Sunday, October 14, 2012

"What about structure?"

What about structure? People ask how, if a child is not pressed to live a structured school life, will he cope with "the real world" and its demands? One of my recent responses is here:

It doesn’t take ten years of practice for a kid to learn how to show up on time, and if they’re interested in doing something, they’ll probably get up early! All my children and very many more I’ve known have excelled in structured situations because they were there by choice and they weren’t sick to death of structure. They thought it was fun, when it was their option to be there or not.

Sandra Dodd Interview (Part II) on Rashmie Jaaju's "Mommy Labs" blog
photo by Sandra Dodd

1 comment:

  1. That's absolutely been our experience, too. My always-unschooled, night-owl teen loves being involved in a youth bowling league, and on bowling day each week gets up approx. four hours earlier than he does the rest of the week. He sets his alarm; he gets himself out of bed and into the shower; he makes sure to carve out enough time to eat breakfast; and he makes sure he's ready to leave on time.

    The same thing happened this past summer when he asked to participate in an all-day, Mon thru Fri, eight-week long, youth theatre workshop. For those two months, he went to sleep early enough on weeknights to get up early enough for the next day's workshop. In the two weeks prior to the start of the workshop, he incrementally shifted his sleep schedule so that by the end of the two weeks he was getting up twelve hours earlier than he had been!!, so that by the first day of the workshop he'd be getting up early enough to be on time, while being plenty rested. During the eight weeks of the workshop, HE was the one who made the choice to quit gaming or hanging out with friends early enough at night to be rested the next day.

    He recently told me he'd be interested in working in an office. My local family members have a family business, at which I've worked since before my son was born and at which my hubby works, and my mom was thrilled when I passed along to her my son's interest in working there at some point. One of the things he and I discussed was the importance of being there on time every workday. Having seen what he accomplished re: the theatre workshop this past summer, he and I both know that he is absolutely capable of meeting that type of commitment.



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