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Posts tagged ‘daily life’

Diary of an Unschooling Family, Day 10

It’s DAY 10!! I made it! I posted every day for 10 days and at least one person read it every day (thanks Ron!).

I started this blog as a way to illustrate what we’re doing, and why we’re doing it. Then came the challenge of writing 10 blogs in 10 days, and it seemed to align with that – what better way is there to see what we’re doing than for me to write about the day-to-day.

What has emerged for me out of this exercise is the need to de-mystify unschooling, or any kind of home education. People frequently say to me “I couldn’t do it!” and the implication is that I’m some kind of ever patient, ever supportive, ever talking-in-my-kind-voice supermum. Clearly, I’m not. I also think people assume that I’m super organised, and super motivated, and ready at all moments for the teachable opportunities, and just thinking about being all those things makes me exhausted, so if people think that’s what home education is about, then no wonder they think they couldn’t do it.

The reality is that in the history of humans, children have been raised to adulthood in their own environment much longer than children have been raised to adulthood in the artificial environment of school. We’re not doing anything new. I think that needs to be really clear. What we’re doing is nothing extra-ordinary, nothing earth shattering, but definitely radical.

All the times people ask me, “But what about …?” there are a hundred ways I can ask them back, “But what about …?” Our kids aren’t missing out on anything that’s not being made up for in a myriad of ways that mostly only fellow home educators understand.

Today we spent a couple of hours in the sunshine up at the beach.
When we got home, Joss beat the eggs for our omelette, and Louis toasted the bread.
They watched Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Kratt Brothers, and played Minecraft.
Louis helped me spread compost and hay, and water the garden. Joss floated around doing something I’m oblivious to. One time I walked in from outside and she was sitting quietly at the dinner table watching a fly walk over her hand.
We all ran around like ninnies trying to grab anything that might blow away in the wind, and we missed one of our vacuum cleaner’s filters, so that’s a goner.
We did jigsaw puzzles, played cards, and then Louis made creamy mushroom sauce, Joss ate an entire raw potato, and we all got dinner on the table, whereupon Joss ate more potatoes.

The thing about this way of life is, most days, it feels like we’re on holiday.

Diary of An Unschooling Family, Day 6

We’re over half way!! And I’ve had so much traffic to this blog, so I’m guessing you like it! Yay!

Tonight we’re going to my mum’s house for dinner. She has a boarder who’s studying at cooking school, and she’s trying out one of her recipes on us. We are meant to be bringing dessert, which will mean stopping at the supermarket on the way to buy ice-cream.

So, I thought I’d do this blog before we leave.

This morning I finally screwed in the High Tea painted rounded-corner shelves in the laundry. They look amazing. They have been a team effort – my brother and Louis worked on getting them in the right place and the anchors in for the screws and all of that side of things for a couple of days, I did the sanding and painting of the shelves, the builder rounded the corner and Ron coped with my singing.

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While I was getting them in, Louis was out making a frame for our water containers and Ron was doing the morning chores. Joss was losing her shit with regularity about things like, her bows not sitting straight, or her socks not feeling right, and just being irascible in general. So at about 11 I whisked her off to bed for her to have a nap. She slept for about an hour and woke up in a mildly better mood.

Louis and Ron had spent the time bonding over Minecraft – Louis is giving Ron an education in it – Ron’s mind is blown a little and I’m in complete admiration for his dedication for persevering.

I took off to a local aluminium workshop to see about my options for sliding doors, leaving the kids in Minecraft and Ron out in the shed.

We piled in the car when I got back and met some friends of ours up at the beach. We were (overly) optimistic that the weather might hold. After about 10 mins up there we came home and had hot chocolates by the fire and played with the electric train set.

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The friends have gone home now and the kids are back on Minecraft. They are sharing a “world” and so the fighting that happens in real life is now happening in virtual reality as well. The fighting does something to my head – I just get so irritated by it. The words, “This is your last warning!!!!!” definitely came out of my mouth. Twice. It might have been effective because there’s been no fighting for 3 minutes.

Oh, I spoke to soon.



Diary of An Unschooling Family, Day 3

Some days it feels like we don’t do much at all. I feel like I need one of those days. We have been on the go for what seems like aaaaaages and I’m tired.

Today Louis did one of his favourite things – he went to work with Ron. So Joss and I hung out together – by this I mean she listened to me swear as I tried to put up the black board all by myself because I’m quite stubborn and once I set my mind on something I do it. I got glue everywhere, put it up slightly to the left, had to unscrew it, move it to the right, re-glue it – dropped glue all over the floor, scooped it up with my fingers, caught the black board with said fingers, screamed at Joss to get me a roll of toilet paper…. And then, at last, it was up.

