26 June 2011
unschool monday :: eating out
Our owlets love to eat out. We do it whenever we can and have done since they were all tiny babies. Little owlet loves it in particular. They love the food, the company, being in a different place, people watching. Big owlet reads the menu. Little owlet reads it upside down. They look at how much things cost, learn about choices, think about nutrition, try new flavours, learn to wait, share food... It's a great life learning experience. Something my parents did with us whenever possible, growing up. Fun for all of us.
Tiny owlet's first food meal was at a restaurant. She knows the drill now and loves it too.
I'm often asked if I'm worried about whether the owlets will have access to the "real world" if they are unschooled. The simple answer is that they are already living in it.
A couple of weeks ago, I was at a cafe with little owlet and tiny owlet, just doing our thing. Having some milk shakes, waiting for big owlet and Huz to finish kung fu... Little owlet got up and walked around the table a couple of times, singing. She's always singing. I quietly said "Remember, when we're in a restaurant, we sit at the table". She said "Oh, that's right", and sat down to finish her milkshake. You forget when you are four. Your body takes over sometimes. A little reminder helps... A woman at the next table came over to "congratulate" me for "teaching my children how to behave in public." (This happens quite a bit when we're out, although the owlets are no angels). "You don't see it often these days", she went on. "They should teach it in schools."
My first thought was that kids in school probably do enough sitting still and being quiet... But still, it was a reminder of how important it is that we just spend time with our kids, in all sorts of social situations. "Real life" situations. And that they feel comfortable in said situations, just by spending time in them.