Underestimating Natural Schooling and its Value for Future Employment Options

Some years ago I went for a job within the NSW National Parks. A dream job for me but I was under qualified and lacking any experience. I had just completed my second year of Environmental Science and had to travel about 6 hours from the Sunshine Coast each weekend for work IF I was given employment. The odds were against me.

I made it somehow through to the final assessment and attended a weekend with about 14 other people to narrow it down to a team of 6. As we sat around talking wombats, fire trails and public toilets, I felt every eye upon each other, sizing up the competition. Most of my opponents had formidable beards and a repertoire of unusual birds calls that was used at unusual times of the conversation. I knew none of them. All held degrees (literally) and all knew the area well.

The young dark-haired man beside me had nothing but a smile and a blank piece of paper in front of him. He talked, and laughed, making everyone feel pretty good about themselves I believe. He asked to hear the bird calls, listened when the stories were told and not once took his attention elsewhere.

I guess you can imagine where this is going. He got the job. I did too but only just  – at least I got to talk to him again.

He was in his early 20’s, could barely write and maths was something you used to count the lettuce he picked for his Mum before market harvest. He had lived in rural NSW on community all his life, never attended school or gone to Tafe – just lived. He helped the people he lived with, chatted with the locals at the weekly produce sales and traveled a little when he was 19, woofing and couch surfing before realising he had something so simple to share. His love of the earth and the people upon it. He didn’t even know a bird call.

For the next several months I watched various employees of the National Parks cater to his best attributes and pick up the pieces where necessary. He was an asset to our Discovery Team and when I asked about his life and his job he told me…………

“I found what I loved and wanted to share it with the best of intentions to as many people as I could”

Its been years since I worked with the dark-haired man. I know have kids of my own (12 and almost 14). We are natural schoolers, change our interests and learning methods as much as the moon fulls and whole heartedly believe we can raise aware, conscious, happy and employable children bu following our hearts.

So often I hear stories of mothers that question their own teaching methods or abilities daily,  grandparents that don’t understand the possibilities of open learning or spouses that think you wont get a good education if you don’t get a degree.

Good people get good jobs – if that’s what you want.

Raise our kids with the mindset that anything is possible and we will change the world.

Help our kids to be the best possible human being they can be and they will find happiness – with or without a piece of paper that says they are qualified.

Think outside the normal entry requirements and you will find a way in – then we can change the shape of that box from the inside out.

Every time I doubt myself or stress about the level at which my kids are developing I remind myself of this story – of the man who knew no bird but smiled his way through.

With much metta, Tamika.


Life on the Road at any Age

He was the first person to say “gidday” and the last person to leave camp. For this ‘ole timer’ life on the road is not about how far you go, where you park or what style of van you pull but about who you meet and what your willing to stand up for.

I met, lets call him Jack ….. just west of Jackadgery (Grafton), a couple of weeks before the Christmas rush. His warmth overshadowed the harshness of his appearance, worn by the elements of our extreme weather and a tough existence travelling the back roads around Texas (Australia) as a young man.

It was early morning and our introduction to each other covered a broad array or topics from social standards, sexual harassment, employment benefits, raising children to eating bush tucker, escaping the ‘law’ and solo travel. We did all this in about 10 mins.

His latest home is small, basic and wirery, a little like himself but under the exterior lies many a story and an open heart or for the van an open floor in sections. He renovates on the go, resourcing from whatever he finds and tries to buy as little as possible, except for the tobacco he rolls every few minutes.

The chair I sat on while we talked was made from an old milk crate, his kitchen scavenged from commercial dump sites and his bed the remnants of what looks like should be at the garbage tip. I was too scared to ask.

I call him Jack because his story was so interesting that I forgot to write it down. It also seemed insignificant at the time. Our exchange was of mutual admiration as we waffled on through the haze of late afternoon sun and smoke.

He left home when he was 16, a swag he made in one hand and a bag of groceries his grandmother gave him in the other. Its all he had. He walked for the first 3 years, picking up work in cattle, gas and railway stations. He believes even now if people want to leave the cities to escape the madness of working just to own a home (that is stuck in one sterile place) then there are opportunities galore.

Jack believes you learn to let go of things you once held important on the road.

