Today’s Day in the Life is from Amber, who unschools her two daughters in Alberta, Canada. You can read more about her unschooling adventures on her blog, Pitter Patter and Constant Chatter, or catch up with her on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest.
If you follow my blog, you already know we homeschool. But you may have wondered why I never talk about curriculum or share pictures of us doing workbooks. The answer is that we don’t follow curriculum and workbooks are few and far between!
We are registered as traditional (parent led homeschooling), but we would fall more into the relaxed homeschooler / unschooler (child led) category. I even recently came across a new-to-me learning style that we unknowingly incorporate into our homeschool due to our love of the outdoors and nature hikes – forest school.
If we’re not sitting down at a desk or table each day to learn, then how and what do we cover? Here’s a run through of a day in the life of the Pitter Patter and Constant Chatter family as well as a sampling of our unschooling lifestyle.
7-8am – My 4 yr old and I wake up. Sometimes she wakes up first, depending on if I had a late night of crime show reruns, or sometimes I can sneak past her door or slide out of bed past her first (there’s a 50% chance of her arriving in our bed in the middle of the night).
8am-10am – I work from home and the company I work for opens at 8am so I’ll check email and do work while my youngest cuddles beside me watching cartoons with a snack or two. She will usually wander off to play in the basement playroom or her room, or bring a play set to the living room and play on the floor in front of me.
10am – Big sis is a night owl so she’s usually up around 10am, then they have breakfast together.
10am-2pm – This is our free play / playground / nature walk / crafts / field trip / registered class time. If we’re home for the day (usually only 1 or two days each week), the girls will go off for pretend play till lunch and then we’ll do a craft, science experiment, or some extra reading.
2pm-4pm – Quiet time. I can usually get a bit of time to myself in the afternoon to tidy up, catch up on work emails, blog, or lazily browse Facebook for 10 min (ok, maybe longer). They head to their rooms with snacks and tablets, or play with their toys, and we all get the quiet time we need to help supper and bedtime go smoothly.
4pm – 6pm – Husband comes home and we have supper. The youngest can’t go too long without her big sis so she usually searches her out late afternoon and they play for a bit. Or they will both end up downstairs and want to do something at the table while supper is prepared.
6pm – 7:30pm – Free play or evening walk / playground trip. If we didn’t get out earlier in the day, we might go out after supper for some fresh air.
If we’re at home, the girls will go off and play together or go their separate ways till it’s bed prep time.
7:30-10pm – Bedtime routine and sleep preparation – cleaned up, teeth brushed, books read. My youngest goes to bed in the 8-8:30 range and requires me to lay with her till she’s asleep. Many nights I wish I could be doing something else, tidying up, catching up on work, etc. but I know she needs the closeness at bedtime and she falls asleep quicker if I’m there than if I try and get out of it, so she wins that battle!
My oldest daughter has lights out between 10pm and 11pm. She has quiet time in her room from the start of putting little sis to bed, or she heads out to the playground that’s in eyesight of our front door. In the summertime, the sun doesn’t set till after 10pm so the neighbourhood kids are always out late playing.
Since the oldest isn’t a morning person, night-time is also the time of day she is most inquisitive. I’m not sure if it’s a stall tactic for bedtime or not, but if she’s asking me questions and wants to learn, I can take some time out to Google and YouTube a few answers, no matter what time of day it is.
When we first started, my intention was to do more book work, but I quickly realised that wouldn’t work for any of us. Letting the children take the lead has been an adventure! There is so much they want to know and they enjoy participating in fun, hands on learning opportunities that pop up through our homeschool board or the local homeschool community at large!