After my talk with my friend the other day about radical unschooling, and also chatting with another friend online about it, I'm realising that we are already doing radical unschooling without realising it! my children have been doing it for ages and I have been kind of fighting it, but now I'm coming to accept it.
They've been getting to sleep around 10 each night, after playing or watching a DVD in their rooms, and they wake up at around 8 in the morning, and thats enough sleep for them! So I'm not going to get stressed out thinking that they should be sleeping in the evenings, and just let them get on with it, as long as they're not too noisy and they let me and David have a rest!
It's the same for Amelia, she gets 2-3 hours sleep during the day, and then she can go to sleep at bedtime when she wants and she gets enough sleep too! We don't mind Amelia being downstairs in the evenings sometimes because she's so cute :)
I used to try to get them to go to bed at 7.30, in the hope they would be asleep by 8.30!!!! now, i just try to get them upstairs by half 8 and they put themselves to bed when they want to!
Someone told me today something that really makes sense - they'll sleep when they're tired and eat when they're hungry - it's as simple as that.
When it comes to daytime, I try to show them all the options, and i offer my advice, and my words of experience, Alex will listen to me and take my advice most of the time, but Jamie will not be told what to do and consistently makes her own mistakes, to the point that the other day when we were leaving the park, Jamie was insistent that she not wear any shoes when we walked all the way home - probably over a mile! - I decided, after talking to her, explaining how much of a bad idea it was, that there was no point in having a massive argument about it, and let her do it. Alex tried to copy her, but I told him that he really needed to wear his shoes, explained why and he put them on, no hassle. I could tell Jamie's feet were a bit sore by the time we got home, hopefully she'll know next time. She does that kind of thing all the time! She will not be told what to do. Of course I have to put my foot down sometimes, and she knows when i mean business, but I let her make her own mistakes a lot.
I really can't get Alex to do ANYTHING that he doesn't want to do (but he listens to reason more than Jamie does!), so I've sort of been forced into autonomous! I would personally love to have a bit of structure because the constant chaos stresses me out quite a bit, but they just wont have it, so I'm going to have to learn to let it go.
I'm sure some other parents think that my children are way out of control, and that I should reel them in a bit, but i like to let them fly around! I put a lot of trust in them, and they are really good with stuff that a lot of children haven't had the chance with, and other people panic or worry that they'll get into trouble.
It sounds like i just let my wild children be wild! and i do, to a point, but they are happy, safe, fed, clothed and most importantly, loved :) and they are really well behaved most of the time ;)
So basically, as a parent doing it autonomously, we are the guardians, and daily life is mostly led by the child/children, except when grown up stuff needs doing, or on those rare occasions, when the parent wants to do something!
I'm still trying to get my head around it properly, a friend of mine told me to forget the word 'should', so I'm just going to try and just go with the flow, rather than try and fight it, I don't have to be in control of everything.
Here's a few pics of some of the stuff we've been up to :)
Alex wanted to be a superhero :)
Amelia at The Dell
A bit of fun on the way home from the park
update on the caterpillars in our veggie patch,
it's a good job I grew all that cabbage for them.........