I go back and forth with self-discipline. It’s a good thing to have, I think, and yet if I go too heavy on myself, there’s a part of me that rebels. I think what I’ve settled on is a flexible mental list of things I’d like to accomplish each day. The list includes yoga, other forms of exercise, healthy eating, my daily Tarot reading, housework, writing, and the like. But if I don’t get to all of it in one particular day, no big deal.

Dryst has been playing a lot of X-Box since he first got one, nearly six months ago. At times he’s mentioned that he thought he was getting too much “screen time,” though he does love playing online with friends (some who are friends he already knows, and others he’s met online). Over the past few weeks, he’s been playing lacrosse, and he decided he wanted to scale back on some of his academic pursuits during the lacrosse season. That made sense to me, and since our unschooling goes on year-round, it’s not like we have to pack a certain amount of math and writing into a set schedule.

Today Dryst went to work with his Dad, doing some landscaping and running errands for the landscaping business. When he got home, he took care of some chores around the house, then came up to me and said proudly “Mom, I did great on my first day of not playing video games until after 5pm.” This was the first I’d heard of it. “Cool,” I said, “is this something you just decided on?” “Yep. I’m going to do that every day unless it’s raining or I don’t feel well or something.” “Well, since you’re done with lacrosse, let me know if you want to sit down for some studying in the afternoons again.” “OK, sounds good.”

That was it. Nothing imposed from external sources. No coercion. No guilt. Just a bit of self-inspired, self-motivated…self-discipline. I love this child-led education stuff.

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