This is the first day of our autonomous living experiment: basically, my son gets to do what he wants for the week. My motivation for doing the experiment is to allow my son the freedom to choose what he would like to do, in line with autonomous learning principles. It is my hope that in the hope that he will learn to regulate himself and discover his interests free from coercion. My belief in an autonomous education has led me to ask the question: should an autonomous education also include autonomous living? In another post I discuss both autonomous learning and boundary setting.
We were meant to go out today but Kai didn’t want to go. He stayed in his jammies (pyjamas) for most of the day until I told him to get dressed (failed!).
I Suggested we do some painting and Kai agreed; we drew some fruit. Kai wasn’t happy with his picture and decided to draw something else. He had a lot of fun mixing the colours and was was excited about trying to get a close match to the picture he was copying. He was very happy with his painting.
At 3.20, he went on the computer and after 2 hours I was itching to tell him to come off but I managed to resist. After 3 and a half hours, I felt enough was enough. I explained to him that he had been on the computer for over 3 hours and that this was not healthy. I also reminded him that watching youtube videos for so long wasted a lot of his precious time.
It later dawned on me that perhaps he was on the computer for so long because I hadn’t told to come off. Perhaps he is so used to being told when to come off that the ability to self-regulate has been diminished. Or perhaps he simply lost track of time. Either way, giving him a week to exercise personal authority will certainly do him some good.
The first couple of days have been a real challenge: Kai has taken every ounce of his new found freedom to as far as it can go; most of Monday and today have been spent watching Smosh on Youtube. After nearly 4 hours on Youtube I felt compelled to let him know how much time he has spent online, but I did not tell him to come off. I did have to take the phone off him for personal use, but then I returned it to him some time later. My main concern is that he does not seem to be making any attempt to regulate his time online, and I have found it increasingly difficult not to vocalise my feelings. However, I aim to keep mouth shut regarding the matter for the rest of the week.
To be continued…