PAM: Welcome. I’m Pam Laricchia from livingjoyfully.ca, and today I’m here with Joss Goulden. Hi, Joss.
JOSS: Hi, Pam. Nice to meet you.
PAM: So nice to meet you. We were introduced through a recent guest on the podcast, so I am really excited to learn more about your unschooling journey. To get us started …
Can you share with us a bit about you and your family and what everybody’s interested in right now?
JOSS: Okay. So, my family consists of my husband, Kamal, myself, and our two kids. Saul is 17 and Jayda is 14. And we’ve been living in Australia. We live in a quiet little corner in the south of Western Australia in a little town where we’ve been for 10 years. We moved out from the UK 19 years ago to immigrate to Australia, so we’re relatively new in this neck of the woods.
Saul is about to get his driving test. So, at the moment, he is most interested in cars and he’s just learned everything about the different makes and the models and the engines and turbos and fuel efficiency and all that kind of stuff. He plays guitar. He’s really into music, loves listening to music, and he knows loads about music. He likes hanging out with his friends, going to the beach, surfing, playing computer games, and just sort of standard teenage stuff really.
Jayda is 14 and she’s into lots of things, too. She’s into health and wellness and fitness. She’s quite interested in it at the moment. She loves going to the beach. She loves drama and performance and dance. She’s always involved in something around that kind of thing. She likes reading, although she came to reading really late, but she now loves it. Snapchat, TikTok, those sorts of things.
She plays basketball. They both actually play in a homeschool basketball team and she, particularly, really loves it. And she loves cooking. She’s got a very clever and refined sense of taste and she understands flavors really well.
They both did martial arts and have black belts in Tae Kwon Do, but that finished last year and they don’t do anything like that anymore. They finished and were over it. So, that was it.
Kamal is a beekeeper and he has a honey business and he’s really interested in sustainable living and organic gardening and that kind of thing. He built a beautiful home for us. We’ve got this gorgeous house that he built. And our veggie patch has been neglected actually at the moment, but that’s his passion. He’s really into that. He loves pottery.
He decided he’s going to do a welding course, which is a bit random, but that’s the latest thing he wants to do. He’s into politics and history and that kind of thing. And he’s a member of the bushfire brigade as well.
And, I am really passionate about Aware Parenting, which we’ll probably discuss further on in the piece. And I’ve just, about nine months ago, I did a breathwork course. I’ve been studying a lot about that recently. I like dancing and health and wellness, too, and spending time with my beautiful family and my friends and going to the beach. So, that’s us.
PAM: Oh my goodness. I love these snapshots of different families, because it sounds just so rich. And I know sometimes, when you’re in the thick of it, it doesn’t feel like that until you step back a bit. But listen to all those little pieces for each of them. You can see their personality shining through. You can see where they want to engage out in the world.
You can see them out there, hanging at the beach and surfing and sharing music with friends, and their Tae Kwon Do and their theater and all that kind of stuff.
And you also see the stuff they do on their own as well. All that car research, the cooking, all the various pieces. You can just see or envision such a beautiful flow in their lives and with you and your husband too, how that flows in. And you have your own unique interests alongside. So, it’s just a beautiful snapshot of a family just engaging in life and in the world side by side.
PAM: That is so beautiful.
I would be very curious to know how you discovered unschooling and what your family’s move to unschooling looked like.
JOSS: Okay. Well, we don’t really describe ourselves as anything, but if we were going to describe ourselves, we probably describe ourselves as natural learners. But Kamal and I had a very traditional school experience. I was at boarding school from the age of eight. Didn’t have the best time. I didn’t learn very well in that environment. But we both went on to uni and we’ve both done postgraduate studies. So, we were very schooled and traditionally educated.
And when I was at uni, I studied psychology, first of all, and I got really interested in attachment and attachment parenting. And I read The Continuum Concept by Jean Liedloff and got really, really interested in that. And so, when my kids came along, we were initially really into attachment parenting and closeness and co-sleeping. My daughter was born at home and all that kind of thing.
