How does a day play out in an unschooling household?

Mushrooms

I have peppered this post with words that show what subjects are being learnt as the day goes on. But in truth who knows what is being learnt, who knows what goes in to a childs mind, ever. If one needs a label, then there are the labels…

The day went like this we woke, we came down to breakfast. We talked over breakfast, I reminded myself that I am not so great in the morning and I put on a positive talk, on the internet. It made me feel good. The kids cooked pancakes, they argued about who would cook first, I heard them, I let it be, they sorted it out. They made me and themselves pancakes. COOKING.

We listened to a song from A Bollywood film called ‘Dil Se’ the song is called Cheya Cheya, Jahli sat in front of the computer and sang the words to it in Urdu, he loves this song and listens to it alot. The girls did the Bollywood dance moves behind him and laughed. He asked me what the song meant. I said ‘I am not sure but I think it is about shadows and love’, we found the subtitles in English, he and I read the subtitles. READING.

I said to the girls ‘what do you want to do today?’ they said ‘we really really want to clean our lair.’ They call it ‘the lair’ it is a place where they do their stuff their making etc. I said ‘really?’ and they said ‘Yes really, we will put on music and open the windows and clean.’ They did, all morning.

We went from ‘Cheya Cheya’ to biscuits. COOKING. Jahli made Gluten free biscuits. I said ‘we need a recipe’ he said ‘we don’t’ I said ‘we do’ He said ‘we don’t’ it went on a bit like this for a while.

Then I looked him clearly in the eye and said, ‘with baking it is really good to follow a recipe, with other stuff it is not so important and I really don’t want to waste money.’ He said. ‘OK.’ We looked at the recipe, he looked a fractions and I marvelled at the fact that he read the fractions without flinching, I can’t remember when he learnt fractions but he knows them. MATHS. He looked at the page whilst I read. READING. He weighed stuff. MATHS. Looked at the scales. He rolled out the dough, we made biscuits together.

We had lunch, I made it, the girls went to their circus class. Jahli felt ill and didn’t want to go. We went outside the evening was beautiful clouds fell in to the valley and the peaks of the hills peeped through them. He shouted ‘MUM…A MUSHROOM!!!’ he said ‘Can we go on a mushroom hunt?’ We went on a mushroom hunt. We photographed  them BIOLOGY, BOTANY, PHOTOGRAPHY. He said ‘I don’t like that chair in the shot would you move it?’ I said ‘Sure’ He said that ‘mushrooms are bigger than the car you know, sometimes.’ I said ‘I don’t think they are…’ We looked up the biggest mushrooms in the world. They were not bigger than the car. Although they were pretty big.

He said, do you think I can watch kid chefs? We watched kid chefs, he said ‘I could do that’ I said ‘you could.’ He thought about it. I said ‘Shall we look on TED Ed for a lessons on Mushrooms?’ We looked there was nothing on mushrooms so we watched a lesson about germs and DNA I got really lost. Am not sure whether he understood it or not but he got to the end pretty well. BIOLOGY.

He said ‘Shall I do my blog?’ I said ‘Do you feel like it?’ he said ‘No not really’ I said ‘Do you want to watch tv for a bit?’ he said ‘Yes’ he is now watching cartoons.

His appetite for learning is non-stop and insatiable, I honestly struggle to keep up and there are days when I am not 100% tuned in to him like I was today and he learns more on his own, figuring things out. It makes me think of the theory of folding piece of paper 45 times and it reaching the moon, he is on the way to the moon and I am doing my best to keep up. I believe that children, with the right support, left free to design their own education go to the moon, the stars and beyond.

 

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About the Author

Lehla is an illustrator and an author of books, she has written for The Guardian. She trained as an actress at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She wrote The South African Illustrated Cookbook, The Lovely Book for Wonderful Women and she illustrated a kid's book by M.J. Amani called 'Excuse Me, I'm Trying to Read' and also 'I am Me, You, Us and We' by Caroline Trowbridge. Above all she is a mother to three fast growing kids, she juggles her time between them and working on new books and projects. She has recently co authored with Anthony 'Jump', Fall, Fly - from schooling, to homeschooling, to unschooling' Her art work can be seen at http://lehlaeldridge.wix.com/lehla-
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