[This post is from the September 2019 newsletter – click here to read it.]
In a way, this is a birth announcement. This month I gave birth to a new book titled ‘Self-Education for Excellence.’ It’s an inside out philosophy for life-long learning.
You may be wondering what learning style has to do with health. Hasn’t the way we’ve always taught kids in schools ok? Afterall, I turned out ok. Didn’t I?
Basically, each of us is endowed with a true desire program before we’re born. It’s actually encoded within our being and then the key hidden from our view. Our job, then, during our lives is to find the key and unlock, through inspiration (in-spirit-ation), the hidden gifts bestowed to us.
If other folk’s agendas and curriculums interfere with, or trump, our volitional learning, there’s going to be symptoms. This is how we know whether or not we’re on the right path. If we’re rockin’ our essential self, feeling fulfilled, respecting our true desire program, we’re feeling happy, playful, enthusiastic, invested and wholly engaged.
If not, over time, we forget what we love, we lose the thread of inspiration, we end up settling for that 9-5 job in that 10 X 12 cubicle that just pays the bills. The problem is that the light went out on our dreams years ago and we’ve been paying the price with chronic fatigue, allergies, headaches, etc.
Perhaps you’ve got kids at home that are already showing signs of disenchantment with the school year. Maybe their teacher is less than stellar this year. Before the light in their heart starts to dim, please pick up the book on Self-Education. It can help with coping strategies and help you understand that while you may have turned out fine, there is more to education and health than meets the eye.
It might surprise you to learn that there are many creative ways to let kids self-initiate their learning. I’ll show you that their health and well-being actually depends on it.
Reviews for ‘Self-Education for Excellence’:
“By picking up this book, you are helping to think beyond a model of indoctrination that operates against the individual, one which actively works against our mental health, sense of self and social justice, which in turn, manages to completely extinguish the learner’s natural love of learning. By adapting the concepts of self education you are working against the narrow, ageist, classist, ableist, sexist and racist version of ‘education’ that the current system and world at large supports. By picking up this book, you are starting to transform your own ideas surrounding the social construct we call “education” and start to focus on the value of “learning” instead.” ~ Lainie Liberti
“Ally, I am going through it all several times and each time I hear myself saying “Yes!” to SO much here; it’s blowing my mind and satisfying something so fundamental within me that it’s like reaching the summit of a sheer rock face cliff climb when you get to put two feet on the ground and REALLY feel them there! Planted. Solid ground under my feet; and damn it feels good!” ~ Lesley Breen, DMH, DynPh, Live & Layered Blood Cell Microscopy, MEd.
“I’m enjoying this book immensely. Thank you for sending it my way. And for reminding me that keeping my kids home with me and out of the school system and IN the world is an act of love, a tending and a caring for, not a test or challenge or egoic kind of practice.
I love how you’re connecting disease with not only compulsory learning, but the waning and stifling of those organic questions, the questions that become our dreams, really, our ambitions. I’ve read a lot of deschooling/unschooling texts and have never (I don’t think) seen that blatant connection. I believe it.” ~ Amy Robertson, Unschooling Mom
As I learn to navigate the education system with my five year old, this book reaffirms that children are natural learners and should not be interrupted at the ring of a bell when they are pursuing their passions or interests. While my child is in an alternative child-led Montessori school system – if I ever feel my son’s light dim – even a smidge – I now know that unschooling is within my reach and comfort zone. Thank you Allyson, for both your experience and research. This book will remain in my stack for years to come! Highly recommend! ~ Amy L Hitchman
“A pertinent read for our times. In an engaging, highly personal narrative, McQuinn challenges traditional education styles in favor of a much freer approach where children learn by exploring their own interests while living in a stimulating home environment which could involve travel to other countries. An intriguing option to consider, especially when remote learning experiences have made many parents reevaluate the effectiveness of the current educational system.” ~ Margaret McGavin, Author of “Nothing but Flowers and Songs of Sorrow.”
A dozen or so years ago, I lived on a farm with my husband (fellow Heilkünstler, Jeff Korentayer) and my two children, Jordan and Adie. Jeff and I saw patients regularly in our home. He worked from the office upstairs and I had two chairs set up in an enclosed space on the main floor. We both saw in-person patients as well as working by phone and Skype.
Often the kids, ages 12, (Jordan) and 9, (Adie), were around outside or in the house while we were working, however, they had a stash of snacks and water and knew to remain in the summer kitchen or their rooms while we were working. Often they were out playing in the 7,000 square foot barn, or out somewhere on the 6 acre property. They were fairly self-sufficient in many respects and we encouraged their autonomy and sovereignty, especially while we were working.
One Sunday, in the early evening, the children and I were upstairs reading in the master bedroom when we heard a car pull onto the large gravel, semi-circular driveway. I stopped reading to them as we all craned our necks to look out the window to see who might be coming up the drive? We weren’t expecting anyone and so we were curious as to the hour and the nature of our visitor’s intent.
Working on my nighttime photography for my on-line course. Not usually my thing at all, but this balmy evening in Fredericton, N.B. was very forgiving. Shot on my Nikon D3100 with my 18-55mm lens.
Jeff answered the doorbell and I overheard the familiar voice of one of my in-person patients. Some of his key words floated up the stairwell to the bedroom the kids and I were in. We heard, “emergency, hospital, nebulizer, drugs, and breathing issues” followed by his daughter’s name; also a patient of mine.
