Archives

Parenting, unschooling

Cool news for Juno! Home Education Application Exemption (for a six year old unschooling)

11 June, 2019

Hi friends!

We received a cool email today letting us know that our home education exemption for Juno has been approved. You might remember that here in NZ you have to fill in a form in order to be exempt from school. It looks like this is a path the UK is close to embarking on too.

I shared Ramona’s application right here. And I wanted to share Juno’s as it is both a good example of an unschooling exemption (for those who want to be totally up front about the style of learning they have at home) but also does put a bit of flesh on the unschooling bones for those who really don’t get it! The bits in bold are the questions they ask.

Tim wrote this one even though it maybe made more sense for me to do it ‘cos I’ve already done one, but, you know, we are committed to absolutely sharing this parenting and home education gig.

Unschooling home education exemption nz

Section 2 As well as:
A) Help us to understand your home education philosophy/approach, and how you will meet the requirement to teach at least as well as a registered school.

Lucy and I are strong believers in the innate ability of our children to learn. We have watched them both develop in their physical movement from a young age. We have witnessed them motivated by their own curiosity develop a deepening understanding of themselves and the world around them. Our educational philosophy seeks to support and help to replicate this in their further learning and development of understanding. We seek to support Juno’s learning urges, asking appropriate questions to fuel her appetite for understanding. We deliberately follow up these learning urges, travelling to geographical places and accessing relevant resources in order for Juno to have the chance to learn in this way.

As Juno embarks on these learning journeys we encourage her to process these new ideas through discussion with us and others, craft, experimentation in expressing the learning through creative mediums, and recording her learning pictorially and when she is able, through literacy, and numeracy.

Creative arts, social interaction, literacy and numeracy in this context are forms of expression of the learning that is going on inside Juno.

The physical environments of Juno’s learning are wide ranging, whether this be in Te Papa, our farm, at the beach, bush, community organisations or far flung places. We endeavour to make these contexts as limitless as we can. This allows Juno to interact with a wide range of places, cultures and learning facilities.

Juno does not have special educational needs that need catering for.

B) What resources do you intend to use and are you delegating any teaching responsibility?

Library and bookshelf: Juno loves exploring the libraries in Paeroa, Waihi and Ngatea. When we travel to other places she loves to visit the libraries there to read books with us and explore the children’s areas. We encourage Juno to find books that are of interest to her, and read them with her at our home.

iPad and laptop: Juno enjoys ipad games especially the series of Toca Boca games which have been specifically created to enhance a child’s creative development. She loves building homes and facilitating the interaction of her characters in these games.

Friends and family members: Juno had developed close relationships with a handful of other significant others who she feels comfortable with. She enjoys going on trips with these people, exploring places and embarking on creative projects with them, such as clay work with the local potter and trips into the city with her grandmother.

Craft box: Juno loves to explore new places, but enjoys the comfort and familiarity of home where she can happily craft away. We have three huge craft boxes filled with beads and threads for bracelet making, wool for finger knitting. Paints, colours, paper. Felt, scissors, glue. A whole load of interesting craft materials left over from experiments and projects.

Local homeschool community: Juno is becoming increasingly interested in learning opportunities presented through the homeschool community in Tauranga. She currently attends a Kapa Haka group there and a Circus performing workshop. We see this an increasingly important element as she feels more comfortable with the children attending and adults facilitating. Juno loves to make cards and already has a clear hand writing to copy out long notes to her friends.

The natural world and tools to explore it: We are right next door to Conservation Land, with a river. We have kayaks and life jackets which Juno loves to use single handedly. She has a pocket knife and loves to whittle some of the beautiful wood we find. She has rope and tools and together we might set a trap or build a new swing.

C) What are your educational goals for the next 12 months of your child’s home education and how will you know if you’ve met them?

Juno is a naturally curious person. She loves to work out carefully how to do something. Often these activities are extremely complex and take patience, resolve and commitment. We want to honour that element of her personality, helping to facilitate these learning experiences, but not pushing her into them. While she feels motivated to learn new things, take on new challenges, make sense of new contexts we will feel that she is progressing healthily. Juno likes to take on something new and master it. We delight in seeing her in this context and encourage her to work in this way.

Juno takes time to warm to people, but when she does she develops deep and real relationships. We work closely with Juno to help her feel comfortable in new contexts, deliberately making ourselves available to her if she feels that she needs support in order for her to feel safe and comfortable. As she settles into a new context we slowly and subtly give her space to practice independence. As long as Juno is growing in her social confidence we will feel that we are judging our involvement correctly.

Juno loves to develop new expressions of creativity. She adores drawing the most intricate patterns and pictures. Juno loves weaving, cutting, painting, building, creating cups out of clay, writing her name and messages to friends, and experimenting with numbers. As long as Juno is enjoying these creative expressions and involving herself in them we will feel as if we are offering her the correct amount of learning opportunities through creative expression.

D) What is your vision, and what are your goals for your child’s long term educational achievement?

Our vision for Juno is to be a internally motivated and self directed joyful learner. She is that already, and our ultimate goal is to propagate that and not puncture it through other’s expectations. We want Juno to love the learning she does, to feel comfortable within the context of that learning. We want her to follow her passions, curiosities and capabilities. We want her to feel empowered to follow whatever learning pathways she needs to in order for her to become the person she is discovering she is.

We want her to feel confident interacting with a wide variety of people, across a wide variety of cultural contexts. To bloom into the limitless learning opportunities the world has to offer, knowing that something new is not something to be feared or threatened by, but rather an opportunity that may present itself.

We want to see Juno relishing being able to express herself and be understood by those around her. To project her understanding powerfully, confidently and accurately, through the arts, literacy and numeracy.

If she wants to go to a tertiary institute, we want her to know that that is a possibility. Equally if she discovers the need to initiate her own creative dance troupe, or likewise, we want her to know that she has the tools and efficacy to do that.

E) Give a detailed description of a special project or topic plan you will do, or describe one you have done in the past.

Juno has developed over the last month a love of weaving friendship bracelets. She is amazingly good at the intricate movement and patterns required to make a beautiful bracelet. Already she has made and given away eight friendship bracelets, representing hours of important motor skills work (and also critical for reading readiness.) Juno has said that she knows what she wants to do when she grows up now: sell friendship bracelets.

