An Unschooling Day in the Life
“There’s not much typical about life, and life is what we do. No two lives are identical, and since unschooling is based firmly in the life you lead, we can’t expect any two unschooling families to look the same.” – Rue Kream
Keeping that in mind, a little peek into our day…
The day started with all the girls snuggled up on the lounge watching some TV until everyone was up. When it warmed up they had some breakfast, got dressed, and drifted off to do different things. Miss 7 is currently reading her first chapter book, Harry Potter, and loving it, so that’s what she does. The little girls (4 and 3) are playing together, and Miss 9 is outside jumping on the trampoline and practicing acro.
Miss 7 decides she wants to make Harry Potter’s wand and finds a stick that will work. She wants it to be just like his and looks up the part in the book where it says how long it is meant to be, measuring out 11 inches.
She finds a saw and cuts the stick to the right length, then paints it dark brown.
Usually whenever someone is busily doing something at the art table, others join in with their own things. I love this part of the day and make it my time where I am 100% available and able to help them with anything. I can’t be this for everyone 24/7, that’s just not practical, but I find having at least one time a day where I am totally there is really helpful. They love it too and it has become part of our rhythm on home days. Today, Miss 9 has decided to do a drawing challenge from a book we have that is all about art mixed with maths. It’s called ‘This is Not a Maths Book‘. It’s got lots of really cool art techniques and shows how maths and art are so connected. This morning she’s chosen to do a page on 3D art, learning about the horizon and vanishing point in pictures.
The little ones ask to do an activity from the Kiwi co box Miss 3 got for her birthday from her Nanna. They make some rainbow stained-glass art together.
When they’re all finished they head outside together to play, jumping on the trampoline, giggling, and playing hand clapping games. This is always how it works. They do something quiet and focused, then they do something active and loud, and repeat all day long. Unschooling allows them the freedom to follow their bodies and really tune in to what they need. How distracting must it be to have to sit and listen when your body wants to run. How unmotivated must you feel if forced to run when your body needs rest.
Late morning we have ‘poetry tea time’. This is our Friday tradition. We have hot chocolates together and read poems and stories outside in the sun. I can’t even remember how this came about now but they rarely forget; most likely because of the hot chocolates, ha! I read a story the little girls have picked first, because they will run off to play soon. Then, Miss 7 reads a poem from ‘The Lost Words‘.
Miss 9 also reads a poem. It’s about starlings and she talks a lot about what the poem means, and feels inspired to paint the picture. The girls then play for a bit outside before coming in again.
Now that the paint is dry on her wand, Miss 7 decides to add a handle.
It looks so good and she’s really happy with how it turns out!
Miss 9 sets things up to paint the starling picture.
The little ones ask to watch a movie and I suggest that it might be a good idea to watch it later when the big girls will probably play Minecraft. I know that they often want something to do while their sisters are busy playing and that might be a good idea. Plus it will mean that I’ll also have some time to clean up while they’re all busy. They agree that’s a good idea and decide to do some painting too. It of course leads to finger and whole hand painting. The kitchen is right by the art room and I can see outside too so I make them lunch, and also cook some soup, while they’re busy.
After lunch Miss 7 decides to read some more Harry Potter. She makes herself a cosy little corner in the art room with cushions so she can be near me to help her with words.
Miss 9 is still working on her painting and asks me to read her some 104-Story-Treehouse while she paints.
The little girls go to play dolls in the play room.
After another play outside and some crazy loud yelling and running around the house, Miss 9 listens to The Famous Five audio book, while planning a Harry Potter themed house she wants to make for her sister in Minecraft.
We have some afternoon tea and then Miss 9 wants to play some Minecraft. All I can hear is squeals and giggles from the room as she chats and plays together with friends.
The little ones are watching their movie and I want to clean up and do the washing. Miss 7 isn’t keen on Minecraft with her sister today and wants to keep reading. She likes to read to me and talk about what’s happening, so she follows me around to all the different rooms while I tidy as she reads and chats.
The movie finishes and it’s suddenly dark and rainy! Miss 7 spends the rest of the afternoon in what she’s now referring to as ‘The Harry Hangout’, ha! She’s got snacks, water, her wand, a little Harry toy, plus a miniature broomstick for the mini Harry that her sister made her earlier today. All set!
Miss 9 is still having fun on Minecraft and the little ones are playing together again.
We have dinner and read some books. Miss 4 looks through a magazine that came in the mail today. We love Wonder magazine. A little tutorial for a bird feeder catches her eye and she plans on making it on the weekend. They ask when the next issue is out and I say Spring, which leads us to talking about the Spring Fair that is coming up and what they will make for it. They find a couple of ideas in the magazine and get planning.
Before bed, Miss 9 makes a list of all her ideas for her Fair stall so she doesn’t forget in the morning. The girls play quietly or sit with their Dad and watch TV until they suddenly all annouce they want to go to bed at about 8pm.
And now here I am writing this post! Gosh I love our days. They are always so different, filled with new ideas, laughter, and most importantly enjoying being together. When people ask what we do I’m not sure how to answer because really, they just play all day. They follow their curiosity and interests and that can look so different from one day to the next. Yes, they just play, but it’s impossible to convey what their life is like in one word.
What did your day look like?
Hi, i like to read your blog and i’m interested in seeing how your days are spent at home ! Just wondering how many hours a day the girls are spending watching screens, esp. the big ones ? Tv in the morning/evening, playing computer, watching movies in the afternoon etc can add up quickly. Personally we don’t want our kids on screens, and wondering how hard it would be to keep them busy at home were there no screens in the house.
Love your descriptions and understand embracing unschooling. We have been on our journey for about 3 years now (they are 13 and 9 years old … wish I had understood earlier). I somtimes panic because in our house it is all reading and lego (and I can hear my family saying “and how will they learn” but then equally that is quashed when I see/hear/experience what they have learnt and it is beautiful! Thank you for the math book suggestion!