why I allow my kids to eat chocolate for breakfast

It’s true.  We have total food freedom in our house.

Our four kids (under the age of 9) are free to choose what they want to eat, whenever they want to eat it.

We don’t force them to sit at the table, eat at specific times, or eat their vegetables before they get dessert.

Why?

Well you’ll have to watch the video to find out!

Warning:  This video will make you think.  It might also teach you a thing or two about stepping outside the box with your parenting.

Love Kim xo

P.S.  If you like this please remember to share it with your peeps and leave a comment below.

 

How To Make Money Whilst Homeschooling

One of the common misconceptions of unschooling is that is it permissive parenting.

Many people think that giving your kids freedom over their lives and choices somehow means that you will give them everything and anything they want… Not True!

In our house we try to give our kids as much real life reality data as possible, including the opportunity to earn their own money.

When they want to buy something, rather than give them the money or the thing, I do everything within my power to help them how to figure out a way to earn it.

Buying it for them is easy; helping them to figure out a way to earn it is much more effort, but so much more rewarding.

Click below to see how my kids earn money.

httpv://youtu.be/4F_Dj2AdEWo

I’m curious… what are the ways you help your kids to earn money?  I’d love some more ideas so please let me know in the comments.

Adios amigo

Love Kim xo

 

 

The Secret To Raising Young Entrepreneurs

This week it finally feels like Autumn!  The leaves are falling, the temperature is dropping and my cashmere sweaters have been unearthed from the back of the wardrobe.

Autumn is also a great time to teach kids about interrelatedness and systems.

Enterpreneurialism is birthed through the experience of taking a raw product and turning it into something amazing.  

So in light of fostering my kids entrepreneurial spirit, we embarked on some simple activities which enabled them to follow a process all the way from birth to creation (and the result was delicious!).

We also had fun giving my car a much needed valet, early on Saturday morning.

Not only did my car get the spring clean it desperately needed, but the kids got to earn some money to spend in iTunes.

Click here to watch the video now!

As always I love hearing your comments in the discussion below.  What was your favourite lesson from the video?

With love 

Kim xo

A Sneaky Peak Into My Life

Last December I was driving my kids to a play date when my eldest son broke down into hysterical sobs.
He hadn’t been enjoying school for a while and was carrying round a lot of pent-up anxiety (unbeknownst to me).
So after lengthy conversations with a very sceptical Ryan, we took the drastic and life changing decision to school the kids at home.
I’m sure it is hard for most people to visualise a life without the routine and structure of school.
If you’re curious, then you’re going to LOVE this week’s video blog!
Click here to watch it now.
httpv://youtu.be/rlM1q19Cjg8
After you’ve watched it I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Do you harbour secret fantasies about homeschooling?  What is holding you back?
Please leave a comment below.
With love
Kim xo

Kim Constable Interviews Unschooling Guru Dayna Martin

Question:
 
Does being a parent often leave you feeling exhausted and worn down?
 
Do you sometimes wonder if there is a better, more gentle way to parent that still raises healthy, happy young entrepreneurs?

I know what it’s like…

A few short years ago I was stressed out, worn down and at the end of my emotional tether.  I knew that there had to be a better way to do things, I just didn’t know what it was.
 
I couldn’t get my kids to eat healthily, bed times were challenging at best and getting them out to school in the morning was nothing short of horrible!
 
Like you, I had a dream of living in harmony with my family.  I wanted my house to be a place of laughter, joy and balance.  A place where my kids would want to come back to; where we shared and loved and trusted each other.
 
As you likely know, I’ve now made each of these dreams come true.
 
And despite all the conventional advice, I didn’t have to give up anything that was important to me to achieve it.  
 
Please know that the reason I am sharing this with you is to let you know that:
  1. I understand exactly where you are and what you’re going through
  2. I can show you exactly what it takes to get to the other side
Because the bottom line is that I’ve done it and I know that you can do it too.

Dayna Martin, has flown all the way from America with her four children to share her experiences as an international unschooling advocate.

In this interview below she shares what the unschooling philosophy is, and why she believes in its power to change the way we parent and the world.
 
To find out more about unschooling, Dayna and PPNLC, simply click on the video below or on any of the links below the video.
Click here to buy tickets for the PPNLC event this weekend
Click here to visit Dayna Martin’s website
Click here to buy her book Radical Unschooling, A Revolution Has Begun
Click here to buy Dumbing us Down by John Taylor Gatto
With love
Kim xo

Power that lies hidden within you

It was about 3am in the early hours of Sunday morning.  

