Lucy Aitkenread and her ex-teacher husband Tim are parents from New Zealand who decided to pull their kids out of the school system back in 2013 after discovering the concept of “self-directed learning” where kids get to do what they like instead of going to mainstream school. The two, who also teach their unschooling concept to other parents online, say they have seen an upsurge in enrollments since the start of the coronavirus lockdowns.
So on any given day when other kids would go to school, this couple’s two daughters Ramona, 9, and Juno, 7, would wake up when they want then go hiking, go to the beach or any other activity that they wanted to do that day. They also learn what and how they like.
This could be anything from doing calculations on the bathroom wall or modelling sculptures out of clay.
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Lucy said: “I feel that giving children lots of time to follow their interests is a foundation for success later in life.
“If I sent them to school, they wouldn’t get the same freedom. Most mainstream education can be very punitive. It can use shame to coerce kids to learn things they’re not interested in and that’s really paralysing.
“My eldest daughter has finished writing her first book and she has a natural love of maths. She does long calculations on our bathroom wall.”