So I've undertaken a personal experiment based partially on my observations of my two year old and some of what I've been reading on some radical unschooling blogs. There's also a bit of being tired of nightly bed time fights. Here's my plan.
I've removed bedtimes from my kids and put them in charge of their own bedtimes. Yes, I know this sounds insane. I expect that the first few nights to a week will be filled with late nights as they explore their boundaries and see if I plan to stay true to my word. The rest I'm uncertain of, but I hope they will start to become more conscientious and start listening to their own bodies.
This is where my youngest daughter inspires the theory. She's always told me when she's tired and wants to go sleep. I've let her determine when she's hungry, tired, etc so she is very keyed into what her body needs. The other two started as the same until I began to regiment them with bed times and meal times.
Why do we do this? Most of us have to fit into a schedule that society mandates. It becomes convenient, even necessary, for everyone to do things at the same time. However, as a homeschooler we have a lot more freedom in our schedule and can alter them as we see fit. There will be times when we have scheduled activities that require certain times we must be conform to a schedule. Part of their education may be to put themselves in bed earlier in anticipation of those times of an early engagement. There is a valuable learning experience in this.
Rather than going on to college and staying up way to late because of new found freedom, as I did, they may go on with a better sense of direction. Less rebellious against previous rules imposed on them, and more deliberate in their lives. Let childhood be the time that they experiment and make errors allowing for better decisions as an adult.
At the conclusion of this writing the children have decided to go to bed this night (morning?) at 1am. As a result I apologize for any grammatical or spelling errors. It is late for me and I am tired.