Throughout the year we regularly attend life learning camps. One camp particularly offers the kids a chance to sell their creations or offerings in a marketplace. Juno really wants to build up a collection of friendship bracelets to sell at this camp in October. Already she is researching the different price structures that she may employ in the selling of these friendship bracelets by asking friends and family members what they would be willing to pay. This has also lead to an increased interest as we move around the supermarket and op shops noticing prices and discuss value of each item, through this she is gathering basic numeracy skill as well as an understanding of money, cents in the dollar.

Juno will need to source reasonably priced thread to make this price structure work for her, and within the budget of her weekly allowance. We will support her to do this through finding a thread supply online or in local secondhand shops. Juno will need to develop processes that allow her to meet the production levels required of her marketplace stall. Juno will also need to make sure that her product design is desirable to her client base which will through our regular excursions and visits to friends. And when we get closer to October we will support Juno to design her own market stall and packaging, including sign writing and artwork.

SECTION 3 “As regularly as”

A typical week:
Monday: Morning trip down to Tauranga, beginning with Kapa Haka, followed by a meet up with other homeschooling and life learning children at a local park. Spend the afternoon at one of her friend’s house either playing outside or crafting inside. After dinner Juno attends a circus performing class. Drive back home after club.

Tuesday: Crafts morning after breakfast and some Netflix, followed by outside play at our farm. Often Juno will be involved in a project such as gardening – at the moment she is growing a giant pumpkin for a Giant Pumpkin Competition at a local farm. We might make a tree house or construct a waterslide, or more simply go on a bush walk beside the river collecting fascinating rocks, insects and minerals. In the afternoon we will go to studio of a local potter for a few hours and Juno will make some crockery. In the evening Juno helps to cook dinner, regularly chopping all the vegetables.

Wednesday: A bunch of other families turn up at our farm to play and explore together. Juno will often spend a lot of time with one particular friend making things, drawing, making greeting cards, bouncing on the trampoline and playing games. In the afternoon Juno will help me tidy up if she doesn’t end up going off to a friend’s house for the afternoon.

Thursday: Netflix in the morning punctuated with breakfast. If the weather is nice we will head out to a new place to explore. Juno loves exploring the seashore, the intertidal rockpools and deposits at the high tide mark. Often a friend will come along on the trip. more often than not we will discover something that we have never seen before, carrying on the investigation at home later. If the weather is not so nice we will often go to a local library, art gallery or museum. After lunch while we are out it makes sense to visit the op shops and if not before, the library before closing time. Juno loves finding good books and treasures that she can take home and enjoy.

Friday: Today after breakfast we will get crafting together. Out will come the sewing machine, cuttings of various fabrics that we have picked up from around the place, cardboard boxes, glue, paint, flour, food colouring, scissors pens and paper to draw on or fold. Juno has mastered origami shown to her by a family friend, she often settles into folding foxes and roses. If the time is right Juno will spend hours working with intricate designs and patterns. After lunch we might break things up with a play outside or swim. Juno will store her creations in her treasure cupboard.

In the afternoon with a bit of support Juno may bake a cake to share for afternoon tea. These are often very creative and reasonably edible. We trust that over the coming years her enjoyment of cooking will create the perfect environment for learning some of the more complex maths skills such as division and multiplication as she creates and develops recipes. Often on Friday we will finish the day enjoying a family movie together before bed.

Saturday: Another day to explore, this time perhaps with her school attending cousins. She will spend lots of the trip chatting away with them about what they have been up to at school while sharing some of the things that she has been doing not in school. The trip may involve an excursion to a waterfall that someone has heard about or a trip to the hot pools for a soak.

Sunday: At home day today, often people will come to visit. We swim together in the river play in the bush, go rock or insect collecting and then make hamburgers together on the fire before watching the sun go down and first stars appear.

Juno might spend some time finding new music on Spotify, an interest inspired by her big sister’s love of music. They cultivate a growing playlist of a wide variety of music, often asking members of our community for song suggestions and then coming home and looking them up – typing into the search bar the letters as we spell it out.

Throughout each day we are all involved in deep conversations ranging from the activities we are doing to the complex science behind life on earth. We estimate that between activities and one to one conversations Juno is involved in around 8 -12 hours of active learning everyday, including weekends.

~

After we sent this through they responded with two follow up questions:

Education goals – 12 months

You have really good broad goals thank you. You’ve also given me a picture of what Juno likes and is interested in.

In line with your approach I’m now interested to know in terms of the ‘learning area’s’ what Juno can do (skills) /or knows (knowledge) and what her next learning steps might be?

Alternatively, you could give me one or two specific education learning goals for English, Math, Science, Social Sciences i.e. the skills and/or knowledge you’d expect her to have within the next 12 months

Resources

Thank you for the list you have supplied.

As you start your home education journey with Juno, I need to know some more reference materials (named texts/internet websites) that will assist you with her individual learning progression at the level of learning she’s currently at or moving toward.

It will also be helpful for you to tell me a little about the resource and how you intend to use it.

We replied with:

English
To continue to love stories and books. To continue to explore the sounds of letters and consider the sounds different letters make when they are put together.
It would not surprise us at all if Juno is reading basic stories in a few months, such as her enthusiasm for letters, but making that a goal would go against our desire to let Juno progress at her own pace.

Maths

Juno loves and is working hard with counting and adding. We will continue to support her in adding and giving her sums to put together. We have already seen Juno embracing games books containing maths challenges. We will continue to give opportunity for her to feel challenged in this area by moving on to adding double digits when she is ready.

Science

Juno loves to experiment with the different way craft materials can work together to form something else. So she will mix paint with dishwashing liquid and try and blow bubbles and discover the paint is too heavy, but it actually looks quite good when you push paper into it. Our goal is to continue to support Juno’s enthusiastic fascination with experiments and help her make links when appropriate and welcome.

Social Science
We have just spent some time with Juno’s Great Grandad who jumped out of a place as a paratrooper on D-Day and is about to do it again! As a result she has discovered much about World War 2 rooted in her own curiosity. We will continue to help her make links between things happening in every day life and the historical context for it.

Resources

Reference Material:

We have a large bookshelf filled with reference material the girls can access at any time including:
Every Child’s Answer Book
Family Guide to Nature
Reptiles at your Finger tips
How It Works
Human Body Encyclopaedia
Native Birds of New Zealand
Native Trees of New Zealand

But more importantly we visit the library weekly to access reference material in any topic.

Both girls receive Junior National Geographic which is an incredible resource for learning about the natural world and often has games and challenges to interact with. We read them from cover to cover.

