Unschooling: A Day in the Life

I was scared to try unschooling at first, but the more Kate rejected learning, the more I realized I couldn’t push a rope. So we embraced unschooling and haven’t looked back.

Unschooling: A Day in the Life

We started homeschooling a year ago. At first, we tried to do homeschooling like regular school. Using a curriculum, workbooks, math exercises, spelling practice, etc. My 9-year-old, Kate hated it.

I was scared to try unschooling at first, but the more Kate rejected learning, the more I realized I couldn’t push a rope. So we embraced unschooling and haven’t looked back.

Unschooling: A Day in the Life

In this post, I’ll share some photos of what a random day is like for us unschooling. I say “random” because there really are no typical days. Every day is different and we just follow our interests. I am working from home now, so we have a nanny who helps on the days I am working. This was a day I was not working.

This is Kate’s friend, Kit (Kat, but we call her Kit, or Kit Kat). They met playing Minecraft online. Kit lives about an hour away (they didn’t know that when they met online!) but she comes to visit for sleepovers and sometimes she comes with us on homeschool camping trips.


We started the day after a Kit Kat sleepover with scrambled eggs. Every time Kit comes over, it’s a special occasion so I always make steamed milk with a little sugar with my espresso machine. They love it!


After breakfast, they brushed their teeth. Kate has braces now so she has to brush her teeth for two full minutes morning and night. That’s her little brother, Ollie, who just turned two.

(Yes, that’s our cloth diaper sprayer on the floor.)


After that, the girls decided they wanted to go for a bike ride. I’m following them with Ollie in a bike seat on the back of my bike.

Kit doesn’t know how to ride a bike yet so she uses Kate’s scooter. Kate just learned to ride a bike last January. I tried teaching her to ride myself but failed miserably, so I ended up signing her up for a How to Ride a Bike class for kids at REI. She learned in one day! Highly recommended.

After their bike ride, they played on their iPads for a while.


I made them chicken noodle soup for lunch with homemade bone broth and Japanese udon noodles.


It’s just chicken broth which I bring to a boil, then add some chopped carrot, celery and leftover roast chicken from the whole chicken I roast pretty much weekly.  I boil for a few minutes to soften the carrot and celery, then I add the udon noodles, and boil for a few minutes and season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. So easy and nutritious!


Kate loves this soup. Kate called it “Ponyo soup” when she was little, after the movie of the same name, which I highly recommend: [easyazon_link identifier=”B002ZTQVGQ” locale=”US” tag=”cheeseslave0e-20″]Ponyo[/easyazon_link].


Actually all the kids love it. These are their happy faces when they eat Ponyo soup.


After lunch, Ollie took his nap and Kate and Kit played. Then I had to run an errand at the mall so we piled into the car.

I took them to a Japanese gift store, and they went crazy over everything. Cuteness overload!



We bought a couple things — some cute containers and plastic spoons to go in their lunchboxes (which we use for homeschool park days).


After that it was snack time. We normally do salami or cheese and chips or milk and cookies. But since it was a special day with Kit Kat, I let them get some frozen yogurt.


After the fro yo, we drove Kit home and then headed back to our house for dinner.

So the big question is… did they learn anything? 🙂 This is the thing about unschooling… I agree with Sandra Dodd, author of [easyazon_link identifier=”0557181550″ locale=”US” tag=”cheeseslave0e-20″]The Big Book of Unschooling[/easyazon_link]. Kids are always learning. In fact, it’s impossible not to learn.

“Kids who are in school just visit life sometimes, and then they have to stop to do homework or go to sleep early or get to school on time. They’re constantly reminded they are preparing “for real life,” while being isolated from it.” — Sandra Dodd


Like I said, this was just a random day. We have all kinds of different days. Some days we go to the beach. Some days we do science experiments. Some days we just draw all day. We go to the museum, we go on camping trips. We listen to audiobooks, we play games, we watch YouTube videos, we play in the sprinkler outside.

Oh! And today we just started doing our daily Japanese drills… I asked Kate to pick a language she wanted to learn and she chose Japanese.

The thing is… it took Kate almost a year to decide which language she wanted to learn. In the beginning, I tried to make her learn Latin and she hated it. She told me she wanted to learn Japanese because she loves anime. I could have pushed her to learn something else, but I wanted to let her find something she was truly excited about. And she’s very excited about Japanese.

I’ll be writing a post soon about the tools we are using to study Japanese (the post will apply to learning any language). There’s one site in particular we really love. We started using it today and had so much fun, the time just flew by. Kate said, “I’m blazing through this!” Once she finished her Japanese drills, she decided to learn some Russian words. 🙂

More on language learning soon!

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Unschooling: A Day in the Life

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