“She takes it from you but gives back a freedom you wont find elsewhere.”

He finds it hard to communicate the experiences of his life but knows his happiness can be shared by anyone, willing to give up takeout food, designer clothes and luxurious beds. Waving his scrawny arms and exhaling a puff of smoke, I let him off the hook with answering anymore questions to get a tour of his home.

Inside everything has a purpose, gas burner, small fridge, cupboard for clothes, some archaic music stereo and some pictures. I couldn’t see any food with exception to a bag of dirty half sprouted spuds in the corner and some noodles in an opened packet on the table.

The only time Jack became elated was when he told me about the photos on his wall. I had found his weakness. Memories.

He talked about his past love of cars and an old friend whom he no longer talks too, pointing to each car and old friend as he shares.

Freedom for Jack is about not being a slave to the system that pushes you to work all your life to own things. Things the planet cannot keep making. Things that slow you down.

Travel safe my friend and see ya at Texas some time.



Transparency within the Dream

To live a dream, you first need to know what it is you desire.

How to do it depends entirely on what you dream for.

I only know the path we chose and it was one that lead us to let go of everything we owned and had once worked for……I think this path is easier than trying to acquire more. If you dream of driving a Ferrari and being waited on hand and foot for your retirement then this story is probably not for you.

But if you dare to find happiness in the peace of each days sun rise then read on.

Recently I saw a post by someone who has in the past inspired me to give more openly. He was asked by someone how he survives if he earns no money…….was he on the dole? They wanted transparency in his actions so that they too could live as he does. They were inspired but doubtful they could live in a similar way.

He replied with some offence that his monetary affairs was no-ones business and that he lived with little money or exchanged work for goods. I too am often asked what do we do for money and most times try to avoid it but how can I be promoting a life of freedom and happiness if I don’t tell you how we came to be.




It starts like any other “normal life” school, work, some more schooling and some more work. Family was gifted to me and while I raised our girls, my husband continued to work. A lot. What we earnt, we spent. The holidays were never long enough and our spirits never content. We decided to change our perspectives and our location.

We sold our renovated Sunshine Coast house and bought a farm, hand-built a home and carved out a magical existence relying heavily on the food we grew or animals we butchered. We connected to land and ourselves but the mortgage was still there. Several people who had come to stay with us on the farm as helpers mentioned a meditation course. Vipassana. Both my husband and I sat the course and our lives were changed forever.

We sold without hesitation, everything we had worked for, became vegetarians and left Australia with nothing more than a backpack each. Two adults, two preteen girls.

The money we acquired from the sale of our farm set us on a global journey to help others and in the process help ourselves but it doesn’t take travel to change a person, nor money, but the freedom of enslavement to a system that kills the spirit.

Removing yourself from the habitual working every day, week in, week out to obtain more things is what set us free. While having a new plasma, car or home might give a quick fix….no material object can fill the soul.

Yes…. we still need money. We have not found a community or new world that nurtures or provides a platform of free-living so we work (occasionally) or volunteer at spiritual centres or get the dole (occasionally). At the moment we are finishing a mobile bus café that will hopefully provide a little income to support out gypsy way of life and keep us completely out of the government system. with the ability to still help others. The more I learn and teach our children about the fundamnetal requirements for life the more I hope to remove ourselves from dependancy of any monetary system……food, shelter, land and peoples are our focus.

The world cannot support our increasing population if we continue to live as we do now. I often wonder are people too ignorant to see that our children will suffer if we continue to impart such materialistic beliefs upon them? Or are we just selfish, stubborn and greedy without forsight to imagine a planet and our minds in the next 50, 20, even 10 years if we continue down the current path.

I believe we are born free but have been too wiling to accept the voices of others instead of listening to our own, instead of listening to the voices of our great indigenous ancestors. We have forgotten how to care for ouselves and our families as they age. We have forgotten how to heal and how to connect with the energies of the land.

Lets start changing ourselves so that we can change the world for the lives of those to come.


Much metta to you all.




The Art of Living with Boys on a Bus – the Carmody’s

Pulling into the Scotts Head car park to check the afternoon surf, the first thing we saw wasn’t the waves surging in after last nights storm but a white 81 beauty complete with slanted windows and 3 very brown boys.

