"Although I speak from my own experience, I feel that no one has the right to impose his or her beliefs on another person. I will not propose to you that my way is best. The decision is up to you. If you find some point which may be suitable for you, then you can carry out experiments for yourself. If you find that it is off no use, then you can discard it." Dalai Lama...

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Changing phases.

Home ed group today, had a nice chat and the kids had a good play.Then off to my friends house with a couple of the other mums, we have got a book club going and discussed titles to read over the coming months.I prefer to read last thing at night as I find it difficult to switch off during the day( if by any chance I got a spare moment to pick up a book !!) and as my little bed mate is usually asleep I will have to get myself one of those little lights that fit on a book and I will get into the habit of reading a little each night again.

Milly has asked to do some science on Friday so I have just looked up some simple experiments we can do that are quick to set up and it won't matter if she changes her mind as I have not had to go to great lengths to prepare.It is a long time between now and then and things change so quickly and it may be that Friday comes along and something else will be favoured.Friday is the only day we have the time to do anything as we are out again tomorrow for lunch and a trip around the aquarium with a Friend and will probably end up spending most of the afternoon with her.I am hoping the school strike doesn't mean hoards of people will have the same idea about visiting the aquarium.

Milly and I started the day by having a cuppa and a read in bed which is something we haven't done for quite some time and then we got up and Milly put the TV on as I made breakfast.The programmes she normally likes to watch were on but after a few minutes she decided to watch a DVD instead, she was talking about the Dr who DVD we had on the bookcase and I thought she was going to watch that one but then I heard the music from The Way things Work and was pleasantly surprised.This DVD has been watched a couple of times last summer and has sat on the bookcase in the sun room or has been strategically placed by me to encourage her to view it again, cos of course it is "educational" as well as entertaining,needless to say my placement of it has always gone unnoticed and I gave up and accepted she was learning whatever she chose to watch and here we are today, she got it down because she wanted to watch it herself and she enjoyed three of the stories and although she had said initially she was going to watch all of it she then turned off the TV and came through to sit with me at the table, where I adapted the fastening on her bag so she could fit her journal in ,her bag was made with my sister on one of their Thursday sewing sessions and now goes everywhere with her and has her most treasured possessions in.

Some time ago I posted about the amount of TV Milly was choosing to watch, I felt confident based on past experience that if I left her to choose she would go through that phase and move on and it seems that is now happening,she is still watching some TV but is choosing more often to do other things and TV is not an issue because she knows she could watch it whenever she wants to.I love giving her the freedom to make her own choices and as time goes on I feel myself relaxing more and more and not worrying about the amount of time she spends watching TV or listening to story tapes, even though it seems she is neglecting other areas.When she is ready she moves on.

We have no set rules about bedtime and have gradually allowed her to make decisions about when she goes to bed.Initially she had some late nights and got very tired and we had some challenging times and behaviour but gradually we have got to the stage where late nights have lost their appeal and Emily knows when she is tired and at present,except for when friends sleep over she usually chooses to go up before 9 and on quite a few occasions is asleep for 8.

Allowing Milly more freedom over her food choices is harder for us and we still haven't been able to fully let go of control in this area.Change has happened and I see a gradual loosening of the reins,rather than a total letting go immediately, probably more for our benefit than anything to do with Emily,but that is the way we feel comfortable and for this change in lifestyle to work properly we all have to feel comfortable.The move from traditional Parenting/schooling to Radical unschooling (to use a label)doesn't feel as far away as it did a year ago.We have managed to do it at our own pace and are growing into it and it feels good.Now obviously any change and growth causes moments of doubt but instead of panic setting in about what we are doing, I now see these as opportunity's to assess where we are going and to see if we are still on the right path and so far the answer has been most definitely yes........

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