Kim Constable Interviews Unschooling Guru Dayna Martin

Question:
 
Does being a parent often leave you feeling exhausted and worn down?
 
Do you sometimes wonder if there is a better, more gentle way to parent that still raises healthy, happy young entrepreneurs?

I know what it’s like…

A few short years ago I was stressed out, worn down and at the end of my emotional tether.  I knew that there had to be a better way to do things, I just didn’t know what it was.
 
I couldn’t get my kids to eat healthily, bed times were challenging at best and getting them out to school in the morning was nothing short of horrible!
 
Like you, I had a dream of living in harmony with my family.  I wanted my house to be a place of laughter, joy and balance.  A place where my kids would want to come back to; where we shared and loved and trusted each other.
 
As you likely know, I’ve now made each of these dreams come true.
 
And despite all the conventional advice, I didn’t have to give up anything that was important to me to achieve it.  
 
Please know that the reason I am sharing this with you is to let you know that:
  1. I understand exactly where you are and what you’re going through
  2. I can show you exactly what it takes to get to the other side
Because the bottom line is that I’ve done it and I know that you can do it too.

Dayna Martin, has flown all the way from America with her four children to share her experiences as an international unschooling advocate.

In this interview below she shares what the unschooling philosophy is, and why she believes in its power to change the way we parent and the world.
 
To find out more about unschooling, Dayna and PPNLC, simply click on the video below or on any of the links below the video.
Click here to buy tickets for the PPNLC event this weekend
Click here to visit Dayna Martin’s website
Click here to buy her book Radical Unschooling, A Revolution Has Begun
Click here to buy Dumbing us Down by John Taylor Gatto
With love
Kim xo

How I instantly became a better parent

 Being a traditional authoritarian parent is exhausting.

I know this because I used to be one.  

I’m lying in bed with my daughter asleep beside me and the kids asleep in another bed.  

I was quietly reflecting on the day just past and it occurred to me how harmonious my life has become, since I stopped being my children’s boss.

I didn’t realise how exhausting it was trying to get my kids to do the things I wanted them to do.

It takes so much emotional energy to be the “one in charge” every day, because being in charge requires you to take away the other person’s freedom.

We don’t question it, or even think if it’s right or wrong.  It’s what our parents did, and it’s what we do too.  

Kids NEED to be told what to do… don’t they?

Children are not capable of choosing wisely for themselves… are they?

Given half the chance, kids would eat chocolate all day… wouldn’t they?

Actually no, not in my experience.

Given the freedom to choose for themselves, children make healthy choices, based on what their body or mind needs at any given moment.

They haven’t developed external rules about what’s good and bad.  

They have an instinctive trust in their bodies.

A trust that is slowly stripped away, layer by layer, by the message of the well-intended (but mis-guided) adults in their lives.

A message that tells them that they are here to be controlled and that they cannot be trusted to make good choices.

Sadly, what the parent usually means is “You cannot be trusted to make the choices that I need you to make to make me feel okay”.

Next time you feel the urge to control your child, I encourage you to stop and think for a minute.  

I encourage you to think about whether you are controlling out of a genuine danger to the child, or just to make yourself feel better.

As usual, would love to hear your thoughts.  Why do you control?  Is it possible to be your child’s boss AND friend?

Please leave a comment. 

Love Kim 

 

 

 

 

 

How To Raise Free Thinking Entrepreneurs

18 months ago I was running a company that took up an astounding amount of my time.  

I wanted to create something that would provide me with more leverage so I started researching online how to write an eBook.  In the process I discovered the world of Internet Marketing.

That day the flame of discovery ignited.

I started to write a daily blog, often getting up at 5am to do it before the kids woke up.

All my conversation was about my new journey, and my family became quite sick of me.

I couldn’t wait to get the kids into bed at night so I could have uninterrupted time to trawl the internet gathering information.  

Some nights I stayed up well past 2am because I couldn’t bear to tear myself away from what I was learning.

I was like a woman possessed.  Every fibre in my body was yearning to learn more, study more, read more… I couldn’t get enough!

Two years later, almost to the day, I own and run the web’s first professional body for Work at Home Mums.  

I have interviewed and been interviewed by, some of the web’s leading internet marketeers and am considered, by my peers to be an Internet Marketing Expert.

My eldest son Corey (8) loves computers and has an amazing capacity to concentrate for long periods of time.

His current loves are Minecraft and Lego Marvel Superheroes as he’s interested in anything that requires strategy to win.

His tennis coach told us, when he was five years old that Corey’s sole intent was to beat his opponent.  He wasn’t concerned about hitting the ball hard or fast, it was all about using strategy to win the point.

Strategy is a natural strength for him and computer games is how he loves to use it.

Corey is immersed in learning about Minecraft in the same way I was immersed with Internet marketing.  He spends the best part of every day watching, playing, reading and researching everything he can about these games.

This is how human beings learn.

When something resonates with us in such a way that it ignites a passion, we focus with intensity and laser beam focus.

School based learning does not tap into a human being’s natural learning process.  What schools seem to fail to realise is that reading, writing, math and science are tools to get us what we want.

The are the effects of learning, not the cause of it.

Learning math does not cause me to be able to learn other things.  Learning about things I love, causes me to learn math as an effect.  

I have watched my son’s reading, writing and comprehension explode in the three weeks that he has been given free rein to pursue his passions.  

I have watched him do his work with diligence, persistence and character.

I have witnessed him go to bed late and get up early, so intent was he to complete the next level.  A few hours sleep was only a necessary tool that night to help him achieve his goal.