I woke up (probably needing to pee) and heard the rain falling in a steady downpour onto the sloping roof outside our bedroom window.

I love the rain.

It reminds me of Irish summer holidays in my Aunt’s caravan where it rained more than the sun shone and we would play endless games of pick up sticks, listening to it drumming on the thin roof above our heads.

I listened to the rain; mingled with the steady breathing of Ryan and Jack on either side of me, and Corey on a mattress on the floor.

My husband and eldest and youngest sons, all sleeping soundly; cocooned by the love and protection of our family bond.

And as I lay there, listening to rain and breath, my thoughts turned to the places in the world where mothers are lying in fear.

The places where men are beheading children and putting their heads on stakes in playgrounds.

The places where families are fleeing, mothers and fathers are terrified, and lives are being ripped apart.

And I realised again how truly blessed I am to have the opportunity to live the life that I do.

A life that has never known true fear.  

A life where I get to keep my babies close to me every single day and night.

A life where I can sleep knowing that my children will never be ripped from me and beheaded in the street.

A life that is safe.

And before I drifted back to sleep I reaffirmed my commitment to help eradicate the world of violence by eradicating it in myself.

To remember that every act of ill intent towards another, whether in thought or action, is in fact, violence.

To remember that every time I commit an act of violence I am giving permission for it to exist in the world.

To continue on my path of peaceful, gentle parenting (no matter how hard, or how much resistance I face from well intentioned friends and family) for the sake of not only my own children, but for all children; everywhere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How I instantly became a better parent

 Being a traditional authoritarian parent is exhausting.

I know this because I used to be one.  

I’m lying in bed with my daughter asleep beside me and the kids asleep in another bed.  

I was quietly reflecting on the day just past and it occurred to me how harmonious my life has become, since I stopped being my children’s boss.

I didn’t realise how exhausting it was trying to get my kids to do the things I wanted them to do.

It takes so much emotional energy to be the “one in charge” every day, because being in charge requires you to take away the other person’s freedom.

We don’t question it, or even think if it’s right or wrong.  It’s what our parents did, and it’s what we do too.  

Kids NEED to be told what to do… don’t they?

Children are not capable of choosing wisely for themselves… are they?

Given half the chance, kids would eat chocolate all day… wouldn’t they?

Actually no, not in my experience.

Given the freedom to choose for themselves, children make healthy choices, based on what their body or mind needs at any given moment.

They haven’t developed external rules about what’s good and bad.  

They have an instinctive trust in their bodies.

A trust that is slowly stripped away, layer by layer, by the message of the well-intended (but mis-guided) adults in their lives.

A message that tells them that they are here to be controlled and that they cannot be trusted to make good choices.

Sadly, what the parent usually means is “You cannot be trusted to make the choices that I need you to make to make me feel okay”.

Next time you feel the urge to control your child, I encourage you to stop and think for a minute.  

I encourage you to think about whether you are controlling out of a genuine danger to the child, or just to make yourself feel better.

As usual, would love to hear your thoughts.  Why do you control?  Is it possible to be your child’s boss AND friend?

Please leave a comment. 

Love Kim 

 

 

 

 

 

why school hurts children

When I am in a crowd of people, especially mothers, the way I choose to parent is very interesting and brings up a lot of questions.

People always want to know why I chose to go down this path.

The truth is that it was a journey that started many years ago, bringing me to this point.

But there was a particular incident that pushed me over the edge and propelled me into taking action.

Before Christmas I wanted to find out the boys’ thoughts on school before I made a decision about whether or not I would take them out.

I asked Corey my eldest what he liked about school and what he didn’t like.

He said he loved playing with his friends, but that he hated the actual school work.  Kai said the same.

I asked them if they liked their teachers and they both said they did.  

I asked if their teachers ever got angry and they both said they did.  

So I probed a little deeper.

Corey went on to explain how his teacher got “really really angry” at a particular boy (who was obviously very playful and  found it hard to be confined by the controlled environment of the classroom).

As he described his teacher’s “extreme anger” (which was using a stern tone to control the kids) his voice choked a little and he stopped talking, blinking rapidly.

I put my hand on his knee and said “That must’ve been really scary for you.  Please don’t hold it in and cry if you need to.”

To my horror, he burst into gut wrenching, full body sobs, letting out all the pent up emotion he’d been holding onto throughout the year and finally finding release for his emotions.  He cried for a full 15 minutes, until he literally ran out steam.

I felt so guilty I couldn’t breathe.  

What kind of mother would send their precious, 8 year old, baby boy into an environment that he wasn’t emotionally capable of dealing with?

It was my job to protect him!

