Why I won't choose mainstream schooling for my child

MISCHA Skye will drive to Agnes Water every day to take her daughter to the new Steiner School.

Ms Skye has been living in Gladstone for two years but she's desperate to give her daughter, Luna Dittmann, an education with a difference.

Even though Luna is only one, Ms Skye is already thinking about her education; and she says Steiner is the way to go.

>> Steiner school set to open in Agnes Water next year 

"When I was pregnant I started thinking about a school for her," she said,

"We were looking to move to one in maybe Noosa or Nimbin but it's great there's going to be one in Agnes.

"If we could afford to do the travel or even move there, we would."

Steiner schools have been around since 1919, with 50 in Australia.

Goora Gan Steiner School will open in term one next year with a long list of interested families signed up already.

It will be a not-for-profit independent school and based in the old Agnes Water Community Hall.

The application for the school is being processed by the Non-State Schools Accreditation Board.

President of the school Mel Thomson said Steiner education at Agnes would be focused on free thinking and creativity, operating within the same hours and lunch routines as mainstream schools.

"It's based on a seven-year cycle of human development," she said.

Mischa Skye would love to send Luna Dittmann, 1, to a Steiner School.
Mischa Skye would love to send Luna Dittmann, 1, to a Steiner School. Laura McKee

"The first seven years are about allowing children to play and move around because they aren't ready to sit yet. From seven to 14, there's a focus on feeling, stories and learning old fables.

"From 14 onwards it's about thinking intellectually. The whole child is integrated with every subject and they will learn maths and spelling but through art or singing."

Ms Skye herself was brought up on a yacht, home-schooled and also lived in the bush as a child.

She also went to a state high school.

The dreadlock loctician believes teaching children everyday life lessons are vital in a child's upbringing.

"I learnt a lot about the weather and sea animals. I would like to pass all that sort of knowledge onto Luna," she said.

"When I lived in the bush we were taught all about snakes. People are just taught to kill them these days but they are so important to nature.

"Common sense is so important."

If she doesn't send Luna to the proposed Goora Gan Steiner School, Ms Skye said she would 'unschool' Luna.

"Unschooling is where kids learn by doing everyday things like going to the shops and adding up the groceries and doing measurements with baking," she said.

"Lots of parents do it and you aren't isolated."

Unschooling is an educational method that advocates learner-chosen activities.

Children learn through life experiences such as play, household responsibilities and more.

With four years left until Luna starts school, Ms Skye said she had time to explore her options in depth. But she's set on a non-mainstream approach.

"Sending Luna to a mainstream school has no place in my mind," she said.

"Kids aren't designed to sit in a class for six hours. They are too hyperactive and they have so much energy to expel but they are labelled as hyperactive.

"I think our education system is failing everyone," she said.

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