We don’t tend to spend an enormous amount of time on screens just now as both girls are big into exploring the outdoor world. However Juno’s favourite apps include:
He aha tēnei – a child friendly app for learning te reo Māori basics
Wordscapes – a word game app that Juno loves to play with
Garage Band – collecting sounds and making music tracks with them
Spotify – Juno has her own playlist and loves to explore new music and curate them
Netflix – we often watch cooking and nature documentaries together, such a good resource.

As she gets older we look forward to introducing her to the many websites that are available to her as a learning resource.

home education new zealand unschooling exemption
~

And today it got approved! Hurray!

Picture here is the shopping list Juno wrote today – just teaching herself how to write in exactly the same way she taught herself to walk and talk, totally self motivated and self directed.

Stay radical x x x

Feminism

The seasons of your menstrual cycle and your sex life

6 March, 2019

Have you ever considered your menstrual cycle as mirroring the seasons in nature a little? Applying this imagery to my monthly cycle has been quite transformative for me.

I first understood it from the wonderful book Wild Power. I now apply it in heaps of practical ways to my life. One massive way it has changed my life has been in my marriage with Tim, particularly in our intimate lives. Gosh yes. I’m talking about sex. Sorry mum.

Here is a little presi…

Winter: Day 1 of your menstrual cycle is the day you bleed. It’s also the beginning of your winter. This is a time of great power and vision, but with great needs too! I like to be as alone as I can be, usually in the forest, able to write and sing and create some dark matter! Menstruation is a bit of a muse for me. I feel quite heightened sexually too.

Spring: I start to come out of my shell, but am still quite vulnerable. I start to feel my libido stirring.

Summer: Here is the middle of the cycle – ovulation. I become a super woman! I can do everything and anything and need to remind myself *not* to take on a looooad more exciting projects! I am creative and sexual, and have the power to direct my energy into my creative work, or the bedroom.

Autumn: For me, autumn, the transition between ovulation and menstruation is the hardest part of my cycle. I am grumpy and sore boobed and really don’t want to meet any one’s needs and definitely DO NO EVER WANT TO HAVE SEX. Ha.

The video below is Tim and I having a chat about how really seeing my menstrual cycle as seasons and then applying that to our marriage and sex life has been utterly transformative. We cover rejection, being enough, libido- ALL THE THINGS! We also talk about how we have implemented some rhythms and rituals to add lots of magic to our, er, night life. Lots of people have watched it with their husbands or partners and have used it as a basis for discussion later.

There are other resources on the Channel Mum site- they were the folk that actually gave me the guts to talk about sex! So do have a look at other mum’s stories here.

And I also have a creative journal I made for $5 and up Patreons. It’s a gentle journey into the seasons of your menstrual cycle, and how to practically and spiritually embrace the power of menstruation. You can become a Patreon here.

So here’s the vid!

PIN FOR LATER:
Menstrual cycle, periods, husbands, sex

Activism

Too weary to change the world? The 4 R’s of Regenerative Resistance

21 February, 2019

I’ve never seen an article spread like wildfire quite as much as Millennials- the burn out generation. There was so much resonance amongst people between the ages of 22 and 38 (the official “millennial generation”) as we all read and said “YES. This is me!” The main thrust of it is that we have been raised as busy folk, to strive to win, and combined with some huge structural influences (such as financial collapse and government changes to student debt) and societal shifts (the pressure we feel being faced with everyone else’s highlight reel on Facebook and Instagram) we feel a need to be constantly working, leaving us perched right on the edge of breakdown. We bring this burn out vibe to everything; our careers, our home life and our activism.

Since committing wholeheartedly to Extinction Rebellion I’ve been reflecting on how much more sustainable activism needs to become. This is partly because this is one of the features of Extinction Rebellion; they actively promote regenerative culture in their forums and strategy. But also because of the people I’ve met through it.  I was at a roadblock on Monday with 40 people and every single new person I met there told me it was their first action! And then, when I’ve invited my old-skool activist mates to get involved they’ve told me they can’t because they are too exhausted from years of non-stop action. How can we make sure all these freshly-minted activists don’t end up like the second group?
The 4 R's of Regenerative Resistance

The four Rs of Regenerative Resistance:

Relish

Do the activism that floats your boat. Don’t lock on and chant if the thought of it locks you up with dread. I know, I know, as an organiser that is scary even to TYPE! We worry that we won’t have enough people doing all the different things required. That everyone will just want to make the cups of tea and no one will want to be arrested.*

My friend went to an Empowered Activism workshop last week with a hundred other people. They had a long rainbow coloured piece of fabric and each colour represented something different – media, direct action, creative acts, communicating etc etc The facilitator asked everyone to take a moment to really feel what they were drawn to, and then to go and stand in that colour. My friend said that once everyone in place there was a palpable sense of awe in the room. Every colour in the rainbow was populated by people fizzing with energy. There were no areas less appealing. Each of our unique loves and quirks and gifts will be perfect for something, so let’s do the stuff we are drawn to.

Some social change theorists have suggested that there is no evidence that certain protests impact policy changes more than others. Some of history seems to suggest that revolutions take off according to uncontrollable features such as food price hikes.  On one hand, perhaps this theory can be taken with a pinch of salt because often we’re not actually calling for revolution in our action. Often we are calling for a policy change (even though what we really want IS revolution, amiright) and the social sciences show us that there have been direct impacts from protests on policy – ie, the civil rights movement, same sex marriage laws.

Now, this IS complicated, there are a lot of unknowns in this. But I’ve come to believe that any successful action is almost always accompanied by Other Stuff. Shifts in public consciousness, economic collapse, uprising occurring in other countries, the right person at the right time. It’s rarely *only* the action. I raise this slightly messy thought in order to point out the problem with spending much of our time doing things we don’t actually like. If our activism is based on stuff that drains us, and then it doesn’t work because it’s not the right moment in history, then all we have is a bunch of weary, jaded folk and no change. Ugh. Nightmare. Common, common nightmare.

However, if our activism is an expression of one of our gifts, or if it builds up our communities, and gives us chance to meet our neighbours and have fun with our friends and dance and sing and makes us feel alive, and then it ends up not being the right moment in history, there is absolutely nothing lost. Even with a failed action, we’ve ended up as winners.

The 4 r's of regenerative activism

For me, part of the whole purpose of life is to connect with others and to connect with the earth. Activism is one of the many ways that I do this. If our world changes horrendously in coming decades, if it falls apart in war and hunger, as it is currently on the trajectory to do, really the only thing that will matter is the strength of our relationships and the resilience of our communities. The vibrancy of our love.