I had been working on issues of reflux with her and we were in the early stages of Heilkunst treatment. She also had been diagnosed with a congenital heart defect shortly after her birth that resulted from an 8mm hole through the muscle.
I headed down the stairs with Jordan and Adie in tow. I greeted the Father (I’ll call him G.) and then went to the car to see his wife (also a patient) and their 3 year old (Who we’ll call K), in the back seat. She was crying inconsolably which indicated a lack of respiratory problems. The first thing I suggested was that we release her from the restriction of the car seat and get her into her parents’ arms.
K.’s eyes were glistening, her cheeks red, and she was looking very stressed with sweat dripping around her hairline. G. said that both he and his wife wished they’d not taken her to the hospital as it didn’t help, they were all stressed, upset and feeling guilty and wondering, would I be able to help? Also, they inserted that they were sorry to have just come here to our home during our personal time, but they didn’t know what else to do.
I let them know that with breathing issues, it is always best to go to the emergency room as that is the right jurisdiction for such medical conditions. When they asked if I could help, I stalled for a second as it was a bit like asking a general practitioner to step into an emergency room. Our speciality is chronic disease — we clear traumas from our patient’s timeline in a civilized way, consistently, one month apart by previously established appointment.
As I fumbled for a moment, not having had my Clinician’s hat on in several days, I began to think of what to do. The next thing I heard was Jordan’s voice, “Well Mom, if you ask me, you’ve got to clear out those drugs from her body as they will just be in the way of her trying to get better,” and then from Adie, “Yeah, Mom, clear the drugs and then you can deal with the root cause for why she’s having trouble breathing.”
All of us adults turned our heads to look at them both. G. started to laugh. I was still a little startled and realized that is precisely what was warranted and so I thanked both the kids for their wisdom. I asked Jeff to make up the rx for this very recent timeline event staring us all in the face, “Cort., Penecill., Benedryl, O2, Am-carb., Ars., Sulph., Nux-v.” in ascending potencies while I went to check K.’s chart to see what we’d last treated.
As it turned out, we were clearing an event when she was having trouble breathing shortly after birth. This was a healing reaction, not the disease matrix anchored to the Genetic Miasm Medhorrinum. (See our blog articles on Healing Reactions and Genetic Miasms; including Med.) I breathed my own huge sigh of relief.
We just needed to clear this recent iatrogenic event knowing that K.’s breathing mechanism would naturally restore on its own. We also talked about using peppermint essential oils and salt inhalations with steaming water, that had been removed from the stove by draping her head over the bowl, in order to support, and not suppress the life forces’ trajectory to heal for the curative rx that was provided two weeks prior.
Our job at this phase was to support the healing reaction. I also told them that if she was struggling with any further breathing issues where they felt alarm, to get back to the hospital asap.
A Year Later …
Fast forward a year and bit — K. never had another breathing issue. Also, her reflux was cured. The other amazing thing is that when they took her to the surgeon to schedule surgery to repair the hole in her heart, the MRI indicated that it was already gone!
The cardiologist wanted to have a conversation with me by phone as he’d never seen such a significant hole completely disappear before. (See our success stories page for more success stories from our patients). It is fair to say that he had trouble pronouncing “Heilkunst.”
That next summer, I applied to be the medic at a children’s camp, with Jordan and Adie in tow, in order to become more proficient in first aid prescribing. The parents were asked for their permission for me to treat their kids using homeopathic principles along with standard Red Cross first aid. I had epi-pens along with oxygen tanks and a humongous first aid kit.
I treated bee stings, rashes, headaches, a couple of fevers, homesickness and even a child coming to terms with the fact that they might be gay. It was a great time of learning and resulted in our Webinar course on First Aid prescribing.
Jordan and Adie
My Waldorf/Homeschooled kids, Jordan and Adie, are all grown up now. My son Jordan, (now 23), is a trampoline acrobat, and Bowen Practitioner, working mostly with children and youth as well as managing a staff of twenty plus. He uses his Saint John Ambulance first aid training constantly; once even for a woman suffering a compound fracture where the bone punched through the skin. He was level-headed and stabilized the limb until the paramedics arrived.
My daughter, Adie (now 20), is planning to study medicine, too. I am so proud of her as I know that her patients will so appreciate her level head and kind, compassionate heart and she will prove to be brilliantly knowledgeable in this area of medicine.
You never know when a homeschooling moment might factor as consequences to someone’s greater unfolding in the future. It feels like my own learning has certainly paralleled and activated something innate in both of them. I love this path that we continue to share, now at a distance, but so connected through our hearts and the compassion for our fellow humans along the way.
Well, we’ve put 19,000 kms in total on our car since June travelling across Canada and down the west coast of the United States and into Mexico. We’re finally settled in the most remarkable city that we’ve ever been to in both Europe or North America. Think ancient Italian port town nestled on a rocky bowl with mind-blowing food and culture for less than a few pesos.
Guanajuato, Mexico is built in a steep teacup that is an ancient caldera of a volcano. It was the seat for the Spanish invasion, and subsequent revolution, due to the wealth of the gold and silver mines documented in the art of Diego Rivera (Frida Kahlo’s husband).
In the week that we’ve been here, we’ve already been to several concerts, with a world class symphony, with performers that hail from Russia, Europe as well as Mexico. Yesterday, I went to a piano recital that blew my socks off, afterwards there was a wine and tapas offering in the spectacular garden with local folks peppered with expats. It cost me $10 Canadian.
