Hmmm, that was really not my favourite day! We did have a nice trip out this morning - well, I could have done without the SatNav running out of battery five minutes down the road when I didn't have a clue where we were going, but hey ho - eventually we reached our destination and joined in a craft club with some other HE families. DS1 & 2 did some T-shirt painting and glass painting, while DS3 played with playdough and drew pictures. DS1 was starting to chill a bit in a smaller group, although DS2 was still quite uncomfortable around others. Anyway, that was the good bit of the day. Once we got home I dutifully stuck to my plan of letting them do whatever they liked - just to see what would happen. No surprises that they made a beeline for the Wii. I have to admit though - after 3 1/2 hours I lost my bottle. The play had degenerated to petty squabbles, and I got to the point where I couldn't bear any more whining and fighting. Of course, once I turned the Wii off (having given them time to finish what they were doing), the arguing instantly increased as they had nothing immediate to distract themselves with, so it was then a quick hunt for something to occupy them. DS1 filled in his weather chart and then played with his Star Wars fighter pods, DS3 wanted Reading Eggs, and DS2 mooched for a while before Mummy found his chocolate factory - winning suggestion of the day! Obviously DS3's Reading Eggs is yet another computer game, but at least they weren't fighting over it - and I was trying to let them do what they liked :/
So, lesson learned from today: no more unlimited games console time! In fact, I think tomorrow will be a nintendo-free zone altogether, and we'll see what that brings. The home PC will be available - although as always they will have to take it in turns on that, so no-one will be able to spend 3 1/2 hours on it in one sitting! Even if we did ever end up 'unschooling', there will be boundaries in place - which will at least concern games-console time. So far though, the experiment seems to be steering me towards the philosophy neatly described by a friend as "kind of unschooling/autonomous - but with gentle encouragement with maths and english!"