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How Our Unschooling Day Flows

How our Day Flows.....
Meditation, Meteors, Mars, Macaws, and more
By Priya Desikan

I love the way most days start. I usually wake up, put away the washed dishes, make myself some black tea, and part of my breakfast, – my kanji/porridge – sit down to browse the newspaper, and then go into the stillness of meditation listening to Deepak Chopra. Yes, I am making this a routine for myself as I can see what a difference it is making to me and my life. My son sees it too now, so if he wakes up earlier than usual and sees me with headphones and closed eyes in front of my laptop, then he just goes back quietly into the room and sits with a book or iPad until I finish. That is something I am truly grateful for – that he understands how much it means to me and how much it has helped me in my responses to him and other things that happen every day.

After that silence and stillness, sometimes when I am inspired to write something, I start it off, or else just wait for it to trickle slowly inside me through the day, until my cup is full and I share it with others through my writing. I so love the way my day starts these days... there is so much more peace and balance and energy to it than there was before. It is quite magical when one goes with the flow.   

However, most times I feel my day starts truly only when Raghav is up, as that is when I feel that our house comes to life! Today was another usual day until he woke up, and then for the next half hour or so, there was a non-stop conversation about a host of things, one thing leading to another and another, and learning flowing along that path and in the many spaces in between. All that I can do as a participant in this flow is to be with it and watch it with awareness and wonder...and enjoy the unfolding as it happens.

I wish to share here the flow that happened this morning – just another random day in our lives.

“For the next half hour or so, there was a non-stop conversation about a host of things, one thing leading to another and another, and learning flowing along that path and in the many spaces in between. All that I can do as a participant in this flow is to be with it and watch it with awareness and wonder...and enjoy the unfolding as it happens.”

Raghav usually likes to just cuddle up with one of us in bed for quite a while until he is ready to get up – sometimes just lying in silence, but most times talking about something. Today, as we were lying down, I reminded him about the video that he said he would watch and hadn’t. It was a video sent to him by my cousin, about a wet towel in space. He took out his iPad and made me find the link again and sat down to watch it with me. We laughed together at how the mike was dancing and floating around in space and watched the rest of it keenly. That triggered off a question about what would happen if we were to sneeze in space, what a space suit is and why astronauts need to wear them, why we need oxygen in space, spacewalks, and more.

While we Googled for some of these things, we found a website that had some questions and answers on different things about space. Raghav likes websites with loads of pictures or videos and little text to read at a time, and so this website was something that he loved!

Raghav then explored all the questions there that he liked. These are some of the areas he explored…

He told me a story about that meteor: How it must have left the atmosphere of Mars; how it was born in a dust storm on Mars, over a volcano on Mars; how it escaped the atmosphere, came flying fast at 1500km per hour, faster than the Spice Jet plane we went on, and landed on earth; how people must have been there in Antarctica in an igloo, that it must have been dark/night time, and they woke up in the morning to find the meteor at their door when they went to hunt for food, how they must have had machines to find out things about it....

He read about meteors and meteor showers.

He described to me how in 1994 a meteorite landed in Antarctica from Mars.

And then a question to me: “How old were you then?” When I told him that I was twenty-four, he said: “So you were born in 1970?”

Then he asked me if I would like to be a meteor. I said yes, to which he said: “But then would you like to go so fast and then land and get hurt? You must have brakes or landing gear like an aircraft!”

“How would you feel if you were a meteor or an asteroid? Would you like to be flying around?...I would rather be a bird!,” he said.

“Can we make a macaw costume? Anyway, I like being a parrot/macaw as I like to flap my hands like wings sometimes when I run.”

“How do we make a macaw costume? What about the tail?....if we make it out of newspaper, then we have to find a way to make it stand out.”

“I would love to be a macaw – it is so colorful!”

“I would like to be its perch. I have one – a foldable one – my hand! Also, I am like a moving chair for I will keep moving around the house while it sits on my whole body would be like its perch!”

He then wanted to know if I would like to have a macaw as a pet. And we moved on to discuss birds, what they eat, what is freedom, and bird families. He thought about how we could have a macaw as a pet and yet allow it to be free, by building a bird house for it where it could come and go as it pleases.

The conversation then flowed on to friendship and how it would be his friend, and then about other pets – what kind of dog he would like as a pet and why, why we cannot have pets in this apartment, his feeling lonely and wanting to have more friends....and the conversation and learning flowed on through the day beyond this half hour or so....just like any other random day.

I so love the way the flow is so different each day – the different worlds we explore with our thoughts and imagination….always flowing, always shining....where we happily go with the flow of the moment, not thinking about where we are heading or why we are flowing......but just flowing....because it is so beautiful to just be, the way it is right now!

Priya Desikan is part of a life learning family that lives in India and had a 7-1/2-year-old son when this article was written in 2013. Since 2010, they have been on this journey, celebrating, sharing, and co-creating their journey. They do not follow any external curriculum, but rather the inner curriculum that drives their child. He is a self-learner and their days are spent exploring things that he wants to, in a way that he wants to, with his parents playing the role of facilitators, listeners, and co-learners.

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