I’m learning to muddle through with my broken Spanish, although it is tough being so effusive and so short on vocabulary. I will start my tutoring online next week and hope to volunteer here with local youth who make organic soaps and olive oil so that I can learn more of the colour of this expressive romance language.
Our two room casita, with fibre-op, sits at the very top of the bowl with mountains jutting up on three sides. Any stroll to the the town takes us on a steep incline that makes me often think that I need a climber’s belt, ropes and several carabiners to make it back home.
Our morning hikes take us down cobbled streets through a dam, salted with patos blancos (white ducks), a gorgeous park past several schools and universities for art, political science and engineering. Of course, there are churches with huge iron bells and haciendas dotted in between with old colonial styling and balconies, man how I love a pretty balcony!
Jeff and I will scoot into Café Tal for a Sencha Tea (or the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had) and then we might have a couple of steamed tacos for breakfast from a street vendor. All totalling about $3.50 Cdn. A cab is 50 pesos (about $3.00 with tip) and the bus is 5 pesos (which is so little I can’t calculate it). Our groceries for the week come to about $30 – $40 Cdn at Mercado Hidalgo (built by Ernesto Brunel and Antonio Rivas Mercado with input by Alexandre Gustave Eiffel of Paris’ Eiffel Tower) where we get all our fruits, vegetables and meats.
It’s even cheaper if you walk the streets and locate the native indians, mostly women with babes in arms, who’ve brought their wares to sell down from the ranchos way above the lip of the caldera. One such young fellow, in front of his parent’s vegetable stall, stopped and asked me in broken English where I was from. I responded, “Canada,” gesturing way, way far from here, and he asked me if we speak English there and I said, “Yes, and French too!”
The weather is very cool here at night, dropping down to a nippy 5-8 degrees celsius which is in the mid 40’s on the fahrenheit scale. Like home, we have three blankets on our bed for warmth at night. And boy do we sleep! At 7,000 feet above sea level, we’re having to take the homeopathic remedies, Coca and Cundurango, for a touch of altitude sickness. You’re extra sleepy at night, the oxygen thinner so when hiking back up the 3,500 steps (about 15 flights of stairs … no, we don’t count them … we have an app for that!) from having tea, we need to stop a couple of times to catch our breath. Also, you can have headaches right where you’d have devil’s horns, if you were thusly inclined, on the top of your head and feel at times a little hungover with a stomach bug.
While it takes about six weeks, typically, to stabilize your blood oxygen levels, we’re already feeling amazing in our new locale. We travel like this to fulfill our astral desire function to know new people, culture, art, music and language. It builds the ontic (sense of autonomy/immunity) by holding our essence in check as we’re exposed to many different circumstances and seeming social incongruencies to our more conservative Canadian sensibilities. Also, living in Canada, frankly is just too familiar, and also very pricey now that we’ve just paid off all of the “investments” we made into our education.
We’ll see what the next five months here in Mexico yields. In our opinion, we’d much rather be on this side of any walls to be erected by boisterous (better if I don’t add the other adjectives I’m thinking of) politicians.
“As I shift my thinking from our seemingly traditional way of educating children, to the new way of learning with worldschooling, unschooling, homeschooling, it’s given me some unique perspectives, although I bet many of you have found this to be true as well. Families who school traditionally always seem angry, frustrated, stressed. Not just with themselves, but with their children as well. They have that set schedule, and heaven forbid if it doesn’t work out as planned! The kids don’t get up on time, don’t do as they are told in a timely manner, etc., etc. The kids fight everyday, about things that no longer seem that important to me.
It’s amazing how much time, energy and effort families are putting into getting to school on time, (kids) behaving in school, doing well in school. Their lives are essentially put on hold … for school. Instead of learning around their life schedule, they are living around a school schedule. This is not conducive to a happy home I’m finding.
Just this morning, a friend posted on FB that her morning had gone to hell in a hand basket because no one was cooperating, no one was was dressed on time for school, lunches weren’t made yet because she had spent her early morning fighting with the kids to get them up on time and such… all so that they can get to a building on time! I posted on her status “You know … Homeschooling would fix this … Set your schedule, or don’t!” She agreed, but left it at that.
I’m also finding parents can not wait until their little ones are five, so that they can drop them off at school and let them be someone else’s issue for 6 hours. They want “Me time” again. Ok sure! I get that! Everyone needs some quality alone time to recharge, but it seems like it’s become a tradition to push our children away and on to complete strangers in hopes that they will learn something.
I watched Lainie Liberti ‘s Tedx Talk she just posted.. and the line where she says that she put a lot of focus on Education and school … but that the only goal for that was for her son to become educated. No other goal… and such a vague goal it was too, just being Educated seems to mean absolutely nothing these days. You can be educated and still have no clue about the world around you, be dense to common sense and compassion.
Come to think of it, the North American way of Parenting is extremely flawed I think. We love and nurture a growing baby in the womb, but as soon as they are born we detach ourselves from them. We push them away so often because “its good for them” that we send them to School at 2.5 years of age … calling it “Pre-School” why? what is this 2.5 year old learning? I’m not even sure.
Anyways …Total epiphany this morning! This past weekend (May Long Weekend, Victoria Day) was a sneak peek into what our new lives as homeschoolers will be like. We slept in, we did what interested us, no expectations, no set schedule, we were together as a family. I turned off the TV after lunch, we read, jumped on the trampoline, colored to our heart’s content. We were just US … togetherness. It was Amazing! I enjoyed it immensely!! As did the kids!
