Freedom to be a "Night Owl": Jan Hunt's Interview


Jan Hunt lives in Oregon, where, according to The National Audubon Society, there are 11 species of owls.

But they forgot about a special type of owl, the human night owl. Jan's son is a member of this species and he thrived when given the freedom to homeschool because he did not need to stick to an arbitrary school schedule.

Along with knowing a lot about night owls, Jan also knows a lot about children and respectful parenting. She runs The Natural Child Project, an interesting site where you can get all sorts of information on the topic.

I'm not a night owl and I'm working on this post quite late so I'm feeling really tired. I'm going to go to bed now but feel free to stick around and read this and other interviews. Just do it quietly, okay?

1. How long have you been homeschooling (or if finished, how long did you homeschool)?

My son Jason unschooled from the beginning; he's now 28 so in a way we're still unschooling.

2. One of the main benefits of homeschooling is the freedom and flexibility it allows. Can you give us a few examples of how this freedom and flexibility benefited you (your family)?

Jason has been a "night owl" since birth; having to get up early for school would have been really stressful for him - and for us! By unschooling we were able to honor his biological rhythms.

Schools assume that every child is (or should be) on the same daily rhythm, even though it's common knowledge there is considerable variation. It has also been found that disruption of the circadian clock is linked with cancer and other serious diseases, so following his own inner timetable has very possibly helped him to stay healthy.

We've often taken family vacations in the fall just after school starts, so we avoid the crowds, and can take advantage of off-season rates.

Jason used to love it when school started because it meant the playgrounds would be free except for other unschoolers - and they were the nicest kids to play with!

But most of all, Jason has had the freedom to learn what he wanted to learn, when he was ready to learn it, and to do so in his own way. He now has no concept of something being "educational" and thus boring. Everything interests him!


3. Another benefit of homeschooling is the fun factor. Can you give us a few examples of some especially fun times you had as a result of homeschooling?

Every day has been fun! There's nothing more fun than watching a child learn about the world! We could hear his first word, watch his first step, and be there for a million other "firsts". What a delight!

4. We all have funny experiences while homeschooling. Can you share one of yours with us?

A neighbor, who had a son Jason's age in school, once asked me in the spring if I was "giving Jason the summer off". The idea was so preposterous it really made me laugh! How would I even do that? I'd have to say, "OK, Jason, no more questions until September!"

1 comment:

Dawn said...

"No more questions until September"... I like that! Too funny!
I have learned so much from reading Jan's articles found on her website... Thank you for sharing her interview!