And then shortly after my second child, my daughter, was born, we discovered Aware Parenting, which was founded by Aletha Solter in America. And it was a really life-changing discovery for us. And it’s sort of attachment style parenting plus some things. It’s a lot about democratic, parenting and not having punishments and rewards.
But also, it’s got a big piece around stress and distress being causes of behaviors for children and the healing effects of playing and laughter as well as crying in a supported, loving environment for children. And a big thing about acceptance of all of children, however they’re showing up in that moment. So, that sort of all led itself really naturally to homeschooling.
But we sent my son initially to kindy at this alternative family community school where we were living. But he wasn’t really ready for school and he wanted us to stay with him. So, I spent two days a week at school with my little daughter in a sling and running around and things. And we kept discovering homeschooling, but not quite having the courage to take the plunge.
And then one day at the school, I found a book written by Alan Thomas called Educating Your Child at Home. And it was in this book for sale to raise funds for the school. And I thought, well, that’s just fine. That’s clearly a sign from the universe that we should be doing this.
So, at the beginning of his pre-primary year, we pulled him out of school. And we were very lucky. We quickly got together with a community of very supportive and like-minded homeschoolers, and we’d always both worked part time. So, ever since the kids were born, we’d share looking after them. So, it fitted our life really easily just to then go to having them at home with us all the time.
And then the more that parenting became focused on connection and our relationship and the importance of trust and intrinsic motivation and all those sorts of things, the easier it was just to let go of all of those ideas about what learning should be and how learning should look and instead to just realize that this was the right path for us.
And I dove really deep, because that’s how I like to do it. And I read like a million books. I read books on natural learning and unschooling. And I read some books on deschooling, which was really ironic, but I had to do it. I had to really study how I was going to homeschool.
And very quickly, watching the kids growing up in this really free and relaxed way, it was really obvious that this just suited our family really well. And it just became an organic, self-directed conversation-based life process, and we all just wanted to be together. The kids didn’t want to be at school. They wanted to be at home with us. They were still wanting that closeness. So, it seemed the sensible thing to do.
That’s how it’s been. Haven’t really looked back. So, that’s how it was.
PAM: I love that it just seemed to be the sensible thing to do, because you were paying attention. You were actually looking at your family. You were actually thinking for yourselves. You were seeing how even those two days at the school were playing out for you guys. You valued the relationships over more of the conventional messages that were around you.
So, that was just a beautiful evolution of you finding what made sense for you guys. Right?
And it was funny, because at school I would see them engaged in this amazing play, where they’re all cooperating with stands and building stuff and sharing loads. And then, even at this beautiful, alternative, child-centered school, the kids would be pulled away from that activity because it was time to sit down and read a book. And my son actually said to me quite early on that he hated school and I said, “Oh, why do you hate school?” And he said, “I hate being teached.” And that summed it up, really, and has summed it up ever since.
PAM: They really are so capable of seeing what’s going on. So, let’s dive into that piece, because when people first hear about unschooling and natural learning, they often find it really hard to imagine how learning happens without teaching. And without a curriculum. But it truly, truly does.
I would love to hear a bit more about how you’ve seen learning naturally unfold with your kids.
JOSS: Okay, well, I think when you’re in a classroom and you’ve got 30 kids and you have to keep them busy all day, information can only really be presented in a few ways, mostly in a written form. And I understand why lots of effort and energy has gone into creating curricula for that purpose. But when you learn at home, it’s so different.
And we just provided our kids with a really rich learning environment and facilitated whatever they were interested in doing from the beginning and tried to support them, but get out of the way at the same time.
And much of our learning just happened through conversation and on the go through living. And so, when we were building a house, for example, there were thousands of learning opportunities that went on throughout that whole process.
And we have just had lots of conversations about all kinds of things, and the kids were on screens and playing games and watching things. We used to read lots of books to them and stories, and then slowly, my son also started reading quite late. If he’d still been at school at that time, it would have been an issue, and there would have been conversations and special lessons and all the rest of it.
But he went from pretty much not reading to fully reading in the space of a few months. And that’s just his style, like when he’s ready for something, he just goes. But pushing it before he’s ready just doesn’t work with him. That’s his personality. And my daughter also started reading late. She really struggled with reading. She didn’t understand phonetics, really. Well, she understood it, but she just couldn’t make it all work.
