Are you a homeschooling family curious about how unschooling works? Maybe you’re an outsider that sees families like mine and wonder how our children learn when we don’t use a set curriculum. Well here’s what I can say, children are natural learners and they are so very curious about so much. As long as we, the parents, provide the tools then our children will learn.
A Day In the Life
So what does a day in the life of an unschooling family look like? Well I can tell you one thing, it’s different for every family. Depending on the size of the family and the age of the children in the family, our day can look very different from your day.
Since we have 1 child, the majority of my time is spent playing with him. While we do play most of the time, there are times when we do have some structure. This is something that is different for everyone. I have found that while we do best as unschoolers, we also do best with set times for certain activities.
Here is our day in a nutshell:
6 a.m. We get up and get dad off to work. Our son isn’t a big sleeper, hasn’t been since birth.
7 a.m. It’s breakfast time. During this time I take the opportunity to empty the dishwasher from the previous nights load, get laundry started for the day, and do any general pick-up that didn’t get done the night before.
8 a.m. During this time we do a variety of things. Shower, get cleaned up, sometimes putting on clean pajama’s if we aren’t leaving the house. A couple days a week we try to have an outing, especially during the winter months. While I shower, F will usually take this time to play with his animals, get some time on the Xbox or play some Minecraft.
9 a.m. Hopefully by this time we have gotten cleaned up for the day. If we have then we begin our day with F’s lesson on ABC Mouse. He can usually get through this pretty quickly but I have allotted 30 min. If there’s time left over and given we have started on time, then he will find something else to do on the site. He’s got his pets on there that he takes care of, there’s books, games, and a ton of anything else to do.
9:30 a.m. This is our centers time. During centers we do a variety of things depending on the day and what F’s interest is. On his list of things to do is Lego’s, drawing, arts and crafts, work on Quest Club badges, get out his morning basket, or just play with the animals. I also take this time to switch over laundry.
10 a.m. A while back I came across a program, Time 4 Learning, it’s online and requires a monthly fee. For the longest time I kept questioning whether or not this program would benefit F since he does have some learning challenges. After talking a lot with dad, we decided to go ahead and do the free trial period to just see how he would do with it. This was one of the best decisions we had ever made. While we don’t believe in using a set curriculum, we do believe in using anything as a learning tool. This program is an amazing tool for kids with learning challenges and I’m so thankful that we chose to use it!
10:30 a.m. Last summer (2019) I came across a workbook that I thought looked like fun. Knowing that it could be used as a different type of tool, I snagged it up. It’s a huge book with tons of different things to learn in it. So each day we do a different worksheet out of this book.
11 a.m. Our structured part of the day has come to an end. Now it’s time for lunch and moving on with the rest of our day. We are usually finished with lunch plus our chores by 12:30 and on Tuesdays and Fridays I try to have something fun planned to get us out of the house. During the warmer months, we spend a lot of time outside on our homestead.
12:30 p.m. From this point on our day is free to do what we choose. Mike and I have started our own business here at home so I work on that when I can during the day a few days a week. Plus we are working hard on getting our homestead up and going so that requires me making the preparations that’s needed in my free time. F will do a variety of things that are usually learning based throughout the day. He loves audio books since he still isn’t reading so those are big on his list, he’ll listen to his music on one of the various Alexa devices throughout the house, we have a trampoline in the basement where he’ll go to get some exercise, and there’s plenty more to keep him occupied. We do our best to stay busy during the day because none of us want the dreaded “I’m bored” to start flying around.
Like I said earlier, there’s 2 days a week when I try to plan an outing and these usually happen on Tuesdays and Fridays. On these days we’ll go to town and visit the local pet store or we’ll head to a neighboring town for some kind of fun adventure. Possibly for craft pick ups……my boy has fallen in love with Joann Fabrics and there’s one employee who just adores him. We’ll also go to the library for new books and then head to the local farm store for something.
We also can’t forget our animals or the plants that we have. Each day we spend time with each of our pets which include 1 bearded dragon, 1 guinea pig, 1 hamster, 3 dogs, and 4 fish. We are also getting ready to add 4 chickens to the list. We grow our own plants and F loves planting his own seeds. In our school room we have a greenhouse where we grow our flowers and the plants for our garden. Since we don’t have the proper sunlight during the winter months my husband is constructing us grow lights. This way I can grow year round and don’t have to wait until late winter to get everything going.
Well that is our day in a nutshell! Of course there’s more and our days change during the different seasons. For example, during the summer our structured learning time gets taken pool side on the nice days.
I hope you have enjoyed this run down of our day and it’s give you some insight on what an unschooling family can look like!
Love and Light,