It’s been almost a year since I started this blog and wrote a day in the life post. I remember thinking at the time I should do this more often. By more I’m pretty sure I was thinking more than once a year, but oh well. There’s something about taking an entire day of being more aware, writing down details, and taking more pictures that is helpful and eye opening. It’s also fun to look back on.

So, here is our day from Thursday, January 22, 2015.

3:50 & 5:50am– The first two times I saw the clock when Juliette, my nearly 2 year old, woke and needed comforted. The second time I stayed in her bed and slept with her, waking briefly to hear the garage door open as my husband slipped out to work around 7:00am. I’m not a morning person, and I’d like to say this will change once the kids sleep better, but I kind of doubt it.

7:40 Eliana (6) woke me up and followed me to the kitchen where I got my coffee and filled 3 cups of milk, which was good because the other two kids woke up shortly after.  I was feeling like I needed a slow morning, so I handed over the iPad to the kids and I started laundry, picked up the house a little and snuck in a shower. My shower ended abruptly when I was interrupted by screaming and news of blood. I had to get out and clean up a random nose bleed. I’m really not sure when the last time I had an uninterrupted shower was, but at least this time it was legit.
9:00 Time to get moving! The kids started their morning check lists, we had breakfast, and I switched the laundry.
Stephen (4) started reading his shark books at the kitchen bar.
The girls were busy playing quietly with legos and My Little Pony toys in Eliana’s room.

10:00 Project Time. I’ve written a lot about our projects (check out the Projects category on this blog) and project based homeschooling. We go through cycles of working on specific projects (such as sharks or fashion) versus working on skills (such as sewing, drawing or painting).  The days when we work on skills the kids don’t necessarily call it project time (for no real reason, and it still usually occurs when project time does in our weekly rhythm, they’re just more likely to say something like let’s do sewing today instead of project time). I don’t care what we call it, I just like this time set aside for them to direct their own learning, and for me to be there to help as needed.

This day Eliana asked for project time specifically because she wanted to start a toy making project. She had made a toy dog out of recyclables the night before, and she wanted time to make more toys. While she set herself up I helped Stephen stack up all of his shark books (currently about 20-from both his collection and the library’s). He quickly joined Eliana in toy making though.
Juliette ran all around. Happily playing, but at the same time destroying almost the entire house. She would come in and out of the project area and stayed busy for a little bit experimenting with what would stick to the contact paper I had taped to the back door. The kids would help her for a minute and then get back to their work. Their work quickly went from toy making to toy selling. They started a garage sale, priced everything, emptied their banks to play with real money and had their stuffed animals join in. I had been folding laundry near by so they could interrupt me as needed and I could keep an eye on Juliette.
11:00 Everyone was playing and working so well together I was able to have a second cup of coffee and a social media break.
11:30 Juliette and I went outside for some fresh air. She brought her baby doll out to the front yard and quickly threw it down in search for snails. The big kids did not want to interrupt their garage sale to join us.
12:00 Juliette went down for her nap. I was able to have my own lunch and start a grocery list.

12:30 The kids joined me for their lunch and said they were done playing. (2 1/2 hours later!)

1:00 Stephen and Eliana recently made their own goal to practice math on Kahn Academy every day after lunch. It hasn’t ended up being every day, but this day they were excited to do it. I sat between them and helped as needed. Eliana can pretty much read all the questions, but Stephen needs help reading. They’ve been working a lot on addition and subtraction up to 20, shape recognition, reading and making graphs, telling time, adding groups of 10s. I have been super impressed with this free resource so far.
1:30 I had to make a phone call and they agreed to be quiet.  They decided Eliana was going to paint their faces.
2:15 They suddenly had it in their heads that they wanted to watch Despicable Me, so I told them they could until Juliette woke up.

2:30 Juliette woke up and joined them while I did this and that (Instagram, deodorant and mascara, most likely).

3:00 We headed to the grocery store. I refuse to go anywhere for groceries with all three of them except Trader Joe’s, but I’m seriously reconsidering this. I would rather not take a toddler anywhere. Ever.

4:00 Return home and turn the movie back on. I needed to recuperate with some silence.

4:30 The kids ate a big snack which I later decided could be dinner.

4:45 Juliette and Stephen went out to the backyard to play with bubbles and ride scooters. Eliana went in and out, alternating from making more toys to joining them.
5:45 We went back inside for baths/showers, more lego building by Eliana, and general chaos while I made dinner for Julio and me.

