Thursday, January 8, 2009

A Day in the Life of a Radical Unschooling Family

As we are getting much more serious about being complete unschoolers and continuing with peaceful parenting, I felt like documenting an entire day would help Nate and I see exactly how much our kids are learning through the day. Yesterday was a pretty typical day off with Nate, minus the birthday stuff of course. We had so much fun. Our family gets along so well and its just a blast to live a relaxed and happy life. Each day is different and new things come along. Today, Tanner and Kayla went grocery shopping with me. They each got a list and were responsible for getting the items on it including price checking, weighing and measuring fruits and veggies and checking ounces and pounds for the best bargains. They have been begging to "help" me shop like this and I was excited to actually put it into action. It took a tad longer than normal, but so what, it turned a CHORE(I am not a grocery shopping fan haha) into a ton of fun and learning. What math curriculum teaches comparison shopping?
We started the day with Tanner waking up to his birthday gifts from Nate and I. He got a big boy booster seat now that he has reached 4 and 40 pounds as well as some lincoln logs because Tanner loves building toys.
Kayla, Tanner and Everett building the log house
And WALA they did it. How brilliant
They followed the plans exactly and it turned out just right.
Everett helping me cook Tanner's birthday breakfast(sausages in biscuits) to dip in apple butter. This is an old family favorite.
After breakfast, Wyatt asked me to help read a bunch of his Spongebob books to him.
Next Wyatt and I measured out the 2 teaspoons of Motrin he needed for pain relief from his ear ache. Poor boy hasnt been feeling so hot.
They all decided to watch some PBS kids(free tv lol) while I worked out. Note the closed captioning we have on. They actually love it and I swear the boys are picking up reading in just the week we have had it on. They are suddenly accidently spelling and reading signs and other strange things that I never expected. Its funny and they are really excited and asked me to always leave CC on.
Me getting in my morning work out. (no, my Pj's arent modest, just ignore them)
Wyatt decided to go shoot some hoops since the motrin kicked in and he was feeling a little better.
I peaceful parent yes, but we do this weekly and the kids love it and do it joyfully because they know mommy needs some help and can't clean everything alone. I dont specifically make them do it at any certain time. They just seem to do it when it works for them which usually falls in late afternoon when I am cleaning. They are such sweet kids though, they will always lend me a hand when I need other things during the day as well.
Kayla is my animal lover, she enjoys checking the chickens each morning to collect the eggs and her and Everett help each other feed and water them. This is something I have never ever asked them to do. Those two just adopted this as something they love and they do it. I beleive they do it joyfully because they were never forced.
Everett decided to grab his books we got from the library the other day and read and check out the cool pictures of dinosaurs, his latest love.
Everett found the rock making kit in the fun closet and told me he wanted to do them so he grabbed the picnic table and he worked smarter, not harder lol. He put it on the trike and drug it to the perfect spot.
The kids doing their rock art. Wyatt went inside to watch TV and rest because of his ear.
Kayla's(she found a heart shaped rock, very cool)
Everett then ran off to go on webkinz. They all love Webkinz and we own too many to count. I actually really love Webkinz too. They learn so much about consumer math, taking care of a pet, reading, typing, etc.
Here is Wyatt resting, watching TV
It was a cute show about recycling. The CC says, "they picked up your trash and dropped it off." This show actually tied in so well with them just having gone to the dump a few days ago, it was kinda funny that it ended up what he watched.
On our way to go hiking and fishing. We stopped at the grocery store and while Nate ran in to buy Cheese puffs and waters to go with our picnic lunch, we read from Farmer Boy.
The view in the car, driving the long dirt road to the new spot Nate found to fish, hike and shoot.
Having our dirt picnic before our hiking/biking. We sat and just listened to all the birds and enjoyed the quiet and desolation.
The kids riding their bikes to the big damn to go fish.

We made it to the dam. It was such a sight. It struck up lots of conversation about dams and how they are built from different materials. I think the kids will probably even want to try making their own.
Nate Shooting the BB gun
Checking out the river that flows into the damn
Nate trying to catch a fishy, but the kids kept wading in the water(yes, it was that warm! I LOVE CA in the winter)
Kayla is getting a really good aim, she shot the water bottle that Nate hung from a tree branch almost every time.
Even Tanner hit the target a few times.
Everett begs to shoot constantly, its definately a passion of his.
Nate helping Wyatt
The entire way along this dirt road, we saw random balloons and we were all laughing about it being a balloon graveyard. The mountains is where all those balloons go that get let go of ya know so hang on to your balloons so you dont pollute! This one was a "Happy New Years" one. We collected the trash and took it home to the garbage.
We got home and ate some pizza and then family came to celebrate Tanner's 4th birthday!
My mother in law made this tasty cake.
I guess Kayla snuck off later in a spare moment during the day and made this rock pal for Tanner's birthday. I thought that was so thoughtful and sweet of her.
Grandpa and Nana got him a really cool truck
and movie
Tanner making his wishIt was his idea to shove his face in the cake haha.
He also got this really awesome Matchbox car pop up station. It folds into a book size case.
Then everyone took baths
After baths, everyone layed down on the couches to veg and watch a little TV before drowsily heading off to bed. I dont impose a bedtime, they just sorta go around 7:30-8:30ish.
I hope you enjoyed living a day in our lives. I know we sure did!


Sankat said...

Wow....that actually sounds like a very busy day!!!
I didn't know you had gone back to unschooling. What made you change?

lilpeasinmypodfrom~God said...

Kat, we always unschooled until this past summer when I bought Sonlight. I then went Charlotte Mason style for a while because its much closer to unschooling, but even still, the kids get so annoyed and burned out. I want them to love learning and unschooling is the only way they seem to truely love it. Its a lot of work on my part, but the sometimes whats hardest is best. It is so much easier and more comforting for me to have them sit and do copywork and a phonics program and math curriculum and precribed reading from certain books each day, but they dont enjoy that. When they actually ask to do reading from Farmer boy or beg me to play "spanish" with them, its so much more meaningful and they memorize it so easily. We unschooled December and then tried to go back to Charlotte Mason studies and we just couldnt do it. I have lerned for me though that I need constant support while unschooling or it doesnt work so I am going to join a forum and I have ordered 3 new books about it to keep me busy. The Chalotte Mason books I read irked me and is partly what turned me off to that style. She talks about kids like sinfully natured, disrespectful dogs who need trained.

Sankat said...

That is great that you are finding what works for your family. I too get burned out if I do to much. That is why I don't push myself to much. Reading and Math is my absolute limit at the moment. I guess you could say we unschool in the other areas, but I don't put in any effort and honestly, I don't have the energy at the moment.
You really are amazing, I don't know how you have days like yesterday...I know I couldn't do it!

sheri said...

I thought you'd sent the older ones back to public school this past fall?

lara said...

Wow, Looks like a ton of fun. I'm really impressed with your family. Love it! I"m thinking of pulling my oldest out of K and unschooling for the rest of the year.

Jana said...

LOL! I was confused by this one for a while, because my profanity filter converts naughty words to "mango". Dam = barrier that retains water. D*** is the other one. ;D