Precious Moments – Unschooling

This week has been peppered with bad days and illness and very little has been achieved.  I was going to write yesterday about new thoughts I had concerning our unschooling weeks but to be honest I really didn’t think it would be a fair reflection.  However, I will say this – leaving the children completely to their own devises is not really working.  I always felt we would have to find our own way into the unschooling weeks but when my two twin daughters came to me and said they felt overwhelmed by the choices and freedoms and that they wanted me to step up my parenting I knew I had to pay attention.  When everyone is completely back to themselves we will be chatting about some middle ground we can reach.  I know that I personally am happier and live a much more satisfying life if I am kept busy, not frenetically so but busy enough to have meaningful purpose.  I rather feel my children are made of similar stuff.  I will post all our thoughts and any changes sometime next week.  For now though, here are a few pictures of our fairly unproductive week.

The four girls had much fun playing hospitals with K11 and their little sisters.  They turned the dining table into a bed and themselves into doctors with the little ones being patients.  I really love to see pretend play as the whole of the older one’s childhood was taken up pretend playing all day long.  It brings back lovely memories:

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On Saturday the little ones were invited to a pajama party.  The older girls offered to go along to help.  They thought wearing their matching Christmas Panda onsies from the Christmas before last would be kind of fun:

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Each day, at around 9 my mum listens to A6 read and reads to her.  They both really enjoy their times together.  B3 takes this opportunity to play with Lego.  Her interest in Lego has just suddenly taken off over the past few weeks and there are always some bricks out somewhere in the house.  She makes up elaborate stories which is lovely to see:

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We found some old clay which with a bit of added water was usable.  The four girls had fun making models, with the older girls focusing on presents for their Daddy for Valentine Day and A6 making a seal:

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The girls are very excited about their date with Gary on Saturday and have made him the most loveliest present.  They said I could share it with you all, but not before Gary sees it as he reads my blog faithfully and would see his present if I posted it before.

Whilst L was recovering (and yes, I know, she’s not looking very ill in this photo!), C painted the faces of her little sisters, much to their delight:

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C had been practicing some songs and asked if she could sing them to us.  Of course I agreed, and the little ones joined in by dancing along with her singing:

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Other bits and bobs included many bike rides, some sewing on the machine and some collage making from the little ones:

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Next week we are back to a normal school week and we are all looking forward to it.  B3 turns into B4 on Tuesday and has allotted to go to the beach to celebrate.  As Gary always takes birthdays off from work we will be spending the whole day together as a family which is always something to look forward to!  Also, next week is the British half term and we will be meeting up with friends we don’t usually see.  It should be a good week, although how we will fit in school work I just don’t know!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend filled with lots of fun, and people you love!

16 comments

  1. I do completely understand how the girls feel a bit adrift during the unschooling weeks, but remember (I’m sure you do remember this!) that learning how to manage and fill time is a really important tool. It would be a real shame if the unschooling weeks became just slightly more relaxed versions of the schooled weeks – it’s an opportunity for them to learn (ten years and more sooner than I did) how to identify goals, work out the steps needed to achieve them, and develop the discipline to achieve them. They might need help figuring out how to do this, but once they’ve learnt it that’s a skill that will stay with them forever – and be a huge asset when they’re older.

    All that said, your unproductive week looks like it was a lot of fun, illness notwithstanding!

    1. I couldn’t agree more! We had a very interesting chat with the children which I will be sharing, but basically it was about setting goals for themselves and achieving them. I guess sometimes you have to walk children through things a few times before they get it 🙂

  2. Looks like a fairly good week from here. However, I will totally and shamelessly admit that we spent one whole day watching “Batman: The Brave and the Bold” episodes at our house, and we’ve spent copious amounts of time getting Valentines ready for our monthly science co-op and weekly Bible co-op. Even a week that feels wasted is not truly wasted. 🙂

    1. I think it is not necessarily the screen time so much as the mindlessness of it which bothers me. Honestly? I think my guys were bored which is both unusual and really not good for them! We’ve been in discussions and I think we have it figured out!

  3. Our week also wasn´t very productive. My daughter vomited too, the others caught a cold again and I didn´t feel well myself… Sometimes it seems we have to make a break and let it be!

  4. I find that on our weeks off I need some kind of activity or structure each day to give the kids a bit of relief from so much freedom. Sometimes it is only an hour project or outing but it seems to help. This last break was our best break week yet.
    Blessings, Dawn

  5. I’m thinking the disorientation you’re describing might be a little like the de-schooling process often recommended to new un-schoolers. If you can stand it, you might want to try to wait it out, to see what comes.

    1. It’s hard for me to discern whether it is that or whether it comes from their personalities. I have always felt unschooling in its totality would not suit us because the children are too like me – they need to be busy otherwise they get into mischief! I knew we would need to do some serious tweaking along the way to make the unschooling week work for us. We had a brilliant chat at the end of last week and have a plan for our next week.

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