A day in the life of an unschooler will probably look a bit different than most. My girls are 3 and 5 and while we do some traditional sit down schoolwork, a majority of their time is spent playing. Wanna know why? Because they are kids. Mark Twain once said “Never let formal education get in the way of your learning.” And they are learning. They are using their imaginations, problem solving, creating, taking risks, storytelling, and the ever present conflict! They are sisters after all.
They enjoy a little bit of schoolwork, but they prefer to get down from the kitchen table and go play. Free play is extremely self-guided. When it is play time, Fofo and The Bear go off to a corner of the house and play. If they need or want to play with something specific I set it up for them: getting out paint, play doh, building a fort, hopping a ride on the “train” on Bear’s bed, or helping organize their toys so they can have a clean work space. I will save my passion for free play for another day 🙂 Here is the day in the life of an unschooler.
7-8:30 We start our morning with the “High Five Routine:” have breakfast, get dressed, make bed, brush teeth, and free play. It’s an easy way to make sure each thing gets done in the morning.
8:30-9:30 My husband leaves for work at 8:30 so once he leaves, free play begins (or is extended from the high five routine). This day they asked to do sensory play with some snow and their My Little Pony’s.
9:30-10:40 After free play (which is how they earn their tv time) we have snack and tv time.
10:45-11:45 The time between tv time and lunch time is what I call “Free play for iPad time.” I knew my kids needed to spend more time playing, but they needed some incentive at first. Plus I wanted a way for them to earn their screen time since they don’t play the most educational activities on the iPad. For every half hour of free play, they earn 1 iPad turn. This came about as a way to get them to play more independently but also as a form of discipline. If they act up or break the rules or fight, an iPad turn gets taken away. The warning of possibly losing an iPad turn was much worse than the threat of being put on the naughty spot. Today their free play included more pony’s and something called “sister and babies”
11:45 Lunchtime! We have a fairly early lunch. My girls are early morning eaters.
12:20 After lunch I choose several books for read alouds.
12:50-1:30 Another block of freeplay for iPad time and some game called “Queen?” With you guessed it! More Pony’s.
1:30-2:45 Since my kids don’t nap any more we do quiet time. They sit down with an afternoon snack and movie. I need a break at this point. And they also need a break from each other.
2:45-4 Free play. More pony’s, the always popular “mom and kid,” (here Fofo is the mom and she is reading to Bear aka Kid) independent reading, and play-doh.
4:00 Time for Pioneer Woman on Food network! We watch everyday. This day I actually had supper ready so we watched and ate supper.
4:30 Time to burn off any extra energy before bed. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, we have a dance party or on this day I popped in a workout dvd and the girls did their best to follow along. On nicer days, we go for a walk.
4:45-5:30 The girls only lasted about 15 minutes following the DVD so they left me alone with Jillian and continued to play. This time with play doh.
5:30-5:50 Time to clean up from the day! Including unloading the dishwasher.
5:50-8 Nightly routine. Yes I know this is early but Bear has to be in bed by 7 or all hell breaks loose. I won’t bore/confuse you with our nighttime ritual. Since the girls are together all day, I like to seperate them at night, different baths, different iPad times, different bed times: Bear at 7 and Fofo at 8. I have to bounce back and forth between them so it makes it a little confusing. In short, they have a bath, iPad time, story, bed.
You may be wondering what I am doing during all day. Depends on the day but cooking, housework, blogging, breaking up fights. Ya know. Women’s work. I hope I was able to give you a peek into our homeschool life. Thanks for reading!!