18 October 2010

unschool monday :: stepping back


Well for reasons I've already documented well here in past weeks, I'm slowing down, withdrawing a little and taking time. Its a natural process that we all understand and we're cool with... But what does this mean for owlets that don't go to school? Are they learning? Well of course they are! I think one of the greatest things that have come of all this is independence. Very gradually they have started to do things for themselves and for each other. They've challenged themselves in different ways and developed more problem solving skills... like how to reach the honey on top of the fridge, or how to build a cubby house. Things they'd normally rely on me for. They're also helping out more and see their place as contributing members of the family. Its been a huge confidence builder for big owlet especially, who is feeling ready to be treated like a big kid and given some responsibility. Its been a huge lesson for me in stepping back and letting them figure things out, find their own rhythm...

Here's what today looked like:

Little owlet woke me at 6am and wanted to get up and play (awesome - I'd only had 4hrs sleep...). So we did.
Little owlet watched some programs on iview while waiting for big owlet to get up.
Big owlet woke and made them both breakfast.
Huz went to work and little owlet and I started building an obstacle course inside - rainy day fare!
Big owlet got involved and I stepped back.
There were negotiations, arguments and lots of giggles as they finished designing the course.
Obstacle course mysteriously transformed into a cubby house - like the ones I make, but big owlet did it for herself today.
I made a huge platter of fruit and stepped back again while they listened to some talking books.
Tired of that, they disappeared into the kitchen to make some lunch for themselves and returned to watch a DVD. Mama slept (well tried to).
More cubby play which led to dress-ups. I saw a witch, pirate, princess, snake and variations on those themes over the course of the following hour...
At some point a pirate party was planned, bunting was thrown up and flags made.
Big owlet brought me a large drink and made some for herself and little owlet too.
Huz arrived home to find me hiding on the couch trying my best not to notice the hurricane that had apparently swept through the house.
He sighed, smiled and we set about tidying up, as did the owlets.
Dinner and a show - Big owlet decided she was a country singer and entertained us for a solid half hour set.
Huz and I sat down to relax and realised just before 8pm that the owlets had dressed, brushed teeth and hopped into bed.
We crept down the hall and spied big owlet reading to little owlet... oh I so love that!
Very happy sleeping owlets now...

Tomorrow will very likely be very different with a flow of its own. This is perhaps the extreme version of what I mean when I say we have a very relaxed approach to home education and that we are natural learners. Of course there are days where we do the usual stuff and they learn when we go out and do things, or involve them in what we're doing. Its just a little different now though. They have taken a crash course in life skills and its brought wonderful things for all of us, especially confidence to them and the kind of independence that can only come from stepping back and letting them drive for a while...

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