But now she reads for pleasure and she loves it. And my son went through stages where he read a lot. And then he also goes through stages where he doesn’t really read at all in terms of books and fiction. But their everyday life involves so much reading and writing and just their social interactions online and Snapchatting and Instagramming requires quite high levels of reading and writing.
PAM: Do you mind if I pop in there for one second?
PAM: Because I think people would enjoy stopping for a second with the reading thing, because the point you made earlier about how schools, with the curriculum, the reading and writing is really one of the best ways for that environment for teaching to happen. But outside of that, the reading later or having that time, it doesn’t affect their learning because they learn in so many different ways.
And then, like you were saying, as they get older, they come across situations where they’re just immersed in reading and we’re helping them when they’re not reading yet. Whether it’s reading games or Instagram, once they get to social media, all those pieces. They really are just surrounded by it and putting that puzzle together just takes as long as it takes for each of them.
And when there isn’t shame and a timeline and a “you’re late” message wrapped all around it, it comes when it comes, right?
JOSS: Absolutely. And that then frees you.
You’re free of all that stuff and all of those sorts of expectations that all children have to be doing the same thing at the same stage, otherwise there’s something wrong with you. It’s not a very helpful message. And, yeah, being free from that was really helpful for my kids, definitely.
PAM: Yeah. And it really doesn’t slow down their learning at all.
JOSS: No, not at all.
PAM: Outside the classroom. Because in the classroom, it’s obvious to them every moment of the day, that they’re challenged with that. And then all the special ed pieces come in and all that.
JOSS: That’s right, which is really unhelpful.
PAM: Yeah. And if you look at your kids now, they’re reading when they want, they’re reading for pleasure. You would never know at what age they learn to read, right?
JOSS: Yep. Yep. And my daughter recently got a job in a cafe about six months ago and most of the writing had been on computers, or on laptops or iPads or phones or whatever. So, this was really one of the first times that she’d been hand-writing, because she had to take orders and so on in the cafe. So, for a few days before, she just sat down and she chose to sit there, write down all the different names of all the different types of coffee and tea and practice writing them.
And that was a really functional thing that she was motivated to do. And her writing improved so much in a really short period of time and didn’t involve any sort of sitting down and, “You must write and you must practice writing.” It just happened organically and naturally. And that’s just been true of so many things that they’ve learned. And we’re there and we’re supplementing all the time and we give them exposure to all kinds of things.
We have a learning group. I organize lots of activities locally for homeschool kids. And we have a group that meets every fortnight at my house and we do different topics. And the mums would take turns to do presentations on various things. And we just ask the kids what they’re interested in learning, and then need to present that material with a few other things thrown in.
So, we do courses and things too. And my son last year decided that he might want to go to TAFE, which is like the technical college here. He was thinking about maybe doing that next year. And so, in order to get into TAFE, you have to have this online literacy and numeracy assessment certificate in Australia. So, we decided that he was going to do that. And so, we spent six months.
We bought a course and he did it very infrequently, but maybe a couple of sessions a week. And I was helping him a little bit to start with, but by the end of it, he was really independent with it. And he passed that cert.
And it was interesting, because there were three sections, one was math, just sort of practical maths, and one was writing where you had to do a persuasive text, and one was a reading thing where you had multiple choice questions.
And he was totally fine with it, covered the whole lot in a short period of time, because he was motivated mostly to do it. And now it’s done, that’s it. And he’s decided he probably doesn’t want to go to TAFE, actually, next year and that’s okay, too. When they’ve been motivated to learn things, that’s been the easiest.
And they’ve both had jobs, as well, which I think has just provided so many learning opportunities.
PAM: Those are such great examples of what we’re talking about, natural learning that just unfolds when there’s a reason for it in their lives. And it doesn’t matter the age. They’re in their teens when something comes up and there’s a reason for them to learn something, to pick up a skill that hasn’t crossed their path, or they haven’t been interested in before, or the learning for the specific skills for that specific task, but when those things came into their lives, the job and the possibility of going to college, they can do those pieces along the way, because they’ve got a reason.
