Saturday, April 27, 2013

This traveling unschooling life of ours...

While we were cleaning our shells at the picnic table at the end of the day, Mathilde casually said: so if I add an uneven number (she didn't say odd number or the French equivalent impair, she simply said inégal) like 5 to another unever number, I get an even number! But if I add an even number to an even number, I don't get an uneven number, I get an even number! Then, we discussed what happened if you had an even and uneven number together... It's just beautiful to see this happen! Children are curious by nature and will discover these things by themselves if we don't make them into teachable concepts all the time... If we let them come to them in their own terms, at their own time.


My girls might not know their multiplication tables by heart (and might never learn them), but I hope they will remember the smell of the ylang-ylang flower at 5 o'clock when it releases its divine perfume. They might never learn the rules of dodge ball in the school yard, but will know what the meat of a freshly pick young coconut taste like (and that it's especially yummy if it's your papa that picked it and opened it with his very own machete!). They have eaten sun-filled perfectly riped starfruit straight from the trees and picked cacao fruits and eaten the delicious sweet flesh surrounding the seeds. With a friend, they picked green mangoes (a delicacy in Central America), cut them, packaged them and sold them at the local market. They have picked black pepper from the plant and cashews (and ate the astringent fruit that sits on top of the smal hard shell where the "nut" that we eat is located).


 :: Ylang-ylang flower ::





:: Cacao fruit (on top) and Cashew fruit ::

They will know the pleasure of going to the same market every week and see the same smiling faces, offering you a mango, a cookie, saving you her last little bottle of raw goat milk (in recycled Coke bottles)... They probably will not know what it feels like to wait for the summer holidays, for Spring break or for the Christmas vacations, because their life feels like a never-ending holiday... and I wouldn't want it any other way.

They know the smell of the Arizona desert after the rain, they know how wonderful the sun feels on their skin after 8 months of winter in the Yukon and how beautiful it is to see crocuses poke the bare land (and how much when you are 4 you really want to pick them all!). They have seen and smelled active volcanoes, have touched one of the biggest Ceiba tree of Costa Rica and soaked in the same hot springs at -30 Celcius at at + 30 Celcius. We have taken daily walks during which blue morpho butterflies came and flew around us at the same place every single morning. They have heard the particular call of the Toucan, the roar of the howler monkeys and the funny sound gecko makes... Sometimes, we just have to close our eyes and it all comes back... the sounds, the smells... We can travel together in our heads...


  :: Waiting for the bus in Nicoya, Costa Rica ::

They might never go to a graduation ceremony or wear a prom dress, but they will have seen the sunrise on a Tuesday morning into the Grand Canyon. They will have walked into a Kiva (an ancien Indian Pueblo underground ceremonial room). They will have slept in a Mongolian yurt in paradise and wake up to snowy mountain tops in August.



 :: Sunrise from Ooh-Aah Point at the Grand Canyon ::

On top of that, they usually have the pools, the bike parks and play parks to themselves during the week. Actually, they have the world to themselves. They have the time and the possibility to really listen to the music of their own life. 

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

J'aime ta réflexion et bien sûr qu'elles ne semblent pas trop perdantes ou malheureuses (à voir les photos)de vivre en dehors du moule. Mais bien que vous viviez tous les cinq à peu près la même aventure, il sera interessant dans 10 ou 20 ans de voir ce que chacun retient de tout
ça. Perception et interprétation personnelle...
Je dois quand même dire que je trouve ça courageux et admirable d'oser aller à la rencontre du monde et de ses merveilles. Merci de nous le partager!

Sarah-Our Island Home said...

Beautiful post!

Heather Booth said...

Such a beautiful family you have. I love reading about your adventures and your take on life.

P.S.

Did you know this post was featured in the Unschooling Blog Carnival?

Catherine said...

Thanks so much, Heather! And no, I had no idea! Are you the one to thank for that? If so, I am very grateful! Thanks so much!

Cap'n Franko said...

Like Heather, I came here from the Unschooling Blog Carnival. Our girls are now 19 and 20 and we still love to travel together. Keep on travelling!

Christy said...

Beautiful post :)

Teresa Honey said...

Lovely pictures, and lovely thoughts on unschooling and traveling!

Unschooling Blog Carnival said...

Hi Catherine!!
So happy to meet you through our Unschooling Blog Carnival. What a great blog, fabulous photos. Thanks for sharing your life with us. :)
~Sue

Unschooling Blog Carnival said...

Forgot to leave a link to the Carnival so you could see your post there and "meet" some of the other unschooling bloggers out there! :)

http://unschoolingblogcarnival.blogspot.com

Catherine said...

Thank you all for your sweet comments! And thank you very much Sue for adding me to your great Uschooling Blog Carnival. I feel honored to be featured among such a great crowd of inspiring writers!

Francesca said...

the most important lesson in life at your girls age comes from within the family: respect, love, sharing ...