Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: On Mulder's Desk
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I have a 5 year old daughter and 7 year old son, and we unschool. Like others on this thread, we don't really have a typical day, but here goes.
Between 8 and 9:30: Hollis wakes up and does stuff. Not sure what stuff, but I suspect it involves NASCAR, baseball, and nuclear physics, not necessarily in that order. I don't interfere as long as I can sleep through it.
Around 9:30 I drag myself out of bed, make something for Hollis to eat, say hi to my boyfriend on the computer (he lives in Italy), and take a shower. Precisely at 10:00AM almost every morning--and this would seem even more eerie if you knew how free-spirited/disorganized she is--Annika wakes up. Mind you, she's fresh as a daisy after being picked in the middle of August, thrown onto Route 20, and run over by a Mack truck, but she's awake. She puts on something pink.
Annika eats and then General Chaos ensues, unless it's Monday, when General Chaos is busy in the dance lessons barracks until 14:00 hours... after which, of course, he ensues with a vengeance peculiar to unschooled children who only have a schedule for four hours per week.
Among the chaos:
Annika eats. A lot. Far more than her puny fifth percentile body would suggest. Around 5PM Hollis and I make a meal from the crumbs she's tossed over her shoulder in our general direction. I'm pretty sure she thinks this is funny but so far she hasn't outright laughed in our faces. But one day she'll crack, and when she does, I'll be there.
Hollis plays cars. Hollis plays legos. Hollis plays gameshows. Hollis watches gameshows (this is all he watches besides sports and the weather channel). Hollis does something unwieldy with a large road map and Euros leftover from Italy. He makes scrupulous notes on a pad of paper. He won't let me look, but I think I caught "renewable resources" and "rule the world" before he flipped the page. I retreat to the computer room to ask my boyfriend about the economic climate in Europe and whether a seven year old could access the EEC computers from an American cable modem.
Hollis throws Annika a bone and consents to a game of Chutes and Ladders like he's the owner of the butcher shop and she's a lambchop. Annika smiles sweetly and provides "wheeeeeeeee!" sounds as he slides down the chutes. She cackles triumphantly regardless of who wins. Her eyes bright, she says, "Heeheehee, let's play again!" Hollis politely declines, and later I find the phone book on my desk propped open to the "exorcism" section. Or maybe someone was looking up eye doctors. Hmmm.
My mom calls and asks if I've thought about putting Annika into kindergarten next year. "She'd love being with all the other kids," Mom insists. I'm thinking that in a short time everyone at Gateway Elementary would be wearing pink and reciting "Horton Hatches the Egg" until Annika allowed them to stop, but I just grunt in a non-commital fashion. I'm tired from the last round of Hollis' "Important Stuff about the Earth" game. Do you know how far it is to the EARTH's CORE? Bzzzzzzt! Sorry, Mommy, but you were 235 and a half miles off. The mysterious notepad lies just out of my reach. I resist the temptation. I am an unschooling, attachment parent. I will not pry into my child's privacy no matter how grave the consequences to national security.
Around 7, Annika is STAAAAARVING after drawing a few pictures and causing a few semi-permanent disasters, so we have supper. She starves about 5 more times between now and her 10:30 bedtime. I call UNICEF, but they don't support children who are already in stable, loving homes with fridges full of food. Sheesh. Thanks a lot, guys.
Later in the evening, Hollis shuffles over to the kitchen table, cocks his head at the row of tagsale textbooks resting there, and selects a middle school geography book and a paperback called "Science Experiments For Smart Kids." Uh oh.
10:30PM: We read "Horton Hatches the Egg" and Annika smirks her way to sleep. Hollis and I follow, unsmirking, sometime before midnight. Sometimes we watch a movie but usually we read. I wait until he falls asleep and then gaze at my brilliant, adorable, innocent children one more time. How peaceful and angelic they are in slumber. I should really wake up early and try to plan some sort of schedule for tomorrow. Annika giggles in her sleep and the science book falls from Hollis' hand.
Nah, we're fine the way we are.