What on earth was I doing?  

What could possibly make this kind of violence towards children, worthwhile?

In that moment I knew that protecting my innocent children from the violence of the world was worth more to me than any education ever would be.

I didn’t know what on earth I was going to do instead.  

But I knew I would never again (knowingly) place them in an environment that used fear based control to achieve it’s goal.

In my opinion school sacrifices the human being for the education.  

It makes education the most important value, over and above the human beings it seeks to educate.

If we fail to start to recognise this, as mothers and citizens of the world, nothing will ever change.  We need to wake up and realise what’s really going on.  

Would love to hear your thoughts and comments.  All constructive debate is welcomed from both sides.  But if you post a hateful comment, I’ll delete it.

 

 

Overcome Fear and Self Doubt

I had been working yesterday afternoon on some new Internet projects and hadn’t seen the kids much (they were with the girls who help me at home).

I’d missed them.

So when I arrived home I bounced in the door and got them all excited to go to the pool for a swim.  I quickly grabbed their pyjamas and snacks, and bundled them all in the car.

On my way Ryan called me, and I enrolled him into meeting us there too.

We try to swim at least twice a week and it’s one of their favourite activities.  Having daddy there made it extra special.

After we’d had leisurely showers, snacks and giggles we piled into the car again and drove to the local chip shop for tea.

As I sat there munching my chips with my car full of happy little people, it hit me how astoundingly easy-going my life is.

It was 7.30pm and I hadn’t one single thought about making lunches for the morning or getting the kids home to bed for fear that they would be tired in the morning.

There were no negative feelings about how child tiredness would make the morning routine harder if they didn’t get enough sleep.

There was no reason why we couldn’t sit there outside the chip shop, for as long as we wanted.  We had no one to answer to, no school to get up for and no bedtime routine.

There was only pure, unadulterated freedom.  

Every day I let go just a little bit more.  

Free from the constraints of my own fear induced control patterns, I find myself relaxing into my new life.

My heart is lighter, my tone more loving, my nature more forgiving and my patience longer.

I am grateful that I finally had the courage to go after what I believed was right.

And I am grateful to all of you, who share in my journey.

Unschooler or not, what are your most grateful moments?  Please share in the comments below.

 

Eating, Learning, Sex

Scientists claim that there are three things that stimulate the pleasure centres of the brain:

1. Eating
2. Sex
3. Learning

Put it in simple terms, if your child is immersed in something they enjoy, and they are not eating or having sex, it is pretty safe to say they are learning.

Radical unschooling is based on the principles of using your child’s passions as a springboard for learning.

Children remember that which makes them happy. (AKA Learning)

I see myself as a private investigator of happiness. As soon as my kids show an interest in or a passion for something, I make a note to help them have more of it.

Using these principles of internal motivation and happiness promotion, our weekly schedule now looks like this:

Monday morning:
Corey, Kai, Maya – Piano & Drumming lessons followed by a browse in the local bookshop where they can choose one book each to buy, and a hot chocolate in the Loganberry Delicatessen.

Monday afternoon:
I take all kids to our tennis club where Corey has a hit with his friend and I play tennis games with the other kids.

Tuesday morning:
The boys spend time at home painting, modelling, building lego and playing Xbox, while Maya and Jack go to the museum.

Tuesday afternoon:
Corey plays squad tennis for an hour while the other kids play at home.

Wednesday:
This is our chill out day where the kids rarely change out of their pyjamas and spend time playing at home. What they like to play depends greatly on what they are into at that time.

For example, Maya has just come through an intense period of crafting where she spent hours on end making arts and crafts. Corey is also in an intense Minecraft learning period and has spent hours researching strategy on YouTube then applying it to his game.

The boys are also planning to launch their first business “The Belfast Lego Club” and have been building a lego city as props for their club. I’ve loved watching this creation take place!

Thursday morning:
Maya has an ice skating lesson and the boys have a private tennis lesson. Jack usually goes to the park or an indoor play facility.

Thursday afternoon:
Spent cooking, baking and playing at home.

Friday morning:
Corey, Kai and Maya come with me to work at the local animal sanctuary. Here we walk dogs and play with young animals that need socialised for rehoming. Often the kids have to clean out the animal pens and care for the pets.

They have also learned how to respect and read animals and how ready they are for human handling which, has given them a tremendous sense of “other”.

I think that kids can relate better to small animals than they can to adults, simply because they are smaller than them.

Learning which animals need more time, patience and care has taught them to see a world outside of themselves and develop respect and empathy for other living creatures. This has really been a beautiful process to watch.