love, family rituals and traveling are our sweet family rhymes.
On one hand, I feel such immense gratitude for us being able to stay at home, work from home, and spend all this time together. On the other hand, I know that what it comes down to, is a choice. We have decided this kind of conscious, connected life to be the most fruitful and most rewarding for all of us, so we have made sure to shape life around this philosophy.
We all deserve, and have the right to live a life that truly connects us to our soul. Nothing compares to our children and being their safe, loving, gentle stepping stone into the world.