I think a lot of people have a hard time imagining how a day works when you’re an unschooling family. I thought I’d tell you about my day today. This is how a Tuesday works:
6:00 am: Seven year old son comes into our room and wakes us up. Husband goes downstairs to spend some time with him. I stay in bed. He likes mornings, I don’t, so that’s how it works in our family. I don’t even know what goes on between 6-8 am around here. All I care about is that somebody has taken the puppy outside.
7:00 am: Husband comes back up to hang out in bed with me for a bit. Soon we are joined by our five year old daughter. We talk and catch up on our emails/facebook on our phones. The older kids are downstairs playing computer games.
8:00 am: I get up and have a shower and call downstairs instructing my 10 year old son to get dressed and have breakfast. He is getting picked up to go to a homeschool book club at 9. Another mom and I take turns doing the driving. Today it’s her turn to drive the kids to the library in a neighbouring town, 40 minutes away. That’s rural homeschooling for you: lots of car time some weeks.
9:00 am: My son has just been picked up, my husband leaves for work. I make sure the two younger ones are dressed and have eaten enough breakfast. I have a hair appointment at 10 and they’re going to the home of another unschooling mom whose kids are my kids’ best friends. Getting kids ready takes an inordinate amount of time, but we manage to be out the door by 9:51.
10:00 am: My younger kids are at their friend’s house, my oldest is home alone (she’s almost 12, it’s fine), and I am in the hairdresser’s chair. I tell her I’ve started a blog about unschooling with my sister and she asks me how unschooling works. She sounds very doubtful that my kids will be able to go to university. I explain this to people all the time, it doesn’t bother me.
11:00 am: Due to unusual circumstances today I have to actually go to the library 40 minutes away and pick up my son. The other mom is unable to bring him home. My two youngest kids will stay at their friends’ house, my oldest will stay home alone. She has an art lesson with a local artist at 11:30. She will ride her bike there and back. It’s nice living in a small town for this reason.
1:00 pm: My two oldest kids are home now, mostly using the computer. I am doing some housework, cleaning a toilet, folding some laundry, listening to a podcast.
4:00 pm: I go and pick up my younger kids from their friends’ house. They had a great day. It’s time to decide what to make for supper. I have half hearted ambitions to plan my meals weeks in advance. It would be so efficient. I never do it, I plan supper at four o’clock every day. I go to the store to buy one ingredient.
5:00 pm: I’ve made everyone get off the computers now. They’re playing in their rooms, or running around, or fighting with each other. My seven year old has gone to the neighbour’s house where a friend of his is home from school and has time to play.
6:00 pm: Supper is on the table, my husband comes home from work, we eat together. There is a fight every day between the seven and five year old about who gets to sit next to daddy. I threaten to send them to bed without supper if they don’t quit it. I think to myself that I need to come up with a better solution to this issue. My oldest has swimming class and my 10 year old has Cub scouts right after supper. They finish eating and go off to get themselves ready. I drive them to their things. I could let them ride bikes, but in November it’s dark already so I’d rather just drive them.
7:00 pm: My husband has gone to a meeting to do with his job in the church tonight. I get the younger kids into their pajamas, and take them along with me to pick up the older ones. When we get home I put the younger ones to bed. Downstairs I read a chapter of Little Women to the older ones.
8:00 pm: The older ones go upstairs to read in their beds. I have the rest of the evening to myself.