It’s not, “Because you’ll need this someday.” It’s like, oh look, it’s crossed my path now. Now I will play with it. I’ll focus on it.
Which leads us so nicely to our next question, because another thing that can trip people up when they’re moving to unschooling is the idea of kids choosing what they do with their time. In that, they worry that kids won’t do hard things if they don’t have to, because that’s what we see in kids in school. Because they will avoid things, because they’re forced to do so many things. So, the message we take away from that is, if we didn’t force them, they wouldn’t do it.
It’s really hard to make that paradigm shift and see that kids and teens will truly choose to do hard things on their own. And you mentioned it earlier, too, that intrinsic motivation, but it really is powerful. Isn’t it?
JOSS: Yeah. I learned so much. I was really inspired by Aletha Solter’s work, but also Alfie Kohn and John Holt. And I read lots about this when we were first starting, all around not having punishments and rewards in the family. This was way before we started looking at learning.
But I was recently reminded of a really beautiful John Holt quote, which I think just sums it up beautifully. And he said, “We destroy the love of learning in children, which is so strong when they are small, by encouraging and compelling them to work for petty and contemptible rewards, gold stars, or papers marked 100 and tacked to the wall, A’s on report cards, or honor rolls, or dean’s lists, in short, for the ignoble satisfaction of feeling that they are better than someone else.” And I thought, yes, that’s so true.
PAM: So true.
JOSS: So true. And when kids, instead, are allowed to just go through the process gradually and gently by themselves, where they can see improvement in themselves compared to themselves, it just becomes a completely different thing.
And I really feel like learning happens when the kids’ basic needs are met and, for my children—for all children, probably—that’s to be in a really safe and loving environment where they’re supported, where they’re allowed lots of choice, and where they’re free to just explore what they want. Not being bribed into things with rewards or any of that, or worse, actually, the threat of punishment looming large. But just free to explore things in their own way.
My daughter always says, it’s so much nicer to tidy up my room when I choose that I want to have a tidy room, rather than when you’re nagging me to do it. And that’s true of learning, too.
PAM: Yeah. Oh, I love that quote. I love that quote. Because, as you were reading it, I’m just imagining from my experience as a child and posting up the A, celebrating the 100, celebrating whatever certificate, and the focus on that and how that’s just a symbol. It’s not actual life. It’s not an actual accomplishment, per se, yet when they want to accomplish actually something in their life, like the job, like the test for the college, those are just great examples that come up again.
I’m hesitating, because I just remember so many stories of my kids, too, when they are interested in something, they almost don’t even think of it as learning. It’s just, “Oh, I want to check out my handwriting before I show up at the job. Let’s just make sure I can read my own handwriting or whoever needs to read it can read it.” It’s not held up against some perfection tablet, but just what I need to accomplish, what I’m trying to accomplish, which is do well at my job.
That really just pulls them to do the things. And the learning along the way is most often incidental. Because they’re just wanting to accomplish whatever their goal is. And your point about them comparing to themselves, that is huge.
That was a big paradigm shift for me, too, when I realized. Because sometimes I’d see my kids doing really cool stuff. And I’d be impressed by it and I’d say, “That’s really cool!” And they were like, “Whatever,” because it’s just them doing their thing. They see on their journey, it doesn’t matter that other people can or can’t or whatever. Because they’re doing it for themselves, right?
JOSS: Yeah. Yeah. And conversely, of course, if you’re really reliant on these external things to be marking your worth, then you also have the problem when you don’t match those standards. And that was my story at school, frequently, not trying hard enough, not doing well enough, could do better, all that kind of thing. And that has such a detrimental effect, too.
Whereas if you’re just allowed to explore, and enjoy what you want to do, and be motivated by your own desire inside and not compared to anybody else’s standard, then it’s just a much better way.
And so many times, I’ve seen my kids devote lots of hours to things and considerable effort into learning things. And they don’t think of it as learning. My son, for example, he’s really into music. He has probably a few thousand songs on his phone and really eclectic, broad music taste.
