By Megen Hibbins
As an “off-grid parent” of four children that are homeschooled, we can find challenges in our everyday life. These challenges are no more or less than the average parent, just different – but in a good way.
Off-grid living is a way of life that doesn’t always resonate with everyone, yet adding the homeschooling dimension to it makes the whole thing different, exciting and a challenge that is worth rising for. I have been working and living off the grid for 10+ years now and with five children – one of whom is 20 now and with four younger ones, aged seven down to two – homeschooling in this isolated, off-grid, dirt road environment was a given.
Growing green, earth children is a path that I started with my eldest son (not successfully), when he was a child. But I lived in Newcastle, NSW, Australia, so it was complicated with all the traffic, cement and pollution. Also, being the single mother/father/teacher got a little complicated; where did I draw the line between each designated job? I took him fishing, and I can tell you now it was OK until the fish was on the hook, then I had NO idea what to do! My father never took us fishing or camping. I also unschooled my son, which was successful for him until we moved into the middle of nowhere, at which point I sent him to public school and regretted it every time he came home.
Now though, I have four more children who are happily growing up within the off-grid, bush environment and two are homeschooled (with a curriculum base). They are happy, well-adjusted, polite and the ever-present question about socialisation can be answered by saying they are with others a few times a week, be it adult or other children.
Bringing them up in this environment, with no mobile service; satellite classes; and the freedom to explore, use their imagination and become well-adjusted, expressive little souls; is so rewarding.
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