I had to say hello. Although they were parked up in a quiet caravan park I could tell the bus was home.

Aaron and Kylie have been living between Australia and Canada for the last 6 years, storing all their possessions in a container while away. They bought their bus about 2 years ago with plans to do some Aussie travel but 6  m onths ago fate had its own plans – everything they owned was stolen from storage. Returning to nothing but their faithful retired school bus, the decision was made to jump aboard and see where they landed.

They didn’t go far before finding their idea of paradise.

“It feels like we are on permanent holiday” says Kylie as she swipes another load of sand from the chair before plonking beside 3 salty boys.

I reckon you can tell what’s important and most used by people who live on buses from what sits on the front dash. For the Carmody’s its surf wax and chandeliers.

Aaron and Kylie’s change of lifestyle was forced upon them in a way but from talking with them for the afternoon its pretty obvious it suits them just fine. Kylie explains how she used to be attached to so many things, little treasures and art pieces for the home, how they looked and what they owned but now she has come to accept and appreciate the minimalistic life.

“you can’t fit much on a bus and there is definitely less cleaning, clothes and shoes to worry about”.

All three boys had something to say about their bus life, especially the youngest but all three agreed it s just amazing. Kylie keeps them pretty entertained with games and beach walks and they attend the local primary school.

Beau (4) – into body art, makeup drawing and dancing.

Asher (8) – into “nothing” then smiles a lot and states art and writing.

Jye (11) – into biking, surfing and soccer.

The idea of freedom seems to be easier than living it for many. So many times we are told…….aaaahhh your livin the dream….but its no dream and its very doable. You just have to be willing to trust and let go of most things you think bring about happiness…..shoes, vases, cupboards of clothes, massive TVs and THINGS.

Serioulsy just look around and see what you can live without and sell it, donate it, make a difference in someone elses life.

Attachment to THINGS is what holds many people back but when you create space in your life and your body for love, freedom, creativity and happiness…then it all flows.

The Carmody bus is simple and set up for caravan camp grounds. It’s a great example for people who still want main stream schooling while getting the most out of life and the surf.

I asked Aaron my favourite question….what is freedom?

“Roaming free. To be able to do whatever you want…when you want.”

“Freedom is what we are doing now”

Kylie blushed and was quiet for a while then finally answered, “Oh my gosh, do people have a hard time answering this?”

“I guess options. Not being tied down. Having the choice to move.”


The lack of space (or your own room says Jye) and privacy definitely outweigh all the positives for this close-knit family.

The Carmodys are about to pack up and head to families over the busy Christmas holidays but I am sure you’ll see them back at Scotts Head next year.



Happy travels.




The Art of Living on the Road with The Clancy Swains

I meet some pretty inspiring people on the road. Some live in trains on the side of the road while others haul old caravans filled with kids, pets, relics and potions with horses that know their path.

It’s a growing movement. People who came to the realisation that our earth and our hearts cannot support our current style of living and patterns of consumerism.

This story and the many to follow are about people who live their lives on the fringes of society, those we find in tents on beaches, abandoned warehouses and the backyards of friends in a refurbished delivery van, those that most often want to simplify their lives and show others that there are alternatives to how we live.

They are normal people, your ex-neighbour, brother or daughter, some have metal illness, some are on a spirtual path. While some look feral, go naked or join communities that ineviatbaly disovle, most are just everyday common folk seeking a change.

I want to bring you their stories so that you may open your mind to the art of living.

This story is about Malinda, Darcey and Thyme Clancy Swain

I met them under a large newly erected marquee, Brunswick Heads, Australia. Malinda was rocking their son to sleep but I couldn’t help but introduce myself. Their bus had caught my eye (how could it not) and I just to ask of their life.

They had a similar stories to ours, work, property, realisation, sell and now live in a bus. Their smiles told me all I really needed to hear but these are their words.

Admitting that there still challenges to life without still walls, both Darcey and Malinda agree whole heartedly that their life now is much happier than before.

“buslife challenges appeal to us more than a mortgage and are outweighed by the joys”.

Malinda and Darcey spoke about the paradox of the abundance that comes when you live with less, allowing the smaller things to bring about happiness. For Thyme I could see in every action (or inaction) his joy for the closeness he feels with his parents and the loved shared between them.


