[email protected]

Lmanathome@... writes:

> <<Do the rest of you guys feel a formal mealtime is important?>>

I used to worry about this, until I gradually realized that we do eat
together (or at least in close proximity) all the time, and it's great, though
I wouldn't call it formal. Or "mealtime" exactly. :)

I think the set family dinner may have sprung from the same schoolish
context context as tv limits.

In a schooling family, especially one with traditionally employed
parents, what other regular family time is even possible, much less likely? It
takes a major commitment by each family member, maybe sacrifice of other
enjoyable plans and choices, to manage formal dinnertime together regularly.

Imo this is similar to the schoolish idea of screen time as an
unacceptable interference with homework, or with the tiny remaining slivers of
afternoon into which schooled children must shoehorn all outdoor activity and
pursuit of individual interests.

But in our unschooling, we've found such unnecessary contrivance
isn't, well, necessary!

All the worthwhile goals of formal mealtime -- togetherness, parental
modeling, companionable conversations and of course sufficient ingesting of
varied and nutritious foodstuffs <g> -- can be achieved by unschoolers *without*
the actual mealtime, just as we can achieve the goals of healthy outdoor
activity and plenty of time for pursuits of interest without limiting tv.

I remain astonished (after a decade or more, depending on how I count
it) at what falls naturally into place, if a family can just break the
gravitational pull of "school" and chart its own path through time and space. JJ

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]