I have received a couple of emails in the last week asking for more of these posts so here we go. Another insight into our daily life.
Phew, things got off to a slow start today. I seem to be in high demand during the night at the moment, which is exhausting. We go through phases like this from time to time and as quickly as they start, they seem to end on their own. I try not to worry about it or over-analyse it and just go with the flow. Still, I am TIRED.
The kids all woke at a similar time and watched some tv while I organised everyone’s breakfast and had my coffee. My seven year old got bored quickly and wanted to go outside with his breakfast. My daughter followed. On the way outside we noticed that our last butterfly had emerged from its chrysalis which was very exciting. We moved it outside so that it could fly away when it was ready. We played and chatted for an hour or so. We played a lot of tag which they both love. My eight year old wasn’t ready to come outside and decided to finish his book instead.
I thought it might be time for another unschooling on Tuesday post.
I stopped writing these for a while for a few reasons. Firstly, it is impossible to capture everything that happens in a day. This has really been highlighted for me recently. All of my kids have had a few moments in recent weeks where they tell me about something (bees, mythical creatures, maths, architecture have been a few) and I think, I am with you all day and I have absolutely no idea where you learnt that! They are surrounded by books, the internet, movies, friends, life. Learning comes from so many different places and no matter how involved you are or how closely you feel like you are watching, it often doesn’t involve you. And, as I have learnt, sometimes the learning is instigated, researched, absorbed and then life goes on without you even noticing.
Secondly, it is hard not to make these posts sound too contrived. I’m not trying to make my kids out to be some kind of prodigies or try and make everything they do have some higher learning purpose. This isn’t the motivation. I can see how for someone who isn’t living this life, it might seem implausible for a child to suddenly really want to learn how to write in cursive, or learn about multiplying fractions or delve into the finer details of evolution. But on the other hand, this may very well be what kids get up to when everyone else gets out of the way of their learning. So even when I talk about my kids doing something quite ‘academic’, it isn’t because I care at all about the comparison, it just is what it is. Their questions and curiosity in that particular moment.
So here we are. I do think these kinds of posts are useful for people who are wondering what unschooling might look like. Or if you are like me and you take on some voyeuristic persona when it comes to reading about what other families living this wonderful life are doing, you will probably enjoy it too! I love hearing about and reading about how other families are spending their days.
We were thinking about catching up with friends today, but there wasn’t consensus amongst the ranks about what we should do, so we decided to stay close to home. I thought it might be a good day to record what we got up to.
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!
In an effort to show how child-led learning happens in our home, I document what we do every second Tuesday for those that want to follow along. I hope this takes the bias out of blogging about the ‘better’ days and can show a real picture. This is the second instalment.
Yesterday, a lovely reader commented on one of my unschooling posts about feeling inspired, but struggling to imagine how a day would look. I can remember feeling exactly the same. How would I accommodate different interests between my kids? Would they just want to watch tv all day? Would I miss what my kids were really interested in?