As we have discovered, you start to see the beauty in simple things when you make room for them in you life. For this beautiful couple the simple joys are family, love, stillness and creek swims.

Its early days for Malinda and Darcey, having bought their bus only 3 months ago in SA. They plan to travel north as far as they can, as slowly as they can for the next year or so, pursuing their interests in rewilding and natural learning, overcoming various social judgements like dumpster diving, not working too often and smelling a little sometimes.

They are not on benefits, shop only when needed and live off the interest to a home they once owned….I couldn’t smell them much either.

The bus is simple, very simple. With exception to the oven but maybe I am just a little jealous.

No frills cutlery holders and reclaimed throw-outs for furniture. There are freshly picked herbs lining the window, messages for self, written on glass and a view that changes almost every day. The sink was a green bowl filled by running water – luxury.

I asked the Clancy Swains a question I love to ask everyone I meet on the road ……… WHAT IS FREEDOM?

Malinda “having choice how I spend my time and having the ability to actually go with the things I choose.”

Darcey “having time to spend with Malinda and Thyme…….(long pause and thought) It’s a deep feeling inside that comes from the solar plexus…….like when you breathe fresh air”

Tell them I said hi when you see them. You can’t miss the yellow school bus complete with flashing lights.

It was a joy to meet you Malinda, Darcey and Thyme, your lightness filled my heart and inspired me to not buy take away food again.


Much love on your journey.



On the Road Again

I love the township I am leaving for now, the sweet sisters and brothers I have met, the children that have shared their laughter with my children. In love I leave and in love I will return but for now I need to listen to the calling of my heart and my land. What I wouldn’t give for a quick coffee with friends from my favourite Spill da Beans though. (I don’t do coffee on the road – can’t afford my addiction).

It’s a hard feeling to describe, ITCHY FEET. He’s a crafty bugger. Creeping around my campsite for weeks now, sneaking into my days. He’s been teasing me with flashes of red earth, forest green and cleansing waters. What is it exactly that creates a yearning to move, to be somewhere not visited before, to discover something unseen, connect with life and self.

I cannot really justify travel right now when I look at our world in chaos but travel makes me stronger. It makes me more available to assist others and makes me more grateful for everything. Travel also stimulates me to teach (natural school) the girls differently. I allow my reinvigorated sense of wonder of our world to flow into my daily teachings and often I come up with more creative ideas.

With travel, comes guilt (justification of time, resources and money) but since completing my first Vipassana course some 4 years ago I know that in service ( helping others) I can tip the balance in my favour………or at least level the karmic playing field.

So here we are, packed and full of excitement. Destination unknown and money dwindling. Time no real concern. The itchy feet are about to be set free to walk on new lands. Australian lands. After 12 months of global travels in 2016 I can honestly say there is no place like Australia. We are so truly blessed. We have an indigenous spiritual culture that surpasses any other for its ability to connect with nature and self, for we are all one, of one energetic source.

Australia and her lands are magnificently harsh and expansive, surrounded by a coastal vegetative strip that seems to nourish, support and soften her wilds. This sets her apart from most other countries. The openness of Australia’s land has shaped my psyche and in line with her expansive quality I too hope to expand my beliefs, my knowledge and my connection with its people.

Travel sets me free to bring me home.

I truly hope to see you on the road and in my home (bus). May we all connect and share our stories, love and food, under the stars, our ancestors, our families.

Metta and safe travels.



A Day of Natural Learning

There are so many ways to educate a child and whether you choose to natural school or pay for private education, lets face it, the pressures these days are high.

I’m not about to sit here and write how I believe I have found the right way or even an easy way, for each day I question my motives, my beliefs and my failing energy levels.

One thing I have realised, the less time I spend worrying the better we all are. The better my family are, the better I am and the better my children seem to learn. Above all when the stress of learning becomes a way of life, a love, then the more happy and balanced we become and the more time that seems to become available for learning or planning, creating or playing.

A recent day of learning for us that ticked many boxes was inspired from a dream. I entered into a book and became the colour blue.