I am excited for the potential I see in my eight year old to lead a life that is filled with joy, purpose and passion.

I only discovered it at 32 and haven’t done too badly.

I can’t even imagine what the future may hold for this free thinking entrepreneur.

What are your thoughts on school based learning?  Have you seen your child struggle to connect with what he’s learning at school?

Leave a comment and let me know.

Love Kim xo

 

 

Happiness is a journey, not a destination

Probably the biggest change to our life in the last two weeks as been giving the kids freedom to choose their own bedtime.

This was a really tough one for me.

I’ve always been very controlling over bedtimes, believing that kids needed to be in bed at a certain time in order for them to be well rested.  

When then were going to school every day, this was true.  

School takes a lot of emotional fortitude for a child.  

They’re in a controlled environment with a lot of different personalities, and so it takes mental energy for them to work out and follow the rules.

Not to mention the horrors of peer pressure and the threat of bullying.

Survival takes energy and so rest is essential if we are not to put undue stress on their immature systems.

Since my kids do not go to school anymore, they don’t have these kinds of pressures to deal with.

Our days are spent going on fun outings, eating food they love, learning, exploring and feeling deeply loved.

Their average bedtime has moved to around 10.30pm, (probably because that’s when I usually go to bed) and they sleep until about 9am (can’t say I’m complaining about this part!).

I’m noticing that they’re starting to be more aware of their feelings as a result of not being controlled.

Because they’re not following a rule, they can tune into their themselves so much easier, as they’re not tuning in full time, to their external environment.

Last night I was snuggling in my bed with Corey and Kai at around 10pm.  Kai had just had a bath and we were watching videos on YouTube.

Suddenly Kai sat up and said “Mummy, isn’t this lovely?”

I smiled and realised that yes, it was lovely.

He continued “Tonight has been great; having a hot bath, a piece of toast and now snuggling here with you and Corey.  I love you mummy.”

Tonight wasn’t any different than any other night in his life, except that it was 10.15pm.  But I realised how everything he had done all night had been entirely his choice.  

And that freedom must’ve felt wonderful.

I’ve also realised how easy it is to be a mum, when I’m not controlling my kids all day.

Easier for me, easier for them.  

I love my life.

(If you liked this post I would love it if you would hit the like and share buttons below.)

 

A Journey Into The Unknown… Unschooling

About a year ago I discovered a TED Talk by the mighty Seth Godin called Stop Stealing Dreams (you can watch it here)

In this talk Seth talks about how schools are killing our kids creativity and that they are in the “dark ages” when it comes to education.

This video had a profound effect on me.

(I wrote a blog post after watching it, you can read it here)

I have trained for ten years with human potential company Executive Success Programs, which has profoundly affected my view of the world.

Through ESP I have taken apart my belief system (built when I was a child) and put it back together again in a more integrated way.

And this way gave me a new perspective on how my childhood affected my adult life.

I also became violently protective of children.  

Having understood on a visceral level how deeply my childhood experiences affected me, I committed to changing the way I parented.

When I started my first business three years ago we enrolled our homeschooled kids into the Holywood Rudolph Steiner school, which seemed like the next best option for us.

Ryan my husband, was keen for them to attend some sort of school as he didn’t believe that I could educate them at home in the way they needed educated.

I didn’t feel educated enough on the subject of homeschooling to convince him otherwise!

At home we continued to raise free thinking individuals and encouraged them to a question everything and never accept anything on good faith (which is what school actually wants kids to do… accept what I tell you and don’t question it).

And the arrangement worked fine.

Recently my eldest son Corey started to not enjoy school.  

The work got harder.  

He loved his friends, but hated the lessons (he told me).

(In fact, if you have ever heard any child, anywhere say that the thing they love about school is the lessons please leave a comment below)

His unhappiness was the best thing that ever happened to me as it made me question my decision to send them to school.

Is the goal of childhood not to be happy?  In fact, is the goal of life not to be happy?

Why do we force our kids into an environment they’d prefer not to be in, to do something that they will do anyway, on their own?  (Learn)

These were the questions I was asking myself.

Then I discovered Dayna Martin and my life changed forever (thanks Tabby Chapman).

Dayna embodies the principle of unschooling (you can watch a video on it here) which basically means that her kids are free to choose everything.

She lives in partnership with her kids and allows them to find their own balance through making their own choices.

In essence, her kids are free.

Free.

Isn’t that such a lovely word?  Isn’t it what you crave every day?

I’ve never met a human being who didn’t crave freedom.  

So why do we strip it away from our kids by controlling their every move?  Why do we force them to do the things that WE think are good for them, rather than helping them to find their own passions?

How narcissistic are we to assume that we know best for our kids?

Questions questions questions.

So we took the kids out of school, removed all rules and restrictions and have embarked on a life of unschooling.

It’s been crazy, terrifying and exhilarating all at the same time.

And I’ve never been happier.

If you made it this far, congratulations.  

I’m sorry this got long, but I wanted to give you the background before I started diving into the nitty gritty.

I am deeply honored to have you on this journey with me.  Hundreds of you have signed up to follow and more join every day.

This says to me that the world is ready for a different perspective.

If you agree, please share this on your Facebook page and with your friends.  

You can live this journey through me… and if you learn one or two things that change the way you think or parent, then it will make it all worthwhile.

Please also leave a comment and share your thoughts and/or experiences.

If you want to read my weekly updates please be sure to subscribe to my private mailing list by clicking here.

With love

Kim xo