One day at a time: Moving From Homeschooling to Unschooling

While we've had this whole "week off" I've really enjoyed the time we've stopped and spent together.  I feel like since I wasn't worrying about lesson planning,  lesson prepping, or even implementing lessons and juggling time I was more relaxed, easy going and much more focused on the boys.

They were more relaxed and having fun too.  No one bickered or fought much and we all really focused on enjoying the little moments.

I was amazed at all the skills I noticed the boys exhibiting at various times throughout the week:

  • One day Ian joined me in the kitchen.  He made another double batch of waffles and really didn't need any help at all!  He double checked his addition of fractions a few times with me to make sure he was measuring the ingredients right, but other than that he made breakfast all by himself.  His fraction sums were perfect (he even reduced them!  "mom 1 3/4 plus 1 3/4 is 3 1/2-- right?").  He must have used all the right measurements too because his waffles were fantastic!  He's not even afraid to take them out of the waffle maker anymore like he used to be. 
  • Another afternoon as Ian sat next to me playing Stack the States on the Kindle he was showing me that in one of the bonus games you can try to put all 50 states on the map where they belong.  It's tricky since you're only allowed three mistakes before the game is over but he managed to put all 50 states in their place for a few games in a row having only made one mistake each time (a different state each time-- funnily enough) but he was so happy at getting bonus points for not having used all three x's and I was floored that he knew where all 50 states were located!  We've played games with the states, we've talked about the states, and we've read a few books about various states here and there but we've never studied the states. 
  • While out to dinner one night I introduced Alec to Sudoku.  I showed him how to get the game started and I loved watching the look of intense concentration on his face.  He really seemed to enjoy it and solved an entire puzzle by himself  before dinner was over. 
They all chose to play outside almost everyday this  week for long periods to time too!  It's still pretty chilly but with the sun out and most of our backyard thawed out they're back to playing outside.  They still have to bundle up in coats and ski pants most of the time but they're happy to be out running around, yelling, and digging in the sand.
  • They're riding bikes and scooters, climbing up our climber and using the monkey bars to get across. 
  • They're using the swings and they're playing a bunch of different made up games using sticks, rocks, and toys.  They've been everything from Teen Titans to demi gods (they LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, our new book on CD--  Heroes of Olympus) to Lego Chima characters to Pok√©mon guys to Tenkai knights. 
  • We've worked on jigsaw puzzles, played card games, played Tic, Tac, Toe, and, of course, we've read lots and lots of books.  
So, right in keeping with my ever changing moods about homeschooling we've once again found our way back to unschooling!  

It's funny how we run in such complete cycles in this house.

Seems like every spring and summer (and even part of the fall) we rely most heavily on unschooling and then every late fall to spring we are strictly the homeschoolers with textbooks and tests and papers.  

It usually starts out as a gradual changeover but it always ends up the same.  It would be great if we could just find some sort of  balance/ happy medium between the two schools of learning but for some reason that's just not us.

It's so easy to start with "well, I just need to teach them math; they'll unschool the rest of the subjects" and then the next thing I know we're adding in writing, reading, spelling, geography, etc. until we have days so full of schoolwork we've pushed all the unschooling right out the window. 

Since this week was only supposed to be a week off we're supposed to be going back to school on Monday and already I'm thinking we need to do less!

The boys really want to finish up their math minutes in multiplication so we'll have to work on that and Evan is proudly boasting to everyone that he can add and read and wants to keep working on that so I'll have to come up with something fun for him to do with reading and math.

All three boys have asked several times this week to work on their geography fair reports so we'll have to do that but I'm really hoping we find a lot more time for "fun" in our days.

This past week was wonderful and we need more of them.

We found our fun in our learning again and I don't want to get bogged down by so much work and worry.  

It's so much better when we live it day to day and only take the future one day at a time.  Something I find is so much easier to say than to do. 


  1. Sounds like a great week. And it's encouraging to me that even in the weeks where I feel like we're not getting a whole lot of book work done, they're still learning, even though I may not document all of it. :)

    1. I find that so encouraging too! I love knowing even when I feel like we're really dropping the ball on our schoolwork that they're still learning!


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