In praise of autonomous home ed ( - again!)
Then she stretches languidly - at 10.30am, and declares that she feels like getting up. I've been up since about 8ish today, pottering around while they slept. Ali just got up, removed a caught mouse from a humane trap and fixed his sister's PC. He's gone off with the camera now. I don't know what he's planning to photograph but he asked me some technical details about how it worked that I didn't know the answer to, so I gave him the manual as well.
I haven't seen the other teens yet, but I guess Tom will have worked late into the night on his graphic design project and Zara just seems to need a lot of sleep at the moment. They go in phases with their sleep patterns and are very healthy and relaxed for being allowed to do so. Zar's latest craze is knitting, so we're off to buy more wool soon as well as other things.
I love this way of living and can't imagine ever going back to living by the clock and the timetable. Especially in respect of sleeping and waking: it seems, with hindsight, barbaric to wake a child in order to get them to school or to start lessons, though I imagine a person's sleep-cycle can be successfully manipulated to fit requirements. This always seemed difficult though in the few years my teens were at school as young children. We were invariably the last to arrive and mornings were definitely not pleasant. Maybe there's some knack to the-bit-before-school/work that I never quite grasped, even though I am a morning person and am often up by choice from 5 or 6am.
This brings to mind the recent publication of Neuroscience research by Prof Russell Foster, a "chronobiologist" at Oxford University, about which he says: "The teenage brain is a "work in progress" and needs extra sleep," but I would contend that a brain - and indeed a body - of any age is a "work in progress" and needs as much sleep as it happens to need, whenever it needs it.
It also needs, ideally, to be free to follow its interests and natural curiosity and to learn what, when and how it wants to learn at the perfect time in its unique development. This is surely the most "efficient full-time education suitable to age, ability and aptitude, and to any special educational needs," from which a person could possibly benefit.