A Day in the Life of an Unschooling Family

A day in the Life of an Almost Unschooling Family:

Cooking, Reading, Math, Science:

Ian decided to try making waffles this morning; it was a great math and kitchen -science lesson.

We double the batter recipes every time we make waffles and pancakes so we have extra for the freezer and this time I had Ian read the recipe and tell me how much he needed of each ingredient when doubling it.

He got out the recipe book, found the page for making waffles (using the index without my mentioning it!), got out all the ingredients and measuring cups and spoons by himself.  He read through the list and double checked with me that he was using the right measuring tool and the right amount.

I was so proud of him.

He needed some help cooking them since he's a bit afraid of getting burned on the waffle maker but he tried!  He measured out the amount of batter needed and poured it into the waffle maker, he just didn't like the steam that came out when we had to open the waffle maker so he asked me to open it and remove the cooked ones.  

Life Skills:

The boys have trampoline today and Alec knew he had no athletic pants clean so as soon as he woke up he told me he needed my help watching him clean his clothes.

 I'm proud to say that other than getting the laundry detergent down and helping him pour it into the cup, he did his laundry all by himself!

 I have helped the boys by putting stickers on the washer and dryer showing them where to turn the knobs, taken the time to explain the different settings and why we use the ones we do, I've also made myself available as a "coach" as often as they've needed.

Arts and Crafts:

While Ian and I were cooking breakfast Alec took out a crafting book he had gotten for his birthday all about making items out of duct tape.  He has 5 rolls of assorted duct tape too to go with it and spent the morning making himself a cat mask using the instructions, some duct tape, scissors, a ruler, and a pencil.

He rarely asked for any help (and if he did need help it was only with getting the duct tape off the roll!).

It came out great-- don't you think?

The cat mask-- 1/2 done!
Using Math With Crafts:

He then went on to try his hand at making a grass skirt for his cousin.  He needed to make strips that
were 24" long and when I asked him how he would do that he said "Using a ruler. One of the numbers must equal 24."  When I asked him how many inches were in a ruler he told me 12 and then I asked him how he would find 24 he told me 12 plus 12 would be 24 so he just needed to use the ruler twice.

After making 2 of the 24" strips he told me he thought it would be quicker to make them twice as long and then just cut them in half when he was done since the instructions call for 28 strips.   I thought that sounded pretty good too but he got real frustrated when the tape kept tangling and sticking to itself.

He ended up crying and I suggested he take a break and we could always try again later; perhaps sticking with the 24" this time. 

reading the instructions
Measuring the tape

the cat mask with whiskers

Science and Discovery:

Evan was playing with remote control machines most of the morning.  He tried using the hover craft, the all- terrain vehicle, and the snake that we have.  Evan was pleasantly surprised to discover that the remote for Ian's all terrain vehicle works with his all terrain vehicle.  We then talked about remote controls working on a frequency and how the two vehicles have the same frequency.

Alec pointed out that it was pretty obvious that the remotes would work for each since they were the same toy made by the same company.  The batteries were starting to die so Ian and Evan worked on replacing them.

They were trying to get the compartments unscrewed and I heard Ian tell him to turn it the other way... "righty tighty, lefty loosey" he chanted.  I said "That's right.  Where did you learn that?"  "From working with Papa."  So Ian used the screwdriver to open some of the battery compartments and plugged in the chargers for those toys that had rechargeable batteries.

 Next thing I knew Evan was trying to get the screws out of his battery compartments too.  He was able to replace them on his own; working very hard to keep the screwdriver turning the right way.

The look of intense concentration was great!

He even realized that the Phillips head screwdriver wasn't working and so I showed him how our screwdriver can change from Phillips head to flat head.  He played with that for a while and then went right back to work on his toys.         

Now I should mention that all this took place BEFORE 8:30!

It was a very impressive morning where I could see how well unschooling was working.

They got along, did their own thing and accomplished a LOT.

Reading Comprehension and Physical Education:

We headed out for some quick errands while listening to some books on CD; our new favorite book is Officer Buckle and Gloria.  We stopped back in at home to drop off our bags and so the boys could eat an early lunch before we headed out to Trampoline.  They were so happy to get back to trampoline class.  It's been 3 weeks since we've had class and boy have they missed it!

Math Games:

Evan and I played Add A Bug and Uno while the older boys jumped, learned, and played with friends.

Physical Education and Socialization:

The boys had some new kids in the class and the boys were very friendly.  They also learned some new moves.  Ian learned a swan jump and a roller.  They're always eager to show off their skills and I love seeing how excited they remain about trampoline.  Ian told me today he'd like to try and make it to the Olympics with trampoline.  Wouldn't that be something?

Science and Dealing with Separation Anxiety:
From trampoline we headed right to our local public school for their Mad Science class.  By the time we arrived Evan was excited since we were pretty sure this class was all about water and waves.

We walked into the school and ended up being the first ones in the room.  Evan is shy and was not sure he wanted to stay without me staying too.  He was quite comfortable by the time the small group showed up.  He didn't yet want me to leave and they played the telephone game while waiting for the science people to set up.  He was giggling and rolling on the floor laughing.

They went to walk back to the table and I said "OK I'm going to get going then" and he was clinging to my neck saying "no, don't go.  Stay!"  I told him I could stay for a minute or two but not the whole thing.  He really wanted me to stay for the whole thing.  As this discussion was taking place I did carry him over to the table and sat him down near his brothers telling him he wasn't alone, he was safe, his brothers were here with him, etc.

 I finally looked him in the eye and said "I could have left while you were playing the game and you wouldn't have noticed.  I can wait until you get involved in playing and then sneak out but I'd rather just say good-bye so can you give me a hug and a kiss.  So I can leave?"  He hugged me tight, gave me a kiss, and turned around putting his back to me, ready to learn.

I was floored!

All this took less than 5 minutes.

He never cried, clung, tried to leave with me, or anything!

All the boys LOVED their science class!

 They talked about solids, liquids, and gasses and made silly putty.

They experimented with dropping vinegar onto baking soda and using paint to color the solutions.

 They told me they talked about molecules and made models of molecules using toothpicks and marshmallows (which they ate plenty of!).

And that's how many of our days go! 


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