Unschooling: Living Without School; Living Free Range-Freedom to Learn What One Wants When One Wants

Friday, September 19, 2014

Typical Day of Unschool

I had a dream last night that somebody asked me what a typical day of unschooling is like. (Pretty sure that stemmed from a You Tube video I stumbled across.) I hear a lot from other unschoolers that you can't describe a typical day. And although I have made posts in the past to tell about a certain day, I guess they are right. There really isn't a totally typical day. When I ask my family or friends how their day went, it is "work, school, home" and then whatever happens in the afternoon like activities, hanging out, having someone over. Some people just say "Nothing." My friends who homeschool usually say they "Did school, then the kids did their own projects." But there never really is a typical response for us. (However, most weeks we do tend to work on the same projects. This week it was a lot of painting.)

But if I were to describe our days, it would go something like this: I get up to get my Husband ready for work and do any household chores there are to do. S wakes up when she is not tired anymore, and we start our day. There never is an exact time for this. It is usually between 8 and 9, but nights like this week where we have been up all night because Daddy isn't home, sometimes it is later. Some days are home days. Home days are our favorite days and we always love when we get a bunch of those in one week. On home days I make breakfast. Sometimes we just grab a granola bar or something quick. Since S wakes up sometimes anywhere from 8 to 10, we are already nearing lunch and I see no reason to make a big breakfast. As soon as we finish breakfast, we get started on something. I don't know how it happens. It just does. We just start on something. It is just our natural rhythm. Sometimes I ask, "What do you want to do/learn today?" Some days I suggest something. And some days S just picks something up. One morning recently she woke up early, and being that it was my cleaning day, she had to occupy herself. She immediately went to painting on her easel and made many paintings and pastel drawings before I finished the house. But, like I said, each day is different. Some days we will do an experiment or read lots of books in S's bed. There are days lately that we solely focus on making You Tube videos. Some days are board games. Some days we spend the entire day outside. Some days are unit study projects. Oh, and some days S just plays. And then there are the rainy days where we play lots of computer games-mostly math and maybe bake a pan of brownies. And sometimes on those rainy days, we sleep...a lot. Some days are a mixture of it all.

Every other Tuesday we volunteer at the Pregnancy Center, then go to gymnastics, THEN go to art co-op! That is our busy, busy day! Then some Tuesdays we do not have the Center, and that makes the day much less hectic.

Every other Thursday we go to the library and spend the morning there looking for books. Afterward, we go have lunch with my brother at school and spend the rest of the day volunteering in his classroom.

Some days we have CHEA events-play dates, Nature Club, field trips. Some days we go on our own fieldtrips to the farm or to a Civil War museum. Some days my Dad comes in town and we spend the day with him or maybe go see other family members. Some days we babysit. Some days we go to the park and read. Some days we spend trying to find our dog, Della, who has escaped again! Some days we have to spend doing LOTS of errands, Bleh! Thankfully those days are rare. Some days we pick up and go to the local used book store because we  have decided that we want to own some of the books we have checked out.

Today was a fun day. I did some research online and found an odor eliminator that people with dogs swear by. The problem? They only sell it at Home Depot. I didn't want to get ready, leave the house and drive 8 miles just for cleaner. Maybe that makes me lazy, but errands like that really break up the day and makes it become unproductive. BUT I COULDN'T STAND THE DOG SMELL ANY LONGER! So I thought, "What else can we do while we are down there?" BINGO! The Battle Field, the local Civil War Park. I woke S up and told her I had a great idea! We should go to the park and paint pictures of the monuments. She agreed, so we did. We spent the day down at the tower. We walked up it once. Then S decided she wanted to go get her art supplies and paint on top of the tower. So back down we went and then back up again. While she was up there, she painted a beautiful scene based off of what she saw. There was a sky, mountains, bales of hay, and grass. She talked about the hawks that were circling the area and we recorded their cries to one another. We observed their behavior and saw what looked to be the leader of the flock. We took pictures off the tower and met some tourists who were there to perform in the reenactment this weekend. S was able to talk to them for a bit about reenacting, the History of the Trail of Tears, and the geography of the North. As they left, she finished up her drawing, and back down we went. We hung up our hammock. (Always makes for a good afternoon.) And we read books, drew pictures of the tower, looked at the sky, talked, and made a fairy house together. She wrote a note to the fairy and we will check back Sunday while we are there to see if her fairy "wrote her back." We basically lounged around and talked about some of the other monuments and weird things about nature, like the curves in the trees and the different leaves and colors. Samantha noticed a squirrel climbing up a tree. We talked about where it must be going. And as the sun began to fade, we packed our bags and left. If you had asked me last night what I had planned for today, I would have said, "Not sure. Maybe stay home and work on some projects." But this morning it all changed on a whim, and that is okay, because there is no typical day for us. I am happy for that, because if we hadn't let the day lead us, we would not have experienced everything that we did today, No matter what method of homeschooling we use as S grows older, I hope that we are able to maintain that element of flexibility so that we never miss an opportunity for a wonderful day.
Painting on Top of the Tower

Making a Fairy House

Writing a Sweet Fairy Note

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