The more I learn about this way of Learning, the more I know it’s right for us.” ~ Candice Robertson, Worldschoolers Facebook Page
I was not a conventional parent. I actually never once corrected my children’s spelling or pronunciation or reading unless they asked me to. I did read aloud constantly in the evenings, played music or sang, though, and if they were interested, they’d choose to engage by listening, participating, or asking questions. I would engage with activities that I loved and then often they would just join in. I left it entirely to their volition. I did not want to be a false authority in their lives; however, I did display my own profound love for literature, art, music, science and nature.
I felt that just because I gave birth to them did not give me the right to lord some nefarious sense of seniority over them. I also never counselled them to say thank you or treat others with respect. It actually never became necessary to do so. They just naturally treated others the way that I did. I took my personal accountability to my children very seriously. The golden rule was my ‘Modus Operandi’ (MO). I knew enough from my studies in human behavior that the gestures I used in treating others would form the ethical center in my children.
When my kids were small, we hosted older children from around the world. At the time, I was doing a four year medical degree, was a single mom, and I needed the monthly allowance paid from the organization that sponsored these foreign students in a significant way. It also meant that I had another pair of eyes and loving hands in the home if I needed to run to the store or drop a child off for swimming lessons. It was a win-win situation.
We had a beautiful young girl from Madrid live with us for the summer. Her mother had been killed in a bombing in the Madrid subway. We loved on her … a lot! She became part of our family and she adored my son and daughter. I still have images of them playing with Rachel in the water at the beach while I reveled in their joyful antics.
We also hosted a more challenging senior student from Varacruz, Mexico, who chose to smoke in the house during the minus 30 degree winter after I’d asked her several times not to. She also came home hours past the organization’s set curfew on weeknights. Despite this, we looked after her, fed her, loved on her, and learned all about her home, how to make molé poblano, and how to say phrases in Spanish while she lived with us.
When my children were older, I launched a program called “Camp on The Farm” at our home. We had other homeschooled kids, Montessori children, and Waldorf children come for several weeks to join my children in the hay mow, hanging out in the fields and 200 acres of wooded trails just below our property. It was a paradise! The camp attendees got to spend time with the ducks, chickens, sheep, rabbits, turtle, cats, dog, and horses. Even if it rained, we had a 7,000 square foot barn full of hay to play in. We had a summer kitchen full of crafts, including beads, paints, paper, and coloured pencils for use during more quiet afternoons while littler ones were napping. My children were our farm’s ambassadors. I bought all the supplies and my children were cared for by counsellors at little cost to me, while I was serving patients in clinic and working on my postgraduate thesis.
When they were even older, I was hired as the Medic for another kids’ camp. My kids got to come along at a significantly reduced cost. The children of this camp were the kids of LGBTQ families. Kids of gay parents are not a shred different than my kids, as they all loved the same things; swimming, hiking, doing crafts, and roasting marshmallows over the fire. My children did learn compassion for those children, though, when they discussed their challenges at school due to bullying, coming from homes with two moms or two dads.
Incidentally my kids’ godmothers have been together for over 20 years. We lived with them for a year on their farm when we moved to a different province. They’re probably still closer to them than even to their own extended family. My friend of 30 years can fix just about anything, build a shed, make a soup to curl your toes, milk a goat with her eyes closed, and is the go-to person if a goat kid is sick on the peninsula she lives on.
When my children were in their later teens, they chose to educate themselves entirely out of their own volition. They chose 3 major avenues of study and I supplied their well-versed and loving mentors, as well as purchasing the supplies for these streams of exploration. I was available for any queries or challenges that came up for them and to supply a lot of food in the fridge when they were hungry. As teens, they’d sleep in until noon just about every day, wake up and eat their fill! The astral phase of development requires a lot of sleep, rest, and reflection. Later, they’d respectfully ask for the keys to the car to go to their riding, trampoline, or parkour sessions. I trusted them implicitly. I still do.
My son was worried at one point about being “school” educated and so he enrolled for grade 10 at the local high school. He not only maintained a 99% average all year, he was tutoring most of the other kids in his class. He suddenly realized one day, that he was not earning his teacher’s salary or even getting “dental benefits” (his words) and so he quit less than a year later thinking the whole system inane. He cited that school was a complete waste of time for him and that he learned much more on his own.
My daughter, at 16, chose to go to Art College for a year. She, nervously, had to write an entrance exam in order to get in. After 48 hours of study, she wrote two days in 2 hour sessions each. The guidance counselor let her know that she’d aced the test with perfect scores in all areas of English, Math, and Science.
At 18 my daughter has been working to train Olympic level horses. She is an artist, calligrapher, avid reader, and musician at heart. She is still unfolding herself, looking for that perfect form for her ultimate fulfillment. She plans on studying veterinary sciences in the not too distant future. I’ve been told myriads of times how amazing my daughter is, not just with horses, but with her peers and the other children learning to ride at this caliber.
At 21, my son is a trampoline acrobat, instructor, and runs a staff of 20 at a facility in another province where he moved to work. My cousin’s daughter attended a birthday party at the facility one day last year. She did not know my son since she was still a toddler when they’d met prior. That night she told her dad that she’d met this “amazing guy” at the local trampoline facility that day. She said, “He bent down to look at me in the eyes when we were talking. He helped me to use the trampoline safely, and you could tell he really loved what he does. Unlike the others there, he took the time when I asked how to do the front flip he was doing when I got there. I don’t know how to explain it, but he’s not like anyone that I ever met before.” Her father asked his name and she replied, “Jordan”.
