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.
“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!