Unschooling – Day 1

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Last night, I wrote down R’s list of what she would need to complete for today, Monday 10 Oct. After spending a considerable amount of time yesterday reading unschooling articles, pondering, reading some more – I decided to ditch the list and try out unschooling for 2 weeks!!! I’ll be recording our unschooling days as regularly as I can here on the blog inshaAllah!

And so, today was our first day of absolutely no routine except Quran. This is how it went 🙂

  • Baby Y woke up at 6am!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (He seems to be waking up earlier and earlier these days – am not happy!)
  • I couldn’t go back to sleep, so eventually strolled out of bed and put the washing machine on.
  • R and Z woke up and got ready for breakfast
  • Over breakfast, informed them that we will be trying out a different method of ‘school’ and that basically they are free to choose what they want to do/what they want to learn. Only thing they have to do is Quran. R was really surprised.
  • Still eating breakfast, R asks me ‘Where are Vikings from?’ We discussed this and then I made a mental note to get a library book about it. – A bit of history!
  • Z decided to show me step by step how he can go to the toilet by himself. – Practical!
  • Baby Y brought 2 books for me to read. – English
  • Then R brought ‘Chocolate World’ for me to read. Read a short story for her. Excellent Islamic book – quite deep and great lessons to be learnt. Today, the story was abotu 3 children whose parents had died and the lesson was tawakkul (reliance on Allah) – English.
  • R started Quran
  • When Z saw his sister doing Quran, he wanted me to do his Quran (he’s learning Fatiha at the moment)
  • I brought lego down – boys started playing
  • Got them dressed one by one
  • Felt a sudden desire to be outdoors and so lastminute decided to go to the park to do tree rubbings, spot trees and wild flowers using Usborne Spot Cards and breathe in some fresh air – Science/Nature
  • As R was brushing her hair, I remembered that we were invited the following day to a sister’s house (she home eds too), so decided to bring in Islam and a bit of an independent thinking exercise as per a book I’m reading (The Bright Stuff by C.J. Simister). Mentioned the hadith about giving gifts to believers. Asked R what she thought was the benefit of this. Kept probing her and asking why – stimulates the child’s mind to create an independent thinker. After this, I told her about the invite and she decided to make a gift. You see, I could have told her to make a gift but it wouldn’t have had the same mental stimulation/outcome. – Islamic Studies
  • We went to the Park and had a wonderful time mashaAllah spotting different trees and flowers and then heading off to the children’s park on their scooters. Baby Y loved the  big slide – everyone was content alhamdulillah – here are some pics:

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  • Stopped off at Sainsburys
  • Came home made scrambled egg and allowed the children to make sandwiches with it (I tend not to do this as its quicker to make them myself) but they loved it and I guess it was practical learning for them – Practical
  • Over lunch, R states that it isn’t good to cut down trees. Again, working on independent thinking, I used one of the exercises in The Bright Stuff and made her consider the alternative. And so, I asked her whether it is entirely a bad idea or whether it is sometimes good to cut down trees. We discussed it and went backwards and forwards, I kept on at her to make her think about other possibilities. In the end she decided that as long as new trees are planted, recycling is on the increase, and animas habitats are not destroyed then it is not so bad. Was quite impressed with her independent conclusion mashaAllah. Really advise reading that book. – Geography/Science
  • Kids watched some cartoons whilst I FINALLY tended to the dishes from breakfast and lunch! Anyone who knows me personally or has been reading this blog for long enough, knows how particular I am about cleaning. But have decided that my kids are MORE IMPORTANT than a clean sink!!
  • Put boys down for a nap
  • At this point, thats when the test hit me. R wasn’t doing anything. She said she didn’t know what to do and was looking utterly bored! I gave her some options.
  • After considering her options, we played an entire game of scrabble – English
  • I hung out the washing from the morning (late!)
  • R read and lazed around – English
  • Boys up and playing
  • Texted the sister to ask her what her daughter likes as R wanted to make something based on the girl’s interests. Received text back that she likes cats!
  • R coloured in a picture of a cat, cut it out, stuck it to a card. She wrote her first draft of the inside message of the card. I corrected one spelling mistake (the word ‘because’). She wrote it out in her best handwriting into the card and decorated it with stickers. – Art and Craft/English
  • Z also coloured in a fireman and cut it out
  • Hubby came home
  • Forgot to give R a letter that had come for her in the post. It was the latest edition of Little Explorers Magazine.
  • R sat down and read about her favourite interest at the moment – Hajj and read out the steps of Hajj to us all. – English/Islamic Studies
  • Played connect 4 – Math
  • Kids watched an Arabic cartoon – Arabic
  • Dinner
  • Played and ran around like crazy
  • Read to the kids
  • Got ready for bed, duas and that was it for the day!
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20 responses »