Needless to say, I was often unsure of myself. I didn’t know too many other parents, at the time, who parented this way. I received a lot of criticism from their father, his family, and the community we lived in for even homeschooling them.
No one ever asked me why I parented them this way, or allowed them their head and the reins, with regards to their education. It is fair to say that I protected my children like a mother bear sure of one thing; if I had gone about raising them any other way, my ethical centre and MO would have pulled me up short. Also, they would have tortured me in retaliation. I knew that strict parents just create sneaky children. My profound love for them just couldn’t look or feel any other way. I was riding the impulse of inspiration. I treated them the way I wanted to be treated. I gave into my instincts, said fuck it to the societal constraints. I don’t have one ounce of regret! My children are entirely self-governing, resourceful, deep-thinking, creative, loving, and healthy. I’m so proud to be their mom.
After being cured from the cancer miasms using Heilkunst Principles, I made it my vow not to rescue others to the exclusion of myself and perpetuate children with the same cancer state of mind that I’d suffered with. I was also determined not to become a false authority for my children or others. I knew that love of self, acts of self-exploration through autonomy, creativity, and individuality were part of the “anti-cancer” state of mind.
My postgrad thesis yielded a book entitled, Unfolding The Essential Self: From Rage to Orgastic Potency. Which describes the research that enabled me to fully become my essential self after discharging my rage at the suppressive workings of 2,000 years of patriarchy. This book comes with a bibliography full of resources for those wishing to live out of the same principles.
Jordan has other reasons for being so remarkable that you, dear reader, may not know of. Hundreds of patients have been cured of their own diseases since he brought me to this system of medicine. You can listen to Jordan’s and my story for yourself for FREEhere.
Most adults I begin work with, sadly, haven’t a clue what they want to explore or even how to follow that inner tendril of a lusty feeling to know themselves through inspired interests. Most question themselves constantly, “Is this what I’m meant to be doing?” they ask. It makes me feel sad for them.
Natural unfolding and self-education are key to preserving a proper downloading of the astral body (desires) properly threaded through the ontic organization (incarnation of the self). It enables a meaty verve for life-long learning producing a sense of joy and wonder.
As adults, we engage with new concepts with the same juicy enthusiasm in precisely the same way as a child does who is left to her own curious devices! We’re no different than little kids, we simply want to know, to explore ourselves through our own thoughts and feelings and really play with how we fit in the world; what animates us?! Only then, we’ll start to give back to others out of our own plumbed wisdom.
As children, we innately know what we love and we don’t engage with frivolous subjects that don’t feed our natural curiosity. We’re downloaded with the natural capacity to keep falling in love with ourselves and what inspires us from the onset. It is that aspect, called enthusiasm that is the secret ember for who we’re meant to become. You just have to listen carefully and be sure not to snuff it out by over fanning it or, alternatively, not paying enough attention to it.
It is a God-imbued wondrous thing if that verve can be preserved. However, if we force a child to learn subjects they’re not interested in on other people’s agenda or a government curriculum, you risk breaking that child’s spirit. That “little light of mine” will risk going out. Alfie Kohn, natural learning advocate, states that there is no scientific evidence that homework is of any use to a child. If it was, wouldn’t children naturally love it and pursue it?
State-based school teaches concepts solely from an intellectual standpoint. Over time, you’ll erase the child’s natural verve, their kinaesthetic joy, they’ll stop asking a myriad of questions like, “Why is the sky blue?” The light in their eyes starts to diminish and they use statements like, “I’m bored,” more often. This is because they’re now seeking promptings for engagement from the outside-in as their natural inner enthusiasm sadly wanes.
False authority loves those that can’t think for themselves, and they’re happy to do it for you. Big Pharma will drug you where it hurts when the ember of realization kicks up, to justify their own agendas. I too was once a numb, sick drone working in an 8 x 12 felt cubicle in the federal government. It felt like I’d gone there to die!
Alternatively, if you watch children play, their whole bodies and breathing apparatus are involved. Their fight for things, possessing what they care about, wearing capes and swords for weeks at a time. They draw and paint everything, they whinny like horses, dance with abandon, juggle balls, throw bean bags into holes, study books they can’t yet read, lay on their backs studying the sky, jump stones in streams and dally in life’s greatest mysteries. Few of us know that these tendrils of unbridled excitement becomes the flame of creativity later on.
We adults are conditioned to think and say insane stuff like, “But those activities will never land us a job in adulthood.” I will flip them the bird and break their smoke-filled false crystal ball so fast, their head will spin! How dare they. It is always those drones, who hate their jobs the most that spout this suppressive crap.
Just, WOW, so we cut the child down from the tree they’re just learning to climb, destroying their confidence and turning them into our expectation of an intellectual plebiscite. The self-volitional life ebbs from their loins to take up the reins of then criticizing others through the emotional plague reaction.
We’re spiritually starved for new art, innovative music, brilliant plays, great books, big thoughts, and random acts of creativity. We need quirky thinkers, more innovators, and fully self-actualized in-spirit-ators. Read Elizabeth Gilbert’s Book, “Big Magic,” if you’ve forgotten how to be a creative genius out of your own generative capacity. Learn to re-claim wonder and joy falling back in love with the nature of your inspiration!
