unschool monday – back to school!

I wagged unschool Monday last week. I can’t remember my excuse, but I’m sure it was a good one!

This week I’m a day late… I’m sure that’ll be a red mark on my report card…

This last week, while the sproggets have been merrily ticking away with their own learnings, I’ve been thinking about my education & I’m going back to school!

When I finished high school I went to uni, I didn’t really want to go to uni after finally escaping 15 years of school, but I went anyway because it’s what my Mum thinks successful people do & I couldn’t really suggest a better alternative at the time. I did the first year of a production & design course majoring in lighting at the WA Academy of Performing Arts. I decided it wasn’t for me. I could see a career full of antisocial work hours & unhealthy takeaway dinners laying ahead of me if I pursued that path. I just wasn’t as passionate about it as I first thought.

My elder sister had discovered aromatherapy when I was still in primary school. She’s 8 years older than me. I remember staying with her at her place in the country when I was 11 or 12 & she had this amazing smelling ceramic pot looking thing with a candle in it. She was vapourising oils. As soon as I could, because I idolised my sister, I also explored the world of aromatherapy. I discovered that I felt pretty passionate about it, so when I reached a cross roads with my first uni course I decided to pursue a career in natural medicine. To be frank, I didn’t want to be at uni at all. I wanted to be young & free, I wanted to have fun! I decided though, that since I couldn’t disappoint my parents & be a drop out without transferring to something else, that I would do a course that I was at least a little bit interested in. I decided to do an Advanced Diploma of Naturopathy.


With only 12 weeks left of my 3 year course I changed to an Advanced Diploma of Western Herbal Medicine because I’d recently had surgery on my hand & couldn’t sit the deep tissue massage exam.

When I graduated, I didn’t feel qualified. Technically I could run a clinic of my own, practically I knew I couldn’t do that well enough to make it financially viable or well enough to feel that I was doing people a good service. I decided to take some time out from natural therapies. I’d been on an amazing journey of self healing through my course & I needed to just sit with it for a bit. What I really needed, after being in formal education for 19 years by that stage was to be young & to have fun! I worked for a while at a chocolate company & a cafe in a surfing town in WA, then I traveled a bit, did some permaculture training, had no real idea who I was or what I wanted so I came “home”. Back to Perth. Shortly after arriving in Perth I had a fling with a friend (Bean) & The Bubble was conceived. That defined my path from then until now, I have been a stay at home parent to one & then two children.

Recently though, the passion I have for natural medicine, particularly herbal medicine & nutritional healing, has been reignited. I want to work as a natural therapist, but I don’t have the confidence…

I didn’t have the confidence when I graduated, so now after 6 years of not actively studying & working in the field I most certainly don’t have the confidence to work as a natural therapist. My solution? I’m going back to school!

I’m going to upgrade my Advanced Diploma of Western Herbal Medicine to a Bachelor of Health Science (Naturopathy). I’ll still specialise in Western Herbal Medicine, but as a naturopath my clients will be able to access health fund rebates which is apparently good for business…


On one hand it seems ironic to be returning to formal study after embracing unschooling, yet it feels so perfect at the same time. Perfect because this is vocational study, this is study I want to do because I feel so passionate about it, not because I’m being told I have to & not because I’m trying to please someone. I have some life experience under my belt that I just didn’t have then & I have a real desire to learn the things I’m choosing to study, a desire that just wasn’t really there when I first went to college. Back then, I had student fatigue. I didn’t want to be chained to a desk, doing more assignments & I certainly had a bad attitude toward exams. Now, I feel so excited to be returning to study, I’m doing it purely for me & because of that I have the “right” attitude.

Unschool Monday is brought to you by Owlet.

posted by wildecrafted in education,journal and have Comment (1)

One Response to “unschool monday – back to school!”

  1. […] months ago I wrote about my decision to return to formal study. I planned to “upgrade” my herbal medicine qualification to a naturopathy qualification […]


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