There is no typical day unschooling living on a boat!
What is unschooling? I like to think of it as self directed learning assisted ably by myself, The Skipper and our friends and family to name a few! Call it boat schooling, homeschooling, unschooling, whole life learning, radical unschooling, call it what you like! Pick one that fits and insert cheeky emoticon.
Today, the girls enjoyed time at their art class which is run in the mornings while most other kids their age are at school. The other kids in their group are various ages but that doesn’t matter, in fact, it’s important! Socialisation – tick!
After lunch the girls did some work on their own little projects. Miss 10 is in the process of designing a menu. She’s using Excel to do this and managed to work out how to do it without my help. Guess kids ARE great at technology. She’s decided to make a starter, a main and a dessert every Tuesday. How lucky am I? The Skipper cooks Mondays and Miss 10 on Tuesdays! I love the schedule our mentor helped me plan. It allows me to have some time to feel ‘caught up’ with everything else. Anyway, back to the menu. Last night was Tuesday and Miss 10 used her Junior Masterchef Cookbook to create home made meat pies with mushy peas and cauliflower. It took a while and she had some help with the pastry but the rest was her and it was really good! The best part is she covers so many things when budgeting for, designing and cooking her own menu. Unschooling – tick!
Swab is so into science and maths at the moment. She is loving making her own potions, doing lots of science experiments from a great book I found at Aldi and watching YouTube videos recommended by her science teacher on evolution (her latest passion.) I’m happy to strew books, suggest things to research and assist here and there but for the most part she does this by herself. Self Directed – tick!
The girls got tired out with their projects after a couple of hours and remembered they had some math homework from their weekly math class. They love it so this isn’t a chore. Miss 7 is dead keen on maths and we refer to her in a number of ways (including Swab, Ju Ju and Bubby) but the latest one is “Our Little Nerd”-her enjoying reading the thesaurus doesn’t help with the name calling either. She must get those genes from elsewhere.
The girls then helped trouble-shoot the water pump problem we had and filled up the water tank for me, and read some not-so-funny jokes out from their library books.
Bored with that, they moved on to a David Attenborough DVD from the library and then did some writing in their diaries. I don’t tell them what to do, they know the choices. They rode their scooters on the dock, discussed the life cycle of jellyfish with Daddy since he works on the boat next door and then photocopied some pictures out of a book to water paint at a later date.
Thanks to our mentor the schedule also includes them doing daily chores for which they earn a weekly pocket money. Today’s chores were bathroom cleaning, laundry, and setting and clearing the table for meals. I’m feeling much less stressed with all these things in place but somehow the days still fly past. The girls are saving up their pocket money for another cruise. They have a money tin, a running total and have been researching the cost of different itineraries. Did I mention unschooling – tick?
They’re now reading in their cabins as the rain is about to set in and that gives me time to prepare dinner.
This is just an example of what we get up to day to day living on a boat and unschooling. Tomorrow will almost definitely be different! We are looking forward to and planning our cruising itinerary now by preparing budgets and beginning to cut back on expenses like food and eating out. There’s lots of hustle and bustle onboard these days, with plenty of opportunities for learning.