Unschooling: A Day in Our Life (March 2017)
I have been meaning to do another ‘day in the life’ post for a while, and thought a rainy home day was the perfect chance to capture it!
So here’s a peek into our life as an unschooling family of 6. Enjoy!
When we woke up this morning Daddy was already at work, and Miss 3 was missing him.
After breakfast, all the girls played Lego together.
Miss 3 then had a ballet lesson. This year she’s in a class where we don’t stay and watch, but we always wait outside in the car in case she needs us (she hasn’t yet and she totally loves it).
The big girls bought some ‘Where’s Wally’ books in the car to look at while we waited.
Back at home the girls started a new audio book, Peter Pan! We are really loving audible at the moment. This week they’ve already listened to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (for the second time) and The Twits. I made lunch and they kept listening while they ate.
After lunch they wanted to do some painting. They listened to a classical music playlist while they created.
Miss 8 took inspiration from her Natural World book, deciding to draw/paint insects. She wrote on the side ‘The Busy Life of an insect’.
Miss 6 painted a scene from a new book she got for her birthday called ‘Down, Down, Down‘.
The little ones were the first to tire of painting, and Miss 3 decided to look at a polymer ball Miss 8 had made with her chemistry set, under the microscope.
We then headed outside while Miss 6 was still painting, and Miss 8 offered to help me move some clothes undercover because it had started raining.
Trampoline time! Jumping in the rain is one of their favourite things. I notice also that they naturally go from quiet activities requiring concentration to active outdoor play and back again throughout the day, following their natural rhythms. I wonder how it interferes with learning to restrict this.
Nap time for the little ones.
While the little girls are sleeping, I sit with the other two and they do some more on their paintings.
Soon enough they wake up and Daddy is home early and takes them out for a bit to see all the water around from the rain we’ve been having.
They talk about why it’s not safe to play in the flowing water, see some mushrooms that have popped up in the grass, and observe some ants transporting things.
In the late afternoon they watch Deadly 60 on TV.
The rest of the afternoon is spent building with Lego, and painting. Miss 8 is working on a tree house.
Miss 6’s finished painting with a shark, squid, dolphin, and flying fish. I love it! She told me “I’m quite happy with it”.
And that’s about it! It’s now 7.30pm and I’m breastfeeding Miss 1 to sleep while the other girls have just decided to go and lie in bed with their Dad to go to sleep too.
How was your day?
Too lovely! Like I was looking at my own family’s day – except I only have 2 little girls at the moment. What a blessing right!! I often count myself so lucky to be able to have my girls at home and to have the opportunity to learn from them and to observe how they develop right her in my care – where they should be. Absolutely fascinating!
Sooo lucky 🙂
Very similar, but with colour pens and soccer instead of paintings and ballet/trampoline.
love this. thanks for sharing. what is your bed set up? looks similar to ours — we have a king and a queen on the floor pushed together in our main bedroom that we share. we have 2 boys — age 4 and 2. thanks for your thoughtful posts.
We have two queens for Hubby and I and the two littlest. And then a double and single at the end for the older two 🙂
Oh my gosh I’m in love! Looks like a lovely day, and your photos are lovely! 💜
Thank you 🙂
I would love to hear about their decision-making process to go from one activity to the next. At what ages did you start seeing “I want to go [whatever] now”? Does an older child often lead the younger ones? Do you offer suggestions? I have been struggling with how to provide the right amount of structure in our days (nearly 4 and 1.5) and am wondering if I might actually be too hands-off for these ages. Yet, want to be careful not to take on the responsibility for those transitions if I don’t need to. Haven’t found my way quite yet and would love any words of wisdom.
Jessica, I’m in a similar boat with my little ones, four kids 6 and under. I always feel like a tad more routine/structure would be better for them (and me) at these ages. I often offer choices of what is available if they seem stuck. I am the one to plan outings (with their input.) Tough though!
I try to leave mine 4 and almost 2 to do their own thing, The youngest will entertain himself mostly but eldest is a tricky one. Do your children always self entertain/ decide what they want to do? They seem to have done such a variety of things. By that i mean did you ever/do you ever make suggestions. Get out a selection of things? Promt? Suggest a place to go for the day? etc etc. My eldest however seems constantly bored and need directing and playing with. She would happily watch TV all day, (i once let her do this to see what would happen! )
They mainly decide themselves now! We have everything set up so they can see and reach anything they need. They know what’s available. When they were younger I would set out paint and things for them because they couldn’t do that themselves so I guess it just progressed from there and now they do the same kind of thing for themselves 🙂
What a beautiful day! I also marvel at how they move seamlessly from quiet indoor play to loud outdoor play (or loud indoor play; we are just coming out of winter here in the northwest USA!).
How do you do all this painting without smocks? It sounds like a frivolous question, but I kind of dread painting time because of the setup and cleanup required, and that makes me sad. I want to love it!
We just use washable paint, or no clothes haha
First off, I love reading your blog! Thanks for sharing your story 🙂
I am curious, reading about your lovely day, how you find time to recharge yourself. I only have two (boys, 8 & 4), and once they stopped napping I required (& still do) an hour of ‘quiet time’ after lunch, partly for them to play individually, but honestly, mainly for my own sanity! Sometimes I want to do as you do when your little two nap – have one play independently while I devote my attention to the other and then switch, but I find if I do that, then there’s no time left for me to gather myself before their more quiet play is over. So what’s your secret? (I will add that my oldest is highly intense and has some behaviour and emotional issues that make parenting him more taxing than with a more easy-going child).
Thanks for reading!
Hi Natalie! I just have that time if I need it. I’ll just let them know I need to rest for a bit today and they can do something independently. They understand that 🙂 I also find going out somewhere they can run and play relaxing. I can just sit and watch and they do whatever they like.
Wow. Can I ask if you incorporate Reading, writing math into their daily routines. Just curious.
Only when they decide to do it for themselves, which is quite often because it’s everywhere in daily life 🙂
I really appreciate that you share with us your day. In my case I descolarice my kids for 10 months ago and they play all the day, I really like it. It is like they are getting back all the time they lost with out playing at school. They don’t want to read, to paint, to write, to investigate … they only play.
There are 2 things that I all ready don’t like. It is:
a) that my oldest son, 12 years old, like to play minecraft all the time (for me, I think it is to much time in the computer, 6 hours).
b) that they go to bed at 11 o’ clock at night. And they wake up at 9am. I would like to be awake at 7 and to go to bed at 9. To enjoy v more the day.
Sometimes I despair.
Your blog is wonderful; beautiful pictures, engaging stories and a take on “education” that I am fast falling for. I stumbled across it when I needed it most it seems!
Have been reading many of your posts, just wondered if you have any guidance on the legal aspect of unschooling? I am so keen and about to approach this with my husband (we have a miss 2 and a miss 4), but need some info to respond to the “how are we going to know they are keeping up” and “what about when they want to go to uni/tafe/apprenticeship/another vocation that requires some form of formal education certificate like high school certificate or UAI?” (Is it even called a UAI anymore?)
Do you have any info or advice on where to research on this?
P.s we are in NSW.
Thanks so much, and well done on the blog and being such an awesome, loving and engaged parent 🙂