Our Unschoolers want projects! Ideas for Project Based Learning.

Projects pic

So last night as I tucked the kids in to bed one of my daughters said.


‘Mummy, I want homework. Could you give me a project, make me do it and if I don’t do it be really mean to me?’

We both laughed.


Then the other two chimed in ‘Yeah, me too, me too!’


What I gleaned from this is that they are hungry to learn, they want something to do and they want to be challenged. They also want me to stick to a boundary to make sure that they finish their projects. Which is kind of contrary to the unschooling philosophy but it comes from them, so it is all good. I am following them in their learning.


So late last night I wrote a list and it goes like this.


  1. Raise one hundred Euro for charity, find a charity that resonates with you, research it and then raise money for it.


  1. Research Vietnam, find out everything you need to know about going to Vietnam. Learn some basic language, find out if there are circus schools there. Present it to me in a week.


  1. Design and build a model house, look at Frank Lloyd Wright’s work and design it in that style.


  1. Write a story. Put in five illustrations or photographs. Design the cover of it as if it were a book. Use a painting from The Art Book to springboard an idea for your story.


  1. Design a flyer for our upcoming kids market.


  1. Tell me everything you can about black holes.


  1. Do a portrait of yourself as to how you think you will look in ten years’ time.


  1. Write a script, make a film. Act in it, organize the actors, design the costumes and do the filming etc


  1. Learn the basics of French, do what you can in one week.


  1. Learn how to play and sing a song on the piano. Perform it in a week.


  1. Do a theatre show, an outside piece, plan it, write it, rehearse it and invite an audience to come and see it in a week’s time.


  1. Write a Minecraft song, write the lyrics the music, record or sing it for us in a week.


  1. Learn how to do some Japanese writing with a paintbrush.


  1. Write a piece for the blog about the Unschooling/Homeschooling camp. Tell us from your perspective how would you have organized the camp differently.


15. Research the pyramids in Egypt and see how they were built then re build them in Minecraft.



Then the kids gave me a project.


Draw a cat that has all the characters and personalities of our six cats combined with in it. (GULP!)



These were the ideas I proposed, please feel free to use any of them for your kids if they inspire you and let us know how you got on. I shall report back from our end soon and let you know what happens from here.

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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-

7 Enlightened Replies

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  1. Margaret says:

    These are awesome ideas! I think your kids will have great fun on their projects. 🙂

  2. Margaret says:

    It’s Margaret again. I just had an idea I wanted to share, hopefully someone might find it useful or interesting. Research a type of cuisine you are unfamiliar with, then design and cook a 3-course meal. Something along those lines. Probably I am inspired to think of this idea by wanting someone other than me to prepare meals, lol! Anyway, I enjoy reading your blog posts, I hope you have a wonderful day. 🙂

  3. Hi Margaret, yes they are having fun already! Our one daughter has written her script and has cast her movie, I am the granny and the witch (?) our neighbour’s daughter is the main character and I think our son is the pixie and her sister is a nymph!

  4. That is a good idea, yesterday one of my daughters made a Vietnamese pudding and I told her of your suggestion and she is considering doing a three course Vietnamese meal!

  5. I hope you have a wonderful day too!

  6. Margaret says:

    Hello Lehla,

    Oh yes, I did see the picture of the Vietnamese creme caramel posted on your Facebook account. It looked delicious! The movie-making sounds like it is a lot of fun, with lots of creativity and imagination, and how wonderful it has so many family members (and a neighbour!) involved.

    I am a homeschooling mom of two boys in Canada. It is quite structured in our family but I like to keep my eyes and ears open for different ideas, so your blog is much appreciated! 🙂

  7. Great Margaret, thanks for the comment and for keeping up with our blog. Yes, it was delicious!