I almost feel like it's my duty, as an unschooling mom to share moments like this because I read so such CRAP online about how you can't trust kids to make their own choices. That if a child chooses their own food, they'll eat gummy bears and chips everyday, ALL DAY LONG. That if a child has computer freedom, they'll either be playing games all day or visiting porno sites.
I have living, breathing proof in my house that it's not true.
Jacqueline gets up before I do most mornings and she helps herself to a light breakfast and then decides what she wants to do. Mostly she'll watch a movie (she's big into Star Wars right now), work on a story she's writing (it's her third) or play Barbies.
I woke up the other morning and started making my morning tea. Jacqueline yelled good morning from the family room and I asked her what she was doing. She replied that she was playing on the computer. Being she said 'playing', I thought she was on one of our games like Sim City 3000 or Lilo & Stitch which of course would have been perfectly fine.
But there she was, having fun with the scientific calculator that's on the computer. The same scientific calculator that I didn't even know existed until I saw her on it. In her world, playing around with algebra, calculus and the table of elements is fun.
And you'll notice the breakfast she got for herself-a banana and a low fat smoothie.
Let me make something clear....I don't think the table of elements is any more valuable than that Sim City game. In unschooling, everything has value and is important. I bring up these moments to silence the critics who think that unschooled children will never have an interest in learning anything unless they're being told to or that children cannot be trusted to make their own choices.
That's where mindful parenting comes into play. Jacqueline is not left alone to figure out things on her own. I'm there, as her partner, her guide. I take my job as an unschooling parent seriously and I pour a lot of time, attention and respect into her. Frankly, it's not for everyone...I know plenty of parents who never want to spend more time than they have to with their kids.