Behind That Cream Front Door…


If you take the north road out of town, the back road that climbs past tree studded paddocks where fat black cows graze, and if you continue past the two holiday cottages that jut over the dam, you will eventually come to the road that leads up to the village. Drive up this road of gum tree tunnels and high rock cuttings where kookaburras chuckle, and you will soon arrive at the welcome-to-our-village sign.

A few turns and down a side street, and there ahead of you, almost kissing the bush, is a light brick house with a dark brown roof. It is partly hidden by a garden of pittosporums and hebes, and if you are lucky you may catch sight of a family of superb fairy wrens flitting in the undergrowth, or perhaps there will be a cloud of butterflies surrounding the flowers…
There is nothing unusual about this house. Just a one storey brick house, nestled among the gum trees in a village street. But inside the house, behind that cream front door… Ah! Inside is something more rare: a Catholic unschooling family.
Go up to the door and knock. Do you hear the thud of footsteps? The door opens…
A sea of inquisitive girls and cats crowd round the door.
“Come in!”
“Am I interrupting anything?”
“Nothing that can’t wait. What a treat: a visitor!”
The kettle is filled and chairs are drawn up to the table.
“What have you been doing?”
“Well, I have been working on my trigonometry. I’ve nearly finished the section!” The oldest girl’s eyes light up.
“I’ve been writing a blog post. I just have to scan my drawing of a dragon, to add to the post, then I can publish it.”
“I’ve been cooking. I made those muffins!”
“Mum’s been reading to us. The book’s about the Eureka Stockade. Do you know about that?”
Soon a huge discussion is underway and you add your bit.
Two young men appear, lured towards the kitchen by the aroma of coffee. Are they unschoolers as well? No, but they were. The oldest has finished his Bachelor of Arts. The other is studying to be a nurse.
“Is this all of you, the whole family?”
“Oh no! We have another sister and another brother,” someone shouts.
“Five girls and three boys,” adds a girl helpfully, just in case you’re confused.
“Our sister lives on the other side of Australia and our brother’s in Heaven.”
Muffins are devoured, coffee is sipped and there are smiles and laughter. 
And joy and peace fill the house.
This isn’t just any unschooling family. This is my family. The Elvis family.
I have some stories I’d like to share. Stories of learning and growing and loving and living a life of Faith together. I hope you will come on in, sit down with your coffee and muffin, and join us around our unschooling table. Share our unschooling adventures. Join in the discussion. Smile and laugh…  

I hope we’ll soon be friends!  

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Comments

  1. Reply

    Very entertaining, as always, Sue! I'm so looking forward to reading all your stories and being inspired by you all! xxx

  2. Reply

    Wow! My first comment. That is always a special moment. Thank you, Vicky for visiting my brand new blog, and for your encouragement. I hope we'll have lots to share.

  3. Reply

    Can I have a choc chip muffin please?:)

  4. Reply

    Erin, I'll get the kettle on. Sophie will whip up a batch of those delicious chocolate chip muffins. Come on over!! And we'll have the most delightful chat. Thanks for visiting!

    • Gae
    • May 22, 2011
    Reply

    Great Post Sue.
    Love learning blogs
    here is the link to mine
    http://cherishedheartslearningathome.blogspot.com/
    and looking for great books
    my book blog
    http://rosemanorforme.blogspot.com/
    God Bless
    Gae

  5. Reply

    I'm certainly looking forward to reading your blog, Sue. I just love reading how other homeschoolers soend their days. I have a soft spot for unschooling stories, even thought it's not the way we do things.
    Tricia.

  6. Reply

    Gae, I'll follow the links. I'm looking forward to sharing. God bless.

  7. Reply

    You're going to read my blog, Tricia? I'm so thrilled. Thank you. I'm sure we'll have lots to share even though our styles of learning are different. God bless.

    • Pam
    • May 22, 2011
    Reply

    Oh yay Sue! Thanks for the heads up. I will be so happy to add this one to my reader!

