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  • Angela Tam

Rest is liberating

The common rhetoric is that you have to “put in the time” to earn your place and climb up the ranks.

Really? Let’s unpack that. Who said that you need to do that?

Yea, there will be seasons of focus and intentional learning and studying along, but the assumption there is that suffering is needed so you can be hazed into adulthood.

3 years ago, my family did something pretty radical. We pulled our kids out of compulsory education and started unschooling them.

We didn’t want to opt into hustle culture for the adults and decided that we wanted to opt out entirely for our family. My partner and I were already being intentional about slow living and stepping out of urgency culture, but we didn’t exactly know how to do it for the kids.

So we pulled the kids out of public school and invited them to a different way of relating to ease and rest. We started to practice liberation oriented unschooling, where they get to practice self directed learning… following what their own curiosities and spending time going down their own rabbit holes.

We don’t teach them anything structured unless they request it from us. We trust that they will get what they need eventually and if they really want to pursue a profession, they will do what is required in their own timing.

We are also leaving it up to them, whether or not they want to opt back into formal schooling… and taking it one year at a time depending on our capacity and bandwidth to be at home with them 24-7.

This decision to opt our kids out of the rat race of being schooled and overscheduled with their extracurriculars, has allowed them to have ample time to rest, play and have a less stressful relationship to boredom.

They are not afraid of being bored. They also don’t look to us to entertain them. They feel secure playing by themselves and playing with each other. Because they have so many opportunities for enjoyment, they don’t have FOMO and a sense of scarcity with fun.

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