If you’re still struggling, contact us. The way I got back to my own essential self, extricated myself from drone-hood, and turned back on my creative flow was by applying the principles of Heilkunst Medicine. Through sequential therapy our patients also observe their inner volition flood back as we peel off the trap doors of emotional and physical trauma recognizing that our innate creativity is trapped under those suppressive layers.
As a by-product of treatment we witness them, and ourselves too, start to become self-motivated seekers hot on the trail of an innate insatiable curiosity. They just know what brings the fire and heat in their guts, sometimes for the first time in their lives! It is exciting and also frightening to feel this joie de vivre for the first time. We’re often not used to it.
My own kids chose not to be subject to the suppressive forces of allopathic education. They both tried to go to a state-run school for a time, but they were bored and hated the coercive atmosphere, bullying and arbitrary tests and exams. For example my son, Jordan, was just naturally tutoring all the kids in grade 10 math, coming home one day to state that he was quitting as he was doing more for the students than the teacher was, but he wasn’t getting paid for it, “I’m not drawing a salary or even getting a pension,” he joked. He held a 99% in math that whole semester.
My children lived the natural unfolding through self-education through the inherent rhythms that John Holt describes above. What an honor it was for me to witness their self-directed desires illuminated through the grace of time and space to explore their own inner world. When they were little, reading to them was my biggest job after the animals on the farm had been cared for. In their teenage years, my job morphed into supplying them with the tools and outside mentorship to further their self-actualizing goals.
My daughter, Adie, wanted to study literature, music, art and jumping horses. My son, Jordan, chose parkour, trampoline acrobatics, Aikido, and leading leagues of battalions in World of Warcraft. I watched them unfold staying as much out of their way as possible, wholly confident in their capacities to unfold themselves. I worked from home and so they would come to me if they wanted help with a problem or needed me to arrange and pay for driving school or drive them to horse lessons, but mostly I just let them be. They slept a lot! You can read more about their story here.
I can admit now that parts of it were not easy. Folks checking us through the grocery line often demanded to know why my children were not in school. Depending on the individual, we got good at saying that we were just coming from a Doctor’s appointment, as if it was their business. My hardest, and often my only job, was backing off these fearful criticizers! I was pursued at times by state-based-administration demanding accountability. I wrote letters and lied overtly to protect myself and my children. I also avoided e-mails and phone calls from family.
Thankfully, homeschooling, world schooling, unschooling and self-directed education is becoming more the norm although, we still have a long way to go in this realm. I’m now asked to mentor other parents at various phases of homeschooling exploration who are just learning to trust in the inner rhythms of their own babes. They innately get that perhaps a child’s natural unfoldment somehow preserves not only their health but also their happiness.
I will close with one of my favourite quotes from John Lennon, “When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” Nailed it!
My son Jordan, now 21, is a teaches trampoline acrobatics also
managing a 7,000 square foot gymnasium and loves his life.
He also loves Parkour and spends most of his time defying gravity.
This was also true when he was 3! Jordan is also a Bowen Practitioner.
My daughter, Adie, galloped and whinnied her entire childhood.
At 18, she trains olympic level horses to compete internationally.
She also gives lessons to tiny and medium sized equestrian enthusiasts.
Adie also loves her life.
That’s me, Ally. I used to wake with whole poems written in my head as a kid.
However, due to insurmountable grief, serious illness and allopathic education,
I’d lost my muse completely for over 25 years. I HATED school! At 52, in large
part due to Heilkunst Medicine, I rekindled my muse and now I have 13 books,
(including 2 books of poetry) to my name that I have also LOVED giving birth to.
Some additional Resources that may fuel your desire to learn more about self-directed education:
My son was a big gamer, he still is. I used to feel very much like this Mom, worried for his psyche, worried for the time not played outdoors, worried that he was living a life isolated from other humans. I used to tell him how it made me feel. I would even sit with him to find out which character he was this week and marvel at all the battle gear he’d assumed. He’d tell me about his prowess and what it would take to accumulate all the masks, shields and swords and that he had hundreds of kids around the world in his guild, looking up to him to lead them in the conquering of other worlds, levelling up at phenomenal rates. It was clear to me that he’d found a safe arena for all of the testosterone and that his mathematical, language and leadership skills might be of use. In my mind, I could justify it just one more day if I self-soothed, kept fulfilling my own desire program, and made sure he got his vitamin D regularly for living in virtual darkness and the Genetic Miasm for what I feared was the “unlived life.” I felt myself constantly placating my own fears and recommitting to my faith in him. Fast forward to the present. My beautiful son turns 21 in a few days. He is very balanced. He bikes everywhere, spends lots of time with “real”, human, friends and his virtual ones too. He teaches trampoline acrobatics, trampoline aerobics, manages about 20 kids, and opens and closes the facility daily. He tells me that he loves his life. My cousin’s daughter went there for a birthday party and reported to her Dad that she met the “kindest young man”, who was “very special” and took the time to teach “us how to have fun, but also be safe” on the Trampolines. His name was Jordan. I knew the feeling about this young man that his daughter described. She got to meet the essence of who he is too. Jordan tells me that he couldn’t do what he does, managing all those pieces and the youth in his life if it weren’t for all those guilds that he managed through his teens. The gaming was the arena for him to become the man that he is today. As I’d formerly feared, it didn’t take real estate away from him, in his eyes, it helped to craft who he is today; a loving, caring, compassionate and fulfilled young man who will only ever do what he loves backing off all false authorities, including his Momma.
