We are Tom, Bex, Basil and Wren. The lense of parenthood changed everything. Dissatisfied in the old story that we had been inhabiting, we set off when our first child was 1 for a year of travel overseas. We volunteered our labour in exchange for food and board across 4 continents before returning to our former home town of Sydney, Australia. You can explore our first journey here. Our experience had changed us, we’d seen and relished in community, nature and connection. After the birth of our second child we moved out of the city to the north of the state and the thriving hub of alternates in the Byron Shire.
After 3 blissful years of just us we somewhat reluctantly enrolled our son in the local Steiner inspired pre-school. With 2 large Steiner schools dominating the alternate education options, we also enrolled in the playgroup attached to one of the schools. All was going quite well until we were in a matter of words asked to leave the playgroup. Our big, gorgeous, full-of-life-energy boy hadn’t fit the mould. This cut deep. The rejection hurt especially at a time where our dissolving into our new community was slow and feeling crucial to our sense of security. Was he the problem? Were we terrible parents for letting him be himself? With the loving support of a few new friends the sadness and hurt soon turned to something different. Our son had done nothing wrong, we had done nothing wrong. We had been subject to an extreme interpretation of a philosophy. But what now? we asked ourselves, we had up until that point imagined a future for our child in the Steiner system.
What happened at the playgroup began a journey that has led us to somewhere I believe we were supposed to arrive at. The alluring Education Revolution drew us in.
We are not teachers recognisable by the state but teachers nonetheless. We are parents who believe in a better world for all children. We are dreamers embarking on a research journey that will take us firstly to some of the finest alternative schools Australia has to offer followed by some time overseas to see what’s happening in other parts of the world.
We hope to return inspired, educated in alternate approaches to education and energised to potentially begin the process of starting an alternate school in the Byron Shire.
This blog will follow our experiences of and in the schools that we visit and volunteer in as well as our family travels. The information and opinions provided are our own honest accounts of our experiences. I believe all children are ‘too Jewel’ for school’s that don’t see and respect them for the individual, unique and precious treasures they are. I can’t wait to see what we find!