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Highest on Joss’s priority list was going to get an ice cream. And for some reason, we HAD to go on our bikes. I believe this is the first time she’s biked farther than the end of our street. I was not that convinced that we’d make it there and back… but we did. We stopped half way and gave Isa a swim, buried each other in the stones on the beach, and then charged home with no “My Legs Are Tired!!” dramas.

When we got back Ron and Louis were home already and had cooked lunch (Yes!!) and after that Ron and the kids were off to swimming. Swimming for us means the kids get to splash around in the water for two hours. I love our learn-to-swim story, it’s such a great illustration of natural learning, but remind me to tell you that one another time…

I was super productive while they were away: I ate chocolate, drank tea, put two coats of paint on the final window for the lego-room, and drew lines all over the laundry where I think the sliding doors will go.

While they were out the kids and Ron picked up our raw milk from the lovely people at JJ’s Organics, and Isa’s dog food from the pet store.

When they got back Louis and Ron made a birthday present for a friend of ours. It involved ply-wood, planning, a circular saw and a sander. They’re half-way there. Joss and I blobbed out – me in the bed to have a nap and she on the couch to watch more Kratt Brothers. There can’t be much that girl doesn’t know about spider monkeys.

I couldn’t summon the energy to cook dinner, so we ordered in Indian 🙂 And now, each with a very full tummy, we’re winding down for the night. Ron does rough and tumble with the kids for five-ish minutes, they read bed time stories, and then they talk about life before drifting off to sleep. Eventually, they’ll look something like this:

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PS, I’ve been challenged to write 10 blog posts in 10 days, which is what’s brought this on!! I would love to know what you think of them – comments are more than welcome.

Diary of An Unschooling Family, Day 2

What a difference a day makes!!

We got woken up this morning by Louis throwing our bedroom door open on his eager way to the lego room. “It’s FIVE to SEVEN!!” Ron wailed. He wails, because he’s the default morning parent when he’s home. I get to roll over and drift back to sleep. This is me still making him pay for going on tour for 10 weeks at a time. So, he got up, and twenty minutes later brought me coffee and my laptop.

And this is pretty much how most mornings go. I sit in bed with one curtain drawn, letting in the muted morning light, drinking coffee and doing stuff that mildly resembles work, and sometimes looks like Facebook. Ron and the kids organise (that should read, negotiate) what’s for breakfast. And at some point, I get up and get going.

Today, we were “booked” to go to the daffodil farm in Central Hawke’s Bay – just south of Waipukurau, and my crazy friends were making us be there at the ungodly hour of 9:30. As a rule, I don’t book anything before 10am, so, it’s testament to my delight in hanging around with them that I hauled arse and we were in the car at 9:05 ready for take off.

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So, our unschooling collective gathered at Taniwha, reconnected, walked around, chatted and picked some flowers. I made some videos for our You Tube channel, we discussed maths, and teeth, and family reunions. The kids ran around doing stuff which I’m happily oblivious about, and by the end of it we had two lovely bunches of daffodils and full hearts.

We got home and the kids watched the tele – The Kratt Brothers is a hit at the moment – and I uploaded the videos and made a new opening credit using our logo (insert super-proud emoji here) and fiddled around with the editing.

Ron got home from helping out my dad, and relaxed on the couch with the kids before we all headed outside and did some jobs. I was doing the final coat on our new black board, so asked Ron to get all the nails out of the hole where it’s going (it’s covering the old doorway into our bathroom). He sub-contracted the job.

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The kids and Ron loaded the new sand into the sand pit, and then the kids had fun making volcanoes and spreading the new sand around the sand pit. I just love listening to them having fun together. Joss has the most amazing laugh, it’s a full on chuckle, and we got to hear a lot of it this afternoon.

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I tried again to figure out the hot water cylinder debacle, and this time, I think I might have found something. So I was busy researching that while the kids brought more sand inside, and Louis ran Joss a foot bath because she has a thing about having sandy feet. And Ron was busy out in the shed trying to Tetris all our extra shit into a super-tight bundle so that it magically looks like we’re organised and minimalist.

Just as the sun was going down Joss built a gigantic train track, I used a new skill and counter-sunk some screws (need that super proud emoji again), and then decided it was probably time for dinner so clambered over the train track to do that.

And now, they’re all in bed again, and I’m here, about to eat some chocolate, and decide what to do with the quiet hours of the evening.



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