One of the hardest questions to answer, as unschoolers, is “What does an unschooling day look like?” The answer, for everyone, is different and it is ALSO different from day to day. So here’s one day. Another day will be different.
Kai got up and waited for Joe to go to work. We climbed onto the couch and I asked Kai what he wanted to watch while I took my shower (this is how his day starts on some day, other days not – but we’ve all been a bit sick around here and so I knew that’s what he’d want to do). He asked for Number Beats, which is this weird little DVD about numbers that he loves (and he uses the rhymes from that sometimes when writing his numbers). He also wanted warm chocolate (which is what he calls hot chocolate that’s just… warm). I tucked his blanket around him and went off to my shower.
When I got done, he asked me to put on an audio book – one of the Hank the Cowdog books, which he’s been into lately. He likes them because they’re silly and because Hank sometimes “says the wrong thing”, which Kai is always all over. He listened to the audiobook while having toast – three pieces, which is more than he usually wants. He got done eating and played with some of his cars and his LEGO space shuttle on the “NASCAR” track we all made on Saturday on the floor.
This picture was taken on Saturday, while we were all making the track. He’s played with it in all sorts of ways since. I LOVE that we worked on this as a family.
After a while, get decided to climb onto the couch to listen. Then he picked up one of the paperbacks he’s been reading (this was another Hank the Cowdog) so I turned off the audio book. He read for a while, then he decided that he’d like to play some Animal Crossing on my 3DS.
Kids read in some of the oddest positions.
We had an in-depth discussion over the new villager (Animal Crossing is a simulation game where you live in a town with a bunch of animal villagers) that had moved in today. He read me some of the letters they’d written him and mentioned it whenever a villagers mentioned me – twice today. One of them mentioned that my birthday was next month and Kai verified that with me. He asked me if HIS birthday was next month. His birthday is in January so I said that, no, he had to go through October, November, AND December first.
Playing on the 3DS.
December he associates with Christmas so he started talking about the Iron Man helmet he wanted to ask Santa to bring for Christmas. (Santa, btw, is not, to Kai, a magical being. Oh no. Santa has good tech and, according to Kai, shops at Fred Meyer.) I mentioned that the helmet in question was REALLY expensive (currently anywhere from $99 to $250) so we figured out another one that costs much less (he says it isn’t as good, but it’s still “pretty good” and would make him happy).
He played Animal Crossing for quite some time – maybe an hour or so? I think he was still playing when Joe got home for lunch. Today, we just had simple sandwiches and chips. After lunch, Kai started sorting his money and wanted to find out how much he had. He’s been getting better about identifying and counting coins. And now that he has stuff he actually wants to buy, he’s developed more of an interest in the whole thing.
Sorting and counting his money.
Joe left for work for the afternoon and Kai went to his room for quiet time for an hour (it helps us both recharge – now, it’s something he usually looks forward to). About half an hour into that, I made the decision that, yes, we were well enough to go to the library and the store, so I helped him pick out clothes to wear, but he wanted to finish out quiet time first, so we did.
We went to the library where he had a bunch of books on hold. He asked his favorite librarian to help him find a few new ones. He also loves reading IN the library, so I let him do that for a while. While he was reading, I went and grabbed a few other books (he’d asked for new ones for poetry teatime and I grabbed a few for myself).
At the Ballard library.
Then, we stopped in to pick up some stuff from Fred Meyer. Kai bought himself a Hot Wheels car (he had to borrow money from me until we got home but he promptly repaid me). He was very excited that it “wasn’t much money”. He also wanted some new pants and gloves – he settled on a camouflage print for both. He’s very excited because he thinks they’ll help him hide better for hide and seek (a game he was thinking of because he’d played it on Animal Crossing that morning) during homeschool park day. Also, he said, “My friends wear stuff like this.” One does, at least.
Picking out new pants. He was looking at the mirror – he LOVES mirrors.
I needed to get cough medicine, they are stored in the same aisle as the feminine products, which Kai asked me about. In great detail. We’ve briefly talked about all of that, including a vague explanation of how people reproduce. So, in true five year old fashion, he said, loudly, at one point, “Are you talking about sex? Because sex sounds GROSS.” And I clarified that, no, that was just for when the woman’s body gets rid of an egg. “You mean a baby.” Well, no… so that was another bit of a talk.
With the replacement squash.
In line, he pointed out that one of our acorn squashes was leaking a bit, so he went to grab me another one for me. We’re trying to find a better rhythm for the store and give him a bit more freedom. He just aged out of Playland at Fred Meyer, something he really loved going to, so I’ve been having him help more, letting him go off to grab something that I’m certain he knows the exact location of and waiting till he comes back. It’s typically only an aisle or two away, but it’s good for him to be able to do that, I think.
Then, we stopped by the bank in the store and headed for home.
We got home just a few minutes before Joe, so Kai started reading while I unpacked groceries and started making dinner. When Joe got home, Kai excitedly told him about the toy he bought with his own money, which is very exciting when you’re five.
Right before dinner, Kai started a “game” that seemed to be loosely based on Minecraft. He used blocks to make some tools which “we” had to find – really, he played for me, too. Then we had dinner – butter chicken, one of his favorites.
Mondays in our house are “Minecraft Mondays” so that’s what we did for an hour or so. Typically, we stop at 8 (which is what we did tonight).
From our Minecraft session. We’ve been playing here for quite some time. Some of the trees are HUGE.
Then, Kai played a bit more of his made up game before I introduced him to “fortune tellers” (some people call them “cootie catchers”).
With a “cootie catcher”. He played with this for nearly half an hour. He probably knows how to spell red, yellow, green, and blue REALLY well now.
He wanted to play with that until we went to read stories in his bed where he was joined by one kitty before he fell asleep and one after.
Bedtime stories, with guest photobombing by Parker (the cat).
Falling asleep with Zelda kneading the blanket next to him.
So, that’s what our “typical unschooling day” looked like… today. Tomorrow, it’ll be different.