We often do not ask children the following questions:
1. How are you feeling dear?
2. Is there something that I can perhaps do for you?
3. What would you like me to do with you?
4. How can I make this day interesting for you?
5. Is there something that you feel I am not doing with you or for you?
6. What would you like for breakfast, lunch and dinner?
7. What would you like to drink dear?
8. Is there something special you want us to do every week?
9. Would you like to stay up later than your usual bedtime?
10. Would you like to stay in bed longer than your usual time in the mornings?
11. Would you like to choose a product/produce of your choice from the grocer or vegetable/fruit vendor?
Ask these on a regular basis and see how sparkling, creative and engaging parenting becomes.
I was reading a blog post by another unschooling mom in USA, on livingjoyfully.ca and she wrote so beautifully about the connections between TV and learning. I see this happen all the time in our house too. TV for us is not just the entertainer. It was never just another gadget one has for killing boredom after a hard day’s work at school or office, as there is no school or office. TV in our house is used as a tool for learning about the world and making connections and also for pure entertainment. However we do not make the distinctions between entertainment and learning. All is within the circle of learning.
My daughter these days is watching a crime series on iPad and YouTube all day long. I found the word “Forensik Science” written in her diary as it lay open on the dining table. And NO, I did not blink at the ‘K’. She has started reading Thea Stilton Books as they have crime and mystery in them. But they also have fashion. One had lovely facts about the ‘Roaring Twenties” and explained the 20s fashion, scarlet lipstick and bob cut hair for women and the knee length skirt which was considered ‘too short for women’ then!..It also explained how there was a sense of freedom in all people as the First World War had just ended. The interest in the book came after the crime show on TV!
My son is now into Star Wars and has been watching the Lego videos of Star Wars and also the films. The Lego passion is the foundation and Star Wars has come later. He used to sketch building structures earlier as he is keenly interested in tall structures. Now he is sketching space ships, space cities and other celestial bodies. I like the way he gives motion to his celestial articles with a ‘swoosh’ here and there!
With the Tintin and Pirates of the Caribbean series on TV and DVDs, he got interested in treasure and ships and now he is exploring gems and stones from books and iPad apps. He is trying to identify stones and gems from some few jewels that I have! We have been talking about, where one can find precious rocks like diamonds and so we have been talking about mining!
I see how if the child’s mind is allowed the freedom to take any reference point, with fearlessness from the parents’ side, that point can generate connections to a learning path that no one can ever predict. And it is so amazing and enriching to watch the dots being connected with time.