But we play this game quite often where I play him the first five seconds of a song and he has to tell me who it’s by and what the song is. And he can identify pretty much every one of his 2000 songs within five seconds. Now, I know I couldn’t do that. And for me to learn to do that would be considerable work and effort, but he’s really interested in it. He really loves it. So, he’s done it.
PAM: Yeah, and it probably doesn’t feel that impressive to him. It’s just a thing. And that’s another piece, too, that I love. Tying it back to the learning we were talking about earlier, is you come to see the value in all learning, not just the learning that would be in a curriculum. It all has value to them as they become the person they want to be.
All these pieces that are interesting to them, that they dive into for hours and hours and hours, those are all fascinating bits and pieces of them as a person. And that’s what they’ll bring with them forward. Those are the pieces that are going to continue to engage with them even as different interests and things come up.
So often, when you look back, you can see the threads of something that he loved about learning all about that music, all the different kinds of music, and the different kinds of artists, whether or not he’s literally in a music career, I bet as he moves forward, you’ll see threads that tie to all that interest and that time he spent and the skills that he built up around that, right?
JOSS: Yeah. Yeah. And it’s seeing learning not as a means to an end, but just as life, actually, isn’t it? And Kamal and I found our passions really quite late in life. We were in our forties before we discovered the things that we’re really passionate about now. So, I mean, there are times when my son will go, “I don’t really know what I want to do. I’m not sure. I don’t have a clear direction yet.” And then we just modeled it. “That’s okay. Because it took us a long time to find out where we wanted to go, so that’s fine.”
PAM: No, I love it. That’s such an important piece, too. Because I remember when my daughter was so interested in photography, at 13, 14, 15, everybody else would say, “Oh, she’s going to be a photographer.” That it has to lead somewhere. But no, all those pieces just bubble together. And we don’t need to know what the next thing is.
I am in that right now. What else am I interested in? And it’s not until after, when you follow what’s interesting and what’s fun for you, that’s when you start to end up with things that value what you’ve enjoyed before, because you’re not changing wholeheartedly as a person.
Often we don’t do big changes, like now I’m a completely different person with completely different interests all of a sudden. We weave all those pieces together. So, that’s why I’m just always so curious to see where each of us is going to go next, because you really never know, do you?
JOSS: No. And it can change any minute.
PAM: Yeah. Exactly.
I would love to know what you’ve found to be one of the more challenging aspects of deschooling for you? I was hoping you could share a bit about your journey through that.
JOSS: Well, I think one of the hardest things for us and for everybody else who I know or my lovely, beautiful tribe, I think is just the overwhelm sometimes in life of trying to do the job of many. My husband and I both work part-time. We both run a business and we run a farm and we try to grow some of our own food and homeschooling the kids and all the rest of it. So, that’s the hardest thing. If your kids are in school all day, you’ve got a lot of time on your hands to do work or to do all the other things that you want to do.
But in terms of actual unschooling, I think the most challenging thing has been the moments where we second guess ourselves and where we lose the trust. And that does happen from time to time. I have my moments, we both do, where we’re just like, shit, no one’s learning anything. Oh my god, “we should be,” “they should be doing this.” And when the “shoulds” start creeping in, that’s the hard times. When you’re doing something very different to what everybody else is doing, the wider community, your family, they all think we’re nuts and you’re doing things differently.
So, there are times when you think, well, actually, is this really a good idea? And I think that’s the hardest thing, but then we just look at our kids and they’re so eloquent and they’re so relaxed and they’re so balanced and they’re so happy. And they are compassionate people and they show empathy to other people.
And I just think, I know so many children. It’s not just true of school kids, of course, but I do know lots of people whose kids are at school who are really having big struggles and big issues with mental health problems and all that kind of thing. And so, when I just see my kids, it’s very quick that we get back to a trusting place again.
PAM: Oh, that is so fascinating to hear. We were introduced recently and we’re on different sides of the world, yet I have discovered so much exactly the same thing. There are going to be times when we question and using the word “should” in my language, even if just in my head, is such a great clue that I’m starting to slip out, that I’m starting to let fear guide what I’m thinking and I’m projecting into the future. And it’s looking to my kids that brings me back so quickly.
