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

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

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 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

How To Raise Free Thinking Entrepreneurs

18 months ago I was running a company that took up an astounding amount of my time.  

I wanted to create something that would provide me with more leverage so I started researching online how to write an eBook.  In the process I discovered the world of Internet Marketing.

That day the flame of discovery ignited.

I started to write a daily blog, often getting up at 5am to do it before the kids woke up.

All my conversation was about my new journey, and my family became quite sick of me.

I couldn’t wait to get the kids into bed at night so I could have uninterrupted time to trawl the internet gathering information.  

Some nights I stayed up well past 2am because I couldn’t bear to tear myself away from what I was learning.

I was like a woman possessed.  Every fibre in my body was yearning to learn more, study more, read more… I couldn’t get enough!

Two years later, almost to the day, I own and run the web’s first professional body for Work at Home Mums.  

I have interviewed and been interviewed by, some of the web’s leading internet marketeers and am considered, by my peers to be an Internet Marketing Expert.

My eldest son Corey (8) loves computers and has an amazing capacity to concentrate for long periods of time.

His current loves are Minecraft and Lego Marvel Superheroes as he’s interested in anything that requires strategy to win.

His tennis coach told us, when he was five years old that Corey’s sole intent was to beat his opponent.  He wasn’t concerned about hitting the ball hard or fast, it was all about using strategy to win the point.

Strategy is a natural strength for him and computer games is how he loves to use it.

Corey is immersed in learning about Minecraft in the same way I was immersed with Internet marketing.  He spends the best part of every day watching, playing, reading and researching everything he can about these games.

This is how human beings learn.

When something resonates with us in such a way that it ignites a passion, we focus with intensity and laser beam focus.

School based learning does not tap into a human being’s natural learning process.  What schools seem to fail to realise is that reading, writing, math and science are tools to get us what we want.

The are the effects of learning, not the cause of it.

Learning math does not cause me to be able to learn other things.  Learning about things I love, causes me to learn math as an effect.  

I have watched my son’s reading, writing and comprehension explode in the three weeks that he has been given free rein to pursue his passions.  

I have watched him do his work with diligence, persistence and character.

I have witnessed him go to bed late and get up early, so intent was he to complete the next level.  A few hours sleep was only a necessary tool that night to help him achieve his goal.

I am excited for the potential I see in my eight year old to lead a life that is filled with joy, purpose and passion.

I only discovered it at 32 and haven’t done too badly.

I can’t even imagine what the future may hold for this free thinking entrepreneur.

What are your thoughts on school based learning?  Have you seen your child struggle to connect with what he’s learning at school?

Leave a comment and let me know.

Love Kim xo

 

 

3 Things I Learned In The First 2 Weeks of Passion Schooling My Kids

When we first embarked on the journey of conscious parenting, all of my rules about parenting came roaring to the surface.

Here are three that I discovered:

Belief:  If young children are in bed late (i.e. past 9pm) they will be exhausted the next day.  

Reality:  My children seem to need around 10 hours sleep.  If they go to bed at 10pm, they get up at 8am.  If they go to bed at 11pm, they get up at 9am.  Never at any point have they lived up to my internal idea of “exhausted”.  

Belief:  Suffering is a normal part of a child’s life. (i.e. Awwww do I have to do that/go there/have that/eat that/see that…. etc.

Reality:  When children are not being controlled all day and are free to explore their own passions, suffering doesn’t exist.  

Why would they choose to suffer over something they love and are internally motivated to do?

Belief:  When a child is throwing a “tantrum” or expressing a very strong emotion, you should ignore them until it passes.

Reality: Instead of ignoring my kids when they are having an emotional meltdown I have started kneeling down in front of them and wrapping my arms around them (if that’s what they wanted).

My aim is to show them that I’m trying to understand what they want because their needs are important to me.  

In essence, I look for the need underneath the behaviour.  

When you look for the need (the cause) of the emotion with love, patience and understanding, the “tantrum” is over in a quarter of the time.

I’d love to know… what are your beliefs that you’re scared to challenge?

Can you relate to mine, or have these always been normal practices for you?

Please leave a comment and let me know.

With love and deep appreciation, as always 

Kim xo

 

Happiness is a journey, not a destination

Probably the biggest change to our life in the last two weeks as been giving the kids freedom to choose their own bedtime.

This was a really tough one for me.

I’ve always been very controlling over bedtimes, believing that kids needed to be in bed at a certain time in order for them to be well rested.  

When then were going to school every day, this was true.  

School takes a lot of emotional fortitude for a child.  

They’re in a controlled environment with a lot of different personalities, and so it takes mental energy for them to work out and follow the rules.

Not to mention the horrors of peer pressure and the threat of bullying.

Survival takes energy and so rest is essential if we are not to put undue stress on their immature systems.

Since my kids do not go to school anymore, they don’t have these kinds of pressures to deal with.

Our days are spent going on fun outings, eating food they love, learning, exploring and feeling deeply loved.

Their average bedtime has moved to around 10.30pm, (probably because that’s when I usually go to bed) and they sleep until about 9am (can’t say I’m complaining about this part!).

I’m noticing that they’re starting to be more aware of their feelings as a result of not being controlled.

Because they’re not following a rule, they can tune into their themselves so much easier, as they’re not tuning in full time, to their external environment.

Last night I was snuggling in my bed with Corey and Kai at around 10pm.  Kai had just had a bath and we were watching videos on YouTube.

Suddenly Kai sat up and said “Mummy, isn’t this lovely?”

I smiled and realised that yes, it was lovely.

He continued “Tonight has been great; having a hot bath, a piece of toast and now snuggling here with you and Corey.  I love you mummy.”

Tonight wasn’t any different than any other night in his life, except that it was 10.15pm.  But I realised how everything he had done all night had been entirely his choice.  

And that freedom must’ve felt wonderful.

I’ve also realised how easy it is to be a mum, when I’m not controlling my kids all day.

Easier for me, easier for them.  

I love my life.

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