Monday, August 04, 2008

Unschooler Blog Carnival; What does an "average" day look like for you?

Hiking the Butte, what we lovingly call the Butt.

After a looonnnngggg night of questing.

Typical Alaskan sunset. We do live in a beautiful place!!

Calista and Maija experimenting with different smoothie recipes.

Teens rocking out with Rock Band!

Tristan's building project.

What does an "average" day look like for us? That is a good question because I don't think we necessarily have an "average" day but..........................

We definitely try to leave ourselves open from day-to-day. None of my kids, with the exception of Kevin, really like to have "scheduled" activities; meaning they don't like piano lessons, organized sports, etc. My kids really just like to ride with the flow of the day. Kevin is VERY community minded and likes to be involved in community activities. He is involved with AYEA (Alaska Youth for Environmental Action), Youth Court, volunteering at the recycle center, etc. He loves to take music lessons, photography class and other scheduled things.

Tristan is the outdoorsy type so he often wakes up in the morning and heads outside and we might not see him until dinner time. He will build things, rollerblade, dig holes, and anything else you can think of. Sometimes I will take off with him on the rollerblades and we will be gone for an hour or so. He likes to do anything that involves working with his hands and likes to tinker. He is starting to take the roof off the barn, as we are going to turn it into my "yoga retreat". For several weeks he spent many hours in the afternoon doing research, online, about parrots, which led to the adoption of a Caique that we have all fell in love with. Lately he has been doing a lot of online games through X-Box live and sleeping all day.

Calista is kind of in between those two. She likes to have weekly schedule events and talks about joining basketball but likes to be outdoors with Tristan too. She tends to need lots of down time, just reading quietly, watching her favorite TV shows and cuddling with mom. She loves to have friends over too! Probably 4 out of 7 days we pick Rylee up in the afternoon and she will be here until 7 or 8 and often spends the night, or Calista will end up at her house for the night.

I'm not really sure how to answer what a typical day looks like for us. I usually get up a few hours before anyone else and answer my e-mails, drink my coffee, and just putz around. Calista is usually the first one up after me and often gets right on her computer to check up on all the games she plays and send e-mails to Maija. She has recently become interested in writing paper letters to Maija and sending them snail mail. We often will go take hikes, walk the dogs, go to the coffee shop or other such things. In the afternoon the crafts will come out, the books, questions come up and we look things up on the computer. As the boys get older things change but Calista and Tristan used to spend hours playing "bank", "store" or other dramatic play. Now it seems the bird comes out to be played with and conversations ensue in the afternoon. The afternoon seems to be more reflective than the rest of the day and our conversations end up on the computer looking up fun facts. Much of our conversations lately have been based around the Presidential Campaign and environmental issues.

We have a very lively household and usually by 4 or 5pm friends start stopping by and often I end up making dinner for a few extras. The kids will come in and start chopping and helping with dinner and usually the "extra" kids will hang out until late in the night. A couple times this summer Randall has brought out the fire poi and given us a show or we build a bonfire and just hang out. On the nights that friends aren't over we always spend a couple hours, right before bed, watching TV as a family. Our favorite shows right now are The Supper Club; a show where several guests have conversation about environmental issues and there is always a cook on the show to cook a "green" meal, Greenburg; a show about a town that got knocked out by a tornadoe and they built it back up "green", Miami Ink; self-explanatory, LA Ink; self-explanatory, Criss Angel Mindfreak; illusionist, Locked Up Abroad;about stories of real people that comitted a crime overseas and got put in jail abroad. We record lots of shows and the fun thing about it is that one of the kids will see something that is really interesting or intriguing and they will record it so we can all watch it together.

We are a very spontaneous family, because we can be with our schedules so free. The kids will find out about a book they want to read and we will just head over to the book store. Or they get an itch to go bowling or something of the sort and we will drop everything and go. Sometimes we just spend the entire day in our pajamas watching movies and we've been know to spend hours at the coffee shop too.

It really depends on weather, work, etc. as to how each day goes. Up until very recently I didn't work at all but now I'm teaching yoga and working very part-time at a coffee shop, which makes us less spontaneous than we have been in the past but we still have enough freedom to come and go as we please and we are still able to put everything down and move onto something else as things come up.

Post note: I wrote this blog yesterday so I could come back today and maybe add a few things. This morning they gave me a permanent work schedule that has me working every day from 6:30am-11:00am, maybe just until 10:00 am in a couple of months. So our typical day is changing quickly. No more slow mornings, sipping coffee and putzing around for me:) Although, I work in a coffee shop, that isn't too busy the first hour, so I get to sit around and sip coffee anyway! Martin works from home now so he takes me to work in his gas efficient car:) and stays at the coffee shop for a couple of hours working on his computer. I'm really enjoying having the extra money without the kids really noticing that I've been gone. When I move to 10:00 am they literally won't notice that I've been gone because they usually wake up between 9 and 10.


sheli said...

Wonderful blog Heidi! It all sounds like a PERFECT day! Love ya,

Karen said...

Hmmmm,working from home, huh? Sounds like the perfect job for traveling! :)

Love you, sister!

Heather's Moving Castle said...

I loved reading about your days right now. It gives me inspiration to keep doing what I'm doing. :0

Lovely pics too!


CJ&AG AUS said...

Hi! I am an unschooler in Australia. My email address is

I posted a link on our local homeschool yahoo group to your son's article about trying out school, as I thought it was excellent. The editor of our newsletter went to have a look and thought all of your articles are fantastic, and was wondering if there is any chance she could reproduce any of them in our newsletter?

Also, my son is on the lookout for a penpal (email and/or postal mail), and I was wondering if any of your children are anywhere near his age- 13 1/2- and would be interested? I am sure he would think Alaska would be a fascinating place to have a penpal... I've always wanted to visit there!!

anyway... hope you see this and respond!


Colleen said...

I just wrote what a typical day looks like for us on Guam - though as unschoolers, no day is typical!'

I loved your son's essay on his year in school. Smart boy you have there.

Alice said...

Love your blog!

Our family is very similar, right down to mom working part-time mornings at a local coffee shop! It's new to me since I haven't been working outside the home for almost a dozen years, but the kids hardly notice I'm gone. I get home about the time they are pouring their morning cereal.

ZZZ said...

How great to be able to get out and do something for you and your family without them really being affected! Maybe when my youngest (5) is older ...

Also - I am curious - is Kevin choosing to go to school for another year?