7:00 Julio got home and the kids fought for his attention the rest of the night. They practiced reading jokes to him and then listened to stories “out of his head” before bed. I love that they enjoy story time with him because usually they grumble about him always speaking Spanish to them. But when it’s nighttime story time suddenly Spanish is best. I took Juliette to bed so they could listen to Daddy.

9:00 Kids finally fell asleep. I try to be in bed by 10:30, but this night was the second to last episode ever of Parenthood, so I stayed up for that with my glass of wine.




12 thoughts on “A Thursday in January

  1. I just found your blog and I’m loving it. I have an almost 4 year old and a 27 month old. How do you prepare your home environment to foster your kids learning? Have you written a post about that. I also love the PBH approach to learning, but still struggle a bit with making materials accessible to the kids. Thanks for sharing your journey.

    • Hi Thathiana. Thank you for your kind words :) I’ve been meaning to write more about environment, and even mentioned it in a previous post, but it hasn’t happened! You may have just inspired me to do so. A short answer to your question… We have a big, kid sized table in a room in the center of the house, in view of the kitchen. The kids are always near me, so this works much better than when we temporarily had project space out in the garage. We have lots of open ended art supplies (think blank paper more than coloring books) and open ended toys (more blocks than toys with batteries, for example). As far as having material accessible to the kids, Lori at talks a lot about introducing one material at a time before adding more. For example, once I feel like the kids have scissor safety down, the scissors are on a shelf they can reach. Tape, scissors, glue, crayons, markers, pencils, etc. are all on open shelves they can reach. At this time I keep playdoh, clay and paint out of reach, but they can use it (mostly) when they want, I just have to know about it. :) Hope this helps a little!

  2. Thanks, Amy! Yes, this is helpful. I read Lori’s book a few months ago and loved it! I have set up a table for the kids and leave available a few art supplies (washable markers, scissors and paper), but even though it’s not a lot, they manage to make a huge mess! :) And this is what I struggle with the most (I read your post about your struggles with the mess and could totally relate!). They LOVE cutting paper into teeny tiny pieces, which I see it as an art in itself (lol), but oh my goodness, the mess at the end of the day is sometimes overwhelming. :) I guess I have to keep reminding myself that they are exploring, learning, mastering skills. Right? :)
    I think you are doing a great job with your kids! Again, I’ve been really enjoying reading your posts!

    • Messes seem to be a requirement around here :) It is a constant struggle for me. It’s a balancing act of not squashing the creative process of an ongoing project with not going insane because there are boxes and tape all over my house. I often use the hashtag on IG #sayingyes and #embracethemess because both are so important, and valuing that…making it a mantra…it kind of helps.

  3. I have been meaning to get to this blog for sometime and it is just as wonderful as I’d hoped. Your enthusiasm towards your children’s educational journey and the delight in just one moment to the next is so refreshing. When we first started homeschooling I blogged, than we evolved, in search of a path that suited our family we found ourselves on an amazing road known as “unschooling”, than my kids began to blog. Your blog reflects unschooling well. Although unschooled life looks different for every family, it’s hard to put into just a few words how much learning and discovery goes on in ONE DAY! People ask me questions all the time, the “how”, “where”, “when” questions, often I can realize if it’s just to “pick my brain” or if they are sincerely curious and thinking about taking the leap themselves. Your blog appears to be a great reference of a wonder unschooled family/life. I look forward to reading more.

    • Thank you so much for this, Adrieene. I know other’s homeschooling blogs were such an inspiration to me as I was considering going down the homeschooling route for our family. I think the more examples people can see, the better. Unschooling definitely looks different for everyone, and it can be scary, all this unknown territory. I like sharing and trying to make the time to do so. I’ve seen lots of people change direction of their blogs, or stop, once their kids get older, and I can totally see this happening for me. But, in the beginning of the journey the newness of it all has consumed me (in a good way!) and writing in this space helps me sort through it all. (It also helps me formulate my answers to all those questions that come from curious minds!)

  4. Um, I *love* your blog! I am so glad I found it this morning. Your blog title? Perfect. I am a new homeschooler, but I have strong unschool tendencies. Sometimes I think we are unschoolers but I’m not sure. Anyway, I adore this post and the rest of your blog- I’m stalking it. My 6 year old is always making toys and inventions with what he finds in the recycling bin :)

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