2 May 2013

Unschooling on a Low Tide day

Every time I record a busy-school-y-academic sort of day-in-the-life, I promise myself that I will write another on one of the other kinds of day. Not a bad day, nor a stressful one. Not an exceptional day, not a more (or less) "educational" day, just... a different kind of atmosphere, different priorities.

Today we meandered from one thing to another. We didn't have a plan, or a project. We didn't focus on a subject, or drag out a load of interesting reference books, or set up an activity. It's days like today that lead me, when people ask whether we have "school holidays" to joke that we're always on holiday. Well, we are!

We tidied up a bit and Rowan helped me clean the bathroom (she loves spraying the tiles with water). Morgan drew a clock face and explained to me how she knows what time it is (I had no idea she knew how to tell the time). We made smoothies and I froze the left overs in ice lolly pots - I'm fairly sure this is the first year we have managed to find an actual set of these from the previous year! Jenna played a new level on her playstation game, then decided to do some painting and took a watercolour box into the garden and left it out there. Meanwhile Morgan wanted muffins, so she and Roo helped me make some.

Morgan did some wool winding with me, and Jenna did some gymnastics on the almost-totally-broken swing frame. When she got fed up with that she came inside and helped me price up new swings for if (when) we get some of last year's tax back. Then she read one of her library books, one of those choose-your-ending mysteries, which she kept exclaiming was "really annoying" because she kept choosing options that led to stories she didn't like.

Rowan asked about a billion times if the ice lollies would be ready yet. Every time I said they weren't, she had to go and open the freezer and poke them to check.

My father in law and sister in law came over to borrow one of our car seats from in the attic for a visiting family member. They offered to take us out for lunch; the children voted for MacDonalds and I didn't moan or roll my eyes. ;) We got glared at a bit, as is fairly usual as a large family out and about during school hours. The children chatted to grandad non-stop, fed the baby their chips, and helped clear up when we were finished.

Morgan and Rowan pretended to be superheroes as we walked home.

Everyone then played in the garden for a couple of hours, mostly putting on a series of pantomimes using an old pallet as a stage. I picked up a whole bag worth of general rubbish from the patio area, broken plant pots and bits of tile (one blew off the roof last week), part of a chicken feed dispenser from years ago (I still miss having chickens), a few small toys missed in previous tidying sessions (all thankfully salvageable). We watched ants going to and from a small apple core for a few minutes.

I came in to start making tea, and when the children followed me a few minutes later they had painted each other's faces with green watercolour "to be Shrek's babies", so I bathed them before food. There was lively discussion about which soap they like best.

So: we tidied, played, read, chatted, smiled, and walked. And we were learning and exploring in just the way we needed to be. And it was good.


  1. Oh I love it, Shrek's babies :) Sounds like a great day, even with the extra bathing, he he. And I was just like your Jenna with those choose your own adventure books, it was never the *right* ending! Happy days x

    1. They are *such* happy days, it's so fun to see them growing up before my eyes. :)


Penny for your thoughts? :)