Take a book that your child is reading or one that they like the cover of. Open to one page randomly and either read that page to your child or allow the child to read it aloud. Now let them draw or better still, paint the feeling or mood that page and its words create. Discuss possible colours and their associations (red – fire – anger, blue – water, calm) and perhaps our chakras or what paint is used in hospitals or your local dentist. You could talk about the style or different paint strokes and how they reflect the mood they want to create. Short and sharp or soft and flowing. Its endless….do one with your kids also…its amazing what transpires.

Hang your paintings proudly and perhaps they will inspire some shared reading or discussions.


Learning is easier when you’re smiling. Good luck.

Another Week of Living

Natural learning for my two daughters has become more about living and enjoying life to the fullest as a family than about how much you do or worrying about what level they are at.

I used to feel like I never did enough for my children in regards to their education. Enough maths, enough science or enough history. Now I realise all we need to learn is all around us and within us.

Learning lies within the stories told by elders, the walks you take at first light in new forests or the recipe you follow to prepare a balm with ingredients you grow or collect. Learning lies within life itself and having the ability to bring each moment into an awareness that suits the specific age of the child you hope to awaken. Along the way we often discover that we are the ones slowing down our children’s progress…….they will show you what and when they are ready to learn, we just need to be there to steady the foundations.

The last 2 weeks we have spent in the garden, making balms and lotions, swimming and camping with friends. We had a birthday, shared some worms, listened to the owls at night and created music. We have cried a little, watched parents drift apart and start the journey back towards each again. We have bled and marked the time on the moon and discussed how the cycles of seasons can affect us, the animals and what grows in the garden. We learnt some limitations of our bodies and the effect of too much weight on a rope. We learnt that good food fuels our body better than shit food.

We learnt that true friends are sacred, valuable and something to treasure.

What haven’t we learnt that’s appropriate for the last 2 weeks in our life?

Hope you are all learning as we are and realising that life changes just as quickly as we think we have mastered it.

Much metta.

Learning Naturally

Taking responsibility for the schooling of a child is no easy task. My hat goes off to every educator that wants to better the life of another individual.

For years I have followed or been guided by other people’s curriculums, ideas, standards and rules when considering the type of education I wished for my children. We have tried a lot……including government public school (big and small).

From this point forward though, I totally trust my own intuition that I can raise the level of my children’s mental, spiritual and physical well being to a point that will bring them and the world happiness.

I trust I can listen and attune to their needs in order to foster a natural environment for learning and life….for all they need, lies within…….I just have to hold the space and allow the learning to flow.

I have been keenly watching a woman (on fb) recently posting her 100 days of home schooling. It seems that most people home school until the teenage years come along. What happens then? There is so much information and resources aimed at the younger ages for home schooling and lets face it – when your young and life is new, most things are stimulating.

So what to do when your kids are reaching that age when a simple request is met with a face that resembles a rejected pug dog (no offence to pugs)? How do I instil a sense of wonder and excitement for learning and life when minecraft and apps rule the world.

For the next year I want to show you how we operate our schooling life. A realistic documentation of life’s daily activities with the aim of getting my kids one step closer to surviving and enhancing this world.

Id love to inspire you but more so Id love you to inspire me………

Day 1. (F – Female)


Last week of a 2 term public school trial for my youngest (F aged 10)

Write about our day of natural dying (F 13)

Garden and prepare lunch

Read fantasy novel (F13)





Today’s Fire

You ask me can I come, an arranged celebration of life some months in advance. I do not know for the fire burns only this morning after we have collected the wood.

You ask will I be ready Monday, but today is Sunday and all the seeds I sowed in the moonlight need watering this day.

You need to know the promise I made 17 years ago to your heart grows stronger the longer we are untied but I barely know my own heart……can we love today in separation…..will that be enough for you.

Can I honour myself in this moment while I watch and feel those around me that do not. I want to love them, sit with them and talk of death.

You ask me how did I come to be this way, this happy, this content and full of time?

I dreamt myself to recognition. I dreamt back to lands once burnt with black love and replenished all that I once thought I could be from the winds, water and songs. I opened all I could….eyes, ears, heart and hands to take in the essence of country.

Today, this day I invite you to share the fire that burns inside us all.

Today I realised I will not be ready for you any time soon for I am ready now. I will not love you any harder for I love you all I can today. I wont be ready next month, or next year for I am waiting in this moment.

I am love.

I am black.

I am white.

I am.