Unschooling: A Day In The Life

We’ve had such a lovely holiday over Christmas and New Year, and a birthday in there too with a little someone turning FIVE! Today it was back to the usual weekday routine, and I decided to document it! I wanted to capture what out life looks like as we start 2019. And for anyone else who is thinking of opting out of the school system this year I hope it’s a helpful glimpse into an alternative.

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As soon as we woke up Miss 9 said ‘Daddy I wish you didn’t have to go back to work’ and then asked if she could read to him first. Afterwards we had breakfast and the girls played in the bedrooms for a while making up songs and doing performances for me. I cleaned up the kitchen and got ready for the day.

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At about 9am we started our Project Time (you can read more about what that is here). For Christmas the girls got some of the KiwiCo crates from their grandparents. The little girls have the Kiwi crate, and the big girls get the Tinker crate.

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The older girls were capable of following the instructions and doing theirs completely solo, while I helped the little ones. They made a catapult and really enjoyed doing it together!

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The little one’s box was based on the human body and there were three different things to do (we only did two today). First they made a stethoscope and went around listening to everyone’s heartbeats.

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Next they sewed and stuffed some felt organs and stuck them onto a big poster! They really enjoyed having their own thing to do.

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Everyone was getting hungry by this time and we went outside to share some morning tea.

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While we ate I read the poem of the day from our favourite book of poetry. Highly recommend this one, it’s just beautiful!

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After morning tea we went back inside because it was much too hot already. The big girls decided to do their Big Life Journal for the week. This week was about making a difference. We are loving this journal and having some great conversations because of it.

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The little girls finished up sewing the last of the organs from their box and then everyone played with the stethoscope and talked about all the organs on the poster. This then turned into a game of doctors and all four of them played this game for a couple of hours together. They each had a role: Dr, nurse, patient, and receptionist. There was a waiting room, front desk, xray room, and treatment room. They made xrays by looking at the bones on the poster and copying them with white oil pastel onto black paper. When someone would have an xray they would then draw over the white with black pastel to create a ‘break’. I love watching their imaginary play and the ideas they come up with!

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People eventually drifted away from the Dr game when they got hungry and we had lunch together. Afterwards there were new ideas. Miss 9 made a grey wolf sculpture out of toilet rolls and painted it.

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Miss 5 asked for some help with a solar powered solar system she had gotten for Christmas. I helped her put it together and then she painted it. She was so proud when she took it outside and the sun really made the planets move around the sun!

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After some playing outside, some more Dr play, and watching an animal show on TV, we had some cleaning up time. I asked them for some help and we turned on some loud dancey music and all got it done together pretty quickly.

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It was now much cooler outside so they drifted out to play and I sat on the mat outside with them. The older two came over to read to me while the little ones jumped on the trampoline.

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Miss 5 decided to join us and write in her notebook. She writes all the time lately: scribbles, letters, and numbers.

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Miss 7 decides she is done reading for now and wants to paint instead. Everyone else decides they want to do the same. They all paint different things and want me to guess. Miss 9 is painting about The Land of Stories, which is our current book for book club with friends. The girls are really loving it. Miss 7 says it’s the most enjoyable book she’s ever listened to. We chat for ages about the story, characters, and what they think will happen.

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After painting for a while someone suggests a game of Sleeping Queens and everyone wants to play. I help Miss 3.

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Daddy comes home and everyone runs to talk to him at once about what they have been doing and ask about his day. Then they’re back outside to all play some grip ball together while he gets dinner on the BBQ.

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Miss 7 asks to help with dinner tonight.

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More reading! Miss 9 is going through a stage of wanting to read a lot and is asking me regularly to listen to her. She wants to get faster at reading. Miss 7 asks to use my camera to take a picture of us.

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Miss 5 is back doing some writing and I noticed that she’s writing ‘Axolotl’ which she’s copied from the front page of the notebook. She’s super pleased with herself.

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Everyone decides they want a part in helping with dinner. Miss 5 sets the table.

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Miss 3 serves out the veggies.

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At dinner Miss 9 grabs the conversation cards and asks for a question. We have an interesting talk!

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After dinner everyone has showers and suddenly the little ones ask to go to bed. The big girls aren’t ready and decide to draw while listening to The Land of Stories on Audible. Miss 9 has come up with an idea of writing comic books to sell at our next unschool market. After the book finishes they both keep drawing and she plans characters for her stories.

And that’s it! A day in our life! What did your day look like?

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