Another installment for those following along. I am actually really enjoying recording our days in this way. I am paying closer attention to everything going on than maybe I usually would. And it has filled me with so much gratitude that we get to spend our days together in this way. Seeing negative comments around about unschooling, I just can’t imagine anyone thinking that this wasn’t ‘enough’ and I hope this series demonstrates how life throws up so many opportunities for learning. For those of you unschooling, perhaps these posts aren’t that useful, because the flow of the day is different in every family. But for those of you considering making this leap, I hope these posts make unschooling seem accessible and doable because it is!
I am tired today. I am still recovering from the flu and I have had a lot of wriggly little friends sleeping very close to me the last few nights. Hugo, our six year old, woke first just before seven, and as has been the case for the last couple of weeks, decides that his siblings need to wake up to play with him. It is an ongoing conversation about respecting people in the family who need more sleep. Teddy, our eight year old, is happy to get up and play with his brother. Camilla, our three year old, is not so happy to be awake, and screams and thrashes about for a few minutes before she wakes up properly.
I hear my husband, who must have gotten out of bed at some stage during the excitement, pottering about downstairs so I encourage Camilla to go find her dad. This buys me ten more minutes to accept the fact that my window for sleep is over. Three babes and many years later, I am still not a morning person!
I finally emerge and find breakfast in the oven and some last minute downloads and technical issues being tended to by their Dad before he heads off to work.
My eldest two always take an hour or two to ease in to the day and they often spend this time watching a movie or on their computer. I am a bit the same and like to have a coffee while I read the news or a few articles on my phone. Camilla on the other hand, is ready to make the most of every minute. She is straight into painting, drawing and gluing a card for our friend. We are heading to their party this afternoon.
Hugo has had less sleep than normal and I can tell he is feeling a bit on edge. The new game the boys had hoped to play is not going how they planned and Hugo abandons it. He goes on to youtube and starts watching someone playing Roblox. For some inexplicable reason, this used to really annoy me. Why would you want to watch someone else play a game when you could play it yourself?? One day, after he had been watching a youtuber play Minecraft for over an hour I said ‘rather than watching DanTDM play Minecraft, how about you play it?’ And he said ‘no mum, he is on a new server I want to try and watching him play is how I learn how to do things when I play.’ Turns out six year olds are very good teachers.
I watch him curiously. He only watches for about five minutes before he pauses it, goes to the information underneath the video to see which game in Roblox they have been playing and then opens Roblox to find it. He asks how to type ‘weight lifting tycoon.’ Weight is a tricky word and we talk about it. He says ‘igh’, that is the weird ‘I’ sound like in ‘night’ which is a word in another one of his favourite games. He tells me he doesn’t need help with the other words.
After about ten minutes of playing he discovers he needs ‘robux’ to buy something. He doesn’t have any left. He wants to buy some and looks up how much it costs. We agree to buy five dollars of robux and he wants to type in the information. He had to type in my name and our address including the State and asked what a State was. We have just moved to Canada so we read a little bit quickly on my phone and found out that Canada calls them provinces and also has territories.
Camilla emerges with a puzzle. I guide her to choosing a spot close to her brother so I can also help him trouble shoot while I sit with her. She builds it quickly and then says ‘lets build a Christmas tree.’ Our Christmas things are buried deep in a shed at the back of a snow covered yard. I asked her if she would like me to cut her out a Christmas tree she could decorate. She seems excited about this. She is quickly absorbed in cutting and gluing.
I notice Teddy has moved to the puzzle and dismantled it so that he can build it again. I was chatting to him about our day ahead when Camilla calls out that she wants to make a cake. She sees a bunch of bananas and settles on a banana cake. We get out the ingredients and get to work. I am not feeling up to cleaning the kitchen again so I suggest we make it in the blender. She wants to scoop in the flour which she likes to pat flat. Big flour clouds and a few spills later, the cake is in the oven.
She is ready for a bath. She takes her clothes and a washing basket in with her so she can ‘do her washing.’ She wants a really deep bath. I don’t like wasting water so once she is finished I ask Teddy if he would like a bath before we head to our friend’s house. He wants me to brush his hair. This is not my favourite activity. He has very curly hair and only brushes it every week or so, so it gets matted. It takes a long time to brush and it hurts him. Camilla is busy in her playroom and I can hear Hugo downstairs watching the Winter Olympics so I agree. About three minutes later Hugo decides he wants to get in the bath as well. He is bored and I can tell this isn’t going to end well. He starts ‘swimming’ under the water and banging into his brother. He then uses half a bottle of conditioner and refuses to turn the cold water tap off. He is trying to provoke me and I oblige. After asking for him to think about whether he has had enough of the bath a couple of times, I snap at him that ‘you are not listening to me, get out of the bath.’ He was pushing for a reaction, but this is not what he expected, and he bursts into tears and storms out of the bathroom.
I feel completely overwhelmed and am not sure why. I check in with my body and realise it is nearly 11 and I haven’t eaten. Teddy can see that I need to go and chat to Hugo and offers to finish brushing his hair. Without us really discussing it, Hugo and I both realise that we were being unreasonable, apologise, have a big cuddle and move on. I help him find something to do (the pop up pirate game) and I go and get some food.
While I am eating and regrouping, Teddy gets himself and his sister a snack and reads his sister a story.
The kids all move on to a ninja battle with some plastic pipes and have a lot of fun for half an hour while I get everything ready to leave. Everyone has something to eat and then we head out to our friend’s house.
The kids spent five hours playing with a few other unschooling families. They had so much fun and worked through the normal things that come up in groups of people. Teddy was so happy to give his friend a banner he drew and painted yesterday. He was so proud of it.
We didn’t get home until after 7 and we have all settled down to watch shows on the tv and computer before bed.
Another fun day here.