19 Aug Unschooling, Parenting and Traveling with Children
Living together as a family is something very special. We think, something especially beautiful!
In this category, we write about different aspects of being a parent and living with children, about the importance of free play, about our family life and about free education and unschooling when traveling and in everyday life.
Parenting and family life
There is hardly anything more exciting, challenging and important in life than the wonderful experience when a couple suddenly becomes a family! We try to follow a path that gives our family life and the space and room it deserves.
With the birth of our two children, our adult lives were turned upside down! We are very grateful that we have gained many new perspectives and insights through our children. How wonderful, that we can find out together with the children how a more sustainable, freer and fulfilled life can look like “in real”!
As a family, we live in non-violent, equal and respectful relationships with each other. Attachment parenting, unschooling, natural parenting and respectful parenting are the key concepts that describe our parenting style best! Anyway, there is always a lot to learn for everyone involved in this family. We are looking forward to sharing our experiences and knowledge with you!
Worldschooling and free education
Worldschooling and free education
By now our children are 4 and 7 years old. Both children do not attend kindergarten or school during our trip. They educate themselves freely in everyday life according to their own needs and interests during our travels. We see it as our task as parents to support and accompany them in their individual educational path. We parents are responsible for creating a loving, stimulating and healthy environment for their personal development.
Free play has a key role in this process. For us, playing is not a break from learning. On the contrary, we value it as the essence of learning itself! Problem solving, physical and social skills, ability to concentrate, imagination – through free play, children learn all this and much more, and the best: It’s FUN! Pressure, coercion and control are not only completely unnecessary, but actually impede learning and are the beginning of the end of creativity.
While education without school is unimaginable for many people, we experience every day on this journey how incredibly powerful, liberating and effectively self-determined learning is. Our children are incredibly curious, motivated and interested! They learn many things voluntarily, effortlessly and in an everyday context that are associated with a lot of pressure, stress, fear and boredom in school. For example, our daughter reads and writes daily with so much joy without us ever having asked her in her life to repaint letters or forcing her to read something!
Here we describe what free education looks like in everyday life, the challenges we face in everyday unschooling life and what all of us learn on our journey!
Self-determined births, breastfeeding, babywearing, baby led weaning and diaper-free babys
As babies and toddlers, our children were held and carried by us and breastfed by me for as long as they both needed, even into toddlerhood. They slept in our family bed as long as they wanted (today they still do!) and grew up – sometimes completely, sometimes part-time – without diapers. Thanks to hypnoborthing, both children were born in self-determined, almost painless births, the second of which was a wonderful home birth in the water. There was no ready-made industrial baby food out of the glass. Instead the children simply whatever was provided at the family meals.
Even though the baby and toddler time with us is (for now!) over, these topics are still very close to my heart and I am so looking forward to share with you our experiences!
Minimalist and natural childhood
We’ve never been friends of overflowing children’s closets and lots of plastic toys. Since we embarked on our open end journey, our stuff in general and also, the children’s toys have been reduced even further to a very minimal number of items.
First of all, there is hardly any room in a campervan (or in the suitcases on our past long-distance trips!) for large amounts of stuff to drag along with us. Secondly, we have found that our children have never actually played much with their toys. On the contrary, the many, often small pieces of toys have always caused an incredible amount of decluttering and cleaning-up work and thus, a bad mood! Newly purchased toys are bad for the environment anyway.
What remains are now a few items that are used and played on continuously. These include some good pocket knives, tools, pens, paper and other art materials, shovels and buckets, a few favourite dolls and stuffed animals, handicraft materials such as wool, crochet hooks and fabric as well as a selection of our favourite books which are read daily. Our daughter also has her own high quality camera. Of course, bicycles and snorkel equipment are not to be missed on our trip! The iPad for movies, youtube videos, music or radio plays is also used on occasions.
In our experience, other children, a child-friendly, natural environment free of stress factors and a good atmosphere within the family are central to good free play. Even by themselves, our children often play for hours with concentration and perseverance!
Children, travel, health and nutrition
Traveling and living with children brings about a very special responsibility.
Eating healthy food, unlimited free movement in the fresh air and in nature and plenty of time for cuddling, listening to each other and playing are essential for our health!
It is important for us to live as undogmatically, ideologically-free and moderate as possible. We do not want to divide this wonderfully diverse life into black and white! Yes, healthy nutrition with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables is very important to us – but in addition to green smoothies and wholemeal rice dishes we also throw in a tasty baguette with jam here and there! It’s really great when the kids run around in nature – but the occasional fun cartoon on Netflix without any educational value is also part of our family life from time to time. Life should be fun!
What we do if we do become ill, how we prevent and treat diseases, how we eat and how we prepare for long journeys from a health point of view, we would like to share with you here!