  8. Reply

    Ok, it's obvious that books are involved and subjects but I'm still a bit confused. What is unschooling? and what are the benefits of this method vs homeschooling? Love the pictures of your children. Which one of your children is the baby picture?

  9. Reply

    That was just my introduction, Noreen!!! I'm going to be writing lots about what unschooling is. Will you tune in for more? I hope so! Here's a few things to be going on with: child led learning, following family passions, sharing, books, talking and discussing and more talking, doing more structured courses when appropriate, having a real love of learning, being self motivated, having fun, interacting with the community, doing real work… I think it will beome clearer as I write…

    The benefits: that could take pages to answer too. Short answer: love of learning, real life is learning, we learn as a family, we share lots, close family relationships, the learning is relevant and is remembered, kids take charge so I don't have to crack the whip to make them learn. Just a few things off the top of my head, Noreen.

    The baby is Thomas. Of course, we ony have baby photos of him!

    I really do appreciate your interest in this side of our life, Noreen. This blog is not to persuade others to my point of view, but is only a way of sharing our lives. I hope you will drop in now and then because I think we could discuss children and learning and growing and find out we have lots in common even if you do not unschool.

  10. Reply

    Pam, I'm so pleased you visited. And you have added me to your reader!! Thank you. Please come back after things settle down at your place and join in the discussion. God bless.

  11. Reply

    Could I find my way there? to your home! I may get lost, but in the blogosphere world I'll be up to date and not lost in the surrounding streets or stuck in the village. looking forward to your blogging.

  12. Reply

    Leanne, come to my online bloggy home. Come to my real home. You are welcome at both! God bless.

  13. Reply

    Thanks for the explanation Sue. Were you a teacher before you decided to homeschool? Anow unschool? We're are in the middle of making a decision to either keep our son in public school or send him to Catholic School for his middle grade years. I don't think homeschooling would be a good fit for us here. 🙂

  14. Reply

    Noreen, I'm not a qualified school teacher. I did a Bachelor of Science (botany, biochemistry)and worked in a research lab at Sydney University before our children were born. I've been able to get a second education as I've learnt along side my children. It's been a wonderful experience. Andy is a school teacher, but teaching at school and teaching at home are quite different, although we do have lots of things to discuss and share.

    Noreen, we are so fortunate to have choices. Homeschooling, unschooling ,schooling, public or Catholic…different things suit different families. And although we unschool and you school, I'm sure we still have lots we can share and discuss. Unschooling involves lots of things that you'd do with your son too: reading good books, spending time together, going on outings, talking, loving, sharing hobbies… I hope you will come back to share my stories and comment. Ypou are not an unschooler but you are a friend and I love to hear from you. God bless.

  15. Reply

    Sue, what a beautiful family you have! I know it's not too late to name those precious children in heaven – maybe pray about it. I'm curious to learn more about unschooling – never heard that term before. I think that it is funny that your husband is an elementary school teacher! I am too! You can't underestimate "love of learning" as a teacher. It is really the key. My favorite quote is from William Blake, "Education is not just the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire!"

    • Anonymous
    • May 25, 2011
    Reply

    Hi Dana! I'm so happy you stopped by, met my family and said hello. Thank you!

    You are right, it's not too late. What a pleasure it will be deciding on names for our 7 children. I will pray as you suggest. God knows their names!

    How I love that William Blake quote! A school teacher who can light fires is a real treasure. I was talking to my husband last night about how being a school teacher is not a job, but a vocation like being a parent. It's rewarding, challenging but difficult at times too. I guess you know all about this! God bless. Sue

    • Amy
    • May 31, 2011
    Reply

    Dear Sue,

    I am so enjoying meeting your family. Maybe someday, we will meet in real life.

  16. Reply

    Amy, I would love to meet you! Who knows? God is good and makes things happen. Could you imagine a huge international Catholic Unschooling conference where we all got to meet and see each other in person? That's some thought! God bless!

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