Friday, September 19, 2014

When you start to question everything...

There's this really weird thing about choosing to do something that is unconventional and different... I remember it from when I was first pregnant and started looking into midwives and having a med-free birth, outside of a hospital. You start questioning one assumption, and it leads to questioning another, and then another, and there are all these surreal and eye-opening moments when you realize that a bunch of stuff that you had simply assumed to be true, was...well, not.

Choosing to homeschool is one thing, going to the next extreme of unschooling is kinda fascinating, and reading about radical unschooling is leading me to question so many other things as well. It feels like we're in this phase of experimenting, questioning, re-thinking. I'm letting go of school-ish expectations of what is supposed to be learned when, but also re-thinking other aspects of life and parenting. We no longer have any firm restrictions of "screen time" which I'm still having some conflicted feelings about, but am trying to really embrace the unschooling way of it to see how it can work for us (or if it won't, who knows... maybe in a few months we'll decide we do want some more limits. Or maybe not... I want to give us some time to really explore this and figure it out... and this is one of my favorite things about unschooling, that it feels like we really do have plenty of time).

I'm also trying to really reconsider my thoughts on bedtime and meals, etc. I do feel like the boys need a consistent bedtime-- years of monitoring their sleep, noting what happens when they do get to bed late, how they deal with that, etc, leave me thinking that enforcing a bedtime helps them more than it hinders them. As they get older they will likely get more freedom with that. And, I am loosening up my rigidity about bedtime-- often D will get interested in something or start a project right before our bedtime routine would begin, and now I let him finish what he's doing. Also, every once in a while D may have a hard time falling asleep, and we'll let him get up and go play quietly for a bit rather than force him to stay in bed.

As for food, I think we're already fairly "unschooly." We do have set mealtimes, or well dinner at least and usually lunch. Snacks happen on demand. And while I won't cook different things for different people, I do offer food, they aren't forced to eat anything they don't want, and if they don't like any of what's served for a particular meal I will offer other easy-to-make options (like other snacks, or re-heat leftovers, etc).

There's something kinda fun and exciting about really questioning everything... though it can also be exhausting and feed that nagging voice of doubt. I'm trying to separate what may be accepted conventions, vs what I really feel works best for the individuals within our family. Also, as with Attachment Parenting philosophy, I am trying to find the right balance of meeting all of our needs-- the boys', as well as mine and Zach's as parents-- as best we can. For example, one of my reason for enforcing a set bedtime (most of the time, anyway) is that as an introverted parent I really need some quiet time in the evening after the boys have gone to bed, and before I myself need to get to sleep. So letting them stay up late on a regular basis wouldn't work for me, and I'm ok with establishing that selfish need for myself.

But yeah, so we're in this initial period of trial-and-error, of trying a few different things on that may feel weird and strange at first and some of them will probably stick and start feeling a lot more comfortable after a few wears, and some may not, and really it's probably a never-ending process as our needs and "best practices" I'm sure will change and evolve as we all get older and change ourselves.

No comments:

Post a Comment