"Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

Saturday, April 02, 2011

A Day in the Life

A few weeks ago, myself and another unschooling friend spoke to a graduate class about unschooling. Since then, I've been contacted by handful of students wanting to interview me, learn more, and use our family as a case study for a final project. At first, it was just through email, but yesterday someone came to visit, observe, and talk with us in person.

I was nervous... worried that it would be the day that the kids would bicker, the washing machine would overflow, and the dog would finally catch and kill a chicken. Thankfully, I worried for nothing. None of those things happened, and in fact she was able to witness the kind of unschooling day that just unfolds like a symphony.

She arrived in the late morning, and by the time she'd gotten here I'd already had a lengthy conversation with Spencer about electrical circuits (complete with diagrams, by yours truly). I'd also had a lengthy conversation about the inner workings of a hand grenade with Everett (also complete with diagrams, by Everett) We'd picked up together, tended to all the animals, and gathered the morning eggs.

When she got here, we'd settled into a comfortable rhythm for the day. Tegan wanted to paint, so she was set up at the kitchen table. When she'd finished painting, she switched to making hand prints, then washed up to play with - and name - all the wooden letters in her Tegan puzzle. Everett had tired of writing his name on little post-its around the house, and was out back experimenting with water, mud, and physics. He was quite proud of the simulated hand grenade he'd created by filling a tube with water, and plugging the end with grass, mud, and a pin fashioned from a small root. Paxton spent most of his time on the computer, and Spencer alternated between computer time and adult conversation with me and our visitor. We introduced her to the rats and the snake, and spent a long time on the back patio watching the chickens and talking about school, learning, and upper level math.

I'd promised the kids we could go to the store to get the ingredients for homemade ice cream, so after she'd left we made our one – and only – outing for the day. Car conversation included genetics, war, and public transportation. We got our ice cream makings, and a fun dinner. When we got home, we pulled out the globe. Our guest was originally from Lebanon, so we found its location on the globe, along with several other countries that we'd wondered about. The geography discussion turned to talk of history, and more wars, and a good chuckle over a Friends episode where Chandler concocted a whole ruse about getting transferred to Yemen for work.

The evening held scooter riding, ice cream making, movie watching, and trouble shooting on our new (failed) camera battery.

And it was very, very good.


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