I invite you to really sense what parts of activism bring you alive. If it’s the face to face stuff – perhaps you could be the person that goes to the markets to tell people about your cause. If you love engineering, invent some new ways to get people locked on to machinery and gates.  If it’s writing – could you do the press releases? If you are an artist, turn your basement into a banner workshop and screenprint the shiz out of the movement.

And I invite you to bring joy and fun to the weekly grind of your activism. Because there are planing meetings and strategy documents that have to happen. But you can you eat together beforehand? Can you have music and room for laughter? I invite you to look at your actions and ask “is there space here for MORE connectivity and MORE joy?” If you are doing a hardcore or somber action, book in an after-party so you can debrief and release the intensity of that.

A quick note about direct action. Make sure fear isn’t coming into play in a bad way. Getting arrested for trespass or obstruction (the usuals) doesn’t stop you travelling, in fact it impacts your life very little. A court date, a fine that the movement will help you pay, a bit of paperwork. I do sometimes wonder if the way we are raised to obey and comply and respect authority blocks us from being open to non violent direct action. Just for a moment imagine setting fear aside and joining the ranks of history makers who have been arrested. Exciting, no? 

If we were more strategic, we’d burn out less.

I can almost hear the voices crying “of course you’re burning out if you’re okay with just doing community building and having fun! If you worked smarter you’d be more efficient and wouldn’t burn out!” Well, yes and no. We should absolutely employ all the tools out there. This great website has all sorts such as how to do a SWOT analysis which we use alot. We should do all that pre-work, yes, yes, yes. But also, sometimes it’s important just to turn up, not even knowing what to do. Simply to bear witness.

four rs of regenerative activism

And if we feel like the success of our action depends solely on our watertight strategy, we’re getting into sketchy territory, where we feel unable to Rest and Rely on the other forces at work.

Rest

“If you get tired learn to rest, not to quit” says Banksy who has done a good share of righteous trouble making in his time.

Sleeping, relaxing, reading, zoning out to music, hiking, … these are all rejuvenating, restful activities. But we are so constantly plugged in (to our phones, our ambitions, our jobs) that it feels like truly resting is somewhat of a forgotten art.

We went to a Mumford and Sons gig the other week. Tim and I stood there, peering up at the stage, the only still ones in a sea of activity. All around us the other punters were texting their mates, trying to capture the best angle for Instagram, running back and forth trying to find other friends to get in this particular selfie. Everyone was bustling about, right in the midst of this moment of leisure.

One of the features of regenerative activism is relaxing into rest on a regular basis. Here’s this from an overview on rest and sustainability

“A new and growing body of multidisciplinary research shows that strategic renewal — including daytime workouts, short afternoon naps, longer sleep hours, more time away from the office and longer, more frequent vacations — boosts productivity, job performance and, of course, health.”

One of the things I found particularly interesting was the research showing that there is a strong link between having more holidays and not leaving a company! It seems clear that things like regular breaks, fully unplugged days each week, and a holiday allows us to be far more sustainable.

Micro-rests
Last week I enjoyed a podcast with Srini Pillay, author of Tinker Dabble Doodle Try about the power of the unconscious mind. It was all interesting but the bit that struck me is that every single day we check out for chunks of time. We all do. In order to try and get some balance our brains take us into an unfocused zone fairly regularly all day. Studies seem to show that one of the human beings design functions is to have a period of renewal every 90 minutes. If we just unintentionally let that happen then our minds will fill up with worries or to do lists or absolutely random stuff like what exactly was in that sauce on that pasta at Maria’s pot luck dinner? Was it, like, olives or those other weird little things that are like olives but kinda more fancy… tiny sour olive type things that telly chefs are always tossing in dishes… blimey what are they! Google is giving me nothing! Gah. I’ll text Maria. Or we use it to scroll through social media. (Or we override it with sugar or caffeine.)

Now, on one hand, that’s fine. But it’s not actually restorative. Our brains are checking us out from one thing, but we check in to another, unintentional act of busyness.

Pillay argues that we should schedule these check outs. Not just for efficiency’s sake, but to make sure we give our brains a chance to truly rest and play. So, once an hour, go for a walk or do some doodling. Lay down once or twice a day for a daydream or some breathing or a guided meditation. Don’t let your brain’s automatic rest function be sabotaged by your busy, busy mind!

I invite you to remember the art of rest. I invite you to carve out time for micro-breaks, protect our unplugged days, book in a holiday and remind the other activists in our groups about the importance of rest so we can create new cultures that make room for renewal.

I invite you to reject the idea that the success of our activism is directly related to busy-ness. There will be intense moments of activity, yes, but your path to a successful action should not be filled with little gremlins whining at you to keep checking how many people have signed up, or whispering that you are not doing enough. And if it’s accompanied by a palpitating heart and a sense of paralysing overwhelm, it’s possibly time to take a rest.

The 4 R's of regenerative activism

Rely

Rely on others. Trust in their work, trust in the possibility of a spiritual awakening, trust that all the time, every second of the day the movement towards love and justice is absolutely throbbing with growth.

Joanna Macy and the other thinkers and doers of the Deep Ecology sphere have so much to offer us as we seek to activate more trust in our activism.

This diagram of Joanna’s shows the three parts that will make up the revolution we are seeking. There are Holding Actions – this is the activism that leads to policy change; shifts in law that lift oppression and create justice in small ways incrementally.

Then there are Structural Changes – which is used to describe the creation of new ways of working, for example, farming methods that honour the earth, or communication principles such as NVC. Under this heading comes permaculture and unschooling, holacracy and socioacrocy and communal housing and transition towns and all the other radical ways of being. These are quietly blooming and offer us the structures we will require in the future.

And then: Shifts in Consciousness – this is where people step into new understandings of themselves and the earth. Bothboth poets and scientists can helps us doe that. The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports have done this for a lot of people I believe- allowing people to take the blinkers from their eyes. And then I’m sure the poems of Maya Angelou and Rumi and Kate Tempest have done this too- sparked a transformation in people’s hearts. It’s also where mysterious shizzle goes down. Psychedelics and meditation and yoga and dance and hiking and surfing and the random kindness of strangers can all give us the insight we need everyone human on earth to have: that we are one, that love is the only thing that matters.
four R's of regenerative activism

Now, I used to be a full time activist. It was my actual job, AND my hobby. A proper activist geek. Then a couple of years after we had kids I left that job and we moved to New Zealand to live off grid, to try and have as little impact on the earth’s resources as we could. For five years we ticked along, and then at the end of last year the IPCC report woke me as if from a long slumber. HOLY HECK. I began scrabbling about, kicking myself for not campaigning night and day on climate change for half a decade. I joined Extinction Rebellion, devoting a day week to getting it off the ground here in Aotearoa.

