By Sally Carless
Who are the Indigo children? How do you know if your child is one? And if they are–or if you’re not sure, but you know that their current schooling situation is not working for them–what do you do about it?
Let’s start with who they are. Indigos are unique and powerful children, born in large numbers since 1970. They can easily use both their left and right brain, as they are artistically gifted and technologically advanced. These children are passionate, creative, and vulnerable. Many have some form of psychic ability or sensitivity, whether it is an enhanced ability to perceive feelings of people around them, to communicate with animals, or to see things that they know no one else is seeing. This can lead to a profound sense of alienation, which is amplified if they feel no one is listening to them. They may shut down because think they are weird; particularly if they do not know anyone who can help them understand what they are experiencing.
Many Indigos have a strong sense of justice and feel deeply disturbed by the state of the world. Wise beyond their years, people often describe them as old souls. Indigo children are highly sensitive and sometimes resist conformity, which can lead to difficulty in school. They need to know why, loathe repetitious work, have strong opinions, and often refuse to do homework.
Many Indigo children have a warrior spirit. They have difficulty conforming to a school system that does not feel right to them. Many adults resist changing their approach and misunderstand these passionate children who live by intuitive thoughts and feelings. These students are branded with labels like ADD, ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, or just plain lazy and are often sedated so they will conform. Sadly, they lose their beautiful sensitivity and liveliness when medicated. Students like these thrive when they take part in a program that adjusts to accommodate their interests, talents, and learning styles.
Every child needs the kind of education that takes their individual needs and interests into account. For Indigo children, this need is amplified exponentially. Being asked (or forced) to do tasks that seem meaningless and irrelevant is not just an irritation to them; it can be greatly upsetting. While other children may put up with it, many Indigos will not. If given busywork, they will usually be quite aware of that fact. If something unfair happens to them or someone else, it is more than upsetting; it often evokes a sense of outrage. These traits make it very challenging for classroom teachers, parents, and certainly for the children themselves.
Fortunately, many Indigo children have parents who are perceptive enough to know that their child is unique, and that they need the kind of schooling that supports them in enhancing their gifts and passions. These children need schools–and homes–that are encouraging, nurturing, and empowering. Parents of Indigo children know the frustration of having a child who has lost their spirit because they were not recognized and understood. Carla, a Global Village School teacher and parent, says, “I know firsthand the sorrow a mother feels when her intelligent and creative child becomes depressed and withdrawn. By age eight, my oldest son, an Indigo child, simply refused to go to school anymore. I will never forget the day we sat in the school parking lot as tears streamed down his face (and mine) as he refused to get out of the car. I made a decision in that moment that never again would I not honor his inner spirit.”
Before having her sons, Carla was a high school teacher in the public school system. It broke her heart to be expected to treat such wonderful beings as though they were all the same. She followed her intuition, however, and treated each student as unique and specially gifted in their own way. Though she had great success with her students, she wanted to stay home with her boys during their early years. This is when she first discovered homeschooling. At last, through distance learning, she was able to follow the philosophy of education that she always knew to be true: that each child is unique, with different talents and abilities.
There are so many parents like Carla out there. If you are reading this, then you are one of the fortunate ones; you know enough to be exploring homeschooling as an option. So if your child has Indigo characteristics, what do you do?
For one, remember that the key thing is to pay attention to your child. What is he interested in? What does he care about? How can you support and nurture his passion for protecting animals, or helping the homeless, or whatever the case may be? Indigo children need parents and teachers who will listen carefully. They need to be “seen” at a very deep level.
If your child is more sensitive than most others you know, do not try to force them out of it. If your daughter, at age five, suddenly decides to become a vegetarian, that decision probably comes from a genuine sensitivity. Many people will be tempted to brush it off as stubbornness, but it most likely comes from that part of them that is much wiser than their years.
If your daughter is very upset about what is happening in the world, listen to her. Help her find ways to express her feelings. Do not belittle her concerns or try to distract her. If she comes up with an idea for how she wants to make a difference in the world, try to help her find a way to put her vision into action. With the proper support, kids can be powerful agents for change. Being able to feel like they can actually make a difference also eases the pain they feel about the suffering in the world.
Why is homeschooling such a good choice for these children? Homeschooling provides a natural arena for the kind of support an Indigo child needs. As the home teacher, you are able to allow your child to focus on their interests. You have the freedom to adapt your lessons to incorporate current events. You can choose the type of socialization your child experiences; you can find ways to interact with people that are less jarring to them than a busy classroom may be. There are many ways for them to be with people other than being in school all day.
What if you are new to homeschooling and/or have not yet “made the leap,” and are not sure how to go about it? There are many resources out there; the A to Z Home’s Cool site is full of them. If your child is an Indigo, or you have a sense they might be, it is important that the people assisting them in their education have some understanding of that.
One option that has worked well for many Indigo families is Global Village School. Global Village (GVS) is an accredited international K-12 homeschool diploma program with a creative flexible approach and an emphasis on peace, justice, diversity, and sustainability. GVS provides children with an atmosphere that nurtures their individual gifts and empowers each student to be capable, confident, and a wise steward of the planet. Global Village teachers assist each student individually and provide feedback, support, coaching, and documentation. Many are on their own spiritual paths, and take particular delight in working with children who are unique and dare to march to the beat of their own drum.
Whichever path you choose for your child, remember to listen attentively, and to follow your heart. In that way, you will be able to support them in being who they came here to be.
To learn more about how Global Village School supports Indigo children
About the author
Sally Carless is a writer, speaker, musician, and the founding director of The Global Village School.
To learn more
Contact the author by writing to [email protected].