Grace Koelma studied primary school teaching at university, but after a year of teaching in Australia she became disillusioned with the mainstream schooling system and left. She began working as a journalist, following her passion for writing, eventually finding a way to weave together her passions for education, unschooling, and writing and starting Mulberry Magazine in 2015. I had a great time chatting with Grace and digging into her journey from teaching to unschooling!
Quote of the Week
“We have a cultural notion that if children were not engineered, if we did not manipulate them, they would grow up as beasts in the field. This is the wildest fallacy in the world.” ~ Joseph Chilton Pearce
Questions for Grace
Can you share with us a bit about you and your family?
You studied primary school teaching at university and taught for a year. What did you discover about children and learning through that experience?
How did you go from disenchanted with the formal education system to embracing the unschooling lifestyle? What has deschooling looked like for you?
Children really are intrinsically hardwired to learn, right from birth. And when we focus on our connection with them through an attachment parenting style and support that drive to learn, that can flow rather seamlessly into unschooling, can’t it?
You wrote a great post about the 11 biggest myths around homeschooling, and there was one in particular I’d like to chat about: that homeschooling parents are micro-managing helicopter parents. It can sometimes look like that from the outside, but our engagement with our children is coming from a completely different perspective, isn’t it?
I’ve been hearing the term “childism” more often lately, referring to a systemic prejudice against children as a group, stemming from a belief that they are property and should be controlled. Can you share your thoughts around this idea?
You and your husband founded Mulberry Magazine, a quarterly digital magazine that covers homeschooling, unschooling, and alternative education. Can you share how that came about? I love hearing about the different ways families are supporting their unschooling lifestyle.
Links to Things Mentioned in the Show
John Taylor Gatto’s book, Weapons of Mass Instruction
Ken Robinson’s talk, Bring on the learning revolution!
Kim John Payne’s book, Simplicity Parenting
Grace’s article: Myth busting everything you thought you knew about homeschooling
Grace and Eric’s digital homeschooling magazine: Mulberry Magazine