If you ask an unschooling parent ‘what is a typical day like?’ they will laugh, politely, I hope, or kinda snort. There is no such thing as typical with unschoolers.
Yesterday our day was completely higgledy-piggledy because I was not feeling well. I felt like I had the achiness and cold sensitivity that comes with the flu…and a headache, again. So Papa Chris came home to help with the attachlings.
While I dozed in and out of a fitful sleep, Papa Chris alternated between working (on his laptop from work) and doing things with the wee ones. ‘Doing things’ means: playing with, getting things for, getting snacks for, separating fights between, looking for lost legos, starting up a movie on the computer…
After homemade bean soup…with lentils and chicken stock…that I had, thankfully, made weeks ago and frozen in single serving sizes (for easy thawing/eating) I began to feel a little better.
By yesterday evening I felt more like myself, though without much stamina. But a night of pretty good sleep has helped me to feel almost back to normal.
So this morning I face an apartment that is not as wrecked as it could be (thanks to Papa Chris for cleanup help yesterday as well.) A quick cleanup of the kitchen (and starting the dishwasher) and things are almost back to normal.
While I was doing the kitchen cleanup, the attachlings are watching a silly songs from Veggie Tales DVD. Nic decided he wanted to use the colored pencils to work on a poster that he started over the weekend. I’ve never seen him spend this much time or energy on a project that is this detailed, btw. This inspired Theo to get paper and start drawing ‘scenes.’ Theo makes scenes from the move Wall-E all the time, usually with legos, but today he’s drawing them as well. And of course, if the boys are creating, paper and crayons are soon to be Whingari’s passion.
So they are all at the big table, creating, not infringing on one another’s territory (Whingari has just discovered how much ‘fun’ it is to scribble on a page that a brother is using…)
And that is what unschooling IS this morning. Self-inspired, self-directing creativity time.
This afternoon? Who knows.
The NOW is what is important. They are fully invested in this moment and that is exactly what I would want of and for them.
I am finally starting to really understand why some educational perspectives (Waldorf comes to mind) insist that children shouldn’t be pushed into academics too early. They need time to BE. Pushing them into higher order thinking before they are ready can take them away from this essential knowledge. Pushing them too early can strip them of essential spirit.
Unschooling isn’t just an approach to home education…it is a spiritual path.