But hearing Joanna Macy describe the three things that are imperative to the transformation of society gave me pause. I realised that I *had* been doing the important work all along. The way I raise my children with empathy, the way we give them freedom over their learning with unschooling, the way we live gently on solar power, our rejection of toxic beauty and cleaning products, all of these small things are a part of it. An intrinsic part. Somehow, faced with extinction and the panic that took hold of me, I’d lost the thread I’ve held since Ramona was a baby- that parenting can be a great source of world change. 

We don’t have to see all the work that is not strictly protest as a waste of time. We don’t have to shake everyone and say “GET ON THE STREETS RIGHT NOW.” We can trust that people being them good selves is also important.

Of course, I do still implore people to get on the streets! I am a communicator and an activist so where my work intersects is to invite people, without judgement or demand, to join me in protest! But I have a lot more of a sense of joy and freedom in this, rather than overwroughtness that we aren’t doing enough.

And I also kind of think it’s possible that if activists had less of a bad rap (as burnt out, angry, judgementalists) and we moved about with more trust in humankind, more celebration of all the different ways peace and justice is being nurtured, with more joy and creativity and freedom, more people would be discover the activist inside them. More people would discover that activism could bring them alive too.

Ritualise

This one was hard to name. And it might be hard to express. Let me try!

It’s about seeing our activism afresh – less an arduous “gotta save the damn world” activity and more an expression of our identity as part of the earth and the one-ness of humankind- and then having markers that remind us of this.

For a while my favourite quote was “Activism is the price I pay for living on on this planet.” A bit of it still resonates with me, for sure. (*ahem* burn out generation) These days I have a different view. These days I see activism as an almost spiritual act. It’s an expression of who I am, as much as dancing or writing or singing might be.

John Seed, one of the original protesters who occupied the rainforest to stop them from being chopped down, said that a transformation occurred the longer he sat there, locked on to a tree. He moved from being John Seed protecting the rainforest to the “rainforest protecting itself.”

Many years ago we were in a remote country, stealthily going to investigate some exploitative industry happening in an area of ecological importance. As I walked through the rainforest I was at a loss. We were walking hours, yet what could we do once we got there? We had no plan. But as I walked, I felt the answer come to me, imprinted on the soles of my feet, as if from the soil. It was simply “You’ll know what to do.”

So we get there, and for some reason the drilling rig workers leave. I walk up to the rig, and the door is open, and the keys are in the ignition. So I reach in and take them and on the way home toss them away. It was all so matter-of-fact. Like the rainforest just found a way through me to eat up those keys for a bit of reprieve.

My hope is that we can all experience something like this. To truly understand that we are not simply earth-dwellers, but we are the earth itself. One of the organisms that makes up this living breathing planet as much as a forest or the coral is. Activism can bring us this realisation.

So now I choose to mark my activism in this way. I bring prayers of thanks, I might light a candle, I’ll certainly sing a song. These are reminders to me that activism is a sacred act and that it doesn’t all rest on my shoulders.

Starhawk, writer and activist of some forty years, tells a story in her book The Twelve Wild Swans, about being involved in the anti-globalisation protests of the 90s. She’s describing sitting in jail for five days after being arrested at the World Trade Organisation blockades in Seattle with a bunch of the other protestors “Lucy, a trainer and organiser who at 31 was an “old lady” in the group, remarked  that the average life span of an activist was 3 years. So why was I there, at forty-eight, a little fat and creaky from sitting on concrete floors and mixing it up with the cops? Because for the more than thirty years I’ve been active politically, I’ve had rituals to sustain me, close friend to support me and participate with me, and a deep personal connection to the great powers of love and freedom that inspire us to work for change.”

How many burnt out activists does it take to change a light bulb?

Well, none, because they can’t change anything.

Let’s stop doing this burn-out thing, huh? Let’s work together, play together, rest together in joy and in trust. And then we’ll be on the streets together in forty years time. Little grannies and grandpas locked on, chanting, knowing we’ve done all we can for the dream of a more just and beautiful world.

~

PS- If you have found my writing helpful, do hop on over to my Patreon and see if you’d like to become a supporter!

PPS- Video on what to do with the grief we feel about the climate.

Video from the back of a cop car the last time I was arrested

writing

Upcoming retreats, seven years without shampoo and saving a marriage!

14 February, 2019

Hello!

I am doing a special little post because I’ve had so many emails from you all recently saying “We never hear from you!”-  it’s delicious, thank you for those!

See you soon in real life I hope!

I am coming over! To the UK and to America! I am holding retreats; Dancing Forest Sisterhood retreats in the south (already sold out sadly) in the north (still places!) in Oregon (still places) and in New Zealand (one place left!)

I LOVE holding these retreats. They are such a treat for me. I get to meet my sisters from across the world in such a deep, held space. We share stories, dance (if we want to) sing, release into our intuition, creativity and wildness. You can find out about my retreats right here.

I’d love to see you there!

“Lucy holds the most sacred, real, nourishing and save space. She leads with love, honesty, humour, openness and deep integrity. Her retreat was opening – of self and of others, full of laughter, healing tears. empathy and silence. I felt able to be fully present to express my needs and give openly, when I could and wanted to. It was exactly what I needed and I left feeling so heard, loved and honoured.”
~ Laura Hamilton – Dancing Forest Sisterhood Retreat Participant

“Lucy is wonderful at creating and holding space for women, and this allowed our group to quickly feel connected and supported by her and each other. I felt safe to be vulnerable, and to release fear and shame that I had been holding on to. It was a liberating and freeing weekend, with amazing soul sisters, and one I would highly recommend.”
~ Elanor C – Dancing Forest Sisterhood Retreat Participant

(Included because I am trying to learn that I mustn’t shy away from endorsements! They are a gift, right?)

~
Shampoo Free For Seven Years!

I also have a brand new video out especially for those of you who first joined my journey through my hair experiments! This looks at my routine now, seven years after giving up shampoo:

To the radical mama who wants to save her marriage

Because it’s Valentines Day (I think? Hang on, lemme google that…) YES. It is. I thought I should include something about LOVE! So here we go- a post with some ideas for breathing life back into tired long term relationships. Love and solidarity to you.

