“We live without subjects, in a world where life is not separated into neat little pieces but instead swirls and flows together in ways we could never design.” – Rue Kream
I love this quote. It paints the perfect picture. Yes! This is what unschooling is all about! It saddens me that so many can not even imagine it. But, that’s why it’s important to share. Life can be so different!
Allow me to share a day in our life without school. A beautiful swirly ordinary day…
The girls start the morning snuggling and watching some TV. They each have breakfast whenever they’re ready, making it themselves or asking me depending on what they feel like that day.
We have no plans today and Miss 9 is excited because she has things to do! She’s working on a project that she plans to share here on the blog, but it’s top secret for now. I can’t wait until she’s ready to post about it. It’s so fun and will be a way for her to share her passions and connect with other kids around the world.
She’s been working so hard and is getting really good at typing now. She used to only write or type small amounts at a time before becoming tired. Suddenly she is now writing pages at a time. She has written so many plans for this project and done so much typing. It’s really exciting for her now to be able to bring her ideas to life by herself. It happened in her own time, when she was ready. There is no benefit to rushing these things.
After everyone has had breakfast and woken up, they all venture out of the lounge room. One of the first things they do is check on our little guests. We are raising Monarch butterflies at the moment. We’ve done this before and the kids really love it. Me too! It’s so amazing to witness. This morning we discover one caterpillar is hanging upside down getting ready to transform into a chrysalis sometime today. We’ll be keeping an eye on it!
Miss 9 also checks in with the stick insects! She loves all things nature and is really enjoying looking after them. She collects their food and mists the leaves with water every day. She’s hoping we get some eggs too. We got them from Minibeast Wildlife online HERE, and they came with an enclosure and everything we needed to know! Such a great thing for them to experience and we would definitely recommend!
It’s still only about 8.30am. We’re early risers. Now I clean up the kitchen, do some washing, and all that fun stuff, and the girls play. I put on some music and they all dance together. They all LOVE to dance and make time for it every day.
Miss 4 has a ballet lesson this morning so we all get ready to take her. She loves ballet, just like all her sisters. Just because we unschool, doesn’t mean they don’t do classes if they want to. The difference is that it is 100% their choice and they can stop at any time. And honestly, that makes all the difference. It is very obvious when children are there because they want to be, and when they are being forced.
When we get home Miss 9 tells me that I can go and do anything I need to do because she is going to make everyone a sandwich. We don’t force them to help, yet they are helpful and thoughtful. Because children are, if you let them be.
The girls eat their sandwiches outside and notice a spider has made a web in the back yard. Then I remember that I have a new app on my phone for identifying Australian spiders. We haven’t used it yet and the girls are very keen to give it a try. It’s called Spidentify.
Turns out the app is really awesome and so simple to use that the kids can do it themselves. It takes you through 9 different questions to help you narrow down what type of spider you’ve found.
They answer questions about where the spider was found, the shape of it’s abdomen, leg length, colour, markings, features, and behavior.
In the end the app picked the exact spider! A Painted St Andrews Cross spider.
We had a read through all the info about our neighbour and then they were keen to try and find more spiders to identify.
Miss 9 found another web in a tree and got to work figuring out what it was.
After some more play outside they all wander in and Miss 7 decides to do some painting. Everyone else follows and starts on their own things.
We have all the art materials easily accessible so that anyone of any age can get whatever they want without waiting for someone else’s help. Miss 2 loves the tempera paints most of all.
Miss 4 wants to do a painting of a caterpillar and sets herself up with a book to look at while she paints.
Miss 7 is doing a spider picture and tells me a story about a Dad and Mum spiders, and their babies, and which ones are the big sisters.
Miss 9 works on a painting that she will use for the project she is working on.
After lunch I decide to get dinner ready early because we will be out late with more dance lessons. Miss 9 asks if she can make it instead. She is very interested in cooking right now and is watching the current season of MasterChef every night. After every step she cleans off the scraps and tells me that “on MasterChef they said it’s important to have a clean workspace”.
Miss 7 is wondering what to do while I’m busy helping with the cooking. She browses her things and decides to make some circuits. She loves this kit.
The little ones keep interrupting and Miss 9 is getting frustrated so I set them up a little picnic in the play room. They think it’s the best fun ever! After this they happily play many imaginary games together for over an hour.
Cooking is such a great example of how real life learning occurs. Miss 9 is measuring, weighing, adding, subtracting, learning about temperature, time, and more.
She reads the recipe herself and asks me for help when needed. It’s so absurd to think of teaching these things in isolation. There is so much meaning in learning from real life!
The girls spend the rest of the afternoon playing inside and outside, until it’s time for some more dance lessons. Miss 7 has a ballet lesson, and Miss 9 has ballet and tap.
When you unschool, you go everywhere together! We all wait in the car while Miss 7 has her lesson. The little ones pass the time giggling and climbing around. Miss 9 and I read a book.
Miss 9 has two lessons in a row so we have time to come home for a while. Miss 7 plays some Minecraft with a friend.
The little girls ask me to help build a marble run and they play with that for a while. Their Dad is home now and he starts getting dinner ready.
I duck out by myself to get Miss 9 from ballet and we all have dinner together. The sneaky caterpillar changes into a chrysalis while we’re having dinner and we miss it!
After dinner we head outside to see the International Space Station. They love doing this. I get emails whenever it’s a good time to see it from where we live, and let them know.
The girls all have showers and brush teeth before settling down to watch MasterChef. Miss 2 asks to go to bed at 7.30pm and falls asleep within 2 minutes. The other girls go to sleep just after 8pm. We have no bedtimes and they are free to listen to their own bodies. This means they don’t fight bedtime and actually look forward to it.
And that’s it! A peaceful home day where the kids played all day. And people say that’s not learning. Luckily we know better hey?