Growing Up Wild

Most children in our society spend their days in a classroom with children of the same age, forced to sit for hours on end, often bored out of their minds.

Those of us who grew up in these assembly line classrooms know how backward this teaching philosophy is. We wanted nothing more than to be outside, learning from nature through play.

There is a new movement in response to this highly regimented lifestyle for our youth. It is called unschooling, or child-led learning. The principles of unschooling ask parents to facilitate learning through life experiences as opposed to strict daily schedules and forced education.

One little girl was able to experience this unschooled life in a very big way. Meet Tippi Degre, a French girl who grew up learning from wild animals in the African wilderness. Her parents are wildlife photographers, and instead of sending her off to be taught by strangers, she was given one of the most unique childhoods on this planet.

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Tippi spent years interacting with snakes, cheetahs, lions, giraffes, crocodiles, zebras, elephants, and mongoose. She spent the first ten years of her life living in the total wild.

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Recent studies show how important recess and play is for children. Are your children getting enough play?

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Imagine the level of education we all would have if we learned about animals by interacting with them? How would we treat our planet and fellow living creatures if we were raised in this manner?
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Would ADD and ADHD even exist if children were allowed to run until they were tired? Would we be a more happy society?
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These are the questions we should be asking as parents, educators, and activist liberators. real-life-mowgli-tippi-degre-african-wildlife-6

There once was the viewpoint that Western society was “better” or “above” so called “third world” countries, but the truth is our education system is failing our youthreal-life-mowgli-tippi-degre-african-wildlife-7

We may not all be able to spend each day outside in the wilderness, but we certainly can provide our children with a garden to grow and learn about food.real-life-mowgli-tippi-degre-african-wildlife-8

I think if there is one message I take from this little girl’s journey, it is to allow your children to be like Tippi. To explore, to touch, to play, to learn, to grow.  Through unschooling, through travel, and through hands on learning we can begin to free the minds of our children, and hopefully create a more joyful planet.

More photos here: Page 2
Buy her book:
tippi of africa Visit her website here:tippi.org

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