Keep up with me!

The place that I am most active these days is over on Patreon. We have such a fun and radical little thing going on there. I tend to post at least weekly, with updates, thoughts, quotes, livestreams, poems and Patreon-only resources.  Increasingly there will be monthly conversations with exciting people.

If you have enjoyed my work and are in a position to be a part of my Patreon that would be wonderful!

You can check it out here.

Thank you and all my love!

unschooling

Collective Unschooling Agreements (a prompt to use for safety at camps/ groups)

18 January, 2019

When we arrived here in New Zealand five years ago, we were welcomed into the Lower North Island Unschooling community so warmly, and we thrilled to BITS to observe their radical way of being with each other. Adult to adult, adult to child, child to child and child to adult interactions were based on a beautiful mutual respect and understanding.

When groups form slowly, certain cultures are given chance to establish. As new people join, they are woven into this culture and it’s easy for people to stay on the same page. Gradually, elders of the space rise up and become pillars of that culture and the group is held, it can rest in some of these shared understandings.

The Lower North Island Unschooling camp was an awesome example of having elders to hold the space, and slow growth to establish these shared understandings.

When groups grow swiftly, or when they want to launch into a space with no exisiting culture or pillarlike-elders to hold the space, this lack of culture, of holding, of shared understandings feels stark! It can be a scary place and new groups and communities can get the speed wobbles. If you were doing group work in the nineties you might remember Tuckman’s phases of growth: Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing. These phases can take years for a community to work through, and they might work through them many times over! But you can definitely ease the storming part, by communicating HARD.

John Holt describes unschooling as “Giving as much autonomy to the child as the parent can bear.” It’s so true! And it’s perhaps one of the reasons why uschooling families can look so different from one to the other. Some unschoolers have no set bed time or screen time rules. Others have no screen time and only eat whole foods. You can’t come together as a group and imagine that simply because you identify as an “unschooler” you’re going to resonate with all the values present. (Sometimes you do, and that’s cool ‘cos you can just sit around drinking tea and playing the ukulele.)

Here in New Zealand the unschooling community has grown HUGELY in recent years. In the last five years we’ve gone from one or two national unschooling gatherings to six. Almost every camp is booked out weeks before. And at every camp there are tons and tons of new faces. Heaps of them fresh to unschooling.

We found pretty early on with these camps that moving out of the Lower North Island meant we left behind many of our unschooling elders (*waves*) and that we were going to have to work hard to establish our own culture.

So began a big journey, with many, many conversations and circles and notes and drafts!

Before I share with you what we came up with, I want to say that none of this can be superimposed into your community or group. You’ve got to have these circles yourselves. You’ve got to share your own values with each other. You’ve got to work out where your own boundaries are, what freedoms you are able to bear. This isn’t a top down process, it’s got to come from the community itself.

But as a bit of a prompt, here’s what we came up with. You can see it here as a google doc.

Shared Understandings While at Camp

Co-creation

  • Co-creation means that we organise and run the camp collectively. This encourages trust, openness, flexibility, ease and self-responsibility.
  • We value the contribution (seen and unseen) of all who choose to come to share in the weekend.
  • You are encouraged to contribute to the camp in a way that fits the needs of you and your family: some people need to contribute to belong, some people need to belong to contribute. This may mean offering to teach a skill you are passionate about, facilitating a discussion you want to have or just being present.

Shared Understandings:

  • This retreat is specifically for those that are currently unschooling or intending on doing so.  Those that we invite beyond ourselves to be a part of the retreat will be those that fully support this.  This creates a safe place, a sanctuary, for us all to relax, and rejuvenate from the world around us.
  • We will respect ourselves, each other and the environment.
  • There are times during the weekend that we will gather together to give out information relevant to the running of the camp. Out of respect for each other, we will try to be there on time and be available to participate as needed.
  • We regard the Opening and Closing Circles, (meeting together in a circle-ish formation, taking turns to talk), as important elements in the weekend. Being at the Opening circle allows us to participate fully in the weekend right from the start and allows new people to be properly introduced. The Closing circle provides us with a chance to reflect on the weekend together before we head off separately into our individual lives; it leaves the weekend with a feeling of completeness. We will do our best to get to these.
  • In respect to the limitations that come with having dietary restrictions, we will endeavor to label shared food and people with dietary restrictions will be invited to serve themselves first.
  • We trust that people will take responsibility for their share of paying for the weekend.

Every child has the right to be safe from emotional and physical harm

We want to be a community that offers support to all families whose children who may find camp environments challenging.  We will endeavour to approach all parents with an attitude of non judgement, simply offering support. We promote the safety of all children in their play.  We will create a culture of consent at camps through empowering children with the words “Stop always means stop”.

We do this by introducing it at all camp welcome circles, engaging with it always if we hear campers not sticking to it, and helping our own children role play and interact with saying the words.

We reinforce it through the introduction of some camp activities and stories/ games around the word STOP and, by choosing to be adults that are true to our own personal boundaries and are not afraid of saying all the “stops” we need to say in our lives!

If a situation arises we will check in with the children involved to query:

  • ‘if they are enjoying the play/do they like that’, and ‘if they feel safe.’


If the answer is no, or the situation is already jeopardizing another’s safety, we support taking  the following steps:

 

  • Intervene immediately if it is a safety issue or you hear a child saying “stop” to no effect
  • Start with a mindset of empathy, seeing each child in the best light, consider there may be possible neurological differences at play.
  • It is helpful for one adult to stand with or kneel beside each child as support, encourage them to share what’s going on for them.

 

  • In the case of all children wanting immediate ongoing play, encourage ideas of how to resolve the situation together, acknowledge feelings.  Stick with it until resolved.

Or

 

  • To restore relationship at a later date instead, make an agreement of when you will meet again to discuss it further.  Then, each move away. Seek the camp safeguarding team to support the upcoming discussion if needed.
  • Let parents know what unfolded, if they were not informed already, so they can bring in some follow up of agreement made around safety
  • At the discussion make a co-created agreement about how this situation could have unfolded more positively
  • Practise the new scenario

 

If you or your child have any concerns or experience an incident please immediately share this with your Safeguarding Team here at camp:

(photos of each camp’s safe guarding team)

Sexual Abuse Prevention at camp

A year ago I was struck by a poster a local charity had asked me to make. It asks each person to consider how they are making sure children are protected from sexual abuse in all the different situations they are involved in – camps, churches, parties, sleepovers, workplaces.

