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The Mother Magazine, Editorial

Issue 54, Sep/Oct 2012

Life is an education, by Veronika Sophia Robinson

The Local Education Authority would much prefer to see our annual home-education reports neatly listing the subjects of the national curriculum rather than what actually happens in our cottage. Our daughters (Bethany, 16; Eliza, 14) stand at the precipice of the family nest, fluttering their wings, anticipating their fledging flights into the huge world.

If there’s one piece of advice I always offer home-educating parents, it is this: let your children see YOU living a passionate life. This, of course, is at the heart of Jean Liedloff’s book, The Continuum Concept (required reading for any parent). I always suggest that this be the cornerstone of their education: that life is interesting, fun and that the world is big enough for everyone and their dreams.

As my eleventh book (Baby Names Inspired by Mother Nature) comes into being, Eliza is preparing to have her first novel published. To an outsider, it might appear that she’s spent the best part of the past two years sitting in an armchair, hot drink by her side, lounging around. What she’s done in that time is hand-write three novels. This has been a very private process, and certainly one her parents haven’t been allowed anywhere near ~ until now. Reading through her 55,000 words, we’ve been deeply touched by her insights into human nature, the interweaving of plots, and character development. I live in a very different writing world: editing other people’s articles, and writing non-fiction. Eliza’s world is of fantasy and imagination. Through their father, our girls have had a lifetime of observing the pleasure and fun of words and humour.

Bethany’s language is music. She’s currently composing a musical. Like Eliza, she just gets on with mastering her craft, and when the time is right they both share their creations. As home-educating parents, there just isn’t a box to tick for how our daughters are being ‘educated’. For Paul and I, our role has been to live our lives, and follow our hearts. Somewhere along the way amongst the baking of blueberry muffins, long chats under the plum trees, walking by the river, marvelling at dewdrops on spider webs, quietly celebrating Sabbats, growing herbs and vegetables, concocting potions and chopping root vegetables for Winter soup, their souls have been nurtured by the inspiring world and day-to-day life around them, and the freedom to do what they love. We’ve given them a childhood where not only is it an acceptable practice to daydream, it’s encouraged.

Regardless of whether your children are home educated or attend school, let your life be a radiant example of passion and play. Enjoy this wonderful and amazing life we were all given. It’s so precious. Autumnal blessings to you and your family, Veronika Sophia Robinson.

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