A lovely blogger I follow is writing a detailed account of a week in her Home Educating week. It is such a good idea, I had to copy it! With her permission, of course! Here is a link to what she and her Sausages are up to. Reading a ‘warts and all’ account of life as an unschooling family is so interesting and useful to those just embarking on it, and so I am adding ours.
And here is ours! A little background: Little Bear is five and a half and Teddy will be three in just over a month. The weather today is pretty cold and dull, although it isn’t raining yet, at least.
This is Teddy’s daily wake up time. Sometimes I am ready to jump out of bed with him and start the day, but not today. So he watches Octonauts on the iPad whilst I doze a bit longer.
Teddy finally drags me from my bed and we go downstairs and make a cuppa. He gets out his Octonauts toys and settles down in the living room whilst I try to figure out why the dishwasher didn’t run last night. At last, whilst visions of having to wash the lot by hand torment me, it suddenly starts. Hopefully it was just feeling a bit tired itself, and is not going to give up on us just before Christmas!
Little Bear arrives downstairs. He is a little grumpy, and retires to the sofa to play Lego Star Wars on the iPad. I put on the kettle again and call Daddy Bear, who arrives in the kitchen a little bleary but in time for hot coffee. The small bears and I eat porridge and honey for breakfast whilst Daddy Bear drinks his coffee with us, and we chat about our plans for the day. The small bears go to play, and Daddy Bear and I get a chance for some grown up chat before he gets ready for work. Little Bear overhears us talking about the refugee crisis, and his immediate response is that they should come and live here. Heart swells…
Daddy Bear disappears into the bathroom, the small bears disappear into iPad world again, and I clear up the kitchen as photos from the last week or so transfer onto the laptop. Seeing the one I took yesterday of the giant hornet we found in the woods, I remind myself to look into that further with Little Bear later.
Daddy Bear emerges from the bathroom and heads off to work. Little Bear disappears into the playroom where he starts playing in the sand, and Teddy starts to pull everything out of the dolls house. He clearly has a plan, so I leave him to it and go up to get dressed.
Everyone is dressed (except for Teddy; he doesn’t ‘do’ clothes), a load of washing is in the machine, and we are getting ready to go to the shop. I want to try to buy more local food, and preferably organic, so we are trialling a couple of nearby farm shops. This one is recently opened, friendly, and has much of what we needed. Little Bear helpfully carries a basket, counts out apples and pears, and works out which cheese says ‘cheddar’ on it (the one with two d’s in the middle!) Teddy is not a real fan of shopping, unfortunately, so I spend a lot of time chasing him, encouraging him not to lie on the floor, and then persuading him back into the car.
Back home, we dump the shopping and snuggle up on the sofa. Teddy is still sad that the trip out was not as exciting as he had hoped, and he seems tired, so we decide to watch a film. He wants Cars or Peter Pan, Little Bear wants The Polar Express. Arguing ensues, so we jump onto Netflix and discover Tinkerbell.
I leave the boys watching Tinkerbell and making jigsaws to start the lunch. Today it is pasta with leftover chicken. I also take the opportunity to empty the dishwasher and pop another load in the washing machine.
The small bears have had their lunch, and have gone to play. Little Bear is making a castle out of sand, and Teddy is lining up the number stamps in order.
Little Bear and I chat a bit about the giant hornet, and I discover he already did with Daddy last night. He knows it is a European Hornet, and not very angry, but if it did sting it would mean a trip to hospital. Apparently they are not often seen in the UK, but a few have been spotted this year.
The boys do some art work with red and gold paint, star and holly sequins and a lot of glitter. We’re planning on cutting these up to make Christmas cards. Little Bear then disappears upstairs to play Minecraft on the iPad, whilst Teddy potters in the playroom for a while. I tidy up the painting stuff, and have a hunt for some missing paperwork. Discovering a large basket of old statements, payslips and other stuff under the bed, I make a mental note to get more organised.
The boys have a snack of savoury popcorn, cheese and pear whilst I make a cuppa and switch around some laundry again.
Little Bear puts on The Polar Express (which we must watch at least once every day right now). I clear up a bit in the kitchen, then settle down to watch with them. We chat a lot about whether ghosts are real, how steam trains work, how icicles form, why some children don’t celebrate Christmas, and some families can’t afford to spend a lot of money at Christmas. Little Bear often likes to ask the same questions when watching films, as though he is testing whether the answer changes. He does correct me if I change my answers, so perhaps it is a way of internalising his understanding of topics.
Teddy gets bored of The Polar Express, so he and I retreat to the dining room to fold washing and make a dinosaur picture with stamps. He also has a bit more popcorn, and feeds some to the dino stampers.
The film is finished, and I suggest the boys make a Brio track to play with before tea. Little Bear wants help to make a big loop, and Teddy lines up the trains and carriages ready to go. They manage to play on their sections of track for about twenty minutes whilst I get a bit of stitching done. Then Teddy decides it is more fun to pull the track to pieces, and needs to be distracted into the playroom.
Tea is tomato soup and crusty bread from the farm shop. They both love this tea, and there is never enough soup to go around. We tidy up the living room, and the small bears roll around and wrestle for a few minutes whilst I clear up the tea things. They seem to need this bit of active play at this time in the evening, although I do need to keep a careful ear for any signs of dislike.
Tea things sorted, we settle down to watch an epsiode of Octonauts and an episode of Abney and Teal before heading upstairs.
Little Bear gets his PJs on and settles down on his bed with the iPad and a cup of milk. He has got very good at amusing himself for a bit in the evening whilst I put Teddy to bed. Often he will come and snuggle into Teddy’s bed with us whilst I read stories, but not tonight.
Teddy knows when he is ready to go to bed, and is usually the first to instigate going upstairs. I get him into PJs (which he immediately removes again!), encourage a bit of tooth brushing, and he jumps into bed with his milk. Tonight we read lots of books with diggers in, and A Teddy Bear’s ABC. Then “light off” and he snuggles down. A bit of tossing and turning, and he falls asleep holding my hand.
Daddy Bear comes in, eats his dinner, and we chat briefly in the kitchen before Little Bear joins us. He is keen for Daddy to come and play HeroQuest with him, something that is becoming a bit of a nightly ritual with them. I sit downstairs for a bit blogging, completing a food order, and doing a bit more stitching until they have finished their game. Then it is time for a few stories with Little Bear and he will settle down to sleep.
Litte Bear is asleep, and the rest of the evening is mine. A chat to my mum on the phone, and off to bed for me.