Because then all of a sudden, you’re looking big picture and you’re realizing, no, look at these wonderful beings right here. Even in their hard times, even in our hard times, you can see them working through things. You can see them actively engaging, understanding themselves so much more than we did at that age. Their ability to make choices, to try things out.
And for the most part, how happy they are, even in the hard times. They wouldn’t make different choices, because they’re making the best choice for them in that moment and seeing how it unfolds, even when it’s maybe frustrating, even when it’s maybe disappointing. But there’s that kind of underlying joy or happiness, just because they have autonomy over their life. They really have that freedom to choose what it is they’re going to do, and they have our loving support. So, that is so cool to hear.
JOSS: Yeah. That’s really got to feel good.
PAM: Oh, that’s amazing.
What has surprised you most so far about how this path has unfolded in your lives?
JOSS: Well, I’m always surprised by how people don’t understand what we do, because we’ve been doing it for so long now. I always just get confused when people say to me things like the whole socialization question or, “Oh, it’s school holidays now. Do you give your kids a break when they’re on school holidays? Do you stop learning during school holidays and things?” So, that was a bit of a surprise, but I’m used to it now.
I think I’m surprised and overjoyed at the beautiful quality of the relationship and connection that we have with our children. That just gives me joy every day. It really does. I think choosing to homeschool and spend lots of time together, just like you were just saying, it lets our kids know that they’re really loved and that we want to be with them and that they are free to just be themselves in all of their own unique awesomeness. And that we really delight in their company.
And, I think that our relationship is just amazing. I don’t know. I mean, I know plenty of people who go to school also have good relationships, but there’s something about the quality of the relationship when it’s really based on this idea where we are just allowing them to be who they are and they can bring anything to me.
And I’ve seen them in all of their rage and their frustration and their delight and their joy and everything is safe for them to be who they are. So, that’s something that I’ve really loved. I’ve really loved that.
And just trust, like we were saying before. I’ve learnt so much about trusting myself, trusting my kids, and then my kids do that, have learned to trust themselves. They’re so much better at trust than I am. I have to work at it, whereas it really just comes pretty naturally to them to trust themselves.
And it’s so important now that they’re becoming teenagers and they’re going out into the world and they’re starting to have relationships and go to parties and be exploring all of those things, to do that from a place where you really trust your own voice that’s inside you, is amazing, amazing for their wellbeing and for their happiness.
I didn’t have any of that. I had no inner guidance that I ever listened to and there was just no trust. The idea that it’s really hard to teach our kids. I think that’s a John Holt quote, as well, actually all we really need to do is trust our kids, but actually that’s really difficult because we weren’t taught to trust ourselves. And so, it’s a hard process. But it’s really important, I think.
PAM: Yeah. Wow. I love all those pieces. I don’t even want to talk now, because you said them all so beautifully. Those are the cornerstones and it is so surprising, the importance and the value of trust is something we learn through our kids. Because it isn’t something that we grew up with. We didn’t know how to trust ourselves. So often, our inner voice was squashed because other people were telling us what we should be thinking and the choices that we should be making. And all those pieces just weren’t part of our lives.
And it was just so interesting to me that I would learn them through watching my kids, through being with my kids. It’s just so beautiful. And having no idea when we started, because I pulled my kids from school and had no idea the relationships that were in store.
At first, it was just about learning. Learning in the classroom at school wasn’t working. We’re going to try this at home. And then, through that journey, the relationships that developed, letting them be, giving them the space and the support to be who they are as unique individuals, was just amazing. And I love your word delightful.
JOSS: Yes. Well, not always, of course. We have our moments where there’s nothing delightful in my family.
PAM: But the thing is, is what you’ve learned through those moments, is that those are moments, right? Maybe there are moments that last a few days, a few weeks, whatever. But that you come through them, that there is another side, even if you can’t see the light at the other end of the tunnel, that metaphor, when you’re in the thick of it, over time you see the foundation of those relationships that we built will carry us through.
And there will be another side, even if we don’t know when we’re going to get there. That foundation of those relationships and that trust and that understanding of ourselves just gets us through there each time. Doesn’t it?
