A couple of random things about radical unschooling

Not in any particular order, and (to be very clear,) just as I understand it at this very early stage…

* The basic idea is that adults do not need to choose for Henry what he needs to learn. Or how. He lives in the real world and has access to all sorts and sources of information. As he discovers things he’s interested in, he learns about them, by choice, with our (all of us- you included, lovely reader!) help if appropriate. So, if there’s anything in the (national, or whatever) curriculum that he doesn’t encounter, or care about, why should he need it?

* This is actually ever so big. It’s all about the way I relate to my kids, the way I view my role as the Mum, the idea that they are full members of the family and real people, (as opposed to future people,) with real rights. Pursuit of happiness, and all that.

* Bedtime. Huge. We’re not going this way, (yet, maybe ever,) but what if there was no bedtime? What if I excused myself and went to bed exactly when I felt like it, just as I do with my husband, or adult house guests? And my kids learned to do the same. Or to fall asleep in our company, wherever we are? We won’t often have to set an alarm clock, so they can sleep in as long as they need to, and will gradually learn from experience that if they stay up when they’re tired they stop feeling good, stop enjoying themselves, and feel worse the next day. Henry’s safe enough in the house with me asleep. So is Lauren, for that matter- they know when to come wake me up, or not. And here’s what I think are the key points- first, if they are not stressed about it and fighting me, the bedtime routine needn’t suck the pleasure (and hours!) out of the evening, and they will usually go to sleep at a reasonable time, for them. That is, not stay up all night and give me no “adult time.” (Dave and I do like watching some tv that’s still a bit scary for the kids.) And second, they are not the enemy, and having them around doesn’t have to be so exhausting and stressful that I really need that break from them every evening. Oh, and if we have special evening adult guests, why is it important that I get to stay up and chat to them, but not important for my kids? If they don’t want to, they wont- if they want to, they should. Whew.

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