June 17, 2019

Schedules and Motivation

Time is 8 30 AM.
Both kids are done with waking up, brushing teeth, had milk, played around and ate breakfast.






That's what they have chosen to do.

And now, engrossed in free play with loads of imagination and creation. In like 30 mins, they have created at least 10 new names, 10 new sounds and more than 10 new ideas.

I am sure, if there was forced structure on daily routine, this scene would have been quite the opposite, very far from what I witnessed this morning, having power struggles to get them to brush and bathed in order to catch the school bus on time.

Young kids should spend time in play, free play, imaginary play to know their likes and dislikes and eventually make their schedules on their own.

They choose to brush, bath, have milk/juice, have breakfast solely on their own inner motivation. There is no external force or coercion to get them to do what was needed to be done at that moment. They know they want to drink something or eat something and they choose to do so at that moment.

At the beginning of our no-school journey, I have received questions from well-intentioned people, like:

1. When there is no school, how can the child follow a timetable?
2. When there is no school, how can the child be disciplined?
3. When there is no school, how can the child wake up at a set time every day?

While I hear from fellow parents, that it is getting extremely difficult to get the child ready by the time bus reaches their place, I only feel relieved that I have chosen to follow my child's lead in her learning journey.

For a child who refuses to do what was supposed to be done at that moment, reasons could be, there is no inner motivation to do it, there is external coercion/threat into doing it, there is a higher authority who tries to control what the child should do at that moment.

These reasons do not come into the picture for children who are internally motivated to follow their own schedule, which is usually true for children who are unschooled.

Today's day was spent in so much of imaginary play busy creating stuff and new vocabulary, cleaning around the home, making some lotion, jumping around, cleaning more stuff and more imaginary play.

And then, another question:

1. Now at this age, it should be fine, but how do you manage to teach all the subjects in her middle/high school grades?

Once the innate attributes of a child i.e., self-motivation, awareness, determination, perseverance, focus et al. are nurtured in their early childhood years, they will themselves carve out a way for learning the subject of their interest.

And as to the subjects - the whole world is our school. They are free to learn anywhere. 5yo DD1 chose to learn the Indian anthem by listening to it online, recording her singing, hearing it back, correcting herself, recording again until she got it right. She still hums that to date.

Children choose to learn according to their physical ability, mental awareness and understanding of the environment around. It is our job to just provide ample resources, love and support in their journey of learning.

Now, time is: 9 15 AM.
Both have just done with their bath and again started off with free play.







DD1, when 2.5yo, started trying to lay a towel flat on the floor without any fringes and another towel over it without moving the lower one and without the top one having any fringes. This is quite a task for a 2yo. She kept trying, showed her frustration when she couldn't or the towel moved, refused to take help, tried repeatedly and one fine day, achieved it. This is a project that the child has chosen to do. And there is a lot of learning involved. DD2 who is 2yo now is in a similar phase. She tries to lay a bedsheet over the mattress without any fringe while refusing help.

Today, they had their imaginary play for more than an hour over the towels laid on the floor.

Such child-chosen projects give them the inner motivation to achieve. When a 3yo or 4yo is expected to do a project of sticking some pictures on chart paper while colouring it neat to make it better presentable, the child may lose interest because 1.it was not chosen by her 2. There might be n number of other things that interest the child around 3. There is external force/rewards to finish the work. In the end, the child who manages to do may just do while not being totally aware of what they are doing, maybe just following what the adult has asked to do.

A child who is more naturally inclined towards her own thoughts and actions is at a different level of awareness than a child who is constantly coerced/threatened to fit in a schedule that the adult has created.

#RethinkParenting #RethinkEducation



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