And I love the fact with much of this conscious parenting, the idea of when it all goes wrong and it’s all horrible and you respond in a way that is not in line with your values at all to your kids, which we all inevitably do sometimes, but there’s this lovely skill that I learned about just rewinding and repairing and reconnecting with the children and just making it good again.
So even like you say, when those moments are difficult, there’s always gifts in that, too, even when it’s all looking ugly and yuck.
PAM: Yeah. And I think that’s something that is valuable, too, for people. And it took a long time for me to understand, too. Like you said, there’s good that comes out of those moments, but just knowing that those moments are okay. It’s not, we’re wrong and we’re bad because we have a moment where maybe we act outside of our values in that time. Because we can go and repair.
So much value is in the repair, not in the idea of trying to be perfect. And even temptations, those “should” times, those fear times, I’m not wrong, bad, doing things wrong because those moments happen. Those moments are going to happen in our lives.
It’s the understanding the clues so that we can more quickly realize when something like that happens, and we can find out what works for us to help us move through those moments again. Like we were both talking about, we found reconnecting with our kids to be so valuable to help us ground again in our lives and in what we’re doing.
JOSS: Yeah. Yeah. And again, the difference between forcing your kids to say sorry. We never made our kids say sorry, but now whenever anything happens, we will always come back to that and they will always want to reconnect and want to apologize, too. And it is that intrinsic motivation, again, I think, isn’t it?
PAM: Yeah. Yeah. And just that foundation of relationships is valuable for all of us, right? They’ve seen us come back, reconnect, apologize when we feel an apology makes sense in that situation. We are sorry that those things happen. The whole sorry thing, it’s not an admission of guilt or anything, as in a judgmental thing. It’s a reconnecting thing.
Like, I know I did something out of character. I am sorry about that. They see it in action and they see the value of it and they so often take it on themselves. Because it makes sense. It’s not a thing that you have to do. It’s a choice, but it is a really valuable reconnecting choice.
JOSS: Yeah. I think the only other thing that I’m surprised about is how motherhood, I really see it now as a very radical act that’s going to change the world. And we’re in such a mess in the world at the moment.
And I really feel like conscious parenting and homeschooling, too, I mean not exclusively homeschooling, but I think that’s a really big part of it, is going to play such an important role in shifting the world to be a better place and to raise resilient, and balanced, and happy children who are able to bring pretty urgent change to the world, in terms of how they treat each other and how they treat the planet and everybody on it.
And I think having kids who are really connected to their authentic selves and they’re loving and they’re cooperative and they’re psychologically well, if they’ve been treated with love and trust and respect and choice and so on, it means good things for the world. And I think when we first started homeschooling in this way, there really weren’t that many people having their kids in this way and the same with conscious parenting. And I feel like it’s really growing a lot and that’s a great thing. That’s a really great thing.
PAM: That is such a wonderful point, too, because as our kids get older and you start to see them out in the world, you see the ripples with their friends and how they treat other people and how they engage with them just so much more openly. Yet, in their knowledge of themselves, their inner voice, all those pieces. So, yeah, I love that point. It is so different for our kids than it was even for us. What a shift in one generation you can make.
It’s a lot of work for us. It’s so much of our personal work to do that, but it is such a big change just between those generations.
JOSS: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, you couldn’t get a bigger contrast than my education and theirs. But, yeah, they’re so different and they’re so much happier and more balanced and intelligent and connected to their selves than I was. I was 40 before I felt even vaguely in that direction and they’re already there. So, yeah, it’s a good thing.
PAM: Oh, I love that so much. And thank you so much, Joss, for taking the time to speak with me in your later evening time. I really appreciate it. It was so much fun.
JOSS: Yeah. It was such a pleasure to meet you, Pam. Thank you very much.
PAM: Oh, you are so welcome. And before we go, where might people connect with you online?
JOSS: I’m on Facebook and Instagram.
PAM: Yep, that’s fine.
JOSS: That’s the easiest way.
PAM: I’ll share the links to those in the show notes. So, if anybody wants to connect, that would be awesome. Thank you so much, Joss. Have a wonderful sleep when you get there.
JOSS: Have a beautiful, beautiful Tuesday.
PAM: Thank you so much. Bye.