In grade 5, while walking home from school, I thought about my thinking process and wondered why I thought thoughts differently and why I didn’t fit the mold of expectation like the other kids did. I was sure that I was in some way retarded mentally. They should probably put me in a special home somewhere for misfits like me.
I now know that my mother’s suicide two years prior was a huge reason why I could not absorb information the same way others did. My emotional cup was full to overflowing. I really could not easily make room for anything new. The only thing I liked was story time (Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory!), writing stories (Anne’s Summer Vacation) and researching alone in a cubicle in the library.
There, independently, I’d research and write about what I was interested in for hours on end! That year, I wrote a piece on every bird I could find out about in nature; their habitat, their unique calls, and their migration patterns. I truly lost all track of time and reluctantly put the books back on the shelf because the bell had rung indicating the next period.
In grade 11, I hated school so much, I failed 4 courses; I suffered every summer stuck in summer school for math. I did not take tests well. I froze. I abhorred learning what the teacher wanted me to learn. If I’d believed that I was a failure as the school system, and its testing mechanisms, seemed to be illuminating by my pitiful grade point average, I would have just checked out of educating myself altogether.
If I’d believed the system, I would have never gone on to study a four year medical degree in Heilkunst medicine, continued to another four years of a post graduate study, written thirteen books, contributed to countless magazines, helped patients by curing their diseases, lectured to hundreds of folks around the world, learned to draw, paint, write poetry and photograph. Back then, though, I prayed for someone, anyone, to intervene on my behalf.
Now I make a lot of suggestions to parents that looks much like the role played by the psychologist in the article below. It is critical to truly participate each child to discern who they’re meant to be and how to unpack that aspect secreted away in them from the inside out; not manipulate or suppress their behaviour to become what false authorities expect from the outside in. We need more dancers, more innovators, more artists, more robot builders, more bird researchers, more Heilkünstlers, or whatever it is that drives a child’s desire to know themselves. In there lies the key to how they will eventually serve the world.
It took me decades to get back to what I knew that I loved way back in grade 5. I thought differently, for sure, in ways that I wholly celebrate today as it enables me to diagnose the root cause of my patient’s suffering. Even though at the time, I was full of grief and alarming loss, I knew what I loved.
Through much strife, an agonizing career in government, a broken self-esteem, and many months of Heilkunst medicine, it took me about 25 years to make my way back to that girl in the library and the essence of myself. I had to rescue the “Philo” (love of) “Sophia” (knowledge) within me. However, back then, the problem was no one ever bothered to ask me. Ever! I did not make the same mistake with my own children.
This article was inspired by this excellent article imbedded in the image:
This morning, I came across two parents on a local group, “Practical Homeschooling” who are basically trading in the State-based, outside-in, approach to education by attempting to coerce their children into “focusing” on what they want them to do, rather than allowing them to unfold naturally out of their own desires. Here are those comments and my response to one of them (please enlarge on your desktop … sorry it’s so small):
In order to explain my stance further, let me take you back a little in time. My son, Jordan, was born two months premature over 20 years ago. After a delayed MMR vaccine, at 15 months, he regressed, losing all speech and eye contact and also began suffering chronic constipation issues so severe he was hospitalized seven times; once he was even put under general anaesthetic to remove the impacted stool manually. I made a vow that if Jordan was ever cured of his ills, I’d write a book about it illuminating what it was that had resolved his sufferings. That book is entitled, The Path To Cure; The Whole Art Of Healing.
It is about the system of medicine that I now practice. When Jordan started to unwrap himself, through Heilkunst medicine, he first attained the milestone of using the bathroom on his own; and then he subsequently achieved the milestone of saying “I love you!”. I realized that I’d been gifted with a second chance, a chance to re-do motherhood in a whole different fashion.
He was delayed in speech and cognitive processing and I sought out an environment to try and preserve his delicate immune system as he fired up his mental and emotional grid. The fanning of embers is a delicate operation, too much wind and the little flame is extinguished; not enough air and the flame is also extinguished. Allopathic, conventional school, for Jordan, meant further labels of ADHD and autism, constant add-in therapies for speech, cognitive development, and movement in order to get the help he needed to make the sound “shhh,” solve problems without tantrums, and learning how to keep his feet on the floor when drawing so that the trees in his pictures could form their own roots too. It was a form of ‘management’, at best; healative, but not curative.
I needed to bide our time while the Heilkunst process was unfolding. It was exhausting. Jordan became like a pet project while his baby sister flourished naturally, behind the scenes, unvaccinated and perfect in everybody’s eyes. All the focus remained on “Project Jordan” while the little village we’d created worked with him tirelessly to make him a “real boy” based on stats, mid-lines, and scores that were created by non-autistic-living authorities. I watched Jordan stutter, literally and figuratively, the flame sputtering, and then the lights all seemed to go out. He just wanted to be with me, not a myriad of therapists, and I just wanted to be with him too, his mother bear.
I was afraid that I would not be enough for him; I brought him home anyway. He came to work with me at my office as wholistic college registrar everyday; I drew, painted, read, and played with him on his terms every lunch hour and break. It was very rewarding and also very demanding. Jordan was a fount of endless questions; a seemingly unquenchable desire simply to know.
I ignored spelling mistakes, the speech issues, and the cognitive challenges and focused wholly and solely on what he loved. I let him drive the curriculum, on his terms, both day and evening. He was thriving and I was sputtering with exhaustion trying to hold down two full-time jobs with not an ounce of support. As a result, my marriage to his father came apart at the seams. When we later moved to a farm, I held an annual “Camp On The Farm” day camp for kids of Waldorf and homeschooling families.
