Wednesday, May 8, 2013

choices

 We had yet another busy day of out and about in the springtime sunshine yesterday.  There was a visit to a new county park, and a stop at an old ice cream parlor.

We got a little lost trying out a new route.  Right after I heard Sylvia say, "This is so much fun singing with the windows open!  I don't even mind the smell of cow maneuver" ('cause that's what she likes to call it), I snapped a random picture over my shoulder.  They were singing a Phineas and Ferb song.

 We bought some food for a young homeless man and his dog when we were stopped trying to figure out which town we were in.

"Mama, why's that man holding a sign?"

"I don't know.  Let's find out."

They really enjoyed picking out puppy food and thought the man would like a cold soda, too.  The dog soaked up their attention while I chatted with her owner.

Then, Camille and Sylvia had their final class at the Rumpus Room.


 Camille cheered wildly when Sylvia landed her first cartwheel.
 They put on a show.


Today, although the sunshine beckoned, I couldn't put off domestic chores any longer.  So I cooked and baked, and did dishes and laundry, while Camille volunteered to sweep and dust and tidy the living room and pick up her own room a bit.  That's right, volunteered!  And was quite proud of herself, too.

When chores are not enforced and/or tied to an allowance, children can joyfully offer to help.  Yeah, it doesn't happen all the time, but when it does, it's done cheerfully.

I forgot to order seed potatoes this year.  Which was just as well, because I'd apparently been neglecting a bag and a half of organic potatoes in the pantry.  Perfect!
 Camille offered to help me plant them as well.  Sylvia is usually my get-dirty, eager, garden helper, but she opted to watch The Powerpuff Girls on Netflix instead.  We did end up with an extra helper, though :)
 After lots of questions about roots and tubers and bulbs and how seeds store their energy, we dug up some dandelion and burdock roots.  Camille decided to make 'root stew' with dandelion, burdock, carrots, potatoes (fresh ones), onion, and garlic and set about chopping and dicing.  She went to bed late with her stew in the slow cooker for the night. "I'm going to have it for breakfast!"

So, it turns out that when children can choose what and when to eat, when and where to sleep, when and how to help out, and how and what to learn about, they get lots of practice making choices.  Their choices can be thoughtful and joyful and satisfying to themselves and those around them.

Sometimes they aren't, but that's part of the learning, too.

2 comments:

  1. Oh my how I love the photo of your girls singing in the car, love! :)

    I choose watermelon for my birthday this year not just because of gluten or dairy but because I love it. My little one said that's okay mom I choose chicken and will again for my birthday this year.

    I know it seems a hard concept to grasp but it really, really is true.

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    Replies
    1. It seems to play out time and again that unschooling children with a wide range of food choices will choose foods that support healthy growth for themselves. I suppose animals (us, too!) instinctively want to be healthy and eat to support that. Camille came to the conclusion that gluten makes her feel crappy, and now that she is older (this last year or so), she chooses to avoid it all together.

      I love to hear of this freedom of choice working out well in other families, too.

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