“Tell us about your typical day.”
People who want to talk to us about unschooling always request that we tell them about a typical day. It’s my least favorite question, because I know that in their head, whatever I say will be compared to the typical day of a family with children in school. Their typical day is easy to describe: Drag kids out of bed to get them dressed & fed in time to leave for school. School. After school activities. Dinner. Homework. Bed. Repeat 5x a week.
One time when asked to describe their typical day, my kids said something like, “Umm, well, we sleep late, get up and have breakfast and then just do whatever.”
Which is an accurate description, but the kind that makes people look at me with raised eyebrows & an expression that is somewhere between astonished & shocked.
Allow me, then, to translate it into language those afflicted with terminal school brain can understand.
The kids sleep late, get up & have breakfast. Then they embark on a day of learning. For Ben, this usually means spending an hour or so building, either with Lego or blocks. Maya will often begin her day reading or editing videos with Final Cut – the editing software used by pro video editors.
After lunch, we may have a class (Art or Spanish), meet with friends or go on an outing in the city, perhaps to a museum, a park, the library or local bookstore. Then it’s home to more self-directed time. This may include creating video games on Gamestar Mechanic (a software developed by an educator for use in schools, but available to anyone on line), figuring out the latest island on Poptropica, or, again, reading & building. Maya and Ben often collaborate on video projects or do a craft such as creating things with Sculpey, or work on their art. After dinner they may spend time playing games on the Wii or the Nintendo DS, etc. There is no set bedtime, and the kids typically stay up late reading or writing.
How’s that? Sound better?
Whenever I launch into such a description of ‘a typical day’, Maya rolls her eyes. She knows I’m making it sound more ‘educational’ for the benefit of those who don’t get that every day we live in the world is a day of learning.
Oh, and the other thing we do a lot on a typical day? Laugh. There is a lot of laughing going on in this house. The good kind, where everyone winds up helpless and wiping away tears. You should see people’s expressions when we get to laughing about something in a public place. They look at us as they might some alien species. As though they can’t quite believe we’re all laughing together.
Tonight’s laugh-fest happened on an evening jaunt to Starbucks, just because we felt like it. Here’s the proof:
(Maya calls this last picture ‘the rabid elephant’….hee hee)