The Reality of Unschooling: A Day in the Life

“Children belong with their families. Nothing is more important than living in connection with the ones you love and sharing life’s experiences. We can’t help but learn as we live full and interesting lives together.” – Rue Kream

As unschoolers that’s what we do, live life together. It is as simple as that. The world is interesting and children are interested.

It can be difficult to imagine if you’ve never seen or experienced a childhood that doesn’t include school. And so, a glimpse into one of our days…

The Reality of Unschooling: A Day in the Life

We wake up slowly and those who are first up usually watch some TV quietly until the others wake. Then there’s breakfast and saying goodbye to Dad as he heads off to work. Usually, the girls will then start some kind of play, and I will clean up the kitchen and anything else.

This morning the older two girls are playing a game of ‘spies’. They’ve dressed in black and are setting up cameras around the house. They get the laptop out and use that in their game for a bit, pretending to monitor the activities of the house. Then Miss 8 decides to watch a documentary instead. She asks for help typing ‘David Attenborough’ into YouTube and finds one about Africa. She gets her animal book and draws and writes things down as she watches. She tells me about wildebeest migration, soda lakes, stampedes, lion hunting, and many other things.

The Reality of Unschooling: A Day in the Life

Miss 6 is annoyed that the spy game is over. She wanted to keep playing. She decides to read me some of a book she has been making her way through instead. Both the older girls are big into reading at the moment and are practising every day. Miss 6 seems to be picking it up quickly. It’s interesting watching the differences between them and how reading has evolved. She finishes the book and is really happy about it!

The two little girls are busy playing their own games… dolls, tea parties, etc.

The Reality of Unschooling: A Day in the Life

They all have some morning tea and Miss 6 decides to do some painting and drawing, using a book for inspiration.

The Reality of Unschooling: A Day in the Life

Miss 8 also decides on some drawing, planning a house she wants to build in Minecraft later this afternoon.

Everyone is hungry so we all have lunch together.

The Reality of Unschooling: A Day in the Life

Miss 6 then decides to do some more work on a stop-motion movie she’s making. She uses some clay to make dinosaur bones she needs for it. She has set up the plans she has drawn in front of her.

The Reality of Unschooling: A Day in the Life

The little girls build a tower together with magnatiles.

The Reality of Unschooling: A Day in the Life

Miss 8 now decides to do some reading from her current book and I sit next to her and help with words she doesn’t know while watching the others.

The Reality of Unschooling: A Day in the Life

Things then swap over and the little ones play with some clay…

The Reality of Unschooling: A Day in the Life

…while the big girls build together.

The Reality of Unschooling: A Day in the Life

At about 2pm Miss 2 is ready for a nap, messy clay hands and all. I feed her to sleep while the other girls play a game of robots. When I come out they hand me a note saying ‘We love you Mum’ and they have cleaned up the whole house and swept while pretending to be ‘cleaner bots’.

The Reality of Unschooling: A Day in the Life

Late in the afternoon the big girls decide to play some Minecraft. They often chat with their friends and play together.

The Reality of Unschooling: A Day in the Life

Sun shower! The little girls jump and giggle in the rain.

The Reality of Unschooling: A Day in the Life

We go to check the mail and Miss 2 brings the pastels to do some drawing on the steps out the front.

The Reality of Unschooling: A Day in the Life

The Reality of Unschooling: A Day in the Life

The rest of the afternoon is spent playing, mostly outside. Riding bikes, jumping on the trampoline, playing imaginary games…

The Reality of Unschooling: A Day in the Life

…and some risky play. They make up a game with the tire swing where one person swings it really high and the others have to run out of the way before they get hit.

They play until dark and then we have dinner and showers. I sit down to type up this post and the girls chill out with some TV.

The Reality of Unschooling: A Day in the Life

They run to get me excitedly when ‘Ben and Holly’ comes on because that’s my favourite kids’ show and I take a break to go watch it with them.

The rest of the evening will be quietly hanging out, maybe reading some books, watching TV, or playing quiet games. Everyone will choose sleep when ready, usually around 8pm.

And that’s it! We live together, we enjoy ourselves. We love it.

How was your day?

 

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2 thoughts on “The Reality of Unschooling: A Day in the Life

  1. Sound’s very similar to our life! Typical day for us wake up slow, have breakfast, take care of the foster pups we have. Got a book out about the desert life cycle and talked about it for a bit. Then the kids wanted to watch Odd Squad. At 10 we headed to the community garden with our homeschool group and painted kindness rocks to hide throughout our park. Played for a couple of hours with friends. Came home for lunch, then my oldest got to work on her newest activity book. While the others played with the puppies. Rode bikes, jumped on the tramp, talked, read books, watched tv until dinner, then bath and bed!

  2. Thank you for your blog! My sister I schools her 3 boys (the oldest is now attending CalTech, the 2nd is about to graduate) and I am just now exploring the option of unschooling.

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