My next step was to see what alternatives there were in Australia. I spent a few months researching alternative education, progressive schools, democratic schools, Steiner and Montessori. I was inspired that there were so many other options available and now all I had to do was make another choice. I was more cautious this time…
My husband and I decided for many reasons (not just for our children’s education) to make a move to Melbourne. We were returning to Trent’s hometown. We decided to enroll the children (my daughter now being of school age) in one of the oldest progressive schools in Australia. I was excited and interested to see what would transpire. I felt more confident in my own awareness. I had grown.
The school has an incredible philosophy, with a focus on independent learning, cooperation, creativity, trust and compassion.
For the most part, the children were happy. Yet my oldest was bullied again and the school did not do much about it. This time my husband taught him to defend himself and he wasn’t bullied again. We were disappointed that it had come to this and we had endless late night chats about what was going on in education and about the power that we had, as parents, to truly make the changes that seemed so necessary.
What I learned…
As wonderful as a school’s philosophy may be, their hands are tied as to how much they are able to fulfill it. Schools and teachers are constantly under scrutiny; they always have someone looking over their shoulders.
There are other things at play. Throughout Australia people are questioning the effectiveness of our schooling system and more and more people are seeking answers and solutions. Unfortunately, the governing bodies have opted for more control, earlier and earlier academic instruction and more testing.
Everything in my being realised that these were not the answers but I didn’t know how schools would be able to break away and do the things that our children really need. I knew I needed time to find further clarity.
TIME and SPACE are integral keys to clarity and deeper knowledge.