It hit me that I hadn’t applied all I knew about a culture of consent to a very important area- our unschooling camps! Each year I help organise three camps for hundreds of people. It was time I raised consent with this wide gathering. I was nervous, because it’s a horrible topic to raise in a place that is so joyful and peaceful. But I knew it had to happen.

We organised a workshop at the next camp and six of us sat down to draw together all of what we knew about sexual abuse prevention and consent culture. It has been an incredible experience. Partly because now we have a robust document which I can share with YOU in case you run camps/ youth groups/ family gatherings. But also because a couple of things have happened to assure us that we were absolutely right in putting our effort into this. Firstly, an adult disclosed that she had been abused by someone at a homeschool camp when a child. This is so, so tragic. But it was also confirmation that even the places we think are the SAFEST because we are with OUR KIND OF PEOPLE can never ever be absolutely safe.  Secondly, at the next camp we held we introduced this document and asked, at registration, every single person to read it. During that camp someone disclosed an incident of abuse that happened elsewhere and our safeguarding team was able to help them take this to the next stage. So what follows is our document but you can see the google doc here. 
Share agreements for unschooling camps

Shared agreements for safety at unschooling camps
Credit: Life Learners Aotearoa 2018

Every child has the right to be safe from sexual abuse.

In NZ one in three girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 16. It doesn’t have to be this way! We want to change the culture, and that means bringing some awareness even to our beautiful places like camp.

Here is some stuff for you to consider:

Camp Culture

  • Stop ALWAYS means stop. It’s a powerful word and if someone says it, even whilst laughing or having fun, we always respect it.
  • Avoid situations where a single adult (non parent/ care giver/ designated adult) is alone with a child in a tent/ room/ toilet. Call another adult in to be present.
  • Parents, if heading to bed make sure there is an explicitly designated adult to care for your child if they want to stay up – make sure your child, and the adult, knows who they are.
  • Children, if you feel uncomfortable with anyone or in any situation find your parent or a safe adult.

Family Culture:

  • Stop ALWAYS means stop. It’s a powerful word and if someone says it, even whilst laughing or having fun, we always respect it.
  • Consider using the proper names for our body parts, this has been shown to be really helpful in sexual abuse prevention.
  • No secrets – secrets nurture a culture where predators thrive. Opt for surprise (which are always revealed in the end) instead of secrets. Encourage a telling environment. You can use birthday parties as an example of a good surprise and help them understand that a good surprise is something everyone will find out about soon. Let them know that they should never have to keep a secret about touching or about anything that makes them feel scared. You can reinforce this message with a poster on your fridge.
  • No touching each other in places where their togs normally go.
  • Always trust your instincts around people or situations. If you feel uncomfortable find your parent or a safe adult.
  • Check in with your kids throughout camp, ask if they feel safe.

TOUCHING RULES

  • Wherever there are children, we use ‘The 3 touching rules for private parts’:
  • It’s OK to touch your own;
  • It’s Not OK to touch someone else’s; and
  • It’s Not OK for someone else to touch yours

Talk to children about ‘yes’ touches (those that make them feel safe, good and that they can tell anyone about) and ‘no’ touches (those that make them feel confused, overwhelmed, unhappy or that someone asks them to keep a secret).  ‘Yes‘ touches can make you feel happy like cuddling the cat or your favourite soft toy. ‘No’ touch can make you uncomfortable, like pinches or getting hit. Explain that some touching can have both a ‘yes’ and a ‘no’ feeling like when you swing too high on a swing or are tickled for too long. Let them know that if they ever get any kind of a ‘no’ feeling from something someone does, that you would like to know and that they will not get into trouble for telling you about it.

What to do

If you or your child have any concerns or experiencing an incident please immediately share this with your Safeguarding Team here at camp:

(names and photos of safe guarding team)

If you witness anything that gives you concern:

1- intervene immediately

2- report immediately to your safeguarding team (above)

3- Perpetrator will be asked to leave, camp meeting will be called and all necessary follow up will be commenced with police, other NZ unschooling camps and communities and families involved.

One of our peeps, Ange Fraser has turned these into giant posters that are laminated and travel from camp to camp. It is an incredible resource.

unschooling agreementsIn conclusion!

We still have conflict and trickiness and overwhelm happening at our camps. This is part of being human. These bumpings and the challenges of figuring out how to move through these bumps with grace and understanding are an ever present companion to humankind. Our shared understandings aren’t a magic bullet, but they at least start us off on the same page and give us a process to work through.

When we come together at weekly meetings and five day long camps, we are given this beautiful opportunity to grow together, and through this, become more fully ourselves. Figuring out how to be together, even though we hold different values and have different shadows, is part of our evolution as a species! Working out how to be in community moves us closer to the abundant and generous beings we are meant to be, and away from the scarcity-motivated, competitive consumers that capitalism would make of us!

What a magnificent invitation.

PS You can see a video of our latest unschooling camp right here

PPS If you enjoy my posts and videos you might like to come on board as a supporter of my work through Patreon. Lots of Patreon Only content too.

Parenting

Christine Ford and creating a culture of consent (TW sexual abuse)

9 October, 2018

It’s 1993, South London. It’s our last summer of primary school before we all head off to different secondaries. There’s parties, classmates turning eleven so we go to each other’s houses and hold each other and sway to Boys ll Men. The mum would keep the table top stocked with fizzy and sausage rolls.

The very last party I went to was at the bottom of my hill. I was so excited because I had on a new bodysuit and white jeans and felt like the business. I can remember walking down, absolutely chuffed with myself, looking forward to some more awkward slow dancing.

An hour into the party a girl in my class came up to me and said “Dan wants to talk upstairs” I was curious as she’d done the same to two other girls so far.

I climbed the stairs, her behind me, encouraging me, keep going, next floor.

At the top, she nodded to a door and I turned the handle. As soon as I was through the door I was rushed by a group of boys, pinned to the bed. There were five of them I think, maybe a couple more or one less. One spread his hands over my mouth while the others pushed their hands into my crotch and punched their sweaty, grabbing hands over my just forming breasts.

I don’t know how long it lasted. I couldn’t say now. 10 seconds or a minute? It felt like forever, and then the girl opened the door, called a warning and it was over.

I ran down the stairs, right out the door. I cried all the back up that hill. I felt so betrayed. Some of those boys were my friends. Others of them had grabbed me before, in the playground, when Kiss Chase regularly dissolved into “try and push your hands into a girl’s knickers” but this day was so much worse, being so violently overpowered. And some of them my friends.

