Let’s talk about a day in the life of an unschooler. What does a typical day in the life an unschooler look like?
First off, let’s set the record straight. No two unschooling families unschool the same way. So, throw the idea that there’s a typical unschooling day right out the window right now.
Phew. That was easy. Right?
Umm… maybe, but what’s easy doesn’t necessarily readily offer comfort and reassurance, especially to new unschooling or homeschooing families.
So, read on.
A Day in the Life of an Unschooler
Recently I wrote a post What a Typical Unschooling Day Looks Like that gives a quick snapshot of a typical day in the life of my unschooling family. But because the kids and I travel often and rarely stay put at home, I feel compelled to share more than one post about a day in the life of an unschooler.
If you follow my blog, Wanderschool, you know that I’m raising an unschooling, worldschooling, roadschooling, adventure seeking crew of three teens and one tween.
Two Days Rarely Ever Look Truly the Same
Also, two unschooling days in my family rarely ever look truly the same. So, offering up more perspective into a typical unschooling day might be helpful for some homeschooling and unschooling families (or prospective families).
In addition, since many new homeschooling families wonder if “they are doing it right,” (yes! you likely are…because there is no one way to do it!), I’m writing this post, along with others, to eventually create a series of posts on a Day in the Life.
So, let’s go.
An Ordinary Unschooling Day at Home
Unschooling is a lifestyle. It is especially a lifestyle in my family, where are days revolve around adventure, self-led curiosities and discoveries, and learning opportunities.
An Ordinary Unschooling Day
Here’s how an ordinary unschooling day at home recently went down in my family. Keep in mind, some days are jam packed with activities that resemble “typical” learning. Other days are jam packed with adventures that might on the face not look like typical learning, but are overflowing with learning opportunities…such as when we spend afternoons or days hiking in the Alps. Some days involve zero electronics or television. Other days involve every plug and battery gadget we own.
Sometime around 6-7am.
I admit, I don’t know the exact time because I was still in bed. So I had to poll my kids.
My three teens and my tween woke up sometime around 6-7am. They got up and started doing their own things. Yep, that includes getting dressed, brushing their teeth, and making their beds (three out of four of them, anyway).
Sometime after 7 am and before 9 am.
My 17 year old (who is now in university and graduated from homeschool at 16): watched television for about 30 minutes, while also multi-tasking and looking up recipes. She then made vegan homemade granola in the oven. She then made paleo cookies dipped in dark chocolate. While her creations were baking, she did a core strength workout. She’s a competitive athlete.
My 15 year played Minecraft. He then worked on a Raspberry Pi project. He also did some Java coding and made drip coffee in his Starbucks drip filter pot.
My 13 year also played Minecraft. She practiced her guitar. She’s currently working on an Alanis Morissette song. By the way, if you didn’t know, Alanis is a proponent of unschooling. She then worked on her Hindi language studies and made French toast for her brother.
My 10 year watched YouTube videos. Science videos, of all things. He did a page in his geography workbook because he loves geography. He also wrote a poem in his journal. Nope, I didn’t ask him or tell him to do any of this.
Sometime around 9am and before 4 pm
My 17 year old. Worked on her blog. Wrote blog posts. Updated social media. Studied some French. She went out for coffee and wrote at a coffee shop. Later, she went grocery shopping with me.
My 15 year old. Spent a couple of hours studying French. He then spent a block of time coding in Java. He made lunch for his siblings.
My 13 year old. Practiced more guitar. Worked more on her Hindi. Studied French. Wrote an essay about a French subject. She cleaned the living room.
My 10 year old. Watched comedy clips featuring Trevor Noah. He recently finished Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime (young adult version) and wanted to learn more about him. He watched a TED Talk on How Afternoon Tea Could Save the World. Fascinated by old fashioned ink pressing (a book he was looking at looked like it was missing a letter, so we started discussing printing processes), he watched a short documentary on the printing press. He wrote in his journal. We talked about use of “I vs. Me” in sentence structure.
Sometime after 4 pm and before 11pm.
My 17 year old. Went for a trail run. She painted one hand of her nails (her sister did the other hand). 😉 Made an awesome paleo salad for the family dinner. She later went for a walk, texted friends, and watched a documentary with the family.
My 15 year old. Went for a trail run. Continued to work on a programming project. Watched a documentary with the family. Texted friends. He then went to bed and read (a non-fiction read related to computers and psychology).
My 13 year old. Painted her nails and painted her sister’s nail. Worked on a creative writing project (she’s writing a book). She also updated her social media. Then, she spent time outside playing. She went for a walk. Texted friends. Watched a documentary with the family. She then went to bed and read a fiction book by Judy Blume.
My 10 year old. He spent time in the garden, picking veggies and weeding, and playing outside. He went for a walk. Also, he spent time researching vitamins in particular veggies and helped prepare dinner. He learned a new French word to add to his growing French understanding. We discussed circles and degrees of a circle. While waiting for dinner, he spent time drawing. Later, he watched a documentary with the family. He then went to bed and read poetry.
Year Round Unschooling
As I’ve written before, unschooling is a lifestyle choice for our family. It is a way of learning and a way of living. Accordingly, we ‘school’ year round. Every. Single. Day. Because every single day is a day to learn, grow, evolve, and acquire new experiences and knowledge.
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I’d love to hear your thoughts about A Day in the Life of an Unschooler. Are you on an unschooling journey? Are you contemplating unschooling? Drop a comment below.
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2 thoughts on “A Day in the Life of an Unschooler”
Unschooling is an interesting approach that I’ve considered and gone back and forth about. The kids seem very well rounded and learning things that most kids in school wouldn’t even attempt to learn, French, coding, blogging, gardening. I’m not against unschooling but it’s simply unfamiliar territory for me.
Thank you, Amy.