A Day in the Life of these Unschoolers

It’s so interesting to see into other people’s lives, to get a peek at a regular day. That’s part of the fascination of blogs. You get a peek into their home and into their head.

There’s no typical unschooling day. Every family has their own rhythms and likes and dislikes. We like games.

Games of all kinds: board games, card games, dice games, sports, you name it, we probably play it. And so that’s a big way that Caleb learns things.

Chutes and Ladders, I think, really firmed up his knowledge of numbers. Monopoly first introduced him to percentages. Acquire got him comfortable with multiplication. A homemade Shut the Box game introduced him to formal division. And almost all games require reading, which he’s starting to pick up, though that he’s mainly picking up by writing different things.

But another family that didn’t like games, or didn’t play them as much as we do, would learn the same basic skills in other ways.

Now and then I’ll think that we aren’t doing enough, that we need to be doing this or that, and then I’ll think back to all the things we did during that day, and often I’m surprised by what an interesting and varied day it really was. Take yesterday for example:

When Caleb got up, I came up from the basement and he helped me take the packages out to the porch for the mailman. Then I made breakfast, and we played 2 games of Monopoly (he won the first, I the second). After that (which took forever), I went down to the basement for a little while to cut some reindeer and billy goats, and Caleb listened to the Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling.

When I came up, we had lunch. We ate outside, because it was such a warm day. And Caleb played with the “volcano” we made the other day.

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He used up a whole box of baking soda and that whole jug of vinegar. And then he started making his own concoctions, adding buckets of water from the rain barrel (aka, trash can under the gutter). We talked while I was eating my lunch, and then I got some sanding to do outside with him.

When he had tired of this, he washed up, and we went to the creek. I wanted to find some branches for making Billy Goat bridges, and the park by the creek has lots of huge sycamore trees that are always dropping their branches.

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We played some tag at the playground, and Caleb helped me saw some branches into manageable lengths to fit into the car. He also worked on building a rock bridge, so he could cross the creek without putting  his feet in the freezing cold water. Of course we both ended up going in anyway (and it was FREEzING!).

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We examined a caterpillar that was making it’s way across the leaves choking the stream. And then we went home, because it was getting dark.

At home, Caleb took a bath for at least an hour to warm up and play with his bath toys (I relaxed and enjoyed the smell of baking bread). After he got out, we had butternut squash soup and bread for dinner. Then we got to work on some pumpkins.

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Caleb did most of the carving of the jack-o-lantern while I worked on some pie pumpkins for our Halloween pie and some seeds for roasting. And yes, it did make me nervous, but he was very careful.

After we had cleaned up the kitchen and taken a walk (so we could walk past our house and admire the scary pumpkin), Caleb wanted to earn some money, so he did some finishing work for me, while he watched a Charlie Brown video.

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Then it was off to bed for a story, some tickling, some talking, and at long last, some sleep.

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