I composed myself so by the time my Mum saw me and said “you’re home early” I could just shrug and go to my room.

I haven’t seen anyone from my primary school since that day. And I haven’t told anyone this story until I shared it with my husband earlier this year in an attempt to uncover any bits of shame I’ve had buried away. Cos that’s the main feeling I was left with, shame. I knew that in some way I had bought it onto myself. Asked for it. So I minimised it until it was so small it was nothing, the tiniest pebble in my shoe. Not too much of a burden to carry around.

When I heard Dr Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony last week something shifted. Until that moment I’d never considered that party when I was eleven as a #metoo – it felt too small in comparison to the violence that has happened to other women. But the terror she described at having her mouth covered that bought my memory to the surface. It’s terrifying, not being able to move, or scream, or breathe.

I can still feel their fingers grabbing at me. Bruising me. And now when I look back at that party I feel sure that it didn’t just happen to me there, that there was a bunch of us taken up to that room.

I couldn’t even point their faces out now, but their names are still in my mind.

We were so little. Kids. But we were raised in a rape culture and in a rape culture little boys pretend to gang rape little girls.

Was it anything less?

When Christine Blasey Ford chose to stop minimising what happened to her, I could too. Although her testimony didn’t stop Kavanaugh’s ascent to the Supreme Court, I know that it will go down in history as a moment when even more millions of women said actually, yeah, Me Too.

The women who weren’t actually raped, who weren’t regularly abused, who didn’t think their experience was important enough to count. Christine Ford has given us permission to say that attempted rape was traumatic. That grope was a violation of my body and my rights. That was not okay.

Something huge has happened to me in these last few days. Being able to say “that should never, ever have happened to me” “that was in no way my fault” – being able to extend empathy to myself. Just even writing my experience up has unblocked something. I feel even more me, just that but more alive, blood flowing to a whole area that I’d shut off.

Her bravery is like a magnet that pulled my braveheart forward. That’s how it works. We’re all magnets pulling each other out, each brave story gently draws another woman forward until we are all able to move out beyond our shame.

We’ll finally shake out these pebbles and realise they are jagged shards that have been causing us to bleed all along.

And we’ll leave them back there, with the shame. And, not bleeding now, we’ll be able to tear down another pillar of rape culture.

~

The last couple of weeks have made me painfully certain that there has to be more to dismantling rape culture than testimony. Because testimony, trying to hold these men to account, does not always work.

It has me thinking anew about how we, communities, parents, families, can create the change the world needs.culture of consent

We can create a culture of consent in our homes

One of the most important ways we can dismantle rape culture is by growing consent culture, becoming adept at it ourselves and normalising it in other situations. (We can be thankful here that our brains have a plasticity that means we can re-wire decades and decades of coercive and manipulative behaviour within a relatively short time period.)

This begins with our smallest babies. Letting them know when you are going to pick them up, giving them a heads up when you are going to pull a jersey over their head or change a nappy.

It means not using your power to coerce a child to do something against their will.

It means making sure your children know that “STOP” always means stop- you honour their STOP, even if they are giggling while you tickle them, and you intervene when you here another child say STOP and your own child continues. culture of consent2

It means asking, when they return from a sleepover or a party, not “did you have fun?” but “did you feel safe?”

But again, the fundamental step to a culture of consent is not forcing our children to do things or have things done to their body against their will.

Read: five ways to honour our child’s body autonomy.
Five phrases that can protect your child from sexual abuse
Raising your medically complex child with a culture of consent
Read Sacraparental’s discussion about not passing on rape culture here.

sexual abuse prevention

We can create a culture of consent in ALL of the places we occupy

A year ago I was struck by a poster a local charity had asked me to make. It asks each person to consider how they are making sure children are protected from sexual abuse in all the different situations they are involved in – camps, churches, parties, sleepovers, workplaces.

It hit me that I hadn’t applied all I knew about a culture of consent to a very important area- our unschooling camps! Each year I help organise three camps for hundreds of people. It was time I raised consent with this wide gathering. I was nervous, because it’s a horrible topic to raise in a place that is so joyful and peaceful. But I knew it had to happen.

We organised a workshop at the next camp and six of us sat down to draw together all of what we knew about sexual abuse prevention and consent culture. It has been an incredible experience. Partly because now we have a robust document which I can share with YOU in case you run camps/ youth groups/ family gatherings. But also because a couple of things have happened to assure us that we were absolutely right in putting our effort into this. Firstly, an adult disclosed that she had been abused by someone at a homeschool camp when a child. This is so, so tragic. But it was also confirmation that even the places we think are the SAFEST because we are with OUR KIND OF PEOPLE can never ever be absolutely safe.  Secondly, at the next camp we held we introduced this document and asked, at registration, every single person to read it. During that camp someone disclosed an incident of abuse that happened elsewhere and our safeguarding team was able to help them take this to the next stage.

Click here to see our own document. Feel free to download and edit – basically make this your own document, embody it, share it, find people who will be part of your safeguarding team.  ALWAYS have two of you interacting with someone who is making a disclosure or raising some concerns.

~

Of course, when it comes to dismantling rape culture, men should just stop raping people. It should be that simple and straightforward.

Why should women have to take on the burden of dismantling a weapon used against them?

It pisses me off, frankly.

So here’s a quick message to the dads and grandads and the men who don’t think women should get raped or kids sexually abused- TAKE THIS ON. Take it on, dudes. Don’t just like the meme you saw on Facebook about Christine Ford’s bravery. Become an active part of creating a culture of consent. Step up. I believe in you. You can do this. Begin honouring the word STOP in your home. Defend your child’s body autonomy from unwanted kisses and cuddles. Bring the document above to your kid’s youth group leaders. Ask the parents who are hosting the sleepover what other people are going to be present that night. Ask your church, your workplace, your sports club to have sexual abuse prevention policies and a safeguarding team. Even if you are unsure of yourself, or feel a bit wobbly because you are no expert just start having the conversations. Say “I’m no expert, but it’s important to me that we all build a culture of consent. How can we do this?” Break the silence on sexual abuse. Refuse to be a part of an insipid, secretive world that has kept women living in shame for thousands of years. Take this on.

~

Thank you for reading. Please share widely. Tag your menfolk in this. Raise this document in your community. Let’s raise a culture of consent.

~

Find me on Patreon! Become a supporter and get access to more resources, livestreams and extras.

 culture of consent3