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.


  1. Lovely! Our lot love eating out too, just as I do, but it can be rather challenging with a 3yo who finds it very hard to sit still and stop bouncing off the walls for longer than 5 minutes!

  2. Oh, we love eating out too, and hanging in coffee shops and just generally getting out and about! K's favourite (aside from general coffee shop stops) is Indian restaurants. He LOVES them (and loves pappadams and naan!!)

  3. We love eating out too, so much. And it's such a treat when we do—we're always giggly and excited, which makes it even more fun. I think sometimes we laugh probably a bit too loudly (well, maybe that's just me), but no-one seems to mind! :)

    It is interesting when people think our children have been "taught" to be "well-behaved," when really they are simply in tune with their surroundings. Aware of others, where they are, and how to be in the real world. We do influence our kids to live as we live, but with gentle reminders like yours, and by our own behaviour. It's more symbiotic, and beautiful than simply "teaching," isn't it?

    Lovely post, Lauren. And I love the pics!

  4. hi! i know i'm late... ;) i was wondering how to grab your unschool monday button for my page? i would love to do more of these posts. it helps me consider how i hope my children learn to see the world...

  5. Hey there :) So glad you are enjoying unschool mondays :) If you'd like to grab the button, copy and paste the HTML in the code in the sidebar at the right. You can paste it into a gadget in your layout design for your page. Does that make sense? Just email me if you need more help! x

  6. so true, I am considering pulling my children out of school to homeschool part time to start with and see how we go from there... have you home schooled from day 1?

    Rach x

  7. We have always enjoyed taking our girls out and about with us to different resturants.
    It is a really good natural way for them to learn how to be considerate of others around them in a real life social setting.
    I love the pictures in this post. Your owlets are adorable.


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