  1. Assalaamu ‘alaykum ukhti,

    Ive been reading your ‘unschooling’ posts here and on IHSAN and Ive been really intrigued as to what exactly you were going to be doing. Im trying to ‘unschool’ in some sense – but its very different from your version – because I still have to have some type of structure. But MashaaAllah your day still sounds really productive.

    That Park looks really nice MashaaAllah – Local to you?

    I cant get over how Z’s head (seeing as thats all I’ve seen of him) looks exactly like my friends son’s head!! Cute MashaaAllah.

    • It was a really nice day alhamdulillah. Yes, its our local common mashaAllah. Z’s not the one with curly hair in the picture – that’s baby Y – we chopped off all his curls – was too much!

      • Thats what I mean……its that shaven (now grown) head of your number 2!

        You’ve got a rock garden in your local? MashaaAllah.

  2. Assalaamu alaikum sis! JazakiAllahu khairan for sharing! MashaAllah, I guess if we really record what our children do throughout the day, there can be productivity in every activity inshaAllah.This is an excellent idea. InshaAllah, I will check out that book and maybe even try “unschooling” for a bit. The kids would love it! InshaAllah!

  3. Assalaamu alaikum sister, sounds like you had a fab day mashaAllah. Sometimes when children have had a structured day they do, at first, have moments when they ‘don’t know what to do’ but these soon disappear. I also found it difficult to relax about this but you’re doing a fab job mashaAllah. Wassalaam xXx

    • Ws, hey you! 🙂 Thought you might like this post mashaAllah! 🙂 I guess all the sisters who told me to relax were right 🙂

      • SubhanAllah, all of us have our journey to make on the HE path and you can’t get to the end until your ready and made your scheduled pit stops LOL. I read a book once that had lots of stats about HE and it said that almost all families end up in a semi structured, more relaxed style of HE! I guess it just gets harder to maintain the structure as demands on your time increase and you need to adapt to keep the learning rolling along and yourself strong and free from burnout [and insanity lol] inshaAllah.

  4. Masha Allaah I am so much looking forward to each day these two weeks Insha Allaah. Jazzakillaah Khayr for taking the time to do this sharing. SO may be after two weeks I may have a whole heap of questions, if you do not mind Insha Allaah : ) We really miss green sometimes : ) lovely park masha Allaah!

  5. In response to top messages……………LOL! Thats who I meant – 2nd child. I was trying to say he’s not a SKIN head.

  6. Alsalamu aliekum,

    Long time no see sis! MashaAllah sounds like you guys had a busy day! Just wondering where you got your copy of Chocolate World, I’ve been searching for it but not much luck with availability online. Jazakum Allah khier!

  7. Do you have anything like this (walking through a day) for big kids like 10 and 11 years old? I am a new Muslim homeschooler and we are the only Muslim family homeschooling in our area. We’ve just tried homeschooling for almost two weeks now. It is a big change in our lives and we don’t exactly know what to do to pass a day. My son (11 years old) wants to go back in school but my daughter (10) wants to go on with homeschooling. Please help me. May Allah reward you and your family. Noorjahan from Thailand.

  8. Pingback: What we have been up to | homeschoolmoments

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