The following year, we enrolled Jordan in the Waldorf school where they united with me and the philosophy of allowing him to dictate the pace in a wholistic environment. Their maxim was the same as mine; learning from the inside out. In partnership with Waldorf pedagogy and the local homeschool association, Jordan unpacked himself over 2 decades, naturally, while backing off false authorities; only learning what he loved and only when he wanted to know it. If he suspected that I, or his father, demanded something specific from him, he only just rebelled. I had to find another way; always another way with him.
As he got better, and his health was restored, I also had to take the focus off of him and find my own path for myself. Jordan demanded a mentor, not a false authority breathing down his neck, trying to get his lips up to say “shhh” on some arbitrary schedule. This was a very successful model until we ran out of Waldorf school rope at the end of grade 8.
High school presented a disaster when we moved to a close-knit farming community in a small town, in a mostly rural setting. The cliques did not include a new boy from 2 provinces away. By this time, Jordan had advanced so much in his academic ability that he held an average of 99% in math the whole year in grade 10, tutoring almost the entire class during lunch hour and breaks. He stated that this just didn’t seem right, as he was not being paid to be a teacher; he wasn’t even getting dental benefits! His words, not mine.
Jordan again came home and remained there during his adolescent years working part-time in our clinic, filing and doing lots of odd jobs requiring a myriad of skills. He was a further help when he got his driver’s licence. Jordan fell further in love with the martial art, Aikido, and then later joined a trampoline acrobatic club which also took his love of Parkour (free-running) to a whole other level of prowess. He and his buddy, Eric, ran a club for Parkour enthusiasts in our local village, helping other young boys to defy gravity and fly through the air. Little did we know that this red thread would become the cornerstone of Jordan’s work as a young man today.
At 18, Jordan decided to train as a Bowen Practitioner, a hands-on soft tissue modality requiring much of the same skills as a Registered Massage Therapist or Chiropractor. He graduated at the top of his class for which all of his more senior fellow students admired him. He also became a manager and mentor at the largest trampoline acrobatic centre in a large urban centre. He tells me that at almost 21 that he’s never been happier; this gives me great joy.
He let me know one day, that he always felt a little unsure of himself, that people might not think him capable because he was homeschooled. What he’s realized since is that his problem solving abilities and inner resourcefulness are off the charts; explaining why they’ve made him a full manager in less than 9 months at the acrobatic club. He’s jumped four levels in the hierarchy in a few short months to manage a staff of almost 20!
My daughter, Adie, has been mostly home educated as well. I never interfered with her pursuit of self-knowledge. She would engage with tutors on-line for Greek, in exchange for teaching them English. She’d buy bristol board at the dollar store, crafting elaborate maps of middle earth, or just seeming to randomly do a pictorial comparative analysis between Greek and Roman gods, all entirely out of her own volition. She’s read 1,ooo page tomes in 5 days, year after year, eating through books like she was half starved. I often wondered if I’d have to get a second job, just to keep her in books!
She would draw horses for hours; again, totally self taught and highly motivated. She taught herself how to play the piano and earned her own money to buy a keyboard to practice on. Adie also rode horses competitively, training in dressage, stadium jumping, and cross country. She even worked with the Canadian Olympic team one summer as a groom (aka barn slave) at Spruce Meadows in Calgary, with riders from all over the world.
Like her brother Jordan, Adie also just seems to innately know who she is and I completely trust her capacity to unfold her own desire program, naturally and with ease. No coercion or interference is necessary from me as she is totally self-governing and motivated. I was a little concerned when she applied to art college at 16 and was required to write the university level entrance exam in both math and English. I sweated over the math, thinking back in the recesses of my mind that we’d never covered any math; it just never came up in her pursuit of the arts. I need not have worried as she hired her own tutor the week prior to the examination, again, entirely on her own, and got 100% on the English exam and a 98% on the math. After a few short months at the college, they refer to her as a ceramics protege.
My hope is that I’ve helped to foster life-long learning for both of my children. They watched me struggle through a four year medical degree in Heilkunst medicine and also a post graduate study in advanced therapeutics in the same. My husband, Jeff Korentayer, and their step-dad, also shared the same pursuits as I did, fostering a culture of self-fulfillment through knowledge. Jeff has gone on to do a double PhD.
We never travelled very much, or took many vacations, but we took our own self-education very seriously. We also housed other Spanish-speaking international students from around the world over several years, exposing the kids to other cultures, languages, and a sense of a global community of knowledge-seekers. Perhaps now you will see why I responded the way I did in the post back at the beginning of this article.
I feel deeply that it is our job as parents and mentors to tease, lovingly and gently, an individual’s innate desires to know to the surface. If you’re nervous about trusting this God-imbued wisdom downloaded in your own child and their capacity to self-teach, then study everything that John Taylor Gatto ever wrote. Read Alfie Kohn and the Colfax’s book about educating their boys while building their house in the middle of nowhere in the mountains of California.
Read The Teenage Liberation Handbook and allow your kids to unfold naturally, gracefully, while having complete trust and faith in their inner process. I’m also here if you need a coach. I promise you that it will be the most awe inspiring journey you will ever have the pleasure of going on with another human being. Find inspiring individual mentors for your kids that speak to their specific, individual interests and perhaps you will find that along the way, you’ve also become one yourself.