May 4, 2010 § 5 Comments
When our kids were in school most of our time was regulated down to the minute.
During the week, afternoons and evenings were filled with organized activity TIME, dinner TIME, homework TIME, bath/shower TIME, play TIME, tv TIME and bed TIME.
Even our weekends were set to a schedule because we had family stuff to squeeze into two days.
When we first started homeschooling 3 years ago I tried to maintain that kind of time parceling. I did up schedules and charts, wasting a ridiculous amount of paper in the process. At the time I didn’t realize that what I was doing was merely mirroring the very thing I was trying to help our family escape.
It took a couple of years, and a lot of practice trying, to see that the only way to get through this was to challenge myself with every thought that daily life REQUIRES some sort of a schedule.
Granted, some activities in life do require it. Garbage has to be put to the curb before 8:00 am on Friday to make sure it’s picked up. It is expected that you be on time for activities, classes and dates that you made a commitment to. You have to bring movies and library books back on time in order to avoid incurring fines.
But the world is not going to end if I let my 14 year old Daughter sleep in until noon on a weekday when she has nothing more pressing to do. Hey, it gives me the morning to myself.
And I’m not a bad parent because I let her decide for herself when she showers, when she eats, when she reads or when she plays video games.
My job is to provide her with adequate facilities, healthy meals, a variety of materials and my attention. My job is not to tell her when and for how long she can do things.
You can’t parcel life into 40 minute increments. Unschooling for us has mostly been about reclaiming time and realizing that it’s way more precious than we ever imagined.